Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Entering the King's Palace

"A man's holy items shall remain his" [Naso 5:10]

To what can this be compared, asked the Chofetz Chaim? Answer: to a King who summoned his servant Reuven, to appear before him.

Reuven was filled with dread and thought "why has the King summoned me? Perhaps someone has slandered me and falsely accused me of committing some crime".

Reuven approached his trusted friend Shimon, and asked him to accompany him to the King's courtyard; yet Shimon refused!

"What shall I do" thought Reuven. "Shimon my closest friend has refused to join me; I will go and ask Levi. True, Levi is not my best friend, but perhaps my plea will sway him enough that he will accompany me."

"I am prepared to join you" replied Levi, "but I am afraid of entering the King's palace. I will accompany you to the King's courtyard, and then I will have to part from you."

Left with little choice, Reuven approached Yehudah, whom he hardly knew.

Surprisingly, it was Yehudah who agreed to join Reuven on his visit to the King. He agreed to enter the palace and intercede on Reuven's behalf.

"When a person departs from this world", concluded the Chofetz Chaim, "and is summoned to appear before HaKadosh Baruch Hu, the King of all kings, his closest "friend" - the gold and silver that took so much effort to amass - will refuse to accompany him. His sons and daughters escort him partway, but they will not enter the King's palace.

"Only the mitzvos and good deeds that he performed during his life - the things he appreciated least - will be the ones to accompany him all the way to the Throne of Glory. Only they will plead on his behalf!"

This is as the verse states: "A man's holy items" - the mitzvos and holy deeds that a man has done throughout his life - "shall remain his" - only they will remain with him to intervene on his behalf after passing from this world.

Source: Rabbi Y. Bronstein on the Weekly Parsha

Friday, May 18, 2018

Tikkun Le'il Shavuot

Etsy Art

by Rabbi David Hanania Pinto

The custom to learn Torah on the eve of Shavuot [also see here for more information]

Millions of people all over the world are eager to receive “only” one blessing from the Creator of the world. They are willing to work hard with all their heart and soul in order to merit being included in the category of fortunate people, who are listed in the sefer zichronot of Hashem. Of course, to merit receiving The ultimate blessing, with a capital “T”, is not simple. However, once a year a unique opportunity presents itself to receive not only one blessing from Hashem, but to receive a package full of blessings, with seventy blessings all together.

This unique opportunity will commence on Motzei Shabbat, on the eve of Shavuot, since on this night it is the common practice throughout the Diaspora to remain awake all night to study Torah until dawn.

What is the reward for those who learn Torah all night on the eve of Shavuot?

This is what the holy Zohar reveals [Introduction to the Zohar chelek I, p. 8]:

All those who complete the tikkun on this night and do so joyously, will be registered and recorded in the sefer zichronot, and Hakadosh Baruch Hu blesses them with seventy blessings and with crowns from the Upper world. Regarding them it says, “Then those who fear Hashem spoke to one another and Hashem listened and heard, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear Hashem and those who give thought to His Name.”

Regarding the segulah of learning Torah throughout the eve of Shavuot, the sefer on the customs of the Arizal, called Pitora d’Abba, states: All those who did not sleep in this night at all, not even for one moment, and was involved in the study of Torah the entire night, is promised that he will live out the year and no harm will befall him in that year. As Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai writes in his introduction to Bereishit, “He will live through the year in peace.” Moreover, a person’s life is determined according to this matter, because if he will not sleep at all on the eve of Shavuot, then he will surely not die that year. This is why it became a custom for Am Yisrael to delve in Torah the entire night of Shavuot.

Moreover, it is important to note that there are many communities that are meticulous about not speaking any mundane words the entire night until after the Kedushah beginning with “Keter” (כתר) in the tefillah of Mussaf. This is a special segulah, according to the Arizal, to be saved from death defined as “karet” (כרת), since the word “karet” (כרת) contains the same letters as “Keter” (כתר)

Befitting Teshuvah

The reason for learning Torah on the eve of Shavuot is explained in Pirkei d’Rabbi Eliezer. At the time of Matan Torah, Bnei Yisrael had slept throughout the night, since sleeping on the Atzeret is pleasant, and the night is short. Hashem had to wake them up from their sleep with thunder and lightning, which occurred prior to receiving the Torah on Har Sinai. In order to make amends, Chazal established, as befitting teshuvah, to be on duty that entire night and study the holy Torah in the way they outlined, until dawn, and hear kriat HaTorah and the Ten Commandments as if we had just received them on Har Sinai.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Who Will Build the Third Temple: Man or God ?

From the talks of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson

Art: Alex Levin

A Building of the Heavens or of the Earth 

There is a classic difference of opinion between our Rabbis regarding the construction of the Third Beis HaMikdash. The Rambam states [1] that the Beis HaMikdash will be built by man, more specifically by Mashiach. Indeed, its construction will be one of the signs of Mashiach’s advent.

Rashi, [2] by contrast, explains that the Beis HaMikdash has al­ready been constructed by G‑d and exists in the Heavenly realms, waiting for the time when it will descend to the earth. For the Third Beis HaMikdash will be “the Sanctuary of G‑d, established by Your hands.” [3] When the setting within the world is appropriate, this Heavenly structure will descend and become an actual reality within our material world.

Each of these views is based upon sources in the works of our Sages. [4] There is, however, a unique historical point which supports the Rambam’s position. Our Sages relate [5] that in the era of Rabbi Yehoshua ben Chananiah, the Romans granted the Jews permission to rebuild the Beis HaMikdash. Joyous at the opportunity they were granted, our people rushed to begin the preparations for building only to have the project thwarted by the intervention of the Samaritans. What is significant, however, is that they planned to build the Beis HaMikdash through their own efforts; they did not wait for it to descend from the heavens.

Will We Be Worthy?

This account can, however, be reconciled with Rashi’s view. To explain: Our Sages [6] note the apparent contradiction between two verses describing the coming of Mashiach. One verse states:[7] “Behold, one like a son of man came on the clouds of heaven.” It is, however, also written: [8] “Your king will come... like a poor man riding on a donkey.” In resolution, our Sages explain that if the Jews are found worthy, Mashiach will come “on the clouds of heaven”; if they do not merit, he will come “like a poor man riding on a donkey.” Similarly, in other contexts, our Sages de­scribe one course for the Redemption if the Jews’ conduct is meritorious, and another, if, heaven forbid, such merits are lacking. [9]

In the present context as well, it can be explained that the ultimate conception of the Beis HaMikdash is a Heavenly struc­ture to descend from above. If, however, the Jews are not wor­thy of such a sanctuary, the Beis HaMikdash will still return in the Era of the Redemption. It will, however, be a structure built by man, and not by G‑d.

On this basis, we can also resolve the difficulty cited above. When the Romans granted the Jews the opportunity to rebuild the Beis HaMikdash, the people must have been somewhat dis­appointed that the Beis HaMikdash did not descend from heaven. Nevertheless, the realization that they had not been found worthy of a heavenly structure did not dampen their en­thusiasm for building a sanctuary to the fullest extent of their human potential. [10]

Concrete Elucidation of Yechezkel’s Prophecies

Another possible resolution can be offered based on the Rambam’s statements shortly after the beginning of Hilchos Beis HaBechirah: [11]

The structure which Shlomo built is already described in the [Book of] Melachim. Similarly, the structure which will be constructed in the future era [is described in the Book of] Yechezkel. Nevertheless, the description there is not explained or elucidated.

[Therefore,] the people who constructed the Second [Beis HaMikdash] in the time of Ezra, built it according to the [basic] design [employed by] Shlomo, incorporat­ing the elements which were explicitly detailed by Yechezkel.

It can be explained that Mashiach will lead the people in the construction of those dimensions of the Beis HaMikdash which can be grasped by human intellect. Afterwards, since the dimensions of Yechezkel’s prophecies which we cannot com­pre­hend will be left incomplete, they will be revealed from Heaven by G‑d.

When That Which is Hidden Will Emerge

Another approach to rec­oncile Rashi’s view and that of the Rambam is based on our Sages’ interpretation of the verse, “Her gates sank in the earth.” [12] Our Sages relate [13] that the gates of the Beis HaMikdash were fashioned at the order of King David. This endowed them with an eternal invulnerability. [14] When the Babylonians laid waste to the Beis HaMikdash, the gates were not destroyed. In­stead, they were swallowed by the earth.

In the Era of the Redemption, the entire Beis HaMikdash will descend from the heavens with the exception of the gates, which will ascend from the earth. Mashiach will then connect the gates to the Beis HaMikdash. Our Sages explain [15] that con­necting the gates to a building is considered as equivalent to the construction of the entire edifice.

Adding Divine Perfection to Human Effort

Moreover, it can be ex­plained that the two concep­tions are, in no way, contradic­tory. Building the Beis HaMik­dash is a mitzvah incumbent on the Jewish people. [16] In the Era of the Redemption, when it will become possible to fulfill all the mitz­vos, we will also be obli­gated to rebuild the Beis HaMik­dash. Within that structure which man will erect, however, will descend and be enclothed “the Sanctuary of G‑d,” which is waiting in the heavens.

Mankind is obligated to create a Sanctuary for G‑d within the context of our material world. After that is completed to the fullest extent of our human potential, the inner essence of the Beis HaMikdash will be revealed — that it is “the Sanctuary of G‑d,” possessing a dimension of perfection which utterly sur­passes any possible work of mortal man.

* * *

May we witness the actual resolution of this issue in the immediate future, with the coming of the Redemption and the rebuilding — or the descent — of the Beis HaMikdash. “And then, the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to G‑d, as in the days of old and as in bygone years.”[17]

Adapted from Likkutei Sichos of the Lubavitcher Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneersohn, Vol. XI, p. 98; XVIII, p. 418-419; Vol. XXVII, p. 205.

1. Mishneh Torah, Hilchos Melachim 11:1,4.
2. Sukkah 41a, Rosh HaShanah 30a. See also Tosafos, Sukkah, loc. cit.
3. Shmos 15:17.
4. The Rambam’s view appears based on the Jerusalem Talmud, Megillah 1:11, Pesachim 9:1, Vayikra Rabbah 9:6, and Bamidbar Rabbah, 13:2. Rashi’s view has its source in the Midrash Tanchuma, Pekudei, sec. 11, the Zohar I, 28a, and other texts.
5. Bereishis Rabbah 64:10.
6. Sanhedrin 98a.
7. Daniel 7:13.
8. Zechariah 9:9.
9. See the essay “Two Periods Within the Era of the Redemption,” in the text I Await His Coming, which discusses this issue at length.
10. Significantly, in the era of Rabbi Yehoshua, there was no particular individual dis­tinguished as Mashiach. Nevertheless, the people planned to build the Beis HaMikdash. It was only in a later generation that it was revealed that it would be Mashiach who would build the Third Beis HaMikdash.
11. Hilchos Beis HaBechirah 1:4. See the essay “How We Can Build the Beis HaMikdash” which elaborates on this concept.
12. Eichah 2:9.
13. Bamidbar Rabbah 15:13, Eichah Rabbah on the verse cited.
14. Sotah 9a.
15. See Bava Basra 53b; see also Shaarei Zohar to Sukkah 41a.
16. Hilchos Beis HaBechirah 1:1. See also the conclusion of the discussion of the positive mitzvos in Sefer HaMitzvos, which states that building the Beis HaMikdash is an obligation incumbent on the Jewish people as a communal entity.
17. Malachi 3:4.

Original Article:

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Current Events, Geula and the Embassy

From the 4:30 minute mark, Rabbi Reuven Wolf speaks about the Geula and the Embassy move, and the gradual process of refining the world... ''the tikkun of the Nations''.

Tamar Yonah speaks to Rabbi Kessin

Biblical Prophesy Seen in Today’s News –
Trump, the Embassy, Iran, and the World against us. Is this all prophesy? Rabbi Mendel Kessin from talks to Tamar Yonah about prophesy unfolding in front of our eyes and in our news headlines. Will we see a nuclear war? Or will we experience a kinder redemption? This show is a MUST LISTEN!

Click here to listen

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Rejoice with Jerusalem

"Rejoice with Jerusalem and be glad with her, all you that love her..." [Isaiah 66:10] - from the
Daily Zohar on the day the Embassy was opened in Jerusalem.

Monday, May 14, 2018

How to Ascend to the Heavens

Rabbi Anava has a very short video on how to pick yourself up after a bad day.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Above Nature

"When you come to the land that I am giving you, the land shall rest a Sabbath to the Lord.

You may sow your field for six years, and for six years you may prune your vineyard, and gather in its produce,

But in the seventh year, the land shall have a complete rest a Sabbath to the Lord; you shall not sow your field, nor shall you prune your vineyard." [Behar 25: 2-4]

One of the reasons for the Sabbatical year is to allow the land to rest for a year, to enhance its fertility. From this it follows that after six consecutive years of intensive agriculture, the land is at its least fertile point in the seven year cycle. So the Torah's promise that the land "will yield produce [sufficient] for three years" in the naturally infertile sixth year, is totally irrational and requires a person to accept an authority which is higher than his mortal understanding.

The Talmud [Sanhedrin 97a] compares the six agricultural years to the six millenia of this world, and the Sabbatical year to the seventh millennium [when the Redemption will have arrived].

Since the Jewish people suffer from a gradual regression in spiritual stature as the generations pass, a person might ask: "How could the efforts of the spiritually weak and "infertile" sixth millennium bring the true and complete redemption?

The Torah answers: It is the super-rational self-sacrifice and commitment to Judaism of the final generations of exile, that will bring the blessings of the Redemption.

Based on Likutei Sichos vol 27, Lubavitcher Rebbe

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Part 2: The Significance of May 12th and May 14th 2018

In Yehezkel 38 and Zechariah 14, it talks about the last war, which is Gog from the land of Magog. There are all types of prophecy, but this clearly is the last war.  What is the logic of Gog and Magog? What does it all mean?  

In order to understand this, you have to go back to Egypt.  Evil has two phases: one is that it tries to destroy good.  Specifically it tries to destroy the Jewish people from doing the tikkun, mitzvos and teshuvah. There is no question about that.

However, there is a Phase Two.  When evil has been vanquished, they arrive for a last push. It's like a star before it dies.  It takes in all its energy and gives out a monumental cataclysmic explosion.  A nova can outshine galaxies..... and we are talking about one star in a billion stars, yet that nova will outshine the whole galaxy.  Can you imagine how much energy is in that star?    

Evil does the same thing.  Before it dies, and while it is dying, it can take it all the energies it has and then explode in a fiercesome explosion.  That is the story of Egypt.  The Krias Yam Suf [splitting of the sea]. Hashem destroyed Egypt with the ten plagues, but that wasn't enough... they had to come back after the Jews.  That is Phase Two.  

First they kept them as slaves for hundreds of years, and then when they were finally destroyed they went after them again by Krias Yam Suf.  So the splitting of the sea was really the last attempt of evil to subdue good.  That's why when the Satan is dying he tries to gather all his kitrugim [prosecutions] and find any evidence he can to destroy the Jews.  There is the famous one where the angel of the Egyptians [who was working as a helper to the Satan] says ''why do you want to save the Jews?  The Egyptians worship idols and the Jews worship idols.''  We see that the Satan made a monumental attempt to save the Egyptians.

All the people trying to topple President Trump is the result of the Satan dying. The Satan is trying to get everyone on his side to stop this man.  Why?  Because they know that Trump is going to drain the swamp.... or rather drain the sewer, which is basically Washington DC.  But that is not the only reason why they are all going crazy.  

The real reason why is because Trump is going to do something for Israel which has never been done before.

That is the concept of the resurgence of evil to try to destroy good. And that is the concept of Gog from the land of Magog.... an individual who gathers the 70 nations of the world [the gematria of Gog u Magog is 70 representing the 70 nations].... to go against the Jewish people and especially Moshiach ben Yosef.... and that is the last attempt of the Satan to again wipe out the Jewish people.

Gog and Magog is nothing more than a repeat attempt of Krias Yam Suf.

Hashem can change the form of Gog and Magog, and it is not a person.  As far as I am concerned, Gog and Magog is the United Nations, who have representatives of the entire world sitting there trying to destroy the Jewish people.  The United Nations is Gog u Magog and they are trying to destroy Israel.

Zechariah talks about not just trying to destroy Israel but specifically the Jews in Jerusalem, because Jerusalem is their major spiritual city. When President Trump wanted to declare Jerusalem the capital, 139 nations voted against it.

If the United Nations is Gog and Magog.... then we will not have a war of Gog u Magog.  You should know that a war of Gog u Magog against the Jewish people would be horrendous, as it says in the Gemorrah only one or two families of a city would survive.  That sounds like a holocaust.

Hashem split the wars of Gog u Magog into three parts.  The Chofetz Chaim says this, by the way.  Phase One was WW1 which destroyed hundreds of Jewish communities, even though it wasn't directly against the Jews, it changed Jewish life in Europe forever.  The second phase was WW2 where Hitler yemach shemo [as Gog] united a great deal of the world against the Jews, and there you had the brutality where only one or two families from a city survived.  Hashem brought the real brutality of Gog u Magog towards the Jews in WW2.  So Gog u Magog already happened twice.  

When you read the Novi, you can see that the war of Gog u Magog comes in three phases.   The final stage will not be so brutal, it will be in the form of confrontation, which is much milder.  We are already seeing that in the form of the United Nations.  It will be far less brutal as Hashem has split it into three parts.

Let's look at Phase Three.  If the United Nations is Gog and Magog, where do we see this ending?  On May 14 something is going to happen that is beyond belief.

The major claim of Gog/Magog is that Jerusalem does not belong to you, and Israel does not belong to you, and therefore they are going to conduct a war.  People don't make war just to say I want your money or your territory... today that is rare.  People have to dress it up and masquerade it as some virtue, such as ''you gotta give everything back to the Arabs''... they can't just attack you and kill you and say we want your cash.  These days Congress has to be justified with some virtuous statement.  So they say ''it belongs to the Arabs, you have to split it in half...''

On May 14, which is the 70th anniversary of the Jewish State on the English calendar....there is something happening which is beyond belief, and I don't think anybody realizes it.  We know that 250 individuals from America, congressmen, senators... are going to Jerusalem to open up the Embassy in Jerusalem.  It's incredible that there's going to be an Embassy of the United States in Jerusalem.  So if somebody is born in Jerusalem, it will no longer say that he is a citizen of Jerusalem, it will say that he is a citizen of Israel because now Jerusalem becomes Israel. That is incredible.

The second idea is that in making Jerusalem the capital, it is the stamp of approval and it legitimizes the whole area, and that Eretz Yisroel belongs to the Jews.

President Trump has said he will go the opening. Why would the President go to the opening of an Embassy? Think about that.  Presidents generally don't go to openings of an Embassy, they send the Diplomats.  Why would Trump say that he would go?  It means that Edom now realizes that the Jews are the legitimate owners of the Land of Israel.  By making the Embassy in Jerusalem, they are making a statement that Jerusalem belongs to the Jews.

It's interesting that there are many nations that are going to follow... we already have Guatemala, Czechoslovakia.... and many other nations will follow and there will be a rush, and it means that the world will recognise that Israel belongs to the Jews.  If that's the case, then there can no longer be a Gog and Magog because the argument that Jerusalem does not belong to the Jews is already over.  If all the countries are slowly going to put their embassies in Jerusalem.... then there is nothing to talk about !  That's an admission by every country that Jerusalem is the capital, so it takes away their whole claim... and if that's the case, then there's no Gog u Magog.

The King of America, Donald Trump, a Messianic figure of Edom, who represents Eisav, is now admitting to the Jewish people that Jerusalem is the capital and belongs to them.  What he has done is single-handedly stopped Gog u Magog.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

The Messianic Showdown

For those who can't listen to the video....the following is my transcript of the first half of Rabbi Mendel Kessin's shiur The Significance of May 12th and May 14th 2018 

The 2,000 year old Medrash says that at the end of time the [seven year] cycle in which Moshiach comes, Paras [Iran] will make war with Arav [Saudi Arabia].... and Arav will seek counsel with Edom [America].... and Paras will instigate a war with the entire world.    Israel will be conflicted.... what will they do?.... the entire world will be frightened. [This obviously refers to the fact that Iran can go nuclear.]
And then there will be a Bas Kol [a Divine Voice] that is heard throughout creation for those that are able to hear it, and it will say ''The time of your Redemption has arrived.''  Which means that this war between Persia and Israel [and the world] is the last war.   The Bas Kol continues ''All that I have done is for the sake of purifying the Jewish people''.

So we can see that this final war is between Iran and the Jewish people.

This prophecy indicates that Iran will succeed with a nuclear bomb and they will use this to make war with the Jewish people and the entire world.

However, a change seems to be happening. We must remember that even if there is a prophecy where things can be very bad, this can change because we don't know what merit Jews can achieve that has the ability to influence a Divine decree.  We see this with Yonah who went to warn Nineveh that there was a prophecy, and Nineveh was saved because they repented.

President Trump is certainly going to create a showdown with Iran. Iran is very afraid of the extreme sanctions which he can issue against them which would destroy their economy.  This would lead to a rebellion, of which the Kohmeinis are very afraid.  Trump will demand a de-nuclearization, total transparency, prohibit the manufacture of missiles that carry the war-heads, and bring an end to the terrorism all over the Middle East, especially against Israel.

Either way there will be a showdown.  And this is the Messianic final war: Iran making war against Israel and the world.

This means that Hashem has changed the decree, and is getting President Trump, who represents the tov she'b Eisav - the good part of Eisav who makes teshuva at the end - to neutralize Iran.....  and now we can understand what Eisav will do [is doing] to help Israel at the end of days.

This is Messianic.  This means that Hashem has stopped the prophecy - we don't know exactly why and we don't know exactly what the Jews have done to merit this.  There could be many reasons why.  The amazing thing is that Hashem is using Eisav to achieve this.  President Trump is involved in the Messianic process and his job is to protect the Jewish people.  He is not just stopping Iran, he is stopping the war at the End of Time before the coming of Moshiach, and that is the most incredible thing. be continued [if I have time!]

Monday, May 7, 2018

In Reverse

"...and I will remember My covenant [with] Jacob, and also My covenant [with] Isaac, and also My covenant [with] Abraham I will remember." [Bechukotai 26:42]

Why are the forefathers listed in reverse order? asked R' Shmelke of Nikolsburg.

Chazal have taught us, answered the Rebbe, that "The world depends on three things - on Torah study, on the service of G-d, and on kind deeds [Pirkei Avot 1:2]

Each one of the forefathers was noted for a different character trait.

Yaakov embodied Torah study.  He was "a wholesome man abiding in tents" [Bereishis 25:27] who studied Torah in the yeshivah of Shem and Ever. 

Yitzchak, who had been bound to an altar, represented service of Hashem.

Avraham, the paradigm of hospitality, represented the trait of kindness.

The order in which the verse lists the forefathers - Yaakov, Yitzchak and Avraham - corresponds to the order utilitzed by Chazal to enumerate the three things upon which the world depends: first "Torah", then "service of G-d" and finally "kindness" [Torah, Tefilla, Tzedaka]

Source: Rabbi Yitzchak Bronstein

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Lag B'Omer Wonders

Iyar 18, the 33rd Day of the Omer aka Lag b'Omer, is ALWAYS either Moon in Sagittarius or Moon in Capricorn (depending on where it falls in the 19-year Metonic cycle upon which the Hebrew calendar / Jewish Year is based). 

Sagittarius is "keshet," represented by the bow and arrow of the archer. The symbol of the bow and arrow is historically synonymous with the holiday of Lag b'Omer. Capricorn is ruled by Saturn ("Shabbtai"), the planet associated with the Jewish People for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is the association of "Shabbtai" to Shabbat. 

So either way, via the bow and arrow of Sagittarius or the Saturnian "Shabbat" energy of Capricorn, Lag b'Omer is a holiday literally written in our stars as well as in our story.

Source: AstroloJew 

.....we find that this Lag B’Omer 5778 corresponds in multiple ways with the recent findings of Rabbi Glazerson’s Torah code searches, correlating it with Moshiach.

See more at Kabbalah Secrets: Auspicious Dates 

Video: Rabbi Kessin: The Secret of Lag B'Omer

Moshiach's Rainbow and Lag B'Omer 

Lag B'Omer: An Inward Focus 

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

The Mystical Truth Behind the Iran Deal

In order to fully understand the head scratching, inexplicable Iranian Deal – where the most powerful nations of the world – especially the US, under former President Obama – effectively released to Iran $100Billion in blocked assets – and deliberately covered their eyes to the Iranian regime of terror’s lies to give Iran a clear direct path with permission to develop nuclear weapons, we can only look at the mystical reasons for the answer. 

To understand the high level first, everybody great and everyone evil is being sent back for Hashem’s final show – as we march unstoppable to the Geula – the Final Redemption. The challenge is that most of the evil personalities are public figures – often heads of state, while the righteous leaders of the Geula are for the most part hidden – at least for now. In fact, we are already in the Geula – but what I call the “Concealed part of the Geula – and of course, we need to passionately pray and do everything possible to bring the “Revealed Geula”– and in the sweetest way possible.

Continue reading click here

Monday, April 30, 2018

The Third Error of President Donald Trump

Rabbi Kessin's latest shiur                           


Sunday, April 29, 2018

Rabbi Meir Ba'al ha Ness - Master of the Miracle

Yarzheit: 14 Iyar

Ohel of Rabbi Meir Ba'al HaNess

By simply saying the phrase אלהא דמאיר ענני "Eloka d'Meir aneini" three times , which means "the G-d of Meir Answer me !", a person will be saved from trouble, if they promise to give charity to the poor and needy in the memory of the soul of Rebbe Meir Baal Haness . Donations can be made at Rabbi Meir Baal

The Chida says that the source for this custom is the Gemara [Avodah Zara 18a-b] where Rebbi Meir bribed a guard to release his imprisoned sister-in-law. The guard asked what happens if he's caught and Rebbi Meir told him to say ''G-d of Meir answer me'' and he would be saved, and that's what happened. From there comes the custom of donating money or oil for the neshama of Rebbi Meir, saying Eloka D'Meir Aneini, three times.

Rebbi Meir Baal HaNess said he would help those that gave to the poor of Eretz Yisroel, for the sake of his neshama.

Reb Dovid of Dinov points out a fascinating allusion: 

Mishlei 12:25 says דְּאָגָה בְלֶב-אִישׁ יַשְׁחֶנָּה - if one has worry in his heart, he should suppress it.

Mesechta Sanhedrin 100b explains this as ישיחנה לאחרים, tell it over to others. Mesechta Horios 13b says אחרים refers to Rebbi Meir. Putting it all together – if one is in a time of trouble give tzedaka for the neshama of Rebbi Meir Baal HaNess.  [Source: Tzemach Dovid]

Anytime, and especially on the yahrzeit, it is a big zechus to give tzedaka or light a candle li'luy nishmas Rebbi Meir Baal HaNess. 

There is a custom that when something is lost, a person immediately promises to give some money to the Tzedakah of Rebbe Meir Baal Haness in the merit of finding what was lost, and say the following [red text in picture below]

Friday, April 27, 2018

Geneivat Da'at: Theft of the Mind

Art Mike Worrall

Text by Rabbi Eli Mansour

The Torah in parshas Mishpatim denounces as a thief not only one who steals property but also someone who acts in a deceptive manner towards others.

Trickery, lying, and deceiving, are forms of stealing.

The Tosefta in Masechet Bava Batra lists seven categories of theft, and mentions at the top of the list, as the most grievous form of thievery, the sin of "Geneivat Da'at," which literally means "theft of the mind," referring to deception.

The Ritva (Rabbi Yom Tov Ashbili, Spain, 1250-1330), in his commentary to Masechet Chulin, writes that deceiving another person transgresses a Torah violation. According to the Ritva, the verse "Lo Tignovu" ("Do not steal" – Vayikra 19:11) refers specifically to this form of "theft," and thus a person who deceives another violates this Torah prohibition. This is also the position of the Yerei'im (by Rabbi Eliezer of Metz, France, 1115-1198), in Siman 124. Others, however, maintain that deception transgresses a Rabbinic edict, and not a Torah violation.

We present here a number of practical examples of Geneivat Da'at.

The Gemara mentions the example of somebody who invites his fellow to join him for a holiday, fully aware that this person had already made plans to spend the holiday elsewhere. He deceives his fellow into thinking that he sincerely wishes to host him, whereas in reality he has no actual intention to extend the invitation. Even though no practical harm results from this disingenuous invitation, it nevertheless violates the prohibition of Geneivat Da'at, insofar as the individual has deceived his fellow.

In the context of business operation, the issue of Geneivat Da'at arises quite frequently. For example, a proprietor may not announce a 50% price reduction and then raise the prices so that the sale price will amount to the item's actual price. Even though he in the end receives a fair price for the merchandise, he has nevertheless transgressed the prohibition of Geneivat Da'at because he has deceived the consumers.

The Poskim (Halachic authorities) discuss the question of whether a person who purchased a gift for his fellow at a discount price may leave the original price-tag on the package, so that the recipient will think he paid the price listed on the tag. Would this be considered Geneivat Da'at, in that the giver deceives the recipient into thinking that he paid a higher price for the gift? The Poskim generally conclude that one may leave the price-tag on the package, since the price on the tag is, after all, the true value of the item purchased.

Another question addressed by the Poskim concerns a case of one who wishes to give a gift. For example, it is forbidden to gift a set of Zohar that has several pages missing. The person giving the gift assumes that the recipient will never actually study the Zohar and will thus never realize that the set is missing pages. The Poskim write that it is forbidden to give this set as a gift, since one thereby deceives the recipient into thinking that he has received a perfect set of Zohar, whereas in reality it is defective.

Rabbi Moshe Feinstein (Russia-New York, 1895-1986) records in his work Iggerot Moshe a question he was asked as to whether Yeshiva High School students may be shown the answers to the Regents' Exams before the tests, so that they will not have to study the material and could use the extra time for Torah study. Rabbi Feinstein responds by expressing his astonishment over the very posing of such a question. Cheating is a clear violation of Geneivat Da'at, and it cannot possibly be allowed even for the purpose of facilitating additional time for Torah study.

Rabbenu Yona of Gerona, Spain (1180-1263), in his work Sha'arei Teshuva, compares one who steals property committing a sin with his hands to sins involving deceit. A person's soul, he explains, is a part of the Almighty Himself, the embodiment of perfect, unadulterated truth. Engaging in deceitful conduct contaminates this Godly quality of the soul, and thus constitutes a most grievous sin, more severe than the theft of property.

Summary: Geneivat Da'at, deception, is deemed by Halacha as the most grievous form of theft.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Facilitated Communication Exposed

This is a must read:  Facilitated Communication: Who Is Really Doing The Talking 

For everyone who has been sucked in to the FC whirlpool, and believes the nonsense that is brought down.   A huge thank you to Rivka for once again giving us truth and reality on the internet.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Components of Creation

Rabbi Kessin elaborates on the different parts of creation as set forth by the Ramchal. Parts 1 and 2.

Monday, April 23, 2018

The Power Behind the Redemption - Addendum

A three minute follow-up to last week's shiur.

Judge Well

Source: – Rabbi Yehoshua Leib Diskin

It is written, “With righteousness shall you judge your fellow” [Kedoshim 19:15].

The Sages interpret this to mean, “Judge your fellow favorably” [Shevuot 30b]. 

How can we apparently lie to ourselves by judging people favorably in every case, when in certain cases we can see them doing the very opposite of something favorable? What is the meaning of this mitzvah in that case? 

The Sages have said, “Any man who is insolent will in the end stumble into sin” [Taanith 7b]. This means that shame serves as a barrier and an obstacle to sin. Once a person has breached the barriers of modesty and shame, there is nothing to prevent him from sinning, as it is written: “It is a good sign if a man is shamefaced. … No man who experiences shame will easily sin” [Nedarim 20a]. 

The same applies to a person’s influence on others. The first one who sins completely breaches the barriers of shame. The one who follows him does not require as much insolence to sin, and the third person needs even less, once these barriers have been broken down. 

This is why the sin of desecrating Hashem’s Name is so grave. A person who openly sins diminishes the intensity of the fear and shame that are engraved in man with regards to committing a sin, thereby prompting others to sin as well.

We can now understand how the advice given to us by the Sages, to judge others favorably, is designed to help us. It is meant to ensure that the barriers of shame are not breached within our own hearts, for once we are certain that everyone is righteous, how could we dare to be the first ones to sin? However if a person tries to find fault with everyone, he will be more likely to sin at a time of weakness.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

The Absence of Truth

I would like to direct you all to a new post at Emunaroma which exposes the fake video confession of Rav Berland.  Please click here to read.

Rabbi Kessin, in his latest shiur, told us that all the news today is manipulated and not worth watching.  It's all fake news, only telling us the things they want us to know.  Say what you like about Donald Trump, but when he invented the term ''fake news''  he was right on the ball.

Truth is absent.  That is just one major sign that Moshiach is imminent.  

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Tazria: Following Your Destiny

The Angel in charge of conception is called לילה / Leila. When Hashem wishes a human being to be born, He bids the Angel Leila "Bring me this neshama from Gan Eden". The neshama, though, resents being uprooted from its Divine source, and complains to the Almighty "I am pure and holy, linked to Your Glory. Why should I be degraded by having to enter a human body?" Hashem responds: "The world where you will live surpasses in beauty the one from whence you emanated. You were fashioned for the sole purpose of becoming part of a human being and being elevated by his deeds."

The meaning of this is that although in Olam Haba the soul enjoys undisturbed tranquility and bliss, nevertheless the present world, despite all its tribulations, is of greater beauty. Only as long as a person lives on earth does he have the opportunity to study Torah and fulfill the mitzvos, thus accumulating merits.

Hashem subsequently compels the soul to merge with the seed for which it was destined. Even before the fetus is formed, the angel inquires of Hashem "What shall be its fate?"

At that point, the entire future of the unborn child is preordained. Hashem determines whether it is to be male or female, whether he or she shall be healthy or suffer from some sickness or handicap, his appearance, the degree of his intelligence, as well as all his mental and physical capabilities. Moreover, all particulars of his circumstances are already decided - whether wealthy or poor, what shall he possess, and who will be his future spouse.

We see that all details of a person's life are predestined. However, there is one exception. Hashem does not decree whether someone will become a tzaddik or a rasha. Each one decides how to fashion himself by means of the faculties and capabilities that were pre-ordained for him.

A person should not feel pride in his intelligence, strength or money, for these qualities are not of his own achievement, rather they were Divinely decreed for him before birth. There is only one field of endeavour in which accomplishment results from the individual's effort - whether and to what extent he will study Hashem's greatness by delving into His Torah and emulating His ways. To the degree in which he succeeds in this endeavour, he has actually accomplished something for himself.

While still in the mother's womb, the child is taught the entire Torah. He is shown a vision of both Gan Eden and Gehinnom, and the angel in charge of him entreats him "Become a tzaddik! Do not become a rasha!" When the child enters the world, the angel strikes his lips, causing all the Torah knowledge previously imparted to him to be forgotten. [Nevertheless, that knowledge was absorbed by his subconscious mind, enabling him to retrieve it during his lifetime].

Source: The Midrash Says

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

We Have the Geula Backwards

THE WORLD HAS IT ALL WRONG. We have come to believe – whether from our teachers, or from our books that The Geula – the Final Redemption – will cause all of our pain and suffering to go away. How many times in history have Jews, individually and collectively longed for Moshiach (The Messiah) to come to alleviate us from our pain and suffering. From the hurbans – destructions of the two Holy Temples in Jerusalem, the expulsions, the massacres, the inquisitions. the false messiahs, the pograms, and the Shoah (Holocaust) came the cries for Moshiach, the wailing for the better times of the Geula. We sat there, longer for, cried for the expected healing of our problems that Moshiach would bring.

The World has it all wrong. It has it backwards. It is NOT that the Geula will bring the Healing. It is that the Healing will bring the Geula.

Continue reading at

Sunday, April 15, 2018

And This is Your Sign

And this is your sign [that the Redemption is close]: When you see that the Nero of the East who is in Damascus has fallen, the kingdom of the children of the East [Yishmael] will fall, and then the salvation for Israel will sprout.

 נרון מזרחי [Nero of the East] is the same gematria as בשאר אסאד [Bashar Assad] - plus the words.

See: Yeranen Yaakov

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

How To Prepare for the Final Redemption

This post is the latest from the Rav Ofer Erez site by Avraham B.

Rav Ofer explains what we need to do in order to prepare for the final redemption. 

As the redemption nears, G-d is preparing each and every one us in very deep spiritual ways. One of the most important aspects of preparing for the final redemption is coming to an understanding that we are unable to bring upon the redemption on our own but rather Hashem Himself, alone will do it all for us. 

This aspect of the final redemption is called “Yeush d’Kdusha” Holy Despair. It is when we realize and understands that we cannot do anything without one hundred percent divine assistance, not ninety-nine percent but a hundred! 

Click the clip below to play: “Holy Despair – State of Redemption” [If you can’t see the English subtitles, go to the YouTube page directly, and click on the square-shaped icon in the bottom right of the screen, to switch on subtitles/captions for this clip].

Tuesday, April 10, 2018


Apologies for my absence, I was unwell over Pesach, but have made a miraculous recovery since it ended..... I am accepting this illness with gratitude, even more so because it has gone away now.   I have learned that suffering is a tikkun, so I thank Hashem for the opportunity !

Which brings me to this video, which I found in one of the comments of a rather controversial post at Emunaroma ''Thank G-d for Anti Semites''.  The post upset a few readers, you can leave a comment there if you feel the need to.  Rivka at Emunaroma is a wonderful friend of mine, who I've never met in person, but I feel like I've known her forever.   I'm not sure if I agree with everything written in her post, but it's out there and you can comment if you want to.... I don't have the mental strength right now to think too hard about it, but I do want to share this video below, where Rabbi Mizrachi is talking about how great it is to receive an insult, and how we should appreciate our suffering and accept it for what it really is.  It reminded me of something Rav Berland said : Every word is a diamond!

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Moshiach's Seudah

Acharon Shel Pesach, the last day of Pesach has a special connection to the coming of Moshiach and is celebrated accordingly, by partaking of Moshiach's Seudah [the meal of Moshiach..... sometimes known as the Third Seder]

The last day of Pesach  is celebrated by eating a special, festive banquet called Moshiach's seudah, a custom initiated by the Baal Shem Tov. The connection between the last day of Pesach and Moshiach is explained by the Tzemach Tzedek: "The last day of Pesach is the conclusion of that which began on the first night of Pesach. The first night of Pesach is our festival commemorating our redemption from Egypt by the Holy One, Blessed be He. It was the first redemption, carried out through Moshe Rabbeinu, who was the first redeemer; it was the beginning. The last day of Pesach is our festival commemorating the final redemption, when the Holy One, Blessed be He, will redeem us from the last exile through our righteous Moshiach, who is the final redeemer. The first day of Pesach is Moshe Rabbeinu's festival; the last day of Pesach is Moshiach's festival."

Pesach is the festival which celebrates freedom. The first day celebrates the redemption from the first exile; the last day celebrates the future redemption from the final exile. The two are intimately connected, the beginning and end of one process with G-d in the future redemption showing wonders "as in the days of your exodus from Egypt."

That Moshiach's festival is celebrated specifically on the last day of Pesach is not merely because Moshiach will redeem us from the last exile. Being last has a significance beyond mere numerical order, for that which is last performs a unique function. When the Jews journeyed in the desert after leaving Egypt, they marched in a specific order, divided into four camps. The last to march was the camp of Dan, which is described by Torah as "ma'asaf l'chol hamachanos" - "gatherer of all the camps." Rashi explains this as meaning that "The tribe of Dan...would journey last, and whoever would lose anything, it would be restored to him."

The concept of "gatherer of all the camps" - restoring lost property and making sure that nothing is missing - may be applied to various situations. The Baal Shem Tov, for example, taught that just as the Jews in the desert made forty-two journeys before they reached their final destination, Eretz Yisroel, so there are forty-two journeys in each Jew's individual life. The birth of a person corresponds to the initial journey when the Jews left the land of Egypt, and at each stage of life a Jew is somewhere in the middle of one of the forty-two journeys he must experience before he enters the next world.

Not only a person's entire life, but also every individual service to G-d has various stages or "journeys." In particular, the conclusion of a specific service acts as the "gatherer of all the camps" - to make sure that nothing is missing from that service. Pesach, it was noted earlier, is associated with the concept of redemption, and our service on Pesach is correspondingly directed towards hastening the arrival of the final redemption. But even if service on Pesach was deficient, if opportunities were missed, not all is lost: the last day of Pesach acts as "gatherer of all the camps" for the entire festival. Just as the tribe of Dan restored lost articles to their owners, so the last day of Pesach provides a Jew with the opportunity to rectify omissions in the service of Pesach, and thereby regain what is rightfully his.

Because Pesach is associated with the redemption through Moshiach and the last day of Pesach is the finish to and completion of Pesach, the last day of Pesach accordingly emphasizes the coming of Moshiach.

The notion of "gatherer of all the camps" applies not only to each individual Jew's life and service, but also to Jewry in general. The forty-two journeys between leaving Egypt and entering Eretz Yisroel took place in the desert, the "wilderness of the nations," which is an allusion to the period of exile when Jews sojourn amongst the nations of the earth. The forty-two journeys in the desert served as the means wherewith Jews left the limitations of Egypt.  Thus all the journeys undertaken until the Jews actually entered Eretz Yisroel may be viewed as part of the exodus from Egypt. So too with the journeys in the exile: until Jews merit the final redemption, they are still journeying to reach Eretz Yisroel.  In every generation, Jews are somewhere in the middle of one of those forty-two journeys.

As in the journeys in the desert, there is a "gatherer of all the camps" in the generations-long journey of Jews to the Messianic Era. Our present generation is that of "the footsteps of Moshiach," the last generation of exile. It is the "gatherer of all the camps" of all generations of Jews.

That this generation of exile is the "gatherer of all the camps" of all generations is not just because it is the last. Exile is not just punishment for sin.

The mission of Jews is to elevate and refine this corporeal world, to reveal G-dliness and to transform the physical into a dwelling place for G-d. Dispersed throughout the world in exile, Jews have been given the opportunity and the means to carry out this mission in all parts of the world.

This has been the Jews' task throughout their history. "Gatherer of all the camps" in this context means that if any portion of that task is missing, it now can be rectified. Thus the era of "gatherer of all the camps" is the era when the world will have been fully refined and G-dliness revealed: the Era of Moshiach.

It is for this reason that it is our generation which is that of "the footsteps of Moshiach" and "gatherer of all the camps." For the service of Jews throughout the generations has been all but completed, and only the finishing touches - "gatherer of all the camps" - is needed. We stand ready and prepared to greet Moshiach.

Moshiach, of course, could have come in previous generations. The Talmud, for example, relates that at the destruction of the Beis HaMikdash, a cow lowed twice. The first time meant that the Beis HaMikdash was destroyed; the second time meant that Moshiach was born. In other words, the potential Moshiach was born immediately after the destruction and had the Jews merited it then, he would have been the actual Moshiach.

Although Moshiach could have come in previous generations, the future redemption nevertheless has a greater connection to our generation - just as the idea of Moshiach is emphasized on the last day of Pesach,  although the whole of Pesach is associated with the future redemption. For both are the concept of "gatherer of all the camps" and we accordingly celebrate Moshiach's seudah specifically on the last day of Pesach.

There is still more to the connection between the last day of Pesach and Moshiach. The prophet Yechezkel describes the exodus from Egypt - which took place on the first day of Pesach - as the birth of the Jewish nation.

The last day of Pesach, the eighth day, is therefore the day of the circumcision, which is "the beginning of the entry of the holy soul." Moshiach is the yechidah - the most sublime level of the soul - of the Jewish people. Until the body of Jewry has undergone circumcision it is not whole; its holy soul is missing. Moreover, the Alter Rebbe writes, the highest level of circumcision will take place in the future, when "The L-rd will circumcise your heart."

The Haftorah read on the last day of Pesach is also connected with the Messianic Era. It states: "The wolf will lie down with the lamb...He will raise a banner for the return...the earth will be full of the knowledge of the L-rd." All of these verses refer to the Messianic Era.

Thus the relationship between the last day of Pesach and Moshiach. But why do we mark this relationship by eating a meal?

Belief in Moshiach is a cardinal tenet of the Jewish faith, enshrined as one of Rambam's thirteen principles of belief: "I believe with perfect faith in the coming of Moshiach; and although he may tarry, I will wait for him every day that he shall come." But abstract belief is not enough. Our intellectual awareness must be translated into concrete action - by eating of Moshiach's seudah. Moreover, the food from Moshiach's seudah becomes part of our flesh and blood, and our faith in, and yearning for Moshiach permeates not just the soul's faculties but also the physical body.

Moshiach's seudah was initiated by the Baal Shem Tov, and there is good reason why it was by him specifically. In a famous letter to his brother in law, R. Gershon of Kitov, the Baal Shem Tov tells of the time he experienced an elevation of the soul to the highest spheres. When he came to the abode of Moshiach, he asked, "When will the Master come?" to which Moshiach replied, "When your wellsprings shall spread forth to the outside." In other words, it is the Baal Shem Tov's teachings - Chassidus - which will bring Moshiach, and it is therefore particularly appropriate that it was the Baal Shem Tov who initiated Moshiach's seudah on the last day of Pesach.

In the time of the Baal Shem Tov, the principal element of the seudah was matzah. The Rebbe Rashab, fifth Rebbe of Chabad, added the custom of drinking four cups of wine. Matzah is poor man's bread, flat and tasteless. Wine, in contrast, not only possesses taste, but induces joy and delight, to the extent that our Sages say, "Shirah (song) is said only over wine."

Chabad Chassidus conveys the concepts of Chassidus, first propounded by the Baal Shem Tov, in an intellectual framework, enabling them to be understood by a person's Chochmah (wisdom), Binah (knowledge), and Da'as (understanding) - ChaBaD. And when a person understands something - in this case the concepts of Chassidus - he enjoys it that much more. Chabad, in other words, introduced "taste" and "delight" into Chassidic doctrines, which until then were accepted primarily on faith alone.

The four cups of wine also allude to the Messianic Age, for which the dissemination of Chassidus - especially Chabad Chassidus - is the preparation. The four cups symbolize: the four expressions of redemption; the four cups of retribution G-d will force the nations of the world to drink; the four cups of comfort G-d will bestow upon the Jews; the four letters of G-d's Name which will be revealed; the four general levels of repentance.

[Source: Sichah of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Acharon Shel Pesach, 5742]

Friday, March 30, 2018

“By Seder night, we’re going to bring the Geula”

The following story is from Kalman Wiseman at where you can read the full post, I have posted an edited version here.:

On Motzae Shabbat, 10th Nisan 5778, two of the nation’s leading Tzaddikim, Rav Eliezer Berland, shlita, and Rav Dov Kook of Tiveria, shlita, met in Holon, at a private home. These two leaders of Am Yisrael made the Kiddush Levana, the blessing on the new moon, together, and then sat down to share a Malaveh Malka meal.

Much of this historic meeting was captured on film, and below, we’re privileged to share with the English-speaking public a free translation of what these two Tzaddikim spoke about.

“Rav Kook is going to bring the light of redemption the light of Moshiach and the light of yetziat Mitzrayim. Like the days when we left Mitzrayim, Hashem is going to show us wonders. We’re going to see wonders that have never been seen since the creation of the world, Bezrat Hashem.

“We’re going to put together the Beit HaMikdash, we already ordered a lamb for the korban. We need to have 10 lambs for all the yeshiva.” [Rav Kook smiles]. “Everyone should donate 50 nis so we can get 10 lambs, so we can bring the 10 Korban Pesach. We’re going to do a Korban Pesach on Har Habayit, mamash.

Rav Kook says “I merited to understand a little bit of what he said, it’s the deepest of the deep. I’m amazed how the people who follow him and listen to him, how they understand what he’s saying. I understood only a little bit. He’s a genius, he’s a gaon, he’s a computer [of Torah] he’s an angel.

“He has the mind of a computer, focused and concentrated, he’s a treasure, a storehouse of Torah. He went through terrible, terrible suffering, and he’s a computer of Torah. Halavi (if only) I should understand everything he says. He’s not a person he’s got the mind of a computer.”

Thursday, March 29, 2018

The Secret of the Shape of our Body Parts 4 and 5

Parts 4 and 5 in this series from the Zohar about the shapes of the lines on our hands and face, and the shape of our body.  To see previous lectures click on the ANAVA lable below, or visit YouTube for the full list of Rabbi Anava's Zohar videos to date.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Pesach: How to See a Miracle

Rabbi Alon Anava - from the teachings of Rabbi Levi Yitzchak of Berdichev

Sunday, March 18, 2018

The Conscious and the Subconcious Mitzvot

Do we really have free choice? Most people tend to view this as a yes-or-no type of question, but the correct answer is in fact, yes and no.

a) The inner core of the soul is totally at one with G-d. At this subconscious level, the soul of every Jew wishes to observe all the mitzvot and to avoid transgressing any prohibitions. There is no desire for evil here; there simply is no other option than doing good.

b) At the conscious level however, where we interact with the more superficial layers of the soul's complex psyche, there is room for both good and evil. Here, the soul's inner desire to observe all the mitzvot is felt only as a weaker 'signal', which is susceptible to 'interference' from the opposing messages of our animalistic instincts. So at the conscious level, we do indeed possess free choice.

In general, the Torah speaks to our conscious mind. We are told to observe the mitzvot with the full awareness of what we are doing, and we are charged with bringing an awareness of spirituality into our normal, daily lives.

However, at this conscious level, we are susceptible to being drawn away from a life of holiness, or stifled by the limitations that the world appears to present. So while most of the mitzvot were given to the conscious part of the soul, G-d saw it necessary to give us some mitzvot which speak directly to the inner core of the soul, helping the soul's unlimited energy and total commitment to good to flow outwards to the conscious mind. These special mitzvot help us stay in tune with our subconscious commitment to Judaism, when our conscious observance becomes strained or limited.

With most mitzvot, G-d told Moshe to address the Jewish people with the term דבר "daber" [speak] or אמור "emor" [say]. While the mitzvot conveyed with these terms are of course obligatory, the more passive, indirect mood of the words "speak" and "say" indicate that these mitzvot are directed at the superficial layers of the soul which possess free choice.

Parshas Tzav, in contrast, uses the more direct imperative term צו "tsav" [command], alluding to a type of mitzvah which speaks to the soul's inner core that does not possess true free-choice; and is simply "commanded" to obey G-d's will. These special mitzvot which are included in this Parsha are aimed at helping our inner identity of unquestioning and uninhibited commitment to the Jewish faith surface in everyday life.

Based on Likutei Sichos of the Lubavitcher Rebbe

Monday, March 12, 2018

Did the Rabbis Invent the Noachide Laws ?

Where do the Noahide Laws come from?  Did the Rabbis ''invent'' them ?  Rabbi Tovia Singer answers.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Fire at R' Elimelech's Kever on his Yarzheit

Just a few days ago, it was the yarzheit of Reb Elimelech of Lizhensk, and a fire broke out causing immense damage: Heavy Damage Seen Following Fire At Tziyon Of Reb Elimelech In Lizhensk On Yartzheit

Pictures of the Ohel of Reb Elimelech before the fire can be seen here.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Meshane Makom Meshane Mazel - Change your Place, Change your Mazel

Following yesterday's post about the Three Blessings, there are two other ways to change your Mazal.

One is by changing your Hebrew name [but this should not be done without a long consultation with a learned Rabbi, and is usually only done in the case of a severe life-threatening illness] and the other one is by moving to a new address, or even a new city or country.

By changing our place in life we can change our destiny.  In Hebrew this is called ''MeShane Makom [change your place] MeShane Mazal [change your fortune]..  Mazal has many descriptions but basically it means the way your blessings come down to you.  In Jewish Astrology the signs are known as Mazalot.  That's why we wish people ''Mazal Tov'' on a joyous occasion, because their Mazal is good.    The story below will help you understand.

Art: Jacek Yerka
Adapted by Yrachmiel Tilles

Many of Rabbi Yisrael Baal Shem Tov's ways might have seemed strange to an outsider, but Reb Zev Wolf Kitzes, the Baal Shem Tov's constant companion, had enough confidence in his Rebbe never to doubt his actions. He knew that in the end -- even if it took years -- all would be for the best.

Reb Zev Wolf once accompanied the Besht on a visit to a certain village Jew. The impoverished villager welcomed the Besht into his home.

"I must have a donation of 18 rubles," the Besht requested. The poor man did not have this large sum. But, considering that it was the Besht making the request, the villager took some of his furniture and his cow, sold them, and gave the Besht the money. Reb Zev Wolf looked on silently while the Besht took the money and then departed.

Several days later the villager's rent was due on his inn. He could not produce the sum and the landlord evicted him. The villager, seeing no future for himself in this small village, decided to try his luck elsewhere. He finally found himself a tiny hut in a different village with a different landlord. By selling some more of his possessions, the villager managed to buy a cow. The cow provided him with his sole source of income; he sold her milk and eked out a meager living.

Some time later the landlord's cow became sick and her milk was unusable. One of the landlord's servants who knew of the new tenant quickly went to this villager and bought milk for the landlord. When the landlord was served the milk, he commented, "This milk is of a superior quality. Tell the owner that I will pay handsomely for the privilege of being his only customer."

This incident turned the tide of fortune for the villager. Each day he delivered milk to the manor and each day the landlord commented on the quality of the milk and milk products derived from it. He grew fond of the Jew and began to consult him about his business, slowly turning over to him many responsibilities. The landlord trusted him implicitly and appreciated the Jew's honesty, reliability, and faithful service.

The landlord's relationship and bond with the villager became so deep that, being childless, he transferred ownership of that village and the nearby city to the Jew. Feeling that now everything was in good hands, the landlord took leave and went abroad after having given the Jew legal title to that area.  A few years later, Reb Zev Wolf came to the village of the new landlord collecting money on behalf of Jewish prisoners and captives. Reb Zev Wolf had already collected all but 300 rubles of the sum which the Besht had designated.

Upon meeting with the village rabbi, Reb Zev Wolf questioned him as to why he was so festively attired."I am going, together with a group of the town dignitaries, to greet the landlord of this city who will be paying us a visit today. Why don't you come along with us? He is a Jew and will most probably be willing to contribute to your cause."

Reb Zev Wolf accompanied the rabbi and his companions. The landlord greeted the delegation warmly, paying special attention to Reb Zev Wolf. After a little while, the landlord took Reb Zev Wolf aside."You don't remember me, do you?" he asked. Reb Zev Wolf could not place the wealthy man's face. The landlord went on to retell the story of his change of fortune. Then, he took out 300 rubles and gave it to Reb Zev Wolf.

It was only upon returning to the Besht that Reb Zev Wolf understood the entire story. "The last 300 rubles were donated by the village Jew whom you once asked for a donation of 18 rubles. Today he is a wealthy man."

"Let me now tell you why I extracted that large sum from him when his circumstances were so difficult," explained the Besht. "A change of fortune was awaiting him in the future but not in that place. It was necessary to bring him to the end of his rope so that he would be forced to leave and settle elsewhere. That is exactly what happened. The rest you already know."