Friday, May 27, 2016

Unperturbed by the Challenges

The status of the Jewish people in exile is compared to that of being sold into slavery to non-Jewish masters [see Esther 7:4].  In such a difficult situation a Jew may argue: ''How can I possibly keep all the mitzvot when I have to live in a predominantly non-Jewish world?''

Nevertheless, just like the Jewish slave is required to keep all the mitzvot even in the house of his non-Jewish master, likewise, the Jewish people have been given the strength from G-d not to be perturbed by the challenges of the non-Jewish world, and to observe all of the mitzvot with pride.

Source: Lubavitcher Rebbe: Sichas Shabbos Parshas Behar  5725

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Lag B' Omer Round-Up

In honour of Lag b'' Omer, here are some videos and links, and all about coloured eggs.... 

Rabbi Alon Anava - Celebrating the Hilula of Rav Shimon Bar Yochai

A Lag B''Omer tish  - with Rav Dov Pinson in Flatbush last year.  [Tish means ''table'', fahbrengen means ''get together'']

What is the Chabad custom regarding eating browned eggs on Lag BaOmer? 

by Rabbi Levi Garelik -  an halachic authority in Brooklyn and Brussels who is also Dean of TheOnlineRabbi

1. In Sefer Haminhogim [page 43] it says that the Mitteler Rebbe would eat hard-boiled eggs on Lag Ba'omer. 

2. In "Lubavitch Vechayoleho" it says that the Rebbe Rashab would eat hard-boiled eggs on Lag Ba''omer, as well. 

3. In "Otzar Minhogei Chabad" it is written that "it is told" that the Rebbe would eat hard-boiled eggs on Lag BaOmer and that their shells were colored brown during the cooking process. However, he does not write any source. 

When I was a student in the Yeshiva, I had "heard" something about this but was never able to get to the bottom of this. [In those days no one spoke about customs in the Rebbe's home…]  However, when I merited to get married to the daughter of one of the Rebbe's secretaries, Rabbi Binyomin Klein, I was told that a year earlier, on Lag Ba''Omer, my father-in-law called home and told my wife and her sister to quickly prepare "the colored eggs for Lag Ba''Omer."   They had no clue what he was talking about and how do you "color" an egg?  

So they called "Bubby Shusterman" [the wife of the Rebbe's "Baal Koreh" whose yahrzeit is in these days] who was a source of information. She explained that on Lag Ba''Omer it is customary to eat eggs that are colored, and that is done by boiling the eggs, and during the boiling process you insert in the water the shells of onions and this turns the eggs to the color brown.   

Basically, the eggs are colored because that symbolizes transforming [or "coloring"] darkness  - as eggs are a sign of mourning - to light. May we merit to celebrate this Lag Ba''omer, together with Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai!   

What's the reason or meaning of this minhag?   It's for the students/ talmidim of Rabbi Akiva and the eggs end up a kind of bloody color.   We do this davka on Lag BaOmer because it's the Hilulah [Yahrzeit] of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai [the Rashbi], who emphasized that the day of his death should be a day of simcha. 

Another reason for colored eggs is that eggs are for aveilus [mourning], and we ought to mourn the passing of the Rashbi, but because the Rashbi wanted the day to be joyous, we color the eggs. we were told as kids coloured eggs are to remember that no [coloured] rainbow occurred during the life of Rashbi. 

Mrs. Yehudis Groner told us last night that a good way to do this is with red onions!!! That is what the Rebbitzen ob''m used to do  for the Rebbe.....

Also see Moshiach's Rainbow and Lag B''Omer and An Inward Focus

דרך כוכב מיעקב אל תירא עבדי יעקב

And now, apparently, the sun is tilting.  That link takes you to the latest Steve Olson video, where he is talking about the apparent tilt of the sun, just as we are aware that the moon has already tilted, and the sun is now setting a few degrees further north-west, or south-west for me, than it should be for this time of year.    Steve  states that ''they'' are using technology to make the sun appear a certain way, but whoever ''they'' are in his mind, we all know that whatever is happening in the Heavens is being controlled by Hashem.

I have read on another blog some comments from readers who are terrified of Nibiru [the Kochav Yaakov] and its possible effects on earth.   We should not be scared, none of you should be worrying about any of the dreadful scenarios being bandied about.  Every motzei Shabbat, Jews around the globe sing zmirot, one of which is Amar Hashem LeÝaakov also known as ''Al  Tira Avdi Yaakov'' , and you can clearly see the words:  

דרך כוכב מיעקב אל תירא עבדי יעקב

''A star will emerge from Yaakov   Fear not, My servant Yaakov''

God said to Yaakov / Fear not, My servant Yaakov
God chose Yaakov / Fear not, My servant Yaakov
A star will emerge from Yaakov / Fear not, My servant Yaakov
In Days to come Yaakov will strike roots / Fear not, My servant Yaakov
A ruler will arise from Yaakov / Fear not, My servant Yaakov
Remember these things for Yaakov / Fear not, My servant Yaakov
Delight will come with the salvations of Yaakov / Fear not, My servant Yaakov
Your tents are good Yaakov / Fear not, My servant Yaakov
They shall teach your ordinances to Yaakov / Fear not, My servant Yaakov
For there is no sorcery in Yaakov / Fear not, My servant Yaakov
He perceives no wrong in Yaakov / Fear not, My servant Yaakov
Who can count the dust of Yaakov / Fear not, My servant Yaakov
God made a vow to Yaakov / Fear not, My servant Yaakov
Please forgive the transgression of Yaakov / Fear not, My servant Yaakov
Bring back Yaakov from captivity now / Fear not, My servant Yaakov
God has redeemed Yaakov / Fear not, My servant Yaakov
Command salvation for Yaakov / Fear not, My servant Yaakov
The voice is the voice of Yaakov / Fear not, My servant Yaakov
Sing and be joyous for Yaakov / Fear not, My servant Yaakov
God has brought back Yaakov from captivity / Fear not, My servant Yaakov
Grant truth to Yaakov / Fear not, My servant Yaakov

And here is the video of it performed by Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach, if you have time to listen on Lag B'' Omer which begins tonight my time.  

Miracle Needed: Can YOU help ?

This blog reaches thousands of people around the world and so I am publishing this heartfelt plea from a reader who is begging someone to be the conduit for a miracle to ease her suffering.  Please read her story below and if you, or anyone you know, can help her, either forward the blog post to the relevant person or leave a comment below.   Iyar is the month of healing, with Hashem's Will, may it be so.

And everyone, please add the name CHAYA SHAINA CHANA BAS ITCHA to your prayer list, for a Refuah Shleimah immediately, and have her name added to all your Tehillim groups, and if possible, add it to the list of Misheberachs in your shule.  If you bake challah, add her name to your prayer list, give tzedaka in her name, do a good deed in her name, you can do something.   I want to storm the Heavens to get her a complete and immediate relief.  Thank you.

Autoimmune Cranial Neuritis caused by Big Pharma Antibiotics .....

I beg with tears for help please help Me! I need a decree to restore my health!! Please help me!! Rav Amram Vaknin, Rav Chaim Kanievsky , Rav Meir Shechter , Rav Gamliel Rabinowitz .... Please help me get to them!! Please I need to get help from a great Tzadik please!!!

I cannot feel my entire mouth throat or neck and burn on fire non stop causing paralysis! Please help me! Here is my story!!

I have an autoimmune disease set off by Keflex 29 years ago and biaxin for a tooth infection in February 2015 that threw me under the bus!

My body is attacking my trigememinal and glossopharngeal nerves (cranial nerves) vagus too, neck into my spine in neck down back! My entire mouth throat palate tongue sinuses cheeks occipital (I can feel the swelling of all the nerves in brain and brainstem! I have atrophy in my face from the nerves inside my mouth and swelling near my ears and atrophy with my ears as well! Please help me stop the auto-antibodies from attacking my central nervous system (cranial nerves and spine)! 

I need a miracle now please HaShem!! I cannot do this anymore! I'm suffering so much!! Help me now! Answer me now and send me my messenger now and do not forsake me please! I beg with tears for your help! I need to live!! Too much to do!! I want to save lives and help everyone!! Help me please!! Save me now and send my miracle of health completely now!!! Send Moshiach for the entire living world now please!! Peace and health for all life on earth!!

Chaya Shaina Chana bas Itcha

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Introduction to Tikun haMidot Part 2

Part 2 of Rabbi Alon Anava's Tikun HaMidot

[Refinement of Character] From a Kabbalistic point of view, this “refinement of character” called Tikkun HaMiddot is very much part and parcel of the Divine purpose in creation. Even small improvements are vastly appreciated by G‑d. Every individual “refinement” or “correction” contributes to the general “World Refinement” [Tikkun Olam] which will be precipitated when Mashiach will come.

At 21:00 on the video he explains why it is bad to hold your hands in a certain way, with the fingers interlocking the hands together.  I blogged this many years ago, but never had the full explanation of why.  Now I do!

Part 1 can be found here

Monday, May 23, 2016

The Secret to Success - Kill Your Ego

Volcanoes Erupting Worldwide

Three major volcanoes began erupting yesterday:

Mt Sinabung, Indonesia - seven killed

Costa Rica - Ash covers towns

Mount Etna [Italy]


Art: Pat Harrison

One of the reasons for the Sabbatical year is to allow the land to rest for a year, to enhance its fertility [Guide for the Perplexed 3:3]  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 millenium [when the Geula 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 millenium 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.

Source: Lubavitcher Rebbe Likutei Sichos vol 27 pp 189-190

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Self Reflections

"No man among you may mislead his fellowman, and you shall fear your G-d" [Behar 25:17]

According to the simple meaning of the verse, remarked R' Simchah Bunim of P'shischa, the Torah is only prohibiting an individual from deceiving his fellowman.  An individual of true piety, however, will go beyond the letter of the law and refrain from deceiving himself as well.

Friday, May 20, 2016

About Moshiach and Geula

I published this in 2011, and thought it worthy of re-publishing now.  

Author: SG

1. If the Geula and Moshiach are here, why is everything getting worse?

Moshiach is not synonymous with the Geula; rather, Moshiach brings the Geula to completion.

Moshiach is here, but the full Geula is not here; because there are many stages to the Geula. It is a process that develops over time.

The temporary bad is for the ultimate, eternal good.

The Geula process started in 1991, when we entered the stage of Yomos HaMoshiach [the days of Moshiach].

The stage we are in now is still a hidden stage, which contributes to still having free-choice. 
Free-choice increases, as the darkness gets greater.
Things happening now are counter-intuitive.

One would think that things should get progressively better as we get closer to the Geula, and then Moshiach and Hashem are revealed. But that is not how the Geula comes.... Just the opposite occurs; things get progressively worse... [although some things do get better].

“There are no atheists in a foxhole.”   When things are good, human nature is to forget about G-d; but when the chips are down, people then scream out to G-d, to help them.

Also, the soul has many levels: Pressure squeezes out the deeper levels, allowing us to access them.

G-d wants things to happen in a natural manner, seemingly happening by themselves.... although gigantic miracles will take place along the way - the greatest miracles that mankind has ever seen.

2. Why do things get worse?

Because the level of Hashem that is being revealed now in the world, was never able to be revealed before. It is totally different to anything that has happened in the past. 

This is the level of Etzem, that totally transcends all other levels of revelation in the past; including all the miracles and revelations to Tzadikim and the prophets.

Etzem - by definition - is hidden. But as it, and we, sink lower into the creation, Etzem then openly comes into revelation.

Etzem is not found in the upper spiritual worlds, where angels and Gan Eden are found; because only a ray of G-d is revealed there. But specfically in this physical world, is the Etzem of G-d to be found and revealed.

This is why, at the time of Techias Hamasim [revival of the dead] both the body and soul will become alive. Since the body's source is higher than the soul.

Also, the Lubavitcher Rebbe quoted the Yilkat Shmonei Midrash many times; but the Yilkat says that the whole world is scared, and Moshiach comes but does not stop the war  -  he just says, don’t be scared!

None of the sources that talk about the Geula [including the Gemorrah] say that good things happen. But the Rebbe said that we should realize that the negative occurrences are a positive sign of the imminent Geula.

3. What are the stages of Geula?

First there is Galus, then Yomos HaMoshiach [the end stage, being the open Geula], then Techias Hamasim, with each stage having many ascending levels.

Galus: the period before 1991.
This period is compared to the time of pregnancy:  A pregnant woman carries on with her life as before; but inside, on a hidden level, the baby is continually growing. The baby is compared to Moshiach; and the woman’s body is compared to the creation.

A pregnant woman’s body continually changes, in preparation for the birth; so too, the world has been continually changing [being refined] in order to get ready for the birth- the revelation of Moshiach; who then brings the Geula.

4. What is Geula [redemption]?

Geula comes from the word Gelui – to reveal.

Geula is considered as Labor: the process through which the baby is born [revealed].
The baby [Moshiach] is now fully grown [only hidden]; labor’s purpose is to push the baby out - birth.

The end goal, [after Techias Hamasim] is when the highest level of Hashem, called Etzem, is revealed permanently, in the entire creation.

There are many stages in between.
Moshiach will be openly guiding world events.

Moshiach's greatness and wisdom at this time will be even greater than in the time of King Solomon. King Solomon’s wisdom was respected worldwide, and many leaders and people came to learn from his greatness and knowledge.

The Jews, through the Torah, will be followed worldwide; when the Creator – G-d - reveals Himself worldwide; and all people will realize that He runs the world..... And that the way to survive and exist, is to follow His will, as revealed in the Torah, and Jewish Halacha [ways of conduct].  

Jews will then only be occupied with growing closer to G-d; through understanding the deeper levels of Torah that will be revealed at that time.

There will no longer be competition between people for: power, money, honor, etc. It will be a time of eternal peace and no war.

Physicality will directly connect to its source, so food and other things will be plentiful.

[In our current existence, the flow of life from G-d to the world has to first pass though many filters in order to come down into the world, but in the future, these filters will be removed, and everything will grow exponentially faster and larger in size.  So there will be no need for war, since everyone will have everything that they need.]

All levels of the creation will be elevated:

Inanimate and plant life will begin to communicate with humans.

All animals will become herbivorous (eat only plants) i.e. "the wolf will lie with the lamb” - not because the wolf will control his instinct to eat the lamb, but rather, his instincts will be transformed, and he will not want meat anymore.  

Mankind will all serve G-d together.

5.  What is Etzem?

Etzem is a level of G-d that is the source of everything, therefore, it includes everything. Here, there are no contradictions, or paradoxes, everything is unified.

Since Etzem is the source of everything, it is higher than all things, and can therefore unite them.  

Etzem unites two paradoxes, two opposites: the body and the soul, the physical and spiritual worlds, finite and infinite, etc.

Previously only Geluim were revealed into the world, but now Etzem is being revealed.  Geluim are things that we can relate to, as limited human beings: miracles, the Shechina, holiness, etc.

The problem is, in order for us to be able to handle these revelations, they had to be brought down to our level; otherwise, the creation would not be able to contain these revelations and they would disappear.  [This happened at Mount Sinai: when the Jews heard the first two commandments directly from G-d, their souls flew out of their bodies.The next eight commandments had to be told to them through Moshe, who could handle these great revelations.  So too now, regarding Moshiach.]

But now, after thousands of years of refinement, the world is now ready to receive the greatest revelation of all - Etzem.

6. What is the delay?

Period of refinement.
The initial refinement is over, this was needed to bring the Geula; but now there is a different refinement/ preparation needed, to reveal the highest level of Hashem totally into the world: Etzem.

Moshiach has to come willingly, not by force.
Kings in the past were more like dictators - their every desire, and whim, had to be fulfilled.
But Moshiach is the polar opposite, he is a public servant. He has no other desires than to do G-d’s will, in order to guide all mankind to fulfillment.

Everyone on the planet now, has to be able to understand this, with their physical intellect, and then to want this to occur, realizing that this will be the best thing for all mankind. [The world will have changed enough in the meantime for this to occur.]

7. Why did the Lubavitcher Rebbe say that the Geula is here, and we just have to open our eyes? Also, that all the Avodah [G-dly service] needed to bring the Geula, has been done?

Even though the process of Geula has started, we still have to view world events in the light of Moshiach - “to open our eyes” - since the Geula is still hidden from our eyes.

The Avodah needed to bring the Geula has been done, but now we have to reveal this hidden light into the open.

8. What should I do to bring the Geula faster?

1. Chitas - learn selected portions of the day in: Chumash [Moshe], Tanya [Alter Rebbe], and Tehillim [King David].  Not in order to learn, but rather, in order to bring the Geula. 

2. Learn Rambam: one or three chapters a day. This is the summation of Halacha [Jewish law- G-ds will]. By finishing the total fourteen volumes, we then have brought G-d’s Will into the world.

4. Learn Chassidus 

5. Learn Torah - and do Hiddur Mitzvahs [do Mitzvahs in the most exceptional manner possible in an expansive, beautiful manner; and be exacting, and have Kavana [doing them with the brain and heart - understanding and feeling].

6. All non-Jews should learn about the “Seven Mitzvos of Bnei Noach .” And do them because this is as G-d commanded Moses at Mount Sinai.

7. Live a Moshiach life.

8. Give a lot of charity.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Halos and Seasonal Anomalies

It was so hot the other day that when evening came around, the cicadas started singing.  This would not be surprising, except for the fact that here in Australia it is the autumn season, and cicadas normally do not sing at this time of year, as it is too cold.  Flowers that normally do not blossom in the winter are also confused and are growing nicely.  We all think it's summer, and obviously the plants and animals do too.

I mention this because I just watched Steve Olson's latest video, where he mentions this phenomenon worldwide.  You can safely watch the entire video except for the last 10 secs where he mentions JC. 

The video also begins with a photo of the halo around the sun [@0.25secs]....   It reminds me very much of the photo I blogged of the moon on Pesach [photo below]: the same colours around the clouds.  The moon is reflecting this giant halo around the sun..  The colours are from the various planets/bodies that are now being found near the sun.   If you're skeptical, I can promise you that the photos are not photo-shopped, I saw it with my own eyes,  and I urge you all to take a look at the moon regularly, especially now that it is getting to be full again, and you may also see this phenomenon.

Photo: Ross Thompson

Release the Rav

There have been several recent mentions of Rav Eliezer Berland on some of the blogs, as well as a Torah code from Rabbi Glazerson, and another code which reveals that he has a ''spark of Moshiach''.  For anyone who does not know who Rav Berland is, he is a highly respected and elderly Breslover Rav, who has been the victim of severe abuse allegations.  These allegations are allegedly all manufactured, and totally untrue.  Due to the situation in Israel where some religious Jews are persecuted by the government for political reasons, it is thought that the Rav was set up, and consequently he fled the country and is living in Exile.

Whatever you may personally think, any regular reader of this blog will know that I take the subject of abuse extremely seriously.  I do not, however, after reading all the evidence presented, believe that he is guilty of any of the allegations.

Below is a translation of a series of text messages that were sent today [Wednesday, May 18] to people in Israel who are followers of Rav Eliezer Berland.  [HT: Rivka Lambert Adler]

''HaRav Berland in a message from his jail cell requests that every man and woman from age 4 donate 99 NIS towards his release within 24 hours. And through that, the Rav, within two weeks can return to Eretz Yisrael. 

Listening to the message one hears Rav Berland and Rav Ofer who is responsible for the money collection explain that only through the merit of the contributions that are given with mesirut nefesh. the Rav has started to receive food. To get more information and donate, call 02-587-5777 or 054-856-1226/8. May we hear good tidings and please share this message as widely as possible. 

The Rav is the neshama of Yisrael. He said specifically that all of Yisrael is imprisoned by their physical cravings. The tzadik is working to take all of us out of the cell. There is no doubt that the tzadik, working above nature, can release himself but he refuses because he is working in the Heavens to fix and redeem us. 

The fact that the tzadik received food after Jews contributed with mesirut nefesh is a sign that our giving has worked. And after our giving money will effect mun from Heaven that will save and redeem us. 

Precious Jews. Whoever contributes their money in order to return the tzadik to the land in the end redeems himself and his family before the geula. 

The Rav did not ask this today just for redemption but specifically because today in the sefira it is Netzach she'b'Netzach of Rebbe Nachman who said, "I was victorious and will continue to be victorious. I finished and I will continue to finish." This is the middle of sefirat haOmer. 

May we merit his [Moshiach's] revelation quickly.''

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Retroactive Merits

''And the son of the Israelite woman pronounced the [Divine] Name and cursed. So they brought him to Moses. His mother's name was Shelomit the daughter of Dibri, of the tribe of Dan.'' [Emor 24:11]

Why does the Torah ''praise the Jewish people'' at the expense of incriminating Shelomit? [see Rashi]

This could be compared to the principle that if a person does a profound teshuvah, his ''transgressions become for him like merits'' [Yoma 86b].  For since the person's sins made him feel distant from G-d, they were ultimately the inspiration for his return.  Thus, retroactively, we perceive them as merits.

So too in the case of Shelomit: when her example inspires other women to behave modestly, her transgression will be rendered retroactively as a merit for her.  Therefore, it is publicized here.

Based on Likutei Sichos Vol 37 - Lubavitcher Rebbe