Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Understanding Dreams in Judaism



A fascinating half hour shiur on Dreams from Rabbi Zvi Zimmerman:

click here to listen [Last one on the page].

HT:  Yaak

Sunday, July 14, 2013



There is no ascent [aliyah] without a prior descent [yeridah]. The lower the descent, the higher the potential ascent.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Judgments: Above and Below


"When there is no judgment below, there is judgment above". [Devarim Rabbah 5:4]

"You shall not hate your brother in your heart. You shall surely rebuke your fellow man. And do not bear (lo tisa) sin on his account."  [Leviticus 19:17]

Reuven scoffed and cursed a Torah scholar.  The following day the scholar went to the rabbinic court to sue.  Reuven's friends asked the scholar to forgive Reuven, but he refused.

The peacemakers said: "You have already renounced your claim against him three times."

"When did I renounce my claim?" asked the scholar, "and before whom?"

"Before Hashem" said the peacemakers.  "In the prayers of Mincha, Arvit and Shacharit, which you prayed since yesterday's unfortunate incident.  At the end of the Amidah you said "To those who curse me, my soul will be silent".  After such a declaration how can you speak in court against someone who cursed you?"

"You have spoken well" said the scholar, "but allow me to explain the true meaning of this prayer.

"There are two ways to lodge a complaint. Either the soul can speak in the Heavenly Court when it ascends each night, or the body can speak in the earthly court.

"The prayer says "To those who curse me, my soul will be silent".  I am still entitled to lodge a complaint in the earthly court.


"Woe to the victim who cries out, more than to the one who wronged him." [Bava Kamma 93a]

A victim calls upon G-d to punish the one who wronged him - and Heaven treats the victim more severely!  Why?

Let's say Reuven called on G-d to judge Shimon for doing him a grave injustice. Shimon will not be punished until the Heavenly Court judges him.  But Reuven himself probably wronged others at some point in his life - and for him, judicial procedures can be dispensed with.  He himself admitted that such sins warrant severe punishment!

Source: from the writings of the Ben Ish Chai

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

How to Perform Miracles



Parshat Matot: Rabbi Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev

Lo Yachel Devaroi, K’Chol HaYotzai MiPicha Yaaseh” - do not profane your words; do as your mouth spoke.

The Torah tells us that we must keep our word and not violate it. Rabbi Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev in the Kedushas Levi makes a play on the words to explain how mortal people can perform miracles. He reads the words as follows.

If “Lo Yachel Devaroi” - you do not profane your words - then they will be holy and meaningful. Therefore, “K’Chol HaYotzai MiPicha Yaaseh” whatever comes out of your mouth will happen.

This is the concept of “Tzadik Gozer, VHaKadosh Boruch Hu Mikayem”, a tzaddik decrees and Hashem makes it happen. He further explains that this is why the Parsha is called Matot. Matot also means to turn. When a person watches his mouth, Hashem turns the Midas HaDin [judgment] into Midas HaRachamim [mercy].