Friday, January 19, 2018

4 Shevat Yarzheit Baba Sali


Rabbi Yisrael Abuchatzeirah - The Baba Sali
Born: Tafillalt, Morocco,1890
Died: 4 Shevat, Israel, 1984

Rabbi Yisrael Abuchatzeirah was of a well-known rabbinical dynasty. His grandfather was the famous tzaddik, Rabbi Yaakov Abuchatzeirah. He had great skill in Talmudic interpretation and many of his halachic decisions were accepted and took root among his followers. He was regarded as someone who possessed the Ruach Hakodesh or "Divine Spirit".

Although still very young, people flocked to R' Yisrael for blessings for their parnassa (income), family, and health. Consequently he became known as "Baba Sali," (our praying father) because of the prayers that he would invoke on behalf of those who sought out his guidance.

One day, young Yisrael's father told him, "My child, you have a great power to bless people which you cannot measure. Your words can bring great help to men. From now on, you must use this power to say good things about others and to bless them."

Young Yisrael gave his word. Soon it became known that the blessings of this young child brought miraculous results. He became famous as Baba Sali. A master of the Kabbalah and a great Torah Sage, he took over his father's position as head of the yeshiva and Rabbi of the community. Although he regularly gave many lectures in Torah and kabbalah, he did not permit his students to write them down because he wanted his scholarship to remain unknown. Nevertheless, his fame as a holy man and a righteous Tzaddik continued to draw Jews to him from all over. Even Arabs came to receive his blessings and the coins he gave for charity.

At 19 he was inducted as the Rosh Hayeshiva, after his father's death. After an extended one year trip to Eretz Yisrael he returned, and was compelled to take the position of Rav of the community after the murder of his brother by an Arab. He gave daily lectures, served as a judge in the beit din (rabbinical court), and set the tone for the kehilla. The community appreciated that nothing escaped his holy, penetrating eyes. From throughout Morocco, people converged on his home for his blessings, his counsel, and his encouragement.

In 1964 when Baba Sali noted that much of Moroccan Jewry had emigrated to Eretz Yisrael, he followed them to fulfill his dream of settling there. Baba Sali chose Yavne as his home because many of his followers had settled there.

In 1970 he moved to Netivot where he was steadily visited by Chassidim, Ashkenazim and Sephardim who sought his unique counsel. He stressed emunah (faith), humility, ahavat Yisrael (love of fellow Jews) and kiyum hamitzvot (fulfillment of mitzvot). His phenomenal memory allowed him to access information at will, whether it dealt with law, Talmud, Kabbalah,etc.

He was very humble and did not want to attract attention, however, his prophetic powers and his miraculous prayers soon became renowned. Thousands of Jews from all over the world would come to seek his advice and blessings for children, health, and livelihood. Baba Sali was very close to other great Torah scholars, especially the Lubavitcher Rebbe, whom he referred to as "the Great Eagle in the Heavens." He strongly encouraged the Rebbe's Mitzvah campaigns, especially urging young girls to light candles for Shabbat and Yom Tov.

*****************************************

Young and old, men and women, observant and secular, Sephardim and Ashkenazim of every stripe, all streamed to the door of the great kabbalist and tsaddik, Baba Sali, in Netivot, seeking his blessing and help. Everyone, without exception, held him in the highest esteem.

Once a man from Holon, Eliyahu, was scheduled to have his legs amputated. His spinal cord had been damaged by a bullet in the Yom Kippur War. He had already spent much time in the hospital, and so was reconciled to his fate. The procedure was to take place on Friday.

That Thursday, an elderly woman acquaintance suggested that he receive a blessing from Baba Sali before the operation. She said that she knew of someone who had been paralyzed, yet was healed through Baba Sali's blessing. Although Eli was not at all observant, he decided to try it anyway, in desperation. Maybe, maybe....

It would have been impossible to get permission to leave the hospital the day before the operation, so Eli snuck out. He didn't even disclose his intention to see Baba Sali to his concerned family.

Eli sat on a chair in the waiting room near the entrance to the tsaddik's room. After many hours, finally his turn came. The custom was, before anything, to approach Baba Sali on his couch and kiss his hand, but because of the advanced thrombosis of his legs and the crippling pain that accompanied it, Eli was unable even to rise to enter the room.

Following Baba Sali's instruction, Rabbanit Simi, his wife, approached Eli and asked, "Do you put on tefillin?" Do you keep Shabbat? Do you say blessings?

"No," admitted Eli, and burst into sobs.

Baba Sali seemed to be moved by Eli's suffering and his sincerity. He said to him, "If you do my will and observe the Shabbat and repent completely, then G-d, too, will listen to my will."

With great emotion, Eli promptly cried out, "I accept upon myself the obligation to observe the Shabbat in all its details. I also promise to do full tshuvah, to 'return' in repentance all the way."

At Baba Sali's directive, Eli was served tea. After he drank it, the Rabbanit suggested that being that the Rav had blessed him, he should try to get up, in order to go and and kiss the Rav's hand.

After much effort and pain, Eli managed to rise. He couldn't believe it-his legs were obeying him! Shakily, he walked over to Baba Sali and kissed his hand! By then nearly delirious with shock and joy, he began to thank Baba Sali profusely. The Rav interrupted him, saying with a smile, "Don't thank me. Just say: 'Blessed are those who sanctify His name publicly!'"

As if in a dream, Eli stumbled out the door and descended the stairs. He experimented, walking this way and that. He had to know: Was he really awake? Could this truly be happening? With each step, his legs felt better.

On his "new" legs, he went over to Yeshiva HaNegev, not too far from the home of Baba Sali. When the students realized they were seeing the results of a miracle that had just occurred, they surrounded Eli with happy dancing and singing, and words of praise and gratitude to G-d.

Rejoicing in his new-found ability to walk, Eli returned to the home of Baba Sali to say goodbye properly and to thank him again. He also expressed his fear that his legs would relapse to their previous weakness and disease. Baba Sali calmed him, saying cheerfully, "Don't worry. In the merit of your oath to 'return' and repent, and especially that you promised to observe Shabbat according to its laws, which is equal to all the commandments, G-d has done this miracle and nullified the decree against you. Now it is up to you to fulfill your words."

Leaving Baba Sali's house again, Eli telephoned his mother. "I'm all better!" he shouted, without explanation. She figured that fear of the surgery had caused him to loose touch with reality. "Are you coming home?" she asked with concern. "Or will you go straight to the hospital?"

Eli then told her what he had promised Baba Sali, the blessing that he had received from the tsaddik, and the miraculous improvement that had already occurred. As soon as he hung up, he called his doctor at Achilov Hospital in Tel Aviv and informed him of his cure. The doctor told Eli to be back at the hospital the following day, and to "stop acting crazy!"

Eli did go to the hospital the next day. The doctor was barely able to accept the evidence of his eyes. After a few days and many tests, Eli was released. The first thing he did was to return to Netivot, to thank Baba Sali again. The Rav requested of his household that a seudat hoda'ah, a meal of thanksgiving to G-d in honor of the miracle, be prepared and served. At the end of the meal, Baba Sali blessed a bottle of water and told Eli to deliver it to the hospital so that his doctor could drink l'chaim from it. "And tell him," added Baba Sali, "not to be so hasty to cut off legs."

Baba Sali's gabbai (attendant) during most of his years in Netivot, Rabbi Eliyahu Alfasi [who witnessed much of the story and heard the rest of the details from Eli of Holon], reports that he once asked Baba Sali how he performed this great miracle. The tzaddik answered him innocently, "Believe me, Eliyahu, all I did was tell him 'Stand up!'"

Thursday, January 18, 2018

The Truth About The End


Don't believe all the negative prophecies on the internet.


It is easy to prophesy disaster. If the prophecy comes true, then you have spoken the truth. If it does not, then you can say: G‑d relented and forgave. 

A negative prophecy cannot be refuted – but a positive one can. 

If the good foreseen comes to pass, then the prophecy is true. 

If it does not, then you cannot say, ‘G‑d changed His mind’ because G‑d does not retract from a promise He has made of good, or peace, or return. [Yirmiyahu] 

It is therefore only when the prophet offers a positive vision that he can be tested. 

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks



In the redemption from Egypt, our Sages explain, only one Jew out of five left. Four-fifths of the people died in the plague of darkness.

In the Future Redemption, by contrast, no Jew will be left behind. Every member of our people will share in Mashiach's coming.

Why the difference? Because at the time of Mashiach's coming, the truth of G-dliness will be revealed. At the core of every Jew lies a soul that is "an actual part of G-d," a spark of His being. When the truth of G-dliness will be revealed, every Jew will realize that G-dliness is the truth of his own being.

By anticipating the Redemption and applying its truths to our own lives now, we can bring it closer. Realizing and focusing on the G-dly spark within ourselves serves as a catalyst for the revelation of G-dliness throughout existence.  [Lubavitcher Rebbe]

See No Jew Will Be Left Behind



@ 2:24:20 in this video

Question to Rabbi Kessin:  If one-fifth [of the Jews] went out with Moshe, does that have to be repeated in this Redemption?

Answer from Rabbi Kessin: No.  Because with Moshe Rabbeinu they went out with zchus - they merited to go out because they suffered for 210 years.

Today it's not zchus, it's b'ito [in it's time].  It's the End, and when it's the end everybody goes out.
That's a big difference.
It's the End Time.

At that time they earned the right to be redeemed.  

We must be redeemed because G-d swore he will bring the Redeemer for his Great Name.

And that's why Yaakov wanted to reveal to his kids the acharis yaamim...  that is b'ito.... that is the End.

The Serpent's Lie


''Garden of Eden'' Unknown Artist


The Rebbe Reb Zisha once asked his brother "My beloved brother, in the holy writings it is written that all the souls were once included and contained in Adam, the first man. If so, we must also have been there at the moment he sinned and ate from the tree of knowledge. Why didn't we prevent him from doing so?"

The Rebbe Reb Elimelech answered him thus: "Brother, we were obliged to let him eat the fruit. If he had not, the serpent's lie would still stand and would never have been proven false. The serpent said to him "Your eyes will open and you will be as G-d, knowing good and evil and able to create worlds." This is why Adam had to eat the fruit - once he did so, he saw that even though he had eaten of the fruit, he was still just a human being and no more."

Source: Mipeninei Noam Elimelech - translated by Tal Moshe Zwecker

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Moshiach's Password ''5778''




In his latest shiur, Rabbi Kessin tells us of the special code words given by Moshe Rabbeinu that identified him as their saviour sent by Hashem to take the Jews out of Mitzrayim.  Those words are פָּקֹ֤ד פָּקַ֨דְתִּי֙ - [pokod pokadeti] I have surely remembered you

Shemot 3:16 ''Go and assemble the elders of Israel, and say to them, 'The Lord God of your forefathers has appeared to me, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, saying, "I have surely remembered you and what is being done to you in Egypt."

You can read more about these words by clicking here.

These are the words used by the Redeemers: Moshe  and Moshiach.

Now Rabbi Kessin gives us some extra information.

The gematria of  פָּקֹ֤ד פָּקַ֨דְתִּי֙ is 778.  This may represent the year 778.....  but how do we know that this could actually be the year 5778?  Because there is a Vav missing from the word פָּקֹ֤ד , and Vav is the number 6, representing the sixth millenium - 5778.  So those words are quite possibly hinting to the fact that when the Moshiach arrives with these special code words, it could very well be this year 5778.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Interpreting Dreams

Art: Sharon Tomlinson


written by Chanan Morrison

The Sages made a remarkable claim regarding dreams and their interpretation: "Dreams are fulfilled according to the interpretation" [Berachot 55b]. The interpreter has a key function in the realization of a dream. His analysis can determine how the dream will come to pass!

The Talmud substantiated this statement with the words of the chief wine-butler: "Just as he interpreted, so (my dream) came to be" [Gen. 41:13].

Do dreams foretell the future? Does the interpreter really have the power to determine the meaning of a dream, and alter the future accordingly?

The Purpose of Dreams
Clearly, not all of our dreams are prophetic. Originally, in humanity's pristine state, every dream was a true dream. But with the fall of Adam, mankind left the path of integrity. Our minds became filled with wanton desires and pointless thoughts, and our dreams became more chaff than truth.

Why did God give us the ability to dream? A true dream is a wake-up call, warning us to correct our life's direction. Our eyes are opened to a vivid vision of our future, should we not take heed to mend our ways.

To properly understand the function of dreams, we must first delve into the inner workings of Divine providence in the world. How are we punished or rewarded in accordance to our actions?

The Zohar [Bo 33a] gives the following explanation for the mechanics of providence: The soul has an inner quality that naturally brings about those situations and events that correspond to our spiritual and moral level. Should we change our ways, this inner quality will reflect that change, and will lead us towards to a different set of circumstances.

Dreams are part of this system of providence. They constitute one of the methods utilized by the soul's inner quality to bring about the appropriate outcome.

The Function of the Intepreter
But the true power of a dream is only realized once it has been interpreted. The interpretation intensifies the dream's impact. As the Sages taught, "A dream not interpreted is like a letter left unread" [Berachot 55b]. When a dream is explained, its images become more intense and vivid. The impact on the soul is stronger, and the dreamer is more primed for the consequential outcome.

Of course, the interpreter must be insightful and perceptive. He needs to penetrate the inner message of the dream, and detect the potential influences of the soul's inner qualities that are reflected in the dream.

Multiple Messages
All souls have imperfections. All souls contain a mixture of good and bad traits. A dream is the nascent development of the soul's hidden traits, as they are beginning to be realized. A single dream may contain multiple meanings, since it reflects contradictory qualities within the soul.

When the interpreter gives a positive interpretation to a dream, he helps develop and realize positive traits hidden in the soul of the dreamer. A negative interpretation, on the other hand, will promote negative traits. As the Zohar [Miketz 199b] admonishes:

"A good dream should be kept in mind and not forgotten, so that it will be fulfilled. ... Therefore Joseph mentioned his dream (to his family), so that it would come to pass. He would always anticipate its fulfillment."

It is even possible to interpret multiple aspects of a dream, all of which are potentially true. Even if they are contradictory, all may still be realized! Rabbi Bena'a related that, in his days, there were 24 dream-interpreters in Jerusalem. "Once I had a dream," he said, "and I went to all of them. No two interpretations were the same, but they all came to pass!" [Berachot 55b]

Dreams of the Nation
These concepts are also valid on the national level.

Deliverance of the Jewish people often takes place through the medium of dreams. Both Joseph and Daniel achieved power and influence through the dreams of gentile rulers. The Jewish people have a hidden inner potential for greatness and leadership. As long as this quality is unrealized, it naturally tries to bring about its own fulfillment — sometimes, by way of dreams.

When a person is brought before the Heavenly court, he is asked, "Did you yearn for redemption?" [Shabbat 31a] Why is this important? By anticipating and praying for the redemption, we help develop the inner quality of the nation's soul, thus furthering its advance and actualization.

Friday, January 12, 2018

The Message of the Mud



HT: Creed of Noah


Regarding the mud-slides in California.... what is the message we can garner from all this?  Perhaps this chassidic story can give us some insights. 



There were two brothers, one a wealthy magnate, the other a pauper but a G‑d-fearing person. When the poor brother’s daughter was of marriageable age, he wended his way to his rich brother to ask him for assistance with the wedding expenses. The rich fellow was happy to see his brother again, and invited him to a lengthy tour of his palatial home.

After a while, though, the poor brother got tired of it, and asked his brother to cut it short.

The latter couldn’t understand: In the future we will be allowed to eat it“Don’t you enjoy the exquisite beauty of every corner of my house?”

“There is a creature,” replied the other, “that wallows in the mud all day. If you ask it what it wants, all it can think of is, ‘More mud!’

“You, too, are sunk in the ‘mud’ of material pleasures, and all you want is more ‘mud’ and more possessions, instead of focusing on the truly important things in life.”

Source: Pigs and Judaism

Baseless Hatred


by Rabbi David Hanania Pinto 

We have learned of the paramount importance of loving one's fellow and how much we have to gain from it both spiritually and materially. Now, let us examine another facet: Let us see what we may lose if the love is replaced by hatred, and if unity is replaced with dispute.

In fact, just as we are commanded in the holy Torah to love our fellow by the mitzvah of "Love your fellow as yourself," we are likewise commanded [Vayikra 19:17], "You shall not hate your brother in your heart. You shall surely rebuke your fellow, but you shall not bear a sin on his account." This implies that hating one's fellow does not only result in losing out on the mitzvah of loving one's fellow, but rather it is an outright prohibition of the Torah in itself.

When we hear of a certain person that got sick with a dangerous illness, G-d forbid, we shake our heads sympathetically: "Oh, how awful! How much bad news there is!" But oddly enough, regarding the dreaded illness of our hearts, we do not grieve over it and do not sense at all. We do not even notice it, and moreover, we do not realize how dangerous it is.

We are actually referring to the dreaded illness of baseless hatred. Yes! It is truly an illness, maybe even a widespread plague! But unlike most illnesses, this disease is an all-embracing disease that affects all 248 organs and 365 sinews of our body.

When one commits a sin, an impure spirit is drawn to that organ involved in the sin, as Chazal say [Ketubot 5b] "A man shall not let his ears hear idle things, because they are burnt first of [all] the organs." This implies that by hearing forbidden speech, a spirit of impurity is drawn upon the ear, and thus ultimately it is burnt first of all the organs. So too, every organ that is used to commit a sin, an impure spirit is drawn upon it, but this is not the place to expound on the topic.

While certain sins cast impurity upon organs that the neshamah is not dependent on, it is nonetheless a great impediment. How much more so is the danger when the spirit of impurity is cast upon an organ that the neshamah is dependent on, such as the heart, which the life of a person hinges. If the person, G-d forbid, lacks a heart, then he is considered dead! Thus, the severe sin of baseless hatred, which lies in the heart of a person, draws the impure spirit upon one's heart. Since it is the central organ of a person, consequently the spirit of impurity gets circulated throughout one's entire body! 

When a disease affects one organ, it can be really dangerous, but still there is a chance to save the patient. However, what happens when a tumor has spread to all the vital organs in the body, such as the heart, brain, and the like? Then the situation is so much worse, and the chance for surviving is almost non-existent.

The Chofetz Chaim elucidates that the same applies to illnesses of the soul. Every transgression affects a certain organ, with which the man sinned. When it comes to a less central organ, then even though the patient's condition is dangerous, there is still a chance to save him. The danger to his life is not immediate. However, when a person sins with an organ that his soul is dependent upon, like when a person harbors baseless hatred, then his condition is far more dangerous, and there is almost no chance of saving him.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

24 Teves - The Alter Rebbe

The founder of Chabad Chassidism, Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi - "the Alter Rebbe" [1745-1812], passed away on the eve of the 24th of Tevet, at approximately 10:30 pm, shortly after reciting the Havdalah prayer marking the end of the Shabbat. The Rebbe was in the village of Peyena, fleeing Napoleon's armies, which had swept through the Rebbe's hometown of Liadi three months earlier in their advance towards Moscow. He was in his 68th year at the time of his passing, and was succeeded by his son, Rabbi DovBer of Lubavitch.

The Alter Rebbe would often repeat in the name of the Baal Shem Tov that wealth can be Gan Eden (paradise) or it can be Gehenom (purgatory). The Alter Rebbe explained this saying as follows. If one uses his wealth for charitable purposes, then it is paradise. If one uses it for self-indulgence or holds it treasured away in order not to give charity, then it is purgatory.

The Mitteler Rebbe, when he was just 7 years old, asked his father "Why are wealthy people so haughty? Even those who are not born into wealth, yet when they become wealthy they change nature and become conceited."

The Alter Rebbe responded "God set up a system in which wealth inherently causes conceit. The chamber of wealth, in heaven, is found between Gan Eden and Gehenom. There are two doors to this chamber. One opens to Gan Eden and the other opens to Gehenom. Ze le'umas ze asa Elokim - God made one opposite the other.

Source: Chaim Dalfin: The Seven Chabad Lubavitch Rebbes

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Yesterday's Massive Storms


I love storms and yesterday's was incredible. 

Was it just a coincidence that yesterday was also the first legal same sex marriage in Australia?

More photos of the storms here.

Massive storm clouds over Bondi Beach - Photo: Jessica Hromas



The Jewish Way to Combat Terrrorism


Someone sent me this video of the Lubavitcher Rebbe speaking about the United Nations - in 1969 !

As you will see, some things just don't change.

The same UN, the same type of enemies, and the same Israel.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

''Amazing Events Worldwide''

HT Sherry

Rabbi Yuval Ovadia [in english] - includes current events and Nibiru [Kochav Yaakov] and the eclipse

Monday, January 8, 2018

Rabbi Kessin: The Iranian's Protests, Bannon's Comments & more



Hidden for a Reason


Art: Vladimir Kush

I started to write a long comment on an excellent post at Emunaroma: Two sides of the 'images of women in frum media' debate and then I realized that everything I wanted to say could be encompassed in one sentence from the Talmud: Blessing does not rest upon something that is out in the open, but rather on something that is hidden from the eye.

To expound on this: The negative force only has power over that which can actually be seen by the physical eye. This is one of the reasons that it can actually be a blessing to not be so noticeable in the public eye.  [See Remedy for an Evil Eye]

That is just one reason why I am an Anonymous blogger...


The Components of Creation


Rabbi Kessin elaborates on the different parts of creation as set forth by the Ramchal.

Friday, January 5, 2018

The Donkey in the Pit


by Rabbi Yaakov Lieder 

Once, when one of my daughters was eleven years old, she complained about a pain in her knee. 

Seeing nothing wrong with her knee, I suggested that it was probably growing pains. My daughter didn't like the explanation. "Why can't we grow without pain?" she demanded. 

Unfortunately, in real life, growth is often associated with pain. As the famous saying goes, "No pain — no gain." While we may not have control over the "pain" part, especially when it’s caused by others, we do most definitely have control over the "gain" part. 

Most of our learning and growth in life comes not from the good times but rather from the difficult times. During the good period we are happy and therefore do not want anything to change. It is during the bad times, when we are unhappy with the status quo, that we learn how to change things — how to make our world better than it is. 

When life throws challenges at us, we have a choice. We can feel sorry for ourselves and cry and complain, "Why me?" Or we could stop and say to ourselves: "What can I do, given the new circumstances that have arisen?" 

I once asked an elderly wise person whom I used to approach for advice, "Where do you get such good judgement from?" He answered, "Good judgment comes from bad experience." He related to me the following story, which had a profound effect on me. 

One day, a donkey fell into a pit. The animal cried and whined for hours while his owner tried to figure out what to do. Finally, the farmer decided that since the animal was old, and the pit needed to be covered up anyway, he'd just bury the old donkey right there. He got a shovel and started filling in the pit. The donkey kept up its wailing, but then fell silent. After an hour of furious shovelling, the farmer paused to rest. To his amazement, he saw his old donkey jump out of the pit and trot away! 

At first, when the donkey realized what was happening, he cried even more piteously. But then the wise animal hit on a plan. As each spadeful of dirt hit his back, the donkey would shake it off and take a step up on the growing mound of earth. Eventually, the mound grew high enough for him to jump out of the pit. 

Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds of dirt. The trick to getting out of the pit well is to shake it off and take a step up. We can get out of the deepest pits by not stopping and never giving up. Just shake it off and take a step up. 

Try it, it works! 

Source: Chabad

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Super Red/Blue Moon



At the end of January, we are going to see a red blue moon.  

A blue moon is the term used when one month contains two full moons.  However, this time it coincides with a total lunar eclipse, which will turn the moon a deep red colour.

According to Space.com the total lunar eclipse on January 31 will be the first time an event of this kind has coincided with the Blue Moon in over 150 years.

More information at Earth Sky.

Monday, January 1, 2018

The Scope of the Redemption Process


New shiur from Rabbi Mendel Kessin

Rabbi Kessin outlines a general overview of the messianic process as it manifests throughout history.
He discusses the Cosmic Clock timeline [he calls it the Creation Clock], which you can see ticking away [thanks to Yeranen Yaakov] in the left hand column of this blog...which is now just past 12.39pm on Friday afternoon.




The picture below is not connected to Rabbi Kessin, but I thought it was appropriate.