Wednesday, June 19, 2019

The Greatness of Torah Part 1

New Rabbi Kessin shiur

The Greatness of Torah Part 1

Gog u Magog and the 400 Year Anniversary of the ''Kli Yakar''

Many of us believe that currents events involving Iran / US are the beginnings of the final war of Gog u Magog.

The following text is by R' Dan Stochel

The geographical location was actually revealed for the start of the War of Gog and Magog, according to the Great Torah Sage, Rabbi Shlomo Ephraim Zatz"l from Luntschitz, Poland - a major Torah commentator known as the "Kli Yakar" who was niftar [passed away] in 1619.

In his holy book "Kli Paz," meaning "Vessel of Pure Gold" he wrote that the war of Gog and Magog will be centered around the area he calls: "the Hormuz."

Kli Paz was also written by another major mekubal - Kli Yakar the Gaon Aran Tzuba HaRav Shmuel Lanaiado from Venice. He also lived almost 400 years ago 1603-1657. He was a chaver of HaRav Chayim Vital and HaRav Galanti and the Holy Alshich in the Arizal's time. He saw these events and wrote them down in his commentary on Isaiah chapter 34.

As Chief Rabbi in Israel over 400 years ago, he wrote, ''there will be a great sacrifice in Basra'' quoting Isaiah chapter 34:1-13 about the last days during which the war of Gog and Magog should occur in a place nearby Basra named "Hormuz."

And the Navi Isaiah's 34:1-12, 63:1-6 foresaw "A sacrifice to Hashem is in Basra and it is a great slaughtering in the land of Edom" meaning to say that this will occur 'from above and descend,' many huge "Re'amim" roaming warrior-like beasts (aircraft/drones) and with them "Abirim" like powerful healthy bulls --(aircraft carriers) since the day of vengeance is for G-d and it is very near the completion of years of Hashem defending-protecting, fighting for Zion.

And the statement, ''the animals will descend with them'' means there will be many kings among the remaining nations whom will join with Edom (America) to help him (Trump) facilitate this slaughtering/sacrifice to Hashem in Basra - a country some distance from Bavel (modern-day Iraq) whose name is Basra and it is adjacent to Ashur (Syria) and Persia (Iran) in between the boundary of the land of Edom - called "Hormuz" - and today (Kli Yakar's time) it is under the rulership of Yishmael... "blessed is the one who knows the truth of these matters.״

However, it will be there in (the straits of) Hormuz where will be the Final War in the End of Days.

וְהֶרְאוּנִי דָּבָר מַבְהִיל בְּסֵפֶר 'כְּלִי פָּז' מִבַּעַל הַ'כְּלִי יָקָר' שֶׁהָיָה רֹאשׁ הָרַבָּנִים בְּאֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל לִפְנֵי כְּאַרְבַּע מֵאוֹת שָׁנָה (ישעי' לד) שֶׁהַ"זֶבַח לַה' בְּבָצְרָה" שֶׁיִּהְיֶה בְּמִלְחֶמֶת גּוֹג וּמָגוֹג יִתְרַחֵשׁ בְּמָקוֹם עַל יַד בַּצְרָה שֶׁשְּׁמוֹ הוּרְמוּז. וְנָבִיא אֶת דְּבָרָיו "כִּי זֶבַח לַה' בְּבָצְרָה וְטֶבַח גָּדוֹל בְּאֶרֶץ אֱדוֹם, וְיָרְדוּ רְאֵמִים עִמָּם וּפָרִים עִם אַבִּירִים וְגוֹ', כִּי יוֹם נָקָם לַה' שְׁנַת שִׁלּוּמִים לְרִיב צִיּוֹן". וְאָמַר "וְיָרְדוּ רְאֵמִים עִמָּם וְכוּ'', לְהַגִּיד שֶׁהַרְבֵּה מְלָכִים מִשַּׁאר הָאֻמּוֹת יִתְחַבְּרוּ עִם אֱדוֹם לְעָזְרָם. "כִּי זֶבַח לַה' בְּבָצְרָה", מְדִינָה יֵשׁ רָחוֹק מִבָּבֶל שְׁמָהּ בָּצְרָה, וְהִיא בֵּין גְּבוּל אֲשׁוּר וּפָרַס וּבֵין גְּבוּל אֶרֶץ אֱדוֹם, הוּרְמוּז, וְהִיא הַיּוֹם תַּחַת מֶמְשֶׁלֶת הַיִּשְׁמָעֵאלִים. וּבָרוּךְ הַיּוֹדֵעַ אֲמִתָּתָם שֶׁל דְּבָרִים, אוּלַי יִהְיֶה דֶּרֶךְ שָׁם הַמִּלְחָמָה בְּאַחֲרִית הַיָּמִים

Furthermore, during the Brit Bein Habitarim Hashem guaranteed to Avraham that his descendants would be freed from exile after 400 years!

This took place when Avraham was over 70 years old as is the present age of medinat Yisroel.

Moreover, when the current events with Iran's series of acts of terror and then openly blowing up 4 oil tankers (Re'amim) the latest two in the straits of Hormuz for all the world to see -- that intriguingly occurred exactly this year - the 400th year anniversary of the Kli Yakar's petirah in 1619!

It's no coincidence then that, Avraham and Lihavdil the Medinah, were both born in 1948 a time when what I call the "pre-redemption" process began.

Kli Yakar

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Two Moshiach Lectures

Two shiurim from Rabbi Shimon Kessin [brother of Rabbi Mendel Kessin] - thank you Leah for the links, for some reason these did not come up on my feed even though I am subscribed.

Purifying the Messiah

Messiah and Torah

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

The Tainted Lineage of Moshiach

Rabbi Yitzchak Breitowitz: The Tainted Lineage of Moshiach: Goodness in the Guise of Impropriety

A Collective Responsibility

"A man or woman who commits any of man's sins.... they shall confess their sin.... he shall make restitution for his guilt."   [Naso 5:6,7]

One erev Yom Kippur, R' Moshe Chagiz delivered a derashah in which he said "In Parshas Naso it states: "A man or woman... they shall confess... he shall make restitution for his guilt". The verse begins in the singular, switches to the plural, and then concludes by reverting to the singular. This is to teach us that all Jews form one nation and we are all responsible for one another.

"They shall confess" - on Yom Kippur, an individual is not only required to confess his own sins, but even the sins of his fellow Jew.

To what can this be compared? To a group of individuals who set sail together on a large and magnificent ship. Each one of the passengers received his own quarters for the duration of the trip.

When they had reached the very heart of the sea, one of the passengers began to drill a hole in the wall of the ship.

"What are you doing?" yelled his friends. "You are going to sink the ship!"

"Why is this any concern of yours?" he asked them. "I am making a hole in my quarters, not yours."

"All Jews are responsible for one another" concluded R' Chagiz. "If one Jew sins, the entire Jewish nation is held accountable."

"It is incumbent upon every Jew to keep this great responsibility in mind."

[written by Rabbi Yisrael Bronstein]

If you can understand the above words, you should also be able to understand the entire Torah, which can be summed up in these words from Hillel: "What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor: that is the whole Torah while the rest is commentary".

It sounds so simple, and yet so many have so much trouble with it. It seems to be the hardest thing of all for so many Jews.

If you call yourself a "Torah-observant Jew", but you still treat others badly, then I would like to suggest to you that you are not what you claim to be. What is the point of doing all the mitzvos if you cannot even achieve the basic criteria for a "Torah Observant Jew" ?

One of the first questions we are asked upon death is "were you honest in business" - and the answer to that question can tell us a great deal about how we treated others. If you knowingly cheated someone, overcharged him or short-changed him, you are treating him with the utmost disrespect. You are harming him financially, you have lied to him, you have deceived him. You have behaved in a manner totally contrary to Torah - because it can only be assumed that you would not treat yourself that way, and yet you find it okay to do so to others. If you sincerely did not do to others what is hateful to you, you would never even consider cheating in business affairs.

Monday, June 10, 2019

A Sign Predicted 40 Years Ago

Israeli site Sod1820 is reporting that 40 years ago, Rabbi Kadouri zt''l predicted that before the coming of Moshiach, there will be an election and they will not be able to form a government.

Friday, June 7, 2019

The Shavuot Departure of the Baal Shem Tov

[Shavuot is the Yarzheit of the Baal Shem Tov]

Biographical note: Rabbi Yisrael ben Eliezer [18 Elul 1698-6 Sivan 1760] - the Baal Shem Tov ["master of the good Name"] - a unique and seminal figure in Jewish history, revealed the Chassidic movement and his own identity as an exceptionally holy person, on his 36th birthday, 18 Elul 1734. He wrote no books, although many claim to contain his teachings. One available in English is the excellent annotated translation of Tzava'at Harivash, published by Kehot.

* * *

Following the revelation of Rabbi Israel ben Eliezer, the Baal Shem Tov, on 18 Elul 1734, as a great Jewish leader and mystic, many of the Jewish community, especially in Poland, became followers of the Chassidic path of Judaism. Twenty-six years later, the time arrived all too soon for the Baal Shem Tov to pass on to the next world.

For Passover 1760, Rabbi Pinchas of Koretz, came to visit his Master, the Baal Shem Tov. On the afternoon preceding the festival, Seventh Day of Passover, Rabbi Pinchas was feeling weak and decided not to go to the mikveh, as was his custom.

The next day during his morning prayers, he had a premonition that the Baal Shem Tov would soon pass away. Rabbi Pinchas began to pray more intensely, begging that the Heavenly decree against the Baal Shem Tov be lifted. But he felt that he was unable to affect the decree and started to deeply regret that he had not gone to the mikveh before the holiday.

Interestingly, after morning prayers, the Baal Shem Tov asked Rabbi Pinchas if he had gone to the mikveh on the previous afternoon. When he answered he had not, the Baal Shem Tov replied, "It's too late to correct that now."

* * *

After Passover, the Baal Shem Tov fell ill. However, he did not tell his followers and continued to pray before the ark. Whoever among his close followers might have been able to effect changes with their prayers, he sent on missions to other communities. Rabbi Pinchas, knowing of the Heavenly decree against the Baal Shem Tov, did not return to his home but stayed on in Medzibuz.

Previously, on the eve of Shabbat Hagadol, the Sabbath preceding Passover, the Baal Shem Tov had sat down to write a last will and testament addressed to his disciples. He concluded it with the words, "I write this today because last night my [heavenly] master and teacher [Ahiya of Shilo-a biblical prophet,] revealed to me that this is my last eve of Shabbat Hagadol…."

Seven and one half weeks later, on the eve of Shavuot, Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov called his personal scribe, Rabbi Tzvi Hirsh, and dictated to him some final revisions and amendments to an earlier, detailed will, ordering among other things that all his books and manuscripts be given unto "my disciple and peer, the Prince of Torah, Rabbi Dov Ber [the Magid of Mezritch,] son of Rabbi Abraham, except for all the books in Yiddish which belong to my G-d fearing daughter Adele."

He reaffirmed article 18 of his original will to the effect that his copies of "the commentaries of Gersonides on the bible, and the book Neveh Shalom [a 15th century philosophical-homiletical work, with Kabbalistic overtones composed by Rabbi Abraham Shalom] both with my marginal notes and annotations, are to be given unto my disciple, dear to me like a son, the Pillar of fire, Rabbi Jacob Joseph Hacohen [of Polnoy]."

* * *

On Tuesday evening, the [first] night of Shavuot, all of the followers of the Baal Shem Tov gathered with him to spend the night in Torah study, as is the custom. The Baal Shem Tov expounded on the Torah portion of the week and the meaning of Shavuot.

In the morning, he sent for his closest followers to gather in his room. He told Rabbi Leib Kessler and several others to arrange for his burial. Because they were members of the Chevra Kadisha (Burial Society) and were knowledgeable in signs of illness, he showed them the signs on his body and explained how the soul emanates from each part. Then, he told them to gather a minyan to pray with him. Before they began, he said, "Soon I shall be with the Holy One, blessed be He."

After the prayers, Rabbi Nachman of Horodenka went to the Study Hall to pray for his Master. Later, the Baal Shem Tov said, "He petitions in vain. Maybe if he could have entered in the Heavenly gate where I was accustomed to enter, his prayers would have helped."

When the shammesh (attendant) of the Baal Shem Tov entered his master's room, he heard the Baal Shem Tov saying, "I grant you these two hours. Do not torture me."

The asked, "Rebbe, who are you talking to?"

The Baal Shem Tov answered, "Don't you see the Angel of Death? Before, he always ran from me. Now that he has been given control over me, he stands straighter and laughs at me."

Later, during the festival day meal, he asked his attendant to put mead in a large glass. Instead, the shammesh put it in a small glass. The Baal Shem Tov remarked wryly, "'Man has no power on the day of death,' even my attendant does not obey me."

After the meal, many of the town's people, who did not know of the Baal Shem Tov's condition, came to see him. As always, he delivered a discourse of Torah to them.

All of his close disciples were sitting in the room of the Baal Shem Tov while he lay in his bed. He gave them a sign. "My friends, when I leave this world, both clocks in this room will stop."

He asked for a large cup of water and a basin to be brought to him. While he was washing his hands, His followers saw the hands of the big clock stop. They stood in front of it so that the Baal Shem wouldn't see that it had stopped.

He said to them, "My friends, I am not concerned for myself because l know that when I leave through the door of this world, I'll immediately enter into the door of the next world."

The Baal Shem Tov then sat up in his bed and told them to gather around him. He spoke words of Torah, explaining about the column upon which one ascends from Lower Paradise to Upper Paradise, and how this was so in each of the Four Worlds. Then he described the World of Souls, and expounded the order of worship. He instructed them to say with him, "Let the pleasantness of the L-rd our G-d be upon us" [Psalms 90:17].

He lay down and sat up several times. Meanwhile he concentrated on mystical kavanot (intentions) until they could not distinguish the syllables of his speech.

Finally he lay down and told them to cover him with a sheet. Then he began to tremble as when he said the nineteen blessings of the Amida prayer. Slowly he became quiet.

They saw that the small clock had stopped. They waited for a long time but he didn't move. Then they put a feather under his nose to detect his breathing, whereupon they finally had to accept that he had passed away.

A Rabbi Jacob of Medzibuz, reported that Rabbi Leib Kessler of the Burial Society saw the departure of his soul as a blue flame rising.


Source: Adapted by Yerachmiel Tilles from the rendition of Tzvi Meir HaCohane (Howard M. Cohn. Patent Attorney) on //, and supplemented from other written and oral sources, mainly "The Great Maggid" by J. I. Schochet (Kehot).  Ascent of Safed

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

The Failed Israeli Elections

New Rabbi Kessin lectures

The failed Israeli election [very short]

The Origin of Jews and Non Jews Part 4

To see earlier videos click on the KESSIN label below

You Are The Key !

This is Part Two of Miryam Swerlow's short life message from "Coffee with Miryam''.  Part one can be found here.

Monday, June 3, 2019

Shelah HaKadosh: Prayer for Your Children

A special prayer composed by the Shelah HaKadosh to express the prayers of parents on behalf of their children should be recited today Monday June 3 this year - erev Rosh Chodesh Sivan - the optimal time for parents to recite this prayer [but it may be recited anytime]. The holy Shlah Hakadosh left Europe in the 17th century and made his home in Eretz Yisrael, becoming chief Rabbi of Jerusalem.

The Artscroll website states:

"All parents want the best for their children — that they should be good and upright, that they have everything they need for a fruitful, joyous life.

We recite the prayer anytime but especially on the day before Rosh Chodesh Sivan, for that is the month when God gave us the Torah, and when the Jewish people began to be called His Children. On that day, [the Shelah Hakadosh] writes, fathers and mothers should give charity to the poor and repent. They should even fast, if they are able to."

Sunday, June 2, 2019

No Common Ground

Art Dima Dmitriev

Two people in Vilna had an argument that required a Din Torah. The agreed to choose the Dayanim through Borerus, where each one chose one Dayan and the two Dayanim would choose the third. One side chose the Vilna Gaon. The other side chose someone who wasn't a Ben Torah and the Vilna Gaon said he would not hear the case together with this other Dayan. He said that the Daas of a Ba'al HaBayis is completely different from Daas Torah and they would never see things eye to eye. 

When the Vilna Gaon was asked where his basis for this was in the Torah, he said that it can be found in Parshas Bamidbar. When discussing the encampment of the Shevatim, the Torah says each Degel had three Shevatim under it. By the last Shevet in each group the pasuk say's "U'Mateh," and the Shevet... By Zevulun who was last in the Degel of Yehuda, right after Yisachar, it says [Bamidbar 2:7] "Mateh," without the letter "Vav".

The Vilna Gaon explains that the letter Vav connects what is written previously with what the Torah is saying now. Since Yisachar learned Torah, and Zevulun were the businessmen, their outlook was always different and there was no common ground between the two. Therefore, the connecting "Vav" was left out.


Friday, May 31, 2019

We're All in this Together

For those readers who don't understand the way Chabad chassidus operates, please watch this video and you will understand.  Let's all stop putting labels on different kinds of Jews, start accepting all Jews regardless of their lifestyles and religious choices.  Open your heart and open your mind.  We are all one, let's remember that.

A surreal story about the way Chabad looks at the world and how that saved someone's life.
Rabbi Moshe Bryski

Watch on TorahCafé.com!

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

That's The Way It Is

I hope this short video inspires some of you to stop blaming yourself for your troubles.

From a series of videos: ''Coffee with Mrs Miryam Swerdlow''

Special Healing Prayer

Art Sarolta Ban

It is customary to say Tehillim for sick people.  Recently someone told me of a special way to daven for a sick person.

Perek 119 in Tehillim is divided into paragraphs according to the Alef Bet. Write down the Hebrew name of the person you are praying for: example Moshe ben Sarah:  משה בן שרה

Then say the paragraphs of Psalm 119 according to that name.  Fox example, the first paragraph you would say is the one beginning with the letter ''Mem'' then ''Shin''  then ''Hei'' then move on to the letters of the rest of the name in the same way, ending with the ''Hei'' of Sarah.

Why do we use the name of the mother rather than the father?  The answer, as well as some other interesting facts, can be found here.

Wishing everyone who needs it a Refuah Shelaimah.

Monday, May 27, 2019

The Origin of Jews and Non Jews [continued]

Rabbi Kessin, new shiur. This is listed as Part 2, but it's actually Part 3

To see the previous shiurim in this series, click on the KESSIN label below

Thursday, May 23, 2019

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.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

What's So Kabbalistic about Bonfires?

by Rabbi Aron Moss

What's the idea of having big bonfires on Lag Ba'omer? I know it is the day of the passing of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, the "father of Kabbalah." But even Moses doesn't get bonfires on the day of his passing...


Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai spent the last moments of his life doing what he always did: teaching. The mystical ideas that he shared with his devoted students that day were the deepest and most revolutionary teachings he had ever revealed.

But as he conveyed this parting message, there was tension in heaven. Rabbi Shimon's death was ordained to be that day before sundown. As the afternoon stretched on and evening approached, he had not yet finished sharing his final wisdom. The day would soon be over, but the lesson was not. Rabbi Shimon refused to return his soul until he had revealed all the secrets that it held. His life could only come to end when his mission came to an end. But time was running out.

And so the day didn't end. The setting sun slowed down, and daylight was extended to allow Rabbi Shimon to say all he needed to say. Only after he had completed his lesson did his holy soul depart and the sun finally set.

On the anniversary of that day each year, in honour of Rabbi Shimon and the light he brought to the world, we brighten the night with bonfires. There is a powerful symbolism in this. Rabbi Shimon's teachings are there to bring light when it would otherwise be dark.

You can be a good person without studying Kabbalah. But only the wisdom of Rabbi Shimon in the Zohar, and the great works of the mystics and Chassidic masters that came after him, have the power to transform the moral darkness of the world around us, and the darker recesses of our own inner world, into a fiery light.

So next time you get the feeling that the sun is coming down on you, the world seems dark and you feel confused, study some inner Torah, and let it light the bonfire within you.

Source: Zohar Haazinu 291a

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Exploitation and Profiteers

Art Christophe Gilbert, words Catherine Aird

This should be subtitled ''Prophets and Profiteers''.

I remember in the early days of blogging that I met up with some unscrupulous and shady people. In those early days the internet was full of them, Jews and non-Jews charging exhorbitant amounts for revelations and prophecies, and Torah knowledge.   Naive people with an excess of money in their bank accounts used to attach themselves to these dreadful people, who thankfully for the most part have disappeared altogether.

But I'm sorry to tell you that some remain, and there are some new ones.

People: let me tell you something.  Torah knowledge is free for all mankind.  There are no charges involved.  A person may charge you for their TIME and EFFORT, but that charge should be in line with modesty, as befits as Torah teacher.

Genuine rabbis such as Rabbi Kessin and Rabbi Anava [to mention the two that I have on my blog regularly] do not charge you for their knowledge, it is freely given on the internet.

If you run across something interesting and you feel you'd like to be part of it... first of all check out the person teaching it, and secondly check out the cost.  If that cost is exhorbitant, stay away, you are being exploited.

It saddens me that I feel the need to write such a blog post, but once again I have come across someone doing the abovementioned exploitation, and unfortunately it is aimed at both Jews and non-Jews.  Somehow I feel it is even worse to aim it at non-Jews.... it is an ultimate chillul Hashem on so many levels.

Monday, May 20, 2019

The Origin of Jews and Non-Jews [Part 2]

Rabbi Kessin: continued from Part 1 which can be found here

No Shortage of Onions

"If you ask "What will we eat in the seventh year?" [Behar 25:20]

The year 5719 [1958-1959] was a shemittah year.  With the encouragement of the great Chazon Ish [R' Avraham Yeshayahu Karelitz], a special committee was formed in order to assist shemittah-observant Jews.  Despite their endeavours, however, there was a noticeable shortage of onions.

One mornin, an ownerless cargo ship sailed into the Jaffa seaport.  Amazingly, the ship was fully stocked - with onions!

After a thorough investigation, it turned out that the ship was an Egyptian carrier that had been on its way to Egypt.  The captain had made a navigational error, and had mistakenly sailed the ship into Jaffa.  When he realized that they were nearing the coast of Israel, he and his crew abandoned the ship in a panic.

That year, there were plenty of onions for the shemittah-observing farmers - "The strong warriors who do His bidding, to obey the voice of His word" [Tehillim 103:20]

Source: Rabbi Yisrael Bronstein

Friday, May 17, 2019

The Mirror

The defects that you notice in someone else are the parts of yourself that still need fixing.

The world is a mirror ..... many people don't understand this.   Whenever you notice a particular character trait in another person..... that is the part of yourself that you need to work on.  If you think you have already fixed that trait in yourself, then why does it affect you so much when you see it in someone else?

The one who aggravates you the most, is most likely the one who possesses your own bad middot, but it's easier for us to criticize others than to work on ourselves.

If you can't see that trait in yourself, look harder. 

You can learn a great deal about someone by listening to what they say about others.  Most of what they say about someone else, applies to them !  They probably don't realize this.... and it's a good way of working out just who somebody really is.

The world is a mirror, you see your own reflection in other people.

The following is extracted from "Not Just Stories" by Rabbi Abraham J. Twerski M.D.

Denial is a psychological term referring to a person's inability to see reality. Denial is a frequently occuring phenomenon, and is one of the many psychological defense mechanisms, whose function is to shield a person from an awareness that would cause him distress.

A very common form of denial is a person's inability to see his own character defects. The reason is obvious: awareness of the presence of this defect in oneself is too much for a person to bear. Yet unawareness of these defects will result in one's doing nothing to improve upon them. Even a dedicated soul-searching may fail to reveal one's own shortcomings, since denial obscures their existence from him.

The Baal Shem Tov said that G-d provided a way to circumvent this denial: "The world is a mirror" said the Baal Shem Tov. "The defects you see in others are really your own."

While denial prevents a person from seeing his own character defects, it does not prevent him from seeing defects in other people. Quite the contrary, we are experts at detecting faults in others. All we need to do, then, said the Baal Shem Tov, is to realise that these are but a reflection of our own shortcomings. We do not see defects in others that are non-existent in ourselves.

"Love covers all offenses" [Proverbs 10:12] has filtered down to the colloquial aphorism that "Love is blind". It is common knowledge that we may be oblivious to defects in someone we love, although they may be blatant to other observers. Just as we may not see that which we do not wish to see, so it is conversely true that we only see something which, for some reason, attracts our attention. The Baal Shem Tov states that when we see defects in others, the reason for this recognition is that, in one way or another, they represent our own defects.

This principle is a major dynamic in the effectiveness of group therapy. In treatment of some types of emotional disorders, group therapy may be far more effective than individual therapy. A therapist pointing out a particular character defect to a client may be rejected, with the patient's denial preventing the necessary insight. In a group session, the client is very likely to note this very defect in another group member, and the group may then help him realize that he too has this particular characteristic, and this is extremely effective in overcoming one's denial.

It is the persistence of denial that constitutes a major obstacle to therapy and corrective action.

Rabbi Dov Ber of Lubavitch was receiving his chassidim, when he abruptly told his assistant to close the door and not allow anyone entry. Some of the chassidim, eager to understand the Rabbi's sudden desire for solitude, put their ears to the door and heard the Rabbi reciting Tehillim with heartrending tones.

The Rabbi later explained that whenever a chassid asks him for guidance to do teshuvah for a transgression; he immediately searches for that transgression within himself, according to the Baal Shem Tov's teaching that the world is a mirror, and had he not been guilty of the same thing, even in a much more diluted form, it would never have come to his attention. The discovery of an analogous defect within himself then allows him to make the necessary amends.

"When one chassid told me about something he had done wrong, I promptly began searching for a similar shortcoming in myself. However, I was unable to find it. This meant that I was deceiving myself, and that somewhere there was a dereliction of which I was unaware. Being oblivious of this would preclude my taking any corrective action, and I therefore had to pray intensely for Divine guidance to help me discover this defect in myself."

What a wonderful world it would be if every time we saw some defect in another person, we would do some soul-searching, and take corrective actions for self-improvement, rather than being critical of others and denoucing them.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Words That Hurt

Onaas Devarim – Words that Hurt

by Rabbi Chaim Morgenstern

It is unimaginable for any G-d fearing Jew to earn a living by cheating (onaas mamom). However in our daily lives, we may be transgressing a more severe prohibition than cheating – onaas devarim. Chazal say that onaas devarim is more severe than onaas mammon because a) a person feels more distressed when his feelings are hurt and b) money earned dishonestly can be returned whereas hurt feelings cannot be undone [Bava Metzia 58b].

When we speak about prohibited speech, the first thing that comes to our minds is lashon hara. Although many of us are aware of the severity of speaking lashon hara, there seems to be a lack of awareness of both the scope and severity of the prohibition of onaas devarim.

General Principles
The Torah commands us "Lo sonu ish es amiso," – do not aggrieve one another [Vayikra 25:17]. Rashi explains this to be a prohibition against causing pain or anguish to another with words, hence the term "onaas devarim." Nevertheless, this issur is not limited to words, hurting another’s feelings in writing or with a gesture is also included in this prohibition [Chafetz Chaim,Chovas Hashemira ; Shulchan Aruch Hagra"z, Hilchos Ona’a] There is a famous homiletic saying on the passuk, "Ki ve’apam hargu ish," [literally, "in their anger they killed a person", Bereishis 49:6] with a mere "twist of the nose (af)," one can kill a person.

One does not have to give another person "a devastating blow" to transgress the prohibition of onaas devarim. The Chazon Ish writes that onaas devarim applies even if the other’s feelings were only momentarily hurt [Letters, Vol. 1 #211]. For example, if a person was distracted immediately after being hurt and does not feel the discomfort or emotional pain anymore. This applies especially with children, who may be easily distracted and then forget their previous distress.

The prohibition applies even when no one else is present, and applies even in the privacy of your home between husband and wife or parents and children [Shaarei TeShuva 3:214, Chafetz Chaim, P’Sicha, Prohibition # 13].

Embarrassing another or hurting another’s feelings in the presence of two other people is a more severe aveira, as it also includes the prohibition of malbin pnei chaveiro be’rabim, shaming another person in public.

Continue at Daf Yomi Review

“One who is careful not to hurt other people, all the blessings mentioned in the Torah will befall him and he will enjoy a pleasurable life in This World and the Next.” [see Letter from Rav Shteinman ]

Monday, May 13, 2019

Anti-Semites in Congress, Bombings in Israel, Notre Dame and the Dying Satan

If you couldn't guess from the title of the blog post, this is a new shiur from Rabbi Kessin [thanks Sherry for reminding me!]

Sunday, May 12, 2019

The Forbidden Marriage of the Cohen

"They may not marry....." [Emor 21:7]

Letter from the Lubavitcher Rebbe zt"l

By the Grace of G-d
19th of Sivan 5717
Brooklyn N.Y.

Greeting and Blessing

This is in reply to your letter in which you write about the case of the Kohen who is contemplating marrying a divorcee. I am surprised that there should be any doubt on the part of any Jew about the strict prohibition of such a marriage, inasmuch as it is emphatically prohibited, both in the Written Law as well as in the Oral Law. So strict is the prohibition, that a kohen who violates this law desecrates his sacred calling, which is his heritage of countless generations.

The point I do wish to emphasize here is that in all matters of matrimony, the happiness of two partners is involved, and if there is any issue, the happiness of children and future generations is at stake. Obviously a marriage which has been prohibited by the Creator and Master of the Universe is one that cannot possibly be a happy one, and is certain to be harmful to both parties concerned.

In other words, if the said kohen has any feelings for the divorcee in question, he should realise that his marrying her would expose her to untold harm, not only in the afterlife and in a spiritual sense, but also in this life, and even in a physical and material sense. The fact that this may be beyond one's comprehension is immaterial, for it is certain that the Creator of the world knows best what is good for His creatures, and since He has so strictly prohibited such a marriage, there can be no doubt that it is harmful. Therefore, even on humanitarian grounds, the said kohen, if he has any feeling for the said divorcee, should give up the idea and avoid causing himself and her irreparable damage, physically and spiritually.

I trust that you will find the suitable words to explain the seriousness of the matter to the person in question, which no words can really overemphasize.

With blessing.....

Also see: Kohanim and Forbidden Marriages

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Rabbi Kessin New Shiurim

The meaning of the continued persecution of President Trump - ''we are looking at the Redemption''

The state of man before and after the sin of Adam

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Unity - Am Echad

The purpose of anti-semitism is to unite the Jewish people.

"Behold! the people, the Children of Israel, are more numerous and stronger than we" [Shemot 1:9]

The verse teaches us, said R'Yisrael of Rizhin, that when the Jews act as one people, free of discord and strife, then the nations of the world see them as ''more numerous and stronger'' than themselves and realize that they cannot dominate the Jews.

This can be compared to a father who invited all his children to his home.

When they arrived, they gathered around him.

The father held several thin twigs in his hand. He gave one to each of his children and then asked them to break them.

His children snapped the dry twigs with ease.

The father then passed around a bundle of several twigs.  "Now" said the father "please try breaking this bundle."  Each one tried to break the bundle but none succeeded.

"You see" said the father "as long as you remain united in the same way that these branches are united, nobody will ever be able to harm you! But if you act divisively and there is disharmony among you, then be aware that a lone individual is as feeble and easily broken as a thin twig."

Source: Rabbi Yisrael Bronstein

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Descent for the Purpose of Ascent

Descent for the purpose of ascent: in Hebrew this is known as Yerida l'tzorich aliyah

No Pain No Gain

נס - Nes - Miracle

ניסיון - Nisayon - Trial

"All the affairs of the world, whether for the good or for the bad, are trials [nisyonos] for a man"… [Mesillat Yesharim* (Path of the Just) Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto]

When a person is destined to reach a level which is much higher than his present rung, it is necessary for him to undergo a descent first. [The Lubavitcher Rebbe]

Before a person experiences a miracle - נס - , he is given a trial - ניסיון. There is no ascent (aliyah) without a prior descent (yeridah). The lower the descent, the higher the potential ascent.

G-d tries the righteous, for knowing that the righteous will do His will, He desires to make them even more upright, and so He commands them to undertake a test, but He does not try the wicked, who would not obey.

Thus all trials in the Torah are for the good of the one being tried. [Nachmanidies, Commentary on the Torah; Genesis, p. 275; Chavel translation; ]

From here, we learn a number of important points. First, the purpose of a nisayon is not to reveal anything new to G-d, but to increase the spiritual reward of the person by bringing forth his or her latent greatness into actual deeds of righteousness.

Second, a person is only sent a nisayon that he or she has the potential to "pass," provided the person uses his free will properly.

Third (and this is implicit in the first point), the nisayon is intended for the good of the person—to elevate the person spiritually.

Nes can also be translated as "banner": The test is meant to "lift a banner" and reveal to the world, and to the person himself, the potential hidden within a human being.

*Learn Mesillat Yesharim at Sefaria

Returning to Dust

The Talmud [Shabbat 152b] relates the following discussion regarding the body's return to dust after leaving this world:

"There were grave-diggers who dug in the earth belonging to Rav Nachman and were rebuked by Rav Achai bar Yashia (whose grave the diggers disturbed). They came and said to Rav Nachman: "We were rebuked by a dead man".

Rav Nachman went there and asked him: "Who are you, master?"

He responded: "I am Achai bar Yashia".

"Has not Rav Mari said that "In the future, the bodies of the righteous will return unto dust?" said Rabbi Nachman (and why therefore is your body preserved?).

"Who is Mari? I know him not" said the dead one.

Rav Nachman replied "But it is said that when the dust will return to the earth as it was..."

The dead one responded "He who read with you Kohelet did not, however, read with you Mishlei, where it is written "But jealousy is the rottenness of the bones" which means that only he who has jealousy in his heart, his bones shall rot after death."

Then Rav Nachman tried to feel the dead body's substance and he found it to be real. Rav Nachman then said to him: "Let the master arise and go to his home." The dead one responded saying "You show that you have not even read the Prophets, for it is written "And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and when I cause you to come out of your graves, O my people."

"But" said Rav Nachman, "it is written "For dust you are, and unto dust shall you return".

Then Rav Achai explained to him, saying "This is meant for one moment before the final resurrection of the dead (that all dead, including tzadikim, will return to dust).

The Rif says that since the last verse mentioned was told to Adam Harishon, it applies to everybody, whether they are tzadikim or not, for everyone is a descendent of Adam. The Maharsha explains that the return of every body to dust is necessary, so every body will be recreated from nothing at the time of resurrection, comparable to the original creation of man.

The Lubavitcher Rebbe's Commentary: Why is it so important to return to dust and to be recreated at the time of resurrection?

Creation, and the soul's descent into the body, were both intended for the purpose of elevating the body and the vital soul, and through them the entire world. Moreover, this objective is reached primarily through the mitzvot involving action, inasmuch as these mitzvot are performed by the body. The body hosts and serves the neshama. The soul, being so spiritual, needs the body to perform mitzvot in a physical form. [See Tanya Ch 37]

When the neshama leaves the body, the dead person cannot do anymore mitzvot since all the mitzvot are associated with something material. Hence, in Heaven the souls can study Torah in a spiritual form but cannot perform any of its commandments [Berachot 17a]. The body then serves no more purpose so it disintegrates.

A similar idea can be understood from the analogy found in Rashi [Devarim 10:7] between the breaking of the tablets (of the Ten Commandments) and the death of tzaddikim. The Ten commandments were engraved in stone by Hashem. When Moshe came down from Mt Sinai and saw the golden calf that the Jews had made, the letters flew away [see Pesachim 87b] and the stones became too heavy for Moshe to carry. Consequently, they fell from his hands and broke. The letters are comparable to the soul and the stone to the body which hosts it. When the letters flew away, the stones served no more purpose, hence they shattered.

The life of a tzaddik is not a physical one but rather a spiritual one [Tanya Igeret Hakkodesh Ch 27]. His body is as holy as his neshama. He elevates and sanctifies his body and all the physical world around him. Even after his neshama leaves this earth, his body remains holy, so it remains intact. [Eliyahu Hanavi elevated his body to the point that it was comparable to the sanctity of his soul. Therefore, he was not buried but he ascended to the sky. The gematria of Eliyahu is 52, equal to the value of the Hebrew word "beheima" which means animal. He sanctified the animalistic part of his being (ie his body) to transform it into Eliyahu - G-dliness]

Why then is it necessary for Tzaddikim to return to dust even for a moment before resurrection?

The Admur Hazaken explains this through a parable [Torah Ohr]. In order to pick up a house, it must be lifted from the bottom. If the house is picked up from the top, only the top will be lifted and the bottom part will remain below.

Every creature is composed of four basic elements, namely fire, water, air and dust [see Tanya end of Ch 1]. By returning to dust, the tzadik elevates the lost sparks of holiness found in the lowest of these elements, completing the elevation of all parts of his being. [The Baal Shem Tov said that he could have ascended to heaven like Eliyahu HaNavi did, but he wanted to return to dust so he could elevate the other basic components of his being]

Nevertheless, there is a way to avoid the need to return to dust, even for a moment. We say in our prayers [Liturgy, end of the Shemonei Esrei prayer] "My soul should be as (humble as) dust for all". By annulling ourselves with humility towards others, we are fulfilling the verse of "and you shall return to dust" in a spiritual manner. Then when Moshiach comes during our lifetime, we will be able to live an eternal life without a moment of interruption.

Source: Written by the students of Seminary Bais Menachem Montreal, Canada and based on the Sichos of 20 Av 5735 Ch. 3 Acharei-Kedoshim 5724 Ch. and Maamar Ze Yitnu 5748

Monday, April 29, 2019

Sunday, April 28, 2019

San Diego

Obviously everyone has heard about the shooting at the Chabad synagogue in San Diego.  I just want to say that I heard an audio about what really happened.... the gunman shot a woman Lori Gilbert Kaye HY''D and then shot at Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein, who was operated on to save the fingers of one hand, and a young child Noya Dahan was hit with shrapnel.  The gunman then ran out of ammunition.

After all of this, believe it or not, the congregation carried on with their Seudah Moshiach.

In the merit of this incredible act of faith Moshiach should come immediately !

Monday, April 15, 2019

The Greatness of our Generation

An older Rabbi Kessin shiur recently uploaded to You Tube. [thank you Neshama]

As soon as a new shiur is uploaded, I will publish.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

The Key to Moshiach

Mazel tov Bibi Netanyahu on your re-election.

A blessing for success from the Lubavitcher Rebbe..... how could you fail?   It was predicted long ago that Ariel Sharon's [Likud] party would be the last government before Moshiach, and in fact Ariel Sharon was the ''key to Moshiach''  ..... Rabbi Kadouri zt'l stated that Moshiach will not come until after the death of Sharon.....and so it goes....let us pray that this is the last election before Moshiach and Bibi will lead us there.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Potentially Great

וְאִם דַּל הוּא "And if he is poor" [Metzora 14:21]

Written by Rabbi Yisroel Bronstein

The offerings of a wealthy man and that of a poor man, remarked the Chofetz Chaim, are not equal.  A wealthy man brings an offering in accord with his wealth, while a poor man brings an offering that is within his means.

The Mishnah in Maseches Nega'im states that a wealthy metzora who brings a poor man's offering does not fulfill his obligation with that offering.

The same thing applies, said the Chofetz Chaim, to a Jew's spirituality.  A person must put forth the utmost effort when it comes to serving Hashem, and he must utilize the potential that Hashem has granted him.  For example, Hashem demands much more from a talmid chacham than from someone who is ignorant in Torah learning.  Each individual must harness his own potential and level to its maximum.

There are times when you pray or study Torah and you think to yourself:  "I may not be totally focused during my prayers and learning, but compared to my friend, I am far superior."

This is a grave error.  The friend may fall into the category of a spiritually "poor man" - perhaps he never learned how to pray properly; perhaps he has worries that gnaw at his peace of mind; or perhaps the friend does not possess the same intellectual capabilities that you do.

Your friend's deeds may appear inferior to your own, but Hashem, Who knows and understands the hearts of every man, sees that your friend is praying and studying Torah to the best of his ability, thereby satisfying that which is required of him.  It may very well be that it is you who are the inferior one!

Reb Zusha was on his death bed, and tears were streaming down his face. "Why are you crying?" asked his disciples. "If God asks me why I wasn't like Moses or Maimonides," answered Reb Zusha, "I'll say, I wasn't blessed with that kind of leadership ability and wisdom.

"But I'm afraid of another question" continued Reb Zusha, "what if God asks: Reb Zusha, why weren't you like Reb Zusha? Why didn't you find your inner being and realize your inner potential? Why didn't you find yourself? That is why I am crying."

Thursday, April 4, 2019

A Whiter Shade of Pale

"If he has turned completely white, he remains pure" [Tazria 13:13]

R' Yochanan in Maseches Sanhedrin [98a] taught: "Mashiach, the son of David, will only come to a generation that is either entirely meritorious or entirely guilty".

This statement is difficult to understand, noted the Chasam Sofer (R' Moshe Sofer).  For while it is easily understood why a generation that is entirely meritorious would be worthy of receiving Mashiach, on what basis would a thoroughly guilty generation receive him?

We find a similar difficulty in the verse: "If he has turned completely white, he remains pure".  If a small affliction is considered impure, why is it considered pure when it covers the metzora's entire body?

We can answer both questions with one answer. Skin afflictions come upon an individual in order to inspire him to repent for his misdeeds.  Now, if his entire body has turned white, he will definitely be humbled to repent completely and sincerely. There is therefore no need to declare him impure.

The same applies to a generation that is completely guilty.  The way to awaken a generation that is full of sin is not with reproach but by sending them Mashiach ben David.  Then they will return to Hashem in complete repentance.

Source: Rabbi Yisrael Bronstein
The Talmud states: "The son of David [Moshiach] will only come when every government becomes heretical".

Rabah said: "Where do we see [an allusion to] this in Scripture?  From the verse: "he has turned completely white, he is ritually pure." [Sanhedrin 97a]

Rashi explains: "Just like when the affliction has spread throughout the entire skin the person is ritually pure, so too when all the governments have become heretical, the redemption will come."

This sign of redemption could be seen as either:

a) A negative sign, that people have become so corrupt that G-d is forced, so to speak, to save the world and bring redemption.

b) A positive sign, that the world has become so refined that it is clear to everybody that any regime or government which is not based on Torah is heretical and corrupt.

This parallels the two views expressed above:

a) If the corruption of governments is a negative sign, it follows that G-d is "forced" to bring the redemption, so to speak, despite the world.  This corresponds to the view that the law ("he has turned completely white, he is ritually pure") is a super-rational decree of scripture, which is followed despite the fact that it is illogical.

b) But if the corruption of governments is a positive sign, it follows that G-d is bringing the redemption because the world has become good. This corresponds to the view that the law is logical.

Source: Based on Likutei Sichos Lubavitcher Rebbe

Tuesday, April 2, 2019


Almond Blossom - Vincent Van Gogh

The tassel is blue
the blue is the colour of the sea
the sea is the colour of the sky
and the sky is the colour of the Throne of Glory

[Source: The Talmud on the blue thread of the tassels on the corners of the tzitzit]

Tonight, 27 Adar II, is my mother's fifth yarzheit.  Her favourite colour was aquamarine, the same blue as described above, and spoken about by commenters in The Heavenly Voice.  May her neshama have an Aliyah: Esther Rivka bat Moshe.

When I read the latest post at Tomer Devorah, I was
reminded of this post and what can happen to you if
you dare to mess with a Tzaddik.

[Republished from 2008]

Note to readers:  If you are searching for " ספר תיקונים " - The Book of Corrections, you may find a link to a non-kosher site, proclaiming to have written this book. Please be advised that the book named ספר תיקונים written by יהונתן וואקסמאן  is not derived from kosher Jewish sources.  Update: Mr Waxman has now come to his senses and admits he is not a Jew and writes for his Xtian readers. 


Rabbi Yosef Dayan, the author of "Sefer HaTikunim", who departed from this world on 9 Tamuz 5745 (1985), was an Israeli Sefardi Tzaddik of Syrian background.

Rabbi Dayan was unusual in a number of ways. Firstly, after the Jewish people were returned to the Land of Israel, he spent a great deal of time discovering and uncovering the tombs of ancient tzaddikim throughout the Land. We are unsure exactly how he did this, but he did! He spent long periods of time at many of these holy sites, sometimes surrounded by hostile Arabs (although he was fearless through his attachment to G-d).

Secondly, he remained un-married, very unusual for a tzaddik.
Thirdly, he taught that prayer should be repeated. He often quoted the Talmud, that if your prayer is not answered, pray more, continue to pray and to beseech G-d. This was Rabbi Dayan's approach. He did not make do with a short prayer offered once. He taught regularity and consistency in prayer, according to Rabbi Hanina's teaching in Berachot 32a: "Everyone who prays long, his prayer does not return empty."

Rabbi Dayan explained the need to pray much and not to tire, until our request is received in Heaven. Because of our little worth and deficient deeds, we do not have the power to make prayer effective immediately. We need to persist in the avodah (service) of prayer, until we succeed in splitting the barrier that separates us from G-d.

He also said that, when you pray for something, you should pray using the same words each time (this explains the efficacy of a mantra**). Any change in the wording, he said, causes difficulties in the prayer being accepted. He also said it is desirable to focus on one request, not many, because according to the Sages, if you grab too much, you grab nothing.

Rabbi Dayan taught that it is helpful to offer tzedaka (charity) when praying and to pray at a holy site.

(From Od Yosef Hai)

** The mantras used in the eastern religions are the "shem tuma" (impure names) which Avraham sent to the east as gifts to the children of his pilagshim. Mentioned in passing in this post, it should be noted that they are STRICTLY FORBIDDEN to a Jew because they bring tuma (impurity) on a person, r"l, and give strength to the sitra achra. A Jew should not say these "mantras", nor should he allow them to be said in his home. (Comment from Yaakov Nathan)


Stories about the Holy Tzadik HaRav Yosef Dayan, author of Sefer HaTikkunim

1. Rav Yosef Dayan would always see the name of Hashem in front of him at all times. Once while talking to his student H'Rav Yosef accidentally said "I always see the holy fearsome Shem Havayah engraved in my mind's eye intertwined with the Shem Adnus."

2. Rav Yosef Dayan was on such a high level that he was able to walk in the streets and the Pritzut in front of him would not even register in his mind, since his thoughts were constantly bound to the supernatural lights.

3. Immediately after finishing Shacharis at Netz, H'Rav Yosef Dayan would enter the Beis Medrash. Then while still fasting he would learn straight for hours with great fervor and no interruptions. He would not take a break for a minute, even when people would knock on the door he would not interrupt his learning. This would continue until Mincha time when he would get up and once again and go to the Beis Medrash to pray.

4. Every Motzai Shabbat he would pray Maariv in the Beit Knesset "Shoson". Due to his prolonged prayer he would miss the Kedusha of "V'atah Kadosh." H'Rav Yosef Dayan would therefore go to a second Minyan in Bais Knesset "Ohel Rochel" which had started later. He would arrive there just as the chazan would start with "V'atah Kadosh."The gabby of that Minyan thought Rav Yosef to be a simple and ignorant man. When he saw him come late week after week and start in middle of the prayers, the Gabby would begin yelling at him and publicly denouncing him for missing the first part of the prayer. H'Rav Yosef would remain silent and accept the embarrassment so as not to reveal that he had already prayed and was just coming to hear the Kedushah. These rebukes happened weekly both from the Gabaim and from the members of the minyan.

A student of Rav Yosef who saw what was going on was not able to hold himself back and finally asked Rav Yosef why he simply did not state that he had already completed the first part of the prayers. H'Rav Yosef answered him "Shhh don't reveal that, I am very happy with embarrassments I receive."

5. One year, there was a lack of rain in Eretz Yisroel. The drought continued through Kislev, Teves and even Adar. All over the country mass prayer sessions were organized to plead to our Father in Heaven to send rain. As usual H'Rav Dayan and his students would gather in Kever Shmuel Hanavi to pray and do Tikkunim for the nation of Yisroel.

The students noticed that H'Rav Yosef was not actually addressing the lack of rain. A number of students kept on bringing up the issue but H'Rav Dayan remained silent. One student pleaded with him to pray and do Kavanot for the rain, reminding him of the severe situation the country was facing. Finally H'Rav Dayan replied with a short and definite answer "If there will be no impurity and Pritzut in the world, the rains will not be held back." He then continued praying as usual.

6. There was a long period of time that H'Rav Yosef Dayan was accustomed to light candles every day in the merit of Rebbe Meir Baal Haneis and the Rashbi, may their merit protect us. H'Rav Yosef would light the candles in a certain local Bait Knesset. Before lighting the candles he would recite many prayers in great trepidation, he would then do mighty meditations and Yichudim. At the time of the lighting he would say Leshem Yichud.....I am lighting this candle to raise the Shechinah from exile and to raise the soul of the holy Tzakik in whose merit the candle is being lit. These candles would burn for twenty four hours straight. H'Rav Yosef would prepare special wicks and the right amounts of oil in advance.In the neighborhood there lived two men who were greatly upset by H'Rav Dayan's daily candle lighting ritual. They would steal his wicks and hide his oil in an effort to prevent it from happening. When H'Rav Yosef saw this he was greatly pained. He finally said "These people that are trying to prevent the candle lighting do not know with whom they are dealing with, they are not dealing with me but rather with Rebbe Meir Baal Haneis and the Rashbi, I do not envy their future." That same week the two men were struck by the hand of G-d. The first man broke his leg and had to lay in a body cast for a number of months, the second man became paralyzed in half his body.

7. The Mekubal H'Rav Yitzchak Kaduri would say that he knew for a fact that H'Rav Yosef Dayan was one of the thirty six hidden Tzakikkim. H'Rav Mordechai Sharabi likewise gave testimony that H'Rav Yosef Dayan was one of the thirty six hidden Tzadikim.

8. Once a student of H'Rav Dayan approached him and told him that he was having a lot of problems avoiding being drafted to the Israeli army. H'Rav Yosef Dayan simply handed him his hat and told him to wear it on his next visit to the army office. The student took the hat of the Tzadik and wore it on his next interview. When the general saw the hat, without saying a word he signed his release papers and told him to leave.

Monday, April 1, 2019

Send Me An Angel

An Angel is a messenger - "malach" in Hebrew. An Angel has no free will, they are intermediaries between G-d and the world.... so there is no point "praying" to an angel as advised by some "spiritual" sites. We pray to G-d and only G-d.

There are good and bad angels. The Satan is the worst of all.

Angels can come to earth when sent on a mission. As angels are only made of the elements of air and fire, it is very difficult for an angel to come to earth, they have to concentrate very hard, to focus themselves here. That is why they vanish suddenly when their mission is complete.

Sometimes only one person will see the angel..... sometimes many will see it. You will not realise it is an angel, it may have taken the form of a human in order to carry out its task. Often people are given tests by angels, appearing as beggars, asking for money or help.

The angels such as those who spoke to Abraham and Jacob were purely spiritual forces which appeared in human form.

Before a baby is born, an angel teaches the baby Torah in the womb:

The Talmud says :

A candle is lit on his head and he is able to see from one end of the world until the other end .... There isn't a better period for a person than these days [in the womb] ... They [the angels] teach him all of Torah ... and as he enters the world, an angel hits him on his mouth and he forgets it [to be recalled later throughout the course of his life through learning]. [Niddah 30b]

For every mitzvah (or good deed) a person does, an angel is created. This angel defends you in the Heavenly Court. And when we sin, or tell lies, or harm others.... we create for ourselves a prosecuting angel.

According to Maimonides, the degree of Divine Providence you experience is directly proportional to your attachment to God, and therefore the commandments which create that attachment are the true "guardian angels" of a person.

Rebbe Meir says: "If a person does one commandment, he is given one angel to guard over him; if he does many commandments, he is given many angels."

The angels that accompany us, watching over us, are our own, the ones we have created with each commandment we do. We might imagine that when we leave this world we'll be accompanied by millions of angels, but our Sages teach us otherwise. We are told that the quality of the angel depends on the quality of our mitzvah. It's a long way to the World to Come, and sometimes a person can arrive there with only one angel because all the others fell by the wayside, too weak to complete the journey. In order to create a powerful angel, we have to do each commandment "like fire," in Hebrew, K'AiSh, K = Kavanah (intent), A = Ahavah (love), and S = Simchah (joy), with deep intent, love, and joy.

Everything is by Divine Providence. If a leaf is turned over by a breeze, it is only because this has been specifically ordained by G-d to serve a particular function within the purpose of creation. [Ba'al Shem Tov]

The Talmud teaches that in many matters G-d controls the world through intermediaries (angels). In fact, the Talmud states that there are only three keys that G-d didn’t give over to intermediaries. They are: the Key of Rain (parnosa/sustenance), the Key of Childbirth, and the Key of Techias HaMaisim (the Revival of the Dead).