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

Blue

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).

Thursday, March 28, 2019

The Heavenly Voice


Have you ever heard a voice from Heaven?  I guess not many people have, and how would you know that it was from Heaven and not from somewhere else?   Once I did hear a voice, it was an electric sound that came into my right ear, I felt it as well as heard it.  It gave me advice which I followed, and saved myself from a disaster.  I have no idea what that voice was, I thought perhaps it was an angel.  That was many years ago, and it was the one and only time it ever happened. 

The other day I stumbled upon the following interesting information on the internet, which some of you may like to read.   [If you have ever heard a voice from Heaven, please leave a comment, I'd love to hear about it]


BAS KOL - Ein Mashgichin B'vas Kol 

One of the lower forms of prophecy is called Bas Kol [lit. echo], where certain individuals of a high spiritual status hear a heavenly voice. The Gemara in numerous places cites instances when a Bas Kol was heard, relaying information from Heaven to the earth. The Halachic ruling [Bava Metzia 59b] is that we do not accept the ruling of a Bas Kol when it contradicts the majority opinion of the Sages. [Some Tana'im ruled more stringently, asserting that we do not accept the testimony of a Bas Kol even if it follows the majority opinion. See Background to Yevamos 14:2:b.]

Source: Daf Yomi