Thursday, August 6, 2020

Solutions While You Sleep

this is a re-post from June 2012.  I wrote this, but I don't remember writing it.... so much has happened since 2012, I'm honestly not surprised I don't remember things!

I had a personal salvation this week, after several months of wondering why I was going through so much suffering - which was actually worse than anything I'd ever experienced before - and on Rosh Chodesh Tamuz I was given the answer via a dream - even though I didn't remember the dream, I woke up with the answer, just as I had prayed for it before I went to sleep.  Once I'd acknowledged it and dealt with it, the judgment on me seemed to disappear, and I felt so much better.

If something of great importance is transmitted to you while you sleep, you will wake up with it on your mind, and it is vital that you realize it for what it is, and act on it.  The part of our soul that ascends while we sleep can answer our deepest questions, so pray hard before you sleep for the answer, and if the time is right, you will receive it.

We have been taught that all suffering has a time limit, and if you are someone who is suffering through some kind of agonizing problem, know that it will end, and you will be given the solution to it eventually - the remedy is in your own hands, and Hashem will supply you with the answer if you genuinely want to rectify it.

This is known as a tikkun - a rectification - and the bigger the problem, the more likely it is that it is part of your life's mission to get through it and come out the other end, a better and stronger person.

Often the people we are drawn to are the ones who can help us fix ourselves, and sometimes we can also be the ones to fix them as well.  That is how tikkunim are achieved - some people have to meet simply for that reason, and therefore they are drawn to each other on some level, as their soul knows they have to work something out.  Soul attractions are real, not accidental.  We are magnetically drawn to those people who can help us find our way.  

This following piece of advice is from Shlomo's blog - A Perfect World Now

As the Vilna Gaon writes [Commentary on Jonah]:

“The main thing [to keep in mind, is that the purpose of reincarnation], is to affect the repair of a [negative] influence, originating in a previous lifetime...

[One way] to discern exactly what that negative influence is, is to reflect upon the type of wrong your soul yearns after the most, in this lifetime. That which you yearn after most, is likely something you became habituated to in a previous life.

And therefore pay attention to your vices. [They tell you exactly what you have to work on in this lifetime.] ...The main thing is, to repair that which one stumbled in in a previous [life] ...

That’s why some people are drawn after one type of sin, more than another. And that’s also why our Sages say, that one must continually judge himself, and weigh his actions..."

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

The Happiest Man on Earth

Eddie Jaku OAM was born Abraham Jakubowicz in Germany in 1920. His family considered themselves German, first, Jewish second. 

On 9 November 1938, the night immortalised as Kristallnacht, Eddie returned home from boarding school to an empty house. At dawn Nazi soldiers burst in, Eddie was beaten and taken to Buchenwald.

Eddie's book ''The Happiest Man on Earth'' has just been published to co-incide with his 100th birthday.  

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Tu B'Av

L'illui nishmat Mordechai ben Menachem a"h

The Jewish mini-holiday of Tu B’Av

The 15th of Av is undoubtedly a most mysterious day. A search of the Shulchan Aruch [Code of Jewish Law] reveals no observances or customs for this date, except for the instruction that the tachanun [confession of sins] and similar portions should be omitted from the daily prayers [as is the case with all festive dates], and that one should increase one’s study of Torah, since the nights are begining to grow longer, and “the night was created for study.” And the Talmud tells us that many years ago the “daughters of Jerusalem would go dance in the vineyards” on the 15th of Av, and “whoever did not have a wife would go there” to find himself a bride.

And the Talmud considers this the greatest festival of the year, with Yom Kippur (!) a close second!

Indeed, the 15th of Av cannot but be a mystery. As the “full moon” of the tragic month of Av, it is the festival of the future redemption, and thus a day whose essence, by definition, is unknowable to our unredeemed selves.

Yet the unknowable is also ours to seek and explore.

Source and more  click here

Monday, August 3, 2020

Soul Sharing: A Peek into Past Lives and Possession

Audio: Rabbi Aron Moss
click here to listen

Can one soul inhabit two bodies? Can one body contain two souls? One is called reincarnation, the other is called possession. Both are spoken of in the Kabbalah. But not often do you get to meet someone who has experienced being possessed, or has caught a glimpse of their past life. Evelyn and Robyn did. Hear their jaw dropping stories first hand.

Sunday, August 2, 2020

Final Credits

Artist Unknown

Every commandment that I command you this day you shall keep to do, that you may live and multiply, and come and possess the land that the Lord swore to your forefathers. [Eikev 8:1]

The lesson that one who completes a mitzvah is credited with it [see Rashi] is particularly apt for our generation.

For according to all the signs which were given by our Sages, we are presently in the last generation of exile, which will become the first generation of redemption.

Thus, it is greatly encouraging to know that despite the fact that the Torah study and observance of mitzvot in previous generations greatly surpassed that of our more humble efforts, nevertheless one who completes a mitzvah is credited with it.  

Mashiach will come in the merit of our mitzvot, which are performed in the last moments of exile.

Based on Likutei Sichos vol 9 pp 104-5 Lubavitcher Rebbe

Friday, July 31, 2020

The Bookbinder in Heaven

Text by Asharon Baltazar

After lying unconscious for days, clammy with cold sweat and hovering between life and death, Rabbi Elimelech of Lizhensk’s eyes fluttered open. His students, who were gathered around his bed, felt the dread constricting their hearts relax a little. A slow recovery followed, but he eventually regained his full health. Having glimpsed the afterlife, Rabbi Elimelech shared a story of his time in Heaven:

Upon reaching Heaven, Rabbi Elimelech encountered Rabbi Avraham Azulai, author of the kabbalistic work Chesed leAvraham. The two spent many hours strolling through gardens perfumed by sweet flowers, listening to snatches of conversation between the angels. All the while, Rabbi Avraham kept expressing a fervorous admiration for the nascent Chassidic movement, and more than anything, he wanted to show Rabbi Elimelech the rewards that awaited those who adopted its ways. The two set out.

As they climbed a small hill, a magnificent structure rose into view. The thunderous sound of Torah learning boomed from the tall, gleaming windows. It was a grandiose house of study. Rabbi Elimelech approached the exquisite front doors and was pleasantly surprised to recognize a man standing there—the bookbinder from Lizhensk.

“Mordechai,” chuckled Rabbi Elimelech heartily. “What brings you to this yeshivah?”

Mordechai regarded Rabbi Elimelech with a solemn stare. “Rabbi, if someone overheard that, you would’ve been admonished. Here, I’m actually called ‘Reb Mordechai.’”

“I meant no offense,” said Rabbi Elimelech quickly. “Ever since we’ve met, I’ve always known you to be a simple individual. Why indeed have you earned such an honor to learn here?”

Mordechai acknowledged the mistake with a nod.

“Despite my history as a rather simple Jew,” he said, “things changed once I ascended here.” And he began his story . . .

In the moments following my death, I was brought before the Heavenly Court. The proceedings began immediately, and a spotlight was thrown on my past conduct. Rooted to the floor with dread, I watched angels flitting into the room, carrying every good and bad deed I’d ever committed and setting them on the scales positioned in the room’s center. The slightest fluctuation sent my pulse racing.

But evidence of sins continued to emerge and overweigh my good deeds, and the uneasiness gnawing at me worsened. I swayed, vainly trying to steel myself to hear the inevitable.

The Heavenly Court condemned me to Gehinnom. And a thick silence settled like dust. Every pair of eyes was focused on me.

Head bowed and cheeks burning, overwhelmed by a sense of self-disgust, I accepted the verdict. I hastily exited the courtroom, and after a last glimpse at the uneven scales, I began to walk tentatively down a barren road. The air around me shimmered with terrible heat, which increased with every step. The flaming borders of Gehinnom soon loomed into sight.

Before I endured the heat any longer, a pair of anxious-looking angels stopped my advance. Not a word was exchanged. Something urgent must’ve occurred because they simply grabbed my arms and hurried me back to the courtroom. There, a most unexpected development waited for me: a queue of wagons, all overflowing with bulging sacks, were parked outside the court’s entrance. Who had brought these here? The wagons lurched into motion after me as I entered the courtroom.

It was exactly as I had left it: the judges still sat on their benches, and the scales in the room’s center still angled toward the side bearing my years of sin. The same somber silence lingered.

A frenzy of commotion erupted as angels rushed over to the wagons, unloaded the sacks, and began placing them on the scales—on the side of merits. Gradually, the balance began to change, and each tip in the other direction eased something off my troubled heart. Once again, I was too frightened to do anything other than just stand and stare.

Finally, an angel placed a sack that tilted the scales ever so slightly to the side of good. The judges stopped everything and declared a change in my sentence: rather than suffer the fires of Gehinnom, I was now directed toward Gan Eden. An ethereal voice resonated from the very walls of the court: “From now on, you will be known as Reb Mordechai.”

I was free to go.

But I wasn’t going anywhere without answers. And it was rather difficult getting them. Initially, whomever I asked refused to reveal anything, but with persistence I learned what had occurred.

Soon after I had left for Gehinnom, an angel called the Guardian of Pages entered the courtroom to speak with the judges. He sought to absolve me of all charges.

“We don’t reconsider cases after their verdict,” the court told him.

“In regard to criminal offenses, this doesn’t apply,” countered the angel.

There was some nodding of heads from the judges. “Well, let’s see what you have to say.”

“Esteemed judges!” The angel’s voice rang out clearly. “Today, a simple man has passed away, who, as many others like him, didn’t study enough Torah and perhaps even committed a few sins due to his ignorance. Yet, he was honest and cherished the Torah dearly. Without a doubt, I can attest he honored the Torah like no one else. He was a bookbinder by trade. And even if he labored due to selfish reasons, binding books—Torah books— is a righteous trade.

“Countless hours were invested in ensuring the tattered books returned to their owners as new. Nothing was ever left unfinished. He handled their covers with special care and thumbed through the worn pages as gingerly as possible. He never threw out pages, however frayed, even the blank endsheets. When he trimmed away the excess paper and glued the bindings, not a single word was damaged. And anything that remained of his work, he collected in sacks to store in his attic.”

The angel scanned the judges’ faces. “I can show them to you if you want.”

As those words left his mouth, an ethereal voice boomed from every corner: “One who honors the Torah is honored by Heaven in Gan Eden.”

The judges, after a few moments of consultation, agreed to have a look at these sacks, which were brought in from the attic and counted in my presence. This is what altered the verdict in my favor.

I was left with mixed feelings. Obviously, having been spared the fires of Gehinnom, I was ecstatic. Yet, Gan Eden was meant for those who studied Torah their entire lives. That’s what souls do there. I had to sit among scholarly giants—and I would barely understand a word.

My obvious illiteracy attracted the attention and sympathy of a few great souls here in Gan Eden, where I wander from study house to study house, learning to navigate the seas of Torah until I’m able to do so on my own.

Source: Chabad

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Corona: Erasing the World of Lies

According to the non-Jewish calendar, the year is 2020, which is the number 20 twice. The number 20 is equal in gematria to the word keter [crown]. This is the revelation that is taking place now, the keter d’keter, the innermost level of the keter, which is the word keter twice, equal to 20 and 20, which is a hint to the non-Jewish year of 2020. 

Therefore, a state of solitude has come into the world, an impaired kind of being alone, where nobody can come within the space of another person. The private space of a person corresponds to the yechidah level of the soul, and right now nobody is allowed to interfere with another person’s space. It is also causing people to remain secluded in their homes. And as it is known, the nefesh level of the soul is in the liver, the ruach is in the heart, and the neshamah is in the brain, the chaya is on the person's clothing and the yechidah is in the house. Therefore one is to become secluded in the house due now, to the yechidah revelation which is taking place in the world today.

Understand that Hakadosh Baruch Hu has now erased any connection to tumah [impurity], to all of the restaurants, to all of the mingling, all of the vacations and all of the entire world of falsity that has been here for the last couple of years.

The above text is a very small excerpt from Bilvavi-Corona- Q & A from the author of Bilvavi Mishkan Evneh.  It's a fascinating read.  HT Myrtle Rising

Tisha B'Av: Tragedy or Consolation

This lecture was given last year, Rabbi Mendel Kessin.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Rebbe Nachman on Punishment

A person is sometimes punished even in the performance of a mitzvah. This is because he previously passed up an opportunity to fulfill just such a positive command.

A person sometimes unknowingly passes judgment on himself (by being asked to select a fitting punishment for someone else).

There are times when a person is killed because he failed to speak out on behalf of someone who is unjustly despised.

A person will sometimes be punished for having engaged in some illegal business practice, or because (he has been included in) a harsh decree passed against his neighbours or nation.

The Holy One hastens to exact punishments from an ungrateful person, punishing him at the hands of another ingrate.

A person bitten by a dog has either accepted malicious gossip or spoken it.

Source:  Sefer HaMiddot (The Book of Attributes) - Rabbi Nachman of Breslov
translated by Moshe Mykoff