Sunday, September 27, 2015

Where to see the Blood Moon Eclipse

In Australia we will not see a red moon, although most other parts of the world will see some of it.   The following regions will see all or part of the eclipse: Europe, South/West Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Pacific, Atlantic, Indian Ocean, Arctic, Antarctica. Click here for a map of where the moon will appear blood red tonight.

Wishing you all a chag sameach and happy moon-watching.

The Fallen Sukkah of David

Art by Joan Landis

by Rabbi Gedaliah Aharon Kenig zt''l - founder of Nachal Novea community in Tsfat and foremost Breslev leader of the previous generation.

Integrating the mind through perfect faith
Reprinted from Tzaddik Magazine

The sukkah is associated with King David.  It is thus called the ''Sukkah of David''.  It could have been called by another name, like the ''Sukkah of Israel'' or the ''Sukkah of Moses'', yet our sages connect sukkah to David haMelech.

The fourth evening of the holiday of Sukkot marks the yahrzeit of Rebbe Nachman of Breslev, who is referred to as the nachal novea mekor chochma - ''the flowing river, source of wisdom'' [Proverbs 18:4].  He proclaimed an astounding concept to the world:  ''There is no such thing as despair!''  Nothing in the world is beyond hope.

How can such a claim be made when everything points in the opposite direction? Everyone experiences situations textured with despair to the point that it appears the entire world has ended.  Everything seems black, with no glimmer of light.  The despair these situations engender is called the ''Fallen Sukkah of David.''

Yet Rebbe Nachman asserts: ''There is no such thing as despair!''  Although it is impossible to avoid difficult situations, the mind possesses a special power that can prevent one from falling completely during hard times.  On Sukkot we pray:  ''May the Compassionate One raise for us the ''Fallen Sukkah of David''.  Conceptually, the Sukkah of David represents a spiritually cleansed mind connected to a higher spiritual level, a place beyond our own intellectual perception of the world.

Integrating the Mind
According to the kabbalah, the sukkah represents the levels of perception beyond the conscious mind called makifim or ''external intellect''.  In contrast, pnimim or ''internal intellect''' is the knowledge we have successfully acquired.  These two levels are dynamically related: when the higher intellect enters our mind enabling us to understand it, the new insight becomes encompassed within our internal intellect.

Makifim are those levels of understanding that transcend intellectual grasp. They surround and hover above the conscious mind, radiating understanding into the internal intellect.  It is this upper level of intellect surrounding the mind that is called sukkah.  This is similar to a physical sukkah, which completely surrounds us.  During the holiday of Sukkot, we are required to enter the sukkah with our entire body, which includes the head, our intellect. Without the entire body entering the sukkah, the mitzvah of sukkah remains unfulfilled.

''David merited the crown of malchut - kingship'' [Kohelet Rabbah 7:2]
The physical universe and everything that occurs within it, is part of the lower level of the World of Action, and connected to the kabbalistic sefira of malchut.  Malchut itself possesses a type of ''intellect'' expressed as the animating intelligence contained by everything in the world.  This intelligence corresponds to King David and the lower internal intellect mentioned earlier.  The crown of King David, however, symbolizes the higher surrounding intellect, corresponding to the concept of sukkah.

When we don't understand why things are a certain way in the world, the power of faith should be exercised. Faith draws down the highest light into any situation. If you believe that there is a G-d Above Who governs the world, you won't dismiss something as meaningless just because you don't understand it. On the contrary, despire your current inability to understand, you will know everything is functioning according to a Higher Plan which is just and fair.  This faith will then illuminate your entire reality. In every situation, you now connect the upper surrounding intellect, called sukkah, to the lower internalized intellect, corresponding to your current perception of how the physical world operates.  When you believe that whatever happens is governed from Above, it is clear that it is good.

''When I dwell in darkness, G-d will be a light for me'' [Micha 7:8]
Even if I am sitting in darkness and don't understand what is happening, if I nonetheless believe that everything is just and fair because it is supervised by G-d, then this faith is a light for me.  Despite the darkness, it does not even occur to me to despair, since the same governing Power that brought me here to this situation or state of mind will do everything for my good and ultimately take me out of this darkness.

Through this expression of lower intellect, you will now attain the higher intellect, called sukkah. The merging of these two intellects is called the ''Sukkah of David'', which occurs when your perception of the way the world operates [Malchut David] is joined with the upper surrounding intellect [sukkah].  The opposite occurs when the two are separated, a division caused by thinking everything is under the jurisdiction of nature and human agency.  ''David'' is separated from sukkah - our perception of this world is separated from the upper intellect, faith in Divine governance of the world. This state is called ''The Fallen Sukkah of David''.

Thus, when Rebbe Nachman says ''There is no such thing in the world as despair'', he is drawing down the highest light into the human heart to give us the ability to understand that regardless of the difficulties we experience, there is a higher Power in charge of every detail in the world.  The process of attaining this level of understanding is called ''raising the fallen sukkah of David''.  Sukkat David is the rectified state of mind where the upper and lower intellect are united.

Turning Darkness into Light
G-d created us in order to know Him.  How is it possible for a limited physical human being to know G-d, Who is Infinite?  It is only possible to know G-d through facing the difficult challenges in life, and strengthening ourselves to get through them.

During times when it is extremely difficult to find G-d, one may fall, since it seems that G-d doesn't exist. The difficulty of the search itself brings one to a state of nothingness. By strengthening oneself during these moments, the very obstacles which prevented perception of G-d can be transformed into a vessel for Divine light.

Sometimes we undergo bitter situations where our understanding disappears completely. Even though we want to believe in G-d, we live inside a dark cloud. However much we search, we cannot find Him. This is a very dangerous situation, because we are unable to see G-d in spite of a sincere desire to find Him. What can we do?

Rebbe Nachman has advice for this dilemma as well.  Cry out ''G-d! Where are You? I don't see you but I believe You are here! Where are you?''  These cries will eventually enable you to return to your proper place, because the question of ''Where are You?'' indicates a belief in the existence of the thing for which you are searching.  You believe G-d is present, but you just don't know where.  The repeated cries of ''Where are You?'' from the depths of the heart are answered with: ''Here! Deeply inside, where You have always been.''

''The whole world is filled with His Glory''
One begins to sense G-d's direct supervision over every detail. Anything that seemed unjust or unfair is now understood as being orchestrated in a wondrous way for the good. Only by passing through darkness and obstacles can we draw closer to G-d, which is a fulfilment of the Divine will.

Sometimes during difficult times we say ''Oy! This is too much! I've had enough obstacles and darkness! I'm finished!''  This way of thinking is erroneous, since we were not created to remain on a single level.  On the contrary, we were created to continually ascend from level to level.  Difficult situations are necessary in order to progress and come closer to G-d.  The message of Rebbe Nachman is that it shouldn't even occur to a person to despair and think ''I can't go on''.  Strengthen yourself over and over again, and eventually you will make it through.

There is always a limit to difficulties because G-d doesn't leave us in difficult straits forever.  The only purpose of obstacles is to create a vessel to receive light. Material obstacles and the vessels they can create have measure and definition. However, G-d's light is unlimited.  We need only to strengthen ourselves and not give up. Sometimes one becomes so weak in the last moment and loses everything. This is a shame, since at that very moment a vessel is being completed to receive a higher light. At the end, the darkness can become so overwhelming that we think we are lost and give up completely, G-d forbid.

Constantly strengthening oneself is the secret to our existence.  There is no book in the world that can tell the entire awesome story of what the Jewish people have undergone since inception. Yet, despite everything, we continue to exist. This is only because of our patience, trust and will to strengthen ourselves anew each time, despite constant suffering.  We will continue to develop, and with the help of G-d, we will exist until the end, when the purpose for which we were created will be fulfilled. To know the unlimited light of the Infinite One.

Vessels to receive light are formed through obstacles. By overcoming the obstacles, the obstacles themselves are transformed into vessels of pleasantness.  Rebbe Nachman calls this pleasantness ''supernal delight'' which can now flow into completed vessels.  The delight that the upper intellect can experience is more pleasant than anything in this world. This is the meaning of ''May the Compassionate One raise for us the Fallen Sukkah of David.''

Rebbe Nachman is proclaiming to the entire world a message that everyone must hear.  There is no such thing as despair! There is no situation beyond hope! The Jewish people have always found themselves in difficult situations, and today is no different. Instead of losing hope, we must strengthen ourselves with perfected faith, especially during the days of Sukkot, when we bring our entire physical being into the sukkah.  We will then be worthy of being illuminated with a new light, which will reestablish the ''Fallen Sukkah of David forever''.  Amen.

Translated and adapted from a shiur given in Tsfat.

Friday, September 25, 2015


An oldie but a goodie: Ushpizin the Sukkot Movie


Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Decoding the Time of the End

Torah codes, the number seven, Barack Obama, 5776 - which actually means we have now entered the 5777th year.
It's all coming together ... or maybe I'm just a dreamer.....

In the video below Rabbi Glazerson shows some interesting gematria from  Sefer Daniel Chapter 12

[4] But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.'

[9] And he said: 'Go thy way, Daniel; for the words are shut up and sealed until the time of the end.

ad eit ketz - until the time of the end - gematria 1400

Add together the following, and it also equals 1400:
190 קץ - Keitz [the time of the end]
434 משיח בן דויד - Moshiach ben David
תשע”ו  - 776 - this year 5776

In the verses below, starting from the א of the first נשיא [President], every seven letters spell out the name Obama in Hebrew:

Ezekiel 38
   - א ויהי דבר-יהוה, אלי לאמר. ב בן-אדם, שים פניך אל-גוג ארץ המגוג--נשיא, ראש משך ותבל; והנבא, עליו. ג ואמרת, כה אמר אדני יהוה: הנני אליך, גוג--נשיא, ראש משך ותבל. ד ושובבתיך, ונתתי חחים בלחייך; והוצאתי אותך ואת-כל-חילך סוסים ופרשים, לבשי מכלול כלם--קהל רב צנה ומגן, תפשי חרבות כלם.   And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying Son of man, set thy face toward Gog, of the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him, and say: Thus saith the Lord God: Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, chief prince of Meshech and Tubal; and I will turn thee about, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed most gorgeously, a great company with buckler and shield, all of them handling swords

Another hint :
And he shall speak words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High; and he shall think to change the seasons and the law; and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and half a time." Daniel 7:25

That particular verse is thought to be referring to Barack Obama - ''he shall think to change the seasons and the law'' - 

I think that ''a time'' equals two years,  ''times'' equals four years, and ''half a time'' is one year, we then arrive at a total of seven years.  And as you can see in the Ezekiel quote above, the Obama skip is every seven letters, another hint.  Of course that means that Obama's reign will end around January 2016.  Speculation only !

Monday, September 21, 2015

The Essence

God's Portion: His People

The Baal Shem Tov taught: ''The quality of essence is such that as soon as one grasps a tiny part of the essence, one grasps the whole of it.''

Thus it follows, that since all Jews [''His people''] have a Godly soul which is ''literally a portion of God above'' [Tanya Ch.2] - ''God's portion'' - then even when that soul undergoes the long journey downwards to this world, it remains inseparably bound with the Essence of God.  [See Ha'azinu 32:9]

Based on Sefer Hama'amarim 5735 p.243 Lubavitcher Rebbe

Sunday, September 20, 2015

The Difference Between Children and Adults

This is fantastic. Spend just 2.36 mins and watch this. From Rabbi Y. Y. Jacobson.


Want to see more?  Click here

Torah from Shamayim

Photo: Debra and Dave Vanderlaan

Listen, heavens...and I shall speak  [Ha'azinu: Devarim 32:1]

This can be explained based on a statement found in the holy Zohar "When the righteous Moshiach will come, speedily in our days, Moshe Rabbeinu will come along with him and teach the Jewish people Torah. He will reveal to them the secrets and explanations of the Torah."

Moshe said to the people "Listen, heavens" - calling the people "the heavens" because those who study Torah are called "shamayim" - heavens. Moshe commanded them that when they reveal novel original ideas on the Torah, they should do so in a manner of "listening". They should hear those ideas from above, for when they learn, the holy light shines upon them from above, and then they open their mouths to speak and say over the idea they receive.

Through their Torah learning, they can hasten the redemption, as Moshe implies with the words "I shall speak". When you learn Torah by being open to receiving ideas from above, then, says Moshe, you will be able to hear the secrets of Torah from me as in earlier days. You will be the direct cause of Moshe speaking with you in the future by learning in the manner described and thus hastening the redemption, may it be speedily in our days, Amen.

Source:  Mipeninei Noam Elimelech  Translated by Tal Moshe Zwecker

Friday, September 18, 2015

Trivial Pursuits

Photo Luis Beltran

by Rabbi Yisrael Bronstein

"For I know its inclination" [Vayelech 31:21]

A man's yetzer hara schemes against him all the days of his life and tries to make him stray from the path of Torah. It is man's duty to use every strategy at his disposal in order to defeat him.

To what can this be compared? The Chofetz Chaim offered the following parable:

There were two countries that had been waging war for many years. One day, the king of one of the countries declared that whoever could resolve the dispute between the two countries and achieve peace would receive a very great reward - an opportunity to enter the king's vaults and take whatever he is able to amass in the duration of one hour.

A short while later, a certain wise man approached the king and proposed a solution to end the warfare. The king liked the plan very much and decided to use it. Eventually, peace was restored between the two countries and, as promised, the wise man was invited to the king's vaults to collect his reward.

However, when the day of reward drew near, the king became concerned: Perhaps the wise man would take the most precious treasures in his vault. The king turned to his advisers for suggestions on how to protect his treasures.

"Your highness" said one of the advisers, "I happened to discover that this man loves music. Why doesn't the king simply place the kingdom's finest orchestra inside the vault? When the man arrives, the musicians will start playing music that will enrapture him; he will be so mesmerized by the music that he will entirely forget about the king's treasures!"

The king was very pleased with the idea.

When the wise man arrived at the palace, he was immediately taken to the king's vaults. The heavy gates to the vaults were opened, and the wise man took a step inside. But as he made his way to the riches, he was frozen in his place. For emanating from inside the vault was the sweetest sounding music he had ever heard.

The wise man awoke from his trance and reminded himself why he had come. He took another step in the direction of the riches and tried looking through the treasures, but the beautiful music kept distracting him.

"I will only listen to these beautiful tunes for one more moment." said the wise man. But one moment quickly turned into two, then three and four...

Do not forget why you came here! he shouted at himself. But the music was simply too enchanting.

"The time is up!" announced a royal officer. The hour had passed.

"But I haven't taken anything yet." said the man.

"Nothing you say will make a difference now" replied the officer. "Your time has passed!" The man returned home sad and despondent over the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that he had squandered. Everything had been in his hands, but he let it all slip away.

So it is in our own lives, said the Chofetz Chaim. Man receives a very special gift from Hashem. Over the course of his life he is given the opportunity to amass innumerable mitzvos.

However, the "evil adviser" - the yetzer hara - offers his "advice" and seduces man with trivialities that draw him away from Torah and mitzvos.

But then, when man reaches the end of his days and is summoned before the Heavenly court, he is painfully reminded of how he wasted his precious time, choosing to indulge in listening to worthless "music". By then, however, it will be too late.

It is incumbent upon every individual to constantly remind himself why he has come to this world. Let him not allow the yetzer hara to distract him from his true task.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Hashem’s Upcoming Wake-up Call

by Chaim David Targan

The BAD NEWS: “The world is about to take a steep nose dive and it will not know what hit it.” 

The GOOD NEWS: “It is all a façade – a sweet cover up for the Geula – a wake up call” 

The “nose dive” will be one thing after another in an “apparent” unrelated structure. But in many ways it will be the perfect storm of things being aligned. It won’t be total chaos yet, just a lot of confusion and despair. Israel will be fine – The” teiva” – the ark floating calmly in a sea of abyss, an oasis of Godliness in a desert bereft of holiness.

People will be searching for answers. But as bad as it will appear, it will be much softer than anticipated and projected by others. It is not that these mystics and Mekubalim (kabbalists with Ruach HaKodesh – Divine inspiration) are incorrect. They are correct up to a point. What many of them are picking up and bringing down is what is “supposed to happen”. But they are not accessing Hashem’s highest level. Here is the secret key to understanding the Geula: More than anything else, Hashem (the Hebrew word for G-d) wants to bring the Geula sweetly.

Continue reading at:

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Le Shana Tova

Vintage Rosh HaShanah card 1917

I would like to wish all of you a Shana Tova, a good sweet year, health and happiness for the entire world.  I would also like to apologise if I have written or published anything that may have upset you, please forgive me.  Thank you all for reading my blog.    May 5776 see the coming of Moshiach Tzidkeinu speedily in our days!  

Friday, September 11, 2015

This Thing is Very Near to You

Rather,[this] thing is very close to you; it is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can fulfill it.''  [Nitzavim 30:14]

At first glance, the statement that ''this thing is very near to you... in your heart'' appears to be contrary to our experience [and yet the Torah is eternally relevant], that it is simply not a ''very near thing'' to transform one's heart's desires from wanting worldly pleasures to a sincere love of God.

However, the words ''so that you can fulfill it'' at the end of the verse, qualify what is written at the beginning of the verse - that we are speaking here merely of a love which is sufficient to bring about the practical observance of the commandments....even if it is not palpable in his heart, like a burning fire.

And this is indeed ''very near'' and easy for any person who has a brain inside his skull, since a person's mind is under his control, and he is free to think about whatever he pleases, on any subject. So when he will use it to think about the greatness of God, he will inevitably generate - in his mind, at least - a love of God [sufficient to make a person want] to cleave to Him though the performance of His commandments and the study of His Torah.

Source: Gutnick Chumash: Excerpt from Tanya Chapter 17

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Everything Depends on The End

The well-known teaching of our Sages that “Everything depends on the end” [Berachot 12a] takes on its full power and significance in the mitzvah of teshuvah. In fact a person who has sinned and acted wickedly throughout his life, yet regrets his deeds just before he leaves this world, will have his repentance accepted and even hoped for by G-d.

The same applies to the end of the year. On the eve of Rosh Hashanah, when we spiritually awaken and examine our deeds, deciding to repent and improve ourselves, we retroactively rectify the entire year. This spiritual awakening at the end of the year will elevate all our deeds from the past year for good and for blessing.

The author of Ketzei Hamateh figuratively interprets the verse, “For had we not [lulei] delayed, by now we could have returned twice” [Bereshith 43:10]. He notes that the term lulei (“had we not”) is composed of the same letters as Elul, as if to say: Even if we have delayed in repenting and are awaiting the month of Elul, the month of mercy and supplications, “by now” – ata, a term whose initials stand for erev techilat hashanah (“eve of the start of the year”) – “we could have returned twice” – with two-fold repentance.

Source: Rabbi David Pinto Shlita

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

United by the Divine

You are all standing this day before the Lord, your God ... [Nitzavim 29:9]

Jews must stand firm and unshakable, though they are ''the smallest among all the nations''.

This can be only when they are bound and united together - ''All of you''.

How is it possible to form a true and enduring union of different individuals with different ideas, different interests, and different aspirations?

The answer is:  ''Before the Lord, your God''.  The union of all Jews is possible because, as a matter of fact, they are already united by virtue of their souls, the Divine soul, which is actually a part of God above, and which is found in every Jew without exception.  

The profound reflection that one stands '''before the Lord'' who is ''Your God'' - your strength and your life - must bring forth and actualize the union of one Jew with another, and of the individual with the community of our people, in the fullest measure.

Excerpt from public letter by the Lubavitcher Rebbe on Erev Shabbos Parshas Nitzavim 5721

Monday, September 7, 2015

Rabbi Mizrachi on Gog U'Magog [new video]

Includes discussion on Jews returning to Israel, and mention of Shemitta, and Noahides.


Seeking Forgiveness from the Abused

Rabbi YY Jacobson delivers a powerful Elul message to survivors of child sexual abuse and to the Jewish community.


Thursday, September 3, 2015

Shofar by the Sea

This September 14, is Rosh Hashanah-the birth of humanity! Stand united together with millions of people around the globe to hear the blast of the Shofar.

Video: The Shofar comes to Bondi Beach, Sydney Australia - enjoy the view !


A Blessing in Reverse

Art: Debi Payne

by Rabbi David Pinto Shlita

It is written, “Your ox will be slaughtered before your eyes, but you will not eat from it. Your donkey will be robbed from before you, but it will not return to you. Your flocks will be given to your enemies, but you will have none to save you” [Ki Tavo 28:31].

As our teachers have said in the holy Zohar, all the curses conceal blessings.

In his book Nachal Kedumim, the Chida writes that this verse, read in the reverse sense, becomes a blessing:  “You will be saved, and your enemies will have nothing. Your flocks will be returned, and your donkey will not be robbed from you. You will eat the meat of your ox, and it will not be slaughtered before your eyes.”

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Latest Rabbi Kessin Video

Rabbi Mendel Kessin: Understanding events of the 21st Century and stopping Iran:
Recorded in Israel August 31, 2015.

Rabbi Mendel Kessin, Shlit'a, delves into Jewish Mysticism (Kabbalah) and eloquently explains the workings of Hashem behind the scenes of every Historical event since the Sin of Adam up until today, as we are fully in the End of Days. He clearly shows the secret of Jewish success in Hashem's Eyes and what Am Yisrael must do to bring the Mashiach and to restore the World to it's original Holiness in the World that is HERE!

Video: The Rebbe and the Noahide Laws

An old video of the Lubavitcher Rebbe speaking about the Noahide Laws. Thank you 10Rainbow for the link.

''Maimonides rules that teaching the Seven Noahide Laws is also a Mitzvah for Jews''