Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Rabbi Kessin on Moshiach ben Yosef

This shiur by Rabbi Mendel Kessin was recorded in Israel in September 2015. Some very interesting facts about Moshiach ben Yosef, I think you'll enjoy this one.

The Secrets of the Torah are Revealed to Him

From the Teachings of the Gaon and Tzaddik Rabbi David Hanania Pinto Shlita

It is written, “See, I set before you today a blessing and a curse” [Re'eh 11:26]. It would appear that the term “see” is redundant here, for can one see a blessing or a curse?

However the term re’eh [“see”] has the same numerical value, including the word itself, as raz [“secret”]. This means that whoever wants to search for and discover the Torah’s secrets will find them, and its mysteries will be revealed to him, as King David said: “Unveil my eyes, that I may perceive wonders from Your Torah” [Tehillim 119:18]. 

However one who does not want to discover the Torah’s secrets and puts no effort into it, even if he studies the same passage with his friend, will not discover what his friend does. 

King Solomon said, “If you seek her like silver, and search for her as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of Hashem and discover the knowledge of G-d” [Tehillim 2:4-5]. 

To what can this be compared? It is like someone who loses something and becomes distraught over ever finding it again. When does he stand a chance of finding it? Only when he looks everywhere for it. However if he stays home and whines about it, without looking, the lost object will not reappear on its own.

The same applies in regards to Torah. A man cannot understand it and will not find the treasures it contains if he does put an effort into looking for them. The Mishnah teaches, “If a man says to you, ‘I have labored and not found,’ do not believe him. If he says, ‘I have not labored but I still have found,’ do not believe him. If he says, ‘I have labored and found,’ you may believe him. This is true in regards to words of Torah” [Megillah 6b]. 

This teaches us that nobody can understand the Torah unless he puts an effort into it. As the Sages say, “Whoever occupies himself with the Torah merits many things. … The secrets of the Torah are revealed to him” [Pirkei Avoth 6:1].

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Fluid Movement

Art: Xetobyte

We are all connected, like a single, fluid mass, and this is why we are able to help each other change. 

When one of us begins moving forward, everyone else is pulled along. 

But if you yourself are standing still, how can you expect to push someone else ahead? 

If you need to help someone else overcome his fault, first find that flaw within you. Move forward in that area, and then you can pull along the other guy. 

Source: Maamar of Lubavitcher Rebbe [Chabad]

Monday, August 29, 2016

Rabbi Mendel Kessin 21st Century Part 10

The Hidden History of Eisav... and America today...

To see previous lectures click on the KESSIN label below

Individual Tests

''...for the Lord, your God, is testing you...'' [Re'eh 13:4]

One of the basic teachings of the Torah is that God does not expect of a human being anything which is beyond the human capacity to carry out.  This is quite understandable, for even a human being, who is very far from absolute perfection, would not expect of a tool that he has fashioned any more than he has put into it.

Certainly God, the Creator of man, knows man's capacities.  From this, it immediately follows that when a person faces any kind of a test of faith, it is certain that he has been given the capacity to overcome it.  And the more difficult the test, the greater are the individual's capacities.

The reason that an individual is tested is not because God wants to know how he will acquit himself, but in order that this person be afforded the opportunity to realize his potential, even that which is unknown to him.

And when one's potential capacities are released and activated, they become part and parcel of his or her arsenal, to be used for personal as well as communal benefit.

Source: Excerpt from a letter of the Lubavitcher Rebbe

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Red Moon Over Manhattan

I can't believe I missed this one - better late than never!   Photo shows the red moon over Manhattan on the night of August 24.  Photo by Jennifer Khordi.

Why is it red?  Probably because Nibiru is reflecting it's redness upon it.

Story: Daily Mail

Thursday, August 25, 2016

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

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Rebetzin Esther Jungreis a''h

Very sad to hear about the passing of Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis, whose articles I have blogged from time to time, and who was one of the greats in Kiruv work. Click on the JUNGREIS label below to see past blogs.

The levayah will take place on Wednesday morning, at 11 o’clock, at Agudath Israel of Long Island, located at 1121 Sage Street in Far Rockaway, NY.

See Matzav and The Yeshiva World for more about her life and holy work.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Sunday, August 21, 2016

The Life of the Tzadik

Art Baruch Nachshon

''From there, they journeyed to Gudgodah, and from Gudgodah to Yotvath..'' [Eikev 10:7]

Rashi: And at Moserah, you made a great mourning for the death of Aaron, which was the cause of this [your retreat], and it seemed to you as though he had died there. Moses juxtaposed this reproof with the breaking of the tablets to indicate that the death of the righteous is as grievous to the Holy One, blessed is He, as the day the tablets were broken...

Why is a tzadik [Aaron] compared to the tablets?

The writing on the tablets represented the ''soul'' of the tablets, and the tablets themselves, their ''body''.  The fact that the Ten Commandments were engraved into the tablets, and not merely written onto them, means that the words and the tablets [''soul'' and ''body''] became one single, indivisible entity.

Likewise in the case of a tzadik, it is not merely that his soul interacts with his body, but that the tzadik's physical life is totally at peace with his soul such that ''the life of the tzadik is not a physical life, but a spiritual life''.

Based on Likutei Sichos vol 14 pp 32-34 Lubavitcher Rebbe

Friday, August 19, 2016

The 15th of Av: Love and Rebirth

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

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Making Room for God

Photo: Source unknown

''You shall love Hashem,  your God'' [Va'etchanan 6:5]

Every individual, remarked the Dubno Maggid, is required to love Hashem with all his heart.  In order to do this, he must remove all negative and sinful thoughts from his heart.

To what can this be compared?  - to a farmer who arrived in a city on the market day and quickly sold all of his merchandise.

Now that he had a large sum of money in his possession, he decided to buy himself an elegant outfit, the type customarily worn by the city dwellers.  He entered a store that sold expensive silk garments and was given one to try on. The garment seemed too small, however, as the farmer was unable to get his arm into the sleeve.

''The garment that you have given me is too small'', said the farmer to the storeowner.

''The garment is exactly your size,'' laughed the storeowner, ''but before you try it on, you must first remove  your heavy farmer's coat.''

Only after a man removes all the wicked thoughts from his heart, explained the maggid, can there be room in his heart to love Hashem properly.

Source: Rabbi Yisroel Bronstein

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Moments Before The End And Moshiach

Rabbi Mizrachi's latest shiur - all about Moshiach.  Great for beginners or anyone needing reassurance.

The Power of Pain

A 75-second revelation from Rabbi Simon Jacobson

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

The Hidden Treasure

Art: Dima Dmitriev

''And from there you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him...'' [Va'Etchanan 4:29]

Chassidic thought teaches that in order for any entity to exist at all, God must renew it continually, by enlivening it with a spark of His own Existence.  Without being connected to God - the True Existence - the entity is unable to exist.  Thus, even the forces of evil must contain a Godly spark that enables them to exist.

But why, then, is it possible for the forces of evil to conceal this presence of Godliness within them?  

The answer is: To make possible the amazing elevation that can be reached through teshuvah.

When a person has regressed to a very low spiritual state, the Torah teaches us that ''from there [i.e. from amidst the forces of evil] you will seek God''.  

This teaches us that the Godly revelation which a person reaches through teshuvah is disproportionate to the effort involved, like ''finding'' a previously hidden treasure, as the verse states ''And you will find Him''.

Source: Lubavitcher Rebbe: Based on Ma'amer ani Ledodi, Shabbos Parshas Re'eh 5747

Monday, August 15, 2016

Act Like It Already Happened

''...there is none else besides Him.'' [Va'Eschanan 4:35]

In truth, even the creations do not exist in their own right, as it appears to our eyes.  We perceive it that way because we do not see Godly energy.  However, from the perspective of the Godly energy which enlivens us, our existence is totally nullified into absolute nothingness, like a ray of light inside the globe of the sun....  Thus it follows that there is no existence at all other than that of God.

Even in the current period immediately preceding the true and complete Redemption, the way a person acts in day-to-day life should resemble life as it will be during the actual Messianic Era.

One of the most fundamental aspects of the future era is that there will be the fullest expression of the verse ''You were shown [the heavens] in order [for you] to know that God is God.  There is none other besides Him''.  i.e. it will be revealed throughout the entire world that ''there is none other besides Him'' - that there is no existence other than God.

It is this kind of feeling which is required too in our daily lives now:  A person should feel literally, in every part of his life, that ''there is none other besides Him''.  In other words, not only should one's worldly pursuits be done for the sake of a Godly purpose - i.e. that one feels the dichotomy between the ''worldly'' and the ''Godly'', but one nevertheless dedicates his worldly activities to a higher purpose.  

Rather, one should feel the Godly identity of the world matters themselves. Consequently, he will not even become aware of any existence other than that of God, since he feels that ''there is none other besides Him''.

Freely translated from Sichas Simchas Torah 5752 - Lubavitcher Rebbe

Saturday, August 13, 2016

The Subterranean Beis Hamikdash: Where is the Aron?


This class was presented by Rabbi Y. Y. Jacobson on Sunday morning, 25 Tamuz 5776, July 31, 2016, at Ohr Chaimshul, Monsey, NY. It explains the reason the Rambam gives us an unusual history lesson about the Holy Ark in his halachik work. ​"W​hen ​K​ing Solomon built the Holy Temple, knowing that it was destined to be destroyed, he built a place in which to hide the Ark, [at the end of] hidden, deep, winding passageways.” It was there that King Josiah placed the Ark twenty-two years before the Temple’s destruction.

The Beis Hamikdash in Jerusalem was built by King Solomon in the year 2928 from creation (833 BCE), and was destroyed 410 years later, on the ninth day of the month of Av, by the armies of the Babylonian emperor Nebuchadnezzar. Seventy years later it was rebuilt; the second Temple stood for 420 years, until its destruction by the Romans, also on the ninth of Av, in 3829 (69 CE).

From the Rambam's words about the Ark we discover that the core of the Temple was never destroyed. What is more, it means that the first, second and third Temples are not three different structures, but the continuum of a single edifice. in this class we also discover why we allow ourselves to make such destructive mistakes. It turns out we are the ones who do this to ourselves for a very healing reason.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Perseid Meteors and their Torah Code

Astronomers predict that there could be twice as many meteors as usual during the climax of the stunning Perseid meteor shower. 

Stargazers could see up to 200 meteors an hour during the so-called outburst at the peak of the annual shower tonight into tomorrow morning.

Thursday, August 11, 2016


The Meaning of the Word ''Amen''  
by Rav DovBer Pinson

Amen means ‘May it be true’, it is also an acronym for ‘Keil Melech Ne’eman / Hashem is a trusty ruler.’

The word Amen comes from the word Emunah, ‘faith’, and Emes, ‘truth’. Amen is therefore a declaration of faith and truth: ‘I have faith in this; I know it is true.’

Amen is also related to the word Umnas: ‘craft’ or ‘trade’. This teaches us that generating authentic spiritual faith and conviction requires skill and labor.

Numerically the word Amen is 91 as the Hebrew word Malach / Angel. Every time we recite Amen we create “angels”; releasing healing / positive vibrations into the world.

91 also corresponds to two primary names or manifestations of Hashem. Hashem [the Yud-Hei-Vav-Hei] is numerically 26. Hashem is the Transcendent ‘Beir’ of Beingness. Ado-noi is numerically 65. Ado-noi is the manifestation of the Transcendent One within creation - 26+65=91.

By saying Amen we are drawing down Blessings from the Highest High into the lowest vessels possible.

Source: From the book “The Mystery of Kaddish

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

When Rebuking

Art: Beth Stephens

When rebuking the Jewish people here, Moshe did not mention, or even allude to their sins.  Rather, in order to maintain their dignity, he merely mentioned the places where they had sinned [see Rashi].  

This teaches us how careful one should be not to cause distress to another person.  
If, on occasion, it proves necessary to rebuke another - even for serious sins, such as the ones which Moshe indicated here - one should nevertheless do so subtly and gently, while at the same time drawing the person close with warmth and love.

Lubavitcher Rebbe: Sichas Shabbos Parshas Devarim 5725

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

5 Av - Yahrzeit Arizal

Arizal Synagogue, Safed - Photo Steven Pinker

The Arizal [1534-1572] - Rabbi Isaac Luria was the most famous Kabbalist in the city of Safed, Israel who became known as the "Arizal" or ARI, an acronym for “The G-dly Rabbi Isaac of Blessed Memory.”

The Arizal passed away at the age of 38, and it was only during the last two years of his life that he met his foremost disciple, Rabbi Chaim Vital. The Arizal himself never wrote any books, however all his words were faithfully recorded by Rabbi Chaim Vital in what is known as Kitvei Ari, the “writings of the Arizal.” The Kitvei Ari is the key to the secrets of the Zohar, and it was the Arizal who formulated the Kabbalah into a comprehensive system. Rabbi Chaim Vital writes in the name of the Arizal that, “It is a Mitzvah to reveal this wisdom.” Until the time of the Arizal, knowledge of Kabbalah was not known outside of the tightly knit circle of the tzaddikim.

More about the Arizal at Ascent of Safed or click on the label "ARIZAL" below to read more of his teachings.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Is This ''Generation Moshiach''?

Applied Chassidus with Rabbi Simon Jacobson: Is it possible, G-d forbid, that this generation won’t bring Moshiach? Why is childbirth so difficult? And more.

Why does G-d make the process of childbearing so difficult for women? Is there any other significance to the painful process aside for it being attributed to Chava’s sin?

Is it possible, G-d forbid, that this generation won’t be the one to bring Mashiach? Even though the Rebbe said we would, is it conceivable that we failed and another generation will succeed? After all, the Rebbe said that “it’s up to us.” So what happens if we don’t fulfill the mission given to us?

The fear of someone else’s impression of us, often times, handicaps us. Why do so many people worry about it? Is it a confidence issue? How can one get over worrying about what others may think of him/her?

These are among the relevant and provocative issues Rabbi Jacobson will address in this week’s 126th episode of MyLife: Chassidus Applied. Other topics that will be discussed include: the possible limits to making a dirah b’tachtonim, other projects that Rabbi Jacobson was involved in, and follow up to previously discussed concerns related to a secular education.

See more at ColLive

Rabbi Mendel Kessin 21st Century - Part 8

The Light Of Redemption throughout history.
To see previous shiurim click on the KESSIN label below

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Gathering What Remains

by Rabbi David Pinto Shlita

One day, a defiant man tried to provoke Rabbi Yosef Dov of Brisk with a question:

“Why do Jews mourn between Tammuz 17 and Av 9, and also on Av 9 itself? Nothing can change their situation!”

The Rav replied, “I shall answer you with a parable: Imagine that a fire has broken out in a city and destroyed numerous homes. If one resident leaves the remains of his burnt-out home and no longer concerns himself with it – to the point that he even abandons objects that were spared by the fire – we would think that he has no intention of returning to rebuild it. On the other hand, a person who puts in a great deal of effort into looking for objects amid the heap of ashes, meticulously sifting through each undamaged brick and gathering what remains, such a person certainly has the intention of rebuilding his home soon.”

The Rav concluded, “The same applies to us. As long as we mourn the destruction of Jerusalem and the fire that burned our holy and glorious House, we may rest assured of its rebuilding, speedily and in our days.”

Friday, August 5, 2016

The Ten New Creations in the Era of Moshiach

Today is Rosh Chodesh Av, the beginning of the Nine Days.  The Kaf HaChayim [551:1] states that everyone who meticulously observes the halachos of the first ten days of Av [which you can find here], thereby demonstrating his personal mourning over the churban of Yerushalayim, will merit to witness these ten miracles, listed below.

The Medrash [Medrash Rabbah Shmos 15:21] teaches that Hashem will bring forth ten new creations in the era of Moshiach: 

1. He will create a new light for the world. 
2. He will bring forth a freshwater spring from Yerushalayim whose waters will heal all illness. 
3. He will create trees that every month will produce new fruits that have curative powers.
4. All the cities of Eretz Yisroel will be rebuilt, including even Sodom and Amora. 
5. Hashem will rebuild Yerushalayim with sapphire stone that will glow and thereby attract all the nations of the world to come and marvel at the beauty of the city. 
6. The cow and the bear will graze together, and their young will play together. [See Yeshaya 11:7]. 
7. Hashem will make a covenant with all the creatures of the world and banish all weapons and warfare. [See Hoshea 2:20] 
8. There will be no more crying in the city of Yerushalayim. 
9. Death will perish forever. 
10. Everyone will be joyful, and there will be an end to all sighing or worry. 

May we all merit to see these miracles speedily and in our days.

Rabbi Mendel Kessin Part 7 - finally !!

Distortion of reality, levels of arrogance, and the four parts of Eisav
To see previous shiurim click the KESSIN label below

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Rebbe Nachman's Hidden Scroll on Gog u Magog

HT: Rivkah Lambert Adler

Rav Eliezer Schick zt''l shares some of Rebbe Nachman’s ‘Hidden Scroll’ which explains what will happen before Moshiach comes.

For around 200 years’, the Megillat Setorim, or hidden scroll, written by Rebbe Nachman has been one of the best-kept secrets of Breslev chassidut. Until recently, very few people had even heard of it, and even fewer had access to its secrets.

The scroll was written in code by Rebbe Nachman before his death in 1810, and it contains secrets pertaining to what will happen in the world before Moshiach comes, that only one in a generation is initiated into.

In the last generation, as the footsteps of Moshiach have come closer, more and more of the contents of the ‘hidden scroll’ have been leaking out. Before his untimely death last year, Rav Eliezer Schick, ZTL, wrote the following about the contents of Rebbe Nachman’s ‘hidden scroll’ in his book, Paolot HaTzaddik.

Rav Shick revealed that there would be a terrible ‘war’ prosecuted against the nation’s leading Tzaddikim, as part of the preparations for Geula.

To read it: click here  

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

The Light of the Sun Shall be Sevenfold

Moreover the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall be sevenfold, as the light of the seven days, in the day that the LORD bindeth up the bruise of His people, and healeth the stroke of their wound.

19 For behold, the day is coming, burning like an oven, when all the wicked people and all the evildoers will be like straw; and that coming day will burn them up, says Hashem, Master of Legions, so that it will not leave them a root or branch. 20 But a sun of righteousness will shine for you who fear My Name, with healing in its rays, and you will go out and flourish like calves [fattened] in the stall. [Malachi 3:19-24]

For those of you keeping up with the Nibiru news and the strange events in the heavens,  you will be aware that the sun has an almost permanent halo around it now. This halo has been the source of much discussion and speculation.  In today's video Steve Olson quotes a physicist who tells us that this halo is the actually the new surface of the sun!

''The sun is charging up its new outer edge [according to this physicist].  ...This process seems to indicate that eventually all light from the sun will come from the outer edge of the halo - this would then become the new surface of the sun. This means we will have a far larger sun.  I'm not sure what we would feel on earth but the possibility is that the sun would feel much hotter.... [from 1.42 on the video]

To Nullify the Cause of the Exile

''Holy Land'' by Michoel Muchnik

Excerpt from a letter written by the Lubavitcher Rebbe in 5731

''As for your mentioning the fact that according to the opinion of several poskim [legal authorities] it is a mitzvah to live in Eretz Yisrael, surely you know that all poskim agree that there are 612 additional mitzvot to be observed by Jews everywhere, and especially by those already living in the Holy Land.  Indeed, those who are already there and are fulfilling the mitzvah of living in Eretz Yisrael should surely concentrate on the rest of the 612 mitzvot - those which apply nowadays of course.

Yishuv Eretz Yisrael [settling the Land of Israel] is so closely linked with the observance of the mitzvot, as also so clearly underscored in the prayer [in the additional service for festivals] which we have been saying for thousands of years - ''Because of our sins we have been exiled from our Land''.  

This clearly indicates that every Jew who wants to help nullify the result [exile from our Land] must first of all nullify the cause - our sins.''

Monday, August 1, 2016

Do the Opposite

One who wishes to succeed in guarding his tongue should do the opposite of what gossipers do. 

They usually gravitate towards crowds so that they might glean a piece of information which they could thereafter use to degrade others. 

They also pursue new developments in other people’s interpersonal relationships so that they could have more to gossip about throughout the day. 

A G-d fearing Jew should do the opposite. 

[Rabbi David Hanania Pinto]