Sunday, January 30, 2022

Your Table is Your Altar

by Rabbi David Hanania Pinto shlita

The purpose of the Altars, explains the Kli Yakar, was to atone for man's sins. Offering an animal on the Altar of Burnt-Offerings brings atonement to the sinner's body. And the Gold Altar atoned for the soul, through the smoke that rose from the Ketoret. 

The Gemara [Berachot 55a] asks on the verse [Yechezkel 41] which begins, "The Altar was of wood, three cubits tall" but concludes by saying, "He said to me, 'This is the Table that is before Hashem.'" Why does it begin with Altar and end with Table? To tell you that as long as the Beit Hamikdash stood, the Altar atoned for Bnei Yisrael, but nowadays man's table atones for him. 

The table in one's home is something lofty, for it is comparable to the Altar that atones for one's sins. If a person observes all the laws including proper conduct that apply when sitting down to eat, if he is particular about the kashrut of his food, eats politely and with derech eretz as is appropriate for a Jewish person, recites all the blessings slowly and with concentration – this kind of table atones for his sins. It is written in the sefer Reishit Chochma [Sha'ar Hakedusha 28], that Hashem sends two angels to a person's table to see how he behaves when he eats… 

The tzaddik Rabbi Aharon Rata zt"l authored a special sefer on this topic called Shulchan Tahor. He quotes (essay Eitzot Ha'achila) in the name of a tzaddik, that if a person merits, even once a week or month, eating for the sake of Heaven, he thereby elevates all the other meals that were not for the sake of Heaven. 

Some advice which can enable one's eating to be considered as an offering is to not snatch and wolf down the food, and when enjoying the flavor of the food, one should leave some over and not satiate oneself with the delicious food. 

The Ra'avad writes on this topic: When a person stops eating while he still has much enjoyment from the food, and does so for the sake of Hashem, it is considered as a complete fast. [This fast is called Ta'anit HaRa'avad]

Chazal also refer to a meal as לחם, bread. The Chida zt"l says this is because לחם is derived from the word מלחמה, war. Eating stimulates a war between the side of impurity and the side of purity. Fortunate is the person who intensifies his side of holiness and ensures his table is pure before Hashem.

Friday, January 28, 2022

Meat and Milk: Gevurah and Chessed

"You shall not cook a kid in its mother's milk." [Mishpatim 23:19]

Ramban writes that it is prohibited to eat meat cooked in milk, since it is an act of moral insensitivity.  Rashi points out that not only are we forbidden to eat milk and meat together, but even cooking the mixture is forbidden.  This renders the prohibition of milk and meat unique in that even the preparation of the prohibited mixture is also prohibited by the Torah.

From this we can learn how far we must take care to refrain from being morally insensitive.

According to the Kabbalah, milk and meat may not be mixed as this would cause the negative interaction of opposing spiritual forces.  Meat is a physical manifestation of the Divine power of Gevurah (severity), as suggested by the red color of meat.  Milk has its spiritual roots in the Divine power of Chesed (kindness), indicated by its white color. Being that these two powers have an opposite effect, they must not be mixed.

Bachaye writes that in the Messianic Era, it will become permissible to eat meat that was cooked with milk. This is because, in the spiritual realms, the mixing of Chesed and Gevurah is not counterproductive.  Each Divine power works in harmony with the other, since both powers respect the fact that they emanate from the One God.

In the physical world, this harmony does not persevere, since physical things feel their own existence as paramount, and will not coalesce to a higher purpose.  Therefore, the mixing of meat and milk in the physical world is forbidden for it will result in a "corruption" of the spiritual forces that they embody.

However, in the Messianic Era, we are promised that G-d will be felt tangibly within the physical world.  Therefore, it will become possible to mix Chesed and Gevurah - through cooking milk and meat - even in the physical world.

Source: Based on Likutei Sichos of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Gutnick Chumash

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Eye Opener

עַיִן תַּחַת עַיִן "An eye for an eye" [Mishpatim 21:24]

The term "eye for an eye" explain Chazal [Bava Kamma 84a] is not meant to be taken literally - one who causes another the loss of an eye is not punished by having to lose his own eye.  Rather, it means that the responsible party must pay the monetary value of an eye.

Chazal's interpretation of this halachah, said the Vilna Gaon, is alluded to in the words of the verse.  Why does the verse state "Ayin tachas ayin" - which literally means "an eye beneath an eye" - and not "Ayin be'ad ayin" - which means "eye for an eye"?

The Torah, explained the Gaon, is hinting to us that in order to discover the true meaning of the verse, we must look at what is "beneath" the ayin, that is the letters that follow the word "ayin" עין:

The letter ayin ע is followed by the letter pei פ
The letter yud י is followed by the letter kaf כּ
The letter nun is ן followed by the letter samech ס
These letters form the word keseph - כּסףmoney !

Source: Rabbi Yisrael Bronstein

Monday, January 24, 2022

Gaslighting and Geneivat Da'at

The term 'gaslighting' is used a lot these days.  The word originates from the 1944 movie 'Gaslight' in which a husband slowly manipulates his young wife into believing she is insane. 

Around the same time I was reading about gaslighting in an un-related book, one of my neighbours decided to gaslight me.  

She's done it before, and I had tried to ignore it and give her the benefit of the doubt that she's just stupid, but when she did it again.... AND I just happened to be reading a paragraph about it in a novel I'd randomly picked up to read....I decided that word was worth a bit of attention.

Gaslighting is actually geneivat da'at - theft of the mind.  It is the worst sin of all.... and you can read about it here.  Don't put up with it from anybody.  Walk away from them, don't argue with them, just move on.  

I think my lesson has finally been learnt B"H.

Friday, January 21, 2022

The Origin of Yitro's Soul

Chassidut by Rabbi Herschel Reichman

Our Sages say that Yitro had seven names. The Shem MiShmuel takes an in-depth look at the names, Yeter and Yitro. Yeter was Yitro's gentile name, before he converted, and Yitro is the name he chose upon converting. Rashi explains that the name Yeter connotes that he increased the Torah with one parsha, when he advised Moshe to set up a judicial system. The Shem MiShmuel asks two questions. How does Yitro's non-Jewish name Yeter indicate that he added a parsha, when he only advised Moshe after he converted. Additionally, why did Yitro keep his original gentile name Yeter, adding just the letter vav, instead of taking a completely new Jewish name?

The midrash contrasts Esav and Yitro, who were polar opposites, in five ways. The five qualities correspond to the five senses.

1]  Esav's descendants, the Romans, committed adultery [related to the sense of touch], when they conquered Jerusalem, while Yitro gave his daughter to Moshe in marriage.

2]  Esav devoured Israel like bread, representing taste, while Yitro shared a meal of bread with Moshe.

3]   Esav did not fear Hashem. This is related to vision, because when one sees Hashem, one fears Him. Yitro recognized Hashem.

4] Esav gave up the bechora and the privilege of bringing korbanot. This corresponds to smell, as korbanot are referred to as "rei'ach necho'ach" a good fragrance. Yitro brought sacrifices to Hashem.

5] When Amalek, Esav's descendants, heard about the exodus of Egypt, they declared war against the Jews. Yitro, however, came to join them. The midrash actually contrasts them in a sixth way as well. This sixth trait utilizes the collective of all senses together. Esav represented sinat [hatred of] Yisrael while Yitro signified ahavat [ love of] Yisrael.

The gemara says that Esav was wicked from the beginning until the end of his life. We know that Hashem gave man the gift of bechira, free will. Didn't Esav have free choice? Bechira begins with man's unsullied innate personality which can be used for good or evil. Once choices are made, certain characteristics form. These characteristics then become habitual and harder to change.

Kayin was the first murderer mentioned in the Torah. He was given gevura, strength, which he could have used for the good. Instead, he perverted his personality, chose wickedness by violating the three cardinal sins, and is considered the progenitor of all evil.

Although Hashem gives us free choice, he is saddened when we sin. In spite of this, Hashem doesn't abandon man's original potential for good and wants to redeem it. This happens through reincarnation. Kayin died an evil man. One of Yitro's seven names was Keni, the identical letters that spell Kayin. Kayin's soul was reincarnated in Yitro, who inherited his good traits.

Yitro had enormous inner strength. He discovered monotheism, stood up as one man alone against an entire nation, and was shunned and blacklisted by his people. Esav received Kayin's evil middot [character traits]. He too, transgressed the three cardinal sins, was an egoist, and was jealous of his brother Yaakov. Esav was given amazing powers to rectify the evil of Kayin. But he chose not to do so and died an evil man.

Hevel embodied the trait of humbleness to an extreme. He too needed to be reincarnated because he did not live up to his potential. His humility was smothered by the evil of Kayin. Hevel was reincarnated in Moshe who was the humblest of all men. Moshe's anava [humility] did not prevent him from action. It brought him closer to Hashem.

Yitro and Moshe were none other than Kayin and Hevel reincarnated. Yeter means something more. It is the power of extraordinary courage, which brought Yitro to go against the world and join the Jews in the desert. Moshe told Yitro to keep the name Yeter, signifying admirable strength. However, he advised him to add the letter vav, which refers to Hashem, to make it Jewish.

Every one of us has a Kayin and Hevel within us. We struggle with self centeredness and weakness. Our true personality is enslaved to bad passions and habits. However, we can redeem ourselves by tapping in to the powers of Yitro and Moshe. By summoning the courage to do what's right and taking strength from Hashem, we can defeat the evil side within us.

Monday, January 17, 2022

Tu b'Shvat: The Segulot of Each Fruit According to Kabbalists


Source: Torah Box

The ritual of Tu B’Shvat is not a Halachic obligation but a custom containing marvelous segulot (metaphysical phenomena derived from the Torah) that bring abundance and blessings. 

Each species has a particular "segula". It is enough to look at the species and to have the proper intention while eating it, to benefit from the goodness it can bring. The Torah-Box team suggests:

Wisdom and Parnassa 
Wheat (cakes, bread) is a segula for lucidity, wisdom, and success in studies. Also, ask for plenty of parnassa (sustenance). 

Shalom Bayit 
Beer and pearl barley are a segula for Shalom Bayit. A Sota (a woman suspected of adultery, who was then exonerated) had to bring a barley sacrifice to purify herself for her husband, and she thus deserved to have a boy. 

Wine, grape juice, raisins, stuffed grape leaves are a segula for finding one's Zivug (spouse). It is not for no reason that during a wedding we sing "The grapes of the vine assemble with the grapes of the vine". Grapes are also a segula for fertility, "Your wife will be like a fruitful vine". 

Pure Mouth 
The pomegranate has the same color as the lips, as it says, "Your lips are like a scarlet thread." Its segula is in guarding the mouth against Lashon hara (gossip) and bad words. 

Righteous Children 
The olives and its oil are a segula to have children who are Tzaddikim (righteous). In the same way that the leaves of the olives do not fall, so we hope that our children will not go in the wrong direction. But also "a good name" because "A good name is better than scented oil" and a good memory because olive oil is a segula for the memory. 

The date is a wonderful segula for greatness and success, as the date is the heart of the sky, so we ask "help us to rise like the date". The date is also a segula for healing and good health.

Friday, January 14, 2022

A Good Name


                                                                 Art Michoel Muchnik

Rabbi Shimon would say: There are three crowns—the crown of Torah, the crown of Priesthood and the crown of Royalty  - but the crown of a good name surmounts them all. [Ethics of Our Fathers 4:13]

Thursday, January 13, 2022

Triggering G-d

by Aharon Loschak

A friend of mine told me the following story: 

I was visiting a synagogue in New Jersey, and as I was about to leave, I noticed a wallet on one of the tables, clearly left behind. I picked it up, looked through it, and didn’t notice any clear identifiers. As I had a number of matters to tend to in the synagogue, I figured I would take care of those first and on my way out, ask the rabbi if he knew who the wallet belonged to. 

But then I thought to myself, “What if the owner already realized his wallet is missing? He must be going crazy! Why should I make him wait?” 

So I approached the rabbi, who immediately identified the wallet’s owner. When the owner answered his phone, he was greatly relieved, and to my joy, hadn’t even noticed yet that it was misplaced.

Minutes after I left the synagogue, I received a call from a random store in nearby Monsey, N.Y. Apparently, my wife had been shopping there and had left her purse in a shopping cart. My number was inside, so the owner contacted me right away. When I called my wife to let her know, she exclaimed, “Wow, I didn’t even realize I left my purse there!” 

There’s an empowering lesson here: G‑d behaves with you as you behave with Him and others. 

Singing at the Sea 

Our parshah recalls one of the most spectacular miracles—the splitting of the sea. As the awestruck Israelites marveled at their fortune, they burst into song: 

Then Moses and the children of Israel sang this song to G‑d, and they spoke, saying, “I will sing to G‑d.”1 

While this translation isn’t inaccurate, the original Hebrew can also be rendered as, “Then Moses and the children of Israel made G‑d sing2 this song, for Him to say…”3 There are two notable differences (bolded) which both point to the same idea: the people sang in order to make G‑d sing with them. 

What is the meaning of this significant difference from the original? 

G‑d Is My Shadow 

Rabbi Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev, one of the early Chassidic masters and protagonist of many beloved Chassidic stories, cites a moving idea from the Baal Shem Tov to solve our riddle.

In a well known Psalm,4 King David declares, “G‑d is my shadow” (or “shade”). The Baal Shem Tov understood these words as a metaphor for the relationship between a person and G‑d. A shadow is cast according to a person’s dimensions and movements. If you move your hand up, the shadow will move up; kick your foot out, and the shadow will do the same. 

And so it is with you and G‑d: G‑d responds to how you behave. 

In other words, we “trigger” in-kind responses from G‑d based on the actions we take, the words we say, and the way we think. And so, at the sea, the people did so-to-speak make G‑d sing with them. Following the second translation above, the verse tells us that on the banks of the Red Sea, the people sang, and thereby inspired G‑d to sing along with them. 

Make G‑d Sing With You 

That our ancestors induced G‑d to sing gifts us all a remarkable life hack: When things are rough, one thing you can do is reverse engineer the process and try to “force” G‑d’s hand. 

Of course, there aren’t really any “tricks” to play on G‑d. The underlying message of this whole story is that G‑d cares about you and me so much that He has deigned to respond to our overtures. Surely G‑d could have said, “Ah, let them do what they want, and I’ll check in once in a while.” But that’s not what He wished to do, instead choosing to care deeply about every human action, so much so, He is prepared to respond and “match” our behavior. 

This is an incredible level of attention and care. It’s empowering and inspiring. 

Imagine you’re stuck. You’re in a pickle with a certain relationship and it’s not going anywhere. You’re not making ends meet, and try as you might, you can’t string together a workable budget. You’re suffering from internal anguish, and as much as you try to hold your head high, you get beaten down time and again. 

You’re right. You’re in a pickle. 

So here’s one helpful hack: try living as if you’re already there. Start being really nice to other people, or working things out with that person as if they’re already your good friend. Give tzedakah to someone else or an organization of your choice that stretches you just beyond your means. Start humming a tune, tapping your feet a little more regularly—even if you don’t feel like it. 

G‑d will take notice. If you keep at it, you’ll “force His hand” to reciprocate and treat you more generously, shower blessings upon you, and truly cause you to burst out in song.5

1. Exodus 15:1. 
2. A single prefix can contain multiple grammatical conventions in Hebrew. Adding a yud before the word can transform the verb into future tense (“will sing”), or into a verb that one party imposes on another, as in “make someone else sing.” Both of these tenses don’t work well with the conventional translation. Much ink has been spilled to explain the meaning of “will sing”; the Talmud already suggests that this is a subtle reference for a future song that will be sung when the dead will be resurrected with Mashiach. This essay focuses on the second, less common translation of “make someone else sing.” 
3. The Hebrew word of “laimor-saying” is almost always understood as, “for someone else to say,” as in the common, “And G‑d spoke to Moses saying,” the intent being, “G‑d told Moses X to tell over to the people.” 
4. Psalm 121:5. 
5. This essay is based on Kedushat Levi, Beshalach 21, s.v. “Oh Yevu’ar”.

Source; Chabad

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Parshat HaMann - The Chapter of the Manna

Art: Heidi Malott

Rebbe Menachem Mendel of Riminov [1745-1815], a disciple of the Holy Rebbe Elimelech of Lizhensk, instructed everyone to read "Parshat HaMann" specifically on the Yom Shlishi [Tuesday] of Parshat Beshalach in the "Shnayim Mikra v'Echad Targum" format, i.e. reading the Hebrew verses twice and the Aramaic translation of Onkelos once.   This year it will occur today Tuesday 11 January.

Not to be confused with the evil villain of the Purim story, Parshat haMann [The Chapter of the Manna] is found in the 16th Chapter of the Book of Exodus: verses 4-36. This Chapter details the episode of the miraculous "Manna" [bread from heaven] that sustained the Children of Israel during their 40-year journey in the desert.

Rav Yosef Caaro, the "mechaber" [compiler] of the monumental Halachic text, the Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 1:5, instructs us to recite it daily. Other giants of Halacha also point to the importance of reciting it daily: The Tur 1; Aruch Hashulchan 1:22; Shulchan Aruch HaRav 1:9.

By so doing, every Jew acknowledges that his/her livelihood comes from only from Hashem. Reciting the Parshat HaMann daily strengthens one's Emuna and Bitachon [belief and trust] in HASHEM, and is a "Segula for Parnassa" [auspicious for having a healthy income].

To read Parshat haMann in Hebrew [with the Aramaic translation of Onkelos], please visit:

English version here:

Monday, January 10, 2022

Deltacron's hint to Moshiach

As we know, Delta is the fourth letter of the Greek alphabet and it corresponds to the letter Daled in the Hebrew.  Omicron is the fifteenth letter of the Greek alphabet and it corresponds to the letter Ayin*.  These two letters combine to form the word עד . [the fact that Delta-Cron reads left to right and Hebrew reads from right to left means they are also in the correct order] 

Coincidence is G-d's way of remaining anonymous.

The word עד  means ''Until".

I think this is a hint that we will have Covid until Moshiach comes. 

Also these two specific letters - עד - are enlarged in the Torah scrolls in the passage of the Shema, the most important and well-known Hebrew prayer of all.

Interestingly, the same Hebrew root of the word Ad (A-U-D) {ע-ו-ד} also means witness and testimony. In fact one of the Hebrew names of the Ark of the Covenant is Aron Ha-Edut (ארון העדות)– literally means the Ark of the Testimony. [Source]

These are just some thoughts.... 

*Note: [received via email from Dov bar Leib] Omicron comes from Ayin, but Ayin is the 16th letter of the Hebrew AlephBet while Omicron is the 15th letter of the Greek Alphabeta. The discrepancy comes because while there is a 1 to 1 correspondence between all the letters between Aleph/Alpha and Ayin/Omicron, for some reason when the Hebrew letter is Vav (the 6th letter), the Greek alphabet skips the corresponding Greek letter. So after Dalet/Delta one goes to Hey/Epsilon, Zayin/Zeta, Chet/Eta, Tet/Theta, Yud/Iota, Kaf/Kappa, Lamed/Lambda, Mem/Mu, Nun/Nu, Samekh/Xi, Ayin/Omicron. Notice that the Greek alphabeta skips over the letter which corresponds with Vav.  

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

4 Shevat: Yarzheit Baba Sali

Rabbi Yisrael Abuchatzeirah - The Baba Sali
Born: Tafillalt, Morocco,1890
Died: 4 Shevat, Israel, 1984

Rabbi Yisrael Abuchatzeirah was of a well-known rabbinical dynasty. His grandfather was the famous tzaddik, Rabbi Yaakov Abuchatzeirah. He had great skill in Talmudic interpretation and many of his halachic decisions were accepted and took root among his followers. He was regarded as someone who possessed the Ruach Hakodesh or "Divine Spirit".

Although still very young, people flocked to R' Yisrael for blessings for their parnassa (income), family, and health. Consequently he became known as "Baba Sali," (our praying father) because of the prayers that he would invoke on behalf of those who sought out his guidance.

One day, young Yisrael's father told him, "My child, you have a great power to bless people which you cannot measure. Your words can bring great help to men. From now on, you must use this power to say good things about others and to bless them."

Young Yisrael gave his word. Soon it became known that the blessings of this young child brought miraculous results. He became famous as Baba Sali. A master of the Kabbalah and a great Torah Sage, he took over his father's position as head of the yeshiva and Rabbi of the community. Although he regularly gave many lectures in Torah and kabbalah, he did not permit his students to write them down because he wanted his scholarship to remain unknown. Nevertheless, his fame as a holy man and a righteous Tzaddik continued to draw Jews to him from all over. Even Arabs came to receive his blessings and the coins he gave for charity.

At 19 he was inducted as the Rosh Hayeshiva, after his father's death. After an extended one year trip to Eretz Yisrael he returned, and was compelled to take the position of Rav of the community after the murder of his brother by an Arab. He gave daily lectures, served as a judge in the beit din (rabbinical court), and set the tone for the kehilla. The community appreciated that nothing escaped his holy, penetrating eyes. From throughout Morocco, people converged on his home for his blessings, his counsel, and his encouragement.

In 1964 when Baba Sali noted that much of Moroccan Jewry had emigrated to Eretz Yisrael, he followed them to fulfill his dream of settling there. Baba Sali chose Yavne as his home because many of his followers had settled there.

In 1970 he moved to Netivot where he was steadily visited by Chassidim, Ashkenazim and Sephardim who sought his unique counsel. He stressed emunah (faith), humility, ahavat Yisrael (love of fellow Jews) and kiyum hamitzvot (fulfillment of mitzvot). His phenomenal memory allowed him to access information at will, whether it dealt with law, Talmud, Kabbalah,etc.

He was very humble and did not want to attract attention, however, his prophetic powers and his miraculous prayers soon became renowned. Thousands of Jews from all over the world would come to seek his advice and blessings for children, health, and livelihood. Baba Sali was very close to other great Torah scholars, especially the Lubavitcher Rebbe, whom he referred to as "the Great Eagle in the Heavens." He strongly encouraged the Rebbe's Mitzvah campaigns, especially urging young girls to light candles for Shabbat and Yom Tov.


Young and old, men and women, observant and secular, Sephardim and Ashkenazim of every stripe, all streamed to the door of the great kabbalist and tsaddik, Baba Sali, in Netivot, seeking his blessing and help. Everyone, without exception, held him in the highest esteem.

Once a man from Holon, Eliyahu, was scheduled to have his legs amputated. His spinal cord had been damaged by a bullet in the Yom Kippur War. He had already spent much time in the hospital, and so was reconciled to his fate. The procedure was to take place on Friday.

That Thursday, an elderly woman acquaintance suggested that he receive a blessing from Baba Sali before the operation. She said that she knew of someone who had been paralyzed, yet was healed through Baba Sali's blessing. Although Eli was not at all observant, he decided to try it anyway, in desperation. Maybe, maybe....

It would have been impossible to get permission to leave the hospital the day before the operation, so Eli snuck out. He didn't even disclose his intention to see Baba Sali to his concerned family.

Eli sat on a chair in the waiting room near the entrance to the tsaddik's room. After many hours, finally his turn came. The custom was, before anything, to approach Baba Sali on his couch and kiss his hand, but because of the advanced thrombosis of his legs and the crippling pain that accompanied it, Eli was unable even to rise to enter the room.

Following Baba Sali's instruction, Rabbanit Simi, his wife, approached Eli and asked, "Do you put on tefillin?" Do you keep Shabbat? Do you say blessings?

"No," admitted Eli, and burst into sobs.

Baba Sali seemed to be moved by Eli's suffering and his sincerity. He said to him, "If you do my will and observe the Shabbat and repent completely, then G-d, too, will listen to my will."

With great emotion, Eli promptly cried out, "I accept upon myself the obligation to observe the Shabbat in all its details. I also promise to do full tshuvah, to 'return' in repentance all the way."

At Baba Sali's directive, Eli was served tea. After he drank it, the Rabbanit suggested that being that the Rav had blessed him, he should try to get up, in order to go and and kiss the Rav's hand.

After much effort and pain, Eli managed to rise. He couldn't believe it-his legs were obeying him! Shakily, he walked over to Baba Sali and kissed his hand! By then nearly delirious with shock and joy, he began to thank Baba Sali profusely. The Rav interrupted him, saying with a smile, "Don't thank me. Just say: 'Blessed are those who sanctify His name publicly!'"

As if in a dream, Eli stumbled out the door and descended the stairs. He experimented, walking this way and that. He had to know: Was he really awake? Could this truly be happening? With each step, his legs felt better.

On his "new" legs, he went over to Yeshiva HaNegev, not too far from the home of Baba Sali. When the students realized they were seeing the results of a miracle that had just occurred, they surrounded Eli with happy dancing and singing, and words of praise and gratitude to G-d.

Rejoicing in his new-found ability to walk, Eli returned to the home of Baba Sali to say goodbye properly and to thank him again. He also expressed his fear that his legs would relapse to their previous weakness and disease. Baba Sali calmed him, saying cheerfully, "Don't worry. In the merit of your oath to 'return' and repent, and especially that you promised to observe Shabbat according to its laws, which is equal to all the commandments, G-d has done this miracle and nullified the decree against you. Now it is up to you to fulfill your words."

Leaving Baba Sali's house again, Eli telephoned his mother. "I'm all better!" he shouted, without explanation. She figured that fear of the surgery had caused him to loose touch with reality. "Are you coming home?" she asked with concern. "Or will you go straight to the hospital?"

Eli then told her what he had promised Baba Sali, the blessing that he had received from the tsaddik, and the miraculous improvement that had already occurred. As soon as he hung up, he called his doctor at Achilov Hospital in Tel Aviv and informed him of his cure. The doctor told Eli to be back at the hospital the following day, and to "stop acting crazy!"

Eli did go to the hospital the next day. The doctor was barely able to accept the evidence of his eyes. After a few days and many tests, Eli was released. The first thing he did was to return to Netivot, to thank Baba Sali again. The Rav requested of his household that a seudat hoda'ah, a meal of thanksgiving to G-d in honor of the miracle, be prepared and served. At the end of the meal, Baba Sali blessed a bottle of water and told Eli to deliver it to the hospital so that his doctor could drink l'chaim from it. "And tell him," added Baba Sali, "not to be so hasty to cut off legs."

Baba Sali's gabbai (attendant) during most of his years in Netivot, Rabbi Eliyahu Alfasi [who witnessed much of the story and heard the rest of the details from Eli of Holon], reports that he once asked Baba Sali how he performed this great miracle. The tzaddik answered him innocently, "Believe me, Eliyahu, all I did was tell him 'Stand up!'"

Regarding Walder

Reading so much on the internet, I also had doubts.  But for me there are no longer any doubts, and I like to spread truth, that is why I blog.

Here is just one lecture that may help you understand truth from fiction.

Rabbi Yitzchak Berkovits 

“He Who is Compassionate to the Cruel Will Ultimately Become Cruel to the Compassionate”  

[this is the audio, click here to watch video]

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Spiritual Darkness

"And there was a thick darkness throughout the land of Egypt... No man could see his brother nor could any man rise from his place" [Bo 10:22-23]

This verse, said R' Chanoch of Alexander, teaches us a valuable lesson in Divine service.

''And there was a thick darkness throughout the land of Egypt'' - when it is a period of spiritual darkness - and ''No man could see his brother'' - when somebody only cares about himself and ignores the plight of others - then ''nor could any man rise from his place'' - he will not be able to rise from his low spiritual state.

Source: Rabbi Yisrael Bronstein