Friday, June 28, 2024

The Perfect Storm


Text: Rabbi Shmuel Reichman

Every great person I’ve ever met has found their sense of purpose from the storm they’ve encountered. 

It was in the very process of being broken and overwhelmed that they found the strength to build their identity, clarify their purpose, and strive for greatness. 

And our story, in essence, is always the same. 

Hashem sends a storm our way. 

We break. We struggle. We persevere. We get up. 

And we then spend the rest of our life on a journey of self-actualization, striving to help as many people along the way as we possibly can. 

No matter where you are along this storyline, always remember: The storm wasn’t sent to break you; it was sent to build you… so that you can help other people do the same.

Thursday, June 27, 2024

What Lies Behind Unjustified Hatred

by Rabbi David Hanania Pinto

On Tisha B'Av night we say in the Kinnot, "By our necks we are pursued, because we pursued purposeless hatred, O woe! What has befallen us". 

The first principle that we must be aware of, says Rabbi Elimelech Biderman, is that we think we are sitting on the ground because of unjustified hatred, and with this, the subject is closed. But this is not the case! We must know that right beneath where we are sitting, something is buried! Something is concealed underneath the unjustified hatred! If we would pay attention to that buried matter, we would not come to unjustified hatred.

Under all "unjustified hatred" is buried "a lack of faith"!

Would we have faith, we would save ourselves hatred, jealousy, argument and lashon hara!

The Vilna Gaon explains the seemingly hard-to-understand expression 'unjustified hatred'. Why indeed do we call it 'unjustified hatred'? The hatred is not unjustified! If my friend drove me crazy, this is called 'unjustified hatred'? Do I really hate him for no reason?

Says the Vilna Gaon, Hashem tells us that this kind of hatred is unjustified. Hashem, as if, is telling me, do you think that he drove you crazy? It is not him, it is I! This person, he is only a messenger! Had he not done to you what he did, I would have sent a different messenger to do exactly the same thing, for everything that happens is predetermined by Me!

If you hate him because you think that it is he who hurt you, this points to a lack of faith in Hashem.

This is the meaning of what we said above, that underneath all 'unjustified hatred' lies 'a lack of faith'.

It is told that someone dreamt that a certain friend was speaking lashon hara about him. These thoughts accompanied him for a long time. One day he met that friend and asked him:

"Why are you saying evil things about me?"

"Far be it from me to do such a thing," the friend answered in astonishment. "I never spoke lashon hara about you. You must have dreamt it."

The next day he again met his friend and once again asked him, "Why are you speaking lashon hara about me?"

Yet his friend once again repeated the same answer, "You are simply dreaming."

When this happened for the third time and his friend tried to explain to him that it was all a figment of his imagination and a dream, he replied, "It may have indeed been a dream, but why are you talking about me?"…

This is exactly how we wander around in This World. If any of us would be asked, "Do you believe in Hashem?" we will no doubt answer, "Of course, certainly. What's the question?" "Do you believe that everything is ordained by Heaven?" "Of course, certainly. Everything is from above!"

Nice words.

But if indeed everything is from above, why are you furious with your neighbor? If you believe with perfect faith that everything is destined by Hashem, why are you quarreling with your friend? Why is your mouth constantly full of complaints against all types of people who did to you, took from you, harmed you?

Monday, June 24, 2024

What is the next move? Are we heading for a bigger war? What should we do?

Rabbi Alon Anava

"The timeline of the Geula is going as scheduled. We have nobody to count on but our Father in Heaven.  Once the majority will understand that - that's it. "

The Sins of the Father

"He reckons the fathers' transgression to the sons' account, up to the third and fourth generations" [Shelach 14:18]

In explaining how children can be punished for the sins of their parents, R' Berechiah HaNakdan recounts the following parable:

A hungry wolf met a fox and desired to devour it.

"Why would you want to devour me?" asked the sly fox.  "I am thin and have few bones... go and devour a fat-fleshed human, and you will enjoy the feast."

"I cannot devour a human" replied the wolf, "as the verse states "Of every beast I will demand it" [Bereishis 9:5] - [this verse warns beasts against killing people - see Rashi there]

The fox cackled and said "You have nothing to fear, for it is not you who will receive the punishment, but your children, as the verse says "He reckons the fathers' transgression to the sons' account."

The wolf was persuaded by the fox, and it began to search for a human.  On the way, it fell into a trap laid by hunters.  The wolf began yelling for help.  When the fox heard the calls of the wolf, it carefully approached the wolf.

"You liar!" screamed the wolf.  "Did you not say that only my children would get punished for my sins?"

"Fool that you are" replied the fox, "You are also not getting punished on account of your own sins, but for the sins of your fathers."

"How could that be?" screamed the wolf....."Why would I suffer for what others have done?"

"And why did you set out to devour humans?" queried the fox.  "Was it not because you were counting on the fact that it would be your children who would suffer for your sins? Since you felt it was fair that your children bear your sins, it is only fitting that you bear your fathers' sins!"

A child, concluded R' Berechiah, is only punished for his father's sins if he is guilty of the same sins.  This is because an individual's punishment is meted out measure for measure. When someone emulates the sinful ways of his father, without concern that his children will receive punishment on account of his sins, he too gets punished for the sins of his fathers.

If this is true of the negative, how much more so is it true of the positive: when a righteous son follows in the ways of a righteous father, he will certainly be rewarded for the good deeds of his father!

Source: Rabbi Yisrael Bronstein

Thursday, June 20, 2024

The Profound Secret of the Conviction of Donald Trump Part 2

Rabbi Mendel Kessin

Part 1 can be found here

Out of Order

Teshuvah has the power to wipe away a person's past deeds, and transform him into a new person.

This is the inner reason why the account of the Second Pesach offering [Beha'alotecha 9:2] - which represents the concept of correcting and compensating for the mistakes of the past - was recorded out of chronological order, because teshuvah has the power to re-arrange a person's life ''out of chronological order'', wiping away his past mistakes.

Based on Likutei Sichos Lubavitcher Rebbe

Monday, June 17, 2024

Beha'alotecha: Great Dreams

Written by Chanan Morrison - Rav Kook Torah

In contrast to the unique level and clarity of Moses' prophecy, ordinary prophecy is bestowed through the medium of visions and dreams:

"If someone among you experiences divine prophecy, I will make Myself known to him in a vision; I will speak to him in a dream." [Num. 12:6]

Why Dreams?
Dreams, Rav Kook wrote, serve an important function in the world. Great dreams are the very foundation of the universe. Dreams exist on many levels. There are the prescient dreams of prophets, and the conscious dreaming of poets. There are the idealistic dreams of great visionaries for a better world; and there are our national dreams of redemption — "When God will return the captivity of Zion, we will be like dreamers" [Psalms 126:1].

Of course, not every dream falls under the category of a great dream. Some dreams are inconsequential, as it says, "Dreams speak falsely" [Zechariah 10:2]. What determines whether a dream is prophetic or meaningless?

True and False Dreams
True servants of God concentrate their aspirations and efforts on rectifying the entire world. When one's thoughts and actions are devoted exclusively to perfecting all of creation, then one's imagination will only be stimulated by matters that relate to the universal reality. The dreams of such individuals will naturally be of great significance. Their dreams are tied to the inner truth of reality, to its past, present, and future.

But for those people who are preoccupied with private concerns, their imaginative faculties will be limited — like their waking thoughts and actions — to personal issues. What truth could be revealed in imaginings that never succeeded in rising above the thoughts and wishes of a self-centered individual?

The Sages expressed this idea with the following allegorical imagery: prophetic dreams are brought by angels, while false dreams are brought by demons [Berachot 55b]. What does this mean? Angels are constant forces in the universe, pre-arranged to perfect the world. True dreams relate to these underlying positive forces. Demons, on the other hand, are non-holy forces based on specific objectives which are inconsistent with the overall universal order. False dreams are the resultant fantasies of such private desires.

The True Reality of Dreams
What would the world be like without dreams? Life immersed solely in its material aspects is coarse and bleak. It lacks the inspiring splendor of wide horizons; like a bird with clipped wings, it is unable to transcend the bitter harshness of the current reality. The ability to free ourselves from these shackles is only through the power of dreams.

Some foolishly take pride in being 'realists.' They insist on only considering the material world in its present state — a partial and fragmented view of reality. In fact, it is our dreams that liberate us from the limitations of the current reality. It is our dreams that accurately reveal the inner truth of the universe.

As that future reality is steadily revealed, we merit an increasing clarity of vision. Our perception approaches the aspaklaria me'irah of Moses, with whom God spoke "face to face, in a vision not containing allegory, so that he could see a true picture of God" [Num. 12:8].

[Adapted from Orot HaKodesh vol. I, p. 226; Ein Eyah vol. II, p. 279]


Rabbi Mendel Kessin, Current Events Updates, What is happening in the world?


Monday, June 10, 2024

Sunday, June 9, 2024

Thank G-d

I hope the release of four hostages has given everyone some much needed chizuk.  

I also hope that soon we'll all be celebrating like these guys were, when their friend returned from Gaza.  

Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Asteroid Trails

All over Sydney today, these amazing clouds.  Everyone was trying to work out what they were...  they are asteroid trails from close-passing asteroids.  Seen it many times in photos from all over the world.

Souls and Names

Art by Sharon Tomlinson

The Talmud [Berachot 7b] teaches that a Hebrew name has an influence on its bearer. Therefore, it is extremely important to name children after individuals with positive character traits who led fortunate lives and helped bring goodness to the world.

The Arizal writes that the nature and behavior of a person, whether good or bad, can be discovered by analyzing his or her name. For example, a child named Yehudah could possibly be destined for leadership, for Yehudah, the fourth son of Jacob, symbolized monarchy and most Jewish kings descended from the tribe of Yehudah.

It is said that parents are actually blessed with prophesy when naming their newborn babies.

According to the Arizal, even the numerical value of the Hebrew letters in one's name can be indicative of an individual's character. For example the gematria of the name Elisheva is equivalent to the numerical value of the Hebrew words yemei simcha, meaning "days of happiness," perhaps portending a joyous life for a baby girl named Elisheva.

It is precisely because the fortunes and misfortunes of mankind are concealed in the secrets of the letters, vowels and meanings of Hebrew names that a seriously ill person is given an additional name like Chaim, meaning "life," or Rafael, meaning "God heals," in order to influence his destiny. We hope and pray that the new name will herald a new mazel, or fortune, for the stricken individual.

Rabbi Elimelech of Lyzhansk, writes in his classic work on Torah "Noam Elimelech" [Bamidbar] that there is a profound connection between the soul of an infant and the soul of the person for whom he or she is named.

When a child is named after the deceased, the latter's soul is elevated to a higher realm in heaven and a spiritual affinity is created between the soul of the departed and the soul of the newborn child. That deep spiritual bond between these two souls can have a profound impact on the child.

Zocher HaBris 24:4, who also quotes Noam Elimelech on Bamidbar: “If they give him the name of a tzaddik who has already lived in this world, this will cause him also to become a tzaddik, because it has aroused the soul of the departed tzaddik in the Supernal World.

Monday, June 3, 2024

Oct 7, Trump v Biden, Iranian President's Death and more

I posted a clip earlier today, but here is the entire video

Rabbi Mendel Kessin interviewed by Jonathan Benshimol

End of Days Hail


Everything really is bigger in Texas. 

Location: Vigo Park, Texas Panhandle

Photo: Thomas Hinterdorf : Extreme Weather Chaser [link to original photo]

The Message of Trump / Biden

Jonathan ben Shimol interviews Rabbi Mendel Kessin

This is from a FB Reel which you can view here.

Shimol's questions are in Bold.

With Trump and Biden and craziness happening, what's really the message?

The bottom line is that G-d wants to  dispel an illusion, He wants to show  what evil is and where it could lead , and how far it could deteriorate mankind.  Basically that's really a contest.  The conflict between Biden and Trump is really the conflict between good and evil, each one representing a side.  I believe Biden represents evil because of what he's done - the complete disregard of a human life, Fentanyl, the welfare of mankind .  Trump represents good [although] I'm sure people will disagree.  Trump has done a great deal of good for America.  He vows to do good.

It is the contest between good and evil. That's the bottom line. They are both being represented by struggle. Good and evil - which one will flourish.  Survive.

Where is Hashem's Hand in all this?

Well the Ribono Shel Olam is directing this. None of this could happen unless G-d allows it to happen. G-d wants to demonstrate that if He allows evil to flourish, how bad can it get?  How bad is evil really?  G-d is demonstrating that, He's saying to America and the entire world: "Well you can do whatever you want, I will stand back."  And He does, and that demonstrates that if evil,  if it is left on its own, will destroy mankind.

G-d is concealed, do we have to reveal Him?

Not only do we have to reveal Him, that's the whole point of His creating us - it's to reveal another reality besides the physical. There is a spiritual reality, that's the whole point of mankind. Labor toward meeting that particular insight.

Thank you, chazzak u'baruch.

Iran and Current Events

Rabbi Shimon Kessin - this is a very important shiur, as he says, this is about Iran and current events