Our Sephardi Jewish brothers have been saying Selichot - forgiveness prayers before daybreak - since the first day of Elul; they continue the whole month of Elul and then in Tishrei until Yom Kippur. We Ashkenazim join them this Motzaei Shabbat (Saturday night).
Here is chazzan Yitzchak Meir doing a Carlebach-style Selichot in Jerusalem two years ago. Enjoy it - it's really inspiring. What I love about this clip is that you'll find all types of Jews praying together. That to me is beautiful.
I have a wonderful gift for you and your family that nothing can beat: a guaranteed insurance policy for a wonderful New Year 5775. It won't cost you a thing. No one can beat this deal, and it's completely underwrited by our sages in the Gemara. Interseted? See today's shiur, "The Best Insurance."
Today's shiur (lesson) and live broadcast will take place this evening (Wednesday) at 7:00 PM local time, at our Chut Shel Chessed Yeshiva, 13 Shmuel Hanavi Street, Jerusalem, in the main sanctuary. As always, the live shiur is open to the public - both men and women are welcome - so if you're anywhere near Jerusalem, come on by! You can see today's lesson here - the broadcast, as well as our lessons posted from now on - are Mac and iPod compatible. If you tune in too early to the live broadcast link, you'll be sent to the main page of the Breslev Israel website, so try to tune in on time as follows:
9:00 AM in LA and the West Coast, 10:00 AM Denver, 11:00 AM Mexico and Central, 12:00 PM NYC (EST), 5:00 PM in the UK, 7:00 PM Johannesburg and Capetown, 7:00 PM Israel. As soon as we can, G-d willing, we'll post a link to the lesson for all those who couldn't see it live. If you can't see the broadcast, you might need to download a new version of Flash Media player, which you can do here. We hope you enjoy the broadcast.
Breslev Israel is proud to announce that Mrs. Rivka Levy has joined the emuna coaching staff as a certified master level practitioner.
In addition to being a certified emuna therapist (from yeshiva Chut Shel Chesed), Mrs. Levy is a certified aromatherapist (from the Atlantic Institute of Aromatherapy, Florida, USA); and a certified energy healer (from the Izun Shinui Ripui Institute in Jerusalem). Rivka Levy is also an accomplished writer and author with Breslev Israel web magazine.
Rivka has been running a very popular weekly emuna shiur for women for four years, based on the teachings of Rebbe Nachman and Rav Shalom Arush, which has attracted scores of women.
In her counseling work, Rivka has also branched out into combining emuna with a number of alternative therapeutic approaches (see below for more details).
To schedule an appointment with Mrs. Rivka Levy call:
From USA: 1-718-577-2975
From Israel: +972-2-532-3339 X 1
Hours To Call For Appointments: 3 pm - 11 pm Israel Time
See more details on the therapies being offered by Rivka Levy here on Dr. Zev Ballen's website. We are happy to wholeheartedly endorse Rivka Levy, and wish her the best of success.
After receiving so many appreciative emails for Islam 101, we're pleased to present you with Islam 202. Our purpose here is to heighten both spiritual and practical awareness, so that people will know the difference between true emuna from the side of holiness, and dark-side emuna from the nether forces of spirituality. In other words, this is the difference between Tikkun Olam, the correction of the world that emuna is all about, and heres olam, the destruction of the world that Islam is all about.
Lately, with the rise of ISIS and the horrific murders, torture, terror and unspeakable atrocities that they commit wherever they go, many international leaders from the west have claimed, "That's not Islam!" Many of the world's experts beg to differ, claiming that ISIS doesn't do a thing that's not directly out of the Koran. Namely, they are followers of Mohammed in the truest sense. After seeing this, you'll understand much better what the world is truly up against:
In Chassidic tradition, Rosh Hashanah is spent with the tzaddik. My great-grandfather, Yaacov Podrub ob"m of Grodno, was a simple but fervently pious blacksmith who saved a few kopeks every day of the year so that he'd have enough to travel to Stolin to spend Rosh Hashanah with his holy rebbe, Rebbe Yisroel of Stolin (Belarus).
Today, most Chassidim continue the same tradition. Most spend Rosh Hashanah with their rebbes. We Breslevers do so as well - that's why we travel to Uman for Rosh Hashanah, to pray by the holy gravesite of Rebbe Nachman, of saintly and blessed memory. We learn from this week's Torah portion Vayelech to implore every Jew – especially those with spiritual authority such as rabbis and community leaders – not to stand in the way of those who want to go to the true tzaddik on Rosh Hashana. Read all about it in my feature artical in this week's issue of Breslev Israel web magazine, Rosh Hashanah with the Tzaddik.
This week, we read a double Torah portion. In Parshat Nitzavim, Moses tells us about our Royal Lineage. Read how we're capable of doing such great things.
Did you ever feel like the sky over your head was a locked iron door, and that no one is listening to you, much less hearing your prayers? Don't ever despair, because there's a way to reach Hashem. This lesson is not only a preparation for Rosh Hashana, but it's one of the most important lessons you'll ever hear. Enjoy it, and have a lovely new week!
The Torah commands us to be careful to deviate from its path in the slightest, neither to the right nor to the left. Here's a story for your Shabbat table, which brings the point home. Enjoy, and have a wonderful Shabbat!
Here's a gift for Shabbat - a Hebrew lesson of the the most important three-word phrase you'll ever need to know, and a lifesaver at that - ein od milvado - literally, there is no one or nothing but Hashem. Only He can help us, both collectively and individually. Like the Rambam teaches in the firsst of our 13 Principles of Faith, "He alone does, did and will do every deed."
The Torah says (Deut. 4:35), "You have been shown, in order to know, that Hashem, He is the G-d. There is none beside Him!" אין עוד מלבדו - "There is none beside Him," is the key to understanding everything that happens to us, both on a broad national scale and on a personal private scale.
"Shown, in order to know", explains the Ramban, refers to the revelation of Hashem on Mount Sinai. Moses received both the written and the oral law from Hashem on Mount Sinai. Therefore, whenever a person deviates - even in the slightest - from "Halacha Le'Moshe be'Sinai", or the law as it was given to Moshe on Sinai, one's understanding that "There is none beside Him," is seriously weakened.
"There is none beside Him" means that everything in the world happens because Hashem decrees that it should happen. No one can lift a finger against Hashem's will. So, if someone harms us or insults us, its pointless to bear malice toward that person. Rather, we should make an accounting of the soul, understand that Hashem does everything for our ultimate good, and pray to Hashem to help us understand the message and correct what needs to be corrected. This is especially important in Elul.
In light of the above, any time a person - or a movement of people - make any compromise on Shulchan Oruch, e.g. religious law, they weaken their own faith with their own two hands. Conversely, when a person strengthens his or her observance of the Torah's commandments, that person automatically benefits from a chizuk, or reinforcement, of faith. That's one of the reasons why Rebbe Nachman of Breslev implores us to learn Shulchan Oruch every single day of our lives, and not to budge an iota from its statutes.
Faith that "There is none beside Him" is the only reliable bridge to traverse this world safely to the other side.