A Beautiful People

A beautiful People
Some ten centuries ago, Rabbi Yehuda the Chassid wrote that the enemies of the Jews do not receive permission from Above to harm the Jews until one Jew harms another Jew. Do you realize what that means?

When a Jew says something bad about another Jew, he is literally putting a weapon in the hand of a terrorist. That's bad news.

The Gemara teaches that a good measure is 500 times stronger than a bad measure. In other words, when a Jew speaks favorably about another Jew, the benefit he invokes for the Jewish People is 500 times stronger than the damage done by the badmouth.

Our rabbis and spiritual guides should make an extreme effort to love every single Jew and find the good in him or her. Even when they are correcting our mistakes, the approach must be a total loving one. Read all about it in A Beautiful People, my feature article in this week's new issue of Breslev Israel web magazine.

In The Power and the Promise, Rav Shalom Arush writes how Rebbe Nachman instills us with the desire to rectify ourselves and to get close to Hashem. How does he do that? He gives us the power to believe in ourselves…

Racheli Reckles shows how doctors are extremely necessary and life-saving. Yet, you just have to know when to use them and when not to use them. She gives us great guidelines in The Doctor Dilemma.

Dr. Zev Ballen shows us how to differentiate between Psycho-babble and Truth.

Dennis Rosen defines Eyes of Holiness.

Yehudit Channen writes how some people feel like Second-Hand Souls.

For David Perlow, heroism means to Choose Life.

Lori Steiner writes about The Mirror Principle.

Enjoy, and blessings for a lovely new week!


Juha's Bullseye

No Bullseye
When I was a soldier, I didn't have much time to read. But when I did, I enjoyed reading international folklore.

Every nation has its anti-hero. In Yiddish literature, he's called shlemazel or Kuni Lemel. In Czechoslavakia, he's called Shveyk. In the classic The Good Soldier Shveyk  by Jaroslav Hashek (1923), Shveyk captures a hill and kills all the soldiers on it, only to find out that they were on his side. In Egypt, particularly in South Sinai, he's called Juha - Juha is definitely my favorite. In the IDF, we used to invent our own Juha stories. If somebody would flub-up on a maneuver (in a mission, there's no room for flubups), he'd get the title of "Juha" for a month until he bent over backwards to perform triple-good and rid himself of the stigma. At any rate, I could never get enough of Juha; he kept me laughing in situations where it was hard to smile, much less laugh. Juha is always funny, but there's deeper messages buried under his apparent stupidity. Here's a taste:

Juha was tired of everyone making fun of him and calling him stupid, so he decided to join the Egyptian Army. He figured that once he'd get a uniform, everyone would respect him. Juha.elderlyJuha went to the training base and tried to enlist. Everyone laughed at him - he even sat backwards on his donkey (see illustration at right of Juha at retirement age). He said, "Take me - I'm a sharpshooter." They gave him a rifle, and pointed him toward a target some 50 meters away. He pulled the trigger and the bullet hit a wall way off to the left of the target. Juha ran to the wall and painted a bullseye around the bullet hole. That's we call in IDF slang, "Juha's Bullseye" - it's not the real thing, bro, and it won't earn you your sharpshooter's badge...

Before we laugh, let's have a look at ourselves: how many of us live our lives just like Juha? Oh yes, the Juhas of this world provide lots of laughter up in the Heavenly Court...

If you don't want to be a Juha (don't ever call anybody that if you visit Egypt, Jordan or Lebanon, and certainly not in any Israeli Arab village or town), then today's emuna lesson and broadcast is an absolute must.

Don't miss this evening's eye-opening emuna lesson and broadcast entitled "Juha's Bullseye," which will take place, G-d willing, in the ground-floor main sanctuary of the Chut Shel Chessed Yeshiva on 13 Shmuel Hanavi Street in Jerusalem at 7PM Israel time (12 noon EDT); the shiur is open to the public - both men and women are invited. 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.  If you are not able to view today's broadcast live, then G-d willing, you'll be able to see the video tape of it later this coming week on Lazer Beams. 


The Big Heat: The Time of Redemption is Near

The Big Heat
Sure, the seasonal temperatures here in Israel are hot, but that's not what I'm talking about. Every few minutes, there are jet planes overhead. The experienced ear recognizes that these are not maneuvers.

The political climate in the Middle East is getting hot, like a stove with all four burners turned up high. Consider this:

 1. On Sunday June 18, a US Fighter jet knocked down a Syrian warplane.

2. Yesterday, Russia and Iran sent stiff warnings to the USA.

3. Yesterday, Iran - for the first time, launched six Zolfaghar ballistic missiles more than 600 kilometers into Syria.

4. Iran threatens Israel following the missile attack on Syria.

5. Today, 3PM Israel time: USA fighter jet downs Iranian-made Syrian drone within firing range of US troops.

You normally don't hear us talking about current events, unless there's a clear message of emuna and Geula withing them. What could be clearer? With Torah, you don't need Reuters, CNN, or Foxnews. Look at what this amazing excerpt of Midrash says:

“Rabbi Yitzchok said: ‘The year that King Messiah (Melech HaMoshiach) will be revealed, all the nations of the world will be provoking each other. The King of Persia (Iran) will provoke the King of Arabia, and the King of Arabia will go to Edom (the USA; interestingly, the numerical value of Edom in Hebrew is 51, corresponding to the States of the USA including Puerto Rico) to take counsel, but the King of Persia will in turn, destroy the entire world. The nations of the world will be outraged and panicked. They will fall on their faces, and they will experience pains like birth pangs. Israel too will be outraged and in a state of panic and ask, where do we go? But say unto them, “My children, do not fear, the time of your redemption (Geulatchem) has come. (Yalkut Shimoni, Isaiah, 60:499) 

In light of current events and the above Midrash, the Geula and Moshiach are really getting close. Sure, the Middle East is getting hot and without emuna, no one will be able to stand the heat. The Chattam Sofer says (Chattam Sofer commentary "Torat Moshe" on Genesis 28:11) that the Gemara uses the metaphor of "sun" for the Geula; that's what the third chapter of tractate Nedarim means when it says that when the time of Geula arrives, Hashem will remove the sun from its outer covering; the righteous will bask in it and the wicked will burn in it.

The righteous are those with emuna. Now's the time to strengthen our emuna and connection with Hashem - it beats air conditioning and sunscreen.


The Eternal Promise

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Sigh... Isn't that a gorgeous picture? By now, many of you may be aware of my cruise obsession. To me, cruising is a fantastic way to visit many places in one trip, and the best part is that you can eat until you explode. Between you and me, I'm still holding on to this romantic fantasy of cruising in five-star style around the world, visiting all of the beautiful and exciting places on this gorgeous planet of ours. However, I bet you didn't know this little story that I'm about to tell you.

Once upon a time, about 15 years ago, David made a promise. He promised me that he would take me on a romantic luxury cruise. Of course, it never happened. Actually, it wasn't really even a romantic promise. We had a bet over the stupidest thing ever. We were in the car on Collins Avenue in North Miami Beach, and I told him there was a "no U turn" sign at the intersection where he wanted to turn. He insisted that there was, even though the sign was facing oncoming traffic, and you couldn't see what it said from where we were. Being that I've lived in Miami since the day I was born, I figured that I would win this bet, and sure enough, I did. Actually, I could see the back of the sign, so I knew for sure that I was right, but of course I didn't tell him. Mr. Oblivious was, and still is, a terrible driver. Terrible. He doesn't even look left when he enters the traffic circles! I yell at him every time, but it doesn't seem to help. 

Being that he made this promise about 15 years ago, and we ain't goin' on no cruise for a looooong time, I'm calling it the Eternal Promise. One day, G-d willing, I'll get my fancy luxury cruise. Maybe I'll reserve the Presidential Suite now for the year 2036. In kabbalistic terms we call that "building our vessels." See, if you want Hashem to bless you with something, you've got to do something to create a spiritual vessel to receive it. So that's what I'm doing. 

I heard there were some really gorgeous kosher European cruises through the famous rivers. Have any of you been on an awesome kosher cruise? Please tell me! I've got to start doing my research, because I only have 19 years left to figure it out! It is 2017, right?

Speaking of long-term promises, Rav Shalom Arush writes that our very own beloved Rebbe Nachman gave all of us a promise that sounds too good to be true. Actually, it's not too good to be true, or it wouldn't be true - right? Am I making sense? Did I write it backward? I'm tired and not thinking straight because my little boyfriend woke up in the middle of the night after I went to sleep too late, and he insisted that I make his milky, to which I adamantly refused because I couldn't stand up straight. Once David brought him the milky, he started freaking out because his Slave Girl didn't do it. I really am his Slave Girl. Maybe I'll make myself a cool logo. SG. Sounds hip. Any of you a graphic designer? Make me one and I'll create a post around it. That would be so awesome!

Back to Rebbe Nachman's Eternal Promise. What is it? I'll give you a hint... Rebbe Nachman promises that if you devote an hour a day to personal prayer, even if you don't say anything, you will win... A NEW CARRRRRR!!! Okay, so the prize is even better. What's that? You want me to tell you what the prize is? C'mon, I'm not going to spoil it for you!

Speaking of promises, Rav Brody's got an amazing promise for parents who commit to spending more quality time with their children, especially if that quality time involves learning Torah together. He's got a few incredible and true stories about The Big Payoff that parents have experienced after they started learning with their children, even if it meant sacrificing time from work. Speaking of big payoffs, I'm still waiting for David to get his so he can take me on our 50th anniversary cruise in 2053.

You know what? I have a promise for you, too! I promise that if you read my article, you'll get a whole new understanding of abusive relationships. A lady asked me a very important and perplexing question: "If Hashem let me marry him, it must mean I’m supposed to stay married to him. So why is Hashem letting him treat me this way??" Don't miss my perplexing answer in Enough! 

If you want to know the truth, most of us married folk have no idea what we're doing. Be honest! I think that most of us are just immature overgrown kids Growing Up Together with our spouses. At least, that's what my husband is. I'm perfect. Really. I insist. Don't miss Rebbetzin Yehudit Channen's mature article about immature people! And, don't forget - if you need some guidance with your marriage or anything else in your life, make an appointment with Rebbetzin Channen at once! Contact Aharon at staff@breslev.co.il.

If you like firey Torah, don't miss Rabbi Avigdor Miller's powerful article, Don't Question Hashem. 

It's official - I'm a genius! Just by looking at the title of the next article, Pro-Palestine Jews, I knew it was written by Dovber HaLevy! Ooh, and it's a good one, too! But for some reason, I felt like saying, "Yo' mama!" at the end of it. I'm not really sure why.

Here's a profound question: is there something beyond happiness? How can you be beyond happy? Does that mean you're ecstatic? Isn't ecstatic an extension of happiness? Does your brain hurt? Don't worry! Dr. Zev Ballen gives us all the answers in Beyond Happiness. And don't forget - Dr. Ballen is the ONLY therapist in the world that was hand-picked by Rav Arush to combine his years of experience in traditional therapy with emuna. What he can help you do would take months with a regular therapist! Why? Read about Emuna Therapy and then you'll understand. You can also schedule an appointment with him via Aharon at staff@breslev.co.il. 

This next story about The Miracle Car  by H.K. Shulkin made me cry. I'm serious! I had tears running down my cheeks! Maybe they're really tears of tiredness. I'm exhausted! Anyhow, this story is truly unbelievable, except that it's true! Read it! OMG, I just realized that I wrote about a NEW CARRRR, and now I just read this story about a NEW CARRRR!! Genius and psychic?! What a combination!!

Have a fantastic day!

~Racheli