Somebody approached me on the street earlier today and asked, "If Hashem does everything for the best, then why did so many missiles penetrate the Iron Dome's defense system in Ashdod, like the one that landed in the kindergarten on Tuesday?"
I complimented the man for his superb question. I answered him, giving him three reasons:
1. Hashem wants us all to know that He guards over us and not the Iron Dome missile-defense system.
2. Hashem wants us to put all of our faith and trust in Him, and not in weapons, high-tech or anything else.
3. Hashem wants us to see His miracles, like in the case of the gas station, so that we'll all wake up and return to Him.
As such, it is Hashem who is behind the Iron Dome's success and its failures. It's also Hashem behind all of our successes and failures. There is no one but Hashem - ein od milvado!
People ask, with all the chaos and strife in the world, and much of it in our own backyard, how is it possible to maintain a positive outlook on life? The answer is easier than you think...
Don't miss today's emuna lesson, "The Key to Positive Thinking". It's vital for our emotional health.
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.
With the war going on and all the hardships we've been living through in the south of Israel, many people ask, "Where is Hashem?"
Rebbe Nachman of Breslev answers in Likutei Moharan I:56 - "Even in a concealment within a concealment, Hashem is certainly there."
Yoeli Klein made a beautiful melody based on Rebbe Nachman's holy words that is taking the world of Jewish music by storm. Here are the original words in transliteration, followed by translation (the first line is Yiddish, and the second two lines are Hebrew):
V'afilu B'Hastora - Even in Concealment
(1) Der Aibishter zogt inz, "Kinderlach, Anochi haster panai bayom hahu", ober di Rebbe zogt
Hashem says to us, "Children, I will conceal Myself on that day", but the Rebbe says
Even in a concealment within a concealment, Hashem may He be blessed is certainly there
(3) Gam me'achrei hadevorim hakashim ha'omdim alekha, Ani omed.
And behind the the difficult things that stand before you, I stand.
Here is a beautiful rendition of Yoeli Klein's new hit, performed by our dear friends Menachem Moskowitz and the Yedidim choir from New York. We've felt the bee's stinger, so now let's taste the honey - something good comes out of every tribulation and challenge; don't ever forget that!
Less than an hour ago, two Hamas missiles were fired on Ashdod, the second attack of the day. The Iron Dome intercepted one of them, but the other landed in the middle of town, hitting a kindergarten playground. In another of Hashem's miracles, no one was injured.
As I've said several times, southern Israel is known for its humor, especially in tough times. The latest joke is emphasizes the high level of academics in Israel: "In Israel, the only one who needs an education is the Minister of Education". Minister of Education Shai Piron is one of the leaders in the battle to secularize Yeshiva education, wanting to change the way our precious children have been learning Torah for centuries. None of his other decisions are any less ludicrous - he declared that schools in the south will be reopened tomorrow...
In sharp contrast to our national leadership, Ashdod has a wonderful mayor, Dr. Yechiel Lasri. Our mayor put his foot down and told his highness the Minister of Education, "Don't tell me how to run my city. As long as missiles are falling on Ashdod, our children won't go back to school." Hashem showed just how right Dr. Lasri is, with today's missile falling in an empty kindergarten.
Shai Piron, what would you have done if that kindergarten playground was full?
Thank G-d we can depend on Him, because the government certainly doesn't seem to know what it's doing.
Welcome to Islam 101, an introduction to Islam and Jihad.
The reason outstanding Intelligence is necessary in winning a war is that the more you know about your enemy, the greater the chances you have of defeating him.
Unfortunately, the naive West has no idea about Islam. Islam is a religion, of course; but, Islam as a political movement is what gives it strength. For example, in thirteen years as a spiritual leader, Mohammed converted 150 people to his religion. But, when he became a political leader and warrior, Islam exploded in growth, and Mohammed became king of Arabia in ten years. When Mohammed came to power, the population of Arabia was half-Jewish. By the end of the first two years of his reign, there wasn't a Jew left in Arabia, for they were either murdered or converted. A few others fled empty-handed to the desert, where most of them died anyway.
Political Islam is based on the separation between the Moslem and the Kafir, the one who doesn't believe in Islam. But, to define Kafir merely as non-believer is inaccurate. According to Islam, the Kafir is subhuman; Kafirs are the lowest and worst form of life. Kafirs can be freely robbed, murdered, tortured, enslaved, crucified and more. This is not radical Islam folks, but mainstream Islam. The only exception is if the Kafir is so strong that he can knock the Moslem to kingdom come - then he is respected, but only temporarily, until such time when the Moslem can overcome him. At that time, Islam requires the Moslem to attack the Kafir in a Jihad, or holy war.
So, as you can see, there can never be a peace treaty with Islam. We must have a peace treaty with Hashem, for that's the only way we can live in peace, as the Torah states so expliicitly.
We're delighted to introduce today's special guest lecturer, Dr. Bill Warner. The next three minutes will be an eye-opener, which will help you understand the current conflict between Israel and Hamas:
Do we really want Moshiach to come right now? Does anyone have the slightest idea of the ramifications involved?
Several leading rabbis and Kabbalists, such as Rabbi Dov Kook of Tiberias and the "Chalban" ("Milkman"), Rabbi Chaim HaCohen Farchia, have said recently that the Geula, the full redemption of our people, has already started. Since I knew that I'd be asked about this during one of my upcoming radio appearances, I turned to my esteemed and beloved teacher, Rav Shalom Arush shlit'a, to get a crystal clear emuna-oriented outlook on the subject.
Rav Shalom made my sidecurls stand up. He told me the following spine-chilling story:
A group of secret tzaddikim – whose names I am not at liberty to mention – came to visit my holy teacher, Rabbi Yehuda Zev Leibowitz osb"m, not long before he died. They composed a letter to Hashem demanding Moshiach, right now. They all signed the letter, but they lacked one critical signature, that of Rabbi Yehuda Zev. They knew that if he would sign it, then Hashem would have to bring Moshiach right away. They appealed to him, but they didn't expect his response…
Rabbi Yehuda Zev bolted upright in his wheelchair. He pointed a reprimanding finger at one of the secret tzaddikim. Like an upset lion, he asked, "Were you in the Holocaust?" The tzaddik shook his head in the negative. Rabbi Yehuda Zev turned individually to the second, to the third and to the fourth tzaddik and asked them the same question. None of them had lived through the Holocaust. "Well I did," roared Rabbi Yehuda Zev, "and I saw with my own eyes the indescribable suffering that our people experienced on their own flesh. I never want to see that again! Are you willing to take responsibility for the grueling tribulations that our people will undergo as a purification process, if Moshiach comes and they're not ready?" None of the tzaddikim were willing to accept such a responsibility. They aborted their idea then and there...
* * * * *
Does that mean we should stop hoping for Moshiach? By all means, no! But, we must prepare for him and understand that the current Gaza War is aimed at helping us to do just that. Read all about in in Rav Shalom's eye-opening article Moshiach, Now? in this week's must-read issue of Breslev Israel web magazine.
All the above articles are "editor's choices" - enjoy them and have a great week!
Do you live in Jerusalem? Are you looking for a wonderful employment opportunity?
Breslev Israel is looking for a dynamic English-language tele-marketing representative with a passion for spreading emuna. This individual, preferably a woman, should be disciplined, self-starting and articulate. The job is during evening hours at Breslev Israel's main office in Jerusalem. If you're interested, please contact Breslev Israel's general director Yosef Nechama at 02-5323339 or write email@example.com
Just an hour ago, Ashdod was again attacked with missiles from Gaza, shortly after some idiot government spokesman issued a statement that Hamas's missile stocks are depleted and they only (sic) have short range mortars.
Also an hour ago, 4-year old Daniel Tregerman Hy"d (image, above) from Kibbutz Nachal Oz was laid to eternal rest. He was killed on Friday from A Hamas mortar. Gila and Doron, Daniel's parents, had left their home in the south due to constant rocket fire from Gaza, but decided to return just a few days ago partly on the promise of security officials, including Chief of Staff Benny Gantz who said that residents of the south would be safe. We here in Israel are heartbroken - little Daniel is everyone's son and grandson. May the ever-so-pure little martyr intercede in our behalf, amen.
Are we really safe, Benny? Will our children be able to return to cheder this coming Wednesday? Only because of Hashem's loving kindness, and not because of the Three B's (Bibi the Prime Minister, Boogie the Defense Minister and Benny, the Chief of Staff). The Three B's lack one B, bitachon, trust in Hashem.
In the last 28 days of fighting, Ashdod alone has been attacked 96 times with hundreds of missiles. (Update, 11:45 AM - another missile attack, which brings the total to 97). Hamas is still firing at us. The government vacillation, inaction and fear of what foreign governments will say has the IDF virtually paralyzed, as many IDF commanders have expressed off-the-record in total frustration.
Much could be done that hasn't. Gaza can be severed. The areas of the Gush Katif settlements could be reclaimed. The war should end when Hamas raises a white flag.
The Government must immediately get off the fence, enlist Hashem's help and do what must be done to return calm to the south of Israel. Among other things, this includes fighting the real enemy - Hamas - and to stop fighting the cheap populist battles and the World of Torah. The Government must realize that without Hashem's help, they're as weak and ineffective as a rubber duck. The empty bravado must be replaced with sincere public prayers. Once they truly turn to Hashem, He'll never let them down.
Update, noon - less than an hour after I wrote the above emuna update, former IDF Head Rabbi Avichai Ronski shlit'a expressed very similar sentiments, here.
Shavua Tov! We had a stormy weekend in the south of Israel, and particularly here in Ashdod, with two missile barrages on Friday night, one of which critically injured a soldier on furlough, and another two missile barrages on Shabbat afternoon.
Would you like to help the war effort and help yourself as well? What would you say if a representative angel from the Heavenly Court appeared to you and informed you that your acceptance of your troubles with emuna could save the lives of hundreds of Israeli soldiers and citizens? Sound farfetched? See this, and have a wonderful new week!
For the last month, I've been doing my hitbodedut (personal prayer) sessions at home on our balcony. Today, I missed our lovely outdoors so much that I went out in the direction of the orchards. At 3:20 PM today, when I was on the way home, the red alert sirens wailed. The Iron Dome caught 3 or 4 incoming missiles, but one snuck by and made a direct hit on a synagogue, as you see above. Two people were lightly wounded from shrapnel and several others in the area suffered from shock. Baruch Hashem, the synagogue was empty. Another one of Hashem's miracles… Shabbat Shalom, and may we hear good news from one another.
This week's Torah portion, Re'eh, guarantees that living our lives observantly will bring blessings, while the opposite holds true also, as we learn in the parable about "The Wise Shoemaker." Enjoy this week's mini-lesson, and may we all have a truly peaceful Shabbat...