It's All Good

Thank You God
Traveling so much around the world is not easy, but letters like the following make all my efforts more than worthwhile:

Dear Rabbi,

Uman. Shabbos before Rosh Hashana. Outside the kloiz. I heard you speak and I've had read the Garden of Emuna after my broken engagement almost two months previously, but the pain was still there and I didn't know what to do with it. Emuna? Not so much. I thought I believed. But I didn't know in what. Who's Hashem? He's here, there and everywhere, but that's the title of  a Beatles song too. I spoke to you and cried on your shoulder and you ever so non-judgmentally told me to thank Hashem for ten minutes a day for the pain and everything. Ok. Worth a try. You said to do it for ninety days and I'd see miracles and I'd be embarrassed for ever questioning G-d. I started right then. Within three days I was closer than ever to Hashem. Within the week I stopped counting what day I was up to knowing this was not something I'd stop doing. A month later I came to thank Hashem for the bad and had nothing to list... It was all good. Everything actually felt good. I couldn't believe and did teshuva for ever questioning Hashem.

The day after Sukkos I started dating a girl that was obviously incredibly special. My first thought when I saw her was "I don't know if this will work out and I may not even be able to have a conversation with her, but someone somewhere is getting the most amazing person and will be very happy."

Tonight we got engaged. Thank you Hashem. Forever. In all time and space. Thank you Rabbi Brody for introducing me to Him.

Please pray for us: With deep gratitude, Yisrael K., USA

The Big Backfire

Big Backfire
It's so amazing how everything that's happening today is all mentioned explicitly in the Torah and in the prophets. What happened in France last Friday night and why? What's in store for the rest of the world? Can shahida, Islamic suicide terror, be stopped?

To get the answers to the above probing questions, don't miss today's live broadcast and emuna shiur entitled "The Big Backfire", which takes place this evening (Wednesday), G-d willing, at 7:00 PM local time at our Chut Shel Chessed Yeshiva, 13 Shmuel Hanavi Street, Jerusalem, in the main sanctuary. 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 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! 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 on this coming week on Lazer Beams.

Unsupportive parents

Angry parents
Dear Rabbi,

My name is Sherrie. I live in California, and I became a baalas tshuva last summer, after attending a religious music festival (religious Jewish musicians are the greatest; I'm writing you because one of them told me that you rock!).

My parents are, in short, not particularly supportive of my decision. They think my keeping Shabbos is a waste of a day that could be spent on homework (I'm going into my junior year in high school, just turned seventeen), and that keeping kosher is a hindrance. Now, I have a lot of family issues - we don't have particularly great family dynamics in general. Anyway. So I wanted to ask your advice. Oh wait - I also go to public school and wear a kippah full-time. I got the impression from my musician friend - who's one of your fans - that you're not egalitarian, so I don't know if you like that, but it's what I've chosen to do. 

I've got to go. My mom is yelling at me. Thanks for listening!!


Dear Sherrie,

The way to get your folks on your side is to avoid any disrespect, and simply be a model daughter, just sweet, considerate, and loving; that'll be a showstopper! Disrespect to parents is worse than eating treif. Let them see how observant Judaism is simply making you a better person, but under no circumstances should you compromise on Shabbat, Kashrut, modesty, or what you know and believe is right (when in doubt, ask a rav that you trust). Be careful never to lose your temper, and even when your folks get all over your cage, simply grin and bear it - it'll cleanse your soul.

As for the egalitarian business, I'm not going to tell you what to do; if you're really searching for the truth, Hashem will help you get there. Most importantly, talk to Hashem for an hour a day in your own language. Make sure you read The Garden of Emuna too. Judaism without emuna is like a car without an engine - you won't get so far. May Hashem bless you always with all your heart's wishes for the very best, LB

Advice for a Duckling

Wolves and Duckling
All we want is to live a quiet life of Torah and emuna in the holy Land of Israel. Our enemies from all sides want to swallow us alive. Yet, with emuna, we take everything in our stride with a big smile on our face too. Why? Our enemies will devour one another as they've already started to do...

This all reminds me of a pack of hungry wolves who saw a little duckling. Each claimed the poor little thing for their supper, so they began to fight each other in a ferocious melee of blood and fangs. Each clamping on to the other's jugular, until they all dropped dead in a puddle of their own blood. When everything quieted down, the duckling crawled out from his hiding place under the table, and resumed his happy life as normal.

Advice to all ducklings: hide under Hashem's wing; it worked for King David (see Psalm 17:8) and it'll work for us.