Now that we are in the time of the three weeks, mourning for the destruction of the Beit Hamikdash, we must take time to feel inwardly the destruction of our own inner beit hamikdash...our own inner kedusha. We must do our utmost to rebuild our inner sanctuary and to learn about rebuilding the Beit Hamikdash (through learning the hilchos Beis Habechira of the Rambam) as Hashem says He considers it as if we rebuilt the Mikdash when we learn those laws...it is a time of reflection and inner growth and spirituality.
It is time for the Jewish leaders and all the Jewish people to stand up and say the truth to the world: the land of Israel belongs to the Jewish people because G-d gave us that land.
here is a beautiful video to understand this concept fully and to know how to deal with the nations of the world who oppose Israel and want to claim we are "occupiers". http://www.collive.com/show_news.rtx?id=21044&alias=how-to-deal-with-the-un
I for one do not have a blackberry or an I pad. I simply have no patience or
desire for such gadgets. I feel that people become slaves to these things. They
do have a purpose. I can definitely see the use for storing information and
contacting people when necessary. But I also feel that these technological
“advancements”are destroying normal human interaction. I don’t know how you
feel, but I personally feel slighted when I meet a friend, am in the middle of
conversing and she suddenly gives me that look with the eyes that means “hold on
a sec” and she proceeds to launch into a lengthy communication with someone on
blackberry, laughing and seeming very amused, totally forgetting that I even
exist or that we were in the midst of talking!
To me this is totally against proper human interaction. Why should the other person calling get your attention simply because they text you? Cant they wait? Why is it the human being standing in front of you becomes worthless in your eyes when the “blackberry” friend calls? Why do we feel that we must answer the caller but the friend in person can be ignored, slighted or “put on hold”?
I see people standing in stores, in banks, sitting in cars….everywhere
you go they are “busy” on their gadgets, oblivious to life around them. And this
is what our children are growing up to see. This has become the new social norm,
the new way of “interacting”. But is it interacting? Or is it teaching us to get
into ourselves more, to delve into ourselves and ignore the world around us?
Perhaps it is a way of escaping from the stressful world around us. Or perhaps
it brings a sense of security in a world that bombards us and frightens us and
makes us feel lonely?
However, I still do not want the blackberry or the I pad. I do confess to using skype at times and even that I consider a waste of time but it helps me keep connected to my children and grandchildren in different corners of the world. I think facebook has its advantages in the sense of keeping families connected….but it also has its huge pitfalls, displaying private lives of people to others, bringing jealousy, ayin hara and all kinds of negativity. Facebook also is a social network but these social networks could connect you with people that may OR MAY NOT not be beneficial for you or your family. And what do you really gain? I think people have lost their priorities in life. And we are giving our children a wrong sense of priority. We have lost the true socializing and family oriented lives that people should have. We have allowed technology to take over our family and social lives.
Sephardim typically have very social lives: they are very together, constantly at family gatherings, constantly getting together for Shabbat and yom tovim. This is how life should be. But America encourages separation , divisiveness. So the only connection many people feel is through their blackberries and I pads, but is that reality? Is that life?? Is that what we want our children to see? That is a lonely life which is trying to be compensated for through technological devices.
Baruch Hashem for Shabbat! We cant use those devices then. We have to reconnect with our families and friends in a real way. On Shabbat when I meet you in the street you have to look me in the eyes and speak to me, you cant look down at your blackberry and ignore me…on Shabbat you have to become truthful to yourself and to others….G-d in His inifinite wisdom gave us the Shabbat to guard and just as much as we guard Shabbat, Shabbat guards us. That is what we want our children to see and experience.
I was watching an interview with Eva Sandler, widow of Jonathan Sandler, and her strength is incredible, may Hashem continue to give her strength and to comfort her among all the mourners of Zion and may she know only simchas from now on. But one thing she said that truly entered my heart: she said the spirit of the Jewish people can never be destroyed. And honestly she is right. I don’t know how many people could react with the dignity, fortitude and chesed of Eva. She is a remarkable, composed woman who, although totally broken, is able to put Hashem first and Kiddush Hashem first and to think of others before her own grief.That is the power of the Jewish soul, to have such a selfless reaction to tragedy ( and we certainly have experienced more suffering than any other nation in the world). But despite the darkness of galus and the suffering of generations we are still able to retain our faith and our spirit and our love of G-d.
This is truly a miracle, something super natural. This is the power of Torah and of the Jewish soul. And I was thinking to myself that the acts of terror perpetrated against Jewish people is all intended to break our spirit, the spirit of our nation, but they will never succeed because the Jewish soul is stronger than that and because G-d is with us.
Every terrorist tries to throw fear and doubts into the hearts of the Jewish people and isn’t that what Amalek is all about? To make us doubt Hashem and cool us off to yiddishkeit. But despite that the Jewish people collectively rally around and get rid of the doubts, the questions and fears and we cleave even stronger to Hashem in a way that is above understanding or intellect: true, pure faith . It is like an explosion of goodness that happens. One can feel in the world a special pure spirit descend from Above to save the Jewish people: every Jew who died al Kiddush Hashem brought a special light to the world. Nevertheless we scream out to G-d “ad masai??” how long must we be in galus and suffer? We need Moshiach,
We deserve redemption after so much suffering. The only comfort we can accept
is Moshiach! And now that we are in the month of Nissan, the month of redemption, we each must cry and beg Hashem to take us out of galus and to redeem us from the darkness , as it says in Nissan they (the Jewish people) were redeemed (from Egypt) and in Nissan they will be redeemed (with the coming of Moshiach). So may it be this very year that we will sit at the seder table in yerushalayim with Moshiach! Together with all the holy Toulouse martyrs and all the tzadikim. May it be NOW. And may it be redemption with rachamim and chesed.
I was thinking about how every morning the sun rises. Hashem set the nature of the world that way so we get accustomed to expecting light after darkness. And if you think that light following darkness is automatic, don’t take it for granted. When the Jews were in Egypt, one of the plagues was the plague of darkness that lasted for three full days! But for the Jews there was light and joy.
Galus is darkness. But now the month of Nissan brings us to think about redemption. And we have to expect redemption the same way we expect light
after darkness, the rising of the sun after the nighttime. That is how our faith
has to be concerning the coming of Moshiach. And the more darkness we see, the
more our faith has to be strengthened that the light of redemption will follow very fast.
Now we have to keep in mind , as we clean for Pesach, that the
light will follow the darkness and we will merit redemption immediately. That
faith and light will always remain with the Jewish people and give us the
strength to withstand the difficulties of galus. The main thing is to focus on
the positive; the light, the redemption that will surely be immediate, bkarov
Well, we did stamp out Haman and Amalek. We did….but obviously it
was not enough. Obviously the evil in the world is not yet gone. So now that we
did our part, we can only turn to Hakadosh Baruch Hu and beg Him to do His…..to
totally obliterate and remove from the face of the earth the evil terrorists
who murder innocent children and people. What can we say other than the
Rebbe’s famous words: Ad masai??? How long must we suffer in exile? How long
must this galus continue???
The world was created as a finite entity. There is an end to everything. And
there has to be an end to suffering as well. there has to be an end to
We all have to get up, as a collective entity, and demand that
Moshiach come now. Demand that the world should be the holy, pure place that G-d
intended when He created it. We have to demand that there should be an end to
It is not a coincidence that today is Chaf Zayin Adar, the day
the Lubavitcher Rebbe had his first stroke. The day that a horrible concealment
began. And as we get closer to the
time of geulah, things just seem to be more concealed. Sometimes we find it hard
to even find the bit of holiness and G-dliness inside ourselves, the bit of
sanity that still remains in a chaotic world that does not seem to make any
sense anymore. How do we keep going?
That is the message we take from Purim. We have to stamp out Amalek.
We cannot allow Amalek to exist on any level. We have to stamp out the doubts,
stamp out evil, stamp out impurity, stamp out anything that prevents us from
feeling close to Hashem or from serving Hashem with simcha.
Certainly this message is universal and we have to scream out Ad
masai. We have had enough of galus. We want Moshiach. We simply do not want
galus anymore. It is enough. We suffered enough. We have to scream out that we
have had enough and we cannot tolerate anymore. When Hashem hears that we are
all fed up with this situation and we are not able to continue like this, when
He sees we reached the end of our rope, that is the time for the yeshuah.
So we all have to truly scream ad masai from the depths of our
souls and not stop until we actually have the geulah and Moshiach now.
Well, Purim was great, as usual. We stamped out Haman harasha....we danced and sang and got a bit tipsy so we could get rid of the forces of impurity and all our enemies and focus on drawing down the blessings without obstacles.
Now that Purim is over we are preparing for Pesach. I actually love Pesach. I love the feeling of purity and cleanliness in the air. I even enjoy the physical work of cleaning. As I clean physically, inside I try to clean myself spiritually: to get rid of the chametz, any ego, any selfishness or impurity. It is quite an avoda but that is part of the simcha of Pesach.
So happy cleaning everyone!
So it is Chanukah again. I love Chanukah. Not because of the latkes and doughnuts...although those are definitely delicious. But it is the light that draws me. (I guess that is why it is called the festival of lights, not the festival of doughnuts or latkes). Those Chanukah candles just produce such an amazing light. Each night we add light and as we add a candle, inside me I feel that something is lit up. Each night I feel that inside me there is more light to combat the darkness of the world. and i realize the message of Chanukah is very powerful: we have to dig inside ourselves, into our neshomahs, and find that little bit of pure oil that can never be tainted by the goyishkeit of the world or secular values. that little bit of pure oil that we have to use to light up our neshomahs, to light up our part of the world and to shine light to others.
And inside each of us there is that spark....that pintele yid that is always connected to Hashem, that always remains faithful, that feels strong emunah and simcha...that little spark that lights up so much darkness. Just like one tiny candle can illuminate an entire room that is black, so can our neshomahs light up the inner darkness within each of us and illuminate the outer darkness of the world. The world that conceals G-dliness, that conceals truth...each of us can light up the world and reveal that holiness in everything. And we start with ourselves, one candle at a time....and every night we add light.
So that is why I love Chanukah. And just as much as I love chanukah, I hate darkness. And I pray for the day when all the darkness will be converted to light, when Moshiach will come and Hashem will remove the spirit of impurity from the earth. And maybe that is why Chanukah is one of the holidays that will remain after Moshiach comes...because the light is so great that it can never be nullified.
We are all definitely grateful to Hashem for releasing Gilad Shalit safely back to his family and to Israel....I always felt he would return safely because when he was captured, Chabad went and put a huge mezuza on his door and I am sure that saved him all these years. It shows you the power of a kosher mezuza!
So of course it is a great simcha to have him back...but the release of thousands of terrorists is deplorable, to say the least.
But today I was thinking about security of eretz hakodesh. Israel, eretz hakodesh, is the holy land. It is not just another country in the world. It is the country chosen by Hashem for the revelation of His kedusha, Beis Hamikdash and chosen to be the land that G-d gave to the Jewish people. We read about it in the parasha of Bereishis.
But there is more to security than simply keeping terrorists out. Israel must secure its borders...not just for physical security and safety, but because spiritually it affects all Jews all over the world. When Israel's borders are secure and non Jews cannot enter the land or cause harm, then on a spiritual level also the borders within each Jew will be secure...no impurity, kelipa or goyishkeit will be able to enter or harm the integrity of a Jewish soul.
Of course this will bring holiness to the world in general.
Naturally every Jew who lives a life of kedusha and holiness, puts on tefillin, has kosher mezuzot on their doors, eats kosher, keeps Shabbat etc. is protected from Above from the forces of impurity. But we are speaking in general about protection for klal Yisrael. Many of the terrible things that occur worldwide within Jewish communities could have a connection to the fact that the borders of eretz Yisrael are not secure. May Hasehm inspire the leaders of eretz yisrael to do what is right, to stand up and declare to the world that G-d gave Israel to the Jews and we cannot give one inch back nor can we compromise the security of the land for even one moment. May we all merit redemption and Moshiach now.
As we stood in shul listening to the Torah reading for Shavuos, to hear the aseres hadibros, I pictured in my mind the tremendous drama that unfolded at Har Sinai and how Hashem Himself spoke and we all heard him. I found myself thinking “But why did Hashem create this world? What does He gain from it?”
I know Chassidus explains that Hashem created the world because He desires a dwelling place in the lowest realms. Somehow, for some unfathomable reason, that gives Hashem
But why then did He create so much evil in the world? I know , so we should have free choice.
And then it kind of struck me: free choice. That is the key to everything. We, His chosen nation, have free choice. We can choose to help Hashem actualize His desire and plan for the world by becoming His partner…by following the Torah, doing the mitzvahs and
increasing in doing goodness and kindness in order to bring about the redemption of the world and the geula.
He wants us to be His partner. He wants us to choose to help Him and to choose to take up His cause, so to speak. He wants us to choose so He can reward us. He does not want us to just do things as robots without any choice. He wants us to choose good, to choose to follow in His ways and to reveal the underlying G-dliness in the world.
He even implanted within each and every Jew an actual part of Himself, a Divine soul. Such a tremendous responsibility we have since we carry within ourselves a part of G-d. If, G-d forbid, we do not choose properly in life, we shlep Hashem Himself into our mess.
Certainly we do not want to shlep Hashem into impurity. He descended , so to speak, into the impurity of Egypt to rescue us from that. But for us to shlep Him into purity because of wrong actions or sins is a very sad situation.
So we have to think constantly that we have a soul, a part of Hashem, and we have to respect that and take care of our souls. Our neshomahs want only holiness, purity and goodness. And that is what Hashem wants too. He may have created “evil” in order to provide us free choice, but He certainly wants us to choose good. And then we actually become Hashem’s partners in fulfilling the purpose for creation and in bringing about the redemption from this last and most painful galus.
And the key to everything is to accept the Torah with happiness, to spread its teachings (especially the inner mystical dimension, pnimiyus of Torah, Chassidus). And when we do our part with joy and good hearts, surely Hashem will fulfill His promise to redeem us.
So maybe I don’t understand why Hashem really created this world the way it is or what He gains out of it (and I dont have to understand), nevertheless, since we are created beings and Hashem wants us to do His will, it certainly behooves us to say “naaseh vnishma”. We don’t have to understand: we just have to do, with kabbolos ol, with humility, and I suppose that is what Hashem loves. He loves to see simple Jews, who certainly do not understand things on a lofty level, doing mitzvoth with happiness and rejoicing in being Jewish. This is what gives Hashem pleasure. And I guess that is what makes this world worthwhile to Him.
And we owe it to Him to think about what we can do to give Hashem nachas. After all, He does so much for us every single second, including bringing us into existence. We certainly should think how to make Him happy! We, as parents, get so much nachas from our children when they fulfill our will and respect us and try to please us. As Hashem’s children it is very much the same idea.
The Torah we receive each year on Shavuos has to permeate us deeply, within, and bring about a change of consciousness. We need to connect to Torah, to Hashem, to holiness….by doing so we have the strength to light up the world and to bring redemption. If we don’t do it, who will? Each of us has to feel responsible for our portion of the world . We are G-d’s emissaries to fulfill what He wants done. What an awesome privilege! What an awesome
Well, many people may feel that Netanyahu stood up strong and spoke forcefully to the congress.
I beg to differ. Yes, part of his speech "sounded" nice....but he always falls short of saying the truth. What is the problem with Israeli politicians? They all get entangled trying to convince the world of our right to exist, our right to defend ourselves, why we have to make painful concessions (chasve shalom) etc. etc. But that is because they start off on the wrong foot.
Why is it that nobody says the truth?
It is time that every Jew and every politician in Israel, including the Prime Minister, should STOP talking about peace with the palestinians. We do not have to pursue peace because it is an illusion: the palestinians do not want peace and every intelligent person knows that.
And as Jews, we are forbidden from giving away one inch of the holy land of Israel. We all have to speak the TRUTH; that G-d gave the land of Israel to the Jewish people, and the borders of Israel are clearly delineated in the Bible, and nobody in the world has the right to demand that Israel give one inch of that land away to non Jews! it is as simple as that. If anyone objects, let them take their objections to G-d. He is the only authority Who can define the borders of our land.
If we take that stance, there is no talk about a 'two state" solution. Because that will never be a solution! There cannot be two states in Israel. There is only erezt YIsrael, eretz hakodesh, and the palestinians (which is not even a proper term because there is no such thing) can find plenty of other land to live in. We Jews are not occupiers: the arabs are occupying our land and they either have to respect or get out! It is as simple as that. When we defend our borders and we stand up to the world and say the truth, that this is our G-d given land, all opposition will fall away. If we give an inch, it only results in more concessions, in more terror G-d forbid and more tragedies. Wasnt the murder of the Fogel family enough! Hashem yirachem. We have to pray for Moshiach. THAT is the only solution for peace.
Why are people afraid to say this? The Lubavitcher Rebbe made it clear: we cannot give away one inch of eretz Hakodesh. Doing so only invites more bloodshed, tragedy and lack of security for the Jews.
And even from a military point of view, it makes no sense to give up one inch of our land.
There is nothing to argue about.
We all have to make a campaign to say the truth to the world....and then we are assured of Hashem's help and blessings and our success. America is only a shaliach from Hashem...we dont have to convince America of our right to exist. We have to rely on Hashem alone and America will do whatever it is that Hashem wants. The first step is to speak the truth!
I think our generation is living in historic times.....so much upheaval in the world, so many changes. The death of Osama Bin Laden, yemach shemo, is obviously part of the process of geulah. The day he was killed, Chaf Ches Nissan, is the day the Lubavitcher Rebbe said his famous sicha about how he has done all that he can to bring the geulah and he is now turning the matter over to us....nevertheless he is still helping "behind the scenes" so to speak. One of those behind the scenes miracles is the downfall of Bin Laden.
It is interesting to note that sadam hossein was captured on Yud Tes Kislev, another famous Chabad yom tov.
There is a direct connection between the downfall of evil and the coming of Moshiach.
Arab nations are suddenly revolting....everything is in chaos (indicating the source of those nations: the world of tohu, chaos).
All of these are signs that Moshiach is very close. We have to take advantage and pray and beg Hashem to bring redemption to the world. The Rebbe never abandoned us and since he promised Moshiach is coming very soon, we can be sure it will happen. We just have to do our part, to participate in this great redemption, by refining ourselves, refining our corner of the world, and of course making others ready for the geulah. this is our task now and we have to be stubborn and not give up. We have to go forward and demand redemption because the world is ready and in need of salvation. Every day remember to pray that we should merit redemption. Every day ask yourself: What have I done or what am I doing to prepare myself, my family and my community for the geulah?