22 May 2015

Chag Shavuot 5775 Sameach!

4 Sivan 5775
Erev Shabbat Kodesh
Day 48 of the Omer

May HKB"H grant that we be able to bring our firstfruits to the Beit Hamikdash...

Next year in Yerushalayim! Shabbat shalom! Chag Sameach!

20 May 2015

"THE THREE DAYS OF HAGBALLAH"

2 Sivan 5775
Day 46 of the Omer


From An Overview of Shavuos Part II
by Rabbi Yair Hoffman for the Five Towns Jewish Times
(For the Refuah Shleimah of Boruch Zev Ben Bracha)

THE THREE DAYS OF HAGBALLAH

“The essence of these days,” according to the Shaar HaMelech, “is to separate ourselves from all the vanities of this world to be prepared to greet Hashem. In each and every year we should look at ourselves as if we are preparing ourselves for Kabalas HaTorah on the mountain of Sinai.”

The separation means to focus on things spiritual, and avoid an emphasis on aspects of the physical world that take us away from concentrating on Hashem and upon our relationship with Him. Our brachos should therefore be recited with more intensity and concentration, we should avoid unnecessary window shopping and looking at catalogues. Rather, our focus should be on three more important things: 1] improving on Davening, 2] on focusing more on the life lessons inherent in our Torah studies, and 3] upon Chessed. Each of these three brings us ever closer to Hashem Yisbarach.

[Part I here]

19 May 2015

Binyamin on American Aliyah

1 Sivan 5775
Rosh Chodesh
Day 45 of the Omer

Q. There are rabbis saying to American Jews to get out fast, if not - after this they won't be able to!

A. The Americans, they're like the German Jews before the shoah. They lived very well in Germany. Currently, the Americans are living very well in the United States. Perhaps now it's a bit difficult, but overall they caught the disease called 'eigel-hazahav', and they're drunk on it, and it's hard for them to separate from it. Indeed there are people, good Jews who want to go, but where will they go? What, they will buy an apartment in Israel? There won't even be anything for them to rent! And what will they eat? Also, there is a government of evildoers here, who are not giving the child-payments normally...

[Clearly, Binyamin is speaking facetiously here after "indeed"...]

Q. So, really, on what will they live?

A. Hashem will help. The American Jew who truly believes with all his strength that it's true, that it's really going to be a disaster in the United States, and that it's already the end, and sees that it's 'already-Mashiach', then he'll pick up his pekalach and come, and he'll trust in Hashem. But, these are usually mixed very much with the life there, I'm speaking exclusively about Hareidim, because the rest are in general 'in the clouds', they're not in reality... So, even though they know the truth, the Hareidim, it's hard for them. And for those who know the truth and are standing ready - Hashem will save them, even though they will arrive here - there will be for them [what they need].

Another Sign of the General Breakdown of the State

1 Sivan 5775
Rosh Chodesh
Day 45 of the Omer

You have to read it to believe it...

Jerusalem: Many Residents Complain of Poor Postal Service 

No, even if you read it, it's still unbelievable. 

18 May 2015

"War After Shavuot"

29 Iyyar 5775
Erev Rosh Chodesh
Yom Kippur Katan
Day 44 of the Omer

Is Hashem setting up all His chess pieces on the board in preparation for the endgame?

As reported by Yeranen Yaakov...

They say in the name of the G-dly Kabbalist, the elderly Hacham Rabbi Sasson Tabashi [Tabasi?] Shlit"a, a hidden and remarkable Tzaddik, born in Iran, who lives in Yerushalayim in the Kerem neighborhood [Beit Hakerem? Kerem Avraham? Ein Kerem?] , and he is a Talmid Hacham who is elderly - 106 years old.

And already many times, he foresaw exactly the Lebanon War, the Gulf War, and the falling of the Twin Towers.

He said two days ago that they revealed to him from Heaven that a week after Shavuot, a giant war will break out in the Middle East, and it will be a difficult situation until Sukkot, and afterwards, Mashiah will come.

In today's news...

Iranian warships begin escorting Yemen-bound cargo vessel


Two Iranian warships have begun escorting the Yemen-bound Iran Shahed cargo ship in the Gulf of Aden, the vessel's captain said in remarks published by Iran's Tasnim news agency on Monday.

"The 34th fleet has made contact with us and told us that they will keep an active presence alongside the aid ship," Massoud Ghazi Mirsaid was quoted as saying by Tasnim, referring to a destroyer and a support vessel in the Gulf of Aden.

The warships will escort the cargo ship all the way to the port of Hodaida in western Yemen, which it is expected to reach on May 21, Mirsaid added.


Showdown looms as Iran ship nears Yemeni waters

...Iranian officials last week said they would not allow the coalition forces to inspect the Iran Shahed, which is under military escort, and warned of war if the cargo ship was attacked.

Russian, Chinese navies hold joint drills in Mediterranean

Nine Russian and Chinese navy vessels gathered in the Mediterranean Sea for joint military drills that will go on until May 21, the Russian defence ministry said on Sunday.

The first joint military exercises by the two countries in the region come amid high tensions between Russia and the West over Ukraine and as China is increasingly assertive in pursuing territorial claims at sea.

The Kindness of Hashem

29 Iyyar 5775
Erev Rosh Chodesh
Yom Kippur Katan
Day 44 of the Omer

"...the kindness of God is all day long." (Tehillim 52:3)

As shared on Rabbi Yosef Mizrachi's facebook page...

Whatever day it is right now as you are reading this, the kindness of God has been there for you from the beginning of the day, until this moment, and the kindness of God will be with you for the rest of the day until the new day starts. Tomorrow again you will be a beneficiary of the kindness of God, and this will continue each and every day for your entire life. This has been going on from your very first day of life and each and every day after that until this moment.

Imagine how you will feel when you experience an entire day with this awareness. From the moment you open your eyes in the morning until you go to sleep at night, every moment will have awareness of God's kindness towards you.

Allow yourself to be aware of being the recipient of constant kindness for an entire day. Every movement you make is an aspect of God's kindness. Everything you own is an aspect of God's kindness. Every interaction with other people has aspects of this kindness. Every bit of food you eat and any water you drink is an aspect of this constant kindness.

And what about the things that you usually overlook? On the day that you decide to become more aware of the kindnesses you experience, you will notice more and more things. You will see what you might not have seen before. You will hear what you might not have heard before. You will feel feelings of gratitude and joy that otherwise you might not have felt.

You will find yourself being more aware of God's presence. You will allow your mind to be filled with thoughts of appreciation of God's kindness to you. You will be more present oriented. You will focus less on anything you are dissatisfied with about the past. You will be free from stressful thoughts about the future. You will be focused on the present kindnesses.

When you do this, if your mind needlessly wanders to some thoughts that are not conducive to appreciation of kindness, gently and lightly direct your consciousness to the present kindness that you are experiencing. Just knowing that your mind has the ability to direct your thoughts is a wonderful kindness of God. How exactly does your mind direct your thoughts to thoughts of kindness? We have no way to explain this with our present limited knowledge. But the knowledge we do have of what we are able to do is something for which to be grateful.

And what would your entire life from now on be like if you would take this verse as a focus to frequently think about? And there is only one way to really answer this question accurately. And that is to make this a verse that will frequently be on your lips. For when you repeat it out loud and to yourself, your inner mind will focus on the kindnesses that you are experiencing right now on this day.

(Rabbi Zelig)

17 May 2015

Belated Yom Yerushalayim Wishes

29 Iyyar 5775
Day 44 of the Omer

Sorry so late. It couldn't be helped.

Blessed be Holy Yerushalayim forever and may it never again suffer the domination of the nations of the world!