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Thursday, July 30, 2009

You're not alone

Rabbi Yissocher Frand told over a fascinating story which I would like to try to share with you.
A prominent Rabbi from Israel was taking a cab ride. The cab driver was a non-observant Jew. During the ride he told the Rabbi a personal story of something that he had experienced several years ago. It went something like this...

Cab Driver: A couple of friends and I (Let's call them: Dror and Benny) decided to travel to the far-east as part of our global get away after a long 3 years of army service. One night, we were out camping in the mountains. In the middle of the night I was startled by loud screams. I thought I was still dreaming...but the screams just got louder and louder before eventually I opened my eyes and saw my two buddies were the ones screaming. Benny had been under attack by a scary looking python snake. The snake had wrapped himself tightly around Benny's body! I quickly got up. Dror and I grabbed a couple sticks from the ground and started smacking the python. It wasn't helping.

Dror had remembered what a religious Jew had once taught him about such times: Call out to Hashem and say "Shema". Dror told us to say it together. And so we did in unison at the top of our lungs "Shema Yisrael, Hashem Elokeinu, Hashem Echad!" Miraculously, at that moment, the snake released its grip and quickly disappeared back into the mountains.

Benny took this as a clear message from G-d. He had decided to end his trip early, he traveled back home to Israel. He soon after enrolled in a Yeshiva and became an observant Jew. He went on to marry a religious girl. (I guess they lived happily ever after)

Upon hearing this unbelievable story...
The Rabbi asked the non-observant cab driver: "And what about you?"
The cab driver responded: "I told you, K'vod Harav, that happened to my friend Benny. It didn't happen to me"
[end of story]

Rav Frand then related this story to todays "Financial Crisis." The Rav's main idea, according to my understanding was that the world today is going through a major financial crisis along with several other major problems.
Whether or not we are directly affected by them. Can we say: "It didn't happen to me"?
There are Jews who have lost their jobs. Jews who can't pay their electric bill. Jews who are in need of major help. Financially and emotionally. We need to acknowledge that these huge world problems are a message to all of us and not just to those directly affected. And we should try to help where and when we can.

I hope the above story can help us see things from a different perspective and feel a closer connection to Am yisrael.

We need to let our brothers and sisters know and feel that : "You're not alone".

With G-ds help may we be successful...

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

"Dveykut" to Hashem during the 3 weeks

Rabbi Alexander Cohen of gives a fascinating lecture on the 3 weeks and the unique opportunities that we have during this time.
This is a full 57 minute lecture. Enjoy

Obama and Tisha b'Av

What's the connection?
Go read Rabbi Lazer Brody's interesting post about Obama and the 9th of Av.

The Fast of Tisha B'av

Join Rabbi Chaim Brovender, Rosh Yeshiva of WebYeshiva, talks about fasting on the 9th of Av. Which actually begins tomorrow night.

Monday, July 27, 2009

"We Believe in G-d" To be emblazoned on Israeli currency?

MK Nissim Zeev of Shas proposes to print money with "We Believe in the Creator"on it - [seen on ynet] "Money and bills are the center of our life, and it is befitting that the money issued by the State of Israel will be a reminder of Jewish faith," explained MK Zeev. "Even those who don't uphold the mitzvot will be reminded in this way of the foundation of the religion of Israel." Arab MK Tibi didn't like the idea.

Israel exists only because of G-d. The Jewish people's survival and return to the land of Israel after 2000 years is totally miraculous . A sheep living among 70 wolves . All thanks and gratitude goes to G-d himself for making this possible.

"All of mans sustenance is alloted to him from Rosh Hashana until Yom Kipur (i.e. sustenance for the whole year) except for Shabbat expenses...Yom Tov expenses...expenses for Torah education..he who spends less, less is alloted to him..he who spends more, more is alloted to him..." [Gemara, Mesechet Beitza 16a]

We see that our money is also in fact from Hashem. Even though we work hard to earn it, we have to always remember that it's G-d who is providing it.

I think this is an amazing idea for the Jewish state. Thank you Nissim Zeev for bringing a greater awareness of Hashem to the people Israel - kol hakavod.

When Adar comes we increase our joy...When Av comes we decrease our joy

The month of Av has arrived and here is a related story which I heard from Harav Zamir Cohen.

Our sages teach us:
"When Adar comes in we increase our joy - When Av comes in we decrease our joy."
Hebrew: "Mshenichnas Adar Marbim b'Simcha - Mshenichnas Av M'maatim b'Simcha"

Rav Yonatan Eibeshitz z"l was known to be a wise little kid when growing up. One day upon coming home from school in the month of Adar, he decided to take out all the pots and pans from the kitchen cabinets and play some drums. His mother asked him "what is the occasion? He said "Ima, m'shenichnas Adar marbim b simcha!" (translation: "Mom, When Adar comes in we increase our joy!") He continued the party . The noise was getting a little out of hand for his mother.

Mother:"Yonatan, it's quite loud"
Yonatan: "yes Mom, when Adar comes in we increase our joy!."

By now the pots and pans were flying around the room and Yonatan was having a ball. A sudden knock at the door brought silence to the room. His mother went to answer the door and to Yonatan's surprise it was his father. Yonatan dropped his home made drums and made a run for it. He was in his bedroom within a couple seconds. After hearing what had happened, his father came to speak with Yonatan in his room.

Father: "What happened Yonatan, your mom told me that you were making alot of noise in the kitchen"
Yonatan: "Dad, but you know what our Rabbis tell us: When Adar comes in we increase our joy!"
Father: "ok, that is beautiful son... but why then did you stop when I came in?
Yonatan: "Dad, True, Mshenichnas Adar Marbim b'Simcha ... but ... Mshenichnas Av M'ma'atim b'Simcha"
(English: When Adar comes in we increase our joy... but ...when Av comes in we decrease our joy!")

Av is also the hebrew word for father - I hope you got that (-:

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Be a maven!

From the beginning of time the Jews have contributed to the world on such a large scale. If you compare the contributions to their numbers, it's phenomenal.(-: I was happy to discover that the word "Mavin" or sometimes could be spelled "Maven" actually comes from the Hebrew word "Meivin" which simple meaning is to understand. The wikipedia definition of the word is as follows:
[wikipedia] A maven (also mavin) is a trusted expert in a particular field, who seeks to pass knowledge on to others. The word maven comes from the Hebrew, via Yiddish, and means one who understands, based on an accumulation of knowledge.

Jews, you're awesome...keep up the good work in accumulating knowledge. The Torah is the greatest gift, and Hashem gave it to us, so we can live by it.

Try -Making a set time every morning on accumulating your knowledge of Torah - It adds up!
Consistency is the key...

Tisha B'Av is a few days away...

How to feel the connection. Lori Almost Live gives an insight.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Longest Total Solar Eclipse of the century ...ends off with the Star of David.

Amazing footage of the longest solar eclipse in the century (Thanks to: Rabbi Rachamim Pauli for the video link) You have to watch to the very end of the clip - you will see the shine of the sun give off a beautiful Magen David shape.

What does this mean? I don't know.

Here is a possible way to look at it: The long eclipse is a reminder of the long darkness that the Jewish people have endured throughout the exile and continue to endure. The light that shines forth at the end is to remind us of the light at the end of the tunnel which will be that of the Star David (i.e The Moshiach Ben David) may it be soon in our time. (-:

[Gemara Sukkah 29a] Our Rabbis
taught in a Baraita: “At the time that
the sun is eclipsed, it is a bad sign
for the idolaters
(a general reference to
the gentile nations).

As quoted by HaRav Amnon Yitzchak (See original 3 min Hebrew video of the Rav): In the book of Imrei Bina of the RAVAD (Avraham ben David HaLevy)written about 1000 years ago says the following: "At the end of the jubilee year of 48, the year 5768. A year afterwards, the Great Jubilee year 5769, (that would be this current year) the Pasuk: "Yom Nakam b'libi" will be fulfilled, in by which G-d will take revenge on the nations of the world."

So if you put it all's sounds pretty scary.
The times are changing at a rapid speed. G-d is not hiding the reality from us. North Korea is getting antsy - Iran is playing with fire - and USA is not the friend it used to be.
Israel has nothing to fear.
We have (G-d) Hashem as our protector - we always did and we always will.
We have to hang on to the Torah and Mitzvot that Hashem gave us...fulfill them with joy.. and get closer to Him. Now is the time. May Hashem protect Bnei Yisrael at all times.
Have a Good Shabbos!

Regarding the Magen David shaped Sun glare:
Someone had recently commented, saying that the lens flare of a Magen David shape could be done by using a certain type of camera lens. If that is true, I think BBC should use those more often. (-:
I also spoke with some video/photography guys to get their opinion. They have never seen this effect before, although anything is possible. Overall, they liked it.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Month of Av - Destruction or Creation?

Rabbi Pinson gives insight about the hebrew month of Av, a month filled with positive and negative forces.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

G-d went in with us - Miracles on the battlefield

Ariel Segelman joined the Israel Defense Forces and gives us a glimpse of the miracles and emotions that were experienced during the recent Gaza War.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Every Jew alive today is a miracle (spanish subtitles)

"This video is powerful. However, there is a fundamental flaw in the beginning (though it's not related to the main point.) Not sure if the flaw was made for political reasons or not, but the focus point and Holiest site in Judaism is the Temple Mount, not the Kotel. Thanks to those who pointed out the issue and thus again proving that Hashem is in the details."

Monday, July 13, 2009

"They encircled me like bees..."

It says in Tehillim 118:12(PSalms)
"They encircled me like bees; they were extinguished like a thorn fire; in the name of the Lord that I shall cut them off."
סבוני כדבורים, דועכו כאש קוצים - בשם ה’ כי אמילם.
(originally heard on Referring to the end of days , King David, over 3000 yrs ago, writes how Israel's enemies will encirle them and it goes on to compare the enemies to bees. What is this odd comparrison to bees? Why not say like lions, Tigers, or Bears? Rashi explains: Just as bees sting and immediately die. So too they will strike and immediately die. An apparent prophetic allusion to "suicide bombers". A method of war which is very popular among the enemies of Israel.
And to end on a good note, the end of the passage is clear: "they were extinguished like a thorn fire; in the name of the Lord that I shall cut them off."

"This psalm expresses gratitude and confidence. Just as David himself was catapulted from his personal straits to a reign marked by accomplishment and glory, so too Israel can look forward ro Divine redemption from the straits of exile and oppression."(The Artscroll Tehillim: chapter 118)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

A Master in Kabbalah - Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan ZT"L - a 1979 broadcast

Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan ZT"L & Dr. Russell Barber discuss Jewish Mysticism on the First Estate broadcast on WNBC-TV / channel 4 in 1979. Originally Recorded on a VHS tape.



Friday, July 10, 2009

Parshat Pinchas 2009 5769 - Essence of Peace

By Rebbetzin Tziporah Heller
In this weeks Torah Parsha, Parshat Pinchas, Pinchas' reward of a "brit shalom", a covenant of peace, teaches us what hating evil and loving good is really all about. For more spiritually inspiring Torah insight classes visit

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Month of Tamuz

In the video below Rabbi Pinson gives insight into the Hebrew month of Tamuz: The transformation from a jealousy in vision to the positivity in vision.

Fast of 17th of Tamuz

All who mourn the destruction of Jerusalem will merit the celebration of her rebirth.
On the 17th of the Jewish month of Tamuz (This year it falls out July 9th 2009) - from the break of dawn until night, as defined by halacha. Jews around the world fast on this day. There are 5 horrible events which occured on that day, one of them was the "Chet Ha'egel" The sin of the golden calf.
Rebbetzin Tzipporah Heller from speaks about the tragedy that led the Jewish people to the Sin of the golden calf and it's deeper implications.

Hashems Commando...

Inspiring song written and performed by David Dome for Rav Lazer Brody shlita.

Some Lyrics:
He left his old life behind
Now he tidies the mess in our minds,
To bring us from the dark into the light.
Confronting the things that are wrong,
In the places where lies don't belong,
And changing our grey into black and white.
Hashem's Commando faces the fight,
Changing the darkness to the brightest light.
Hashem's Commando shows us what to do
To help us become Commandos too.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Re: Amazing story of personal providence - Your Watching Me

If you watched the "Amazing story of personal providence" Than you have to watch this related Music video: You're Watching Me - Produced By Yossi Gross.
9/11 Miracle: A Person Saved Twice from Tragedy - By & Sung By Pruz

Monday, July 6, 2009

Amazing story of personal providence

Harav Yitzchak Fangar of tells over an amazing and exciting story of "personal providence". Hashgacha Pratit.

Let there be light!

In Tehillim (Psalms) Chapter 119: letter Pey - It says: "Petach D'varecha Yair" this can be translated to mean "The opening of your (Hashem) words will bring forth light".
What could we make of this?

The Vilna Gaon beautifully connects the opening passage of each of the 5 books of the Torah with an element that makes up the menora.
1) The opening pasuk (passage) of Bereishit/Genesis consists of 7 words. -- The menora consists of 7 Branches
2) Shemot/Exodus consists of 11 opening words. -- The menora consists of 11 Kaftorim (buttons)
3) Vayikra/Leviticus 9 opening words -- The menora consists of 9 Flowers
4) Bamidbar/Numbers 17 opening words -- The menora is 17 Tefach high / a tefach is about 10 cm
5) Devarim/Deuteronomy 22 opening words. -- The menora consists of 22 cups.

And indeed the opening of Hashems words will shine forth light!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Interesting finding - "...Upon Edom I will cast my shoe..."

While reading Tehillim (Psalms) , I came across a passage that I felt was kind of intersting...maybe even a little prophetic. (-:

(Chapter 108:10) 10. Moab is my washbasin, Upon Edom I will cast my shoe, I will shout over Philistia.
According to my understanding, many of today's scholars - both Talmudic and Kabbalist - agree that "Rome" or "Edom" is today's USA. Enjoy the clip...

12 suicides over Michael Jacksons death...Something to think about

Rabbi Yaakov Salomons weekly video blog from gives us something to think about.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Senator Menendez - floor speech - Acknowledging Israel's History

A speech given on June 16th 2009 - Senator Menendez NJ tells it as he sees it

Dvar Torah Parshat Balak 5769 2009 - A Good Eye

Shira Smiles: A good eyed people, according to the Torah in Parshat Balak, are the disciples of Avraham Avienu. A person can be involved in chesed all day but if they have an evil eye they will not benefit from this and the next world. If chesed comes out of selfishness then it is not true chesed. We must try to be like Avraham Aveinu and do chesed for others completely. For more Torah classes visit

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Parshat Chukat 2009 5769 - Power of Prayer

Rebbetzin Tziporah Heller gives a short vort on the Parsha.
In this week's Torah portion, Parshat Chukat, the episode of Moshe and "Mei Meriva" sheds light on the role of Moshe Rabbeinu as our leader and the lessons of prayer he imparted to us. For more inspiring Torah classes visit

Beautiful song by Yaakov Shweky

Legend tells that after the Holocaust, R. Yosef Kahaneman zt'l , the Ponevezhe Rov began looking for Jewish children who had survived the war. It was known that some of the children had ended up in churches and were being raised as Christians. The Rov encountered one church that denied the existence and presence of Jewish children within their midst... He was granted permission to enter the children's quarters to inspect for himself -- when he entered he began calling out "Shema Yisroel" and instinctively many of the children raised their hands to cover their eyes and started calling out "mama! mama!"

What does it mean to be a man?

Rabbi Lazer Brody gives words of insight on "what it means to be a man"

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

What is your source for news?

Do we stop and think about where we read our news and is it important? Rabbi Yaakov Salomon - gives "something to think about".

Roi Klein's Extraordinary Act of Self-Sacrifice

End of Days - Gog and Magog - Redemption - by: Rabbi kin

Rabbi Kin gives an amazing lecture about the end of days, Gog & Magog, and the final redemption. Where are we headed,? What needs to be done? It's not short, but worth watching.
I believe this video was taken over a year ago... and it's amazing how much has happened since then! Video Source:

The Chicken Lady - The remarkable 99 year old Chaya Hammer


Pick a mitzvah you're going to do to the max

What's Cholent?

Excerpt from

Cholent (Yiddish: טשאָלנט, tsholnt or tshoolnt) or hamin (Hebrew: חמין‎; also chamin) is a traditional Jewish stew simmered overnight, for 12 hours or more, and eaten for lunch on the Sabbath ... There are many variations of the dish, which is standard in both the Ashkenazi and Sephardi kitchens The basic ingredients of cholent are meat, potatoes, beans and barley. Sephardi-style hamin uses rice instead of beans and barley, and chicken instead of beef. A traditional Sephardi addition is whole eggs in the shell (haminados), which turn brown overnight. Ashkenazi cholent often contains kishke or helzel – a sausage casing or a chicken neck skin stuffed with a flour-based mixture. Slow overnight cooking allows the flavors of the various ingredients to permeate and produces the characteristic taste of cholent...