Monday, June 25, 2012

Emunah in HaShem and Moshiach

The significance of the 3rd of Tammuz in Jewish history that occurred during the first generation of Jews in the Land of Israel, shares the same with this last generation of exile and the first generation that enters into the Era of Redemption. The leader of this generation, the solitary major luminary of our generation, is the sun that never set - the Lubavitcher Rebbe, the present Rebbe of Chabad.

This 3rd of Tammuz marks the 18th year (!חי) we've been under trial of belief in the Rebbe's words. This week's portion of Torah is Korach. It says in Rashi there (Num. 17:13):
אין משה אומר כלום מלבו אלא מפי הגבורה
"Moses (of the generation) does not say anything of his own but that which he hears from God!"
Note this assertion's incisive, unequivocal and emphatic tenor - "does not say anything but"! Accordingly, we believe God spoke through the lips of the Rebbe and all that he said will happen will happen. May it be already now!

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Saturday, June 23, 2012

Overcoming the "Goy" Within Us

One aspect of the "goy within" is that it perceives the world exactly as the gentile does - a material, physical existence. Unlike the G-dly soul, which perceives only G-dliness, the "goy within" perceives only material existence. In the words of the Alter Rebbe: "The animal soul comprehends the physicality of this world and its materiality...the intellect which is enclothed in physical matters [and] which grasps physicality in accordance with human intellect is a lie and truly the opposite from G-dly wisdom which is the wisdom of truth." That is the "goy" within.

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Monday, June 11, 2012

Pastor Paul Tan and his Congregation -

Listen to this powerful and informative interview as you browse the web by Gavriel Sanders about Pastor Paul Tan and a group of Chinese messianics in Singapore rejects Jesus as being God or the Messiah and are now turning toward the Bnai Noach Movement or possibly even full conversion to Judaism.

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Thursday, June 7, 2012

Remembrance and Love

Shmiras Haloshon Yomi

17 Sivan, 5772 / June 7, 2012
Day 17 Remembrance and Love

SEFER CHOFETZ CHAIM Introduction: Positive Commandments 1-2
     When trying to impress a class of students about the evils of loshon hora, the average teacher would probably use examples of serious cases in which a persons reputation or livelihood was destroyed, or perhaps of a shidduch (marriage match) which was unnecessarily broken. After all, these are real-life illustrations which clearly demonstrate the danger of loshon hora.
     The Torah, however, does the opposite. In teaching us the evils of loshon hora, the Torah relates an incident which is so mild that it has barely a tinge of loshon hora. It is the case of Miriam, who spoke to Aharon about their brother, Moshe (see Bamidbar ch.12). Miriam was punished with tzaraas (a skin disease induced by spiritual impurity), sent out of the camp of the Jews to live in isolation, and the entire Jewish nation, well over a million people, was forced to wait for her to be cured before they could resume their travels.
     The Torah commands us to remember the story of Miriam to remind us of the evils of loshon hora, as it is written, Remember that which Hashem, your God, did to Miriam on the way when you were leaving Egypt (Devarim 24:9).
     The Chofetz Chaim points out how mild this case of loshon hora was. Miriam spoke about her brother, whom she loved and for whom she had risked her own life. She did not say something derogatory about him; all she did was mistakenly equate Moshe with other prophets. Moreover, her words were not said in Moshes presence or in public. And we know that Moshe wasnt hurt by her words and that there was no negative fallout. The Chofetz Chaim explains that this is precisely why the Torah uses this incident to teach us the evils of loshon hora. Despite all these factors and Miriams great personal merit, she was still punished.
     How much more culpable are people who speak loshon hora that does hurt people and does cause damage! When a person speaks loshon hora, he transgresses this commandment of remembering the lesson of Miriam.
     The Chofetz Chaim further states that when one speaks loshon hora, he also violates the commandment you shall love your fellow as yourself (Vayikra 19:18). It is obvious that if you speak loshon hora about someone: A. You do not love him, and B. You are not treating him as you would yourself. The proof to this, says the Chofetz Chaim, is that most people are well aware of their own faults, yet they are very intent on concealing them from others. Even if someone were to discover one of our faults, and would tell some of our friends about it, we would hope that they would not believe him.
     This is because we really love ourselves, and we do not want others to view us in a negative way. The Chofetz Chaim says that this attitude is precisely what the Torah wants us to apply to our fellow man. Just as we would be horrified to overhear our peers reviewing our faults, we should be equally horrified to participate in a similar conversation about someone else. And just as we are so caring and protective of our own egos, so must we be equally caring and protective of the pride of others.

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Friday, June 1, 2012

We Have a Higher Purpose than the Gentiles

While the Olympics may be fun to watch, that's not who we are as a people - we have a higher purpose. (wonderful write-up is here)

When we examine our mundane lives, it seems that the true spiritual experience is to be had on Shabbos, when we are able to withdraw from our mundane concerns and devote ourselves to Torah study andTefillah. After all, what could be spiritual about the rat race of pursuing a livelihood, and the numerous tasks of cooking, cleaning, and the like necessary to maintain a household? (You can learn much from this site - here)

Why is the Torah so elaborate in its description of the Sota, the wayward woman? Infidelity on a family level resembles treason on a national level...this is an 11-minute mini-lesson that you don't want to miss. Have a wonderful Shabbat (see it here)

We're told Moshiach's era has dawned. But many of us detect no change from how it was years ago.  So what gives? Read here

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