Sunday, April 30, 2017

Iyar: The Month of Healing


The Sefer Ta’amei HaMinhagim writes that our new month of Iyar is tried and tested as a time for refuah, healing, from the ailments and pains that may affect a person. Why is this so? He brings the B’nai Yisaschar, who teaches that most weakness and illness come from foods which do not comport with the person’s nature or composition.  Read full article at: Days of Mashiach

There are a couple of ways to assist in your own healing, and that is by saying the Unique Healing Prayer [but you have to do it properly and say every chapter relating to your [Hebrew] name, instructions are at the site].... and the other thing to do is to change your eating habits for the following reason:

"The reason a person's health returns through taking medicines is that his soul sees that he is able to control himself and to act contrary to his physical desires and habits. Perhaps he is accustomed to eating bread and other foods, but now he curbs his desires and submits to a medical regime, taking bitter medicines for the sake of his health. His soul sees that he has the power to control his impulses in order to achieve a certain goal, and she therefore comes back to him in the hope that he will curb his desires for the sake of the true purpose - which is to carry out the will of the Creator" [Likutey Moharan I, 268].  

Do we recite a Blessing on Medication?  Rabbi Eliezer Posner says:

If the medicine has a good taste, such as flavored chewable pills, recite the Shehakol blessing. [Seder Birchat Hanehnin 7:8] Flavorless medicine, such as pills that you swallow, do not require a blessing—but we do say a prayer that the medicine should take effect:

"May it be Your will that this medicine shall bring healing."

No blessing is recited on water that you drink to swallow down the pill. If you are swallowing it down with a beverage other than water, then you do recite the appropriate blessing on that beverage. [Tip: recite the blessing, take a sip, swallow the pill and then drink it down with the rest of the beverage.]

Friday, April 28, 2017

Recognition




''A person who seeks recognition is much like a goat that wears a bell around its neck to announce its whereabouts."

Source: Rav Mendel of Kotzk zt'l

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Do Jewish Sources Predict a North Korean Threat in the End of Days?


Fake weapons 


Listen to Tamar Yonah interviewing  R' Dov Bar Leib from the Years of Awe blog

Do Jewish sources predict a North Korean threat in the End of Days?  Tamar takes a spiritual look and then a more factual geo-political look at the North Korean threat.

Tamar also speaks to Dr. Mordechai ben-Menachem, author of the book Muslim Winter.  Click here to listen: The Tamar Yonah Show


The Power of Words

Pharris Art

These parshiyot – Tazria and Metzora tell about the metzora. Chazal say that the word “Metzora” is a combination of the word “motzi ra – one who emits slander” [lit. spreading negative information], implying that tzara’at is retribution for one who slanders, since he spread derogatory information. But there is another meaning to tzara’at that a metzora suffers, as it is stated in Gemara about tzara’at [Berachot 5b]: It is nothing else but an altar of atonement. Suffering purifies a person from all evilness, since through suffering he is cleansed from all sin. This is the reason for the juxtaposition: “If a woman conceives … and on the eighth day, the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised” and following this is parashat Metzora, which signifies that just as through the mizvah of Brit Mila [circumcision] the child connects to the Covenant of Avraham Avinu, so too the suffering and pain that a person experiences because of his tzara’at removes all evilness from him and connects him to Hashem, since suffering is for the benefit of man and he should not despair when it comes upon him.

Source: Rabbi David Hanania Pinto



This shall be the law of the person afflicted with tzara'ath, on the day of his cleansing: he shall be brought to the kohen. [Metzora 14:2]

People have a tendency to make light of the sin of loshon hara, said the Dubno Maggid.  They say to themselves:  ''What are mere words? I am not harming my friend in any way by simply speaking about him.''

The Torah therefore requires that the metzora be brought to the Kohen, in order for him to witness what man's speech is capable of doing.  With one word, the Kohen defines the status of the metzora, making him either pure or impure - such is the power of man's words!

Source: Rabbi Yisrael Bronstein

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Dreams are Always Revealing


HaRav DovBer Pinson on dreams and how they always contain either prophetic or subconscious revelations. You'll need to have a very quiet space and turn up the volume to hear him, he's talking very quickly.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Holding On


Today is Holocaust Remembrance Day [Yom HaShoah] 2017 in Israel


Story by Yaffa Eliach from "Hasidic Tales of the Holocaust", based on a conversation between the Grand Rabbi of Bluzhov, Rabbi Israel Spira and Baruch Singer: January 3, 1975.

It was a dark, cold night in the Janowska Road Camp. [The Janowska Road Camp was situated near the cemetaries and sand mountains outside the city of Lvov, in the Ukraine]

Suddenly, a stentorian shout pierced the air: "You are all to evacuate the barracks immediately and report to the vacant lot. Anyone remaining inside will be shot on the spot!"

Pandemonium broke out in the barracks. People pushed their way to the doors while screaming the names of friends and relatives. In a panic-stricken stampede, the prisoners ran in the direction of the big open field. Exhausted, trying to catch their breath, they reached the field. In the middle were two huge pits. [The vicinity of the Camp was scarred with bomb craters from WW1. The huge pits were used as torture sites and mass graves.]

Suddenly, with their last drop of energy, the inmates realized where they were rushing, on that cursed dark night in Janowska. Once more, the cold healthy voice roared in the night: "Each of you dogs who values his miserable life and wants to cling to it must jump over one of the pits and land on the other side. Those who miss will get what they rightfully deserve - ra-ta-ta-ta-ta." Imitating the sound of a machine gun, the voice trailed off into the night followed by a wild, coarse laughter. It was clear to the inmates that they would all end up in the pits.

Even at the best of times it would have been impossible to jump over them, all the more so on that cold dark night in Janowska. The prisoners standing at the edge of the pits were skeletons, feverish from disease and starvation, exhausted from slave labor and sleepless nights. Though the challenge that had been given them was a matter of life and death, they knew that for the S.S. and the Ukranian guards it was merely another devilish game.

Among the thousands of Jews on that field in Janowska was the Rabbi of Bluzhov, Rabbi Israel Spira. He was standing with a friend, a freethinker from a large Polish town whom the rabbi had met in the camp. A deep friendship had developed between the two.

"Spira, all of our efforts to jump over the pits are in vain. We only entertain the Germans and their collaborators, the Askaris. Let's sit down in the pits and wait for the bullets to end our wretched existence." said the friend to the rabbi.

"My friend," said the rabbi, as they were walking in the direction of the pits, "man must obey the will of G-d. If it was decreed from heaven that pits be dug and we be commanded to jump, pits will be dug and jump we must. And if, G-d forbid, we fail and fall into the pits, we will reach the World of Truth a second later, after our attempt. So, my friend, we must jump."

The rabbi and his friend were nearing the edge of the pits; the pits were rapidly filling up with bodies. The rabbi glanced down at his feet, the swollen feet of a 53 year old Jew ridden with starvation and disease. He looked at his young friend, a skeleton with burning eyes. As they reached the pit, the rabbi closed his eyes and commanded in a powerful whisper, "We are jumping!"

When they opened their eyes, they found themselves standing on the other side of the pit. "Spira, we are here, we are here, we are alive!" the friend repeated over and over again, while warm tears steamed from his eyes. "Spira, for your sake, I am alive; indeed, there must be a G-d in heaven. Tell me Rabbi, how did you do it?"

"I was holding on to my ancestral merit. I was holding on to the coat-tails of my father, and my grandfather and my great-grandfather, of blessed memory," said the rabbi and his eyes searched the black skies above. "Tell me, my friend, how did you reach the other side of the pit?"

"I was holding on to you" replied the rabbi's friend.

Memorial Sign for Jews killed in Lviv Janowska Concentration Camp



Rebuke


"He should be brought to Aharon the Kohen..." [Tazria 13:2]

The Kohanim (priests) were people of inherent kindness who blessed the Jewish people with love.  Therefore, when it came to declaring somebody with the severe condition of tzara'as, which required total isolation from the Jewish camp, it was imperative that this harsh judgment be done out of love, so the Torah required it to be done by a Kohen.

From this we can learn a powerful lesson: that if one feels that another person has acted disgracefully and one wishes to chastise him, one must first examine one's own motives to see if one's desire to rebuke another is truly being done out of love.

Source: Likutei Sichos Lubavitcher Rebbe

Sunday, April 23, 2017

North Korea threatens Australia



US Vice President Mike Pence  is currently in Sydney, ensuring that Australia is America's best friend, and this has angered North Korea who are now threatening us with a possible nuclear strike.

Mr Pence is spending today seeing some of Sydney's tourist attractions and will return to the States on Monday morning.  



Friday, April 21, 2017

A Sobering Thought

Art Rob Gonsalves


"Do not drink wine that will lead to intoxication, neither you nor your sons with you, when you go into the Tent of Meeting, so that you shall not die. [This is] an eternal statute for your generations..." [Shemini 10:9]

There is a view [see Rambam, Laws of Entering the Temple 1:7] that even nowadays a priest [kohen] may not drink a revi'is [86ml] of wine, for this is sufficient to cause some degree of intoxication, and since it is quite feasible that the Holy Temple will be rebuilt within the time it takes for him to become sober, the wine would thus render him unfit for service in the Temple.

Now, according to Jewish law, intoxication caused by a revi'is of wine can be removed by either a short sleep, or by waiting the time it would take to walk a mil. (There are different views as to precisely how long this is: either 18 or at most 24 minutes).

From here we see a remarkable ramification of the above principle: that Jewish law takes seriously into consideration the fact that it is possible for Moshiach to come, with a completed Holy Temple, within a maximum of 23 minutes and 59 seconds, thus requiring the priests to be ready for service immediately!

Based on Likutei Sichos Lubavitcher Rebbe [Gutnick Chumash]