Thursday, December 22, 2011

Being Beholden to G-d

So small a phrase as "Thank God" has awful resistance for some to bring to expression. Probably they fear the listener will recoil with horror at the thought the person speaking believes in "fairy tales". Meaning to say, the speaker wants to feel accepted.

But there are many who do express their gratitude by invoking the short phrase, "Thank God". And because they are so grateful, they want others to be grateful as well, so they have no qualms to assert their belief in God. Rather than wanting to be merely accepted, these speakers want to be influencers too. Rather than being timid, they want to be strong-willed. Rather than shy away from revealing their belief, they want to communicate it and, if need be, if they're questioned, they will easily explain their belief in a way where the listener should understand and he or she also become a grateful recipient of goodness, an occasion that even just breathing offers.

"How are you" is a commonplace greeting in America. "Thank God" should become at least as common, if not more so!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Thursday, December 15, 2011

How Many Religions Are There in the World?
Jew & Gentile: Two Modes of Proper Conduct

Jews must convey to their Gentile peers the requisite for fulfilling the "7 Noahide Laws". We find this statute in Maimonides' paramount compendium of Jewish law, "The Strong Hand" (division "Judges", section "Kings", chapter 8, rule 10).

Regarding a Gentile with no faith in God, who feels free to behave as he wishes, especially in a free country, from the moment he arises in the morning, he has no plans for devout activities. For such a person, the 7 Noahide Laws may come as a rude awakening, for suddenly he's saddled with a new set of responsibilities he never would have imagined.

A religious Gentile may find it less traumatic to learn of the yoke he must bear to the Almighty, but he too will certainly be taken aback by this religious commitment he needs undertake, "a set of 7" he never knew about.

As for the Jew who must impart this information to his Gentile peer, this responsibility is extremely distasteful. A Jew never had it in his tradition to proselytize; It's not in his blood to talk religion with a Gentile.

The Jew who lacks faith in God would scorn this task as being ridiculous. So degrading a chore as this - to convince others of fairy-tale machinations - he wouldn't even wish for his enemy.

As for the religious Jew, after a millenial-long tradition of being under Gentile rule, always in fear of being downtrodden and on the defensive, when only recently the phenomenon of racial equality becoming socially palatable, he is not accustomed nor does he relish this now-feasible calling. He must go out among Gentiles and proclaim to them their charge of the 7 Noahide Laws. He'd rather be shackled and told to stay home than actively mimic the Gentile proselytizers he so despises, knowing they want to sell him on pennies so he give up his gold. For him to have to spread this set of laws to Gentile peers will make him feel like some sleazy insurance or used-car salesman.

So - we end up with Jews who shrink back from their responsibility to enlighten, and Gentiles who may well rebuff any new religious liabilities they will learn about.

The metaphor for this situation is the horse and buggy, with a passenger. The horse gallops along, and no matter if the passenger is smart or stupid, king or pauper, the horse, as far as it is concerned, could care less.

Similarly, that a person with obligations may reject or dismiss them - will not change the fact of the matter. The world gallops along its temporal course from one day to the next. One of these days, divine reckoning shall ask each of us if we fulfilled our duty on earth, and, by then, we will not be able to feign ignorance nor cast judgement aside. We'll be held accountable for our deeds.

We were created in God's image, which means we have the ability to think and reason, unlike other species.

So, to understand why disseminating, on the one hand, and accepting, on the other, the 7 Noahide laws is imperative, let's think and reason:

Suppose you host a guest in your home. Wouldn't you expect him to show appropriate manners? Would it not annoy you if he sits on your dinner table, carelessly breaks a crystal, or spits on the carpet? Would it not also offend you if such crass behavior were to occur mindless of your presence?

This anecdote symbolizes our lifetime on earth. We are the world's guests, given this incredible opportunity to live a life, by God our host. Do we disrespect the master of this domain and behave ungratefully?

You might ask, "But what constitutes 'appropriate behavior'? How is one to distinguish between what's really right from wrong?"

Think and reason again. The creator of any complicated gadget always leaves a set of instructions how to correctly operate his creation.

The same is true of the created universe. We creatures too have been given a manual of instructions. It happens to be the most widely read book in the world and the most popular in human history, until this very day! In the whole world, hardly a home exists without one, or at least without the ability to get one immediately!

Thought and reason should also lead you to understand and conclude that this fact is no mere happenstance. It's God's way to make sure we all have access to Him and His expectations of us. God also wants you to fill in the dots of so many more happenings around the world, especially events concerning His representative people, who have always been believers of His monotheistic presence, for that too will reveal important points in the mosaic of truth God wants people of thought and reason to realize and appreciate.

The very existence of the Jewish people is a phenomenon that transcends nature. It is the equivalent of a sheep that survives among 70 hungry wolves. The Torah is the glue that keeps the Jewish people true to their faith and miraculously assures their collective, if not individual, survival.

The book God gave the Jewish people is called Torah. The word means "a book of instruction". That name is deliberate.

The Torah, as it was gifted to the Jewish people 3,323 years ago, in its original Hebrew language, provides all the answers. Torah is your source for truth! As long as you allow others - other than observant Jews - to teach you what Torah says, or, as long as you find reason to follow those who shun the opinion of such Jews, you will never know the truth!

Not one letter has ever been added or removed from Torah since its inception, in 1312 B.C.. It suffered no revisions or modifications, and never will, because divine perfection gets it right the first time and remains eternally perfect. No translation of it can do justice to the original language. Unlike every other language, which is artificial, Hebrew is God's language.

Only observant rabbis profoundly intimate with Torah and Talmud (oral Torah tradition) can provide answers to questions of appropriate behavior.

The Torah prescribes two modes of appropriate behavior in this domain of God; One prescription is for the Jew; The other, for the Gentile. The Jew has 613 commandments (plus ramifications thereof) he must follow. The Gentile has 7 (with its own ramifications); These are the so-called Seven Noahide Laws.

So, what constitutes proper conduct in God Almighty's abode? What behavior befits the King's palace? There are two, depending on who you are. One protocol applies for Jewish people, and one for Gentile people. Each group has its own role in the world. The Jew is the Torah's beacon. The Gentile is the world's colonizer. Each has his own related set of commandments. Anything else falls short of these requirements and lacks divine sanction!

So, how many religions exist in the world? Who knows; There ought to be none! Torah endorses only two modes of proper conduct, one for Jew and one for Gentile, no more, no less. You can't beat this elegant simplicity, nor the inherent synergy.

As for the payoff - righteous Gentiles in this world earn their future ticket into the world of truth.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The "Downed" Drone

For those who feel confident this horrible Obama-thing will blow over and everything will turn out roses again after 2012, are due for a rude awakening. They do not realize how rotten the core of our present American administration and its supportive infrastructure has become. They do not see how the media manipulates the political scenarios, nor how the Republicans, as sure as the Democrats, are also with their hands in the pot. They do not realize that even the likes of so-called conservative Newt Gingrich is also on their payroll. They do not realize how so many individuals depend on or leach off of the financial support of the administration; This goes for common folk as well as for multi-millionaire politicians. The longevity of this corruption will not hold the weight and will have to buckle, but not before the regime in power wins a 2nd term and then will proceed to purposely break the system and its adherence to the principles upon which it was founded, namely The Constitution.

So corrupt is the regime, it has no iota of moral fabric. To engineer their takeover and transformation of this capitalistic society into a socialist, totalitarian one, they have conspired to run guns into the hands of Mexican gangs so that the guns can find their way back onto U.S. soil, doing damage they hope, thus giving the administration good reason to "clamp down" on gun ownership, thereby executing the next phase of their takeover and do-over, because without guns people are completely at the "law"-enforcement's mercy.

The drone that fell into the hands of the enemy is another glaring example of such conspiracy in the works. Nobody "downed" that drone; That drone was purposefully put into the hands of the Iranians. The administration has its moles planted in the U.S. airforce, who purposefully handed over this drone into enemy hands, knowing full well that China, Russia or Iran will thereby be offered the American regime's secret support, to eventually overwhelm American military superiority and thereby bring about a new, universal world order of socialist structure. The same regime that emasculated NASA, the same that undermines America's desire to create a democratic Iraq, the same that now has TSA agents in place to halt the outflow of the dollar they plan to devalue, will, after it wins a second term, bring America to its knees - forthwith, faster than you can a raise a protest against.

We are quickly approaching the Ultimate and Final Era of Redemption. This article brought you the Previous Rebbe's prophecy - that Democracy will turn out to be the last "ism" to be destroyed prior to the Messianic era, and now we are about to see just how fragile and corrupt an ideal this man-made structure can become, and will self-destruct, just as Socialism proved to be worthless and was destroyed. Looks like this prophecy is coming on fast and furiously - all for the good of the Jewish people (despite those still hoping to hang on to this flimsy, corruptable ideal they put all their faith in).
(See here too, The Rise & Fall of Israel & America, Respectively)
(And here too, re: Current Events in Bright Perspective)

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Hagar the Matriarch

Ever hear an Arab talk about his "history"? Inevitably he mentions Abraham, the patriarch of the Jews, whom they'd like to possess for themselves, which is why they hate Jews so badly.

But did you ever hear them make mention of their matriarch? That would be like offering some semblance of worth to a woman, which is so non-Arabic, so non-Muslim; After all, they would argue, or at least think, how can you attribute value to a mere object of lust, any more than you could attribute greatness to a goat! In fact, the goat doesn't have to wear the burkha.

Most probably the "elders" of the Arabs/Muslims, who know about the true story of Abraham, at least those few who credit Torah for being the truth, and, realizing that Hagar was but a maidservant of the first Jewish matriarch, Sarah, whose only son she made sure would inherit Abraham's legacy, while Ishmael, Hagar's son, she chased away from her premises, making sure he'd never inherit anything pertaining to Abraham, could hardly take pride in their driven-away matriarch.

Do I come to mock another "religion"? Yes of course, because it is no religion in the first place. Belief in the One G-d is indeed righteous. If that is all that they would believe in - they would be a holy people. But they take that premise, and add to it the rubbish written by a pedophiliac, thief, murderer and hater, and, in the name of G-d, commit atrocities and delight in the atrocities of the likes of Hitler, so - taken together - it is NOT a religion at all, but rather a sick culture.

Ever hear of an Arab/Muslim who murdered in cold blood and did NOT invoke the name of G-d at the time of his inhumane crime? This is the sickness of a deep-rooted culture that begins from infancy. Offer them any leeway, any show of respect, and you end up undermining yourself.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

A Natural Deodorant

Deodorant companies won't tell you this, but the best and natural deodorant is - baking soda! Apply a little of its powder in the axillae and for the rest of the day odor is eliminated. Not only is the substance natural, it works much better than artificial deodorant, and it's practically free.

Baking soda has no smell, does not stain clothing, retains its power for hours long, even on the hottest of days, is cheap, and, most important, does not contain dangerous ingredients such as aluminum, which practically all artificial deodorants contain.

Young people are often most likely to purchase the artificial deodorants, out of sheer ignorance, and most often they know nothing about the risks these can have on their own health, or on those who have to smell the spray when it is sprayed on. What they don't know is that clean sweat has no smell. Armpits and their sweat serve a bodily purpose. Artificial deodorants not only have dangerous substances that can be absorbed from the pores into the body, they also impede the natural, and therefore necessary, elimination of waste products from the armpits.
Other uses of this wonderful product:

Skin tears between the toes. Most creams don't work resolutely because shoes are full of bacteria and fungii. A good strategy is to put some powder into the shoes at night, and seal each shoe within a plastic bag. In the morning shake out the powder or vacuum it out. The rest of the day your shoes will be bacteria- and fungal-free.

Closet odor. Place a small dish with powder into the closet. The sodium bicorbonate will absorb the bad odors.

Removes stains from clothes. Just add 3 spoons of the stuff into the washing machine.

Shining teeth. Just add some of this powder onto your toothpaste. (Especially if you smoke!)

Got ants? Spread some powder around there.

Other uses include cleaning grime from pots, smell from thermos bottles and stains on carpets.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Direct Conduit for Hashem

Translation of the above note:
Because a Rebbe's answer is, after all, "The word of Hashem was spoken to me, Whose word is on my tongue."

In many Chabad ceremonies, a family often distributes to guests "gifts" (תשורה) for their reading pleasure. Such booklets contain historical anecdotes of personal encounters with the Rebbe, or those of relatives, or letters to or from the Rebbe, which the family unveils to share with their guests.

This image I cropped from such a gift handout, and share with you. I hope you appreciate the significance these few hand-written words of the Rebbe imply. They could just as well have been written by Moses, the leader of his generation. As we see in Deut 18:15, "A prophet from among you, like myself, Hashem will raise for you [every generation], to whom you should listen."

I can well appreciate during these concealed times the enormity of this last trial for many fellow-Chabadniks, how much more so for Chassidim of other affiliation, and especially more difficult to grasp for those outside the realm of Chassidut, for this concept of נשיא הדור, the Prince of the Generation, has now become strained, just as strained, if not more so, as the day Moses was expected to come down from Mount Sinai the first time -- when some felt he tarried. But a trial it is. Only this one is the final trial. Yet he who holds fast, and is willing to explain why, will convince enough Jews to accept the implication, a few more of which will trigger the "critical mass" for acceptance, needed for his re-revelation.

(As for why the Rebbe slightly modified the above quote, from Shmuel 2, 23:2, in this case replacing the word דבר for רוח, we do find it when the Rebbe wants to specify and explain a specific word, as here, that רוח means דבור. Regarding this concept, see also Tanya p. 278 (top).)

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Amnesty from Hell - Psalm 23

The Previous Rebbe reveals for us what King David thought when he authored Psalm 23 (translated below, from הקריאה והקדושה, pp.781-2). It behooves every Jew to understand this short Psalm, for whom it was written in the first place. As a preface, I repeat what the Tzemach Tzedek said, that Moshiach will rejoice with the simple Jews, those who set aside their "brains" lest it interfere with their faith in the tzaddik's words. The "wise ones" will then have good reason to be jealous.

A friend once told me this about happiness - in Hebrew, שמחה: It consists of two inner letters and two outer letters that read מח שה, meaning "the mind of a sheep". True happiness is achieved by following the tzaddik's words as a sheep follows trustingly its shepherd. Much of the following relates to words of a tzaddik and the benefits of relying on and trusting Hashem, allowing oneself to be shepherded in His ways.
Our sages tell us, when a Psalm opens with the words "מזמור לדוד", this refers to a song King David created while yearning for divine insight. During such spiritual uplift, he would speak some divine truth, a profound holy lesson, for the sake of the Jewish people.

On the other hand, if it opens with "לדוד מזמור", this implies an occasion when unexpectedly he was infused with divine insight and then felt compelled to sing out a prophecy.

In Psalm 23, which we explain below, the divine poet renders a deep and holy lesson - that no real achievement is acquired in the world unless it is offered by Hashem, which is why Jews must always remain bound to Hashem, both in good times and, Hashem forbid, in bad times.
_ _ _

"מזמור לדוד ד' רעי לא אחסר"
"A song of David. When God is my shepherd, I lack nothing."

When individuals or nations help themselves, or when they're helped by other individuals or nations, this help is imperfect and lacks lasting happiness. Only when Hashem offers help or leads ("pastures") an individual or nation, is the help flawless. We naturally conclude, therefore, we must let ourselves be guided by Hashem, following in only His ways, if we yearn for success and complete joy in life.

"בנאות דשא ירביצני על מי מנחות ינהלני"
"He makes only me lie down on grassy pastures. He leads only me along calm waters."

True economic success, for an individual or nation, comes only from Hashem. Only He can provide tranquility and political freedom. Self-made economic success and political independence are neither complete nor enduring; These cannot bring full satisfaction for various reasons; It cannot last long and it is flawed to begin with.

"נפשי ישובב ינחני במעגלי צדק למען שמו"
"He refreshes my soul; He leads me in rightful paths - for the sake of His name."

Divinely-offered success provides more than physical or material happiness; It also provides internal, spiritual joy. That's because those faithful to Hashem are lead by Him in the right paths. Their success isn't based on falsity, theft, robbery or murder. They have a clean conscience. Their soul too is refreshed from this success, as is the body. This contrasts with achievement attained by those who abandoned Hashem. Then there is no tranquility because their conscience plagues them constantly and punishment for having made these material gains frightens them because of the transgressions and sins involved. Their physical success and emotional happiness are thus flawed.

Only success that Hashem provides refreshes both the soul and the body. Why? Because He does it "for the sake of His name", so people should know that when Hashem provides success - it is true success, free of heartaches or misgivings.

"גם כי אלך בגיא צלמות לא אירא רע כי אתה עמדי שבטך ומשענתך המה ינחמני"
"Even when I walk in the valley of death-shadows, I fear no bad because You are with me; Your rod and cane are a comfort for me."

The divine poet here addresses two issues: Man's death, which can lead to Hell, and exile, which "valley of death-shadows" refers to, either for the individual or for a nation.

Regarding death and Hell, our sages tell us, that when the spiritual overseers of the nations [every nation has its overseer] complain why is it the sinful Jewish nation gets no Hell whereas other sinful nations do, they are shown the heavenly decree - that every sinful nation must go to Hell together with the god they worshipped! The same is true for every individual! If someone worshipped Hashem, then, even though he wasn't fully righteous, he cannot go to Hell for his smaller sins because his God, Hashem, cannot go with him! "I fear no bad because You are with me!" He who worships Hashem, therefore, has no fear of Hell because Hashem is with him! This means, in fact, his sins are regarded as minor, and get wiped away by punishments [in this world], but not by Hell.

Here then is another benefit for allowing oneself to be led by Hashem - it removes the option of Hell in the world-to-come.

The Jewish nation, in general, is therefore actually safe from Hell because as a collective they generally worship Hashem; Which is why they can say, and do say, regarding Hell, "I fear no bad because You are with me!"

After the Jewish people sinned, since they could not be sent to Hell, they had to be sentenced to exile. Despite exile, as a collective, they are not in danger of downfall [extinction], as happened to many other exiled nations who lost their land and their independence.

Jews in exile are sustained in life by "Your rod and cane"; By the divine rod that whips, and the divine Torah, which is their cane that prevents Jews from falling. Jews never achieve complete tranquility in exile as do other nations who also lost their independence.

By the divine rod, Jews get whipped in all their lands of exile; They know they are victimized because of the divine Torah they possess, a Torah from which they do not want to be torn away from despite all the dirt heaped upon them. The rod and the Torah are therefore Hashem's goodness and consolation for the Jewish people. Were it not for the whipping rod that casts the sinning countries in a despicable light, and were it not for Torah that demonstrates that the Jewish nation is more beautiful and, spiritually, heavens higher than the sinning, whipping countries, the Jews would long ago have had their downfall through assimilation. Our consolation and entire hope on final redemption rest strictly on Hashem's "rod and cane" that He has us contending with.

This is then another benefit for letting be led by Hashem: That we as a collective cannot go to Hell and that we cannot go extinct during exile!

The fact that we must contend with the rod and the cane during exile, which prevents us from going under, is a sign He wants to redeem us, to return us to the Holy Land, and provide us with luscious pastures, along quiet waters - which means economic plenty and political independence and tranquility!

"תערך לפני שלחן נגד צררי דשנת בשמן ראשי כוסי רויה"
"You prepare for me a table against my enemies. You anoint my head with fragrant oil; My cup satiates me."

The Godly poet relates another advantage in letting oneself be led by Hashem, even in exile - the valley of death-shadows. Even in exile Hashem gives to those who earn it a prepared table, wealth and honor, in order to anger all enemies of the Jews. For not abandoning faith in Hashem, the Jewish people, even in exile, and despite enemies who heap dirt upon them, get a great name, in the sense of "שמן תורק שמך על כן עלמות אהבוך" ("For your flowing oil [whose fragrance one smells from afar] you are renowned, therefore maidens love you.") [Song of Songs 1:3]. Even the anti-Semitic nations have to acknowledge Jewish greatness and talent, and they want Jews should intermingle with them. For this reason, the cup of many Jews is a full one that satiates them. Nations and their officials need access to Jewish resourcefulness, so they appoint Jews to high office, which satiates the appointees either economically or with honor. All this comes as a result of maintaining belief in Hashem; All this for not giving up their Jewishness.

And this is truly a great wonder - that youngsters from the Jewish "Gypsy" [nomadic, unconventional] nation manage to rub shoulders with royalty, to become finance ministers, authors, lawyers and governors - a phenomenon that could never happen to person from a real Gypsy nation!

"אך טוב וחסד ירדפוני כל ימי חיי ושבתי בבית ד' לארך ימים"
"Just goodness and favor will follow me all days of my life, and I will yet even sit in God's house for long years."

According to circumstances where Jews sinned and thus warranted exile, since then all Jewish days are full with goodness and favor that Hashem gives them. Without true miracles, the Jewish nation could never have possibly survived amid 2,000 years of hate and persecution. And finally Jews will, speedily in our days, live to see the ultimate redemption and remain the most free and luckiest people, in their holy, divine land, forever.
_ _ _

So, King David gave us, in this small chapter 23, a complete thesis about the happy opportunity Jews have, to be led by Hashem alone, by following the ways of Torah. Briefly expressed, he enumerates all the benefits we derive therefrom, in good times or bad, God forbid, when we transgress somewhat.

God-given success is whole, flawless, as it was during the short era under the reigns of King David and King Solomon, when Jews enjoyed true economic "grassy pastures" and complete political "tranquil waters", because then the Land of Israel was the richest and most respected nation in the world. God-given success is a delight for both soul and body, for it comes as a reward for following in Hashem's path; It is free of painful thoughts or fear of punishment that come bound with unkosher success.

Also after death, the God-fearing person is happier than everyone because he cannot go to Hell, just as the Jewish people collectively are free from Hell.

Even suffering through exile, for which their sins are to blame, Jews are guaranteed from becoming extinct and, moreover, they have comfort knowing they will one day be redeeemed, based on an undoubtful sign, that even in exile a Jew can enjoy wealth and honor, simply by remaining a God-faithful Jew, vis-vis anti-Semites who, upon seeing this, burn inside with fire.

And surely Jews would incur a much lighter exile were they to be better Jews, correctly observing the Torah, instead of being satisfied for not being completely Gentile-like, as many Jews do in the more-or-less assimilated circles.

The exile turned out to be a long chain of miracles, due to the goodness and favor Hashem showered upon us, for which we will merit a complete redemption from which our happy future will never again be taken away from us.

All this we learn from 6 short verses, in 57 words! The most profound, truthful, complete and shortest explanation why it is the best of fortunes to be a Jew walking in Hashem's ways by observing Torah and Mitzvot.

Unfortunately, many Jews lost both worlds only because they knew not the contents or meaning of this very chapter of Psalms, small as it is!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Jacob's Dream

About 150 years ago, scientists grouped all things into "having life" or "not having life". On the other hand, our sages, who go back 2,000 years, had claimed everything in this world has a "soul".

Were the sages wrong? Could "dead" stuff, like stones, have a "soul"?

But then scientists discovered the atom and some of its components. It turns out today's physics agrees there's no such thing as lifeless stuff. All matter teems with dynamic forces.

The Encyclopedia Britannica writes, "All atoms are roughly the same size, whether they have 3 or 90 electrons. Approximately 50 million atoms of solid matter lined up in a row would measure 1 cm (0.4 inch). Compared with the overall size of the atom, the nucleus is even more minute. It is in the same proportion to the atom as a marble is to a football field."

The atom's tiny nucleus holds all the protons and neutrons. Its lightweight electrons spin around this nucleus, some reaching the outer limits that define the atom's "football field" boundaries. In proportion to that "marble-sized" nucleus and the negligible sizes of the circling electrons, even if there were 90 of them, the amount of empty space inside this single atom is immense. Imagine how many more "marbles" could fit into this enclosed empty space. The proportion is something like multi-billions to one. This should give you an idea of how much more "air" exists inside an atom compared with the amount of "solid" inside it.

Each proton or neutron weighs 2,000 times as much as an electron. Most of the atom’s volume, therefore, consists of a cloud of electrons of very tiny mass, which means the atom's weight is, for all practical purposes, the weight of its nucleus; And most of its volume, most of that "football field", is, for all practical purposes - empty!

Shoot a bullet at a rock or steel wall, it'll deflect, because it cannot penetrate the mass. But Rutherford, in 1910, blasted atoms with radioactive waves and these waves - went right through. He blasted them thousands of times and each wave went through as if through empty space, for each time he hit his targets on the other side of the wall.

Although they could not visualize the atom, scientists devised a hypothetical physical model of one. It was like a small solar system with a bunch of tiny "stars" (electrons) revolving around the "sun" (nucleus), only the relative distances between these "stars" were much more spacious.

Amazingly, with so much space making up the atom, as difficult as it might be to imagine, even big things are - almost hollow!

Take the body of a man, for example. Implode all its material by removing all the empty space, and we'd end up with a speck of dust hardly visible with a magnifying glass! And the weight of this dust speck would be the weight of the man!

If we were to take the planet earth and squeeze out all its empty space, we'd end up with a sphere of only half a mile in radius.

With this information, we more easily understand Rashi's explanation of Jacob's dream in Beth El, when G-d tells him, "The land upon which you lie I will give to you and your descendants." Says Rashi, "G-d folded up all The Land of Israel beneath him." (Gen. 28:13)

In effect, science confirmed what our sages posited thousands of years ago, namely, that all matter has a "soul", which means a divine potential, a life-force - something we cannot see, that keeps them moving. Not only is all physicality mostly void of matter, but this "nothingness" is actually its existential truth.

Science begins to comprehend, in its own way, that matter has no existence apart from its energy - and its energy is infinitely greater than the mass. Could we but harness the atomic energy in one speck of coal, we could propel all the world's big ships from America to Israel and back. That we can reduce all matter of a man's body into a miniscule grain of sand shows just how meager is the body in comparison with the gigantic proportions of its divine soul.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Like an Eagle Awakens Her Nest

"Like an Eagle Awakens Her Nest"
כנשר יעיר קנו
(Deut. 32:11)

Jews are like just-hatched chicks of the mother eagle. They look around but see no mother just yet. So too the Jewish people scurry about, mostly oblivious to the God that watches over them.

The way the mother eagle, upon returning to her nest, to feed or visit her chicks, does it is interesting. Were she to simply fly in and land in front of them, her size and speed would frighten them to death. So she first lands nearby, out of sight, and then begins to shake branches or make movements to draw their attention from afar. Then she slowly will advance towards them.

So to we Jews may not behold God if He were to suddenly present Himself, as happened in Mount Sinai when the Jews received the first two commandments from God Himself. It says there, they had to be miraculously resuscitated, when, with each commandment, the fright killed them. They then persuaded Moses to be the conduit and through him, instead, receive the remaining 8 commandments.

This is how God is preparing us for the Final and Ultimate Era of Redemption. He cannot reveal Himself suddenly. He does it gradually. First He brings Chassidus into the world. He raises a dynasty of Rabbis who, with every passing generation, spread Chassidus more and more, each Rabbi reaching out much more than his predecssor, taking these waters of the utopic fountain of eternity to wherever Jews find themselves. By now, there hardly remains a Jew worldwide who has not been touched by the Lubavitcher Rebbe.

Unlike the nitty-gritty stuff that makes up the Talmud, and unlike the harsh approach of Mussar to rally the Jews to observance, Chassidus is lofty and mellow. It brings to light new aspects of Torah heretofore concealed from even the greatest minds. Chassidus awakens the soul with sweet-talk of God and the value of the Jewish soul. It talks of the role of Moshiach, the meaning of a conduit, and what redemption means. It talks about God's eventual revelation to us in dimensions as of yet unbeknown to us.

Before the Sabbath dons on us, the obligation of the Jew on Friday is to have a foretaste of the Sabbath - by tasting a bit of the dish prepared for the approaching Sabbath day. Similarly, on the eve of the eternal Sabbath, we, today, at the threshold of the Era of the Final and Ultimate Redemption, must get a foretaste of the Eternal Sabbath era. How so? By studying Chassidus, or, at the very least, studying about Moshiach! In order that we stand prepared.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Rise and Fall of Israel & America, Respectively - part 2

(Cont'd from Part 1)
"And his hand grasps Esav's heel." (Genesis 25:26)

Says Rashi, "This is a sign Esav will not manage to complete his reign until Jacob rises up and takes it from him."

Taking it from him does not have to mean by force. Esav can lose his control with self-defeating behavior, that which God finds reprehensible.

Esav possessed qualities of the hunter with military prowess and guile, whereas Jacob learned all day in the study halls of Shem and Ever. Historically, judging by the longer trend, Esav seems to have outdone Jacob. Nevertheless, the day would come when "the many will serve the young one." (25:23)

"The many" probably refers today to America (Esav). Eventually, then, who will America yield its greatness to, like it or not? To "the young one", Jacob, today's Jewish nation. Jacob was conceived before Esav (Rashi 26:26), but he appears on the scene later, when holding on to Esav's heel during birth. The Jewish people got back their Holy Land nearly two centuries after America had become a nation and then a world power. Esav, which is America, then, is the "old", and Jacob, the newly-minted Jewish people who have returned to their original soil, are the "young".

Just how would America lose control? We can learn from Esav's behavior. First of all, he was preoccupied with war, sometimes justifiably, sometimes not. And he came home utterly tired,
"... ויבוא עשו מן השדה והוא עיף"‪.‬ (25:29)

America too was preoccupied with war, sometimes justifiably (eg, WWII, Japan) and sometimes not (eg, running guns to Mexican gangs, Libya). Just as Esav tired of war, similarly an anti-war sentiment arose in America that spawned the "Hippie" movement, and it gave a chance for leftists to percolate through and rise up into the ruling infrastructure.

But what really brought Esav down was more than just selling his birthright because he shunned divine worship; He also overtly showed contempt for it! (25:34) "ויבז עשו את הבכורה"

This same attitude manifests today in America, in its Democratic party's radical liberalism in general, and in Obama, in particular, who shows contempt for American honor, chastises those "clinging to God", seeks to remove God from mention on its currency, in its pledge of allegiance, and from society in general - thereby wiping clean the American heritage of any mention of God.

More than that, as the Kli Yakar (Gen. 25:34) explains, Esav was a murderer (as sure as America tolerated and legislated the murder of so many unborn children for so many years), he was into lewdness (as sure as America promoted, if not tolerated, homosexual perversity and same-sex marriage), and he antagonized divine worship (as is so obvious with this mouthpiece in highest office, who sat in a pew listening to "pastor" Jeremiah Wright spew hate for 20 years).

If one sanctions perversity and murder, he surely sanctions theft. And we note today just how corrupt American politicians have become in channeling millions into their own coffers, at the expense of the public they were meant to serve.

The latest egregious transgressions are: Obama's trillion dollar "stimulus" money kicked back to corrupt bankers, many millions to Solyndra executives and even to its laid-off employees, more such thefts using other such figurative companies, governor Corzine's theft of billions "missing" from his company, Obama's house acquisition from convicted criminal Tony Rezko, ... and the list goes on and on.

If gangsterism is endemic in American politics, at least it was until now concealed. But with the Obama regime, it's all now clearly in the open and the administration is becoming heavy-handed against its accusers.

You see the arrogance and duplicity in his face. Look how Obama dismissed the voter intimidation case against some members of the Black Panthers. Look here how he pardoned convicted dope dealers and a jewel thief. Yet poor Jonathan Pollard remains in isolated detention 27 years now, and Moshe Rubashkin too endures an unjust prison sentence, because of obvious, antisemitic bias.

Will Obama win in 2012? I am afraid so. The regime, and by that I mean that huge, rich Fascist machine in control of Obama, who placed him there in the first place, after having groomed him for this heist, is now well embedded all over the controlling infrastructure in key areas. They will steal the election in 2012 if they have to. Why am I so sure? Because Republicans can call out Obama on his false birth certificate, on his dismissal of the voter intimidation case, on the targets of the stimulus money, on Solyndra's fraud, on Lezko’s deal, on gun-running, etc., but all we hear against these offenses is a screaming silence, with every powerful bureaucrat hushed up over the impeachment option and, rather, dealing with irrelevancies thrown out by fascist Democrats and their mainstream media cohorts. The Fascists will have their day in 2012 I do fear.

That's my take of the worldy goings-on these days. The sole comfort we can take from all this precipitous deterioration in human rights and values is that they are the post-delivery birth pangs of Moshiach. God will deliver as He promises in Torah! The long-shot will finally win.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Rise and Fall of Israel & America, Respectively

It appears political landscapes are reshaping as Torah foretells, right before our eyes. In reference to Jacob and Esau, Torah tells us, their powers never equate; Only one dominates during an era. "... The upper hand will go from one government to the other ..." (Genesis 25:23)

Until now, Israel (Jacob) cowered beneath the shadow of giant, powerful America (Esau). Israel mimicked and cultured whatever fad its American idol begot, be it earrings on men or TV programs such as "Kojak". They even outdid their idol by radicalizing policies, such as taking the "anti-racism" mantra to favor its Arab inhabitants over its indigenous religious element, or parading homosexuality along Jerusalem's streets to tout its loyalty to "anti-discrimination", or simply by secularizing lifestyle. It felt it owed allegiance to America, and whatever financial or military help it could get from America was its very lifeblood. They lost the traditional Jewish faith in God as the Almighty and as their source of welfare and success.

But we notice in Israel, recently, a significant swing in mindset; Whereas for many decades the left was able to inculcate their non-Torah ideology and remain void of genuine Jewish pride, all the while obsequious to America, the tide towards the right is now palpable, with many becoming observant, or at least cognizant of God and traditional values, and even in non-religious circles many have re-aligned with the political right. What's more, America is being alienated from Israeli awe and respect it once commanded.

Simultaneously, we note the Israeli economy shows strength while the once-powerful America and its dollar are clearly on the decline, whatever the reasons behind this. As for Europe's affluence, it appears to be gasping its last breaths. (No small wonder considering all the Jewish blood spilled on its soil.)

"... And Yakov's hand grasped Esau's heel ..." (Genesis 25:26) The body is a metaphor for time; The heel represents the end of the temporal range. Rashi explains, "It's a sign that Esau will eventually lose his dominion as Jacob takes it from him." Eventually refers to the many years after dominion, as the heel is relatively distant from the once-coronated head.

"When this one rises, this one will fall." Looks to me, finally, Israel is on the rise and America and Western ideologies are in a free-fall. Probably we're witnessing the end-game, wherein the final triumph will be Moshiach's revelation.

Tsur once became great by sucking up Jerusalem's wealth after the latter's destruction (Ezek. 26:2). The Zionist irreligious agenda had destroyed Jerusalem's values and automatically America sapped this lost strength for itself and became all-powerful. America, founded on belief in God, waxed in religiosity, albeit mixed with partial idolatry, while Israel waned, seeking to divorce itself of Godly faith.

But now a reverse trend is charging ahead. America is in a tailspin. The "Democratic" party has been usurped by the Fascists and "Republicans" have long lost their predeliction for conservative values. Those that maintain them are quickly sidelined. Those that compromise their values are in bed with the Democrat rats.

The dollar is now hanging on fingernails only because it is artificially propped up, to assure another win for Fascist Obama in 2012. Once that happens the dollar will plunge precipitously and the dollar bubble will have bust, with all its trillions in circulation temporarily backed by nothing but false statistics and co-conspiring media lies. Once the mannequin now in power wins again, the dollar will die a quick, ugly death.

The Israeli economy, meanwhile, forges ahead. The stock market is strong and businesses are blooming. I'd rather lay my bets on the Shekel, if not on precious metals.

The utopian horizon has finally come into view and Moshiach's revelation is imminent - thank God!
Part II - here. --- Source of Images here.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Faster Than the Speed of Light - Rebbe Letter

Back in 1956, 55 years ago, in a letter to a professor of physics, the Rebbe discussed the inadequacies of scientific conclusions, particularly in regard to Albert Einstein's "Theory of Relativity".
(Igrot 12:394-7)

It's one thing to hypothesize based on experimental or mathematical findings, he said, but to go beyond that and make absolute claims is inappropriate, and, in fact, incompatable with the definition of science.

The Rebbe specifically cites the example of the speed of light that scientists regard as an absolute value that cannot be surpassed. They have no right to draw such a conclusion, he implied.

The mathematics to support the untenable supposition would run afoul if the speed of light could be surpassed because it would then include a factor (the square root of a negative number) that cannot have in the real world a physical counterpart. The theory is just a theory, said the Rebbe, not a true fact to be sure.

But because people held the revolutionary findings of Einstein as sacrosanct, they held tightly to the theory it posited; They considered the speed of light to be an absolute value - a maximum limit that can never be exceeded.

Recently, however, sophisticated experiments in physics coming out of the CERN group in Europe (link) point to findings that defy the limit set by Einstein. Scientists found neutrinos with velocities greater than that of the speed of light! So revolutionary are these findings, these scientists themselves are begging others to examine and see where they "went wrong" with their assumptions or findings. Then too, all those conclusions based on an absolute speed of light, such as time and mass dilation or length contraction, will have to be re-evaluated within a new theoretical framework, or, simply, trashed. In the words of an observer, it will require "a complete rewriting of our understanding of the universe".

A translation of the Rebbe's letter, by Rabbi Shimon Silman, can be found here: - issue #805, page 24.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

As High as a Jew Can Climb, He Can Descend

Here's an article by Ann Coulter that sheds light on a corrupt and ugly mastermind in Chicago politics.

Herman Cain has spent his life living and working all over the country -- Indiana, Georgia, Minnesota, Nebraska, Kansas, Washington, D.C. -- but never in Chicago.

So it's curious that all the sexual harassment allegations against Cain emanate from Chicago: home of the Daley machine and Obama consigliere David Axelrod.

Suspicions had already fallen on Sheila O'Grady, who is close with David Axelrod and went straight from being former Chicago mayor Richard M. Daley's chief of staff to president of the Illinois Restaurant Association (IRA), as being the person who dug up Herman Cain's personnel records from the National Restaurant Association (NRA).

The Daley-controlled IRA works hand-in-glove with the NRA. And strangely enough, Cain's short, three-year tenure at the NRA is evidently the only period in his decades-long career during which he's alleged to have been a sexual predator.

After O'Grady's name surfaced in connection with the miraculous appearance of Cain's personnel files from the NRA, she issued a Clintonesque denial of any involvement in producing them -- by vigorously denying that she knew Cain when he was at the NRA. (Duh.)

And now, after a week of conservative eye-rolling over unspecified, anonymous accusations against Cain, we've suddenly got very specific sexual assault allegations from an all-new accuser out of ... Chicago.

Herman Cain has never lived in Chicago. But you know who has? David Axelrod! And guess who lived in Axelrod's very building? Right again: Cain's latest accuser, Sharon Bialek.

Bialek's accusations were certainly specific. But they also demonstrated why anonymous accusations are worthless.

Within 24 hours of Bialek's press conference, friends and acquaintances of hers stepped forward to say that she's a "gold-digger," that she was constantly in financial trouble -- having filed for personal bankruptcy twice -- and, of course, that she had lived in Axelrod's apartment building at 505 North Lake Shore Drive, where, she admits, she knew the man The New York Times calls Obama's "hired muscle."

Throw in some federal tax evasion, and she's Obama's next Cabinet pick.

The reason all this is relevant is that both Axelrod and Daley have a history of smearing political opponents by digging up claims of sexual misconduct against them.

John Brooks, Chicago's former fire commissioner, filed a lawsuit against Daley six months ago claiming Daley threatened to smear him with sexual harassment accusations if Brooks didn't resign. He resigned -- and the sexual harassment allegations were later found to be completely false.

Meanwhile, as extensively detailed in my book "Guilty: Liberal 'Victims' and Their Assault on America," the only reason Obama became a U.S. senator -- allowing him to run for president -- is that David Axelrod pulled sealed divorce records out of a hat, first, against Obama's Democratic primary opponent, and then against Obama's Republican opponent.

One month before the 2004 Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate, Obama was way down in the polls, about to lose to Blair Hull, a multimillionaire securities trader.

But then The Chicago Tribune -- where Axelrod used to work -- began publishing claims that Hull's second ex-wife, Brenda Sexton, had sought an order of protection against him during their 1998 divorce proceedings.

From then until Election Day, Hull was embroiled in fighting the allegation that he was a "wife beater." He and his ex-wife eventually agreed to release their sealed divorce records. His first ex-wife, daughters and nanny defended him at a press conference, swearing he was never violent. During a Democratic debate, Hull was forced to explain that his wife kicked him and he had merely kicked her back.

Hull's substantial lead just a month before the primary collapsed with the nonstop media attention to his divorce records. Obama sailed to the front of the pack and won the primary. Hull finished third with 10 percent of the vote.

Luckily for Axelrod, Obama's opponent in the general election had also been divorced.

The Republican nominee was Jack Ryan, a graduate of Dartmouth and Harvard law and business schools, who had left his lucrative partnership at Goldman Sachs to teach at an inner-city school on the South Side of Chicago.

But in a child custody dispute some years earlier, Ryan's ex-wife, Hollywood sex kitten Jeri Lynn Ryan, had alleged that, while the couple was married, Jack had taken her to swingers clubs in Paris and New York.

Jack Ryan adamantly denied the allegations. In the interest of protecting their son, he also requested that the records be put permanently under seal.

Axelrod's courthouse moles obtained the "sealed" records and, in no time, they were in the hands of every political operative in Chicago. Knowing perfectly well what was in the records, Chicago Tribune attorneys flew to California and requested that the court officially "unseal" them -- over the objections of both Jack and Jeri Ryan.

Your honor, who knows what could be in these records!

A California judge ordered them unsealed, which allowed newspapers to publish the salacious allegations, and four days later, Ryan dropped out of the race under pressure from idiot Republicans (who should be tracked down and shot).

With a last-minute replacement of Alan Keyes as Obama's Republican opponent, Obama was able to set an all-time record in an Illinois Senate election, winning with a 43 percent margin.

And that's how Obama became a senator four years after losing a congressional race to Bobby Rush. (In a disastrous turn of events, Rush was not divorced.)

Axelrod destroyed the only two men who stood between Obama and the Senate with illicitly obtained, lurid allegations from their pasts.

In 2007, long after Obama was safely ensconced in the U.S. Senate, The New York Times reported: "The Tribune reporter who wrote the original piece (on Hull's sealed divorce records) later acknowledged in print that the Obama camp had 'worked aggressively behind the scenes' to push the story."

Some had suggested, the Times article continued, that Axelrod had "an even more significant role -- that he leaked the initial story."

This time, Obama's little helpers have not only thrown a bomb into the Republican primary, but are hoping to destroy the man who deprives the Democrats of their only argument in 2012: If you oppose Obama, you must be a racist.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Satmar Adopts a Chabad Niggun

The Lubavitcher Rebbe taught a new niggun every Simchas Torah until the year his mother, Rebbetzin Chana Schneerson, passed on. One of them, sung in this 1-minute video, has filtrated into the repertoire of Satmar music as well! They improvise a bit by adding an occasional "oy". This must be a "tish" they're at, and it looks packed. The video is amateur, but the impression is great. One day, soon, all chassidim, and all yidden, from the world over, will sing together -- at the tish of Melech HaMoshiach!

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Nuggets from a Shabbat Meal

A few nuggets I remember from last Friday night's Shabbat meal, when a minyan of bochurim graced us as guests.


The Rebbe wrote a letter responding to someone who wanted an explanation of the Midrash that says, that from the verse "And Avraham told Sarah 'tell them you're my sister' (אמרי נא אחותי את)" our sages learn out that for a sick person one is allowed to shecht [slaughter] on Shabbat to feed him ( מכאן - ששוחטים לחולה בשבת). He asked the Rebbe, what does Avraham's statement to Sarah have anything to do with shechting and feeding sick people on Shabbat?

The Rebbe answered saying that although the Egyptians were sinners, they knew of the 7 Noahide laws and took these into consideration nonetheless. The Egyptians, he explained, wanted to transgress regarding Sarah, so they considered two options in the matter, and the severity of their consequences. One option was to rape Sarah and then suffer the punishment for "Aishet Ish" (A married woman - אשת איש), which constitutes many sins as a cumulative punishment for every moment of the ongoing transgression; Or, they could kill Avraham, suffer from only one punishment, for murder, and then suffer no punishment thereafter for indulging with the now-unmarried woman, no longer with the status of "Aishet Ish". Avraham knew they would choose the latter therefore.

(Avraham was confident nothing would happen to Sarah, because her righteousness would protect her; And indeed it did. But he behaved as was naturally expected of him in asking her to say she was his sister so that they need not kill him.)

From THIS episode - from Avraham's requesting Sarah that she call herself his sister - our sages learn that shechting for the sick is better than feeding him traife; For every bite into traife is a sin, whereas shechting on Shabbat is a sin - but only one, afterwhich the sick person can eat the kosher food!

If not for the Rebbe's explanation, who would ever make sense of this midrash?


Story: A young Chabad bochur walked to a shul on Sukkot and asked the Rabbi if he can address the congregation to give over a dvar Torah. The Rabbi said okay, but some elder congregants complained, questioning why so youthful a person should be allowed to address them.

The young man went up to the podium and asked his audience, "Can someone tell me why, in order to purify some vessel, you need only a slight amount (כל שהוא) of water (enough to wet it from all sides) if its source is from a "mayim chayim" [wellspring - מים חיים], whereas if the water is a mikveh (מקוה) you need a minimum of 40 se'ah (סאה)? When nobody answered he explained that a wellspring derived directly from G-d's doing and therefore even the slightest amount is good enough to purify, whereas a mikveh, because it is man-made, requires at least 40 se'ah.

Similarly, said he, although he himself is young and slight, but because he is directly connected to the wellspring that is the Rebbe, by being his chassid, he can deliver his Torah words and need not be of usual age to qualify. Then he went on with his speech.


A man wanted a shidduch badly so he made the effort to visit the Rebbe one Sunday during the distribution of dollars and wait in line to ask the Rebbe for a blessing. When he asked for his bracha, he got a dollar from the Rebbe, who then said to him, quoting the Torah, "For this is very much near you" (כי קרוב עליך הדבר מאד). The fellow went away from the event thrilled that soon he will find his long-awaited match. But time went by and his expectations dissipated. Six years after this encounter, he finally married.

One day the husband wanted to get a picture of himself, back when was by the Rebbe. He knew pictures were available for every person who got a dollar from the Rebbe. He found out he could locate this picture online by going to "", there search for "My Moment with the Rebbe" and download the picture for a small price. There they filmstrips, with each frame available for inspection.

When he entered the date and time of his encounter with the Rebbe to search for his picture, he noticed that in the very next frame after his the person to get a dollar from the Rebbe was - none other than his wife! (That is, he was the last "feed" in the men's line before it halted, for right after him the woman's line began to "feed" forward and his wife was the first in that line to meet the Rebbe).

All these years he figured "For this is very much near you" meant in terms of TIME; Now he realized the Rebbe had something else in mind - not "near" in time as much as he meant - near in PLACE!

Friday, November 04, 2011

Belief in The Creator - Then and Now

It's customary to think belief in a Creator is a matter of faith and not a matter of intellect or logic. As if it's a matter of personal choice; He who wants to, believes, and he who does not want to, does not believe. As if it cannot be a matter proven with rationality, but, rather, a matter of simple, inner conviction.

Man has both a potential for faith and posseses the power to reason. In fact, faith and reason lie on separate planes, for indeed, man's soul can have faith in something that is entirely beyond his intellect and reason.

Nevertheless, recognizing the existence of a Creator need not remain in the domain of faith exclusively. A good dose of reasonable thought will also lead to an inevitable conclusion - that a Creator of the universe exists! Given to such thought, man no longer "believes" in a Creator, he "knows" it!

The first to reach this mental conclusion, our sages tell us, was some four thousand years ago, in the person of Abraham. Maimonides describes Abraham's search for the driving force behind the universe. He began to ask the right questions even as a young child, and concluded that there must be one supreme power that created everything and controls it all. In a world filled with idolatry and statue cults, Abraham discovered faith - in the One Supreme Being.

This belief gave birth to the Jewish people, who then bequeathed this faith in One to all of humanity.

It came a long way. It began with Abraham smashing the idols in his father Terach's store. It made its way through struggles with false prophets during the early history of the Jewish people. And finally it transformed to a heritable monotheism that all of humanity can now accept.

Yet another obstacle not too long ago then materialized, a seemingly formidable roadblock. In the two last centuries major breakthroughs in science gave people something with which they could replace God. Science was quickly cracking the secrets of creation, and formulas and laws could be imputed to displace belief in a supernatural force. Intellect could now outmaneuver belief with intricate explanations of Nature's phenomena.

But here too the new wave of rebellion faded. Just when science became extremely sophisticated, just when it revealed the incredible level of complexity in every tiny factor newly discovered, theory became completely upended and - behold - it was moving inexorably in the direction that Torah and Judaism originally stood for. The further science probed into the secrets of the world, the more it revealed how impotent it stood before the awesome intricacies that existed even in the tiniest morsel under inspection. The claim that things arose by managed randomness or that circumstance played a role became ever more ridiculous and laughable.

Even today, after having split the atom, sent telescopes into outer space and landed on Mars, after creating the greatest and fastest computers, TVs and cellular telephones, we cannot help but remain awestruck at a how little we know about the mechanisms inside - even one cell of the body, or even in one cell of a fly's wing. All that creation entails simply boggles even our "sophisticated" mind.

No question we often come across events when our minds question the Supernal Being. But here we see just how limited our rationale is, and how strong our faith must kick in, for, as the prophet Isaiah (55:8) proclaims, "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are My ways yours!"

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Lech Lecha: Get going!

This week's Torah portion, "לך לך", starts with a command to our forefather Abraham, "Get yourself going from your land ... to the land I will show you."

G-d demanded of Abraham to leave his land, his birthplace and his father's house, to go to some unknown place. Rashi explains that G-d did not reveal to Abraham his destination in order to endear him to the land he yearns to discover.

A deeper perspective is this, as per the Alter Rebbe; By obeying the command, "Keep going", i.e., when the Jew unchains himself and sheds all measures and boundaries that his spiritual worship had heretofore taken on, and leaves this plateau to reach for a higher one, he will reach the plateau of "that which I will show you"; G-d will reveal to him the essence of man's Jewish core.

Let's merit to live with our forefather Abraham, to reach higher plateaus, by shedding bad habits and imaginary boundaries, and we'll merit seeing the real essence of our Jewishness ... and may we soon dance together, at the 3rd Temple, with King Moshiach!

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Syrians Slaughtered

Bashar Assad's security forces have now killed over 4,000 Syrians; In Homs more than 1,200; In Daraa more than 700; In Idlib more than 500; And about 500 in Chama.

A voice from the Syrian opposition groups said that in the 7 months of uprising against the government, about 4,000 civilians have been killed across the country - and not 3,000 as claimed by U.N. organizations.

This message was given over by Rachel Lipkin, assigned to an Arabic listening channel of Voice of Israel.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

"TorahCare" = Preventive Medicine

Torah's outlook on medicine, by today's standards, looks upside-down. Health care from Torah's perspective advocates a predominantly PREVENTIVE health care system -- not a
WAIT-TILL-IT-BREAKS-THEN-FIX-IT health care template.

Doctors should be paid for preventing sickness or disease. When people get sick - that's when doctors should be footing the bill!

Our society has it backwards and that's why society abounds with sickness, and that's why medical prices are skyrocketing. When you focus on treatment of sickness, then, because of high technology that's used, which continues to become more sophisticated, it always costs more. For example, the "Obamacare" solution is 97% about treating sickness. How pathetic!

Were the emphasis on preventive treatment, medical costs would plummet!

Torah is light. Torah is truth. The Torah way to practice preventive health is detailed in Maimonides (Hilchot Deah, chpt. 4).

In rule 30, he goes so far as to offer his personal GUARANTEE that a person will remain healthy all his life and never require a doctor until the day he dies when one follows the Torah's way to maintain health. How can Maimonides guarantee it? Because he relies on Torah.

Were people to abide by Torah's laws, medical costs would be negligible, people would live longer, would hardly get ill, will take time to exercise, eat well, sleep well, and one's perspective would be positive and rosy.

How do we know prevention is Torah's way of practicing medicine? It says so clearly in Rashi (Ex. 15:26), "God provides you with Torah and its commandments so that you should spare yourself of diseases, as the doctor says to the person 'Don't eat that which bring you back to illness'...". Clearly, Torah's way is the preventive way.

By the way, this Rashi also supports the fact that the number one way to illness is by what we put into our mouths (see here too).

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Some Horror Pictures

Got this email. Because my folks, ע''ה, survived the holocaust, I empathize with the sender's sentiments, even though I'd have worded the slides differently. I show them here to document this atrocity in one more place on the face of this globe; To counter the deniers, and to remind people what people can do to people.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Shalit's Release - A Rebbe Story

Here's a story about a "Rebbe Dollar" given to Gilad Shalit's mother.

Maybe someone should now hand one to Esther Pollard for the sake of her poor husband, who needs our prayers. May God bless him soon with a release too, and for Mr. Rubashkin as well.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Glenn Beck - "We're All Jews"

Although Glenn Beck, towards the end of his speech, quotes Rut, who converted to Judaism, wherein she simply and eloquently identifies with Jews and Judaism - while he is christian, his reason for quoting her was to identify with Jews for humanity's sake, and he therefore is most worthy of praise. The point he made about standing in the gas chambers of Auschwitz, and several more, were poignant and, to Jewish ears, remarkable as they were unusual, coming from the lips of a gentile.

Jerusalem or Damascus - The Rebbe's View

With Syria now embroiled in rebellion and likely to become a flashpoint for broader, regional flare-up, the Rebbe's perspective on this landscape deserves attention because, according to him, Jerusalem and Damascus pivot on the same fulcrum; Only one can rise while the other must fall! What was true in 1973 during the Yom Kippur War may well hold currently as well.