Ode to Yosi Piamenta – a Loss to the Jewish & Music World

piamentaYosi Piamenta was an expert musician. He was rated as one of the greatest 8 guitar players in the world. His recent passing saddened those who knew him.

Yosi’s goal was to make others happy – with his music and other means he had available.

Although at certain periods – he did live in New York – his home was Israel.

“My home was always in Israel,” said Piamenta. “I just rented an apartment in New York, but I was really just living out of my suitcase.”

In an article in VIN about him it says

“I’ve had the opportunity to use him many times as a featured guitarist at concerts or at chasanas, (weddings)” singer Srully Williger told VIN News. “You would think someone with such talent would be difficult to get to or a baal gayva (Haughty). But Yossi was never like that. You were always able to get to him in a second. He was always so nice and always did whatever you wanted, when it came to the music, the price or everything else. It was all about helping people and being able to bring simcha (happiness) into their lives. He was wonderfully sweet, the sweetest guy you could ever meet.”

“I worked with him for many years and at dozens of wedding,” added Shlomie Friedman of the Shlomie Friedman Orchestra. “Besides the chesed that everyone knows of running to play for sick people that would appreciate it, the thing I remember about Yosi zichrono l’vracha (of blessed memory) was that he wanted to make the chosson (groom), kallah (bride) and the guests happy. Obviously it was parnassah (livlihood) and he was paid, but if for some reason he felt that on a particular night he wasn’t able to bring joy to the people he was disappointed. That was Yosi: a true person of simcha (joy) who exuded simcha and just wanted everyone to be happy. Yehay zichro boruch. (May his memory be blessed)”

“He was a person that went through the whole Sefer Tehillim / Psalms twice a day,” said Mendlowitz. “A true baal teshuva ( Returnee to Judaism) who would forfeit nothing, I mean nothing, when it came to keeping Shabbos (the Sabbath).”
“Klal Yisroel (the people of Israel) lost a diamond, a precious diamond,” added Mendlowitz.

His goal was to make the other people happy. We are told a story in the Torah about two people who would go around cheering other people up. These people are – people who merit a portion in the next world – the Talmud says.

In contrast to others – his music was about making others rejoice.

My Short Brush with the Piamentas – True Joy vs. Vain Fun

Judaism wants people to be happy – truly happy. There is a difference between what people call pleasure today and what is real pleasure according to Torah. Pleasure in Torah is pleasure with purpose. Pleasure in Today’s society is pleasure without purpose. Pleasure in Torah is real pleasure. Pleasure in society is usually imaginary pleasure.

Rabbi Noach Weinberg – of Aish HaTorah – gave an example – two men – one a married Torah Jew and another a single secular person. (I was in both camps.) Each one looks at the other and says “Poor Guy, He has no pleasure.” How so? Imaginary pleasure – that one which leaves a person unsatisfied. (ie, like the song “I can’t get no satisfaction”) Real Pleasure gives a person satisfaction and meaning. Let’s take the example of a person today who dates for fun without intention of marriage and a person who marries to build a Torah family – a Torah Jew.

A Swinging guy goes from one relationship to another to pass a fun time. Which never amounts to building anything – but the fact that he had a good time. He looks at the Torah Jew and thinks “Poor Guy – No Pleasure.”

A Torah Jew builds a relationship with his or her spouse. Every word, act and moment is a stone in building a beautiful realationship. (Intentionally misspelled) Each disagreement (provided used properly) or special time is a brick in building the relationship. Thus the Torah Jew thinks to himself about the Single “Swinging” Guy – “Poor Guy – No Pleasure.”

Yosi Piamenta Knew the difference between True Joy and vain fun.

Once I was at my cousin’s wedding. The Piamentas were the band for the small wedding in a nice Kosher restaurant. They were family with the bride. The music was joyful – like other Jewish music.

The people were enjoying themselves. Men were dancing together. Women were dancing separately. All of a sudden the music stopped in the middle of the song. I wondered – what happened? I then heard – that a man and a women started to dance together. To avoid the improper mixing of genders they stopped the music in the middle. When they stopped – some were briefly annoyed but they got the message – that the Piamentas wouldn’t tolerate mixed dancing.

Why Mixed Dancing is Inappropriate

There is great Joy in a Torah Jew’s wedding. It is because of the joy of holiness. In holiness there is Joy. For being close to G-d is the greatest Joy. G-d dislikes immorality and inappropriateness in relationships. When there is inappropriateness he withdraws. When there is appropriate boundaries – G-d / Hash-m provides his
presence – which causes great Joy at the wedding.

Today’s society mixed dancing in certain celebration is common and viewed as normal. In a Torah wedding it is completely inappropriate. Unfortunately – in mixed dancing – men dance with other men’s wives sometimes leading to catastrophic results – breaking families. If it doesn’t break families – it breaks the heart of the wife whose husband is dancing with a strange woman. It breaks the heart of the man whose wife is dancing with a strange man. All – in the name of a little vain fun. That is why it is inappropriate in Torah weddings. All these pains are avoided in a Torah wedding – because the men dance separately and the women dance separately – separated by a divider – Mechitza.

Yosi Piamenta’s message in stopping playing – was deeper than just an act of protest of mixed dancing – his ultimate message was that true Joy is a consequence of investing in building a relationship through Torah ideals. Vain Fun is just pleasure without purpose – to pass time.

Yosi – exuberated with true Joy – through his music – and gave Joy to people. His Legacy and Music Will Live On.

Market Crash Caused by Iran Deal

2nd-temple-modelThe Torah recognizes the psychology of people. Many Jewish civil laws are based on a person’s psychology. The Beit Din / Jewish court of law uses certain principles to determine the truth of a case. The Jewish Court System is based on the laws of G-d, and determines the truth of a person’s arguments and the law, given by G-d, that applies – based upon the facts. Determining truth or if one is believable, one must know psychology. Even non-Jews sometimes approach a Beit Din for a fair judgment.

There is a well known story of King Solomon. Once two women came to him seeking judgment. Each one was claiming a baby. One said it is mine. The other said it is mine. King Solomon said – the law for two people claiming an object is to give half to each. Accordingly, he said – the baby is cut in half. Hearing the law, One Woman cried and pleaded not to cut the baby in half. When King Solomon saw this he knew she was the real mother – for she really cared about the baby.

The stock market is a measure of the psychology of people. If people don’t believe in the future of a company they will sell – causing the price to go down. If stock holders and traders believe in the potential profit of a company they will buy -driving the price up. More demand, higher price.

If people believe in the future of a country they invest in it. If Iran gets nuclear weapons the world will become a more dangerous place – not just for Israel – but for the entire world. It is possible that if the Iran deal goes through – the Stock Market will tumble, prices of Real Estate in the US will fall, and the economy of Arab nations will likely fall – Billions of Dollars if not trillions will be lost.

But another factor is is that living in Israel might be safer than other nations. Remember the Operation Protective Edge – Over 4,000 rockets were fired and G-d protected the people of Israel from much calamity. Many People hearing of the deal might be prompted to leave their countries. Thus causing brain drain to the countries they leave from.

Uncertainty breads fear. Fear breads distrust in the future. Distrust in the future causes people to sell off possessions to keep money in a safer place. Will banks be broken? I don’t know.

The predictions of the time preceding the arrival of the Jewish Messiah are becoming clearer.

One of them being – That a coin will not be found in a pocket.

So what is the solution? Pray to Hashem for a good future. See if there are any ways that you could improve yourself. Giving money to a reputable Torah Institution helps a person preserve their wealth.

Someone said – If one believes in the stock market, when it goes up – one is happy. If it goes down, one is sad. But if you Believe in Hash-m / G-d your happiness is always possible – because G-d always does good for you.

Many difficulties arrive to help propel a person to higher heights and better themselves through overcoming challenges and appealing to G-d and to help a person improve their relationship with the Creator of the Universe – Hashem.

If we do do our efforts in becoming better people by ourselves – making peace with our fellow, acting properly in Business, making a Kiddush Hash-m / sanctification of the Name of Hashe-m, sincerely doing the Mitzvoth, we do not need all these travails to prompt us to do Teshuva / Repent. G-d wants the Heart and for people to be sincerely devoted to him through doing the commandments – The Jews their 613 Mitzvot and the Non-Jews their 7 Mitzvot. Once we repent the “medicine” of Travails is not needed, and we can live a life of peace and serenity, evermore.

In the Talmud, in that section of the predictions, of the time of the Messiah, it says – “We only have our Father in Heaven (Hash-m) upon whom we can rely.”

Trump & the Limo’s Flat Tire – Was He Given Reward in this World?

98-02_Lincoln_Town_Car_limousineAbout 2000 years ago, conflict broke out between Greeks and Jews in Jerusalem and Caesarea.

According to the Talmud, Nero went to Jerusalem and shot arrows in all four directions. All the arrows landed in the city. He then asked a passing child to repeat the verse he had learned that day. The child responded, “I will lay my vengeance upon Edom by the hand of my people Israel” (Ez. 25,14). Nero became terrified, believing that God wanted the Temple in Jerusalem to be destroyed, but would punish the one to carry it out. Nero said, “He desires to lay waste His House and to lay the blame on me,” whereupon he fled and converted to Judaism to avoid such retribution.

The Talmud adds that the sage Reb Meir Baal HaNess, one of the greatest Torah Scholars in his time, was a descendant of Nero.

Nero’s having a descendant of such high stature among the Jewish people was one of his *rewards.

Why is it a reward? A person will receive part of the rewards of their children. If their children do Mitzvot and good deeds – a person will be rewarded in heaven. If they follow after vanity and do bad for the world, apparently the parents will lose their stature in heaven.

About 3,000 years ago G-d gave the Jews the Torah. Torah is His blueprint for creation. The laws of nature and spiritual laws follow Torah laws.

Thus, apart from one oneself doing the commandments – One of the greatest things a person can hope for is that their children go in the path of the Torah. For every mitzvah – commandment that a person does – provides a reward to the parents.

One of the reasons people do Mitzvah or organize Torah learning in memory of a deceased love one is that the departed receive a portion of the mitzvah that is done for them in heaven. Thus one is able to send a “gift” to a departed loved one by doing a Mitzvah in their honor. In the next world – a person enjoys the reward they built by doing Mitzvot on Earth. In the next world one cannot earn reward. He must rely on others he or she left on earth to continue his or her legacy of doing mitzvot or learning Torah.

A Story.

Once a young Torah learner was riding down the road. He saw a limo with a flat tire. He decided to stop and help.

He helped the limo driver change the tire. Who was riding in the limo? Donald Trump. He thanked the young Torah learner and took down his coordinates.

Soon after – when the Torah learner went to pay his outstanding debts – he found they were paid. He inquired how is this so he didn’t pay them. He found out that Trump paid his outstanding debts.

Trump has a daughter – Ivanka – that became a righteous convert to Judaism. She follows the Jewish laws / Halacha of Torah – as all Orthodox Jews do.

What was Trump’s merit that he had such a daughter? Was it that he helped a Torah learner?

I don’t know.

In heaven – the world of truth – one will find out. Suffice to say that he must have done something good to have merited a Daughter that follows Torah.

==

*(We see also the power of sincere Teshuva / Repentance. That although Nero committed terrible acts in his lifetime, when he repented – he was forgiven. A Jew repents by feeling badly for one’s bad acts, committing not to do them again and commits to following Torah. A gentile does the same but commits to following the 7 Noahide laws.)

The Generation before Messiah & The Face of the Dog

BIG_47196Great Jewish sages of today say the arrival of Messiah is imminent.

The Messiah will bring peace to the world.

There are two ways for him to come -Either

Peacefully – if people have accepted to do good and follow the path of G-d as explained in the Torah (ie, Jews following their commandments and Gentiles following the 7 Noahide laws)

or

With Turmoil – If people don’t follow the path of G-d

Each is a possible scenario – as there must be freedom of choice.

Before the Messiah – the Jewish writings say:

“With the advent of the footsteps of Mashiach, insolence will increase and prices will soar; the vine will yield its fruit, yet wine will be dear; the government will turn to heresy and no one will rebuke them;… and the face of the generation will be like the face of the dog

So upon whom can we rely? — Upon our Father Who is in heaven.” [Sotah 9:15]

There are several interpretations

– A dog walks in front of its master. It seems to be leading but it looks towards its master to guide its path.
– If you throw a stick at a dog – the dog will bite the stick. (I never tried it, and I wouldn’t suggest you try either.)

A real leader will stand up for what is right. He will ignore his personal interests and look at the will of G-d and the interest of his city, state or country.

According to the first explanation it means that the leaders will look to their constituents to make decisions. They will not necessarily look to do what is right but to do what is popular.

The second explanation means – that people will see that they are being struck by a stick – so they will fight the stick. In my case, when I experienced suffering I thought G-d was sending me a message through the suffering – so I tried to shape up by making a resolutions to follow Torah. How well I did, I don’t know but at least I got the message.

Obviously, one must try to quell the symptoms, but the main point is to solve the main cause.

Today, some people fight the stick. Others apologize to the stick because if they were hit, it must mean that they did something bad. But really they should be apologizing to the one who threw the stick – not to the stick. They got the message that they should make amends – but are mistaken about with whom to make amends. The master (G-d) threw the stick, the stick is just an intermediary to inflict suffering – to awaken a person to do teshuva / return to G-d’s pleasant ways.

When we wake up to learn that the good and the difficult all come from G-d, we have a different perspective on life. As G-d is good, every event happens for the Good, and is an opportunity to become closer to Him.

The Million Person Question – 2 Ways Judaism is Different

121085732050e67b43a125eThe Torah is universal.

G-d gave it to the Jews through Moses.

He transmitted it to Joshua and the elders. The Torah is the basis of Judaism. Different from all other ways-of-life in several aspects.

Universality

Judaism offers two paths. One for Jews and one for Gentiles.

In the Torah – that G-d gave the Jews are laws for Jews and laws for all humanity. A Jew who follows his Jewish laws – halacha fom the Shulchan Aruch – gets a place in heaven. A gentile who follows his laws – the 7 Noahide laws – because they are written such in the Torah also receives a place in heaven.

A person can remain a Gentile – not convert to Judaism – and receive a place in heaven. How? By following the Seven Universal laws for humanity – the Sheva Mitzvot Benei Noach from the Torah because the Torah states them. The Seven Noahide commandments given by G-d to Noah for the good of humanity.

G-d also gave laws for Jews. Jews who follow their commandments, which include the seven commandments and other laws receive a place in heaven.

The Million Dollar / Million Person Question

In Judaism, G-d appeared to millions of Jewish People at Mount Sinai. No other way-of-life claims this. As opposed to other religions and cults that were passed down by one man who had a revelation – in Judaism – the whole nation of millions of people had a revelation. G-d doesn’t change his mind about his laws. He is the most intelligent being in the Universe. He know the past, present and future. If he knew a person could not follow the laws he would not give it. Thus he changes not his laws.

I recently met a person. She said she was interested in Judaism – but she liked her own religion. I told her – if you follow what you feel is comfortable – then one can never find truth. Truth must be derived by logic and historical fact rather than feeling. If feeling is the sole basis of following a path in life – regardless of truth – they will never find truth. Because one day one will feel one way of life is good, and another day based upon their feelings they will find that another way of life is good.

But G-d wants us to use our mind to determine what is truth and then follow it. There must be a way to find truth – because otherwise there would be no accountability. If feeling is the sole basis of following a way of life One person, arriving to heaven, who would beat up old ladies for their purse – would be held not guilty. Why because he could say – my cult told me that beating up old ladies was permitted. It felt right to me. Obvioulsy, just feeling cannot be the basis of selecting a true way of life.

G-d gave the Torah in front of millions of people – the Jews – for the Jews not to say – I’ll believe it when I see it. Every single person – millions of people – who were at Mount Sinai – Saw and Heard G-d speaking themselves personally. They didn’t rely on another person’s revelation. They had the revelation themselves. Millions of People.

This fact allows any person – Jew or Gentile – to objectively decide whether the Torah is a true way of life or not.

I asked the woman – let’s say if a million people told you one thing and a singe person told you that something else happened that contradicted the million people – who would you believe? She answered the million people. I said exactly. The Torah says to believe not on faith – but on fact – that millions of people witnessed the giving of the Torah.

I asked her if someone said they believe in “Fred Flinstone” – would you follow them? She said of course not.

Once a rabbi was giving his explanation of Judaism in a comparative religion class. He was last in presenting after other representatives of religion. A woman said “Why should I believe in religion? All of them were given by a single individual?”

He answered by quoting many verses from the Torah / 5 Books of Moses that showed that G-d gave the Torah – in front of the Entire nation of Israel. Millions of people witnessed it. Not just one person.

Why Judaism Does Not Seek Converts

Judaism does not seek converts because a gentile can follow his seven laws and receive a place in heaven. Also, the Torah wants people to be sincere, before they can become Jewish. A person who is sincere will go the distance to convert properly – through an Orthodox rabbi.

A Person must be truthful with themselves. The Torah wants you to question your beliefs – by asking why do I believe in a certain thing? Is it because I just feel that it is right? Is it because the newspapers say so? Is it because I was brought up that way? Is it because my parents did also? Or is it because I objectively studied the truth of the matter – and found that it was true?

G-d expects a Person must be truthful with themselves.

Winning the Street Race Game

worlds-expensive-car-bugatti-veyron3You need a relatively fast car. A Bugatti Veyron or Porche 918 Spyder is not necessary, but a Plymouth K-car will certainly not cut it.

You are first at the traffic light. Parallel to you is a car whose price-tag is greater than the average sugeon’s annual salary with a blue-blood boy at the wheel. Or a car whose owner spent more on souping up the car than on the car itself. Or the leader of the motorcycle band leader – with the followers who do wheelies in the street.

You glance at the driver, smirk, rev your engine and nod. Pull up a few inches on the red to show you are ready to roll. First one to the next light wins the race. Gaze at the countdown on the walk-sign to the left. 3, 2, 1 green! Put the pedal to the metal.

You speed for about 200 feet and he flies past you at blazing speed. You then slow down.

You smile for he won the race, but you won the game.

How? Your intention was not to win the race. Your intention was to get the other guy to speed.

How exhilarating when you drive past your fellow racer noticing he was caught by the police car that is always stationed at the next corner.

G-d created us with an inclination to do good and an inclination to do bad.

The good inclination – gives us a reason and a desire to do good.

This bad inclination – gets you to join in a game that you have no benefit from playing. It’s the excitement. The freedom to vent my emotions and biases. The freedom to do what I feel feels right. It basically distracts your attention from what is right and makes you follow the emotions.

Following it, Yes, we may win the race. But we lose the game.

Examples abound :

– We follow after vanities of life and ignore our families.

– We go about our lives overlooking all the good that G-d provides on a constant basis.

– University Students and professors – that have no knowledge about or stake in Israel – join forces to protest against G-d’s Chosen Nation, calling Israel an apartheid state. What do they accomplish – they anger the Jewish students. They make them more united. They make them more interested in their Judaism.

– Helping a foreign nation to get nuclear weapons, thereby putting one’s own nation at risk.

– The UN makes resolutions against Israel – to vent their animosity.

– The world wants to give weapons to the enemies of the Jews and of Freedom.

In the end the police – G-d – catches them at the end of the road. G-d will ask them why?

What is the solution?


Think before you act.

There are two ways to target practice. One is to first look at the target and then shoot the arrow. The second is to not look at the target and to shoot the arrow. It makes more sense to first look then shoot.
targetarrowimages
The Torah is what G-d gave us to guide us to help us make our life decisions. When we first look into what G-d wants and then place our aim and efforts towards that goal – we make the decision that is best for us and the world.

To avoid the distraction from your main goal game – Don’t play the game. Follow the rules of the road. Learn about the Torah’s rules and follow your mind. Let your heart follow your mind, not your mind follow your heart. Don’t let your Emotions control you. Think before you act.

Thinking things out is your greatest asset. Use your mind and time wisely. Use it to build yourself – not to knock down others. Think for the long-term. Think for the good of all.

This is the secret to building a greater world around you and in your personal life.

Banned from Yahoo! Answers Helping People with Suicidal Thoughts

balloons-in-skyYahoo! Answers is a site where ordinary people ask all kinds of questions. Ordinary people provide answers. It’s a bit addicting, because they have a whole points system. Get a certain amount of points and you rise in level.

I started answering questions. It was fun to help a person in need. I was answering the questions on Judaism from the perspective of the Torah. Other people also answer. You get to know some of your co-answerers from their answers – one is more conservative, another more liberal, another more or less on target.

It is a perk when your answer is selected as the best answer.

I was cruising smoothly, answering questions at a decent pace – when I had an idea. Why not help people with suicidal thoughts to help them through the difficult times. I also passed some difficult times in life, and thought my life experience could help them. I would try to answer them to help them get their bearings straight. That they would be able to see life in a more positive light.

I had a standard answer that I would cut and paste into anyone who would mention they wanted to commit suicide. I would improve upon the answer from time to time – but the basic theme was – that sometimes one experiences difficulties for their own good. The basic answer was:

Positive Thinking

G-d sends us challenges and through overcoming them, we can become a greater person. G-d always sends challenges that we can overcome. G-d wants also that we develop a relationship with Him. So by following his laws – the 10 Commandments for Jews and 7 Noahide laws for Gentiles – one reaches out to G-d. G-d loves us and does everything for the good. It’s up to us to pick up on the challenge and find the good in it and eventually we can transform our lives into a much greater existence. Pray to Hash-m / G-d and make your effort to reach out to Him and people who love you and you are on the road to better days.

The actual answer I would write is similar to a previous post – Dear Harry – A Letter to a Friend Who Died through Suicide.

I would stay up late just cutting and pasting my answer to answer anyone’s question who mentioned the word suicide.

That is what caused me to banned. I pasted my answer for someone who asked a question unrelated to suicide – but mentioned suicide in his explanation of his question. He reported me.

Bye Bye Yahoo!

Now my Yahoo answers are history.

When you are banned all your answers are removed as well. I lost access to all my thought out answers. I appealed but to no avail. They said I was taking up too much bandwidth. Whatever that means.

Too bad. So Sad.

I felt badly, because apparently I could have helped more people. I considered logging on with another name, but I thought that it wasn’t just Yahoo that was sending me a message – but G-d – telling me that I could help more people by doing other things rather than posting on Yahoo answers. My objective in life was not posting answers.

Everything is for the good.

Truth Seekers – Of Ministers & Missionaries that Made the Move to Judaism

MP900384901(1)People appreciate open minded people.

When I first went to a Yeshiva in my mid-twenties, I was intimidated. I entered into the big learning hall and met an elderly, but sweet Rabbi, Rabbi Zecharia Mines. He was patient and humble and inquired about my background. His outlook was that anyone who was truthfully interested in learning Torah sincerely could enter his Yeshiva – regardless of their skills in Torah learning. The desire to learn was almost the only prerequisite.

His students included unique individuals that came to Torah Judaism on a wide variety of paths. One student was a soon to be convert to Judaism, whose father was Jewish, but his mother was not. His interest prompted him to search the internet about authentic Jewish sites – like aish.com and others. Then he met Rabbi Mines and started learning in his Yeshiva. He continued his studies until he became a Chassidic Jew.

Rabbi Mines had a student that was a Harvard lawyer, a high school valedictorian, people that went on to becoming Rabbis and others. One thing about Rabbi Mines method of teaching Talmud was that he did not provide you with answers, he discussed issues with you until you pulled out satisfactory answers.

It was more open minded than I expected. I thought in the Yeshiva it would be teaching me specifically what to do, but I learned that in a Yeshiva, besides teaching Jewish laws, it teaches a person how to think.

To arrive at truth, one asks questions. A real truth seeker will not settle for a brush-off answer or a clouded answer. They want to get to the bottom of things. To get satisfactory answers to questions they have.

I learned that really enlightened people are not necessarily those that are versed in the arts, business or science. Enlightened people are those that are open minded.

One of the Things that I learned in Yeshiva is that you must clearly define your terms. Let’s discuss the term open-minded. Some think open-minded is to be able accept any value regardless of its value. That is not open-mindedness. That is degeneration.

Open mindedness is the ability to discuss the deeper aspects of any point.

Close-mindedness is to have an agenda and not listen to any points of view except one’s own.

The goal of Open-mindedness is to arrive at truth. The goal of close-mindedness is to preach one’s own agenda.

In the Yeshiva, a valid question would be discussed to examine almost every facet of the question – until we would come to a consensus about the conclusion. It is possible that the Japanaese auto industry learned their Quality Assurance Methods from the Yeshiva – that in order to develop a quality product – you meet until you are able to achieve a consensus. But that is another Topic.

People who seek spirituality are of three types – Experience Seekers, Truth Seekers or Agenda Preachers. Most Missionaries I have met are basically not interested in truth. They are interested in preaching their agenda. Their reasoning is turned off and they spew out what their mentors taught them without giving the matter much thought – sometimes sounding like a broken record. (Not one has answered me how the basis of their religion does not transgress the Second of the Ten Commandments – not making an Image of G-d.) Many Politicians, salesmen and other people follow the same pattern as well.

The Experience Seekers look for a satisfying experience – it doesn’t matter if it makes no sense, as long as they have a good time that is what is important to them. This is unfortunately how many fall into cults.

My Rebbe, Rabbi Mines said to let the heart follow the mind, not the mind follow the heart. First assure that your way of life makes sense, then use your heart to follow that path. Don’t first follow your heart and then try to determine if it is the right path to choose. By that time it will be too late to make an unbiased decision. Like a person who first “falls in love” then they must decide if the person is right for them. It is more intelligent to think out if the person has the qualities that you seek and then “fall in love.” Unfortunately, people who fall prey to abusers are usually in the first category.

Some missionaries are interested in finding Truth. I met two former Missionaries that did find truth – Judaism. One is Rabbi Yehuda Peretz and another is Gavriel Sanders.

Rabbi Yehuda Perez, originally Alfredo Diaz, came from Mexico. His father was interested in spirituality and tried all kinds of religions until he founded a church. His sect had great respect for Jews. His son, Rabbi Peretz, started on the track to become a Pastor. At one point he was reading the bible. He had questions regarding the discrepancies in the Bible. He tried comparing different versions of the Bible to find his answers. He didn’t find his answers. He found out that the versions differed markedly between one and the other and between the original Hebrew texts. He was not satisfied with the answers.

So he prayed to G-d to help him find the truth and the answers to his questions. Shortly after he met a Jewish person and was enthralled. He started asking his questions to the simple Jew and he answered them satisfactorily. Alfredo, was greatly impressed, and learned that the answers to his questions were found in what the Jewish man called the Oral Torah. He kept on asking questions that the man deferred by suggesting that Alfredo ask some of the orthodox Rabbis in Mexico.

Alfredo continued his search for truth until he finally converted to Judaism. He Moved to Israel and married a Jewish woman. He continued his Jewish studies and Became and ordained Rabbi. Now he is Rabbi Yehuda Perez.

Gavriel Sanders

Gavriel Sanders was a missionary and eventually became a minister. He would work trying to convert people to his faith.

He knew the verses. One day he was stumped. He found that his bible translated a term improperly. He decided to compare the English versions of the “Bible” to the Hebrew version. He started doing research and found that many verses in his English Bible were misquoted, or quoted out of context or just plain made up.

He started asking questions. He kept questioning to arrive at the truth. Finally His search brought him to learning about Judaism. He eventually converted to Judaism through an Orthodox Rabbi.

Messiah & the Search for Truth

G-d wants us to search for truth. Eventually the world will come to the point of recognizing the truth of Judaism. But in the meantime it is hidden.

Events of the world signal that the time of the Real Messiah is very near. The Torah contains the prophesies of what will happen. The Torah is the only document given by G-d to a nation of millions of people, who actually heard G-d speaking, and transmitting the Torah. The Torah didn’t change. The laws Didn’t change. G-d didn’t change “His Mind” either.

Gentiles that are sincere would gain by following the seven Noahide laws. Jews would also gain by following the Torah’s halachot / Jewish Laws. Apparently, these are the people that will likely be saved in the event that a war will break out among the nations of the world and Israel – as predicted in the prophesies of the Tanakh – the Five Books of Moses, The Prophets and the Writings.

Reasons why People find discrepancies in the “Bible” that cannot be answered by their religions

When G-d gave the Jews the Torah, he gave us the Written Torah – which is the five books of Moses and the Oral Torah – which explains the Written Torah – which is now the Talmud, Midrash and other written works. The Oral Torah was transmitted Orally until people started forgetting it and the Rabbis of the Generation decided to have the Oral Torah. Gentiles were not privy to the Oral Torah. Thus they have not the answers that a simple 9 year old Jewish kid can answer.

One interested in real truth – can read the Kuzari – in which the king of Kuzar summons three people to represent their religion and explain their point of view in a logical, coherent manner. In the end the Kuzari did convert to Judaism. But a gentile need not convert to Judaism to receive a portion in heaven – they Just have to follow the Seven Noahide laws from the Torah.

In Torah it explains all the secrets of the world. One question that many ask is – if Judaism is the true religion so why does G-d allow other religions to exist? The Torah answers that Before People were idolaters. People needed to learn about the concepts of the Messiah so that when he will actually come people will recognize him.

People appreciate open minded people.

Torah Perspective – Common Sense and Actions to Take on the Iran Deal

Second_TempleThe Torah is real. Real in terms of it is the only law that was given by G-d that was witnessed by millions of people.

But it is also real in looking at reality.

Some have a bias and make their view of reality based upon their bias.

Like the New Anti-Zionism that has cropped up on campuses – but that is another topic.

The Torah takes reality at face value. You call a spade a spade.

Although the Torah is the first to want peace, it says that peace must be made with partners that are trustworthy to uphold it. If their words are empty rhetoric, treat them thus.

It says if a person wants to kill another person, kill the pursuer first (if you can’t stop them by another means).

Some nations say outright – Death to ______ (Fill in the Blank). Now you want to give them weapons? It is akin to giving an arsonist a blow torch and a large barrel of gasoline.

So who is guilty if you do give the arsonist the tools to burn down a house and he does?

The Torah says both, because you help another person to do a transgression.

Boehner said “Israel is the best informed on Terrorism and Iran.” That is why he invited Netanyahu to speak.

The Jews want peace – but peace that is realistic – not rhetoric.

I heard the CIA is now examining prophesies for some of their inside information. The Jewish Prophesies – that have been extremely accurate – in describing current events provides various scenarios of what will happen prior to the coming of the real Messiah.

The messiah can come when people are all righteous and following the Torah or the opposite.

Unfortunately, it seems that many people are following the contrary path.

If the people are righteous – ie, following the Torah (Jews the 613 Commandments and the Gentiles the Noahide laws) the Messiah will come with peace.

If they are not – it will come with war.

One of the most disturbing scenarios of the war before Messiah comes – called the war of Gog ou Magog – is that of a tremendous war in which 2/3 of the world population will perish. The vilna Gaon – a Genius Torah Scholar calculated – in his time that the war would last 12 minutes. In his time – there was no nuclear weapons. Now we can understand – how a war can last such a short time.

We hope this scenario will not be the one that will bring the Messiah. So we must do our part to be righteous, and prevent as many countries that we can – especially those that are untrustworthy from receiving weapons used offensively against innocent civilians.

Three things each individual can do.

!. Follow the Torah – this will allow one to either allow the Messiah to come peacefully or allow them to likely survive in case there is a war, G-d forbid.

2. Pray to Hashem – that he will stop all nations from receiving or developing weapons that can be used against humanity or for genocide against the innocent.

3. Write to the American Congressmen – Senators and House of Representatives & the President – to voice your opinion on the the Iran deal.

Tisha B’Av – A Day of Mourning & A Day of Hope

Second_TempleTisha B’Av / the Ninth Day of the Month of Av is the National Day of Mourning of the Jewish People.

The origin of Tisha B’Av is in the Torah. When the spies return from Israel to Moshe Rabbeinu / Moses, Our Teacher – 10 out of the 12 give a negative view on the land of Israel. They say that they saw giants there. They say that they cannot conquer the land – because we were in our own eyes like grasshoppers. The people cry. G-d says since you cried now for naught, you will cry in the future for a reason.

Many tragedies happened on the 9th of Av. The Two Holy Temples in Jerusalem were destroyed. World War One and Two’s commencement was due to an event that happened on the 9th of Av.

Charlie Harary in a Video On Aish.com explains that G-d is not out to punish people. He wants people to remove their negative attitude of not believing in themselves. Thus, aside for mourning, the destruction of the temples and the tragedies that occured, we should do teshuva / repent and make resolutions to better ourselves through the Torah’s lessons and strengthen our belief in ourselves – in our ability to do good.

Another lesson is is that on Tisha B’Av we begin consolation after midday. At that time, the temple was burning. Why have consolation at such a moment. One explanation I heard is the lesson is to know that when one has fallen so low, the only way is up. We begin the climb upward and towards happiness when we are so low, because we believe in better times ahead.

Rabbi Akiva, one of the greatest rabbis of all times saw a fox exiting the Holy of Holies of the Destroyed Beit HaMikdash / Holy Temple in Jerusalem. The Rabbis with him started to cry. He started to laugh. They asked “Rabbi Akiva, why do you laugh?” He answered “Why do you cry?”

They said “The holiest place in the world, where the Cohen Gadol / Chief Temple Priest would enter only once on Yom Kippur / the Day of Atonement – the holiest day of the year – and are we not to cry?”

He answered them “In the prophesy it says that a fox will exit the holy of holies. In the prophesy it also says that the Holy Temple will be rebuilt. Now that I see one prophesy being fulfilled, I know that the other prophesy will be fulfilled.”

Three lessons in your Efforts to Come Closer to Torah. Believe in Yourself. Have Hope for the Future. And see the Positive.

Let’s make our effort and commitments towards self-improvement and hopefully by next year we will be celebrating the 9th of Av in the Built Temple – due to our actions of becoming greater – in Jerusalem Next Year. Amen.