The Two Levels of Understanding – Emotional & Rational

positive-attitudeMy uncle told a story about advice for a person wants to get married.

When Selecting a Proper Life-Mate, the Torah advises that one should act like a King – Melech. (Mem, Lamed, Chaf)

Mem – First One Should Use their Moach / Mind to reflect upon the qualities one is searching for in a mate, A Jewish person sees if the potential mate is Jewish, has solid Torah values, wants to grow in Judaism, Has Good Character traits, & are attractive. Once all considerations are in order, one can marry.

Lamed – After marriage comes love coming from Lev – heart

Chaf – Caved – Liver – the Initiator of Passion.

Doing the Opposite causes a person to make an irrational decision. First One has Passion, then they Have feelings for the other and then Think if this is the right mate. At that point one is no longer completely rational or impartial for feelings taint the decision. If one does follow this order – Caf, Lamed, Mem. They become kalem – embarrassed.

Thus a person can understand with the heart and the mind. My Rebbi told me that the mind should take precedence over the heart. Occasionally a person lets their heart think for them. It could be good – it could be bad.

People who follow Torah have one less concern than others. We know that the Torah is G-d’s word – the Torah is the only work of law given by G-d before millions of witnesses. Only the Torah claims this – no other religion does. The Torah teaches us what is right and wrong. So we don’t have to go to think tanks and take surveys or rely on our hearts – we can go to a competent Torah authority – and they will tell us if according to Torah a particular thing is right or wrong.

One who is merciful to the merciless, ends up being merciless to the merciful.

We may have compassion for a person – but it may be misguided. A person who feels bad for a criminal being put to death – may have compassion in the wrong situation. It says in Torah – “One who is merciful to the merciless, ends up being merciless to the merciful.” In the Torah – King Shaul / Saul had compassion for King of Agag. G-d told him to put him to death. He waited one night. The king had relations with a woman that night and his descendants committed unimaginable atrocities.

True mercy according to Torah is to treat everyone with respect – but mete out punishment when it is due. This is true mercy. Otherwise – if one is merciful to those that do bad – they may continue their evil and do bad to others.

Understanding Why the Evil Prosper and the Good Suffer

In Pirkei Avot / Ethics of the Fathers it says: It is not in our hands (to understand) the serenity of the wicked and the suffering of the righteous.” Apparently a person may not be able to understand on an emotional level why the righteous suffer and the wicked proser.

We may not be able to fathom emotionally why the Holocaust happened. Rational explanations exist of why “G-d let the Holocaust happen.” But apparently on an emotional level we may not be able to fully fathom and come to terms with these explanations.

G-d is good – he feeds the entire planet every day. He provides life, water, air, food, jobs, sustenance to all the people in the world. At time things that seem bad happen – but G-d in his infinite wisdom knows the good in all situations.

The emotionally mature person – says – I may not be able to understand it – but knowing G-d is the essence of all good there must be a reason – that I with my limited comprehension understand that G-d has a reason. Like a child who is scolded for doing something bad – although he may not comprehend what was so bad about what he did – he understands that the parent has his best interests in mind.

The Comedians that Went to Heaven

abrahams-tent-michoel-muchnik_0Cheering up a person is a Mitzvah. Our Forefather Avraham Avinu / Abraham’s essence was to do kindness. The Torah says that Jews in General are exemplary in three traits “Mercy, Bashfulness and Kindness.”

A kind person searches for ways and opportunities to help others. In the Torah Abraham, was talking with G-d, when he saw angels disguised as three Arabs. “And he (Avraham) said My master – if I have found grace in Your eyes – do not pass by Your servant” One opinion said he was speaking with to Hash-m / G-d asking him – please bear with me a moment – as I would like to invite these guests. Another opinion says he was talking to the leader of the Arabs to ask him to join him for a meal. Avraham’s kindness extended to even to His words. He made the guests feel like they were doing him a favor by accepting his hospitality.

Avraham’s tent was open on all sides for guests to enter from any direction to receive free food, drink and lodging.

A Story from the Talmud illustrates how one can do kindness with their G-d given talents:

Once a rabbi met Eliyahu, Hanavi / Elijah the Prophet in the market place. He took the opportunity to ask him some questions: “Out of All the people in this marketplace, who will receive a place in the World to Come?” (ie, Heaven) Eliyahu looked around and said “No one.” Everybody was busy with their own business. He looked a bit more and said “wait – those two men over there will receive a place in heaven.” The rabbi, went over to the two men to find out their secret why they deserved heaven – “Excuse me sirs, is there any special kind deed that you do?” They replied “We make Jokes – when we see people that are upset or down – we go to them and cheer them up. We don’t leave them until – they are cheered up.” The rabbi understood why they deserved such a reward.

There are various levels of doing kindness. Let’s take for example the kindness of giving Tzedaka / Charity to a poor person or Torah organization. One level is to disregard the person’s plea for a dollar. A Higher level is to give a dollar grudgingly. A higher level is to appease the person with words. A Higher level is to give money graciously and make him feel good – “I’m sorry that you are in this situation. Here is something small for you. I hope your situation will improve.” The higher level is to give a person a job or business that he will be able to support himself. One of the Highest levels is to be pro-active – to search out people to help out.

The Torah outlook is such: When a poor person extends a hand or a representative of a Torah organization makes a personal appeal – the least a person can do – for the effort they made is not to leave him without giving at least something.

Bikur Holim is the name of an organization of people that – among other things – goes to Jewish people in hospitals and provides them with Kosher food, and Jewish needs, and just goes to cheer them up. They are proactive. We have many talents to help others. Using our talents to help others in their material situation is how we rise in spirituality.

In the marketplace – everyone was busy with themselves. They did not look at the others to be able to reach out and help them – but were looking to gain, or buy or sell. The comedians in the marketplace were not busy solely with their interests – they were looking to help the other person. They were looking to do the kindness of cheering up others and make them laugh. They were concerned about others – thus they deserved a place in heaven.

Spare the Baby. Throw out the Anger

anbabycaMy cousin told me – if a baby is crying it means one of three things: He is hungry. Or He has colic /a stomach ache or he wants to be changed.


A child in pain becomes cranky. They may be tired. Occasionally they want to be held. But they hardly ever intend to annoy their parents – unless they want attention.

When a child cries – he is using his gift to alert someone to help him.

Unfortunately, some people at wits end resort to hurting the child. They can hit the child, scream or shake the child. But if you think logically, it makes no sense. The child is reaching out for help and instead of a parent solving their child’s concern – they give him a whack.

It is challenging to decide what to do when one is late for an appointment – the child is crying and then spills milk on their newly changed clothes. One way to deal with stressful situations is to plan in advance. Ask yourself, before you get into a stressful situation – what is the most proper thing to do in this can I do in this situation? Write it out. For example, write – “If baby cries when I am late – calmly call about appointment to tell them I will arrive 10 minutes late and take care of baby’s or child’s needs. If you can’t write it out think it out – to be prepared.

If a stressful situation occurs – take a step back – say to yourself – what is the best way to remedy this situation without anger? Act accordingly.

Obviously, Discipline is in order at times. But the Torah teaches that “the left hand pushes and the right hand draws close.” The left is the weaker hand – it is used to push the child in such a way that he will learn from his or her mistake. The right hand – the stronger hand – is to send out a hand to the child and pull him closer – that although you discipline, do it because of love, not out of anger. The child understands this and the rebuke is effective.

Once a rabbi’s son did an improper deed. The rabbi was upset. He waited three weeks to calm down completely in order to give reprove to the child with love – and for the sake of the child’s good – not out of anger.

A Noted Psychologist – Dr. David Pelcovitz – explained the concept of correcting a child with “the left hand pushes and the right hand draws close” teaching a unique message. If a child is physically facing away from the parent – ie, doing things against the parent’s will. If you will push his left shoulder with your left hand and pull his right shoulder with your right hand – you end up turning the child towards yourself.

Some may have the attitude of – just accept whatever child does with love. This can be a formula for inculcating decadence. A child needs values and guidelines – otherwise they grow up confused. Is A right or is B right? Torah guidelines are effective in giving a child a sense of self-worth and morality.

Giving a child all their fancies is not what G-d or the child wants. G-d wants you to bring up the child to be a mench – a gentleman (or woman). If a child does things against Torah – accepting his or her behavior is not the nice or right thing to do. It is to try to turn him around to follow the right path with love. Love, Not anger. Kindness, not pain. Understanding, not tyranny.

Having a child is one of the greatest blessings. Our job as parents is to bring them up to be the best individual they can be. And the Torah is the best guide one can have.

Ripping Up the Scorecard – Peaceful Living without Grudges

keeping-scoreNot long ago, I would walk into a room and negative feelings would burst into my heart – “That guy took my Job!” “That person insulted me.” “That person disrespected me!” “That person rejected my offering to teach!” I walked in calm – and walked out with sour feelings.

Certain things helped me to change my attitude. Now, when I walk into a room I feel neutral. I am still trying to build my attitude to feel positive to even the people who hurt me. It takes time. I have to take one step at a time.

When hate, animosity and grudges drives one’s life – their life is full of bad feelings and darkness. G-d wants people to live a life of happiness and light through people following the Torah’s pleasant and peaceful ways.

Choose Happiness over Being Right

I used to hold grudges against people – I would keep a mental scorecard of the bad people did until I heard something that the Tzemach Tzedek said. He mentioned that Children are different from adults – adults tend to hold grudges and bad feelings towards others. Children forgive and forget. One minute they are angry with someone the next minute they are best friends. The Tzemach Tzedek remarks the difference between children and adults is that adults would rather be right than happy in their personal relations – while a child would rather be happy than to be right.

Stand Strong but Forgive

I don’t condone that a person should be like a wet rag or a carpet that everyone tramples. One must stand up for their values and not let others do bad to them. If a person is an unrepentant bad doer – you don’t have to forgive. I am advocating that one releases negative feelings for their own sake and sanity. We gain little by hatred of our fellow Jew. Actually the Torah says “You shall love your fellow like yourself” – so it is forbidden to hate a fellow Jew in your heart.

Hear No Evil – Speak No Evil

The question is how can we let go of these – grudges and animosity for others. One way is to not speak badly of others. If we refrain from speaking and hearing bad (regardless of it being true) about our fellow Jew – we will be able to overcome a great part of the negative feelings for others.

Understanding People – recognizing We are all Human

People are people. We all make mistakes. Say a strong word that you regret two minutes later. Eat some grapes from at the supermarket. Take someone’s parking space. Or it could be jealousy – why does he have what I don’t? OK. It is not right – but it happens. You say – What does G-d want from me? I make mistakes, I am only human.

If we can accept our failures – can’t we understand other people’s misdeeds toward us as well?

Clarifying the bad to the perpetrator

We fall at times into the waves of life. We lower our guard in action, speech and thought. It’s true – we can avoid these faults, but our ego and desires work to pull us down, while our soul brings us up.

We have three choices – ignore the improper deed, thought or action – and chalk up our errors to human frailty or think everybody does it; Justify our action and make it the standard of action; or Admit the fault and ask for forgiveness and make restitution or a new resolution to improve to G-d and man.

If one asks for forgiveness, normally that should quell bad feelings. If they ignore the bad done that is what hurts. The Torah’s remedy is to go up to the person who did hurt you privately and ask gently “You did this and this. Can you please explain why you did that.” Getting the feelings out in the open – for them to be discussed and dealt with – also helps to calm animosity. People can stay with grudges towards another person for many years – and the other person may not even know that he or she hurt the victim. When you explain you were hurt – they will probably apologize or at least tell their part of the story.

Loss to the Haters of the World / Choosing Life over Hatred

One of the Torah’s explanations of Anti-semitism is that people want to be free from morality. The Jews represent morality of G-d and the Torah. So it is easier to disrespect Jews – because they represent G-d – than to come to terms that they must redress their ways to follow the 7 laws of the Torah for gentiles or 613 laws for Jews. If they did follow Torah they would ultimately live a happier life.

A happier existence is in our own hands. Our inner animosity is not other people’s fault. We choose to hate. We choose to love. We can choose life over hatred. Why not start today?

To Protect & Serve – Are You a Jew?

ford-taurus-inteceptor-5I was driving recently when I heard a siren and saw flashing blue and red lights in my rear view mirror. I suspected that it was my inspection sticker. I said “Good Morning Officer.” “License and registration.” “Sorry I forgot my license at home.” “Your inspection sticker is expired – give me the registration.” I explained “The day before I called the mechanic to ask if I could bring in my car for an inspection. He said to wait till Tommorow – the person who does the inspections is on Jury Duty.”

He let me off for the registration but gave me a ticket for the missing license. He said to send a copy of it in and they will nullify the ticket. He looked Jewish and had a Jewish last name – I couldn’t resist to ask “Are you Jewish?” He said “No. But way back I do have some Jewish blood.” So I asked “who in your family was Jewish? Was it someone on your mother’s side?” He said “Yes. One of my ancestors on my mother’s side.” I told him – “Try & find out, because if your mother, or her mother, or your mother’s grandmother was Jewish – you are 100% Jewish.”

Judaism is matrilineal – Meaning being Jewish is passed down by the mother. So if one’s mother, or mother’s mother, or mother’s grand mother and so one was Jewish – that child is Jewish.

I met people that didn’t know they were Jewish and told them that because their mother was Jewish they are 100% Jewish. Some were surprised. Some became emotional and needed time to digest it.

I gave them some information on how to follow Judaism and were usually receptive.

It is unfortunate to go through life without a person knowing who they really are. According to Torah, If one is Jewish they have a set of laws to follow – the Shulchan Aruch / Code of Jewish Law. If one is a non-Jew / a Gentile – they have another set of laws to follow according to Torah – the 7 Noahide laws – given to Noah for all humanity to follow.

G-d gave one law to the world – the Torah. G-d knows well there are differences in people – so some laws apply for Jews, some apply to non-Jews. Some apply to women and some apply to men. Some apply to adults – some apply to children. Some apply to adults.

But it is a bit deeper than that. I heard from my friend Avraham that – it is not that G-d created men and women and then decided that these laws should apply to men and these to women. G-d looked into the Torah and created the world. So basically he made his laws and then said – because of these laws – it is appropriate to create a man. Because of other laws – it is appropriate to create a woman.

The laws are fundamental that allow a person to truely be what he or she can be.

I like policemen. I don’t know if this is a relic from the feelings that I had from childhood or it is because their job is to uphold order, protect and serve. I feel Jews have a similar objective – through Torah observance of the Jews, the people of the world understand that there is a G-d that runs the world and thus this creates a certain order in the world. The Mitzvot / commandments and Torah they learn serves to protect the world and bring good to the world. My Rebbi – Rabbi Zecharia Mines – used to say – if the gentiles would understand the great goodness that comes to the world because the Jews observe the Mitzvot of the Torah – they would stand over the Jews with a Gun and tell them “You better Observe the Mitzvot!” It is interesting to note that G-d, chose Abraham – the proponent of Monotheism – and his children – the Jews – to be a light to the nations. Through their observance of Torah they bring light to the world. Their main goal is to serve Hash-m / G-d. Thus apparently we share a common goal with law enforcement officials – to preserve order, protect and Serve (G-d).

The Car is the Star – Being Appreciated for Yourself

alfa-romeo-8c2I was driving today and saw a yellow sign with the word “SET” right side up and upside-down with a big black arrow. I was going in that direction anyway, so I figured I might as well go and find out what they are filming. Maybe I can meet a Movie Star, maybe I can become an extra. I went to a person catering the filming production. I asked what’s going on. He told me “They are filming a commercial.” “Oh yeah? Are there any movie stars in it?” I Asked – he said “No. It’s for a Hyundai Commercial. The Star is the Car.”

I remember many years ago, when I overheard a woman speaking with her mother. She mentioned that a friend of hers dresses provocatively. She, herself, didn’t dress as such, she said. These people – touched upon a secret that the Torah teaches. It is not the external that will make you appreciated. The cars, the fancy clothes or drawing attention to one’s physical appearance that will make one appreciated. This will cause others to look. But in half a second they will forget you forever.

To be appreciated for yourself, be yourself! What makes one appreciated is being good. Being good brings out our true selves – because we are basically our souls and our souls want to do good.

Listening to Torah Lectures regardless of the subject – helps us get in touch with ourselves. The true self is the soul. The Soul wants to do what’s right. The soul is the essence of the person. Satisfy it and you will be satisfied. There are two other components to the person. The Ego – which wants to do what lifts up its ego. And the body – that wants to follow after pleasure (As Dr. Dovid Leiberman explains). When one feeds the soul one attains satisfaction. When one just feeds the body or the ego’s wants – one rarely attains lasting happiness. Thus a Jew can attain happiness through – following after Jewish law / Halacha – because that is what pleases a person and helps him or her to reach their true selves. A gentile would learn their laws – the Torah’s 7 Noahide laws to reach lasting happiness. Two Excellent Lectures I recently heard that talk about reaching ones potential are entitled Maximize Your Potential by Dr. Dovid Leiberman and one by Rabbi Chanan Gordon – called Spiritual Time Management.

Torah law enables a person to be appreciated for themselves. The Torah puts a person on the goodness track rather than the keeping up with the Jones track. On the goodness track – one tries to do as much good as possible. There are people who were outstanding in Kindness – going to incredible lengths to do Kindness / Chesed with others. Rabbi Meir Schuster – used to stand at the entrance to the Kotel / Western Wall to invite people for Shabbat at various peoples homes and find provide them with lodging at his youth hostel – Heritage House. People I know – have over 30 guests every Shabbat for meals. A woman, Henny Machlis, would have hundreds of guests over her house in Jerusalem. We can learn from all of these people.
Jewish Modesty
One of the main Mitzvahs of a man is Torah study. One of the great Mitzvahs of a woman is Jewish Modesty / Tzniut. Just like Torah study brings a special light of beauty on a man’s face – so does Tzniut.

A Jewish woman dresses in a certain manner – like sleeves that cover elbows, skirts that cover knees, shirts that cover neck line – in order keep her guarded like a precious diamond from the looks of others. A married woman covers her hair with a beautiful scarf. In essence a woman that does such is ultimately appreciated for her internal beauty rather than her external appearance. She focuses on her inner qualities / middot which eventually reflect on her external beauty. Some women have external beauty but lack internal beauty – which exhibits a sense of dissonance – because of the contrast.

Her beauty is internal. Thus people appreciate her for this beauty in her speaking nicely, and doing of kindness and not talking badly of others – all this contributes to the big picture and ultimately this kindness makes her appreciated all the more so.

This is what is meant from the verse talking about Sarah our matriarch That says “And the Days of Sarah were one hundred and twenty and seven.” The commentators ask “why not say simply she was one-hundred twenty seven years. Why did the verse have to specify each period of seven, twenty and one-hundred” Rashi explains – when she was 20 she was as beautiful as when she was seven. The beauty the verse is talking about is the child’s beauty. Children are beautiful because they are pure and sinless.

Being Proactive in Doing Good

The Rambam lists level of Giving Charity. One is giving grudgingly. A higher level is giving when one is Asked. Another is actively seeking fellow Jews to give to. Charity begins at home. If one has a relative that is in need and a friend that is in need his family member takes precedence. A person who is serious about giving may consult a reputable Torah authority to find out what are priorities.

I know someone who actively seeks on starting Kollels – places where married Jewish men study and are paid for a small stipend for the opportunity cost of their time learning Torah. He has changed the face of many cities by starting a Kollel in each city – assimilation decreased and observance in Torah increased. Working men start to learn weekly or daily with kollel members – that eventually changes their outlook and entire family for the better.

Being proactive allows a person to bring out his potential energy – for doing good and change it into real goodness throughout the world. When one does such – he or she is much appreciated by the poeple of the world and by Hash-m / G-d.

The Secret Passageway to Unleashing Your Potential

Adventure-dragons1I remember the blossoming of the Computer industry. Hot home computers included the Radio Shack TRS-80, the Commodore PET and 64, and the Apple II plus. Instead of disk drives – they had tape players that would load and save programs and files. My friend had the latest video game player – the Atari ST. “Adventure” was one of his favorite games. The objective was to escape from the dungeon, while avoiding the dragons – that, to me looked more like a ducks, than dragons. My friend was a pro. He knew how to get the keys; Which rooms to enter and avoid. He knew the secret passageways.

In life we encounter dragons – physical and mental opponents. Our Job is to avoid them to find the key to unlock our personal success. What we view as behind the Closed doors – may be an opportunity or a trap. The key to life is to find the secret passageway that will unleash your potential.

Every Day G-d gives us an opportunity to unlock our potential. If Our ears are attuned, we will hear the call of Hash-m / G-d to the secret passageway. It may be an invitation to someone’s home for Shabbat. It may be an opportunity to listen to a Torah lecture online. It may be a chance meeting with a Torah Jew – that you could ask your Jewish questions.

Listening to Torah Lectures regardless of the subject – helps us get in touch with ourselves. The true self is the soul. The Soul wants to do what’s right. The soul is the essence of the person. Satisfy it and you will be satisfied. There are two other components to the person. The Ego – which wants to do what lifts up its ego. And the body – that wants to follow after pleasure (As Dr. Dovid Leiberman explains). When one feeds the soul one attains satisfaction. When one just feeds the body or the ego’s wants – one rarely attains lasting happiness. Thus a Jew can attain happiness through – following after Jewish law / Halacha – because that is what pleases a person and helps him or her to reach their true selves. A gentile would learn their laws – the Torah’s 7 Noahide laws to reach lasting happiness. Two Excellent Lectures I recently heard that talk about reaching ones potential are entitled Maximize Your Potential by Dr. Dovid Leiberman and one by Rabbi Chanan Gordon – called Spiritual Time Management.

I heard G-d gives us each person an opportunity to become closer – daily. If we are attuned – we hear the message. If not – we just rack it up as coincidence.

There is a Joke: Once a guy was looking for a parking spot. He said “Oh, G-d please help me find a parking spot. If you do I will start observing the Shabbat.” He turns the corner – a car right in front of him pulls out of the spot right where he needed to go. He thinks to himself – “Oh great – What a coincidence!” and forgets all about the deal.

Many people are lost. They either feel it – spiritually or are so numbed that they don’t even recognize the lacking. So G-d gives them an opportunity to become closer to him. Me myself – I was cascading in life of swinging from one pleasure to another, one disco to another. G-d had different plans for me. He sent me a stop sign – a difficulty that stopped me in my tracks of following endlessly after purposeless pleasures. I did feel somewhat empty, but I was having a good time. The difficulty – got me to think. “Why Me?!” “G-d why are you doing this to me?” “I am basically a nice guy?!”

That was healthy thinking – Asking “Why G-d is doing this?” But I didn’t stop at that. I Knew G-d is Good and Just. I knew He doesn’t do things randomly. I knew He was in control. I just didn’t know why He was sending me a wake-up call? My advantage was that I figured out that G-d was sending me a message. So I did some introspection and found I had a lot to improve. So I started my investigation of Torah Judaism. In my state of suffering I wanted, pure unadulterated Judaism. Because I knew that that would be the way for me to overcome my suffering.

Thus I tried to assure that all the books and lectures I attended were in accordance with Torah Judaism (“Orthodox” Judaism in the popular vernacular. I don’t like those terms – Orthodox, Reform or Conservative – because there is one Torah – that has one set of laws and we are one Jewish people. Using the popular vernacular seems to imply that there are 3 branches of Judaism – when there is really only one. It seems to divide the Jewish people into groups – when we – the Jewish Nation – should be One Nation Under G-d and Indivisible.)

It took me time to change – but eventually I started eating Kosher. I went to libraries to find Jewish books in English according to Torah perspective. I liked the stories / Aggaddah. They helped me to cope with my difficulties. They put me in a new fascinating world of goodness. I Started observing the Shabbat. Started praying, going to an “Orthodox” Synagogue regularly. Saying the blessings. Eventually I ended up going to a Yeshiva to learn Torah in my mid 20s & got married. Learning Torah and attending Yeshiva taught me to expand my thinking to be able to contribute more good to the world.

Now I look back. If G-d didn’t send me these messages – I would likely be a different person – possibly lonely, single and looking for fulfillment in life.

Today I am satisfied. But am still trying to improve and still trying to capt the messages. G-d sends us the messages. G-d wants us to be closer. Being open-minded to his calling is what he wants. I figure Hash-m gives us life – shouldn’t I at least listen to the faint voice when He calls.

The Shabbat Project – Coming to a Synagogue Near You



Shabbat is a day of rest from all creative work. We enjoy it with good food, family, songs and with words of Torah. It is a day where we wish each other a peaceful Shabbat. “Shabbat Shalom.” We rest and spend quality time with family and friends to enhance our relationship with our families and G-d, and ultimately find inner peace.

The Chief Rabbi of South Africa started a Program Called the Shabbos project. Now the project has spread its wings to include many other countries as well. The Idea is that a Jew – accepts upon themselves to observe one Shabbat in its entirety in the year. Last year people changed their lives. Many Jewish Celebrities worldwide also taking it upon themselves. This year it will take place on October 23/24.

In the Torah it says that if all the Jews observed Two Shabbat we would be redeemed.

For More info:

Choose Life – Surviving the War of Gog and Magog / World War III

rav-chaimI was once in Yeshiva learning with my friend Avraham. We were discussing the Redemption from Egypt. We learned that the redemption of the Jews – in the times the Messiah would come – which is now – would be somewhat parallel to the redemption in Egypt. We tried to imagine what could the parallels be & What would happen to convince all the nations the truth of the Torah’s laws.

Certain things we do know – that in the times of Messiah people will align themselves with either good or evil. If the people align themselves with evil – the Messiah will come on a white donkey – representing his domination of materialism. If we are worthy he will come down with a chariot. If we are worthy Messiah will come peacefully. If not there will a great war – called the war of Gog & Magog apparently it is World War III. Gog is a great leader that will lead the nations against Israel. Some say this war started the 25th of Elul 5775 – Sept 11, 2015.

Everyone has a destiny. Some can change their destiny by changing their ways. A person who was a thief can become righteous. Apparently the times of the Messiah will be times to shape up. If a person commits to becoming better – ie, aligning their thoughts and deeds according to Torah they will survive. Jews commit to adapting the 13 principles of Judaism of the Rambam and following the 613 commandments according to the Shulchan Aruch / Jewish Code of Law. Non-Jews that commit to following the 7 Noahide laws by the Torah will more likely survive.

Your Opinion or Your Life

It is quite simple. Instead of aligning one’s opinions, attitudes and actions according to the society and popular culture, one adapts them to follow Torah ways. I was once immersed in following fads and fashions of society. I had a wake-up call that prompted me to change my ways. I slowly started aligning my ways with the pleasant paths of the Torah. I am much happier for the effort.

In the redemption of the Jewish people from Egypt, Many Egyptians died for having persecuted, tortured and discriminated against the Jews.

Want to Live? Want to Leave

I remember a news story about a town close to a volcano about to erupt. They interviewed a man. They asked. What are you doing to protect yourself from the volcano. Are you going to move away till it calms? He replied, I’ve been living here all my life. I don’t want to leave my hometown. They said, but the volcano will erupt soon. He replied – this is my home. Apparently he perished.

During the 9th plague – the plague of darkness those Jews that refused to leave Egypt died. They were so assimilated into Egyptian Society – that when Moses came, they paid no heed to him. They were not interested in his message that the time had come for the Jews to to be redeemed. They perished.

My friend and I came to the conclusion that if a person wants to be redeemed, he or she will have to be prepared to leave their country and return to our Promised land. Rabbi Amnon Yitzchak in a lecture, gave sources for the imminent arrival of the redemption.

The Great Rabbis of this generation are urging people to do Teshuva / Repent according to the Torah’s Ways.

The Great Rabbi, Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky recently gave the message:

Rav Mishkovsky brings Rav Kanievsky’s words – this is one of the critical hours for the Jewish People. Rav Kanievsky: “Go and inform Klal Yisrael that we are in the footsteps of Mashiach. Mashiach is about to arrive.”

Request in the name of Rav Kanievsky: “To the children of Avraham, Yitzchak, and Ya’aqov, even those called ‘secular’, I was asked by my teacher and my rabbi, shlita, to inform that whoever wants to be saved in this generation, it is only via Torah [Torah learning and Observance] and gemilut chasadim [Doing acts of Kindness], there’s no other way. …Take a loudspeaker and advertise it all over the country.”

We pray that as many righteous people as possible will be saved in the war of Gog uMagog. The Torah gives freedom of choice to choose good and bad, right and wrong, righteousness or evil, life or death. The choice is in our hands. Choose Life!

The Point of Life – I Don’t Know Yet

158330438xAsk People what’s the point of life. Many will respond “I Don’t Know Yet” “Yet” is an important word. Yet means that they still hope on finding the point of life.

The Torah, tells you the point of life: To do as much good as one can. Many want to do good but don’t know how. Like the Kuzari – the King of Kazar – who wanted to find out Truth by asking a Priest, An Imam and a Rabbi. His thoughts were good, but his actions needed to be fixed.

After thorough investigation and contemplation of comparative religion, the King of the Kazars finally converted to Judaism with his people.

Apparently the Main point of the Book “the Kuzari” is to investigate why Torah observance primes. One point it makes that some call the Kuzari Principle – because Torah is the only book of law that was given by G-d in the presence of millions of witnesses. All other religions were started by one man and then transmitted. When the Torah was transmitted – it wasn’t just one man who heard G-d, nor two, nor a thousand it was over 3 million people who heard G-d speaking directly to each individual. No other way of life claims this.

G-d knows the future. He knew that other religions would claim the title of truth. So G-d gave the written Torah and the Oral Torah. The Written Torah is not fully understandable without its explanation – the Oral law – now comprised by the Talmud and Midrash. G-d is also omniscient – knowing all – does not change His law. He will not give a law and then revoke it. I never saw any one who said that we should revoke the law of stopping at a traffic light. Traffic Laws are so fundamental that everybody agrees that they are needed for safety concerns.

The Torah explains the Point of life – by providing a detailed way of living – that guides a person reach their true potential in life.

The Torah has a two path system. One for Jews. One for Gentiles / Non-Jews. The Jews follow the 613 Commandments as explained in the Shulchan Aruch – Jewish Code of law. And the Gentiles follow their laws – the 7 Noahide Commandments.

Many gentiles and Jews eagerly seeking to find truth – if they pray to Hash-m to help them find truth and make the proper efforts – will eventually find Torah.

“Yet” is an important word.