"Gei Veiter" in Yiddish means "Go Forward" - the best 2-word emotional first aid kit there is. See this:
"Gei Veiter" in Yiddish means "Go Forward" - the best 2-word emotional first aid kit there is. See this:
Because of the preoccupation with the Coronavirus, the blast in Beirut on Tuesday, August 4th got much less attention than it deserved. Sure, the world looked at the explosion in superficial 21st Century style but failed to understand the ramifications of the blast, which are far more important to Israel and the Jewish People than Coronavirus. While Coronavirus is a pandemic, the Beirut blast wasn't planned to be in Beirut. It was planned to be a Hiroshima holocaust to level the city of Haifa, all of the Haifa Bay area and kill a million Jews, Heaven forbid. Hashem prevented that just as King David said he would.
King David said in Psalm 7:16 that our enemy digs a pit but he himself falls into it. That's exactly what Nasralla and Hezbolla did. I emphasize that the Lebanese People are not our enemy. Nasralla and Hezbolla are. They stored tons of highly volatile ammonium nitrate illegally in Beirut Airport, despite Nasralla's denials. The corrupt Lebanese government, which Hezbolla controls by force, blackmail and bribes, knew all about it but didn't do anything. Other segments of Lebanon's population suffer such as the Christians, the Druze and many of the Sunni Moslems suffer from Hezbolla tyranny and from their emasculated government's lack of protection. The proof is that Hezbolla cared less about the safety threat to the Beirut populace. What the liberal Western media doesn't tell you is that the ammonium nitrate was destined to become the superchargers of Hezbolla's missile warheads – tens of thousands of them – which turn conventional rockets into quasi nuclear threats as we saw in the mushroom vapor cloud that went up from the explosion in Beirut Port – it looked just like Hiroshima.
Here's a little history that your media also won't tell you. Hezbolla became world specialists in developing explosive devices and weapons enhancers by way of the use of Ammonium Nitrate. Ammonium Nitrate was the explosive material used in the roadside bombs that wounded and killed so many Israeli soldiers between the First and Second Lebanon Wars. Hezbolla exported this sinister know-how to their Afghani counterparts, the Taliban, by way of Iran. According to our very reliable intel sources, Iran’s Revolutionary Guards (IRG) have been active amongst Taliban terrorists opposing the Afghan government. In fact, the same Iranian IRG military advisors that work with Hezbolla have also worked as advisors to the Taliban. Now here this, America – the same roadside aluminum-nitrate based bombs that wounded and killed so many Israeli soldiers are the culprits that maimed and killed so many American soldiers in Afghanistan. So when you put the puzzle together, it all stems from Iran.
This massive 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate, which is – listen to this – 6 million pounds, had been sitting in Hangar 12 of the Port of Beirut, stockpiled by Hezbolla as the secret weapon to implement another Holocaust that Nasralla and Humeini planned for the Jewish People. In 2016, with a swine-like smirk on his face, Nasralla promised that a "nuclear explosion" just might detonate in Israel in the near future. Ever since, he and the IRG have been promising that Israel's demise is near. While the blast on Tuesday was "accidental", the damage would have been megatimes greater if only a few kilograms of aluminum nitrate would have been placed at the tips of 150,000 Hezbolla warheads fired at deadly precision all over Israel, Heaven forbid. Such a supercharger on a warhead makes it tens of times more devastating, depending on the rocket and its payload capacity.
Israel knew all about the stockpile. The Mossad even tipped off Britain's MI5 recently about 3 tons of the deadly material the Hezbolla stockpiled in the UK, where they were planning a hit similar to their devastating terror attack in Burgas, Bulgaria in July of 2012, when a Hezbolla suicide bomber blew up a bus carrying 42 Israeli tourists. The same was being planned for Golder's Green or Stamford Hill.
You see, as Jews, Israel cares more about Beirut's citizens much more than Hezbolla and Iran do. Here is also proof contrary to what many tried to do in pinning the blame on Israel that Israel had nothing to do with the blast. Hezbolla stockpiled the ammonium nitrate in warehouses that also held shipments of Iranian missiles that Hezbolla was also stockpiling. Israel goes deep inside Syria and Shiite-controlled portions of Iraq and to prevent weapons transfers to Hezbolla in Lebanon by ground routes. Our Navy also monitors Beirut Port to prevent weapons shipments by sea. As soon as Israel discovers missile shipments and stockpiles intended for Hezbolla – no matter where they are, be it in Syria, in Lebanon or in Iraq – Israel attacks and blows them. There was always one exception – the Port of Beirut.
Israel could have easily blown up the weapons stockpiles in the Port of Beirut but refrained from doing so, despite the terrible threat to us, because our country knew that the ammonium nitrate stockpiles would also blow, thereby causing devastation to the innocent civilian population. We cared about preventing damage to the people of Beirut whereas Nasralla, Hezbolla, Iran and Humeini could not have cared less. The arch terrorist criminal Nasralla connived that if he stockpiled his weapons where the ammonium nitrate was, they'd be safe from Israel. He was right; he knows that Israel risks its own soldiers to avoid damage to civilian populations of enemy countries. The reason Israel doesn't destroy Hezbolla's weapons depots in Beirut Port and in South Lebanon is because they're all in the midst of the civilian population, not just in warehouses but in mosques and hospitals.
But Nasralla was wrong about something else – he didn't take Hashem into account. Hashem decided that the threat to Israel in the port of Beirut was too great, so Hashem destroyed Hezbolla's doomsday weapon of ammonium nitrate. Hashem ignited the fire in Beirut Port. Who else could have set off such a massive nuclear-type blast leveling the Beirut port and Hezbolla's doomsday stockpiles, yet less than 160 people were killed in the blast. The number of fatalities according to nature should have been a hundred times greater.
Once again, this is not conventional news but emuna news. The purpose of today's podcast is not to present the news, to discuss politics or to analyze military strategy and scenarios. The purpose is to show what Hashem is doing for us without our knowledge and to thank Him. Here's why:
In Psalm 117, King David calls upon all nations, including our enemies, to praise Hashem, because His mercy on the Jewish People is so great. This really sounds weird at face value: why should Hamas, Hezbolla and Iran praise Hashem for His mercy on the Jews, when their hate for us knows no bounds? The answer is simple – only they know what they have been planning for us and only they know the extent to which Hashem has spoiled their plans.
The least we can do – every Jew or peace-loving human whoever you are and wherever you are – is to thank Hashem, from morning until night. We can never take for granted every new day when the sun shines on is. Thank You, Hashem. G-d bless and warmest regards from the Land of Israel.
Hear the above analysis on mp3 (8-minute podcast):
To win a battle, an army needs good intel. Today's lesson familiarizes us with our arch-enemy, the evil inclination - how to recognize it, how it operates and how to overcome it. Enjoy our weekly full-length emuna shiur and have a lovely Shabbat!
Today's lesson is about the Torah's commandment of judging another person fairly. Some people wonder why they have troubles in their life, especially when on the whole, they are mitzva-observant people. The Gemara says that they should double-check themselves in the mitzva of judging others fairly, because people violate it right and left without even thinking. What's worse, the EI (Evil Inclination) gives them the sanctimonious feeling that they're doing a mitzva, talking about how someone else isn't learning Torah or serving Hashem properly. The Chofetz Chaim reminds us in his classic Shmiras Halashon – Guard your Tongue – that judging others fairly is one of the 31 mitzvoth involved in wholesome speech. In Klal Gimel, rule 3, he says that the terrible aspect of failing to judge another person fairly is that the person is simultaneously guilty of Lashon Hara – evil speech. The Gemara in tractate Arachin 15b stresses that Lashon Hara is worse than idolatry, debauchery and bloodshed combined. Therefore, many of a person's tribulations can be traced back to forbidden speech that he or she never atoned for.
King David says twice, in Psalm 115 and in Psalm 135, "They have eyes but they don't see." Jeremiah the Prophet repeated the same passage. On surface value, it looks like they're talking about idols made out of wood and stone. The Dubner Maggid and many other of our sages point to the universality of this passage that it applies to our generation. "They have eyes but they don't see." In other words, they don't see things the way that Hashem and His Torah want them to see. They forget about such mitzvoth like judging others fairly. Our sages say that the difference between a wise man and a fool is that while the wise man sees the world through eyes of Torah, the fool sees the world with no understanding of what he sees. Therefore, Hashem cannot share the secrets of the Torah with a fool but freely shares the secrets of Torah with a person who is not only wise but refrains from evil speech and always looks for the good in others. You know what this means? If you see a rabbi or apparent Torah scholar who talks bad about others, then his knowledge if far from the truth and he's not the real deal.
Don't think that I'm speaking theoretically. Let me tell about something that happened to me just days ago, and you'll see how serious judging others fairly and refraining from slander are, especially in the era of social media.
Between 2 wars and 20 years of combat-duty service that included extreme exposure to gunfire, artillery and explosions - and now, having hit my seventies - I suffered an acute hearing loss. I tried all kinds of recommended hearing aids from leading companies and they just didn't seem to help. I don't have a problem with volume, but I lost over 80% of high-frequency hearing that you need to differentiate between consonants. I couldn't tell the difference between a bear and a pear or between a sheep and a creep. I finally discovered the Israeli representative of a wonderful Swiss firm named Phonac. They made a custom in-the-ear hearing aid for me (image, above) that brought my hearing back from an overall score of 50% up to 90% - what a joy! The problem was, that since they are so sensitive, every time my payos (sidecurls) would brush up against them, I get static that sounded like a hurricane wind blowing through the treetops. I didn't know what to do until Hashem gave me the simple idea to tuck my payos behind my ears like the Lithuanian world does. Voila! All of a sudden, I heard crystal clear! I could hear paper rustling, the clock in my office ticking, my keyboard clicking, the birds chirping and things I haven't heard for 40 years. For me, that's the Irish lottery! Like they say in the British Parliament, the Ayes have it! From now on, the payos go behind the ears!
This is only the beginning of the story. I now posted new profile pictures on Facebook and Twitter (image, right). One person starts an avalanche, with a tiny little snowball of a comment, "Where's Lazer's payos?" Usually, when people call me "Lazer" instead of Rabbi Brody or RebLazer, I can expect incoming fire of sarcasm or disparagement, because some joker has decided to strip me of my hard-earned ordinations. That's par for the course, because anyone who sincerely teaches emuna is a target for the EI. At any rate, someone else says, "Wow, he must have gone off the derech." I don't even want to repeat what the third, fourth and fifth people had to say. Thousands of people saw this thread before I deleted it. Only one righteous woman told everyone to shutup and she gave a simple explanation, "I'm sure his payos are behind his ears." Young lady, you were 100% right. The Gemara promises that just as you have judged me fairly, Hashem will judge you fairly – that's a signed check from the Gemara and the Chafetz Chaim. If you look at the photo on today's Emuna Beams, you'll see just how correct you were.
Now, stop and consider the troubles in your life. Stop and think about the instant judgments you might have made about other people or the things you might have said about them that disregard a load of facts that you're not aware of and just don't reflect the truth. The Heavenly Court regards that as tantamount to idolatry and punishes in accordance. Very few people take this into account when, even when they assess themselves and do teshuva daily. Why? Because they don't think they did anything wrong! These types of transgressions are unthinkably dangerous, especially with a seemingly innocent comment on social media turns into a jamboree of insult that thousands of people see. To make effective teshuva, you have to find every one of those people that heard what you said or read what you wrote and tell them that you made a terrible mistake. Who can do that! Is it worth the terrible punishments? No way…
Psalm 34 tells us that if we want good lives then we must guard our tongues and the Chafetz Chaim stresses that judging others fairly is an integral part of guarding our tongue.
What's the best advice, especially with Rosh Hashana right around the corner? If you can't judge a person fairly, don't judge at all. And if you can't speak complimentary about others, don't speak at all. Don't listen to lashon hara either because it's just as bad as speaking it. That's the healthiest and safest road to travel. Hashem wants us to be human, not statues of wood and stone that have eyes but cannot see. Really, the only way to completely maintain a clean tongue is to strengthen emuna, because if a person believes that Hashem is with him or her, and knows everything that they are thinking, much less saying, then they'll never speak or write or even think a derogatory thing about anyone.
If we all commit to judge others fairly, we uproot the intramural hate that destroyed the Second Holy Temple and invoke such Divine mercy where Hashem will get rid of Coronavirus and all the suffering of exile and bring us home to our rebuilt Holy Temple with Moshiach and the full redemption of our people, speedily and in our days, amen! G-d bless and have a wonderful Shabbat.
Hear the above lesson on the mp3 player below, or download it here:
If you don't think that our Talmudic sages saw far into the future with their crystal-clear spiritual vision, then hear today's podcast, which shows just how the holy Raba bar Bar Chana saw what would happen in our generation in general, and with the upheaval of COVID-19 in particular.
Your intended soul-mate, or that of your child, seems off the radar right now. But don't worry - this is the time of year that's conducive for meeting your match. Today's podcast tells an amazing story about a young man who lost hope of ever finding his bride, until he went to see Rabbi Chaim Kanievski shlit'a...
Here's today's emuna news: the preoccupation with Coronavirus has taken the focus away from Israel's northern border, where an acute threat of hundreds of thousands of Hizbolla and Iranian missiles are aimed at us right now. Moses saw all this in this week's Torah portion. Today's podcast is ideal to say over at your Shabbat table - enjoy it and have a wonderful Shabbat!
A group of friends once made a trip together. On the way to their destination, they saw someone standing with a backpack on a desert crossroads. Seven days later, on their way home, they encountered the same person with the backpack standing on the same desert crossroads in the hot sun. The group of friends asked the backpacker, "Why are you standing here?"
"I want to go to Jerusalem," responded the backpacker. "I'm waiting for a ride."
"How long have you been waiting?" they asked.
"More than a week," he answered.
They laughed. "Jerusalem's only a two-day walk from here. If you'd have started walking, you could have been there and back four times already!"
Many of us want to change, yet we expect it to happen automatically, with no effort on our part. Life doesn't work that way. An old Hebrew expression says, "Even a journey of a thousand kilometers begins with a first step."
The Yerushalmi Gemara in tractate Yoma 5a says that a generation that fails to build the Holy Temple is as if it destroyed the Holy Temple. People think that the Gemara is a little too severe here; let's see...
The Babylonian Gemara in tractate Yoma 9b says that the generation of the Second Temple was learned in Torah and exacting in mitzva observance. The Gemara even tells us that they engaged in charitable deeds. Despite all that, the Second Temple was destroyed because of sinas chinam, baseless hate.
The first Diaspora, the period that lasted for seventy years between the destruction of the First Holy Temple and the rebuilding of the Second Holy Temple, was an atonement for the three terrible sins that led to the destruction of the First Holy Temple - idolatry, bloodshed and debauchery. According to the Gemara in tractate Sanhedrin 74a, these are the three worst sins in the Torah, which a person must give up his own life rather than violate. Yet, the generation of the First Temple was punished for 70 years only? In the Second Temple, there was none of those three. On the contrary, people were super observant and learned too. Yet, they've been in Diaspora for almost 2000 years, with Inquisitions, pogroms, Holocausts and pandemics on the way. Is that fair? Where's the proportionality? We're still part of that prolonged exile and Diaspora! We must ask ourselves, why is the punishment and subsequent exile of the Second Temple already thirty times worse than the first. And it's not over yet!
The generation of the Second Temple they hated each other. Sure, they fed the poor, built luxurious mikvas and study halls and educated the orphans, but they were jealous of each other and they spoke slander day and night. Comes along the Gemara in tractate Arachin 15b and tells us that lashon hara is just as bad as idolatry, bloodshed and debauchery put together. Even worse, the Yerushalmi in Tractate Pe'ah says that those who speak evil are punished in this world and the next, and their punishment is no less severe that the punishment for the three nasty sins that one should die rather than violate.
It's therefore easy to understand while we're still in Diaspora - our generation is still full of lashon hara and sinas chinam, slander and intramural hate. We can now realize what the Gemara means when it says that a generation that fails to build the Holy Temple is as if it destroyed the Holy Temple. Hashem won't rebuild the Temple another time and then let it be destroyed again because the core sin is still there. So we have to get rid of the core sin!
A person called me this week, very upset. He told me that his boss is so cruel to him that he's constantly nervous and he's lost his joy in life. I asked him why he doesn't sit down and discuss the ill treatment with the boss. He said it won't help, because the boss treats all the workers like that. I then asked why he doesn't seek the advice of a local rabbi who might be able to influence the boss. He told me that no one will believe him, because his boss gives millions of dollars to charity. The organizations think he's an angel. That's the type of thing that went on in the Second Temple - people would fund yeshiva and kollelim but they'd murder their employees or their competitors.
Anyone you ask will say that they await Moshiach and the Geula, with the rebuilding of the Holy Temple, once and for all. Yet, we have to ask ourselves: have we taken the first step to bring Moshiach? Have we done the very first thing to reduce the lashon hara or the sinas chinam in the world? How many groups within Judaism carry a flag of hate? For one group, it's a mitzva to hate Zionist Jews. For another group, it's a mitzva to hate non-Zionist Jews. A third group hates people who wear a different style kippa than they do and a fourth group hates all Jews who wear kippas while a fifth group hates all Jews who don't wear kippas. All these groups don't call it hate - they call it ideology. How can the Chassidim get along with the Litvaks if they can't get along with each other? I could go on and on, but this is distasteful.
It's a lot easier to sit on the floor and lament with tearful eyes about the destruction of our Temple and the calamities that have befallen our people than it is to commit to refrain from saying anything derogatory about a fellow human. This Tisha B'av, I am deciding to take the first step. I'm not going to wait for anyone else but you're more than welcome to join me. I ask Hashem to help me avoid saying or writing anything uncomplimentary about a fellow human, much less a fellow Jew. I ask Hashem that not a single syllable of slander or evil speech should appear in my blog or podcast, or anything else I say or write. Hashem, I don't want to perpetuate the exile and Diaspora. I do want Moshiach, redemption, the ingathering of the exiles and our rebuilt Holy Temple. Help me take this first step, Hashem, and help all my wonderful brothers and sisters who are joining me. Show us Your mercy and Your miraculous salvation, and bring us all home to our rebuilt Holy Temple and the glory of Your Holy Presence in Zion, speedily and in our days, amen!
Hear the above lesson on mp3, which you are welcome to download, courtesy of Emuna Beams: