Emuna

The 7 Tenets of Belief in Yourself

Believe 2

What is “belief in myself”? Here are the basic seven parameters:

  1. The Almighty created me, as He did every other creature, with a unique trait of my own that no one else has, just as my fingerprints are unique; there is no exception to this rule.

  2. The particular attribute, skill, or talent that the Almighty instills in me enables me to successfully accomplish my own very special mission on earth.

  3. The Almighty wants me to successfully accomplish my mission on earth; I can therefore succeed; indeed, if I don't limit myself, I can attain greatness.

  4. The Almighty loves me, for He has no other child like me; He wants to help me and He especially loves hearing from me.

  5. I am a person of worth.

  6. I have the power to improve myself.

  7. I can be happy.

Repeat the above 7 parameters over and over, daily, until they become second nature. Once you believe in yourself, wait and see how your life takes off. Your own personal Red Sea will split too...

Go for it, because you'll now go far.

With blessings for a lovely day, LB


Unifying the Unified

BnB Screenshot
Menachem Brodie and I really are family - we're from the same Burde/Broida family from Grodno (depending on history, sometimes Poland, sometimes Belarus, sometimes Lithuania). just when our respective grandfathers came to the USA from Europe, the immigration clerk on Ellis Island translated and spelled the name as he saw fit - the result, different clerk, different spelling.

The last two years in Israel have been socially terrible, with unprecedented infighting as a result of the political impasse and mudslinging. That upset us far more than the bombings from Gaza.

The two biggest powers of unification I know of are emuna and physical fitness. Combine the two and you have an unbreakable spiritual weld. If I'd be in a gym with a trainer from Syria, we'd right away have a common language and be teaching and learning from each other. And, putting religion aside, if I would talk about having a personal relationship with Hashem with anyone on earth except a self-declared atheist, we too have solid common ground to build on.

Menachem and I want to shatter stereotypes to help people feel better and be happier. Yesterday, we filmed several clips including exercise for beginners, overcoming back pain and healthy eating. Menachem, a master sports physiologist and world-renown strength and cycle coach, knows his stuff. With Hashem's help, I demonstrate technique and show how body and soul are inseparable, and both must be taken into consideration for good health. For example, massive biceps don't help much if a person is depressed. In addition to holistic health and wellbeing, we want to show that generation gaps and social gaps, especially between the more observant and the less observant, are not necessarily a fact of life. Respect the other person, let him or her exercise their Divine right of free choice as long as they don't hurt anyone else, and remember that ever since Mount Sinai, we're all one nation anyway. In that aspect, our new series "Brodie meets Brody" is simply unifying the unified. We look forward to sharing this new instructional series with you in the nearest future, G-d willing, so don't miss it.


The Megilla of Geula (Redemption), 2021

Megillas Geula
One doesn't even need a spiritually-sensitive nose to smell that Geula is in the air; this is not only apparent in Israel, but in the USA as well.

Trying to make sense out of isolated current events is like looking at one piece of a 10,000-piece puzzle with the presumption of understanding the entire picture. That, of course, is impossible. Reading or listening to media analyses that ignore emuna and the message that Hashem is conveying to the world are therefore a waste of time. For example, if Esther and Mordechai were in today's generation, imagine how the politically-correct and agenda-oriented anti-Torah media would lambast Mordechai for refusing to bow down to the wicked Haman, the head of BDS and the Squad. Yet, Mordechai's steadfast adherence to Hashem's Torah saved the Jewish People - most of whom had sorely compromised Torah values by the political correctness of attending the king's palace ball - from a terrible decree. Don't forget that from start to finish, the Megilla of Esther transpired a thirteen-year time span from start to finish.

According to the writings of the Gaon of Vilna, who few realize was a monumental Kabbalist in addition to his unprecedented scholarship of the entire revealed Torah, the Megilla of Geula is now underway. The isolated events that are now happening in rapid succession are proof.

Before I elaborate on The Gaon's writings, let me ask a question: if five years ago, someone would tell you that in 4 years, there will be a pandemic that threatens the lives and livelihoods of all mankind, would you believe it? If someone five years ago would tell you that in 4 years, you'd be forced to pray on your balcony or in your back yard instead of in the synagogue, would you believe it? If five years ago, someone would tell you that in 5 years, people would be trampled to death in Meron, bleachers would crash in Karlin, and a giant hole in the ground would open up during the week of Parshat Korach, you'd be wondering which hallucinogenic drug this person is high on...

Look at the parallels between Israel and the USA. The parties that embody traditional values are out. The parties who wave the flags of anti-Torah values are in.

In Israel, a motley conglomerate of parties with nothing in common except for their loathing of Torah values has united, despite the fact the the coalition straddles extreme differences in ideology. Two things unite them: 1, they're hate of Bibi, and 2, their respective ego, greed and personal ambitions that override all ideology. Who would believe that a tiny political party that barely represents 5% of Israeli voters would betray their own voters to cross over the political Rubicon so that its head, who not long ago could not even pass the electoral threshhold, can become Prime Minister! It's a miracle in reverse that no one could dream of that only shows that Hashem is doing all of this, and for the very best. It's part of the Megilla of Geula. Here's how:

The Gaon of Vilna wrote an amazing elaboration on the Megilla of Esther that interprets the Megilla in two different ways, one according to the revealed side of Torah and the other according to the esoteric side of Torah, entitled Even Shlema.  Following the Megilla, the Gaon addresses several significant moral and ethical topics. Chapter 11 is about the Geula, the full redemption of our people, may it come soon, amen. The Gaon says that the fourth and final Diaspora, the Diaspora of Edom which we have been suffering for the last 2,000 years, will end with the government of the Erev Rav (the wicked rifraff) over the Jewish People. The Erev Rav, despite their Jewish names, appearance or outer trappings, are apparent in their desire to uproot Torah values and Torah authority. Reading this is like reading an Israeli daily newspaper that is describing the coalition agreement of the new incoming government.

The Gaon goes a step further. In Proverbs 16:4, King Solomon says that Hashem creates everything for His own purpose, including {literally "and also"} the wicked for the day of evil. King Solomon is emphatically stressing that everything, even the seemingly bad, is all from Hashem, Who is using the choices of the wicked to implement a piece of Hashem's puzzle that appears to be bad. The Gaon notes that the numerical value of ve'gam, the word for "and also" from our passage at hand, is 49, indicating that when the Erev Rav reaches the next to the bottom rung of the 50 levels of impurity, Hashem will lift them up in order to trigger their utter downfall, both of which are necessary stages toward our imminent Geula. How imminent? No one knows.

The Gaon brings further proof for what he says. He quotes King David in Psalm 92:8 that reads, "When the wicked spring up like grass, and when all the workers of iniquity flourish, it is so that they'll be destroyed forever." This, writes the Gaon, is talking about the Erev Rav at the end of the Edomite Diaspora and preceding Geula.

As we stress in 3 Words of Emuna, when we know that Hashem is running the show and pulling the strings of the puppets He puts in power, and we know that Hashem is our loving Father in Heaven Who does everything for the best, there's nothing to worry about. I therefore have no part in the gloom and pessimism of so many people who are upset about events in Israel. One politically oriented rabbi asked me, "Aren't you worried about the new government starving the yeshivas?" To his surprise, I said, "Not at all." Hashem sustains the yeshivas and everyone else; with Bitachon, one isn't worried about where his or her next meal is coming from. We can already see the good in the Haredi parties going into the opposition benches of Knesset, because now everyone will have to learn emuna and bitachon, turning to Hashem rather than turning to the Government. What's more, once Moshiach comes, there won't be religious or Haredi parties - only Moshiach, Hashem's anointed King of Israel, the Sanhedrin and our true spiritual leaders. That's on the last page of the Megilla of Geula, something to really look forward to. So look at the big picture, smile and keep reading the Megilla, for no matter how things appear, it's all going to be party-time very soon, for these are simply the labor pains of the birth of redemption and the coming of Moshiach, speedily and in our days, amen!


Body-Soul Harmony

Body-Soul Harmony
People who don't know me often say, "Hey, you don't look like a fitness trainer! Why don't you stick to being a rabbi?"

Two answers to the above comment: First, I'm not a YouTube trainer who wants to show his my six-pack abs and flaunt what he can do but what you can't. Second, what much of the rabbinical world either ignores, forgot, or never learned, coaching people in physical well-being is an integral part of spiritual leadership. Look at these prime examples from our sages:

  1. Our forefather Jacob out-wrestled an angel. He lifted boulders that ten shepherds together barely lifted.
  2. Each of Jacob's 12 sons was an expert in martial arts (see Malbim of Parshat Vayichi).
  3. Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel, who was both a juggler and a gymnast who could do pushups on his thumbs alone (see tractate Succa 53a)
  4. Rebbe Shimon ben Lakish (Reish Lakish) could broad jump the Jordan River; in addition, he was a former gladiator who was deadly in hand-to-hand combat.
  5. Maimonides was an expert in physical fitness who even codified the principles of health, nutrition and fitness within religious law. 

My health and wellness approach is rooted in the timeless health advice of the Rambam, which promotes harmony of body and soul, the truest form of holistic health. What good is a perfect figure or 21" biceps if you suffer from anxiety and depression?

In my years of athletic experience, training in all different types of sports from running to weight training to wrestling and combat arts, I went through a vicious cycle of approaching what I thought was my peak fitness, then suffering a big setback of an injury or flu. I was repeatedly burning myself out rather than building myself up. Even while learning to become a fitness trainer and health coach, most of my teachers were teaching me the same methods that didn't lead to the results I was looking for.

"True fitness is the optimum state of body-soul well-being..."

With Hashem's help, I came to the conclusion that true fitness is the optimum state of body-soul well-being, when physical and emotional ills disappear and a person functions at his or her best. This is opposed to the person who wins the marathon, then spends the next two weeks recuperating in the hospital. With body-soul fitness, your goal is not to run the 42 kilometers, to build the massive triceps or to become the aerobic-dance queen who is so carbo-starved after her workout that she eats twice the carbs that she burned. Your goal is to feel good so that you can serve Hashem more efficiently and happily...

Genuine holistic fitness is functional fitness. Functional fitness means that you function effectively: despite your age, you can run, walk, climb and lift as you need to. It also means that your body is free of disease and your soul and emotions are free of their diseases - worry, anger, anxiety, worry, depression, jealousy and other negative emotions.

My holistic approach, which I share with my readers free of charge on this blog and on our EmunaBeams podcast, addresses diet, disease prevention, exercise and lifestyle, and above all emuna, the pure and simple faith in the Creator that nourishes the soul and results in the epitome of fitness, the true  balance of a healthy body in perfect harmony with a healthy soul. Blessings for a splendid summer and splendidly good health.


The Emuna Baby

Don't ever give up! Esther Nava suffered disappointment after hardship; if over a dozen miscarriages weren't enough, she suffered a traumatic divorce. The clock kept ticking and her 40th birthday was getting close - how and when we will she ever have children? She never gave up. Not only did she strengthen herself in Emuna, she built a Facebook group of nearly 4,000 women whom she strengthens in emuna. Hashem sent Esther Nava a warm, beautiful-hearted husband, a moshavnik named Avi Aharoni. Now, we can reveal the closely guarded secret: the emuna baby was born 8 days ago, and today, he entered into the covenant of Avraham Avinu, baruch Hashem. The baby's spiritual grandfather (LB) was the sandak. Here's the story where we all learn an important lesson - Ein Od Milvado! Don't ever lose hope, for there is no one but Hashem and He can do whatever He wants whenever He wants. Here are 5 minutes of encouragement, filmed 45 minutes after the bris, with emuna baby Eitan Michael Eliya Aharoni in my arms helping me to spread the message of emuna:


Heaven-Sent Bread

We learn an important new word in Hebrew today - hishtadlus, or effort. The age-old question that each of us has is how much hishtadlus must one do in making a living? What's the relationship between hishtadlus and bitachon, between effort and trust in Hashem? Our sages teach that the material we incorporate in today's lesson is a major income-enhancer.