Our sages all through the Gemara juxtapose Jerusalem and Rome – when one succeeds, the other fails; when one rises, the other falls. This is the same battle between faith and fate, and it's the secret of Rosh Hashanah, when the outcome of our entire coming year is determined, as we see in the current events that manifest themselves, such as Coronavirus. This is an eyeopener, and a vital tool to prepare for Rosh Hashanah:
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.
Reading the description of what will happen directly prior to Moshiach and Geula in the teachings of the Gaon of Vilna osb"m describes exactly what's happening in today's current events, but not at all in a politically correct fashion. Today's lesson pulls no punches and is taken directly from "Even Shlema," one of the Gaon's phenomenal books:
Today's shiur is dedicated to the loving memory of Hannah Suzanne Margaret Callen, ob'm
Many people have tremendous difficulty in coping with the concept of death and believing in life after death, which is the Thirteenth tenet of our faith. The Almighty helps us understand with His own living parable of life after death, the butterfly.
Today's shiur is dedicated to the memory of Chaya bas Mayer v'Esther, A"H
Maybe a tangerine from the Land of Israel looks like a tangerine from California of Florida, but spiritually, but according to Kabbalah, they are as different as night and day. Today's politically incorrect podcast also explains why a Jew must strive to make aliya and live in the Land of Israel, something that more and more people are contemplating, especially since the onset of the COVID 19 pandemic and the rabid growing tidal wave of anti-Semitism in the West.
The Ramcha'l osb"m wrote a Kabbalistic discourse nearly 300 years ago entitled, Ma'amar Hageula, or "Discourse of Geula." There, he brings forth some seemingly cryptic preconditions for the full and final redemption, all of which are happening today before our own eyes, as we hear in today's amazing podcast...
In this week's Torah portion, Moses begs Hashem to forgive the nation of Israel for the sin of the golden calf and says, "please pardon them of their sin, Hashem, for they are a stiff-necked people." (Exodus 34:9)
This week, we also read "Parshat Parah" (Numbers, Chapter 19), the episode of the Red Heifer, where we learn that every power in the universe can both purify or contaminate, depending on how it's used.
Look how the Torah reflects current events:
A stiff neck is the Torah's way of saying stubborn. Like any other character trait, stubbornness can go either way, for good or for evil. Throughout the ages, our righteous people have been so stubborn in their faith that they preferred to endure torture and death in sanctification of Hashem's Name rather than compromise their emuna. On the other hand, the riff-raff of our people have always stubbornly refused to recognize Hashem's monarchy and His Divine Providence, choosing the path of publicly and blatantly trampling the Torah's laws, from the time of Moses to the present.
Hashem is not some old lady in the sky that can do nothing against the Corona Virus, Heaven forbid. The first principle of our emuna is the "He alone did does and will do every deed." The Coronavirus, like all powers of evil, are emissaries of the Almighty and the executioners of stern judgment in the world. But like all powers, they can be harnessed to do good as well. For example, if the Coronavirus succeeds in bringing people to assess themselves and cast aside evil ways while striving to get close to Hashem, then it is intrinsically good. In fact, the Coronavirus could be one of the key catalysts of Moshiach. Here's how:
Here in Israel, there have always been problems of government-sanctioned breaches of Torah. Although every person has the right of free choice to do as he or she pleases, they will ultimately be called to account for their deeds. But, the Government of Israel, who bases its right to the Land of Israel by virtue of the Torah, has no right to trample the Torah. The Ministry of Culture and Sport never interfered with stadiums and theaters that publicly desecrated the Shabbat, but the Corona virus is putting an end to that: the latest Health Department Directives are now prohibiting stadium and theater attendance and all many other mass public desecrations of Shabbat. The Government has always sanctioned the lewd public displays of debauchery known as the Pride Parades, and that too won't happen anymore.
Before our very eyes, the amenities of the material world of indulgence, especially here in Israel, are shattering into smithereens. The stock market here went down a whole 7% today, Ben Gurion airport is a ghost town, and restaurants and night clubs are empty. El Al has put 80% of its work force on forced vacation.
The medical world, both here and abroad doesn't have an answer to Coronavirus. No one can outsmart Hashem, especially the politicians. In Israel, we're still without a government, for Hashem is showing that there's no salvation in the politicians of both right and left, all of whom care about nothing except grabbing power. Let's hope that they soon wake up and realize that there is no power but Hashem.
Hashem wants to bring Moshiach, but our stiff-necked people over here who think that we can live without Hashem and His Torah, Heaven forbid, are now getting a wake-up call. Unfortunately, our history shows that not many people will wake up; our Torah tells us that only 1 out of 5 left Egypt; the other 4 denied Hashem's miracles, Divine Providence and the redemption from Egypt so they stayed behind and perished during the three days of darkness.
But here's the good news, both in the material world that is tailored to reflect the spiritual world and in the spiritual world itself. The same power of destruction has the power of healing. Atomic power can either illuminate a city or blow it into oblivion. The same virus that kills can be harnessed into a life-saving vaccine. The Midrash, Gemara and the Zohar all tell us how even Ashmedai, the king of demons and the mafia boss of the dark side, what we call the Sitra Achra, was harnessed to do good.
The Zohar tells us that Ashmedai taught King Solomon an important Halacha, namely, that a person must pay full price for a mitzva, because if a mitzva is free, the dark side can hijack it and contaminate it.
What's more, the Midrash Aicha tells us that Rebbe Shimon bar Yochai went to Rome in attempt to convince Caesar to rescind the harsh edicts against the Jews in the Land of Israel; this was a mission impossible. But, because Rebbe Shimon was such a perfect tzaddik, Ashmedai came to his aid. Ashmedai penetrated and possessed the brain of Caesar's daughter. She went crazy screaming day and night and making the palace in Rome unbearable. One day, she started screaming over and over, "Bring me Rebbe Shimon bar Yochai" – Caesar summoned Rebbe Shimon, who warned Caesar that in order to cure his daughter, all the glass in the palace will be shattered. Caesar agreed. Rebbe Shimon bar Yochai whispered in the ear of Caesar's daughter and told Ashmedai to leave her, but allowing him to break all the palace glass instead. The daughter was cured and the evil edicts were annulled.
The holy Ariza'l explains in his classic work "Etz Hachaim" that Ashmedai has the power of doing good or evil because he comes from the klipa of Noga, which can go either way, for it separates between holiness and the opposite.
The world at large and Israel in particular are suffering now from coronavirus and in a near panic. Panic doesn't solve anything. Read this week's Torah portion and you'll see that Moses is defending us by calling us "a stiff-necked people", in Hebrew, עם קשה עורף,which has a numerical value of 871. And guess what, if we say that "Coronavirus is Ashmedai", in Hebrew that would be נגיף הקורונה אשמדאי, also a numerical value of exactly 871. This is a clear message that when we're too stiff-necked to do teshuva and to strengthen our emuna while throwing away the lusts and follies of this world, Hashem sends a messenger like Ashmedai and the Coronavirus to soften our stiff-necks.
Why wait for Ashmedai and the Coronavirus to wake up? Why not start talking to Hashem, praying in your own words, praising His Name and asking to get close to Him? Hashem taught Moses that 515 prayers, "V'etchanan" has the power to rescind harsh judgments and overturn nature, and that's the way Hannah – who was childless – prayed to have children. 515 is not only the Gematria, numerical equivalent of תפלה - tefilla, prayer, but also of שירה - shira, songs of praise, as well as ואתחנן - v'atchanan, pleading to Hashem. These are the spiritual remedies of נגיף הקורונה – the Coronavirus, which by no small coincidence is exactly 515.
It's time for emuna. The barometer of emuna is one's desire to pray. Emuna and teshuva are what we need now, because Moshiach is fast on the way, as we see that the entire world is trembling from fear of the Coronavirus. Don't wait until it's too late. Soon, the whole world will be trembling from fear of Hashem, when He reveals Himself with miracles that defy nature and hasten the Geula, our full redemption, speedily and in our days, amen. Stay healthy and have a wonderful Shabbat!
In today's video podcast, Rabbi Lazer tells a moving story from the Gemara in Tractate Taanis about Rebbe Yehoshua's encounter in Rome with Caesar and his daughter. When Caesar's daughter saw the renown Jewish sage from the Land of Israel, she asked, "How can such magnificent wisdom be housed in such an ugly vessel?" In explaining this passage of Gemara, its Kabbalistic ramifications and the practical advice each one of us can glean from it, we learn the key to successful relationships. Today's lesson will not only help us choose friends and the right soulmate, but it explains the proper balance and relationship between body and soul.
Click here for your free mp4 download of this podcast; you are entitled to listen to it on your own device and to pass it on to others as well, courtesy of "Emuna Beams."
Many people mistakenly think that Kabbalah is exclusively for people who are rolling their eyes and floating on clouds. Not true! As you'll see in the Kabbalah lessons we hope to present periodically, the lessons of Kabbalah are ever so practical. Since Kabbalah is essentially the Divine blueprint of creation, its wisdom exemplifies profound lessons that we can use to learn more about ourselves and how to live our lives in the best possible manner.
Today, we'll learn the concept of "light and vessel", known in Hebrew as or v'kli. To better understand this concept, we relate a story from the Gemara in Tractate Taanit. This is the key to success to establishing successful relationships, whether it's finding your soulmate or picking a best friend. We hope you enjoy it and find it both beneficial and enlightening:
We're broadcasting today's lesson from one of creation's classrooms - a citrus orchard east of Ashdod. You'll soon see why...
Today, we'll learn one of the amazing secrets of creation, revealed right in the beginning of Kabbalistic writings. You'll see how one of G-d's names is the mathematical key to unlocking secrets of creation. Don't miss this, it's an eye-opener: