Land of Israel

The Lesson of Rebbe Eliezer ben Yaacov

REBY 4.9.19Above: Rabbi Lazer praying in the hill overlooking the tomb above Rebbe Eliezer ben Yaacov's burial cave 

A great health-enhancing aid is to pray by the gravesites of our holy sages, and here in the Land of Israel, there are plenty of them. Yesterday on my way up north to Tzfat, I stopped by the holy burial cave of the Tannaic sage Rebbe Elezer ben Yaacov, one of Rebbe Akiva's seven foremost students, who rose to greatness after Rebbe Akiva's first 24,000 students died in a plague for not properly respecting each other. Many people have asked me to pray for their health, so I was glad to fulfill their request at this holy site.

Rebbe Eliezer ben Yaacov was extremely humble. He didn't say much, but almost everyone of his utterances has been encoded in religious law.  Let's hear more about him:

A Message from the Holy Gravesite of Rebbe Eliezer ben Yaacov from lazerbrody on Vimeo.


A Lesson from Rebbe Oshiya of Tiria: Connecting with the Creator

From the Upper Galilee near the ancient town of Peki'in, we visit the holy gravesite of the "Amora", the early 4th Century CE Talmudic sage Rebbe Oshiya of Tiria, from whom we learn what it means to truly be connected to the Creator as a person of faith, not merely "religious"... Enjoy this 2-minute clip:

The Lesson of Rebbe Oshiya of Tiria from lazerbrody on Vimeo.


Goat Milk vs. Cow Milk

Goat Milk 7.6
Shavuot is the holiday where we have a tradition of serving dairy products. With many people, that's problematic because of lactose intolerance, which leads to indigestion, bloating, flatulence and irregularity. Ironically, despite the hype, cow milk actually bleeds the body of calcium and can lead to osteoporosis.  What's more, many suffer from milk allergies; a glass of milk is liable to make them break out in acne.

So what do you do, especially of Shavuot? Substitute the "moo" - cow milk, for "maa'aah", goat milk. Even if cow milk doesn't cause you problems, goat milk is umpteen times healthier. Here are a few reasons why:

  1. Goat milk is more digestible - the protein in goat milk forms a softer curd than cow milk – and this also decreases the irritation that one might otherwise experience with cow milk.
  2. Goat milk is great for heart health - it contributes to the healthy type of cholesterol - HDL - without upping the bad type of cholesterol, the LDL. What's more, it's a fantastic source of magnesium.
  3. Goat milk combats inflammation - in Israel, we use goat milk to combat mouth sores. Since goat milk is less acidic than cow milk, people with ulcers can also drink it.
  4. As opposed to cow milk, the calcium in goat milk adds to bone strength and reduces the chances of osteoporosis.
  5. Goat milk is a better metabolic agent than cow milk - it boosts the metabolic utilization of minerals like iron, magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus. It also has A2 beta-casein, which is far healthier than A1 beta-casein that cow milk contains.
  6. Goat milk works well for lactose-intolerant people who can't drink cow milk.
  7. Goat milk more closely resembles human milk and is therefore healthier for babies and toddlers than cow milk and is the next best thing to mother's milk.

The only disadvantage I can think of when it comes to goat's milk is the high price. But, when considering its health advantages and great taste, it's worth it!

By the way, people think that the "Land of milk and honey" (Exodus 13:5) - none other than our holy Land of Israel - refers to cow milk and bee honey. Wrong! The Gemara in tractate Ketubot 111b says the words 'flowing with milk and honey' refer to milk that flows from goats’ (udders) and honey that flows from trees, particularly dates.

With the above in mind, we recommend the "maa'aah" (neigh) of the goat over the "moo" of the cow. Try it, and may you have the best Shavuot ever. Yours with blessings, LB


Rebbe Oshiya Ish Tiria

Rebbe Oshiya Ish Tiria 17.5
One of the greatest things a person can do to benefit his/her own body-soul health and well-being is to visit and pray by the holy gravesites of the great tzaddikim, especially here in the Land of Israel. One such tzaddik - not so well-known but where those in-the-know go to pray for astounding salvations - is Rebbe Oshiya Ish Tiria, whose place of eternal rest is in the north of Israel, slightly east of Meron in the Upper Galilee and near the village of Peki'in, overlooking the gorgeous Tiria Valley.

Rebbe Oshiya was an Amora, one of the holy sages of our Gemara, mentioned primarily in the Yerushalmi Talmud and in the Midrash for his extreme righteousness, humility and holiness. The Midrash Raba (Kohelet, ch. 1) tells us that the day Rebbe Abin the great of his generation died, Rebbe Oshiya - the tzaddik of his generation - was born. This puts Rebbe Oshiya in the time frame of the 4th generation of Amoras in the Land of Israel, which places him chronologically in the latter half of the 4th century CE, somewhere between the years 360-400, at the time of Rav Pappa and Rabina in Babylon. The Jews in Israel suffered extremely under Roman occupation. This is the setting for a story that the Yerushalmi Talmud in the beginning of tractate Bava Metzia relates, as follows:

A Torah scholar of impeccable piety and character, Rebbe Oshiya eked out his meager living as a launderer, washing people's clothes. To remain above suspicion of any wrongdoing, he wore odd and shabby clothes that no one else wore, to avoid any suspicion that he took unauthorized advantage of the clothes his customers entrusted in his care.  One day, the Roman queen was walking by the river at a spot where Rebbe Oshiya would wash clothes. She lost a packet of rare jewels. Rebbe Oshiya found this priceless packet and returned it to the queen. She said, "Go ahead and keep them - I have plenty of jewels."

Rebbe Oshiya responded, "The Almighty and His Torah require me to return a lost article to its rightful owner. These belong to you, Your Majesty."

The queen, not particularly known for her love of the Jews, to say the least, replied, "Blessed be the G-d of the Jews." This was a phenomenal sanctification of Hashem's Name. The Midrash in Vayikra Raba 30:1 therefore tells us that when Rebbe Oshiya died, his death bed floated in the air and a voice from Heaven declared, "No riches in the world can buy the love that Hashem has for Rebbe Oshiya Ish Tiria!"

I recently visited his gravesite and prayed for something I badly needed. I made a promise to Rebbe Oshiya that if he intervenes in my behalf, I will tell the whole world about him and his holy gravesite, where many here in Israel have seen big miracles after frequenting it. Rebbe Oshiya kept his part of the deal, and I am now happy to keep my part. I received the big salvation I asked for.

For your convenience, below are 2 maps - larger scale and smaller scale - of how to get there. If you need a big salvation, pass the link to this article on to at least five people you know, and G-d willing, you too will see miracles. Meanwhile, have a lovely Shabbat. With blessings always, LB

Rebbe Oshiya Ish Tiria Map

Oshiya Ish Tiria Map


Lesson of the Sagebrush: Vitality in the Desert

Sage 15.4
The plant you see in the above image is called rotem in Hebrew, or sagebrush. I photographed this in the dunes, right south of Ashdod, one of my favorite personal prayer and exercise spots (running up sand dunes is really healthy, and it doesn't put wear and tear on your joints like pounding the asphalt does). At any rate, we're in the summer here already and it's hot and dry. Yet, the sagebrush is still lush and green. It shows us that there is vitality in the desert; that's one of the messages that the Almighty was revealing to Moses when He revealed Himself in the burning bush. Guess what type of bush that was - rotem, just like the one you see here. With this in mind, enjoy today's "Brodybeam":

Secret of the Sagebrush from lazerbrody on Vimeo.


Encouragement for the Soul: The Lesson of the Omer

Today's mini-broadcast comes to you from Meron in the Upper Galilee of Israel, from the holy gravesite of Rebbe Shimon Bar Yochai

This week, I received emails from all over - the USA, UK, Switzerland, Canada and here in Israel all telling me the same polite thing, more or less like this: "Rabbi Lazer, we really appreciate your health and wellness articles, but you don't know how much we miss the weekly shiurim (lessons) broadcasts. Could you please bring back the weekly shot of emuna and encouragement?"

How can I say "no"? In Yiddish they say, "When ten people tell you that you're drunk, go to sleep!"

I agree. I haven't prepared shiurim ever since I was discharged from the hospital after my cardiac challenge, which we're now fully recovered from, thank G-d. Since then, I've made a new beginning with new ventures, all on my own so I've been a busy boy...

The first thing that is returning is our mini-clip messages from all over Israel. Last night I was in Meron, and you all were in my prayers. Here's my message from the holy gravesite of Rebbe Shimon Bar Yochai. Enjoy it, and have a wonderful Shabbat and new month of Iyar. By the way, you'll notice that our new video host is Vimeo, where we have clean, no-ad, no-popup or immodest surprises viewing.

Every blessing, LB

Rabbi Lazer Brody from Meron: Lesson of the Omer from lazerbrody on Vimeo.