Land of Israel

Why the Catastrophes?

We've just entered the Three Weeks again, the notorious period between the 17th of Tammuz and Tisha B'Av, when the worst things happened to the Jewish People throughout history. We can't understand the Three Weeks without understanding the root of Tisha B'Av and the destruction of both Holy Temples. It was the eve of Tisha B'Av when the twelve spies returned to the Israelite encampment from 40 days of scouting out the Land of Israel. All of them except for Calev ben Yephuneh from the tribe of Judah and Yehoshua Bin Nun from the tribe of Ephraim said slander about the Land of Israel and about how dangerous it was. That night, the entire Israelite nation sat in their tents and cried. Hashem said to them, "OK, you want to cry for nothing? I'll give you plenty of real reasons to cry for generations to come." What's the connection between the sin of the spies and everything that's happening to us today?


Holy Fruit of the Land of Emuna

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 Water on the Roof

There's a classic historical pattern whenever Antisemitism exploded in full force; it was always preceded by plague, unemployment or economic crises. The same pattern is repeating itself right now with all three phenomena simultaneously, and it's becoming more acute every day according to the new 8-page Simon Weisenthal Center report. What can we do about it?


Boomerang Bread

Every act of charity and lovingkindness - chesed - earns the merit of multiple Torah mitzvoth simultaneously. The good a person gives comes back eventually in an amazing manner as we learn in today's podcast as we see the words of our prophets come alive.

UPDATE: Meet Yuval Carmi, the hero of our story in the podcast, and see the Channel 13 clip that caught the undivided attention of all of Israel, including the Prime Minister. Even if you don't understand, your heart will feel the pain of someone who has lost his income; not even the reporter could keep from crying. But, Hashem dried those tears as you heard in our podcast. Here's Yuval:


Rebbe Akiva: Pillar of Emuna

Today's podcast come from the holy gravesite of Rebbe Akiva, overlooking the Sea of Galilee in Tiberias, Israel. The Gemara says that since Moses, there was no one greater than Rebbe Akiva, who overcame every possible disadvantage in the world while becoming the pillar of Torah and emuna, as we learn in today's podcast.

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The Ramcha"l

Today's podcast takes us to the holy gravesite of Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzatto (1704-1746), renowned Kabbalist and master of Jewish ethics, author of the classic books "Path of the Righteous," "Way of Hashem" and many more. Buried next to Rebbe Akiva in Tiberias, many kabbalists consider the Ramcha"l to be a gilgul (reincarnation) of Rebbe Akiva.

Watch now:

Click here for your free mp4 download of today's video podcast.


Rebbe Ammi and Rebbe Assi: Cooperating, not Competing

Today's podcast comes from the holy city of Tiberias on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, where many of our Talmudic sages are buried. From the gravesite of Rebbe Ammi and Rebbe Assi, who were students of Rebbe Yochanan in the late 3rd Century CE, Rabbi Lazer explains two significant lessons we learn from these two pious and righteous Torah scholars of impeccable character. Enjoy it, and have a lovely Shabbat!


Rebbe Hiyya the Great: Master of Outreach

During the height of Roman occupation and persecution of Jews in the Land of Israel, Torah was in danger of being forgotten, for the Romans outlawed Torah learning. Poverty and deprivation prevailed among our people. Rebbe Hiyya the Great, at this most difficult time, took his wife Yehudit, his two twin sons Yehuda and Chizkiya, his two daughters and his two nephews Rav and Raba bar Bar Chana and made aliya to the Land of Israel. When he saw the terrible material and spiritual deprivation, he planted flax seeds. When he harvested the flax, he made nets to capture wild deer. He used the venison meat to feed starving orphans and used the deer hides to make parchment. On the parchment, he wrote the Five Books of Moses, which he taught to the orphans,  making a single-handed revival of Torah.

No wonder that Rebbe Hiyya's two sons and two nephews became prodigious Torah scholars and righteous men of the highest caliber.

Rabbi Lazer relates the story of Rebbe Hiyya the Great from his holy gravesite in Tiberias, overlooking the Sea of Galilee. Today's podcast is based on the Gemara in Tractate Ketubot 103b: