Sunday, May 19, 2013
Once again I urge you please go to Geula Messages and read the vital message from Rav Nir Ben Artzi. I need not duplicate the message here, but would prefer that all my readers bookmark the Geula Messages blog and frequent it every week. I thank Devash and her Tomar Devorah blog for bringing us these messages – especially her excellent English translation:
Monday, May 13, 2013
The very joyous celebration of Shavuot commemorates the giving of the greatest gift that mankind and womankind have ever received. At Mount Sinai Moshe Rabbenu received letter for letter from Hashem the Holy Torah. We received our Handbook of Life that taught us exactly how to maximize our lives, in this world and beyond for all eternity.
But, what are we really celebrating? That we received this precious gift 3325 years ago put it in the Ark in the Synagogue and look at it once a week with pride? Or are we celebrating the fact that we are still receiving the Torah every day and have plans of receiving it in all the coming days.
Imagine a man who buys a new suit, puts it in his closet and never wears it. Does he get great pleasure just knowing he has such a beautiful suit or did he buy it to get practical use out of it? He likes the feel of it and he just loves how great he looks in this new suit. It is silly to think that he only wanted to have it instead of “I can’t wait to use this new garment.”
There were several products over the years that advertised: “the gift that keeps on giving” (I don't do product endorsements, unless Hashem is the manufacturer). I can't think of a better description of the Torah than “the world’s greatest gift that keeps on giving and giving and giving.” In other words, leaving it in the Ark and periodically admiring it is like winning the lottery, but never spending the money. Money is useless – what you can buy with money to enhance your life is its true value. Torah by itself and not using it every day is a shameful waste. Studying this most precious gift from Hashem is the total answer to happiness and success. Please, don’t hang it in the closet; wear it and enjoy it beyond your wildest dreams.
Have a very happy Shavuot and make your plans for the coming year of how you want to get the most out of our gift of life, the Torah.
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Our daily Morning Prayer service (Shacharis) includes a particular Psalm designated for that day of the week. I have mentioned how Psalms give us guidance in solving many of life's problems and also are very prophetic. The Psalm we say on Yom Revi’i, Wednesday, Psalm 94:1 to 95:3 provide insight into the situation that plagues this world these days. Read the Psalm carefully (copied from the Artscroll daily Siddur) and understand the connection it has with our present situation. Hashem is talking to us and giving us guidance:
Today is the fourth day of the Sabbath, on which the Levites would recite in the Holy Temple:
O G-d of vengeance, Hashem; O G-d of vengeance, appear! Arise, O Judge of the earth, render recompense to the haughty. How long shall the wicked - O Hashem - how long shall the wicked exult? They speak freely, they utter malicious falsehood, they glorify themselves, all workers of iniquity. Your nation, Hashem, they crush, and they afflict Your heritage. The widow and the stranger they slay, and the orphans they murder. And they say, 'G-d will not see, nor will the G-d of Jacob understand.' Understand, you boors among the people; and you fools, when will you gain wisdom? He Who implants the ear, shall He not hear? He Who fashions the eye, shall He not see? He Who chastises nations, shall He not rebuke? - He Who teaches man knowledge. Hashem knows the thoughts of man, that they are futile. Praiseworthy is the man whom G-d disciplines, and whom You teach from Your Torah. To give him rest from the days of evil, until a pit is dug for the wicked. For Hashem will not cast off His people, nor will He forsake His heritage. For justice shall revert to righteousness, and following it will be all of upright heart. Who will rise up for me against evildoers? Who will stand up for me against the workers of iniquity? Had Hashem not been a help to me, my soul would soon have dwelt in silence. If I said, 'My foot falters,' Your kindness, Hashem, supported me. When my forebodings were abundant within me, Your comforts cheered my soul. Can the throne of destruction be associated with You? - those who fashion evil into a way of life. They join together against the soul of the righteous, and the blood of the innocent they condemn. Then Hashem became a stronghold for me, and my G-d, the Rock of my refuge. He turned upon them their own violence, and with their own evil He will cut them off, Hashem, our G-d, will cut them off. Come - let us sing to Hashem, let us call out to the Rock of our salvation. Let us greet Him with thanksgiving, with praiseful songs let us call out to Him. For a great G-d is Hashem, and a great King above all heavenly powers.
This reading of the day can basically be broken down into three parts. One is to establish that Hashem is everything. There is nothing in this world that isn’t without Hashem’s involvement. Everything that is heard, seen, every rebuke, every thought is all Hashem in partnership with us. When people ask “where is Hashem?” they are oblivious to Hashem’s plan, how He lets us do things according to our own free will and how in the end Hashem’s will is the final answer. And, it is all good news for us.
Second, is knowing that all is for the purpose of Tikun HaOlam. We may question why are all these evil events happening in the world, and even the hint that the righteous are suffering and the wicked seem to be thriving. It is all for the purpose of helping us and guiding us towards Hashem. When things go well we tend to say arrogantly: “Me, me, me! I did it all,” and tend to take Hashem out of the picture. When problem arise, we seem to turn to Hashem and ask for help. Now in the end of days, it is the “ask for help phase of history.” A quote in the Siddur gives an interesting commentary on the words “Praiseworthy is the man”. The wicked ask why the righteous suffer, if G-d truly controls everything. The psalmist answers that G-d afflicts the righteous only when it is to their benefit, to correct them, to make them realize the futility of physical pleasures, or to atone for their sins (Radak;Meiri).
Third, is the reassurance that in the end ‘Hashem will turn upon the evil ones their own violence, and with their own evil He will cut them off.’ All that is going on today with Syria, Iran, North Korea, terrorist groups, evil governments with evil leaders, etc all seem to be leading up to the final Tikun. A reminder of what Rav Nir Ben Artzi, Shlita, said that possibly by the end of this week we may see greatly increased chaos in the world. Day by day we are seeing the world situation bringing us closer to that prediction (possibly only two days away). There was an announcement yesterday: that 41 nations launch a U.S. led exercises in the Persian Gulf. The U.S. Navy says envoys from 41 nations have gathered in Bahrain to begin drills in the Persian Gulf. The exercises will go on until 31 May. Is this an exercise or a staging for the big one since Iran talked of war if Syria is invaded? Only Hashem knows what is in store, but if this is the start of the final battle of Gog U Magog, we can expect Moshiach ben Yosef to come forth soon since one of his tasks will be to take us through the final battle.
Finally, Come - let us sing to Hashem, let us call out to the Rock of our salvation. Let us greet Him with thanksgiving, with praiseful songs let us call out to Him. For a great G-d is Hashem, and a great King above all heavenly powers. That is the happy ending to history that I have talked about that will be shared by all the righteous of the world. How close are we to that happy ending? There are many indications from Tenach and Gedolim that this final war will be a very short one since Hashem will take over with so called “Acts of G-d.” Even Rav Ben talked of Iran seeing a great earthquake that will solve the nuclear problem and end the conflict. As the Psalm says “He turned upon them their own violence, and with their own evil He will cut them off, Hashem, our G-d, will cut them off. Natural disasters are very effective in cutting of an evil force and even ending a war. Are we that close? Hopefully, this is the happy ending looming and the benefits that go along with it. I mentioned Moshiach ben Yosef coming into the picture. Let us not forget that he is also the one to bring in the exile from the four corners of the world. Are we that close? Have you packed yet?
I have to admit a personal agenda that I have in writing this blog post. I have mentioned how reciting Psalms is so advantageous to the individual reciting them and for all the people of the world. Psalms can solve many of life’s problem – they can heal the sick, help you with finding a marriage partner, help with financial problems, protect you in a dangerous situation, etc, etc, etc. Even reciting the Psalm above is not just for information but can help lessen the burden that the evil put on this world and can bring our salvation faster. Many books of Psalms give a reference at the front telling us which Psalms to say for each situation. But, also, like prayer, study of scriptures, meditation, etc, it is not just the individual that is helped but everyone in the world. My agenda? By discussing this very pertinent group of Psalm verses, I sneakily got perhaps 100’s of my readers to recite Psalms that they may not have done otherwise. If I did get you to say verses that you would not have said, then the only thing I can answer with is “You’re welcome.” One additional suggestion is not to just read the Psalm, but to internalize its message. Your soul needs it. It’s good for you and it is good for everyone around you and I was glad to help. If you can get into a regular habit of saying Psalms and even praying every day, then I know you will someday say to me, maybe even in person when you come home, “Thank you.” If I introduced several of you to some of the most powerful tools you have in life to succeed, I am happy, you will be happy and above all, Hashem will love it.
A final message: I was notified this morning of the passing of the mother of Orna, a very devoted reader of my blog and very special person. I wish the Neshama of her mother an Aliyah in Shamayim and devote this Torah lesson to her.
Sunday, May 5, 2013
Please go to Geula Messages and read the vital message from Rav Nir Ben Artzi. I need not duplicate the message here but would prefer that all my readers bookmark the Geula Messages blog and frequent it every week. I thank Devash and her Tomar Devorah blog for bringing us these messages – especially her excellent English translation. After you read this vital message I will make some comments on Rav Ben Artzi’s words:
I have found Rav Ben Artzi to be a very credible source of information in this time when good information is so desired and necessary. He shows great insight into the activities of many countries and world events in general. This is the first message that I recall him being so specific with a date. Why is that so important? If everything that Rav Ben Artzi says comes to fruition including the timeframe, it gives us a strong message of what each of us must do this week. I have mentioned many times that we have much work to do (as Hashem has directed us). If the end of the week is truly the time when the final judgment will begin for each of us, we should take it so seriously that this week is our make or break time. You may think that there is no assurance that Rav Ben Artzi’s prediction is a definite. If you feel that way and it does happen exactly as he said, you have put yourself and your loved ones in a category of the gambler that I talked about and you could be a loser, big-time. This is your entire eternity riding on this; and, gambling is not too prudent an approach. But let me tell you how you can be a winner either way. If all that Rav Ben Artzi said comes true, congratulations your extra Teshuvah, Tefilah, Tzedukah, study of Torah, acts of kindness towards others, etc, will all be like having the winning lottery ticket – Mazel Tov. If everything Rav Ben Artzi said doesn’t start at the end of the week, congratulations you have grown and will be much more ready when the events do happen – Mazel Tov. Growing in your effort to follow the ways of Hashem is always the winning lottery ticket. If not this week, it will be soon.
Be aware that there are great changes occurring in the world. Is Israel’s attack on Syria the forerunner of the final battle of Gog UMogog? Is the US and Europe much closer to total collapse and chaos? (Go to a very interesting find by Rav Glazerson about the Drop in the Dollar in 5773)? Are Iran and North Korea on the verge of disastrous events in the world? So many questions that could be answered: “It seems that Rav Ben Artzi is showing Ruach Hakodesh in his messages.” Don’t be a gambler, be a winner. I do believe very strongly that the messages are not from Rav Ben Artzi, but Hashem, and that is definitely worth listening to and reacting to in a very positive way.
One additional request is spread the word. Treat this like it is top secret and tell everyone. Rav Ben Artzi’s message should have the widest dissemination possible. Help make it happen.
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Yesterday, I posted an excellent article by Sara Yoheved Rigler from Aish.com about Proof of Heaven and a comparison of this world to the world we experience after death.
This article reiterates themes that I have been covering for the past 13 months on this blog. Since I have received thousands of comments from readers around the world (151 countries as of today), I thought I would emphasize some of the points made in this article and especially to stress what it means to every living person on this planet.
First of all, I wish to stress the important work of Dr. Eban Alexander. I received comments when I discussed the subject of Out of Body and Near death experiences Near Death Experience 25 April 2012, that let me know that there is much skepticism about its validity. We human beings tend to explain away anything with which we are uncomfortable, but I found that those who had not looked into the subject in depth and only had an opinion (a gut feeling, so to speak) were the ones who were skeptical. Those who reviewed the subject in depth or even had such an experience (or as in my case having met individual who had the experience), became convinced that it is the absolute truth. Since I have seen estimates of about 30 million people who claim to have experienced such a phenomenon, I can tell you we are not talking a random account. The more important fact that comes out of the large number of individuals who had such an event is the total consistency of what they actually experienced. They come back with the same details about what they saw, who they met and, even what was the purpose of their experience. There are books written on the subject for those of you wanting much more detail. The statement that had the biggest impact on me of the individuals that I personally met and interviewed was: “Leaving the body took them to a reality that was far more real than this world.” In other word, this world of allusion is like a dream state and the heavenly realm is what is real. This life serves only as the corridor (as it says in the article from Pirkei Avos – Ethics of the Fathers) for the purpose of preparation, setting ourselves up with the real life for eternity. It is a very difficult concept for us free-will human beings with our flawed logic to accept, but once we realize the truth (that Hashem has given us), we can use it to setup the best eternal life for ourselves and our loved ones forever and ever.
I have been saying this repeatedly for the past 13 months: this world is for the purpose of perfecting ourselves to maximize the life that we will experience forever and ever. All the trivia that we enjoy in this world is part of the testing system that gives us this level of perfection. It is imperative to follow the instructions of our handbook of life (the Torah). It is essential to realize that the absolute best way to succeed is by following the instructions we received from Hashem, the Owner of the Universe, the Creator of us all and the only One Who knows what is best for us. It is our purpose in this world and all else is futile.
I know I repeat myself, I repeat myself. Why am I so adamant about helping everyone do the right thing? I know that time is running out and what we do as individuals over the coming days and weeks (I don’t believe too much longer), is vital to the results of our final report card – our eternal life. Yes, we are taking finals for this course called “life;” and, the cramming that we do in these final days will bless us or curse us forever and ever.
I still have individuals who write to me saying that they don’t buy what I am saying (actually what the Torah is saying) and continue to say: “we will see what happens and who was correct.” I call these individuals “gamblers” who will find out the hard way what losers they will be; and, how they will kick themselves forever and ever. Almost invariably these individuals talk about subjects that I have already covered. They make it obvious that they haven’t read my blog to any extent, but would prefer to tell me their opinion of what the truth is. An individual who has not studied Jewish scriptures is an uninformed individual. Their tanks are running on empty; but, they still try to continue on the road of life. When they come to a complete stop and wonder what is wrong, they will see how little studying would have taken them a long way. Instead they live a life of fantasy with no answers and, even worse, not a happy future.
Like Out of Body and Near death experiences, if you don’t look at the facts and, as a result, draw your own incorrect conclusions, then you may feel temporarily satisfied. The fact is whatever an individual concludes as the truth, if it isn’t correct, the absolute truth does not go away. In fact it will haunt that person for eternity. How do I know that Hashem’s instructions will give us happiness and a totally successful eternity? Two answers. One is that all that has happened throughout history, all events, can be found in scriptures with excruciating detail. In other words, the track record of the past 2, 3, 4, 5 thousand years was so accurate that we can take it for absolute truth. What has happened, is happening in the world today and will happen in the near future is recorded accurately in scriptures. There is no mystery about what Hashem has told us; but, more importantly, all the instructions that He gave us can be relied upon as a guarantee for our successful future. The other answer is that I am a people watcher. I have been observing 10’s of thousands of individuals for more than a half century (including everything that has happened in my life), and can report without any doubt that what the Torah tells us including the instructions for success, are totally valid. It works!!!!! The gambler that I mentioned above is merely an individual who did not observe the absolute truth and what it means to us, and therefore, is poised to throw it all away – partially out of laziness, partially out of stubbornness, but mostly out of ignorance. Why do we argue with success?
We are all, measure for measure, on our own. Whatever actions we decide to do will result in a positive or negative reaction, but everything is important and recorded. The results are presented to us at the time of judgment (when we received our final report card), and we are shown what our “forever and ever” will entail. Now is the time to do the right thing and reserve our place of joy and happiness for all eternity. Drawing oneself closer to Hashem forever is a level of joy beyond comprehension for us human beings. There is no way to describe it but, I guarantee, the gambler who doesn’t believe it will suffer forever. Don’t gamble with your life; nor, should you gamble with the lives of your loved ones – everyone who depends upon you for guidance. Now is the time and time is running out.