Yom Kippur, The Highest Holy Day In The Jewish Year


Sealed on Yom Kippur

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A fascinating overview of Yom Kippur, which explains
how to maximize the spiritual potential of the Day

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Questions and Anwers on Yom Kippur

By Rabbi Eliezer Melamed

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Settling the Land is the Way to Reveal G-d’s Kingdom

But there are also halakhic questions that need answers before the Fast

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Accepting God’s Kingdom through Settling the Land

At the beginning of the year, we should return and connect to the most important and primary foundations in our lives – and paramount to all is remembering who are we, what our life is all about, where we came from, where we are going, and the great mission that has been assigned to us. Therefore, first and foremost, we once again accept upon ourselves God’s kingdom.

Correspondingly, in last week’s column, we mentioned the outwardly discernible mitzvoth – for men, wearing ‘tzitziot’ (tassels) on the outside of one’s clothing, and a sizeable ‘kippa’; for women, modest clothing according to halakhah; and for all – responding ‘amen’ out loud, and respect for the ‘beit knesset’ (synagogue).

Some people resented my pointing out mitzvoth that not everyone from the National-Religious public always excels in. Nevertheless, it is precisely the mitzvoth which require strengthening that need to be mentioned.

On the other hand, it is important to add that in general, the mitzvah that best expresses the acceptance of God’s Kingdom in the eyes of the entire world is the mitzvah of ‘yishuv Ha’Aretz’ (settling the Land), which our Sages said is equal to all the other mitzvoth (Sifri, Parshat ‘Re’eh’). And especially today, when many countries in the world accuse us, claiming: ‘You are bandits! You conquered the Arab’s land’, and demand we retreat from the Inheritance of our forefathers, but nonetheless, we stand in opposition to all of them, continuing to settle the Land of Israel, as the Word of God in the Torah and the Prophets.

The Need to Fight for the Land – Revealing God’s Kingdom

In fact, it can and should be argued that, historically speaking, our Rights to the Land of Israel are Superior, because the Arabs themselves conquered the Land some two thousand years after us, turned it into wilderness, and never had an independent state here. In any event, the most basic reply is that of Rabbi Yitzchak, as brought down by Rashi in his first commentary on the Torah:

“The entire world belongs to God. He created it and He has distributed portions of it in accordance with His Plan. Just as He exercised His Authority in granting the Land of Canaan to the seven nations, He exercised that Authority in granting the Holy Land to us” as it is written: “God revealed to His people His glorious creation so that they could receive their rightful Inheritance from the nations of the earth” (Psalms 111:6).

It is similarly explained in the Midrash:

“God said to Israel: I could have created a new land for you, but in order to show you My Strength, I slay your enemies before you, and give you their Land, to fulfill what is written: “God revealed to His People His glorious Creation so that they could receive their rightful Inheritance from the nations of the earth” (Bamidbar Rabba 23:12).

For only in this way will the world be redeemed from all its physical and moral woes. Despite all human attempts to prevent wars and quarrels, hatred and competition, vices still prevail, and humanity fails to be saved from the iniquities of human nature. Only by clinging to the Will of God can the world elevate itself from its small-mindedness, and be redeemed from its misery.

Therefore, everyone must be aware that we have returned to the Land of Israel as God commanded, to reveal goodness and truth to the world. And, lo and behold, after all attempts, it turns out that this is the most convincing reply for the majority of people in the world.

Expansion of the Settlements

Following my article two weeks ago, in which I wrote that our main challenge is to expand Jewish settlement extensively in Judea and Samaria, I received a response from my friend, Rabbi Ya’ir Hiller, expressing his concern about the insufficient rate of growth in the settlements.

Seeing as this is a timely encouragement for the Ten Days of Repentance as well, I present part of his letter: “…The practical objective is to do what you have done on Har Bracha: to build densely populated, high-story buildings, enabling many young couples who cannot find relief from the insane housing prices everywhere, to rent or purchase.

“In my opinion, you should join forces with other public representatives, directly contacting additional local councils, and convince them and their residents about the necessity of the issue for all of Am Yisrael, not to be satisfied building expensive villas for the wealthy alone, but allocate land in every community for cheaper construction, even if this brings to the gates of their communities young families and not affluent ones. This move will solidify the settlements, especially in the outlying areas, and also bring relief to the housing shortage in the greater Tel-Aviv region.”

Indeed, this entreaty is an appropriate one, and hence, I have decided to publish it here. Thank God, for a number of years, residents of Har Bracha have been inspiring other communities to build densely, or at the very least, to build more modestly then in the past. In recent months, some residents have even started a construction company for this purpose, and we hope to hear good news from them soon.

Fast of Yom Kippur

Making Marriages on Yom Kippur

Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) is an able day for prayers and thoughts about making a good match, for oneself, or for his children. On the face of it, a person might think: “Is it fitting on this holy and awesome Day to contemplate such seemingly low matters between husband and wife?” But this is what our Sages said in the Mishna:

Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel said, There were no holidays for Israel as the fifteenth of Av and as Yom Kippur, for on them the daughters of Jerusalem go forth in borrowed white garments, so as not to embarrass whoever does not have… And the daughters of Jerusalem go forth and dance in the vineyard. And what would they say? “Young man, lift up your eyes and see, what you choose for yourself. Do not set your eyes on beauty, set your eyes on the family: ‘Grace is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman that fears the L-rd, she shall be praised’ (Prov. 31:30), and it says, ‘Give her the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates’ (Mishna Ta’anit 4:8).

This was the custom when the Temple was still standing and the ‘Shechinah’ (Divine Presence) rested on Israel and the High Priest entered the Holy of Holies on Yom Kippur; at that time, Israel could engage in matchmaking in holiness. But today when the Holy Temple is destroyed, we are required to significantly increase our prayers, and the ‘Shechinah’ is not revealed within us; consequently, we can not actually engage in matchmaking on Yom Kippur. Nevertheless, on this Holy Day, it is fitting to pray and contemplate on this important issue.

In particular, a person who has a lot of doubts regarding marriage, and is influenced by external considerations connected to his bad character traits which he has not yet properly corrected, can find the path to discover his match, owing to the holiness of the day.

Restoring ‘Shalom Bayit’

While Yom Kippur is effective in finding a match, it can also be helpful in restoring peace and love between married couples. For sometimes, as a result of failing to remember the Divine destiny of the marriage covenant, difficulties develop between husband and wife causing division. But by means of the Great Repentance of Yom Kippur, they can restore the love and joy between them.

As Rabbi Akiva said: “When husband and wife are worthy, the Shechinah abides with them; when they are not worthy fire consumes them” (Sotah 17a). Rashi explains that God placed His name between them – the Hebrew letter ‘yud’ in the word ‘ish’ (man), and ‘heh’ in the word ‘isha’ (woman) [and without God’s Name, the remaining letters ‘aleph’ and ‘shin’ spell the word ‘esh’, or fire].

Many people make the mistake, thinking that by connecting to learning Torah and performing mitzvoth, love between the couple will be impaired. The truth is the exact opposite – the more they are genuinely connected to religious matters, later on, they will be able to increase happiness and joy between them.

On Yom Kippur it is forbidden for a husband to touch his wife even with his finger (Shulchan Aruch, 615:1), yet, as a result of the holiness and meaningful repentance, they will be able to increasingly deepen their relationship.

Wearing Insoles on Yom Kippur

Q: As all are aware, it is forbidden to wear leather shoes or sandals on Yom Kippur. My question is, what is the halakhah for someone who needs to wear insoles in his shoes, and without them, his feet hurt him extremely, but the insoles are covered with leather?

A: Some halakhic authorities are lenient in this matter, permitting a person who suffers greatly without his insoles, which happen to be covered with leather, to place them in his cloth or rubber shoes, since they are not considered part of the shoe, and it is similar to a person standing on a cushion made out of leather, which is permitted (Rema, 614:2). Additionally, since he suffers greatly, he is in the same category as a person who has to walk in mud, who is permitted to wear shoes (Chelek Yaacov, Vol. 2: 83). One who desires may rely on this opinion.

When purchasing insoles, a person who wishes to ‘l’hader’ (enhance the mitzvah), should ask for insoles without leather, and thus be able to use them on Yom Kippur without concern.

Does a Migraine Sufferer Have to Fast?

Q: Is a person who has migraines, and has suffered several times from an onset of acute headaches as a result of fasting, obligated to fast on Yom Kippur and other fast days?

A: The general rule is that a sick person is exempt from the minor fasts, and even Tisha B’Av. Not only that – even one who as a result of the Fast is liable to become sick and fall ill, is exempt from fasting. Therefore, someone who suffers from migraines, even if at the beginning of the Fast he does not suffer, but knows that as a result of the fast a migraine headache is liable to be triggered, is exempt from the minor fasts and Tisha B’Av.

However, regarding the Fast of Yom Kippur, where even a person who is ill must also fast, one suffering from migraine headaches is obligated to Fast as well – even if it is a strong migraine, ‘kol v’chomer’ (all the more so) in a situation where he is not yet suffering, but rather, the Fast is likely to cause the onset of a migraine headache. And even eating a little at a time, less than a ‘shiur’ [one who eats on Yom Kippur the measurement of a large date is guilty] is forbidden for an ill person, since even eating a little on Yom Kippur is a Torah prohibition.

Additionally, it is worthy to note that in most cases, there are medications, in the form of a suppository or spray, which prevent the onset of migraines until after the Fast.

However, there are rare instances where migraines can cause a stroke, in which case there is a ‘chashash sakanat nefashot’ (a possible life-threatening situation), and in any event, such an ill person is exempt from fasting on Yom Kippur.  This is under three conditions:

  1. He has been diagnosed that fasting causes his migraines.
  2. The migraine appears after an aura (a perceptual disturbance experienced by some migraine sufferers before a migraine headache), and the aura lasts for over an hour.
  3. No medications (such as suppositories or sprays) can prevent the onset of the migraine. (This halakhah was written with the assistance of Dr. Rafi Kayam, and in accordance to the opinion of Dr. Rachel Herring, an expert in this field).

It should be added that, when it comes to the type of migraine where ‘sakanat nefashot’ is involved, seeing as the ill person does not need to eat a lot at one time in order to prevent the onset, he must eat a little at a time – less than a ‘shiur’ – for as long as he eats less than a ‘shiur’, he is not considered as having broken the Fast completely.

Using Deodorant

Q: Is it permissible to use deodorant on Yom Kippur to remove bad odor?

A: One of the five unique prohibitions on Yom Kippur is the prohibition of ‘sicha’ (anointing oneself with perfumes or lotions), which includes the prohibition of anointing even a tiny part of the body with oil or cream, and also the prohibition of using cosmetic products such as powders and oils to beautify one’s skin, or for a pleasant scent (Shulchan Aruch, 614:1).

Anointing in order to remove a bad odor is also prohibited, and in this manner, the prohibition of ‘sicha’ is different from the prohibition of ‘richitza’ (bathing), because regarding ‘richitza’, if one’s clear intention is to remove dirt – washing is permitted. Nevertheless, regarding ‘sicha’, since it is mainly intended for pleasure, even when one’s intention is to remove a bad odor, it is prohibited.

However, if after changing a baby’s diaper a bad smell remains on one’s hands, it is permitted to wash one’s hands with liquid soap, because liquid soap is not considered a cream or oil.

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Source: Arutz7

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A Rosh HaShanah Message In Honey For A Fallen Jew


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No Matter What Our Situation Might Be
With HaShem There Is Hope And Recovery

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By Rabbi Aaron Moss

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Honey is a miraculous substance. It can do the impossible.  Just try this experiment with your family at the Rosh Hashana table:

  1. Dunk a slice of apple into a bowl of honey.
  2. Lift the apple out of the honey.
  3. Hold the apple over the bowl and allow a shaft of honey to drip back down into the bowl.
  4. While it is oozing downwards, quickly lift the apple until the shaft breaks.
  5. Watch carefully. The honey on the apple starts to fall a little, and then climbs back upwards towards the apple, defying the laws of gravity.
  6. Say “Wow!”

The upward climbing honey gives us a moving message for the new year. Even if you have fallen, you can always climb back up. Even if you have become disconnected, you can reconnect. You may have become estranged from your people and from your G-d. You may have lost your way in life and fallen to a very low place. But you can always pick yourself back up. No force in the world can stop a Jew coming home.

The honey may fall downwards, but at a certain point it turns around. In fact, it is the falling down that causes the bouncing up. The further you have strayed from Judaism and HaShem the more rebound energy you have built up for your return.

A Jewish soul wants to be Jewish. Materialistic distractions can only hold us back for so long. Our inner pull towards G-d is stronger than the pull of gravity towards the earth.  Honey always bounces back. So can we.

And since we are taking about honey and apples, let us continue at it for a moment with:

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The Healing Powers of Apples and Honey

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It is customary to eat an apple dipped in honey on the night of Rosh Hashanah and ask G-d to grant us a good sweet year. Ideally, the apple should be red and white, as an allusion to the verse,

Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 1:18
Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow.

Apples help cleanse and purify the blood, are beneficial in the treatment of diabetes, respiratory tract infections, skin problems, the liver and the kidneys. They strengthen the body, are soothing to the nervous system, help prevent hardening of the arteries and are recommended for disorders of the kidneys and digestive system. There is a great deal of truth in the saying “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”.

According to Kabbalah, the apple is an allusion to the mystical level of the Holy Apple Field. Also, when you cut an apple in half horizontally you will see ten little holes and a five pointed star. Ten is the numerical value of the Hebrew letter “yud”, and five is the numerical value of the Hebrew letter “hey”. The stalk of the apple represents the “vav” – together these letters spell out G-d’s Name.

The Zohar tells us that the apple has healing qualities: just as the apple heals all, so the Holy One, blessed be He, heals all. Just as the apple has various colours (white, red, green), so the Holy One, blessed be He, has various supernal colours (white, red, green – corresponding to the attributes of chesed (loving kindness), gevurah (might) and tiferet (beauty). The symbol of the green apple reveals some of the hidden meaning behind this teaching of the Zohar. Tiferet, the kabbalistic attribute of harmony and beauty, is associated with green, the colour of healing.

The Ben Ish Chai writes that the apple tree is the only fruit tree that has its spiritual source in the attribute of tiferet. This is yet another indication of the special connection of the apple with healing.

Honey was called “one sixtieth of manna” by the Sages because it shares many of the curative qualities of the manna from Heaven.

Nowadays the term honey means bee’s honey, but the famous Biblical verse “A land flowing with milk and honey” refers to date honey. Dates are one of the seven species characteristic of the Land of Israel. Honey is fuel for such organs as the heart, brain and liver. Predigested in the bee’s crop it is readily absorbed into the bloodstream where it stimulates circulation and raises the red blood count. It is invaluable for those with heart conditions or weak hearts. Honey strengthens, invigorates and refreshes.

It is helpful in the treatment of stomach ulcers, and is a useful sweetening agent for diabetics since it helps reduce sugar levels while it boosts vitality and physical stamina. Because of its positive effects on the blood count, honey is highly recommended for sufferers of anaemia.

Honey is unique because of where it comes from. It is the only food taken from a non-kosher animal that we are permitted to eat. Furthermore the bee is an insect that stings and causes pain and bodily damage. Yet at the same time it is able to produce a sweet food that can add a delicious flavor to other things.

This is specifically why we use honey – because it represents the power of Rosh Hashanah. When we begin a fresh new year, the past is not always so sweet. Not everything in the last year might have been completely “Kosher”. Sometimes we may have stung and hurt those close to us. But on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur we can turn it all around. We can learn from last year’s experiences and make the future more positive and filled with blessing. Like the bee, we can produce sweet honey.

When we eat the honey on Rosh Hashanah we are making a statement: We are not perfect, but with a little effort we can achieve sweetness. G-d accepts our commitment, and blesses us all with a happy, healthy, prosperous and sweet new year.

Shabbat Shalom, v’Shanah Tovah l’kulam!

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Source: ShiratDevorah

The Star of Moshiach in the Zohar


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Prophetic Visions From The Zohar

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Shemot 7a

A pillar of  fire will be seen standing from above to below 40 days. All the nations will see  it. At that time Melech HaMoshiach will awake and go out from Gan Eden, from  the place called Kan Tzippor, and will be revealed in the Galil. On that day that Moshiach goes out from there, the entire world will shake and all world  will hide themselves in caves and clefts in the rocks, and they won’t think to  be saved. […] After 40 days that the pillar will stand from the earth to the  heavens in the eyes of all the world, the Moshiach will be revealed. A star will  arise from the East side, flaming with all colors, and 7 other stars will go  around this star and make a war with it on all sides 3 times a day for 70 days,  and all the people of the world will see.

That same star will make war  with them with blazes of fire and flaming and sparking on each side, and it will  hit them until it swallows them each and every night, and then in the day it  returns and expels them, and they make war in the eyes of the whole world.

After 70 days, that star will be concealed and Moshiach will be  concealed for 12 months and the pillar of fire will return to the way it was  before and in it Moshiach will be concealed and that pillar will not be seen.

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Shemot 8a

[…] one  awesome star will awaken in the middle of the firmament like Argaman flaming and sparking in the day in the eyes of the whole world. A flame of fire will arise on the North side in the  midst of the firmament and these will stand one opposed to the other for 40 days and the star and the flame will make war in the eyes of all, and the flame will spread out with a burning of fire amidst the rakia (firmament) from the North side. Numerous rulers, and kings, and nations, and peoples will be terrified of this. Then, a star  will arise from the South side and will take control of the flame, and the flame will be consumed slowly in the firmament, in front of that star, until it won’t be seen at all.  Then the star will paths in the firmament in 12 directions. These lights will  stand in the firmamanet for 12 days. After 12 days all the people of the world  will tremble and the sun will go dark for half a day, like it went dark on the  day the Bait HaMikdash was destroyed, until the heavens and the earth won’t be  seen.

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Balak 212b

We have learned that in the  future the Holy One will rebuild Yerushalyim and show one steady star, flashing  with 70 pillars of fire, and with 70 sparks which illuminate (receive light) from it in the middle of the sky. There will be 70 other stars which are  commanded and controlled from it, and they will illuminate and flame in the sky  for 70 days.

On the 6th day, the 25th day of the 6th month, the star will appear. It will be gathered on the 7th day, at the end of 70 days. On the first day it will be seen in the city of Rome. On the same day, 3 supernal walls of that city of Rome will fall and a great heichal (sanctuary) will fall. The ruler of  that city will die. Then the  star will spread out to be seen in the world. In that time strong wars [among the goyim] will awaken in the world on all 4 sides and emunah (faith) will not be found among them.

In the middle of the world, when that star will shine in the  middle of the sky, a great king will arise and rule the  world, and his spirit will gain pride over all the kings and he will awaken a  war on 2 sides, and he will become strong against them.

On the day that the star will be concealed, the Holy Land will quake 45 miles around the place of  the Bait HaMikdash, and one cave under the ground will be revealed. From this cave will come out a strong fire to  burn the world. From this cave a supernal branch will grow and it will rule over the whole world, and to it will be given the malchut (kingdom). The supernal holy ones will gather to it. Then Moshiach will be revealed in the entire world and  malchut will be given to him.

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Vayera 119a

At 66 years, Melech HaMoshiach will be revealed in the land of the Galil and when a star on the East side will swallow 7 stars on the North side, and a flame of black fire will be hanging in the firmament 60 days, and wars will be awakened in the world on the North side, and two kings will fall in these wars, and the entire world will come together against Bait Ya’akov [the House of Jacob, the Jewish nation] to push her from the world. Of this time it is written “and it is a time of trouble for Ya’akov and from it he will be saved”. At that time all the souls in the Treasury of Souls [Guf] will be finished and needing to return to be renewed, and the sign for you is all the souls that came to Ya’akov from Mitzrayim, etc., 66 souls. In the 73rd year all the kings of the world shall assemble in the great city of Rome. And the Holy One, blessed be He. will shower fire and hail and meteoric stones upon them, until they are wiped out from the world. And only those kings who did not go to Rome will remain in the world.

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Terumah 172b

Then the 7th  window will open in the entire world, and it’s star is “kochav Ya’akov”, and this  is the one about which Bila’am said “a star shoots forth from Ya’akov”, and this star will be luminous for 40 days and 40 nights. When Melech HaMoshiach will be revealed, and all the people’s of the world will be gathered to him, then the verse will be fulfilled which states (Yeshaya 11:10): “the root of Yishai, which stands as a banner for peoples, to him shall the nations inquire, and his peace shall be [with] honor.”

Source: Vision of Geulah

Flashback: Identifying the Evil at the End of Days


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What Every Jew Should Know

By Joel Gallis and Dr. Robert Wolf, zt”l

In the summer of 2008 I came across this outstanding essay written by two Torah and Gematria experts. What they said veryfied some conclusions that I had already drawn from other sources. I showed it to my family, and we all new that there was a direct and gematric Prophecy for our times which identified the two major culprits in reference to the dangers and sufferings of the Jewish people in the End of Days, our days. Since then one of its authors Dr. Wolf passed on — a terrible loss for the Jewish nation — but his insights are even more relevant than before since what he and his associate Joel Gallis said is being confirmed in front of our very eyes this week. This essay not only proves that HaShem really revealed Torah literally to his servant Moshe rabeinu, but that He cares for us enough as to warn us when His Warning is most needed. Read on,

Ya’akov (Jacob) called for his sons and said, האספו, “gather and assemble yourselves.” That is, “unify and become a single nation with לב אחד, one heart, and I’ll tell you about your descendant’s Redemption at the End of Days.” When you have a לב אחד, (gematria of 45), then you will have a גאולה, a Redemption, (gematria of 45) at the End of Days.” But there was no unity among the brothers. There still were bad feelings and finger pointing among them. They did Tshuvah with respect to their brother Yosef, but with respect to each other, they were separate tribes. And so, Ya’akov could not reveal to them what would befall their descendants at the End of Days. He thought that perhaps one of his sons had sinned.

He then searched the names of each of his 12 sons to see if the letters ח or ט, the main letters of the word for ‘sin’, were present in any of his son’s names. He was relieved when he realized that these letters were absent from their names. He then thought that perhaps their lack of achdut (unity) was worse than he imagined. If so, their merit to learn about the future final Redemption was lost.

Ya’akov then searched their names again to see if the letters ק and ץ from the word קץ (end) were present in any of their names. Once again these letters were absent from all 12 names. Ya’akov then realized the extent of their disunity and began to give them various brachot.

Although he was not allowed to tell about events affecting the Jewish People thousands of years in the future, Ya’akov had already hinted at the identity of the evil that would befall their descendants at the Time of the End. He also hinted that the lack of unity that they possessed would continue until the Final Days. For the gematria of האספו is 152, and that is the same as the phrase עד היום הזה (until this day, 152). For until this very day, there still has not been achdut, or unity, among the Jewish People.

However, there was one brief period of time of a לב אחד, at Mount Sinai when the Jewish People received the Torah. This unity lasted until Moshe’s death, and because of it, Moshe was able to tell the Jewish People before he died what will occur to their descendants at the End of Days. He said that the Jewish People would stray from the path of Torah, and that if they angered HaShem through the work of their hands, במעשה ידיכם, then evil would befall them, וקראת, at the End of Days. The only other time this word וקראת is used in the 5 Books of Moses, is when Hagar was told that she would have a son, and she should call him, וקראת, by the name Yishmael. This word, וקראת, which normally is connected to proclaiming and voicing something, is surprisingly used here to tell us that when evil befalls the Jewish People, it was proclaimed in Heaven and it does not happen by chance.

So just what is the connection between Yishmael and the End of Days? The connection is that the descendants of Yishmael are the evil that will befall the Jewish People at that time of the End. We will anger G-d through the work of our hands, במעשה ידיכם (a gematria of 501), and the evil of ישמעאלים, Yishmael, (also a gematria of 501) will befall us.

So, what could we have possibly done with our hands that would anger HaShem?

With our very own hands, we finance and work to put the wrong people in power over us. This action results in our downfall. By putting into power leaders in Israel who don’t believe in G-d, we help bring about a spiritual collapse. And by electing dangerous leaders in America and other countries, we assist in bringing our physical and moral downfall. We vote for these people, we put them in power, and we raise money for them. This inappropriate work of our hands will bring evil upon us in the form of Yishmael.

For not only is 501 the value of במעשה ידיכם (the work of our hands), and our punishment,  the ישמעאלים, Ishmaelim, but it is also connected to the next President of the United States that we are  helping put in power through Jewish efforts. For 501 is also the gematria of ראש — rosh, head, leader — representing the new head, or leader of America.

So who will be the new ראש of America? Our readers probably will be shocked to  learn that 501 is also the gematria of ברק חוסיין אובאמה, Barack Hussein Obama.

Hashem  watches as countless Jews, especially in Hollywood, California, rush to send their money to Obama’s campaign chest. And so, with our own hands we are in the process of taking  a descendant from Yishmael and placing him as our Rosh in the White House, just 7 years after 9/11. He [Obama] is indeed the evil that will befall us at the End of Days, the evil that  Moses spoke to our ancestors about. But there are those who argue that Obama is youthful and energized in his appearance and his ideas. Why shouldn’t we believe him when he says the magic words that he is a “friend of Israel”?

How do we really know he’s dangerous to us? Not only his is name the same gematria as Yishmaelim (501), evidencing that he is a Muslim —  although he denies it — but it also has a further connection to a wave of impending evil against the Jews and the rest of the world.

At our Passover seders we spill a drop of wine when we mention each of the 10 plagues, and also when we mention the abbreviation of those plagues by saying דצך עדש באחב . Well this abbreviation of the 10 plagues also has a gematria of 501, the same as “Barack Hussein Obama” and the “Yishmaelim”.

Obama and radical Muslims will bring as much havoc, destruction, and confusion to the world as all the 10 plagues together brought to Egypt.

It’s interesting how Rabbi  Yehudah, who made the acrostic or abbreviation of the plagues, took the first Hebrew letter of each plague. However, with respect to the last plague, מכת בכרות , the killing of  the first born, he took the bait (the first letter of the 2nd word of the plague), rather than the mem (the first letter of the first word). Perhaps he knew that in the future, during the End of Days, there would be an Obama. Perhaps his message is a warning to us that has been encoded in the Haggadah for nearly 2,000 years until today.

The foreign minister of Hamas has recently endorsed Obama for president. The Los Angeles Times devoted a lengthy front-page story headlined, “Allies of Palestinians see a friend in Barack Obama.” Ali Abunimah, a resident of Obama’s district, claims that
Obama said several years ago when running for the Senate, that he was sorry he couldn’t talk more about the Palestinian cause since his primary campaign had constrained what he could say.

Daniel 7 (25) deals with the last king of the 4th beast of exile who will humble 3 other kings. Rav Sa’adia Gaon stated that the 3 kings or leaders who will be humbled, are from Israel, Greece (representing Europe), and Yishmael (representing the Arab nations). This haughty, arrogant king will speak words against G-d and the Jewish People, and he will try to change the Times [Festivals ?] and the Law [Torah ?]. How interesting is it that this very word, “change“, is the key word used by Obama in his campaign?

The coded, End of Days message that Ya’akov gave over to his sons was not deciphered by them. But our generation, the generation alive at the End of Days, can understand the clues and break the code. In Ya’akov’s statement there are 4 words אשר יקרא אתכם באחרית (that will befall you in the End). The word אשר that describes the identity of the evil has a gematria of 501, the same as “Barack Hussein Obama”. And if you look at the word ,באחרית, in the End, the first 3 letters contain the initials of Obama. The letter bait is for ברק Barack, the aleph is for אובאמה Obama, and the chet is for חוסיין Hussein.

May Hashem protect us from this evil and bring Mashiach speedily in our days.

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Urmilus

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Source: Redemption 5768

Teheran, Washington and Jerusalem – They Don’t Decide


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But If They Don’t, Then Who Does?

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By Rabbi Lazer Brody

Each passing day brings Iran closer to a nuclear warhead.  Only the blind and the naive

Iran's Nuclear Facilities

Iran’s Nuclear Facilities

would think otherwise.  Despite international sanctions, the Iranian centrifuges are working 24/7 purifying uranium and producing nuclear weapons-grade fuel.

Lately, one after the other, senior American government officials such as the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense have visiting Israel, each carrying the same message:  “Don’t be naughty, you mischievous Israelis!  You may certainly not carry out a preemptive strike against the Iranian nuclear reactors!”

Our leaders answer with their well-known bravado,  “We won’t leave our fate in the hands of others. We’ll do what we need to do when we need to do.”

We certainly agree with the above statement, but our references aren’t the same as theirs.  We don’t leave our fate in the hand of “others” – in other words, other gods.  We leave our fate in the hand of Hashem.

With all the hype in the media, people are frantic.  They hear about Iran day and night.  Syria too is up for grabs, and no one knows in whose hands hundreds of tons of chemical mass-destructive weapons will fall.  Then there’s Hizbulla, Iran’s armed-to-the-gills proxy right on our border too.  Terror is on the rise in lawless Sinai.  What will be?

I asked that question to my beloved teacher, Rabbi Shalom Arush, shlit’a.  Recent events, especially the horror stories of breaches of holiness in the Haredi community, have taken a toll on his health.

Rav Shalom brushed aside the USA, Iran, and all of our other so-called friends and enemies with one backhand gesture.  “They don’t decide our fate,” he said hoarsely.  He had tears in his eyes, his voice was quivering, and he was obviously trying to restrain himself from crying.  It was scary. “This is the Minister of the Smile?” I asked myself.  Rav Shalom was seeing a very dark cloud on the spiritual horizon.

He then quoted the Torah:

And I will bring upon you the sword that avenges the vengeance of Covenant
(Leviticus 26:25)

Rav Shalom then became as fierce as a lion:  “When will people begin to realize that the entire purpose of Torah and mitzvoth is to bring a person to a state of holiness, so he or she can be a worthy vessel for the Divine Presence.  But everyone must know: if they eat Kosher BaDatz, keep Shabbat with stringencies and have long beards – yet they think that their libido is a big mitzvah and their hearts are far from holiness – then they have done nothing!  They’ve completely missed the point of Torah observance.”

Not only have they missed the point, but they aid and abet the enemy.  How?

Rav Shalom quoted Torah and mentioned “the sword that avenges the vengeance of Covenant“.  HaShem incorporated a hard-fast law of cause-and-effect in the fiber of creation: if the Jewish people shall live their lives in holiness, they shall be encompassed within the glorious “clouds of Divine Presence;” they shall lack nothing and shall enjoy every single blessing in life, both material and spiritual.  Not only that, HaShem Himself shall dwell in their midst, so no evil can befall them.

But, if on the other hand, Heaven forbid, the Jewish people forsake the path of holiness, succumbing to temptations mind and body, they shall suffer the consequences of the breach in brit, the holy covenant.  Any breach in Covenant produces a negative spiritual force known as “vengeance of Covenant”.  The vengeance of Covenant is the force that creates a sword of vengeance, the same way that nuclear fuel is the power source of an atomic weapon.

Are you beginning to understand?

The spiritual roots of the Iranian nuclear weapons, the “sword of vengeance” that threatens us today, are all the breaches of holiness within the Torah-observant community.  Maybe you think that’s not fair.  “What about the seculars?” you want to ask.

HaShem expects much more from the Haredi community than He does from the seculars, who grew up in utter ignorance of Torah and Mitzvoth.

People are afraid to be called names.  One “average” Haredi man says, “If I go around closing my eyes, people will think I’m insane.”

Rav Shalom answers, “If you open your eyes, especially to unfiltered web and to Facebook, you will be insane.”

A Haredi woman says (wearing her long Euro-Kastem $1,600 wig and her long but quite-tight satin dress that accents every curve), “Do you expect me to dress like a yachna (Yiddish for ‘old hag’)? I wouldn’t be caught dead like that!” Hey lady, if you continue dressing the way you do, you are creating the sword which will “catch you dead.”

So maybe you’re asking, “What can I do if the whole world is off its rocker and I guard my eyes?”  Or, “What can I do if all the women are ‘in style’ and I dress like ‘Little House on the Prairie?” Rav Shalom that you’re doing a lot – you just might save the Jewish people.

When the Jews arrived at the Red Sea, with the Egyptian Army in hot pursuit from behind and the sea in front, there was an argument in the Heavenly Court if the Jews were worthy of being saved or not.  One man’s dedication – Nachshon ben Aminadav who jumped into the water – tipped the scales in the Jews’ favor and the sea split.  This is what Rebbe Nachman of Breslev calls azut d’kedusha, or boldness for holiness.

Rav Shalom told me that azut d’kedusha is the only weapon which can defeat the sword of our enemies, conventional or otherwise.

So it’s not our enemies or our allies that determine our fate; they don’t decide! Our determination in strengthening personal holiness – guarding eyes for men and modesty for women – is the force that will determine which way the chips fall.  There’s little time left, so let’s get to work.  G-d bless always.

Source Lazer Beams:

Who Am I – Exploring the Mystical Teachings of Adam (Man) Created in the Image of G-d


A Foundational Lesson on Jewish Mysticism

Sefirot of the Divine
The Sefirot of the Divine and the Creation of the Universes of Reality

Inherent in everyone’s conception of True Divine Reality is the question of “Who am I?” and “How was I, Man, created as the Apex of Creation not just on Planet Earth but the whole universe? How we understand this to be, also affects how, we, as children of G-d comprehend our role and relationship with the Divine, now and in our future.

According to our Sages, to comprehend the Creation of Planet Earth and our Sun’s solar system, we have to comprehend it on the spiritual planes, for until the Creation of Adam on the 6th day of Creation, this world and our solar system was in an embryonic stage of development; not yet physical, and not yet connected with time and space.

According to the writings of the Midrashim, where the mystical teachings (Sod) of the Torah were archived, the world was not yet in its full physical form which we know today as Planet Earth. The Master of the Universe’s Creative Energies brought physical reality into real physical 3rd dimension existence on Planet Earth with stages of Creation; processes of unknown periods of time called “days”. Not until the creation of man in HaGan Eden (The Garden of Eden) on “Day Six” was the Planet Earth fully created. At that time the sun and the moon were given their order to mark the times of the day and the night and the Era of Time came into existence.

Also the soul of Adam, the “Sparks of the Divine” were also present at every stage of the Creation of Earth. Since our human soul came from Adam, we were also the molecules of the Big Bang as well as we were part of the parts of the fruits of the trees in the Garden, and as the Zohar, the mystical traditions penetrating into Divine Reality, we were the sheep of Abraham’s and Jacob’s flocks. If you have ever had the inner sense that you were “there” or a participant in some moment of time in the ancient past, consider that it may have been true.

As Rabbi Abba wrote in his discourse on Genesis 1:27 – “Elokim (G-d) created Adam in His image. Come see! When the Blessed Holy One created Adam, He made him in the image of the upper and the lower dimensions [in such a way that] he is a microcosm of all of them.

In the Zohar Naso, titled the Idra Rabba, we read:

“Above the firmament….like the appearance of sapphire, was the likeness of a Throne; and over the likeness of the Throne, was a likeness that was like the Appearance of a Man, on it from above.” (Ezekiel 1:26). Like the Appearance of Man that contains all forms. Like the Appearance of Man in which all the upper and lower dimensions are concealed. Like the Appearance of Man which contains all the mysteries that were spoken and rectified before the world was created.”

Inherent also within this creative process were the creations of four universes (worlds) by the Ein Sof (Without End, Infinite), the Creative Source of all Life, who was called the “Hidden One”, the “Ehyem” the “Unfathomable Father in Heaven”. Each world or universe was on a different spiritual plane or energy Level of Creation. The Master of the Universe was known as Adam Kadman, the Archetype of Adam and Eve or the “Divine Image of G-d” and from whom their “Image of G-d” was created. Here was the Primordial Source of all life, with the infinite Energy Source from whom the Worlds of Creation called “Universes” came into being.

  1. The First Universe of Creation (White Sefirot of Rabbi Isaac Luria’s Sefirot of the Divine) was called The Atzilut. This was the Realm called the ‘World of the Divine’ where the Eternal One, the Almighty G-d of Israel, blessed be his Name, dwelled. Within this realm, known as the 7th Heaven, is where Adam was able to watch the Supernal Fiery Light of G-d being manifested within and throughout all of the universes. The first letter of the secret Name of G-d called the Tetragrammaton, Yod, was attributed to this universe. Here was the World of the Divine, the Great primordial Fire.
    Here were the three supernal Emanations of Keter (Kether); the 1st of the Ten Sefirots called the “Crown of the King”, the 2nd of the Ten Sefirots called Chokmah “Divine Wisdom” known as Left Hand of G-d, or the “Pillar of Mercy” and then the 3rd of the Ten Sefirots called Binah, or the (“Understanding” of Divine Reality that was known as the “Right Hand of G-d” or the “Pillar of Justice”.
  2. The Second Universe of Creation (White and Purple Sefirot of Rabbi Isaac Luria’s Sefirot of the Divine) was Briyah, the World of Creation. This was the first of the created worlds where the exalted spiritual beings called the Archangels and the Great Primordial Fire, the Supernal Light of G-d dwelled. This universal realm encircling the Da’at, known as the Source of Divine Knowledge just as the Archangels surrounded the Throne of the Holy One of Israel.

Sefirot by Rabbi Isaac Luria
“The Sefirot by Rabbi Isaac Luria” – Z’ev ben Shimon Halevi,
Kabbalah –Tradition of hidden knowledge, Thames and Hudson, 1979

Within this world, the Archangels were created as “Spirit Beings” and did their assigned tasks as “Messengers for the Divine” or representing the Authority of the Divine Reality in performing the tasks of running the universe. The second letter of the Tetragammation, Hey, was attributed to this universe called Briyah.

The Keter or Crown of this “World of the Spirit Beings” is connected directly with the Tiferet, the “Beauty” of the World of the Divine. Here is the world where the 4th divine emanations of the Sefirot called of Chesed (“Loving Kindness”), the 5th emanation of the Sefirot called Gevurah known as Judgment (Strength), plus the Tiferet known as “Beauty” resided in the Divine Archetype of Reality.

Within Briyah, the Creative Energies of G-d became a vortex that flowed or were funneled through the “Tiferet” and then sent throughout for the continuous creations as the universes and galaxies are formed, destroyed and recreated.

Here is where the most exalted archangel known as the “Angel Before the Presence” and called Metatron, who stood in the Presence of the G-d of Israel at the Level of the Tiferet of the World of the Divine. This exalted angelic Being would someday represent Divine Reality in the Messianic “Kingdom to Come” as YHVH’s Moshiach. This will be the Era in which we will once again be restored to the exalted position of Adam and Chavah (Eve) when they were created on the 6th Day of Creation on Planet Earth. Though created below the angelic hosts, they were capable of perceiving through their universal mental powers (the“Keter of their Image of the Divine”), the entire World of the Divine and the functional economy of the civilizations governed by the Ein Sof, the Eternal One of Israel in “Heaven”.

  1. 3. The Third Universe of Creation (Purple and Red Sefirot of Rabbi Isaac Luria’s Sefirot of the Divine) was Yetzirah, called the World of Formation. The 3rd letter of the Secret Name of G-d called the Tetragrammaton, Vav, was attributed to this universe called Yetzirah. In this exalted realm was the “Heavenly Garden of Eden” where Adam and Chavah were created and dwelled on the 6th Day of Creation plus the world of the angels and the Primordial Air.

There in this exalted realm, Adam and Chavah were created as “Light Beings”. The best representation of this higher dimensional state was when Moses came down from Har Sinai, he glowed with the invigoration of being in the Presence of the Radiance of G-d‘s Majesty. As such when he came back into the presence of the Children of Israel, they could not directly behold his presence so he had to shield his body within a tent while he was communicating with them.

So also Adam and Chavah irradiated the Majesty of G-d as the human blood today contaminated by the coagulation or the lower energy level of existence as it flows within the arteries and veins of our bodies, so also Adam and Chavah internally glowed with the High Energies they received by being able to dwell in the Presence of the Almighty G-d. This “Light” that was radiated from within their beings surrounded their bodies as clothed in a garment of light. In several instances in the Tanakh, we read of this same spiritual phenomenon that is called a “garment of white” which we will receive in our new Creation as we will once again be returned to the exalted realms as “Light Beings” in the World to Come.

The Keter or Crown of this “World of Formation” was connected directly with the Tiferet, the “Beauty” located at the center of the World of the Divine. The exalted mental capacities of Adam resided in the Tiferet of the World of the Divine, where Metatron, the “Angel before the Presence” stood and resided before the Throne of the One G-d of Israel.

Here is the World where the Divine Emanations of G-d are roughly represented to the astral planes. Here is where the Creation of a new human soul is spiritually formed, but before they can gain a physical body, it requires lowering them down into our three dimensional world from the universe of formation where all things are spiritually formed and before they gain a physical existence called “physicality”. This suggests that all humans have a higher and more elevated spiritual plane of existence in a human body that is shielded and protected by our physical skin and gives us our outward appearance. Redemption is where we will finally be connected with our real existence, a Spiritual Light Being, presently occluded and shielded by a covering of physical skin.

Here also within the Universe called the World of Formation is located Netzach (“Eternity”, “Perpetuity”, “Victory”, or “Endurance”), the 7th of the Ten Sefirot is located on the “Left Hand of G-d” called the “Pillar of Mercy” below the higher Emanations of Chokhmah (“Wisdom”) and Chesed (“Loving Kindness”).

Then we come to the Divine Emanation called Hod (“Reverberations and HaShem’s Glory”) on the Right Hand of G-d below and then is completed on the Yesod (“Foundation”) where the spiritual realms of G-d, the Archangels, and the Heavenly Hosts of Spirit Beings called angels settle upon the Yesod or the “Foundation” of the World of the Divine. Below this Level is our physical world, who unknown except by those with “eyes that can see” and “ears that can hear” that this is the lowest of Creation not the highest, and not able to perceive or behold the Spiritual Places where G-d and the angelic hosts dwell.

Sefirot by Rabbi Isaac Luria and the Four Universes
The Sefirot by Rabbi Isaac Luria” – Z’ev ben Shimon Halevi,
Kabbalah – Tradition of hidden knowledge, Thames and Hudson, 1979

Why then was the World of Adam and Chavah called the Heavenly Garden of Eden? Adam and Chavah in their collective pure state of existence were created on a higher and more exalted plane of existence. They later devolved to a lower state of existence after Adam and Chavah failed to obey G-d’s Command not to eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, and in a mistake or a lapse of judgment were convinced by one of the most beautiful of G-d’s lower creations, the Flying Serpent that independence from G-d was “good.”

At the time of his Creation, the “Image of G-d” in which Adam was created gave him the sensory system in which he could see and perceive behind the veil which clouds our spiritual sensory system from perceiving the Spiritual Universes today.

There from one end of the universe to another, Adam and Chavah could observe the myriads of angels as they were flying from one part of the Universes to another. Adam observed their defined missions or planetary responsibilities. He observed that they kept the Divine Spiritual Forces or the Divine Energies called “Emanations” flowing down from G-d to the physical world on Planet Earth and to every other inhabited planet in the universe.

Adam’s “Keter” or the Crown of his existence that mirrored the “Image” of his Divine Father in Heaven, resided in the same dimension as the archangels and the angelic hosts of Heaven. Yet, his being was created in the World of Formation and his lower extremities or feet resided on Terra Firma, Planet Earth where the lower forms of creation came into being. We might now begin to understand the exalted Image of Adam and Chavah, who as Rabbi Abba wrote in his discourse on Genesis 1:27 quoted above:

“When the Blessed Holy One created Adam, He made him in the image of the upper and the lower dimensions [in such a way that] he is a microcosm of all of them.

It is important to notice that Adam and Chavah were created in the same created universe as the heavenly hosts of angels, yet they were different. The “Angels” were created as Spirit Beings, but their realms of responsibility were in the higher “Heavens” called the World of the Spirit Beings.

Adam and Chavah were created in the same universe as the heavenly angels, yet they through their immense mental powers were capable of “walking and talking with G-d”, for they were given their own Sefirot, the “Image of G-d”. They were capable to observe the running of the organizational complexity of Heaven, yet they alone of all the creations could effective change and care for animals, birds, and lower creation of species in the Garden of Eden created on Planet Earth. Here we begin to witness the awesome and wonderful Creation of G-d called “Adam” our forefather who in his own being linked all the four Creations of the Universes and the Five Worlds of Reality.

  1. 4. The Fourth Universe of Creation (Red on Red Sefirot of Rabbi Isaac Luria’s Sefirot of the Divine) was Assiyah that was called the World of Action. This universe surrounded the Emanation of the Divine called the “Yesod” known as the “Foundation” of the Sefirot (Image) of G-d and all Divine Reality. The Fourth letter of the Tetragammation, Hey, was attributed to this Fourth Universe of Creation called Assiyah.

This was the “World of Animal Beings”, many of whom still have the ability to communicate with man such as the chimpanzees, cats, dogs, birds, fish and dolphins; even in ours and their degenerate physical state today. This was also the world of Adam’s lower physical body with all the biological and anabolic processes, the cyclical and monitoring systems plus man’s ego, central nervous system, automatic nervous system, and the skeletal, skin and all the sense organs, plus the vitamins, minerals and elements that compose all living creatures.

This was also the physical world upon which we live, where the vibrations of the flowing electrons are very slow, such as the rocks, minerals, coral depositions, plus the microorganisms, germs, and plankton that provide the elemental food substance that give substance to higher organisms and become the elemental particles of life for recreation new life within our bodies and regeneration. These low level vibrations included also the marble granite boulders and the sedimentary deposits that formed the matrix of our earth’s crust and mantle. Here at the bottom or the base of the Sefirot of G-d (“Image”) was the Malkhut called the Kingdom and it leaves us a very sobering thought; at the bottom of all Creations, we as scientists and researchers of the Grand Order of Things have to conceive; we are at the bottom of all the worlds of the Divine, yet we think we are so exalted in our sinful and degradated state.

Wilderness Tabernacle
The Vortex of G-d’s Glory over the Wilderness Tabernacle

Let us now relook at the Sefirot of the One G-d of Israel, for it is there where the primary channels of Divine Energy and Power flows down from King of the Universe or the (Keter) Crown of the Divine Sefirot of G-d. Yes, the Crown is where the Ein Sof, the One G-d of Israel reigns. G-d’s unlimited Energy Emanations flow through Hokhmah (Wisdom) and Binah (Understanding) and from there, like a cascade or an energy vortex, it flows down “through” the Tiferet, called Beauty. Through this vortex of Divine Emanations is the funnel where the Creation of the four Universes flowed through the “Central Pole of Mercy” to the Yesod, the “Foundation of the Divine Sefirot of G-d” and below to sin-contaminated Planet Earth, where the spiritual dimensions of Reality cannot today normally be perceived.

At the bottom of the Sefirot of the World of the Divine is the Malkhut called “Kingdom”. Here is where happens the revelation of the Almighty as He manifests Himself in the created worlds and universes. The Almighty One of Israel is the One G-d of Creation and the Source of the infinite Energy of Creation. The Malkhut, the Kingdom of G-d is at the bottom of the Sefirot, and where G-d plants His Presence on earth and sends His Divine Energy to the lowest of created life. Yet, all are sustained by the same G-d.

Even so, the visual imagery of the Presence of the G-d of Israel was seen in the everyday life of the Henrews who met their G-d at Mount Sinai. The Malkhut was where the Presence of the L-rd of Hosts dwelled in the Shekinah. When the Glory of the L-rd was revealed over the Most Holy Place in the Sanctuary as the Pillar of Fire, our forefathers were assured that their G-d was dwelling within their midst.

The diagram model of the Sefirot is but a two dimensional view, yet let your mind envision it as a vortex of a tornado and you might comprehend the picture of the flow of the vast Power of Energy of the Divine as it enters the point of manifestation in our three-dimensional world. As the vortex of Energy descended and dwelled upon the Ark of the Covenant we could now envision that the Shekinah of G-d and the Ruach HaKodesh were One and the same. It is because of this that we can assuredly say:

“Shemah Yisrael, Adonai Eloheinu, Adonai Echad!”

( “Listen Israel, the L-ord is our G-d, the L-rd is One!” )

The mystical traditions of our nation have given us the deepest understanding of the Mysteries of the Divine. Since all life began at creation, so this is the entry point of comprehending who is the Creator of the Universe. Not only was the G-d of Israel the Creator of the Universe, so also He was the Creator of the Nation of Israel, and the Creator of the Covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob the forefathers of the Chosen People.

Source: Destination Yisrael

Sa’ada a Story of Divine Guidance Through a ‘Near Death Experience’


A Moving Story From ‘the Other Side’

Why Would a ‘Succesfull’ Secular Israeli Woman Leave Behind All She Had Achieved for a Humble Religious Life?

Israel is the Holy Land of Miracles from Shamayim (Heaven). Divine Providence, and Prophetical Visions are not only part of the ancient Jewish past, but rather they still continue to be a part our present experiences; but, unlike the Divine Providence which happens on a daily basis, it is rare for Prophetic Visions to be revealed in our current time.

The story of Sa’ada presents us with a secular Israeli woman who had such a life-changing experience when she died and came back. Such phenomenon resulted in her doing a radical Tshuvah (Repentance and change of lifestyle). This video is worth watching till its very End.

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