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"Serve G-d in Joy, come
Ali and Habib are beggars. They beg in different areas of London .
Habib begs just as long as Ali does, but only collects £2 to £3 every day.
Ali brings home a suitcase FULL of £10 notes, drives a Mercedes, lives in a mortgage-free house and has a lot of money to spend.
Habib says to Ali 'I work just as long and hard as you do but how is it that you bring home a suitcase full of £10 notes every day?'
Ali says, 'Look at your sign, what does it say'?
Habib's sign reads 'I have no work, a wife and 6 kids to support'.
Ali says 'No wonder you only get £2- £3
Habib says... 'So what does your sign say'?
Ali shows Habib his sign....
It reads, 'I only need another £10 to move back to Pakistan '.
A fellow came into a restaurant, sat down at the bar, and ordered a drink. As he sat there sipping his drink, he heard this tiny voice that said "Nice haircut!". The man looked around but didn't see anyone.
A few minutes passed and once again this same small voice said "What a nice tie you have on!" He turned completely around; looking carefully, but there was nobody there. Getting a little uneasy, he heard the voice again. "That sure is a nice jacket you're wearing!"
Wondering what was going on, he called the bartender over and asked, "Bartender, Am I going crazy? I keep hearing this tiny voice and yet there's nobody around." The bartender replied, "Oh that's just the peanuts. They're complimentary."
I never wanted to believe that my dad was stealing from his job as a road worker.
But when I got home, all the signs were there.
Candle Lighting time in
North Palm Beach Florida
July 05, 2013
Shabbat is over
Inspiration from the Lubavitcher Rebbe
The essential teaching of the Baal Shem Tov:
Be simple, be earnest, and spread that simplicity throughout everything you do.
Simplicity is a receptacle for G-d's simple Oneness.
The theme of the Shabbat that blesses the new month of Av is to transmit a very lofty blessing that will have the power to transform the negative aspects of Av into a time of joy and festivity.
This concept is encapsulated in the special word used when announcing the new month, for we refer to the new month as "Menachem Av," "menachem" for the "comforter."
When blessing the new month, we ask that it should be "for deliverance and for consolation."
This "deliverance" refers to the true and complete redemption, while the "consolation" refers to the consolation of Zion and Jerusalem.
Shabbat that blesses Menachem Av radiates the awesome power of converting destruction to redemption.
(The Lubavitcher Rebbe, parshiot Matot-Masei, 1987)
Shabbat Mevorchim Menachem Av.
Happy Birthday Rabbi Leible special SURPRISE
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|Kosher Caffeine - by Rabbi Shlomo Ezagui
YOU, have more power and influence than you can imagine.
Our sages exhort us to, "Know what is above us. An eye that sees, an ear that listens, and all your deeds are recorded." Can you imagine if everyone always remembered this statement? The world would be so different. These days with cameras almost everywhere it isn't all that difficult to visualize.
Rabbi Yochonan Ben Zakai one of the great sages in Jerusalem who lived towards the end of the second Temple said, "if only we feared Heaven as we fear people of blood and flesh." We are very embarrassed before people who may be watching our every movement. Our sages tell us when a person passes into the next world one of the greatest difficulties, is the shame of seeing our entire life played before the heavenly court.
There are people in their humility or sometimes lack of self-confidence who think, "I am so small and insignificant what difference would my thoughts, deeds or action make."
Comes the Baal Shem Tov and explains the statement we quoted above in Hebrew in the following way. "A person should always be aware that what starts above and then flows down below to become a person's reality, is always the result of one's own choices."
A great percentage of Israelites never left Egypt when everyone was miraculously freed because they didn't believe it was possible. The same was with many of the Israelites in the wilderness who never merited entering the Land of Israel and actually stood in the way of ever getting there, because they claimed not to believe in that possibility. By their own declaration they excluded themselves from that reality when it did become an actuality for everyone else.
In the book of Psalms King David says, "G-d is your shadow, at your right side." Just like a shadow follows your movements, the same is with G-d the source of everything. He follows our lead, our desires and our choices.
The reward for doing good for another person can be a payment or prize. Sometimes even better yet, by fulfilling the desires of someone, we get the person themselves. A relationship and bond is developed with the person who feels personally obligated and attached in return for our good deed to them.
Ultimately when we serve G-d we are told, the reward for doing G-ds will is not so much the prize for doing good, but the satisfaction having done the deed itself. The fact that we were able to serve Almighty G-d in all His glory, and that our effort and action should matter to Him, and He should take note of what we do, is itself an incredible opportunity and the greatest gift.
The deepest level of our soul energy inside us, the core essence and foundation to our soul, is that part of G-d that always remains pure and untouched by anything we can ever do. It is beyond the reach of any human being and forever remains completely connected and one with its own source in heaven, G-d.
This explains the tremendous power, gravity and significance in anything and everything we do.
Even the smallest of action, be it even just a mere thought is an expression and manifestation of our entire soul, everything that we are. There is the potential in everything that we do, because of this deep connection inside of us with G-d, to connect through our conduct, with the deepest levels of G-d himself.
Maimonides writes, that one deed of just one person can tip the scales of the entire equation to bring redemption to the world.
Everyone, has this profound connection with the deepest levels of G-d Himself and is able through his/her deeds to reveal the most powerful dimensions of G-d for him/herself and for the entire universe to be impacted by his actions.
PROOF FOR THE AUTHENTICITY OF THE TORAH.
Sholom U'Brocho [Peace and Blessing]:
I have received your letter of June 13th, in which, after a brief biographical outline of yourself, you present your problem, namely that you recently became aware of a feeling of apathy and indifference to the religious rites and practices, due to a perplexingdoubt as to the authenticity of the Jewish Tradition, by which you undoubtedly mean the Torah and Mitzvos [commandments], and you wonder how their authenticity may logically be proved.
I hope this is indeed the only difficulty which has weakened your observance of the practical precepts in daily life; in most cases the true reason is the desire to make it easy for oneself and avoid a "burden"; one later seeks to justify this attitude on philosophical grounds. If this is the case the problem is more complicated. In the hope that you belong to the minority, I will briefly state here the logical basis of the Truth that the Torah and Mitzvos were given to us Jews by Divine Revelation.
This is not very difficult to prove, since the proof is the same as all other evidence that we have of historic events in past generations, only much more forcefully and convincingly.
By way of illustration: if you are asked, how do you know that there existed such a person as Maimonides, whom you mention in your letter, you would surely reply that you are certain about his existence from the books he has written. Although Rambam (Maimonides) lived some 800 years ago, his works now in print have been reprinted from earlier editions, and those from earlier ones still, uninterruptedly, going back to the very manuscript which Rambam wrote in his own hand. This is considered sufficient proof even in the face of discrepancies or contradictions from one book of Rambam to another. Such contradictions do not demolish the above proof; rather efforts are made to reconcile them, in the certainty that both have been written by the same author.
The same kind of proof substantiates any historic past, which we ourselves have not witnessed, and all normal people accept them without question, except those who for some reason are interested in falsification.
In many cases the authenticity of an historic event is based on the evidence of a limited group of people, where there is room to suspect that the witnesses were, perhaps, not quite disinterested. Nonetheless, because there is nothing to compel us to be suspicious, and especially if we can check the evidence and counter-check it, it is accepted as a fact.
From the above point of view, any doubts you may have about the authenticity of the Jewish Tradition should be quickly dispelled.
Millions of Jews have always known and still know that G-d is the author of the Torah Shebiksav (written Torah) and the Torah Shebe'al Peh, (oral tradition) which He gave to His people Israel not only to study but to observe in practice in daily life. The Al-mighty made it a condition of the existence and welfare of our people as a whole, and of the true happiness of every individual member of our nation.
How do these millions of individuals know, and how did they know in the past, that the Torah is true? Simply because they have it on the evidence of their fathers, millions of Jews that preceded them, and these in turn from their fathers, and so on, uninterruptedly back to the millions of Jews
(if we include women and children, and those above and below the age range of the 600,000 male adults) who witnessed the Divine Revelation at Sinai. Throughout all these generations, the very same content has been traditionally handed down, not by a single group, but by a people of many millions, of different mentalities, walks of life, interests, under the most varying circumstances, places and times, etc. etc. Such evidence cannot be disputed.
It is difficult, in the course of a letter, to elaborate, but I am sure that even the brief above analysis should dispel any of your doubts (if indeed you had any serious doubts) as to the authenticity of our Tradition. I trust you will from now on not permit anything to weaken your observance of the Mitzvos, whose very observance of itself illumines the mind and soul more than any philosophic book can ever do. I shall be glad to hear good news from you, and I wish you success.
|It Once happened
|Some of the outstanding miracles and stories associated with the vessels of the Temple.
Many of the vessels which were used in the First and Second Holy Temples were those made under the supervision of Moses when the Jews constructed the Sanctuary in the desert. Others were made by King Solomon, who built the First Holy Temple.
The ark, which stood in the Holy of Holies and housed the Tablets (of the Ten Commandments), in the First Temple was absent from the Second Temple. King Solomon knew, by way of prophecy, that both Temples were destined to be destroyed, and he constructed a hiding place for the Ark deep in the foundations of the Temple. It was there that King Yoshiyahu concealed the Ark and there it awaits the rebuilding of the Third Holy Temple.
When the Ark was in the Holy of Holies, it took up no physical space. That is to say, although the entire area of the Holy of Holies measured 20 cubits, the space on each side of the Ark was 10 cubits.
During the time the Jews wandered through the desert, sparks would shoot out from the poles of the Ark, destroying poisonous snakes and scorpions which lurked before it.
When the Jews entered the Holy Land and were about to cross the Jordan River, the water parted at the feet of the kohanim (priests) who were bearing the Ark and the entire Jewish people passed on dry ground. Not until the kohanim reached the other bank did the river begin to flow again.
On the two sides of the Ark were the keruvim (cherubs). These were two figures in the form of angels with the faces of children, a boy and a girl, with wings that extended over the Ark. There were also miracles associated with the keruvim. When the Jewish people conducted themselves according to the will of G-d, the two figures faced one another, but when G-d was displeased with His people, they turned in opposite directions. In addition, when G-d spoke to Moses in the Holy of Holies, the voice seemed to emanate from between the two angelic figures.
The golden Menora, or candelabra, which stood in the Holy Temple was made of one solid block of gold, but was intricately decorated. Each night it was kindled with pure olive oil, and it burned throughout the night. Many miracles occurred in connection with its lighting. For instance, one of its lights did not go out, even though all the other lights which contained the same amount of oil went out. At times, this light, when lit on Rosh Hashana, did not go out until just prior to the following Rosh Hashana.
Another of the articles in the Temple was the Shulchan, the Table, upon which were laid the 12 show-breads that were the spiritual source of bounty and blessing for the Jewish people. These challot were arranged on the Table every Shabbat when the challot from the previous week were removed. One of the miracles was that when they were replaced with fresh ones the following week, they were still warm. The Table which Moses made was also used in the First Temple.
The Altar on which the incense was burned was placed between the Menora and the Shulchan, and incense was burned on it twice a day. The Altar, which was made of acacia wood plated with gold, was also miraculous, for although it was burned with fire for many years, it was never scorched or damaged by the heat.
It is related in the Midrash that when Moses questioned how it could be that the wood would not be burned by the fire, G-d replied that the nature of Divine fire is unlike that of earthly fire, for although it burns, it does not consume.
There were many other vessels used in the Temples. The Kiyor, the Wash-basin which was used for washing the hands and feet of the kohanim, was made from the mirrors of the women who used them to beautify themselves while in Egyptian bondage in order to cheer their downtrodden husbands. This act was valued so highly by G-d, that Moses was commanded to construct the basin from the copper, even though it isn't a precious metal.
The Temple service was conducted with enormous grandeur. The kohanim used 93 types of gold and silver vessels in their service, in addition to many beautiful and varied musical instruments which the Levites used to produce their exquisite music.
During the destruction of the First Temple, the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar plundered the wealth of the Temple and took all the vessels to Babylonia. When he had the effrontery to exhibit and use them in a great feast, he met his death the same night.
When the Babylonian exiles returned to rebuild the land under Zerubavel, King Cyrus released 5,400 vessels to be returned to the Temple.
Then, when Titus destroyed the Second Temple, the vessels were again looted and, this time, brought to Rome. We await the day when they are returned to their rightful place in the Third Holy Temple, and may that day come immediately.