September 7, 2008

Yeshiva Dream still Alive

Filed under: deep reflections — Reb Moshe @ 3:01 pm

I believe that our hopes and dreams are still alive until we ourselves give up on them. Five years ago I made my first attempt at purchasing a home in the middle of the old city Tzfat that the bottom level would be large enough for a shul and yeshiva. My wife really didn’t like the house and its location so we passed on it. I then began to negotiate with a builder to make a yeshiva in his new building for a good price but then he slipped out that he wanted it part his. I then saw plans for a massive 6 story Yeshiva that would cost about 2million. Having good investments in place to make my dream possible, I thought it wasn’t impossible one day soon. A year later, I tried to purchase a building separate from my home for a yeshiva. In the end, it didn’t seem like the right location and I didn’t want a dungeon to be our place of study. A yeshiva should have good light and air. I then started praying for this one building which is across from me and since then, nobody has ever occupied it. It is the perfect place but since then, all my investments have left me and I had stopped dreaming and planning my yeshiva for 2 years now.

Today was the first time I was reminded that my hopes really are still alive even though I never speak about them. With a bit of push from above, I met one of the running mates for Mayer of Tzfat today. I asked him if he would help me get a building from the city as a gift. It is not unheard of but very difficult to secure. He told me to file with the government as my first step, then draw up unique plans and secure some donors. Then meet with him at a later date. I didn’t walk out with such a great impression he would help me as I would probably need a lot of financial backing to be taken seriously but to leave there knowing I was still dreaming? This means I am still alive!

September 4, 2008

Endless Love

Filed under: deep reflections — Reb Moshe @ 11:05 pm

You know, maybe someone can stop loving you but you never stop loving those you care about. The love between Hashem and you can never be separated. Nobody can come between this love. It is too holy and special.

August 26, 2008

My new Workout Diet

Filed under: deep reflections — Reb Moshe @ 2:59 am

As you know, I am now working out 3x a week at the gym for good health and balance. Also as an experiment to see if excellent physical health will increase my spiritual stability.

This week I have pushed myself to the next level of good eating. My diet consists of a balanced Kosher diet with no snacking, unhealthy foods or drinks. The meals I am eating are all very low fat, high protein and a mix of vegetables, rice and a little pasta. My meat meals are mostly chicken and just a little ground meat every few days. For fruits I am eating apples and pears. Vitamins include a Multivitamin high in B complex, papaya enzyme and a calcium boron supplement. A known secret in bodybuilding is to always keep the body strong and eat before it feels signs of weakness. So every couple hours I am able to fill in these gaps with a protein shake with amino acids. I will be upgrading my shake with one that also has some carbs in order that even my power drinks will have balance. I’m also being careful that my workouts and diets are a balanced part of my life and not obsessive.
Rebbe Nachman explains in his teachings that eating is one of the major yetzer haras a person has to overcome on their way to purity. If one really evaluates their eating habits, they will see how unhealthy and unbalanced they probably eat regularly. This weekends the mind and body tremendously giving the yetzer hara strength.
As for my ability to keep up this diet, we will have to see but for now, the biggest step was already made. Realizing that I previously ate what I wanted instead of what I needed.

August 25, 2008

Beliving in You, Yes I

Filed under: Blog Torah,deep reflections — Reb Moshe @ 5:30 am

It could be that the most important job of a Reb is to show a person that you believe in them. In fact, this may be the greatest thing one can do for ones children or friends. Every person has a special talent and spark in which they can not only grow from but can actually change the world with.

Maybe there is nothing worse in the world then a talented person who is constricted not sharing of it to the world. Someone once came to me and said it is a sin that you don’t do photography anymore. They practically commanded me to repent for this. I laughed at them. It isn’t that a person has to utilize their talent in its most revealed sense, but that there could be a thousand ways to share it. For instance, I used my photographic talent and channeled into web design for my Torah sites and creating scenic Torah videos. Someone with a musical talent, perhaps never has to actually play their instrument. Musical people are spiritual people and they could instead use their personality to simply inspire others. I know many artists that later put down their paintbrush and changed it over into a kulmas (traditional turkey feathers) for writing sifrai Torahs. It could be that understanding the source of your talent is more important then the beauty of the talent itself and its outward rewards. Inside is a great person in both you and me. We are great because we are unique and different then the person next to us.

People think in orthodoxy that we crush the uniqueness of individuals. Well just because we are a little color blind with our black and white tones, doesn’t mean that our shades of gray lack personality. Just like you wish us to be deeper, we wish you too look deeper. I wish all of you too look at the person next to you, especially your children and see their gift. Like the freckles on my son Yaakovs cheeks, they each have a story to tell.

My holy friends, I believe in you. There are some of you whom have such holy talents that they are too high to share with the rest of the world. Some of you have visions, some holy dreams and other greatness. I believe in you in these area as well. Even if the world is dark for you right now, here is a little light…

August 5, 2008

Praise of the other Nations

Filed under: deep reflections — Reb Moshe @ 1:10 am

I received a nice email from a student who I sent to a Rabbi to learn for conversion. In his email he writes me that recently he traveled to England to see what chassidim were like in person. He said he was so impressed by their faith in Hashem and avodah that he sees the greatness of Hashem’s people. Every week I ask, how can it be Moshiach isn’t here when so many Jews ARE doing the right thing? We really are a great generation of Jews. The baal Teshuvah movement has grown tremmendously and Torah life thrives on all 4 corners of the globe. We all remain still of heart, waiting and hoping for moshiach.

July 31, 2008

Tzaddikim of the other world

Filed under: deep reflections — Reb Moshe @ 6:47 am

I was trying to reach a Rebbe to discuss some matters last night. I was told to call back later so I called from the holy Tzaddiks grave, Rabbi Meir Baal Hanais but missed the Rebbe again. I recalled the time when I was in Meron and asking for a Bracha from a Rebbe who was visiting, he said, “Why would you want my bracha when you have Rebbe Shimon right here”? So tonight I was thinking about this a little bit. I came to the conclusion that the Tzaddikim who are in Gan Eden, of course they are higher and they will pray on my behalf for my spritual needs on a much higher level but my physical needs. How can they understand them as well as a Rebbe of today, they are so removed from the physical world and its gashmious. They see the lack of my physical needs as a good thing, not as suffering as I do. So yes, I need them to pray but I also need someone to hear and understand in a physical way my problems. Everyone has their own path in approaching this but I was debating why I should call a Rebbe when I had before me a Tana and this is the answer I came up with. Both serve a different purpose.

July 29, 2008

Workout, fitness and Torah My test

Filed under: deep reflections — Reb Moshe @ 5:10 am

There are many sources in Judaism speaking about the importance of a healthy lifestyle. As an experiment, I thought I would try to take this to an extreme, at least compared to my regular routines. For 8months, I joined the gym, exercising, swimming and lifting weights. I wanted to know if I grounded myself in this way physically, would it produce more spiritual benefits as well.
While I might have bigger biceps (actualy huge, lol- kidding) and physical strength, I must admit I am somewhat disappointed in other results. Yes it gave me some discipline but not as much as I expected. I even changed much of my eating habits to be more healthy, taking in lower fat and higher protein. But personally, at least so far, I can’t look someone in the face and say, I have grown from this experience. I do feel it was a great to meet new people at the gym and it is nice to step away from responsibility but at the same time, this has also bore me some guilt because of the commitment involved. At the same time, I can’t look my family in the face with a shortened life expected life due to an absence of exercising and a good diet. So, I will continue my testing. Hoping that all pathways that are done for the sake of Heaven, will lead me closer to Hashem.

July 27, 2008

The Missing Ring

Filed under: deep reflections — Reb Moshe @ 5:51 pm

There was once a young couple who got engaged. As was tradition in the family, the grandmother gave the bride an expensive ring. Soon after their marriage, the bride lost the ring while taking a walk along the beach. The entire family was devastated and she lost their respect. Whenever they saw her, if they didn’t say something derogatory with their lips, their heart spoke instead.
Months later as her husband was cleaning his wardrobe, he found in his old coat the missing ring. Once again, his wife was loved and respected. Everyone was so sorry and the family was once again united. About 15 years later, the bride, mother of many children, decided she would like to exchange the ring for more jewelry as she had enjoyed it enough. She asked her relatives who grandmother who had since passed, bought her jewelry from.
That day she went to the jeweler and showed him the ring. He said that a ring of this quality he would never forget and this particular ring he did not sell before. Taken back, she went home and started going through all the insurance paperwork on the ring. Sure enough, the ring she was wearing now was purchased 4 months after the wedding. She went to her husband in suspicion. He told her that he could no longer withstand her misery and how everyone treated her. He understood that people are not perfect and his family was sweet but had their issues so he took maters into his own hands. “You have no idea how many loans I had to take out when we were first married to pay for this new ring. I just wanted you to be happy and my family to love you again.” Now my friends, we have to remember never to hurt someone and remind them of their faults. If someone makes a mistake or looses something then we mustn’t torcher them about it. Also, if someone is hurting then we have to lower ourselves and protect this person at all costs. He didn’t just give his wife a ring, he gave her life. Lets do something for someone else today, bringing them from darkness into the light.

April 28, 2008

I had a dream

Filed under: deep reflections — Reb Moshe @ 9:41 pm

last night i dreamed about a snake
we were all sitting on a couch and there was a snake
so everyone was still then the snake continued at me
and jumped at me and was stuck in my teeth but didn’t bite me then i woke up and someone moved so the snake would chase them instead but i woke up just as this was taking place.

Interpretation:
there are 32 paths of wisdom known through Torah there are 32 teeth in ones mouth(sefer yetzirah)
the snake is the satan
even with my wisdom, i need another to move and keep the snake off of me
and make that sacrifcise
to help me
I need to find someone wise who can chase the snake
help me get rid of my bad qualities
which means to find a Tzaddik who can do this for me
it was stuck in my teeth meaning that it is in the middle of my path of wisdom and must be chased away
but it didn’t bite me was just stuck there. I was at a total standstill and so was the snake. The next move was to be made through an intermediary. Sometimes only a friend can help us as if i try to move myself, i would get bitten. I couldn’t call out to Hashem because I couldn’t move my lips. I was stuck. As my friend Moran said, “maybe it means that even with our wisdom we can’t forget we always need to practice so we can protect ourselves from the satan – modesty ?????? before you come to a point where you can’t even speak anymore.”

How well do you know your Reb?

Filed under: deep reflections — Reb Moshe @ 3:23 am

Quiz
1. Rebs fav color
2. Rebs fav food
3. Rebs fav animal or creepy crawler
4. Rebs fav instrument
5. Rebs fav sefer, book
6. Rebs fav sport
7. Rebs fav stuffed animal name as a boy
8. Rebs fav drink
9. If Reb had free time, would he hang out with friends or go out himself
10. Favorite season

April 10, 2008

Twenty Minutes of Fatherhood

Filed under: deep reflections — Reb Moshe @ 3:25 am

My fellow men, we must force ourselves to give attention to our children for 20minutes a day! This doesn’t mean time with them while working or on the computer. It means getting on the floor, playing and speaking to our kids. They need this in order to grow up healthy! Not only that, they deserve it! Not to mention, 20minutes for the wife too! Talking about whatever she wants too & not about soferous, your new websites and your car!

April 9, 2008

I Didn’t Know it was so hard

Filed under: Current Events,deep reflections — Reb Moshe @ 1:53 am

Tonight, I am feeling bad as I didn’t know things were so hard for people living in the USA. Here I have been in Israel for almost 5 years, I have even forgotten what a wooden or regular brick home looked like. I mean, I haven’t even seen a porsche in 5 years;) It has been brought to my niece attention the amount of people foreclosing on their homes, relatives in Iraq, health care, wild interest rates and other troubles. Of course I knew that problems existed but I really didn’t comprehend the full effects they have on my fellow Jewish friends. After analyzing this and launching the askreb site, I feel that it is not enough. Too many Jews need a Reb figure in their life and it isn’t enough the casual emails back and forth. I need to be there in their suffering. They need to know that I carry their burden on my shoulders. My holy friends need to know that I cry for them every night. I am speaking of those people who don’t have a Rebbe a block from their house. Who will be there for them? Who will wipe away their tears? Who will mend their broken spirits?

March 14, 2008

Interesting Haircut

Filed under: deep reflections — Reb Moshe @ 4:11 am

A little Hasgacha Pratis (sign that everything is from Hashem):
This week I received a hair cut by my barber friend. When it was finished, I ran to the mikvah and then to afternoon kollel (somehow I fit this in too). I continued my place in Talmud Tannis and It happened that I was up to the part which talks about the requirement of the Kohein in the Temple to cut his hair frequently. So for the next hour, I was learning about haircuts! Just a little reminder from Hashem that he is watching over me. Thank you Hashem!

February 26, 2008

Kids for Rent

Filed under: deep reflections — Reb Moshe @ 9:14 pm

My kids are full of energy and joy. They have so much to give to the world with their strong personalities. If anyone would like to rent them for an hour, please let me know. They can dance, sing, take walks and even teach you Hebrew.

February 12, 2008

My Wifes Dream

Filed under: deep reflections — Reb Moshe @ 7:40 am

My wife had a dream the other night that we were meeting with the Nikolsburg Rebbe and he was answering my questions on any Torah topic for 1 hour. Then towards the end, He asked me, “I will bless you with one wish. Tell me what you would like.” My wife was then asked to leave the room… She asked why.

The Rebbe explained that she may not be able to handle the wish I asked for. She left and then I told the Rebbe that I would like two things. Plenty of Challah and Milk for my family for our entire life. When my wife returned, she was dismayed. Here I could have asked for anything and I asked just for Challah and Milk. And why these things she woke up wondering. I am not asking anyone to interpret this but I am curious your thoughts.