February 11, 2008

Getting Stronger, Getting Wiser?

Filed under: deep reflections — Reb Moshe @ 4:43 am

The last three months have been an interesting test for me. I took upon myself a more healthier lifestyle. I began working out at the men’s gym exercising (including swimming) and lifting weights. I”m also eating a high protein, low fat and sugar diet. A bit unusual of a move for a Reb, don’t you think?

In the old Chassidic times, it was normal to break the body a little in order to get control over it. I believe that in our times, when depression is rampant, people are unhealthy and don’t exercise often, this is exactly the move to make in order to be strong physically and spiritually. In a way, for me, this has been an experiment to see if I could grow more from paying attention to physicality. Something a naturally spiritual natured individual doesn’t enjoy doing so much.

At this point, I can say that my body is more healthier but I can’t really say that the time spent exercising has really developed me into a better, stable person. Then again, it has only been three months and I think it is too soon to pass judgement. I hope and pray that I am on the right direction and that I will inspire others to take care of their body more instead of faltering to its weakness.

Like all things in my life, I try to give 100% wherever possible. It is unique to see my religious friend and I lifting weights so seriously. Payis hanging down, kippahs with lifting belts and gloves, we take no shortcuts. I’m actually a bit obsessed with the bench press, who would have known?

When I push that 10th rep of 60kg, I am thinking about how I want to serve Hashem without weakness. To break the yetzer hara and not let anything get in my way. I am thinking of fear, faith and avodah. Maybe this is a new way of chassidus:)

January 20, 2008

Behold, Esther Rivka

Filed under: deep reflections — Reb Moshe @ 3:51 am

The babies name is
Esther Rivka

MAZEL TOV

January 18, 2008

To Girly, I know

Filed under: deep reflections — Reb Moshe @ 1:33 am

Look, I just had a girl so I have changed the background for today to ALL PINK. I am sorry guys but I have to get used to the girl thing. I have already called her, He, and Him too many times!

Kiddush at Shul

Filed under: deep reflections — Reb Moshe @ 12:49 am

So, as tradition mandates, I am having a kiddush and naming the baby at the Torah this Shabbos. Though the sites prove the opposite, I don’t like public attention. My friends have pushed me to make it in the large Synagogue instead of my idea of praying at sunrise in Meron on Thursday morning, putting out some cake, taking a bite and drive home. So now I will have to put on a pretty smile and share my joy. The thing is, my pretty little daughter isn’t here, she is went with my wife to recover for a week from the labor. So, as much as I am happy, I miss my little popcorn. My temporary nickname till the official naming. So… who shall mend the broken heart of a lonely daddy who misses his first daughter?

January 14, 2008

Mazel Tov

Filed under: deep reflections — Reb Moshe @ 2:40 pm

p1140052.JPGWE HAD A BABY GIRL!

December 25, 2007

My Seasonal Message sent to thousands of Jews

Filed under: deep reflections — Reb Moshe @ 2:52 am

Shalom from Israel friends,

We live in a world where Judaism is a minority and you can’t be a Jew in the USA without Christmas in some way effecting you.

If you go to public school or college, usually it is mandatory to attend Christmas plays and other events. Through family & peer pressure many people even have a tree in their home and celebrate both holidays.

It is not my way to judge anyone but I want us to remember this holiday season that we are Jews and we should be proud of our own culture. If we are not and we see ourselves at a loss for true spiritually this holiday season, then lets take it as a sign to learn more about Jewish customs.

This holiday season is not about blending in with the “Jones”, but rather a time to reflect and see if we are real with ourselves. If you are not proud to be a Jew and when you lit your menorah, candles on chanukah, you felt nothing and it didn’t change you. Then, it is time to spend more time understanding our culture.

I don’t know how to say this and for everyone to accept it well but since my heart is sincere, I hope the words will someone touch all of us.

Don’t light a Christmas tree this year because everyone else is doing it and it looks fun. There are hundreds of daily Jewish traditions you probably never even heard of you could learn about this coming week and practice. Show your family & friends the beauty that comes from Judaism and Jew pride. Give this to the world this holiday season.

You know, we don’t lack in Jewish holidays. Every week we have a holiday called “Shabbos”. When a women lights her shabbos candles and a man makes a blessing over kiddush wine, and families sit down together to enjoy the shabbos and one another. Let me tell you, there is not one Christmas tree, caroling in the world that compares to the holiness and specialness of 1 hour of our Jewish Shabbos. Let us all be proud of this heritage! Let us show this pride to our children and grandchildren. Most important, for ourselves, let us be proud were it truly counts, inside our Jewish hearts.

December 22, 2007

Mo’s Birthday Wishes

Filed under: deep reflections — Reb Moshe @ 11:44 pm

Today I turn 33 years old. When I reflect upon the last year of being 32 I think about one thing. The year I stopped dreaming. A person knows they are still alive with they can still dream and can hope for something great to happen to them. Sure i have a great family and children but the current reality shows much work just to hold our head over the water. So I bless you and me something special.

To never stop dreaming and for those dreams to come true.
To be debt free.
To never have financial problems interfere in your ability to be who you want to be and give to the world like you want and need to give.
To have friends who believe in you and support you in your goals.
To have Hashem before you always
To be healthy
To keep a good schedule
To learn gemarah well
To connect to Tzaddikim
To reach in your pocket and always take out what you need

November 22, 2007

Scared of a doggy

Filed under: deep reflections — Reb Moshe @ 6:27 pm

Scared of a little doggy, call Reb Moshe. This was the theme of todays most halarious event living in Israel. I was unable to pass with my car because there was a german shepard trying to lick a few holy yiddalas and everyone was scared. While others were picking up stones for protection or running for cover, I simply got out of my car and in my broken hebrew, walked up the dog and told him to follow me. He was happy to receive a little respect.

It is interested to note that science teaches us that animals smell your fear. If you don’t fear them, they leave you alone. The Torah teaches us to fear only Hashem and no other being. It appears Hashem gave animals this sense in order to show us to only fear Hashem.

November 4, 2007

If I ever made a Friday Tish

Filed under: deep reflections — Reb Moshe @ 10:46 pm

First course,
1. Kiddush but everyone gets a little (only wine)
2. Apitiser, watermellon, catalop & morrocan carrot salad
3. Fish, VERY VERY SMOKED salmon
4. Corn Beef or Brisket (you can have too)
5. Swiss chocolate bars, chocolate mousse, Apples, blueberries and donuts!

Rules
1. Never burn chassidims hands with too hot food.
2. Nobody touches your food except you, gabi or me.
3. Start really late at night, 3am so everyone can sleep first.
4. No nigunim with words except rare occations.
5. Very very dim blue lights
6. Bathroom breaks
7. Easy access to exits!
8. No cheap drinks! Coke, Sprte, 7up
9. No bleachers, there isnt much to see!
10. Esras nashim for women, they receive everything including the fish
11. Spratic divrey torah, mostly stories instead of all at once
12. Getting people more involved especially bochorim.
13. Cots for people to rest on
14. Famous Guest Singers
15. More Dancing
16. A lot of Wiskey for me!

October 30, 2007

Some Privacy Please

Filed under: deep reflections — Reb Moshe @ 8:06 am

I wanted to share some intimate moments I have with Hashem on my journeys around Tzfat but when I do share them, the files usually return corrupted and unusable. It is obviously the will of Hashem that I grow more as a person before sharing this. The Horelstyple Rebbe told me a few years ago that if I always share everything, I leave nothing for myself and I am left empty. As much as I tried heeding this advice over the years, I learnt that it was quite a difficult task in both aspects. A Righteous person even hides holy things from their spouse unless they know telling with help the other partner grow.

You know how many people I have met on the streets that after five minutes talking to them, I knew every sefer and every mitzvah they have done. Part of making friends is opening yourself up to another to let them in but it doesn’t mean bragging about your accomplishments. Then again, for a holy man, these things they speak of are very little compared to their real achievements so for them, they have really not opened up at all.

There was a holy Jew that was constantly engrossed in Torah study but nobody knew this because every time he heard a footstep, he closed his book so as not to be caught. Nobody has to know how holy you truly are, this is between you and Hashem. Do you know how many students today correct their teachers if the Rebbe stubble’s on something. Nobody would dare do such a thing in the old days. You never correct your teacher and if you do, you do so by hints or by saying it in way that comes out more as a confused question.

Everything has its time and place. Sometimes by being religious in public, one inspires others and even their friends.

September 30, 2007

What was I going to blog?

Filed under: deep reflections — Reb Moshe @ 8:21 pm

I had something in mind to blog, so, I logged into the program. But now I can’t remember what I was going to say…

September 20, 2007

A Special Kid Moment…

Filed under: deep reflections — Reb Moshe @ 4:37 am

I was walking past my sleeping child this evening and suddenly heard him laugh.
Suprised as his eyes were closed as he was fast asleep, I decided to join him to see what would happen.
So I laughed too.
His laughter became loader and before I knew it, we were laughing together and he was still sleeping.
I laughed at an even higher interval and so did he, this continued while his eyes slowly opened and we exchanged grins.

September 10, 2007

Shattered Dreams, A year gone by…

Filed under: deep reflections — Reb Moshe @ 5:34 am

I think everyone before Rosh Hashanah begin to reflect on the year gone by. For me this reflection seems to reveal an empty heart. It is not that I look back in complaint but rather with my hands up in wonderment as too why I don’t feel so fulfilled by it. Did I accomplish a lot, yes. Was it all I had hoped? No. Am I complaining, not really. Should I be happy? Of course, Hashem blessed me with a year to serve Him and do mitzvos.

Would I change the outcome of many events? Sure, wouldn’t we all. So what are my hopes for the coming year? In truth, I have no hopes really because I simply have no idea why previous hopes were not fulfilled yet. All in all, I think this year I enter Rosh Hashanah totally bittle, feeling like nothing and totally empty as too what to expect. Last year, I thought I knew it all when it came time to greet the new year. This year, I realize I know nothing. I don’t want to take the usual route expecting my hopes and dreams to come through this year as my heart can’t bare disappointment. Rather, I am ready to be amused, surprised, amazed and even a little shattered. I leave it all in Hashem’s hands. I’m not going to pray for the usual money, honor and happiness as is common but rather to just “know Hashem”. In this is everything. There are no disappointments.

August 23, 2007

The Tales in Meron & Strange Happenings

Filed under: deep reflections — Reb Moshe @ 7:10 am

Everyone always hears about the great stories of Log BeOmer and events in Meron where Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai is burried but what about the strange stories you never hear about. Out of all the places in the world, Meron is up there for its unusual style and people. It is not a large moshav, even the grocery store could fit in my living room but the people… from all walks of life that walk through this town daily is quite amazing. Even on the coldest of winter days, you can strole into meron for some piece and quite 3am when suddenly a busload of the strangest people ever will be dropped off. I have literally been there when there were 5 of us and suddenly 400.

Well here is a special story for you… My friend Shmueli is the mashgiach of the Kosher kitchen there which means, I get a back pass into the the cave under the building. This is where Rabbi Shimon is really buried, not on top but going there is also good. So, Shmueli offered me in the beginning of the week to light the olive oil candles in the cave so I went with him and lit one. He began to get the idea that maybe we could close it up so I can do some videos down there in private for you all to enjoy. The next day, when we returned to Meron, the Arab worker with his eyes still in shock, told us the following story.

Every so often he is told to wash the floors in the room of the cave. As he went to open the door where we had just been the privious night lighting candles, a large snake jumped out at him. He ran for dear life and has sworn never to go in the cave ever again. This is not the first of such a story that took place at the grave of a holy Tzaddik.

Is it the snake whos job it is to protect the place from unholiness or was it there trying to draw something holy into itself blocking it from those seeking enlightment. Today in Tzfat, everyone tells over the story of the Arizal’s Synagoge that for many years, anyone who entered would be bitten by a snake and then died. It wasn’t till Baba Sali came and walked in bravely to take the Torah from the Ark that all were no longer afraid to enter.

As I was leaving Meron today, having done a video on Rav Yossi who is buried there, I was approached by a man who pleaded with me to lock the door after I depart. He said, the cows keep entering the cave of Rav Yossi and going inside. I was not suprised as the day before I had tried to approach his cave but the mountainside was covered with a flock of cows.

These various events that happen near the holy Rabbi’s graves, always keep me wondering. What will be next. It is quite apparent that after hundreds of years, it is a bit of a miricle these places are left intact. Even those graves burned by hostile nations somehow still servive.

August 22, 2007

Going to the Tzaddik

Filed under: deep reflections — Reb Moshe @ 2:00 am

For some this concept is quite out there but for those who have been touched by a holy Rabbi, there is no thinking twice. Today, the most extreme travelors chasing after the dream of being close to the, ‘Rebbe’, has to be Breslover Chassidim.

In two weeks, flights will begin from every contenent in the world ariving in Ukraine for the holiday of Rosh Hashanah. Last year, 25,000 people made this pilgramige but it is the Breslover Chassidim that have sorta stole the light of this idea of going to ones Rebbe for the holiday.

This Yom Tov, it won’t be just Breslover Chassidim taking to the skies. For sure Breslovers will set an all time high record for flights to a Rebbe for a Yom Tov but Satmer, Beltzer, Bobov, Square, Pupa, and all the other Rebbe’s will find their Synagogoes packed with Jews from all over. This is because, since the time of the Baal Shem Tov, it became a regular practice to visit ones Rebbe for the holidays. After-all, it is he who guides the person in all spiritual matters and affairs. To be somewhere else, is, simply impossible.

As many of you know, my son will be in the hospital during Rosh Hashanah so I accepted this as coming from Hashem but today, I reminded myself of “Going to the Tzaddik”, and I cannot seem to imagine my world without this. Unfortunately, to pull it off this year would mean to bring all my other kids with me accross the world. Not only does this cost thousands but it isn’t easy. Still, my heart as a chassid wants to bring through this barrier so I will begin praying for my miricle.

For all those new to orthodoxy or chassidus, I ask you to think over this concept of being with your Rebbe for the holiday. Even the thought of it alone brings you purity of thought.

p.s. There are a ton of videos on Elul and Rosh Hashanah in Torahvideo Archives. Have a look:)