July 25, 2007

Everything is in a moment

Filed under: Blog Torah — Reb Moshe @ 8:33 pm

199746599_ff7c2e623d_o.jpgThe Talmud teaches us that everything can be accomplished within a moment. They prove this by saying that through even one second of repentance, a person can have totally attoned for all their sins and receive a full reward in the World to Come.

This certainly proves us the point of how important time is. That its value is quite great and we should appreciate every second that we are given but even more so, we have to appreciate the idea of positive energy. Chazal say, “Every mitzvah leads to another mitzvah and every sin leads to another sin. We can add to this by saying that every positive thought and energy, leads to more positive thinking.

Daily we think of what it would be like if we could turn the clock back that day. Would we have picked up the phone to talk to that person that called if we had a choice not too. Maybe we would have taken a left turn instead of a right turn in order to miss the traffic gam.

Unfortunately, Hashem didn’t create the technology of the time machine. Rather, he created the exact opposite effect, reincarnation and repentance. Hashem obviously doesn’t want us to go back physically to fix our wrong doings but just spiritually and through new tests in life that will come along today and tomarrow.

The key to this picture and the realization of the moment must be accomplished during the option and decition of the very moment. We must think before every action with clarity and realize what effect this will have on our life. To realize that one move, one mitzvah isn’t just what will happen now but it will effect our entire day and life. Even the very thought we have now give us positive or negative energies that will play a roll in the minute to come. So appeciating that “Everything is in a moment”, must be the entire key to the World to Come and the root of life itself.

Torah Videos on Hold

Filed under: Website Kvetching — Reb Moshe @ 2:32 pm

After an exploding year of over 100 new videos, my energies to continue the teaching videos traveling through Israel has been unkindled. There certainly hasn’t been a lack of interest. It is simply that I am only human and without financial backers or volenteers and daily feedback, I feel somewhat unappreicated. Of course, it isn’t done for apprecition but the amount of work and money that goes into these projects warrents a little more then the energies I am receiving in return.

For me, not teaching Torah is heartbreaking as it is my source of water for the survival of my soul. Baring this in mind, I hope this break is only temporary and that I can feel you all behind me once again. This certainly dosen’t mean there is not a huge load of daily work to continue the websites. As I have said before, I do alone what would take 5-10 staff members and I will continue to put my efforts in making a great site. There are still more videos that have not been put up yet. Rav Papa, Rav Chisda and Rav Yochananan HaSandler. I hope to edit these in the coming days or week.

Bargaining with Hashem

Filed under: Blog Torah — Reb Moshe @ 2:49 am

Hashem tells us, “I want you to do these positive commandments and these other negative commandments, I want you to stay away from”. So in return, we tell Hashem, “I am willing to pick these commandments that are easy for me that I like and these negative commandments, well some of them I will do anyway and hope you will overlook them due to the positive ones I also decided to do”. This system goes on for generation after generation. It destroys our Temples, our people and puts us in solitary confinement. Hashem never told us we could pick and choose what we like but we do it anyways thinking somehow we balance the scale more to the side of good. Do we not owe Hashem and ourselves more then this as His people? Can we not just do a little bit better then we are doing??? We know we are a weaker generation then those that came before us but does this mean we should accept this and not try as hard as they did?

July 19, 2007

Ari Yirtzite & Hiking for Kevarim

Filed under: Mishaps/tests/U name it — Reb Moshe @ 7:36 am

Yesterday, I decided to setout on the impossible mission of finding the Tzaddik, Rash Lakish. I started out going under an underpass and onto the first dirt road I saw. On the way, I was excited to see another Jew with payis driving the other direction so I asked him for directions. He said, “Raish Lakish”, excitingly! I have been trying to find that grave for 2 years now. It isn’t up here. Next thing we knew it, we had joined forces to fufil our dream together and find the Tzaddik. I followed him and then he followed me at times. No road was a challenge to us both. Through army shooting ranges and 4×4 roads, we took our cars for the rides of the lives….

Finally, we realized that we could go no further in our non jeep rides and we set forth on foot. For 2 hours we walked and then returned in the dark. We had not found Raish Lakish! This was not my first attempt either. I have spent hours before driving through the dirt and rocky roads looking for the famious Rabbi. His grave is known to be one of the most difficult ones to be found in the north. I guess there is always tomarrow to try again. At the end of our journey, we exchanged numbers and were happy to have had the opportunity meet. Today, I rest my legs from the long journey and hope that my car doesn’t have a flat this morning.

Tonight is the Yirtzite of the Ari HaKodesh. There is a video about him on the TorahVideo site. Thousands of tourist will be visiting Tzfat during this time and Shabbos. Usually, our phones are off the hook with people wanting a place to stay and the noise outside my house lasts all night with shofer blowing and people talking. Since we know it is for a good cause, we bite the bullet and close our ears, sometimes even joining them. At times it is a blessing and other times, it isn’t the most easy thing to live in a tourist town.

July 18, 2007

HaRav Amrom Taub zt”l

Filed under: My childhood, What went wrong, What went right? — Reb Moshe @ 7:33 am

Some called him the Baltimore Rebbe, HaRav Amrom Taub zt”l passed away this week. Here is a story of how I got a special glimpse into this Tzaddik’s life. It was Thursday night, the day before Shabbos and I wanted a special experience to remember. I picked up the phone and called the Rabbi’s house and spoke to his wife. Probably, I was one of few people to ever ask to join in their private Shabbos meal. I was pleased when they agreed. Especially to my last minute boldness.

To be continued…

July 17, 2007

What Chassidus Am I?

Filed under: deep reflections — Reb Moshe @ 12:30 am

A lot of people have read through the lines to notice that I am not the typical breslover Chassid. That is probably more of a true observation should you compair me side by side to one of them. You have to understand that I am mostly self-taught in the ways of chassidus. I learned from sefarim rather then their teachers, chavrusas and friends, as most do.

If you put me in the same room with a typical breslover, I probably wouldn’t click to well either. But should you put me in the room with a famous breslover like Rabbi Noson Maimon or some of the old time students of Rabbi Aryeh Rosenfeld, who also did primarily outreach, you will see quite literally my simular outlook.

I also look at Chassidus in general not through the eyes of a breslover but rather Nikolsburg. Growing up around litvish yeshivos, I have both leanings and things I distance myself from but I certainly curb my Chassidus in a more balanced way from having this background.

I value those Rabbi’s like Aryeh Kaplan, Reb Shlomo Carlebach who considered themselves a student of Rebbe Nachman but also drew from other lights. They were also very famious teachers who were little Rebbe’s in their own way who only focused on the tachlis of outreach rather then to define themselves. Instead, the idea was to be what the people needed. If the roll to this particular person was to be their Rav, they filled this. Should the roll be needed to simply be their friend, they also filled this. If needed, they could even perform a tish and be the person’s Rebbe. This is more how I see myself. Not to mention, for them, politics in Judaism was a sin in and of itself.

If you view enough of the videos, I think you can see that I take on more of an old time Rebbe in my style. Back then, they didn’t have so many fancy Yeshivos and books, so much of the learning was taught while walking threw meddows and holy sites. Torah came forth based on the moment and feeling of the surroundings and speratic singing of nigunim always completed them or initiated. In a certain way, Torah from the Rebbe’s was more free and open. I’m beginning to think that as much as the videos have been appreciated, they will be more so in another decade when chassidus spreads more thorugh American soil. It is almost as if I am trying to teach chassidus to people who never met a Rebbe before and my style is a bit faren to them. This will change in a few years and I hope then that my Videos could be seen in yeshivos for educational purposes and be a guide book for many.

It also seems a bit strange to be teaching in this way in Israel since primarily the viewers are living in America. If I was located there, people could meet me and we could become more appart of each others lives. It would also be sooooooo much easier to fundraise and get support. I could even take on a small synagoge somewhere and with community backing, accomplish more since I could reach people directly throughout the USA. But then again, I don’t want to live in America. I would miss so many of the holy places and it is so empty there. I feel as if, somehow, I need to bring all the ilovetorah fans together and unify them online. Maybe this will be the future goal of ilovetorah. With that, I have an idea… but… how will I pull it off with 50 sheckles in my pocket for now?

July 16, 2007

Have we finished all the Galliel in videos?

Filed under: Website Kvetching — Reb Moshe @ 6:57 am

For those not familior with Torahvideo.com. I go around with my video camera and tell over stories of the greatest sages in Jewish history at their grave sites.

From my estimation, we have completed aproximately 95% of the major graves of famious Rabbi’s in the upper northern region of Israel. In about one month, we should complete close to 99%. Graves which are placed in arab towns that are more centural in those cities, I will skip over for security reasons. I am happy to say that I am at a point where I am simply crossing off the remaining Rabbi’s off of a list that is how few remain compared to how many we have already done.

July 13, 2007

Now is the Time!

Filed under: Website Kvetching — Reb Moshe @ 6:35 pm

I have just returned from the grave of Naftali and Asher. Two of the great sons of Yaakov, Jacob to do yet another TorahVideo.

Now is the time to stand behind ilovetorah, torahvideo and frumdate.com
These sites have saved thousands of Jewish lives not taking money in the process. We need your support and that doesn’t have to just be financially. On the blog you can download a advertisement to hang up in your synagogue, JCC or school. Please step forward and be apart of the making of Jewish history. Never before has anyone gone to hundreds of holy Jewish sites and filmed stories about the holy Rabbi’s. Every $1 and all effort you make into spreading these important Jewish sites makes history.

July 12, 2007

A day in Tiberias

Filed under: deep reflections — Reb Moshe @ 12:59 am

As was the way of the Baal Shem, I got in my car and headed out, letting go of the wheel, letting it take me to the place of Hashem’s desire. Well, maybe I didn’t let go of the wheel but I did follow where Hashem took me. I started out going to the mikvah of Benyamin HaTaddik on the bottom of Tzfat. From there, I was planning to take a right turn towards Meron but I took a left towards Tiberia. In Tiberia, I stopped off by Rabbi Akiva and the Ramchal. I was actually headed to Rav Chiya but missed the turn twice and therefore, I headed to familior pastures.

As you might have noticed, in very few videos do you see other people visiting the holy sites. That is because I am shy to the core when it comes making a thing of myself in public. So I decided to wait until the lady and her three wonderful Israeli children left. Not only did they stay but five minutes later another car showed up, then yet another. Within 5 minutes, a bus with 100 people also showed up. Well, at least I got to pray mincha with a minyon near the Tzaddikim but no video would be done there today. I did pray and I will share with you the contents of the prayer. To have talmedim who would be strong in Torah and fear of Hashem. Followers who would help me to learn and grow from them and would strengthen me in my missions and Torah. I recalled the four great students of Rabbi Akiva, one being Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai. The thought came to me that even for one student, the Ari Hakodesh did everything to teach Reb Chaim Vital the secrets of the Torah. For it wasn’t the Ari who would bring these Torah’s out to the people but his student Reb Chaim who would spread them. For years, I have deleted stat programs (though we are one of the most known Jewish sites in the world) from the websites in order to remind myself that it isn’t numbers but even one world which is important enough to continue teaching Torah.

After I left the Rabbi’s, I went to find my original destination, Rabbi Chiya. If you have ever driven in Israel, you would know that they put the signs to turn quite a bit before the actual place which leaves you in question if you should turn at the next street or futher down. Being anxious to see the Rabbi, I attempted both streets prior to the correct turn. Finally, I saw a large sign before the grave of the Rabbi. Then I saw 200 steps up a steep mountain. With my eyes spinning from heat and being in the car with a chassidic who thinks he drives nascar, that being me, I forced myself to see straight enough to walk.

Huffing and puffing, I think I can, I think I can, I made it up to the holy Tzaddik. I got very excited and began filming the surrounding view of the great city in preparation for a new video on Rabbi Chiya. Suddenly, I heard a car door slam from down the mountain. It was a Jew! I sat with my head down as he began reciting, one tehillim, then another and then yet another. I reminded myself that it was a great thing that a Jew came to pray but this was also not a regular person. I could tell from his presence that he was probabably the Rav of the entire city. Meanwhile, I prepared myself to give over a Torah on Rabbi Chiya and the Rabbi and I noted heads with wishes of a good evening.

Sure enough, I began filming only to notice the camera focus problem acting up as it usually does. I am not sure this camera was designed to be used this much. I have aproximately 50, 90minute tapes that have been used for TorahVideo from it. I continued the videos having to constantly check focus but I found myself relating very well to the ideas of Rabbi Chiya as you will here when the video is released. When I was finished, I placed the camera on the grave of the Tzaddik in frustration and said, “Here you fix it” walking away with my head down. I looked to Heaven and asked Hashem for a new camera and that my purpose is pure.

At this point, I had spent about an hour or more and decided to get something to eat. I ate roseta at the local mehadrin resteraunt in the city. I’m quite surpised how packed Tiberia is already when it isn’t break yet for the yeshivos.

After my meal, I was on a bit of a spiritual high so I stopped off by the Rambam, Rabbi Yochanan, Rav Asi, Rav Ami and Rav Horkenaz who are all buried in the city of Tiberia. There I met another tour bus and joined them for Marriv. Waiting for them to leave so I could do a special video there, yet another group of people came. At that point, I left and called my wife to get permission to drive to the Kotel. You see, while I was eating, I thought of a Torah on the Malchut for the Kabbalah Video series and you can’t talk about the Malchut and Shechinah without going to the Kotel.

At this point, it seemed to us more logical to return home and here I am writing about my trip while the video is being uploaded to the computer. I do wonder if I should keep a real journal of what goes on during my adventures but most of you wouldn’t believe me so I will just give it over to my son in another 20 years.

Wishing you the best in life and to know that wherever you go, Hashem is with you.

July 9, 2007

It is in the Children

Filed under: Blog Torah,deep reflections — Reb Moshe @ 3:54 am

Chazal teach us, “The Torah learning of children is what upholds the entire world”.

Parents are always wanting to get away or have some time to themselves, away from their kids. What they don’t realize is that their own completeness is through their children.

Children are the purest, sweetest and kindest beings on earth. Instead of running from their own children, parents need to run towards them. Drop down on one knee and lower themselves to these remarkable beings which only have good in their hearts. If they did that, they would find all the love and happiness in the world.

July 8, 2007

Let the prisonors be free!

Filed under: Current Events — Reb Moshe @ 5:56 pm

As a good will gesture to those poor and depressed families of the inner cities of America. President Bush has decided to release hundreds of criminals who don’t have blood on their hands. Gangster, drug dealers, armed robbery, rapist are being release today in this good will gesture in order to HELP the economy. Can you imagine if this thing happened in America? How does it happen in Israel with those who actually want to hurt and kill Jews?

July 1, 2007

Handouts for everyone to give away! WIN ilovetorah PRIZES!

Filed under: Website Kvetching — Reb Moshe @ 3:26 am

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Please my dear friends, join me in saving lives, download this advertisement for ilovetorah/torahvideo and hang them in your synagoges, schools, car windows, restaurants, mailboxes (if legal in your area) or anywhere else you can think off! 

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