September 16, 2007

Extreme Movements in Judaism Today

Filed under: Current Events — Reb Moshe @ 10:53 pm

Something which is pekuach nefesh, can save a life, is not considered loshon hara, speaking slander.

I would like to therefore speak out in warning to a few extreme movements in Judaism today.

1. Messianic Judaism. This is a movement which was created by Christians in order to convert Jews. The do many spiritual things and create a warm setting in order to draw Jews in who don’t know any better.

2. Neturay Karta. Most Orthodox Jews are against Zionism but this movement has false leadership today which draws them to make chillel Hashem, embarrass the Jewish people. In no way should one jeopardise the life of another Jew in order to demonstrate or try to prove a point.

3. Chabad King Moshiachs. I know this is a touchy point for some but it shouldn’t be. I was personally there at the levaya of the Rebbe and I stayed at the house of those who created the first flyer’s and pushed the King Moshiach movement after the Rebbe was niftar. They were not acting with daats and proper leadership. There intentions were to hold onto the dream we ALL had of the Rebbe being Moshiach. People from all movements, great gedolim and even people with little Jewish background at all, praised the Rebbe and learned his teachings while he was alive. The job of a chassid is to bring praise to ones Rebbe and spread his teachings but to cause his name to be shamed amongst all of Judaism is the worst thing a chassid could ever do for their Rebbe. This is the only thing that has been accomplished with the King Moshiach movement. We the true chassidim of the Rebbe, I am speaking for myself as well, would like his name to once again be raised with proper kavod. There are sources for a Tzaddik coming back to be moshiach but in order to have draw from these sources, one has to be a proper talmud chacham, these people were not. They lacked in true emunah, faith in Hashem so they wanted to hold onto something tangible. This is not the way to believe and teach the world about Moshiach.

4. Na Nach stuff. The entire idea of Rebbe Nachman and his teachings, in fact, all chassidus is bittle. In no way shape or form do we find this in the na nach movement. Dancing in the streets, singing, spray painting is mere foolishness. It is a very small extreme part of Breslov (less then 5%) having nothing to do with Breslov or Rebbe Nachman. The Rebbe himself stopped Rabbi Noson Z’L, his main deciple who was heading out to the marketplace to spread the Rebbe’s teaching on hisbodidus, meditation. The Rebbe grabbed him and said, “This is not the way”. You have to do things gradually and with daats. In no way, would this same Rebbe want to spread chassidus in a proud, obnoxious and loud way.

5. Egalitarian, Equal rights Judaism. They are more scary to me then Reform. Reform at least admits they are changing the laws of Judaism where this movement seems to do it quietly. Women should suddenly wear tefillin and become men while men should start to do commandments for women. We can’t recreate the Torah. Hashem understood which mitzvos were for men and which were for women. He then told us which should do what. Who are we to mess around with Hashem’s law? They feel the Torah should be equal for the women as it is to the men. What they don’t understand is that women aren’t commanded certain mitzvos because their souls are from a higher root in these aspects and simply don’t need them. It is like feeding a bodybuilder starch when their body craves protein for stronger muscles. They are simply not helping anyone…

Now in all these things mentioned, there may have been troubled people who fell into these things and found them to be a temporary relief from worse darkness but it is pekuach nefesh, the saving of ones life to pull oneself out of the extremes and be a balanced person for the new year. I am sure I have offended someone but if I have, Boruch Hashem, may it lead you from darkness to light. In extremes there is either total darkness or too much light. I love you all and hope we can still become better friends and learn from another.

10 days of Repentance Prayer

Filed under: Blog Torah — Reb Moshe @ 12:59 am

Dear Master of the World,
Father,

Thank you for creating us to be your children. As your children we wanted to explain some of our behavior this past year. Just like a child does something wrong not for the physical pleasure of the thing itself but only to get their parents attention, so too, we made some wrongdoings. We sinned because when we had done many mitzvos, you didn’t show us the reward or extra attention that we were seeking. Of cousre we know it is wrong to sin and misbehave but we only did so in order to know You were still watching us.

Now having just experienced a revelation of Your Glory, we fear the punishment of our many sins. Of course we would never have sinned against you should we have not been at the same time really seeking you out. Therefore, we wish that You remember that we are only dust and ashes. Like children, we need Your love now more then ever.

Please Hashem, as You always do, embrase us with Your lovingkindness during these days of repentance. Show us Your Glory and kindness. Just like we, beney Yisrael will look to You as our One, Only True Father, so too, look at us as your simply children of dust and ashes, seeing only our good and yearning to have the attention and embrase of our Father.

September 12, 2007

Final Blog of the Year!

Filed under: Blog Torah — Reb Moshe @ 6:10 pm

As you know, this past year I have traveled to hundreds of Tzaddikim, Sages graves in Israel. Amoung them were Prophits, Tannaim, Amarim, Rebbes and some of the greatest Jewish authors. I have been to Uman for Rosh Hashanah seven times and to other Rebbes for Rosh Hashanah. It is a great tradition for a person to visit Tzaddikim and especially their Rebbe during holidays.

For those that say that one has to be next to a Rabbi’s grave in order to draw from their light are naive. Only part of the soul of a Tzaddik rests in the grave while their main soul is in the Garden of Eden. Visiting the Rabbi’s grave enables a person to feel some of the spark and holiness that this Rabbi has earned through his hard work and devotion to Hashem. Once there, a person’s entire mind is infused by the Rabbi’s holiness and in some way they feel his greatness. Through this inspiration, one is able to see clearly their life and wrongdoings.

In this same way, one must understand the power of the moach, mind. “Anywhere a person places their thoughts, that is where all of them is.” Baal Shem Tov. Therefore, even while visiting the physical grave of the Rabbi and then feeling their presence there is only a small part in the idea of drawing from their light. One must infuse themselves with the thought of the Rabbi’s holiness and draw from the full spiritual aspect of their soul in the Garden of Eden. This in fact can be a higher level then one who visits the Tzaddik physically but is not able to properly draw from him due to various reasons.

A wish you all a Happy New Year and to be blessed with a good moach, a holy mind that can travel to holy places and truly connect to the Tzaddikim in all places.

September 11, 2007

New Year Blessings & Wishes /Don’t miss it!

Filed under: Website Kvetching — Reb Moshe @ 8:58 pm

moses2.gifI wish you all a blessed new year where your hearts and souls should feel completeness. You should have much nachas from family, friends and even those you don’t know. A true beloved year is when we learn to enjoy the simcha, joy of others and share in their ups and downs. Being there for another Jew, including ones spouse, sibling, children and friends, will bring us the much needed fulfilment in our lives.

As a Reb who gets hundreds of serious mail and thousands of spam, I would like to apologize for those I might have failed to answer or whose souls were left unquenched due to my lack of wholesome response. I can’t always get to everyone and I wish I could write you all a personal letter of New Year Blessings but instead, I carry you all in my heart and very bones always. May we celebrate many simchas together this coming year! May all of our sadness turn to Joy. The loneliness of our hearts be filled with precious gems of “Knowing Hashem”.

I ask forgiveness for all my spelling errors and for singing way too much on videos this last year. I’m sorry for long introductions and short endings. Please forgive me for all the poor sound quality and wind noise. There were times when my payis had a mind of their own and other instances when I spoke on tangents. I’m sorry for the constant kvetch about needed donations and my obsession with chocolate. I think I drank way too little liquor this past year and for this I apologize as well. It would have relaxed me and allowed me to edit the videos with more spunk. I’m sorry to my wife for putting her second to thousands of really cute neshamos. Most of all, I apologize to family and friends from America whom I lost my cool when they would phone me in the middle of the night. I should have been more understanding. I’m sorry to all the little bugs that were killed on my windshield this last year while driving. I deeply regret how I treated the holy ants, mosquitoes and flees of Israel with toxic fragrances.

I’m sorry for blowing my nose in the mikvah.
I’m sorry for all the food I burnt.
I’m sorry for ruining the ozone layer with the toxic fumes from my exhaust.
I’m sorry for not saying Hello to you on the street even though I didn’t know you.
I’m sorry for eating milk products when I am lactose intolerant.
I’m sorry for missing a note or two.
I’m sorry for not finishing video series and classes while moving on to new ones.

Most of all, I am sorry you all can’t be with me for Rosh Hashanah…
Love you,
Reb Moshe

p.s.
Video from my trip to uman last year for Rosh Hashanah

p.p.s.
Live Video feed from Uman

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.

September 9, 2007

Before there was Internet Video

Filed under: Website Kvetching — Reb Moshe @ 1:17 am

About 16 years ago before Internet really existed, Rabbi Aryeh Zuckerman and I were speaking about making Torah videos of shirim. He may have been one of the first to film a Torah shir with his old Analog Video Camera and I may have been to the first to watch one.

A few years followed and then I became the first person to do video teachings and classes online. That is, on purpose. There was one website that managed to upload a couple of various one time shirim from their local community but when i say managed, I mean it! You have no idea how hard it was to put up a video online some 12 years ago. The largest you made a video file was 320-240 and it had lots of static. It also had to be short and it took sometimes minutes to load, not to mention the videos would always freeze on people.

So here we are years later. Right now I hold the record for the most video shirim online but it won’t last long. Every week a new video shirim site is coming out and maybe some of you will enjoy these videos instead of mine. At the same time though, as more and more people make these Torah videos and competition grows, more people will get used to learning from video shirim and it shall grow for us all. So who will come out with the next video shirim site this week?

September 6, 2007

80% of Frum Sites Unsnius & not Kosher enough!

Filed under: Current Events — Reb Moshe @ 3:32 am

Obviously, there is much good and many lives that have been saved by Torah and frumkite on the Internet but even after saving all these lives, we must still reflect on the grounds we tread on.

Let the truth be said that at least 80% of Frum Sites are Unsnius & not Kosher enough to frum standards. This would even make a few parts of my own work somewhat questionable. So if 80% of the frum sites are not so kosher and 99% of the non-religious sites are not kosher that would mean that having the Internet in ones home is totally questionable. Now this is speaking just about Jewish sites, if we were to add non-Jewish sites, well, lets not even go there.

This being said, there is an answer to this problem but it is going to step on many peoples toes, maybe even my own since much of my sites are outreach. There needs to be a kosherous committee online giving out heksharim on the different sites as too what may or may not be harmful in some way. The Chassidish heksure would be more stricter on photos of immodest women on frum sites while some more modern online heksharim might permit some of this. This has to happen and it has to happen immediately to protect Klal Yisrael. Just banning the Internet obviously doesn’t work since the majority of the frum world are not deterred by this. Now we must at the very least project them from our own material. I could start naming frum organizations left and right that have put out material which is totally borderline permitted. Not to mention we have a total loshon hara crisis on our hands with many blogs and frum news sites. Especially where people can post comments on articles and forums.

Our schools and communities have not really adiquately taught laws of modesty so we are thereby not only negligant in this matter but most are unable to make a judgement call as too what is proper viewing for themselves or not. Most Bal Teshuvas are never really taught this by those who mekariv them or teach them. It is one thing for the internet in general to be a stumbling block but frum sites must try to be above this. On the one hand we have a head Rabbi from an organization banning internet completely and then on the other hand, in order to raise money and bring in students, they also have a place on the web. One could argue that they need to be visible and I personally agree with this but then they also must take a step forward to monitor the kashorous of all frum internet besides discouraging it to their followers.

Feel Free to publish this blog blurb and give credit to Reb Moshe at www.ilovetorah.com

Unto thy Husband Shall be your Desire

Filed under: Blog Torah — Reb Moshe @ 2:52 am

lechayim2.gif“Unto thy Husband Shall be your Desire, and he shall rule over thee.” (Bereshis 3.16)

A man often asks the question, “How come my spouse doesn’t honor and respect me”. This is because the first part of this posuk also applies to the man. If he takes a women to be his wife, he must desire her and her alone. When he has thoughts and desires of another, even if trivial, then the second part of this posuk is not fulfilled. He does not rule over her. She doesn’t respect him or bring him joy. “This is because she may not physically see her husbands desire for another but her neshamah, soul feels it inside and she looses respect, rejecting him.” (Rav Mann of Tzfat) As he has pushed her away in his heart to make room for another, even if only by desire alone, she pushes him away as well. He becomes more angry because of this and casts her away as a bad wife when really it is all him. The women is simply a reflection of his actions. He is the Keter while she is the Malchut. It is his job to bring light and joy down to her while she accepts it, thereby returning it. If he blocks this light, she is empty and can no longer return this light. This is because the moon is simply a reflection of the suns light and gives forth its own light because of the sun.

A man never wants to hear it but usually it is his fault when a relationship fails. He blocked the light or stopped giving which in turn stopped her. A women’s essence is to return light in abundance. It is like an alternator, once the battery turns on the car giving power to the alternator, the alternator keeps giving forth more and more energy. The battery no longer needs to give anything to keep the car running. You can even remove it from the vehicle. The same thing with a man, he only needs to start the chesed and joy in the home and she will continue it as that is her nature.

Everything stated here also applies to those single who hold onto relationships which are of no tachlus, purpose. They feel this keeps them from loneliness while the truth is, it draws them further from their true bashert.

September 5, 2007

Calling Musical Talent

Filed under: Website Kvetching — Reb Moshe @ 11:54 pm

I just fixed up the sound studio here. If anyone wants to share their musical talent, you could send me some background Jewish music that I could sing too as some intro music to the videos. My wife is so busy lately that she doesn’t have the chance to produce so many new songs and when she does, they are so good that it takes me a long time to lay down the audio tracks to it. Sometimes I could use some simple pieces to sing too.

My own prayers for the new year

Filed under: What can we do? — Reb Moshe @ 4:25 am

For myself:
To be able to teach Torah full time, writing sefarim and doing Videos. Not needing to worry about editing either but having others do this for me so I can teach full time. My family to be healthy and do well in school. To make wholesome friendships with others that are true and real. Id like to learn Torah well and have many guests. I would like to take more interesting trips to unravel more of Eretz Yisrael and not feel like I have to rush everything just to have time.

For the World:
I would like to meet more Tzaddikim and new faces. I pray that Hashem removes the sadness and loneliness from the hearts of his children. That people should not have so many worries of parnasa, money. There shouldn’t be so much illness in the world, especially chronic problems. I pray that people should not look down on others and begin to appreciate one another.

September 4, 2007

Hidden Torah Talent

Filed under: Blog Torah — Reb Moshe @ 8:47 am

I think most people have far more abilities in spreading torah and chesed then they realize. Sometimes it takes Hashem putting a person in an unavoidable situation for them to learn about their own powers. When I was a kid, I made up a term called, “makapowers”. Whenever I screamed, “makapower”, I was able to get things done, so to speak. Granted, this was when I was about 6 years old but even today, sometimes I need to draw from the “makapower” place.

I hope that all of you look deep within yourself to find out what you are truly made off. Stretch yourself a bit, go where you haven’t gone before and bring some extra life force around you. After-all, isn’t this our test each day, to reach beyond our general merits and pull of something spectacular. Usually, we fold up and pass on the opportunity unless forced in it but how about we learn to attack all obstacles instead. How about we try something new!

September 2, 2007

The Real Chesed

Filed under: Blog Torah — Reb Moshe @ 10:34 pm

Have you ever taken a full day and devoted it to your friend to help them? We are told that the time period before Moshiach is for Gemilas Chasadim, doing good deals to another. This means, taking no personal benefit but simply giving yourself fully to someone elser. We are in this time period now but few seem to be able to totally give to another in this subjective way. It is quite a pity as the physical and spiritual benefits from doing so would far outway most other mitzvos. So here I am remind all of us that the zeman for this type of chesed, kindness is NOW. So forget about yourself and just give!

Gedalya Update

Filed under: Website Kvetching — Reb Moshe @ 10:01 pm

Mom and baby are still in the hospital recovering from surgery. It is still just me and the boys here. The physical therapist came and worked his arm and it started bleeding so they restitched him today putting on a cast. We are not sure when they will be able to come home, tomorrow or another week. I am loosing a lot of time from work and doing the sites. The kids and I did make it to Meron today for Mincha and Tehillim.