October 8, 2007

How powerful is the Kabbalah truly?

Filed under: Blog Torah — Reb Moshe @ 3:11 am

Can you imagine if all the scary films you have seen over the years were true? That man could really fly or become very strong? With a single word, a man could freeze in mid air any person or animal? Certainly, the mere thought of this makes you want to cast the writer of these extreme words into oblivian. But you see, one who is wise, who understands the powers of the letters of the Aleph-Bais and prayer, must know that this is no simple matter. In fact, we learn from the Talmud, even the simple Tana was able to bring a man back to life. So, why am I telling you all this? Am I trying to spook you here on my blog, na… I am simply bored at the moment. So… back to work:) See you all later!

Letters written by themselves

Filed under: Blog Torah — Reb Moshe @ 3:03 am

If only a blog could write itself. One would mearly think the thoughts and they would come the computer. Maybe the next invention from Microsoft?

There is actually an ancient segulah which I will share a few details of. The Sage would write a few specific words (obviously not going to tell you which holy words) on klaf, scroll and then write a few lines of the Torah topic he was going to teach and place the paper folded up in a box. He would then put the box in a small room and close the door. When he would return, he would find the entire teaching on the paper written for him.

The Sage obviously only did this totally for Hashem. If only our lives were enough for the sake of Heaven that we could even merely consider such an action.

My Music Background

Filed under: My childhood, What went wrong, What went right? — Reb Moshe @ 2:14 am

My father as a teen worked for Radio City Music Hall and CBS. His music teacher thought he was a genius as he not only played music by ear but he had perfect pitch. I remember him once tuning a friends piano by ear. It was a sad thing for my family when we gave away an theater organ he had put together himself. Quite literally, my father could name any classical or new age music from 2-3 notes.

As a child, I was taught to hear the difference between Bach, Chopin, Vivaldi and to appreciate musical talent. Having heard music in my house from sunrise to sunset, I simply rebelled from this older sound until life’s pressures helped me to appreciate the music of my father. During my rebellion, I learned to appreciate literally every musical art form and it is quite funny that in the end, today, my favorite composer is Bach.

Maybe it was because my father couldn’t hold a note with his voice even if his life was dependent on it, that he lived this dream through me. I was the only one singing songs Friday Night on Shabbos in my home. It was always my fathers wish that I would one day become a cantor. Well, I probably need a bit of brush up for something like that:)

My Uncle and Grandmother played the mandolin. Since they grew up as Gerer Chassidim, the music they played was primarily nigunim they heard from their fathers table. My greatgrandfather, Gedalya Aharon was known for his Hachnasas Orchim. He would invite Polish Soldiers to dine with them on shabbos.

My mother played the flute when she was in her teens. Over the years, I had tried to take lessons from my parents in piano and Flute but what can I say? I had learned to read notes and play a little but I was distracted by sports. In my early 20’s, I learned viola from the top musician in the Baltimore Symphony. She taught me for free, so great was her love of music. Unfortunately, during that age period, I simply didn’t have the time to travel back and forth for lessons. It was a 1 hour trip each way by horse and buggy (okay, maybe I am not that old).

So leaving my favorite instrument, the viola aside (second favorite piano played only on a Baldwin, Third soprano sax), I tried living my dream through my wife. She is a piano composer who plays by ear and you have heard many of her compositions on the site.

As far as my singing, I used to sing all the time as a boy but I had stopped when people made comments about my voice when I was about 10. From that day on, I never sang in public ever again until I was 20 years old. For me, getting my first car meant having a place to sing. I believe there was a few Shabbos meals that I sang quite literally, about 7 hours straight. Granted, I was the only one left at the table the last 4 of those hours. If you asked my sister, what she remembers about my suidos on Shabbos, she would say, “He made me sit through all of it. Hours and hours of singing”.

I now face an interesting crossroads. I’m tired of pushing others to play music for me so I can sing accompaniment. I could try to live my dream through my children but will it truly quench my thirst for music? I’m also not satisfied with the music I hear today so I find myself flipping through 100 songs before I listen to anything. Therefore, it is time to restring up the guitars and learn some cords! I think you guys are tired of some classical song with acoustic but it is time to wipe off the dust from the electric. So, I ask of all of you, Please pray that I can play! Cause for me, playing music with my hands has simply never worked out all that well.

Today, if you offered me a CD from Mozitz, I would trade you many contemporary musicians in exchange. I have learned that the greatest music in the world is the ones that were composed with the thought, I want to come closer to Hashem this very moment. Today, many artists play for the sound itself, rather then trying to just let the sound lead them (closer to Hashem). I find this myself. Many times after I finish singing on Torah Video, I turn off the camera and then start singing totally for my neshamah not worrying about hitting or missing a note. This truly is the music that should be on the videos and not the ones that are song to please the ear instead of the soul.

On a positive note, the home sound studio is setup. Shure and Audio Technica Recording mics. Professional Sound car, Amp (could use a 2 tube amp), and my Bose speakers I reclaimed from my wife (put this in your marriage contract, sound system stays in the mans office). Now I pray for available time!

Inspired by the Succah, I want to write another book

Filed under: Website Kvetching — Reb Moshe @ 1:45 am

Inspired by the Succah, I want to write a new book this year. In fact, I am literally bursting to write again. But who writes another book when a half dozen books are already awaiting interested publishers and editors. Well, honestly, most Rabbi’s 300 years ago suffered tremendous obstacles in order to print their holy writings. The most extreme of these cases were Sages like the Ramchal whose books were burnt by fellow Jews due to opposition to his writings. This is besides the fact that in most Providences, it was illegal to print Jewish Religious writings. So what will the future hold for my works? I have no clue…

One thing is for sure, by being online for many years, more people have read and enjoyed my books then most writings printed today. I have received at least 300 messages from viewers who have read the sefer Kavanos Halev and they had all stated it had saved their life. Before all the videos in Israel, the books were one of the most popular features of the site.

So what is the topic of the new book? I can’t tell you. I haven’t even told my wife yet. I had scanned all my sefarim shelves the last day of Succos and on Simchas Torah looking for something that would quench a specific Torah search and didn’t find it. Therefore, I thought, maybe I need to write something like this.

October 3, 2007

2 Learning Together Brings the Shechinah

Filed under: Blog Torah — Reb Moshe @ 4:11 am

(Part of My Sefer, Book, “The Forgotten Torah”. Can be found on main page of ilovetorah)
Rav Chanina ben Tardon says that if two people are sitting and learning together, the Shechinah rests between them. Id like to say that the same is true of one who properly knows how to learn according to the secret of neshika, the kiss of the Tzaddik (as it is called). Rav Simcha Bunim, once came to the Yid Hakodesh and complained that a Rebbe, teacher of his insulted him. Rav Yaakov Yitzchok was so upset that he demanded to know who it was. Rav Simcha responded, it was such and such a person… The person he mentioned was the mussar author of the book he was studying. So well did he understand the concept of neshika that he literally believed he was getting direct rebuke from the author himself. The Yid Hakodesh, his Rebbe, was then very happy to hear this.

Reb David of Lelov was once walking in the Bais Medresh as his son was learning. He closed his Gemarah, Talmud. Puzzled, the young Torah prodegy asked why. His father responded, “If you do not see the Tzaddik and author standing before you while you learn his advice, you are simply not learning properly.

So tonight in the Succah, when I saw this teaching from Rav Chaninah, I knew that it would be impossible for the Shechinah, Divine Presence, not to rest upon such a person. If the Shechinah rests when you study with mere flesh and blood, how much more so must it dwell when you learn in the holy way of neshka. That is alone but with the vision of the author himself.

October 2, 2007

Succos Live Music Concert!

Filed under: Website Kvetching — Reb Moshe @ 7:38 pm

I just got back from doing a live video concert in the succah with a special musical guest, Avraham Mayer! Enjoy this exciting Video!

Divrey Torah,
New Songs,
Guitar, Singing, &
Laughing

Succos… then… only after… Simchas Torah

Filed under: Blog Torah — Reb Moshe @ 2:07 pm

(Okay, I had to take my laptop to the Sukkah for this Divar Torah)
Now that we learned that Hashem is One in Heaven and Earth through the Yom Tov of Succos, only now can we truly appreciate the Torah. If we don’t recall the exodus. Should we have forgotten the difficult times in our life when we turned to Hashem and He, only He answered us, we would not be able to realize what we have in the Torah.

We have finally shredded our impurities and we are ready to rejoice in what we have, the greatest possession, the Torah! You know, all the other holidays we are too be thinking about others. We are too give of ourselves and be giving people but simchas Torah… Simchas Torah is me receiving. It is about me and only me. All I want is to hold the Torah. I want to dance before its glory and the glory of Hashem. I’m a Jew and not a heathen.

When we dance on simchas Torah, even if we came from total impurities all our lives, the angel’s of hosts move aside and are unable to block us from dancing before the Throne of Hashem. If a child decides it wants its mommy, nothing, nothing, will stand in its way. Nothing will stand in our way so strong is our desire to dance before Hashem and the Torah. In fact, so holy is this Yom Tov of simchas Torah that you don’t even need the Torah at hand. There we times in my childhood that all I had on Yom Tov was a little Chumash, Bible and even this was enough to break down all the barriers separating me from Hashem. There were even Jews in the holocoast that didn’t even have a book with them, nebach. Do you think they didn’t celebrate simchas Torah? In their hearts, with their very bones which represented the Torah and Judaism, they danced.

You know, on Shabbos, everyone goes to see the Rebbe as he dances Boie VShalom. They all climb and peak over one anothers shoulders trying to get a glimpse ah but in the back of the Shul, there is a holy Yiddalah. He doesn’t need to peak. He just closes his eyes…

People think they see the most when they open their eyes but if only they closed them. When King David said, “And all my bones will shake before You”. When all those onlookers saw him dancing before the Mishkan, it was only those who closed their eyes that really saw… You don’t have to move a finger in order to fulfil the posuk, and all my bones will shake. In fact, you don’t have to move the entire Yom Tov of Simchas Torah to dance with the Torah. You simply have to know that Hashem is One and… your soul will automaticly rejoice far more then your physical limbs could ever go. So now… close your eyes and take yourself before the Throne of Glory and dance before Hashem…

May you have a happy and healthy Yom Tov of Simchas Torah!

The flying Succah

Filed under: Mishaps/tests/U name it — Reb Moshe @ 3:37 am

Tzfat is known as the windy city in Israel. Tonight while I was inside writing to all my holy friends on myspace when a succah from 30 feet above me flew in the air and crashed missing my succah by inches. If I was in the succah and it hit it, I would have been hurt. Now I have learned an important lesson, “check your friends succah, lest you Die!”

What you can only see in the Succah!

Filed under: Blog Torah — Reb Moshe @ 2:47 am

What is up is really down and what is down is really up but you can’t see this unless you leave this world and taste a bit of the world to come. The succah is just this, it is Hashem teasing us and saying, “Look, I know you have never really seen what real reward is but I am going to hide it in the holiday of Succot. While you think the holiday is only what the Sages taught you, to remember the going out of Exile and that I put you in booths, really this is a cover up.

Whether a person is rich, poor, popular, holy or impure, the Succah takes us out of this world and into a world of clear vision. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you are. You will leave the confines of your home and false sense of security and go spend these days outside in a simple hut. It is there that you will see who you really are and that all else besides the fact that, Hashem is One, simply doesn’t matter.

The only place the Avos, Avraham, Yitzchok, Yaakov, Yosef, Moshe, Aharon, Dovid would visit would be a spiritual place with no vanities of this world. They are coming into your Succah because your Succah isn’t real. It doesn’t exist. Vanity of this world doesn’t either. The only thing that exists in the World to Come is, Hashem is One. The Talmud teaches us, it is there that the Tzaddikim, Sages will point with their finger and say, This is Hashem. He is One. Now we can do that too but soon this wonderful holiday will be over and we won’t be able to see clearly anymore. That is, unless we have truly learned the lesson of Succos. Which is, the world is total vanity. You have to take yourself and live in a world that others don’t know. A world that Hashem is totally One and His Name is One.

October 1, 2007

Upcoming Site plans!

Filed under: Website Kvetching — Reb Moshe @ 3:47 am

1. I just bought a mp3 recording watch to start a journal of torahvideo trips for the blog. Would give a more private insight into my trips.
2. I am reduing myspace layout to be state of the art.
3. I might begin to advertise my website design and creation. Just don’t know how much time I have but I do need to eat.
4. I want to look into publishing the books again but I do need to find some chesedich editor to help me first.
5. I plan to go on more thrill seeking video trips. I am not sure you want to know more yet…
6. I need to train my 4 year old to capture the video for me and film, lol, joking…
7. I setup the recording studio so now I just need to begin recording. I am looking for a good guitar player from anywhere in the world.
8. I can’t keep up with uploading the videos everywhere, maybe everyone can randomly start uploading if they are bored.
9. As soon as we get some more donations in, I want to start advertising torahvideo.com. It has never really been pushed before.
10. I need a tanis debor.
11. I am transferring video footage from Lakewood. I will put up more family videos if everyone would like. Starting with the pidyon haben.
12. I am launching a new as Reb Moshe site soon with archives of years of questions & to ask new questions that will show up in a online database.

THE DOWN SIDE

1. Video Camera is broke with focus problems, must be replaced with a professional unit.
2. Must still finish upgrading video sound to wireless to get rid of noise. I have bought the transmitter, now I need a good wireless mic.
3. I have filled up 1000 gigs of hard drive space. I need another 500gig right away. No money for this.
4. The Dedicated server must be upgraded before we loose all material. I need monthly commitments to pull this off.
5. Wife and baby haven’t been so well lately so I am becoming broke with no time to work for $$$ and not much time to film.
6. I need someone in charge of advertising, paying job by commission.