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.


  1. wow what a story rm. Id love to hear more about ur tirps witch resalt in amazing vids.

    Comment by breslevgirl — July 13, 2007 @ 5:33 am

  2. This was an amazing post. I, for one, would love and would “religiously” read an online journal of your travels. If you would start to record all of your experiences in a blog (in addition to the videos that you make), it would be both more economical and also you could compile all of the writings into an interesting book “Traveling Through Israel” or “Living with the Ancient Tzaddikim” or something. I think that would be a great benefit.

    Comment by Duvie Sharfman — July 15, 2007 @ 7:49 pm

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