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Tuesday, November 06, 2007

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The Fire of Moshiach
By Rabbi Lazer Brody

The editorial page of Breslev Israel's English website

Welcome to Breslev Israel. When I say welcome, I mean that you are truly welcome, whether you're Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, Reconstructionist, Chassidic, Sephardi, Litvish, or non-affiliated. Even if you're not Jewish at all, we're happy to greet you with a big Breslever smile – welcome, dear friend.

Jewish lore says that when Moshiach will come, everybody will claim him: The Chassidim will say, "He's ours!" The Sephardim will proclaim, "He's one of us!" The Lithuanian Jews will declare, "Can't you see that Moshiach is ours?" And so forth…

Everyone will be right. Moshiach is a kaleidoscope of many shapes and colors. Each of us will be able to relate to Moshiach, for as the tzaddik of all generations, he reflects the light of all of our souls. As such, we all see ourselves – and who we strive to be – within Moshiach.

Rebbe Nachman of Breslev said, "My fire shall burn until the coming of Moshiach." Rebbe Nachman is thereby revealing that his teachings reflect the light of Moshiach. This explains how we see such a growing assortment of people each year in Uman, when Breslever Chassidim gather together to observe Rosh Hashanna by Rebbe Nachman's holy gravesite. Uman is probably the only place in the world where you can see Ashkenazi Chassidim with their shtreimel fur hats and knee-high white socks praying alongside Yemenite Chassidim in their traditional garb. Among the Chassidim are spiritual newcomers with earrings in their ears – and in their noses. It's also not uncommon to see men with tattooed bodies in the mikva, performing a purifying ritual immersion as part of their spiritual journey home in seeking their Jewish roots. Rebbe Nachman welcomes each and every one; we here at Breslev Israel, as the pupils of Rebbe Nachman, do so as well. ...more

Monday, November 05, 2007

Jewish Life in Iran
By Daniel Maccabee and the Jmag Staff

Today life in Iran is very good for the remaining 20,000 Jews who live there. During the time of the Shah there were approximately one hundred thousand Jews, but they were subject to persecution and experienced anti-Semitism. Although you might think that the Jewish life would get worse after Khomeini and the Islamic revolution, it actually improved. The Iranian Muslims are friendly with the Jews and relations between them are good.

Many young Jews have left Iran to learn in Yeshivot, mostly in Baltimore. Jews are free to leave Iran to go anywhere, with the exception of Israel.

The Iranians recognize and respect three religions other than Islam; they recognize Judaism, Christianity and Zoroastrian. The government protects the followers of these religions and allows them to have services and run religious institutions. Other religions like the Baha'i which came after Muhammad are not recognized; therefore this religion and others that Muhammad did not know do not have government sanctions to have religions freedom. When the Shah left Iran, the religious fanatics massacred many Bahai religionists. ...more

Sunday, November 04, 2007

New learning opportunity at your own pace

Aish has developed a fantastic multimedia on-line Jewish educational resource called Jewish Pathways. You can now sit back at your leisure and learn Chumash, Jewish history, philosophy and other Jewish topics. The service is without charge for the time being.
Learning Torah has never been more convenient.

Click here to see the virtual tour.

The Ethical Will

by Rabbi Yissocher Frand

Recently, I saw a collection of ethical wills in book form. The anthology covers a span of generations, some are almost contemporary and others are from quite long ago. They have one thing in common: They are amazing documents.
One person writes, "I sit here in the still of the night, with the lamp on my desk spilling a small island of light in the silent gloom, and I do not know what to write. I had decided to write a letter to my family to be read after my passing, but I realize now that we are really not much of a family. We do not talk much to each other, and we do not have very much in common. I think I will have to write one letter to my wife and separate letters to each of my children."
Awful, isn't it? This person thought everything was going along normally in his family. And then he sat down to write an ethical will and realized that he could not address them as a group because they were not a group. They were strangers to each other. How heartbreaking. How tragic. Read more...

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

A Message of Dignity, Hope and LIFE

What if you knew you were going to die?

What lessons about life would you share with your friends and family?

This is Professor Randy Pausch's last lecture.

The Talmud says "the righteous are alive in their deaths, and the evil people are dead while alive". Life is about hard work and accomplishment in all aspects; spiritual and material, the impact that we have on all around us while living, and the legacy that we leave behind to inspire.

You won't be sorry that you took the time to watch it.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Have you ever wanted to die?

... "Depressed -- or just displaced" ...

I found the following true story very inspiring, I hope you do too.

After ten years in Israel, in Jerusalem no less, where the air gave off a white light that was suffused with a kind of holiness, I left and moved back to the United States. The whole time, I'd been studying and teaching Torah. I hadn't read an American newspaper or seen a movie (except for E.T.), let alone television, in ten years. After pickling in Jewishness in Jerusalem -- the food, the politics, the religion, the people -- I sought out the most Jewish place I could find outside of Israel: Hassidic Boro Park... Read more
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Thursday, August 23, 2007

Saturday, June 02, 2007

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