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      Lazer Beams
      by Rabbi Lazer Brody
      Rabbi Lazer Brody looks at the world through eyes of emuna.
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      Best-selling author, speaker, and spiritual guide, Rabbi Lazer Brody came to Israel from the USA in 1970 after graduating from the University of Maryland’s College of Agriculture. He is a veteran of an elite IDF Unit, having served for nearly thirty years in the regular army and in the IDF reserves. Rabbi Brody pens the award-winning Lazer Beams weblog, is the editor of Breslev Israel web magazine, and the author of The Trail to Tranquility. His English translation of Rabbi Shalom Arush's international bestseller The Garden of Emuna has sold over a million copies. Rabbi Brody is also a musical composer; his Calming Waters is a collection of his original relaxing instrumental melodies and Judean Dream is an album of "Land-of-Israel" music recorded together with Guy Tzvi Mintz and Yosef Karduner. Rabbi Brody spends considerable time traveling around the world spreading the light of emuna.

      Iyar 11, 5772, 5/3/2012

      Time for Elections?


      Everything is perfect in Israel.

      There is no unemployment.

      There is no lack of housing.

      There's no crime; there are no thousands of illegal Sudani immigrants all over the country.

      Our politicians are all people of upright morals. None of them have pending investigations or corruption charges filed against them.

      No one in Judea or Samaria is about to lose their home, G-d forbid, and everything in Migron is hunky dorry.

      There's no violence or drugs in secular Israeli schools. 

      Hizbolla, Syria, and Hamas don't have tens of thousands of rockets aimed at Israel.

      Abu Mazan's favorite media source is Arutz 7.

      The 300 rockets that fell in the south of Israel last month was really a Disney sound and light show.

      Iran never dreamed of threatening us. The Iranian national anthem has been changed to "Hava Nagila" because they love us so much.

      But we're now going to throw our country into turmoil with elections.

      And it's all the Haredis' fault. They don't serve in the army. They don't like our soldiers. They don't pay taxes.

      * * * * *

      You, dear reader are an individual of intelligence. You realize that all the above is satire. But, all the politicians from all the parties, both right and left, are feeding outright racist anti-Haredi garbage to what they think is a gullible and brainless electorate in order to be elected. That's sad.

      Too bad; we won't be discouraged and we'll keep on spreading emuna. That's the real key to our success, not the silly elections.







      Iyar 2, 5772, 4/24/2012

      A Befitting Memorial for our Fallen Soldiers


      We owe them a debt that no material sum or commodity can repay.

      Their blood spilled so that our blood can continue flowing in our veins.

      The enemy's bullets and warheads never discerned between black Jews or white Jews, religious Jews or non-religious Jews, right-wing Jews or left-wing Jews. All were maimed and killed equally.

      Our beloved fallen martyrs of Ashkenazic and Sefardic descent fought side by side. Kibbutzniks from the Shomer haTzair served in the same squads with bearded Yeshiva graduates. Ethiopian, Russian, and Israeli-born Jews went up in flames together in the same burning tanks.

      What can be the most befitting memorial for them?

      They died together. In their loving memory, may we live together. Decide that from this moment on, you'll love every fellow Jew no matter what. Let's all commit to fulfilling the mitzva of Ahavat Yisrael in honor of our martyred soldiers of sacred memory. Our very future depends on it.







      Nisan 28, 5772, 4/20/2012

      Could there be a Holocaust in today's USA?


      I certainly couldn't run for office after writing the following thoughts, for they won't garner popularity. But, these are things that need to be said and heard. Don't say in a few years, "we had no idea..." 

      Rabbi Shalom Arush said last year, “Those who don't come to Israel while they still can may be lucky to escape from the USA with a plastic bag and a pair of pajamas.” For the last two years now, Rabbi Shalom has been urging our brothers and sisters in the diaspora to come home to the Land of Israel. Following his recent call, which I echo on every forum possible including my weekly radio show on Israel National Radio, many of our readers and listeners in the USA and Canada asked their spiritual leaders – including some of North America’s foremost Rebbes and Rosh Yeshivas – if our urgent call to make aliya (move to Israel) should be taken seriously.

       
      Our various readers sent us the answers that they received from their respective spiritual leaders, who ranged from Sephardi Kabbalists and Chassidic Rebbes to the heads of Lithuanian yeshivas. Suddenly, former proponents of opposite schools of thought were reaching an amazing consensus, telling the members of their respective communities, “Stay here in America! The crazy Breslevers from Israel are alarmists. There’s nothing to worry about…”
       
      Spiritual leaders must know that Hashem holds them completely accountable for everything they say. They bear the responsibility for the spiritual future of every family that they discouraged from coming to Israel.
        
      Alarmists? Nothing to worry about? I wonder how many rabbis in pre-Holocaust Germany and Poland told their congregations the same thing…
       
      Even though our ongoing war against Jewish assimilation around the globe is no secret, I personally did not realize the mega-catastrophic magnitude of the ongoing "benevolent" Holocaust in the USA, until I received the following email from Arthur Englard, may Hashem bless him always:
       
      Dear Rav Brody:
       
      I recently discovered your web site and I find many of the things you say to be fascinating. In one of your past postings on Lazer Beams you talk about how the American Jewish population in the United States has gone from 6.1 million in 1970 to 5.2 million in 2000 which is a tragic loss of about 300,000 souls a decade. The reality is, that the ongoing holocaust in the United States is much worse than that. The National Jewish Population Survey of 1990 claimed that there were 5.5 million Jews in the the USA while in 2000 the NJPS found 5.2 million Jews or a loss of 300,000 souls. However, during the decade of the 90's, 200,000 Jews from the former Soviet Union came to the USA and that would mean that we actually lost 500,000 souls during that decade - 50,000 a year - 1000 a week.
       


      In addition, when they counted Jews in 1970, they counted only Halachic Jews but the NJPS survey of 2000 also counts people who only have a Jewish father as full Jews. The reality is that when you count Halachic Jews in the USA the number approaches 4 million. This means that in 30 years, we lost 2 million precious souls. Sincerely, Arthur Englard
       
      When I checked up on Arthur's figures, I found them accurate. Out of the 5.2 million people who called themselves Jews in the NJPS census of 2000, only 4.3 million are Jewish according to Halacha, or Jewish law, as opposed to 6.1 million in 1971. As Arthur noted, when we add the 200,000 Russian Jews who came to America, that means that 2 million Jewish souls have vanished from the face of the earth in the last 3 decades of the American Holocaust. Future generations will demand to know why most of the Jewish world did and said nothing to prevent this.
       
      Rebbe Nachman of Breslev cried and screamed against secular education. He warned us that it would bring calamity on our people. Non-Jewish ideas lead to non-Jewish wives, and non-Jewish wives bear non-Jewish children. Hitler killed bodies, but assimilation and intermarriage kill Jewish souls; the latter is a much greater tragedy. The soul of a martyr can return in a different body, but the souls lost to assimilation die an eternal death; nothing could be more tragic.
       
      Let's put things in their proper proportion: In three decades, we've lost 2 million Jews. Israel - with all the wars and the terror combined, considering both civilian and military deaths - has lost a total of 21,908 Jewish martyrs since 1948. In other words, 3 decades of the American Jewish holocaust has claimed 100 times more victims than five-and-a-half decades of Israel's ongoing struggle with the Arabs.
       

      Historically, Jewish cultural assimilation has always invoked physical annihilation. When we don't stop the assimilation holocaust by returning to Hashem with all our hearts, then a tyrant rises to do the job for us, G-d forbid. Each of us must be an ambassador of Outreach to do what he or she can to stop the catastrophe of assimilation.
       
      We must strengthen the home, for the slightest deviation in a minor Jewish custom today can lead to intermarriage tomorrow. As in navigation, a minor error of a mere two degrees becomes an error of 2 miles in the course of a mere 60 miles of flight. For a pilot, that could mean dumping his bombs on the wrong target. For that reason, the Torah warns us not to deviate in the slightest - neither to the right nor to the left - from what our sages tell us to do.
       
      You can't send your child to public school or university and then complain about his or her desire to marry the nice guy or girl in the adjacent seat. You can't fill your child's head with non-Jewish ideals while pumping his or her tender mind with TV, DVD's, and Internet, and then expect them to be a Chatzkel Levinstein or a Sara Schnirrer. The best way to stop assimilation, to save Jewish souls, and to raise upright, strong, and G-d-fearing Jews is to give your children an emuna-oriented Torah education and to remove all Amalekite influence from your home. There is no place on earth more conducive to doing so than the holy Land of Israel.
       
      In America alone, we are losing some 100 Jewish souls every day! 
       
      Esteemed spiritual leaders of America, are you still adamant in keeping your spiritual flocks close to you in Lakewood, Great Neck, Williamsburg, Golders Green and Toronto? Are you willing to bear the responsibility for the continued spiritual holocaust? No, you can’t hide your face in a Gemara or Zohar and pretend that you don’t see what’s going on around you.
       
      Now, would you like to know why I believe that the redemption of our people is so imminent? At the rate we're going, pretty soon there won't be anyone left to redeem, G-d forbid. Hashem, עד מתי, until when? Hashem, you must send Moshiach - now!
       
      Update:
        
      Dear Rabbi Lazer: Just to clarify that the number is higher than what you are mentioning.  You are missing the growth since 1970, if there would not have been any assimilation.  This could easily be another million or more. You are an inspiration to many here outside of Israel. Thanks, Isaac Shalom & Family, Hollywood, Florida, USA
       
      My blessings and thanks to Isaac and family, who are 100% correct. Taking Jewish growth into account, especially the growth in Orthodox and Haredi communities, the picture of assimilation is much gloomier than what I had originally painted. So, in actuality, we've lost some 3.2 million souls since 1970, when adding the additional estimated 200,000 that have been lost since the NPJS census of 2000.
       
      It’s time to come home to the Land of Emuna – Eretz Yisrael. Think about it, while you still have the option.
       
      (Our appreciation to Breslev Israel Magazine. We also invite you to visit Rabbi Lazer Brody’s award-winning daily web journal, “Lazer Beams”)








      Adar 25, 5772, 3/19/2012

      Where's the Deterrence: National Self-Assessment


      The worst form of blindness is spiritual blindness, where a person refuses to use the gift of his eyes for the purpose that Hashem intended. Hashem is bombarding us with messages, but the overwhelming majority fails to see. I don't enjoy being the wake-up megaphone, but there's no choice. It's time to put aside the iPods and the Chinese restaurants, and to realize that our people have entered a period of greatest danger.

      The Holy "Ohr Hachaim" - Rabbi Chaim ben Attar - writes that the generation survives by virtue of its tzaddikim. When a tzaddik dies, it's not because of his own misdeeds, Heaven forbid; he dies as a korban chataat, a holy flawless sin-offering that atones for the generation, tantamount to a ritual sacrifice in the Holy Temple, may it be rebuilt soon, amen.

      The above concept alone is enough to stimulate anyone from spiritual slumber. This past month alone, our people have lost 3 holy tzaddikim - the Mirrer Rosh Yeshiva, the Nodvorner Rebbe, and the Vizhnitzer Rebbe, all of saintly and blessed memory. And as we write these words, Rabbi Chaim Pinchas Scheinberg and Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv - both spiritual pillars that this generation stands on - are fighting for their lives.

      We the Jewish People defy nature. Hashem has shown his compassion by enabling Rabbis Scheinberg and Elyashiv - both over 100 years old - to remain with us and to continue leading our way. Both have crystal-clear minds. May Hashem lengthen their days in good health, amen. Yet, we can't be complacent. It's not the lives of Gedolei Yisrael that are on the line - it's the lives of every one of us.

      We must ask ourselves - where's the deterrence? Just hours ago, a ruthless agent of the darkest evil gunned down Rabbi Yonatan Sandler, his two small sons, and 8-year old Miriam Monsanego on the streets of Toulouse, France. When there's deterrence in Israel, the gunmen outside of Israel think twice.

      But in Israel, as even the secular media now laments, there is no deterrence. We're not even referring to Nasralla and the Hizbolla, who are arming themselves to the hilt with anti-aircraft, chemical and biological weaponry. Nor are we talking about the Arabs in Judea and Samaria, who are making life miserable on our cherished brothers and sisters there, with daily and potentially deadly rock attacks and carjackings especially against female motorists. In the very heart of our country, the ugly head of homegrown Arab terror has exposed itself recently in such places within the so-called Green Line as Hebrew University and Ramla.

      So where's the deterrence?

      The Torah gives us the secret of deterrence (Deuteronomy 28:10): "For all the nations of the earth shall see that the Name of God is upon you (literally, that the Name of G-d can be read from your countenance, in other words, that you reflect His Nameand they shall fear you." That's the entire doctrine of deterrence in a nutshell.

      The smoke has barely cleared from the 220+ Grad missile attacks that we here in the south of Israel had to contend with all of last week. Has Gaza been deterred for their villainous acts? No way; ceasefire or not, the rockets still fall...

      Non-emuna Israel fails to understand. The non-emuna government could care less. Civil Defense wanted to send our kids to school last week, with insufficient bomb shelters and no place to take cover. Our excellent mayor, a wonderful G-d - fearing physician named Dr. Yechiel Lasri, put his foot down and told the government "no!"; he is unwilling to risk even a hair on one child's head. Alarmingly, to the government's own admission (Home Front Command), 30% of Israel has no bomb shelters and 40% have no gas masks.

      Hashem is showing us that there's no one to depend on but Him, just as our sages warned (see tractate Sota 49b).

      So why do we still depend on a wobbly reed that has lost all its deterrence? Why do we depend on the morally bankrupt leaders that are much more concerned with their stock portfolios and their luxury apartments than they are with the security of our children in the south of Israel and on the northern borders? What legitimacy do they have when the handle the Hamas and Hizbolla with kid gloves yet destroy the homes of Jews in Migron?

      Why are we silent?

      Why aren't we tearing the Heavens open with prayers for Rav Scheinberg and Rav Elyashiv?

      Why is it "business as usual" when our Bnai Akiva emissary to France is murdered together with his two little sons?

      The terrorists are only disciplinary rods in Hashem's hands; Hashem wants us to wake up fast. If you love your family and your people. here's what you need to do right now:

      1. Do your very best to strengthen your emuna and to talk to Hashem every day, begging mercy for our people. Our own politicians, with all their bravado, admit that the scenarios are not pretty. Iran is no joke; conflict is not "if", but "when." There is no room for complacency on either side of the ocean.

      2. Men, take upon yourself the mitzva of tefillin. This way, the "Name of Hashem shall be upon you." The Lubavitcher Rebbe of saintly and blessed memory began his tefillin project worldwide right before the Six-Day War in 1967; according to the Kabbalists, this invoked the Divine Compassion that tipped the scales so miraculously in Israel's favor.

      3. The fun and games of cheap thrills and meaningless games are over. Hashem wants us to return to Him in complete teshuva.

      4. The transgressions of adultery, homosexuality, and violating the Sabbath carry the most severe spiritual penalty called ka'ret. We must all do our utmost to promote and preserve personal holiness and the sanctity of Shabbat.

      5. We must make a massive effort to encourage aliya. Israel is the Land of Emuna. Please, start praying to Hashem to help you come home to the Land of israel soon.

      6. We must cast aside the bad habits that we've picked up in Diaspora, and to start living lives of Torah-observant Jews.

      Each of the above six points is critical in restoring true deterrence. Once we do, Hashem will deliver our enemies into our hands, preparing the way for the full and complete redemption of our people, speedily and in our days, amen!







      Adar 9, 5772, 3/3/2012

      Mordechai's Game Plan: Bibi, Save the Plane Ticket


      Bibi is off to Washington tomorrow, visibly to convince the President of the United States that the Iranian threat is both acute and imminent.

      Back in the time of Mordechai and Esther, the Jewish people faced an accute threat of annihilation. The ax had fallen, King Achashverosh's decree - initiated by his wicked vizier Haman, the great grandson of Amalek - had been signed, sealed and delivered to the four corners of the kingdom. The Jewish people were petrified with fear. Did Mordechai and Esther embark on a diplomatic mission to convince the heads of state? No. Did Mordechai stockpile arms and maybe plan a preemptive strike? No. The entire Jewish nation fasted for three days and made teshuva.

      Where are we burying our heads as Israel is looking down the barrel of an imminently nuclear Iran? In Facebook? In our new IPhone? It's really scary.

      How can any Israeli complain about apathy amongst our brethren overseas when here in Israel, the army is making life miserable for religious soldiers, Tel Aviv wants to uproot the Shabbat and official Israeli government ministries actively promote gay tourism? Will this invoke Divine compassion? Rather than building Hashem's Holy Land, every week, more homes in Judea and Samaria are destroyed. So many tragically misguided voices are clamoring in revolt against Hashem, when we should be doing the exact opposite, making Teshuva big-time!

      Hashem has put the Israeli military establishment in check - logically, there is no chance for an Israel go-it-alone effort against Iran to succeed.

      Oh yes, Mordechai and the Jews did pick up their swords in the end, but only after they made teshuva and reconfirmed their emuna and commitment to Torah. The subsequently wiped their enemies off the face of the earth.

      I wish that our Prime Minister would realize that Jewish history always repeats itself. This is the week of Purim. If the Jewish People make teshuva, Hashem will arrange that even paper airplanes become bunker busters. Our national security depends on emuna and teshuva - that's all. With emuna and teshuva, David's pebble fells any mighy Goliath, any day of the week.








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