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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.
when a person clings to pure and simple faith and thereby connects to G-d, he or she rises above nature and above the influence of the stars...
Dear Rabbi Brody,
Are clairvoyants and astrologers for real? I'll get to the point: An astrologer told my roommate that her life is in grave danger. She was so upset that she made an appointment with a clairvoyant and paid $100 for eight minutes, only to hear that she's about to get racked up in a car accident. Now, she's so stressed out that she can't sleep, study, or eat. She's afraid to tell her parents or anyone else, and I'm the only one that knows what's going on. Even though she's not Jewish, can you still help her? Please answer urgently. Thanks so much, Patty from a Big Ten campus
Your roommate is fortunate to have you. The real astrologers and clairvoyants (they have their fakes like everyone else) are for real, but with the following limitation...
Astrologers get their info from the stars, in other words, from the natural map of the moon, sun, and stars. Clairvoyants are fed from the spiritual world, but from the nether, or dark side of spirituality. On a natural plane, I would venture to say that your roommate is in danger. Don't worry, though; with G-d's help, she can beat the rap.
Rebbe Nachman of Breslev teaches us (see Likutei Moharan I, Torah 31), that when a person clings to pure and simple faith and thereby connects to G-d, he or she rises above nature and above the influence of the stars, since G-d is above nature.
Abraham, our forefather, the first Hebrew, and the founder of monotheism, was an amazing astrologer and clairvoyant. He could read the stars like we read the front-page headlines of a newspaper. He saw in the stars that he and his wife were not only destined to be childless, but that they even lacked the necessary physical apparatus for procreation. According to the Midrash, Hashem scolded Abraham, and told him to put aside the astrology and star-readings, and cling to simple faith. Abraham did just that, and became the father of Ishmael and Isaac, and the patriarch of great nations.
A non-Jewish person can also uplift himself above the influence of the stars simply by fulfilling the seven Noahide laws, namely: One, to believe in G-d; two, to refrain from any semblance of idol worship; three, not to engage in illicit sex; four, not to kill; five, not to steal; six, not to curse The Almighty, heaven forbid; and seven, to establish courts of justice. If your roommate is prepared to commit to these seven laws, and to spend at least twenty minutes (sixty is preferable, and a small price to pay for life and health) a day talking to G-d in her own words in what we refer to as hitbodedut, or personal prayer, she will uplift herself beyond the grasp of the dark side and the forces of nature, and I'm sure she'll live to bake gingerbread for her grandchildren.
I highly recommend that both you and your girlfriend read The Garden of Emuna.
Patty, promise me that you'll always steer clear of any shape or form of astrology, clairvoyance, and séances. I'll close with a blood-chilling story: Back in the Lebanon War of 1982, a squad of 12 Israeli paratroopers was drinking a late-night cup of coffee in the barracks. One was a clairvoyant, and organized a séance for his buddies. They ushered in the soul of their sergeant’s grandfather. The soul said, "Tomorrow, you guys will be joining me". One of the soldiers repented and recited psalms, pouring out his heart to Hashem until daybreak. When the sun rose, he broke out with hives and a terrible 104F fever, and was transferred to the infirmary. His buddies went on patrol, and their armored troop carrier was hit with four RPG shoulder missiles. All eleven died. The twelfth guy was wise enough to escape to Hashem's open arms, and was saved.
Penitence and prayer though, are more powerful than nature or any conventional weapons. So is faith - simple, innocent, and uncomplicated faith in G-d. Nothing in the world can happen against His holy will, and I'm sure He'll guard your roommate. Tell your roommate to take positive action, to cling to Hashem, and from this moment on, she doesn't have to worry anymore. Emuna is a brighter light than all the stars put together. Best wishes always, Lazer Brody
The Mishna teaches (tractate Avos, 4:17) that an hour of Teshuva (penitence) and good deeds in this world is worth more than the entire World to Come, yet a minute in the World to Come is more sublime than all the pleasures of this world combined.
From the above Mishna, we learn that every moment of Teshuva, Torah learning, and charitable deeds is an asset of indescribable value that can never be taken away from a person.
Imagine that you have 120 seconds inside the King's coffers. The King has given you a big burlap sack, and whatever you can grab in the designated two minutes is yours for ever. Once inside, you can shovel into your sack all the gold, diamonds, rubies, and emeralds that you can; once your time's up, you pick up your sack and leave, a multimillionaire forever.
Now imagine that once inside the King's coffers, somebody approaches you and asks you what's going on in Afghanistan. Somebody else approaches you and invites you to watch Star Wars. A third person yells that you're missing the action of the playoff game, and a fourth person wants to share the latest juicy gossip with you. Would you listen to these people? No way! You'd ignore them and keep on throwing 5-karat diamonds into your sack. Each second counts, and the clock keeps on ticking. Soon, the time's up...
We all hope to live until 120, yet we know that the years flash by ever so quickly. In that respect, our term of duty on this earth is like 120 seconds inside the King's coffers. If we use our time wisely, we can accumulate timeless assets of Torah, tshuva, and good deeds, whose value in the World to Come defies all description. When we waste our time in idle gossip or in meaningless pastimes, we're simply squandering each valuable moment that The King of Kings - Hashem our Creator - has granted us on this earth. The worst fires of purgatory is the embarrassment a soul experiences when it reaches the next world and discovers that its golden opportunity inside the King's coffers - that is, on this earth - was wasted on nonsense and idle pastimes of no consequence.
These days of Teshuva, from now until Rosh Hashana and the period between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, is a unique invitation to enter the King's coffers. Here's a chance - grab it while you can!
Blessings for an inscription in the Book of Life for a wonderful New Year 5771.
September 2, the day of the planned DC Summit aimed at forcing Israel into evacuating large sections of our holy homeland for an illusion of peace is the same day when Earl is expected to hit the US East Coast...
Dear Rabbi Brody,
I am a meteorologist and forecast as part of my profession. We look at computer data to forecast the weather, and while this data leaves quite a bit of room for error it still has nevertheless been used with quite impressive results because of H"s sophisticated and orderly conducting of the world and the information he allows us to peek at to see that weather is not random or chaotic but rather an intricate and orderly system that He guides with intense precision and Hasgacha Pratis.
The reason I am emailing you tonight (this morning your time) is because there are some very ominous signs developing over the tropical Atlantic Ocean that I have been monitoring and after a further review of this (and with more data coming in) decided I needed to let you know about this.
A hurricane is developing north of the Virgin Islands. It's name is Earl and its sustained winds are currently sitting at 100mph, with steady intensification occurring. The forecast models over the next several days feature a rather complex weather pattern with varying possibilities...however...the latest data shows this storm to continue to get stronger as it makes a turn toward the Eastern United States. Right now, the prognostic charts still feature the hurricane to stay just off the US East Coast, however, not by much any more. The latest run of one of the forecast models we are looking at shows this hurricane to become possibly very strong as it approaches the Mid Atlantic US from Virginia to New York to Boston around Thursday September 2 and Friday September 3.
This is the time of the US-forced Israel-Palestinian "peace" meeting to be held in Washington D.C.
As always I really appreciate your insight on Lazer Beams, and your message reaches scores of people all over the world. May Hashem bless you and Rabbi Arush as you continue to point people to the Truth, and encourage people to open their eyes! Most sincerely, Ilya, USA
Will Earl be an additional guest in the White House? Time will tell...
Update, 12 Noon Israel time, 31 Aug 10:
The U.S. National Hurricane Center just now warned US coastal residents from North Carolina to Maine to watch Hurricane Earl's development closely.
Here's an amazing quote: Craig Fugate, administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, said, "Earl's approach ought to serve as a reminder for Atlantic coastal states to update their evacuation plans."
Look at the connections: September 2, the day of the planned DC Summit aimed at forcing Israel into evacuating large sections of our holy homeland for an illusion of peace is the same day when Earl is expected to hit the US East Coast. Coincidence? Was Katrina a coincidence too, when 850,000 Americans were evacuated from their homes the day after 8,500 Israelis lost their homes in Jewish Gaza?
Heaven forbid that a single person should lose his home. Nevertheless, we all have free choice, and we should be aware that our actions have a strong spiritual cause and effect.
people are equally scared of truth as they are of terror...
It's amazing the way The Almighty maintains a perfect balance of good and evil in the world, in order to allow each of us free choice. As the Ramcha"l writes in the first chapter of Derech Hashem, outside the context of free choice, the notion of reward and punishment is meaningless.
Two men of Yemenite origin cause the entire world to tremble at about 9.3 on the seismographic fear scale. Yet, to keep the world in spiritual balance, one is the epitome of evil while the other is the symbol of righteousness. Who are they?
Excuse the juxtaposition, but the evil one is the icon of terror, Osama Bin Ladin, whose goal is to destroy the world. The other is my esteemed friend Rabbi Amnon Yitzchak, the icon of truth, who's trying to save the world from destruction.
As it turns out, people are equally scared of truth as they are of terror. Why? If you acknowledge truth, that the world is not a random happenstance creation and that there is an all-powerful spiritual force who not only created but continues to sustain each and every creation, you simply have to clean up your act in life. Millions of people are terrified at Teshuva, the idea of morally and spiritually cleaning themselves up. By the way, their evil inclinations and Bin Ladin both play for the same dark-side team. The only bigger terrorist than Bin Ladin is one's own evil inclination.
* * * * *
Now, with Lazer Beams on the air every week here at Israel National Radio, you don't have to be afraid of truth any longer. Join us Tuesday evening, August 24, 2010 at 10 PM (Israel) for "A Teshuva Melody," to see how fulfilling and joyous real teshuva is. Teshuva and emuna will fill your heart with song always.
Take advantage of your commuting time, and listen to Emuna CDs on the way to work. Emuna not only strengthens your soul, but is a phenominal income enhancer.
Where you see one mouse running across the floor, rest assured that there are another 50 underneath the floor
One of the most alarming phenomena in Israel today is a lack of sensitivity to basic national values - loyalty, commitment, dedication to people and country, just to name a few. This lack of sensitivity is inversely proportionate to one's degree of connection to G-d, to the Torah, and to one's fellow Jew. You can be sure, that the real lovers of every exquisite pebble and every charming grain of sand in our cherished Holy Homeland are the ones who are strong on the triple love of Hashem, Torah, and the People of Israel.
The entire fiasco of Anat Kam raises two painful and pestering questions: How in the world does a Jewish soldier in the IDF compromise her nation's security by releasing not one - but over 2,000 - classified documents to elements both unauthorized and outside of the army? Second, what's happening to our society when so many people - with the leftist media in the forefront, applaud her actions?
Where you see one mouse running across the floor, rest assured that there are another 50 underneath the floor. Anat Kam is no sole phenomenon. Former IDF soldier Eden Abergil from Ashdod was recently caught for plastering all kinds of damaging photos - unauthorized and uncensored, showing the incarceration and detention of terrorist suspects - all over Facebook. Miss Abergil is shrugging her shoulders with no idea that she did anything wrong. Who cares if the EU and CNN have more logs in their anti-Israel bonfire? It's utterly alarming how the young lady - and many of her friends - have no idea what she did wrong.
Why blame them? I don't think either well-meaning (benefit of the doubt) young lady knows about the triple love of Hashem, Torah, and the People of Israel, which of course leads to the truest love of our holy Land of Israel. Why? They simply don't know what it means to be a Jew - loyal to Hashem, loyal to Torah, and loyal to our people. Like the triple love, the triple loyalty leads to true loyalty to our beloved holy Homeland, may The Almighty guard over her always, amen.
Yet, I'm an optimist. Emuna is spreading like wildfire. Folks are learning that there's no future for our people without it. More and more people are reading, talking, and raising their children in Emuna and returning to their roots. Children with emuna will never betray their G-d, their Torah, or their people in a trillion years. Emuna will replace the warped education that produces the self-deprecating individuals who have no qualms about selling their people and their country down the river. Emuna now, amen.