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      Hollywood to the Holy Land
      by Tzvi Fishman
      Tzvi Fishman was awarded the Israel Ministry of Education Prize for Jewish Creativity and Culture

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      Before making Aliyah to Israel, Tzvi Fishman was a Hollywood screenwriter. He has co-authored 4 books with Rabbi David Samson, based on the teachings of Rabbi Kook, Eretz Yisrael, Art of T'shuva, War and Peace, and Torat Eretz Yisrael.

       

      Sivan 1, 5768, 6/4/2008

      This Year - Spend Shavuot in Japan!


      In line with our new policy of highlighting the positive side of Diaspora Judaism, what could be more spiritual than spending the upcoming festival of Shavuot in a Zen Monastery in Japan?

      This year - Shavuot in Japan!

      Especially recommended is Kyoto, where the friendly Jewish community promises kosher food, a daily minyan, and a unforgettable Shavuot night mikvah! With an astonishing 1600 temples, Kyoto is the worshippers dream come true!

      Your choice of temples.

      The holiday, which commemorates the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai, is just five days away, so make your reservations now!

      Holiday guest house
      Your tour guides, Rivka and Sarah Cohen
      Daily exercise class
      All the raw fish you can eat.
      Festival candles
      Sculpture gardens abound!
      World famous Cantor Moshe Hiyotito
      You'll meet guests from all over the world.

      Make Your Reservations Today!



      Iyar 29, 5768, 6/3/2008

      If I Forget Thee, O Jerusalem


      The holy return of the Jewish People to Jerusalem, in fulfillment of the words of the Prophets of Israel, evolves from the promise of the Torah, as it says in the Song at the Sea:

      "Thou in Thy mercy has led forth the People which Thou hast redeemed; Thou hast guided them in Thy strength to Thy HOLY HABITATION...

      "Thou shalt bring them in and plant them in the MOUNTAIN OF THY INHERITANCE, in the PLACE, O L-rd, which Thou hast made for Thee to dwell in; in the SANCTUARY, O L-rd, which Thy hands have established."

      The Torah and Yerushalayim go hand in hand. So it was a fitting beginning to Jerusalem Day that a new Torah scroll was brought into the yeshiva of the holy Kabbalist and Tzaddik, HaRav Eliahu Leon Levi, along with a gala dinner celebration abounding in Torah and the blessings of Torah sages from all over Israel, who came to pay respects to the Torah and to HaRav Levi on his birthday.    

      New Sefer Torah
      Jerusalem Decoration
      Looking at the face of the Tzaddik brings joy
      The Kabbalist, HaRav Eliahu Leon Levi
      With Chief Rabbi Yonah Metzger
      With Former Chief Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau
       
      The gala dinner celebration
      Watching video screen blessing from HaRav Ovadia Yosef
      The Hazan Rav Shmuel Levi
      Little Fish gets a blessing

      Participating with the myriads of Am Yisrael in the march to the Kotel, surrounded on all sides by waves of flags, and happy faces, one cannot help but feel the joy of the Song at the Sea, being a part of the continuation and fulfillment of G-d's promise to His People to return us to Jerusalem, His chosen abode. The march was initiated by Rabbi Yehuda Hazani, my first rabbi in Israel, may his memory be for a blessing.

      Little Fishes - true Jewish education

       

      Shechem Gate
      Sign of a righteous gentile
      Thanking Hashem for the gift of Jerusalem
      Jerusalem, My chosen

      May you all have the unparalled blessing of being with us here next year, and marching along with us, and all of the Jewish People, to G-d's sanctuary, may it be speedily rebuilt. Amen.

       



      Iyar 27, 5768, 6/1/2008

      Yerushalayim


      To help get raise our spirits to the transcendental joy of Jerusalem Day, here’s an insightful refection from the able pen of Rabbi Nachman Kahana:

      Yerushalayim. The very word is a symphony for the Jewish soul.
       
      "Above my highest joy"

      Yir’a - fear of God, and Shalem – perfection, combine to form the name Yerushalayim. For these are the qualities which the city bestows upon those who love and are faithful to her.

      King David, the embodiment of fear of God and perfection prophesied in Psalms 137:

      By the rivers of :Babylon there we sat and wept when we remembered Zion.
      There, upon the willows, we placed away our harps
      for there, they that led us captive, asked of us words of song
      and our tormentors asked of us to be of joy
      'Sing us one of the songs of Zion'.
      How shall we sing the Lord's song in a foreign land
      If I forget thee Jerusalem let my right hand lose its strength.
      Let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth if I remember thee not,
      if I set not Jerusalem above my chiefest joy.

      Yerushalayim, in its various forms, appears over 650 times in the TaNaCH. Yerushalayim is not mentioned once, nor even alluded to, in the Koran; and the Christian world abandoned Jerusalem over fifteen hundred years ago to take up residence in Rome.

      A Moslem in prayer turns his back on Jerusalem and faces Mecca: Jerusalem is not part of the Christian liturgy. It is only we - God's chosen people - who relate to Yerushalayim. A Jew outside of Yerushalayim turns to her when in prayer, and we in Jerusalem face the site of the Holy Temple:

      By the rivers of babylon there we sat and wept when we remembered Zion
      There, upon the willows, we placed away our harps
      for there, they that led us captive, asked of us words of song
      and our tormentors asked of us to be of joy
      'Sing us one of the songs of Zion'.
      How shall we sing the Lord's song in a foreign land
      If I forget thee Jerusalem let my right hand lose its strength.
      Let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth if I remember thee not,
      if I set not Jerusalem above my chiefest joy.

      When I recite this chapter, memories of my youth in Brooklyn New York uninvitedly creep into my mind.
      I don’t recall my friends or me ever sitting by the Hudson or Never-sink Rivers weeping over Zion. I don’t recall looking at the goyim as our "captors" or "tormentors" and they in turn never requested of us to sing for them the "Song of Zion."
       
      By the rivers of Babylon

      I had no problem singing the Lord’s song there because I did not feel I was in "a foreign land".

      Days and weeks would pass when the memory of Yerushalayim did not cross my mind, yet the "fast ball" exploding from my "right hand" never lost "its strength," when the third strike cannonballed into the catcher’s mitt.
      I must admit that the joy of Jerusalem could not compare to the delight the chevra (the guys) felt when the Yankees beat the Boston Braves in a double header.
       
      If you get more excited over baseball, then something is amiss with your Judaism

      Yes, we were the products of the frum yeshiva system of Rabbi Jacob Joseph, Torah Ve’daas, Chaim Berlin, Tiferets Yerushalayim, etc. We learned Torah while we slowly, but steadily, became assimilated into the goyishe culture around us.

      The quicksand of American culture gripped and pulled us down with no one to extradite us, because we were all entrapped - students and rabbis together.

      Today I sit by the rivers of Eretz Yisrael and weep when I remember the Jews in foreign lands who forget Zion. Hashem has endowed Yerushalayim with a sensitive soul. He who remembers her is indelibly engraved in the eternity of the city; He who forgets her, she too forgets him.

      We’re waiting for YOU. When are YOU coming to live the rest of your life in Yerushalayim?
       
       

       



      Iyar 23, 5768, 5/28/2008

      Secrets of Prayer - Dramatic Update TB#23


      See breaking INN news article: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/126339

      TALKBACK 23

      To all my Father's friends:

      This morning My family and I went to Dovin this morning as we do always at our Shul. Our great Rebbie, Rabbi B'Shemta has been saying a Mishbayach for my father every day along with our congregation.
      A very strange thing happened today when all of us went to the hospital to see my dad. They had taken him off the oxygen he was on, and he was sitting up, but most important the great smile that is always in his eyes was back (Baruch
      Hashem). I am a Neurosurgeon,who does mostly research,but with all my medicine, and cutting edge technology I can not answer you to how this has happened. I have seen many miracles in my life, and my father is truly one. I learned a long time ago that their are no coincidences, everything happens for a reason. My father is living proof. If this were not so my father would have died long ago.
      My father told me that he had a very strange dream that night. I really want to explain this to you, the best I can. My father usually speaks in Hebrew. He said that in his dream he was standing in a very busy intersection, waiting for the light to change. A old man, dressed in a all white robe and hood was all of a sudden standing next to him. He could not see his face, but he heard his voice. My father said the voice was soft and very familiar to him. The old man asked if my father would help him cross the intersection.
      My father took the mans arm and started to walk very slowly through
      the street. When they got half way across the old man stopped. My father said we must hurry, but the man took his arm from my father and said I have helped you this far, the rest is now up to you. Then the man just disappeared.
      My father said he woke up, and was feeling better. I knew he was because he said to us he wanted to go home.
      I swear I have no explanation to give
      you, but we are so happy, overwhelmed would be a better word.
      I believe that your concern, your overwhelming concern has done more than any medicine I could prescribe.
      We do not know how to express our appreciation to all of you. You have done for my father what no medicine
      can do. You truely are our Jewish brothers and sisters. May Hashem bless all of you.
      I will leave you with this bit of prose from my beautiful father.

      From those I love
      I ask much
      Because I care much.
      That which I ask
      Is not more than you are
      But what you are.

      Chazak Ve-Emetz
      With Love of Zion
      Dr. Moshe Ben Dovid
      Novi Michigan USA

      HaRav Mordechai Eliahu - Presenting my son's class with their first siddur.

      This testimony illustrating the power of prayer is especially important now when we are fervently praying for an immediate and complete recovery for the revered Rabbi Mordechai Eliahu (Mordechai Tzemach ben Mazel Tov) and our talkback comrade and great lover of the Jewish People and Eretz Yisrael, who time and again has risked his life defending G-d’s Land and His Heritage, the brave soldier, David ben Sosha, HaKohen. May they have a full and speedy recovery, along with all of the ailing of Israel.  Amen.

       



      Iyar 21, 5768, 5/26/2008

      Please Pray for a Fellow Jew - Update in Talkbacks


      I am writing this talk/back for my very best friend. I have never been on this blog before. My name is Major Dr. B'zalel Ben Ya-akov.

      Lt. Col. Dovid Ben Leizer was rushed to the hospital 9 days ago. He is in critical condition and is not expected to live. I say this with the greatest sorrow in my heart. I had served with this hero for 13 years.
      There is no way I can explain in this short talk/back what he has meant to me, and so many other fellow soldiers. He is the most humble, honest, religious, toughest, and the most incredibly intelligent man I have ever met. Did you know that the Col. Has four Master degrees and a PHD in Econmics. He is to humble to brag, so I will say it for him. The Col. before he was rushed to the hospital wrote a long answer to this talk/back. He asked his sons to remeber to post it on this particular t/b. His youngest son is a well known Doctor and has been at his side everyday.

      His family is extremely close knit. It seems funny to me as sick as he was, he refused to go to the hospital until he finshed his writting. The letter he wrote is quite long and I will probably have to finish it in a 2nd t/b.

      I have had to go back and read these blogs from Mr. Fishman and these t/bs. Much of what the Col. has written is to specific people on this blog.

      As for now I would ask you all regardless to how you feel about Col. Leizer, that you say a prayer for his recovery (Baruch Hashem).

      The Col. Is the toughest man I know, and I am sure he will pull through this, as he has done so many times before. I do not know what Hashem has planned for this old soldier, but I do know it is significant.

      Yours
      Major Dr. B'zalel Ben Ya-akov
      Chicago, Ill USA

      B'zalel Ben Ya-akov, Chicago ILL. USA (26/05/08)