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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.

      Tammuz 29, 5772, 7/19/2012

      The 9 Days: Licking our Wounds - Down, but not Out


      The closer we get to Moshiach, the more Hashem is exposing previously concealed things. In other words, the truth is becoming more apparent daily.

      People often ask me, how does one differentiate between a true Jew and a person with the spiritual makeup of erev rav (the tag-alongs that attached themselves to our people during the Exodus from Egypt and who initiated the Golden Calf fiasco)? Up until now, discerning between the two has been difficult. But, events in recent years reveals exactly who the erev rav are:

      1. No Jew would force another Jew to lose his home, especially in the Land of Israel. Only the erev rav would do that.

      2. No Jew would clamor for another Jew to go to jail because the latter truly devotes his life to learning Torah. Disdain of Torah is also another clear sign of erev rav.

      Rav Elyashiv of saintly and blessed memory left the physical world yesterday. We, the Jewish people, are licking a painful wound. The Rav zatza"l was surely a sacrifice for the World of Torah, which so many petty, self-serving, miniscule politicians yearning for notoriety have decided to attack in recent weeks. It's truly amazing how the same party and politicians that initiated the devastating disengagement and destruction of Jewish Gaza, known popularly as Gush Katif, are the ones who have been demanding fierce sanctions including jail sentences for Torah learners who desire to cling to Torah. These are without a doubt the erev rav within our midst.

      Do not take the passing of Rav Elyashiv zatza"l lightly; on the same day - yesterday - tragedy struck the Jewish people in the form of the terror attack in Bulgaria. Not only that, but with the Syrian mega-hit in Damascus yesterday, the final nail has been put in the coffin of Syrian stability. We now have highly volatile, instable borders with Egypt, Lebanon, Gaza, and Syria. Tensions are very high, and a match could set off an explosion between Israel and Hizbolla/Iran.

      So what do we do? During the Nine Days, beginning tonight, we must put aside virtually everything else and concentrate on getting closer to Hashem. That means more Torah, more teshuva, more emuna, and more personal prayer. Men, it's time to start guarding your eyes and to take personal holiness seriously. Women, it's time to start covering your hair and dressing modestly. People with fake emuna, even though they look the part, must begin serving Hashem for real. And yes, the fakes who are listed as Torah learners but who are walking around doing nothing should be drafted, right away along with all the secular kids who are dodging the draft too. We all have to fight with dedication; if not with a Gemara, then with an M-16.

      The voice of Moses is calling once more, Mi L'Hashem ai'lie! He who chooses Hashem, join me! The People of Israel are down, but certainly not out. We'll soon see big miracles, but on the way, there will be a tremendous birur, or sifting process. Make sure you make the right choice.