Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Yarmulke Obsession

Tuesday night I was at a wedding of a man that was almost single handedly responsible for me and my father’s return to observant Judaism. I say almost because, as chance may have it…there was a certain Rabbi whom I had met two years prior as a cadet in military school, who would come every Sunday. The Rabbi would bring BBQ potato chips, and cinnamon buns, and divrei Torah…and even a portable sukkah. Eleven years had passed since that year in military school, and now this Rabbi, none other than a Chabad Shliach, was at the wedding, being that he is the bride’s uncle. Ok so far everything sounds nice and sweet…your typical pareve L’Chaim magazine kind of stuff. Now let me get to my point. When I lean over to tell the Rabbi who I am; before any introductions were possible he noticeably stared at my yechi yarmulke. I mean it’s a crown heights wedding, so it’s not like it’s a big chiddush or that I stick out or anything. Anyways…you might be thinking “OK, big deal.” and for now I’ll agree, but wait there’s more. The Rabbi is so excited to claim me as his baal teshuva and starts introducing me to all of his friends and his wife. So I play along to give credit where credit is due. Before I go any further with what is about to happen...I want to say that the Rabbi was genuinely happy...and I could feel his sincerity. He and his wife were mamash excited…and really remembered me and are extremely dedicated to their shlichus in their community and the cadets for at least two decades. In general I want it to be known that I’m not writing to be political, or to bad mouth anyone. Back to the story….the first Rabbi that I’m brought to tell my ”cadet” story to, introduces himself as “where did you get your yarmulke from?”
“The gartel gemach in 770” I replied

“It turns me off to Judaism”

“Rabbi if my yarmulke can turn you off to Judaism, then maybe you need to strengthen your foundation.” I answered with a sweet innocent smile.

“Take it off”

“Ok” I took it off jokingly, hoping he’ll realize he’s being stupid, and put it back on.

“You shouldn’t be wearing it…do you wear it to the bathroom?”


As this dialogue goes on with a perfect stranger…I’m also trying to tell anther perfect stranger how his friend brought me to Judaism…while the other friend continues…

“How can you wear such holy words to the bathroom?”

“It’s not a Torah doesn’t mention any names of G-d, what’s the problem? Maybe it’s like Modeh Ani” (I was about to start darshining chassidus to him about Moshiach and yechida. This will suffice for the understanding ;)

“How many times a day do you say Shema...How many times do you say yechi….”
This many times for this and that many times for that blah blah blah…this guy is not worth my time.

This is just one such example of many. I haven’t decided how many to share yet…..because I don’t think there are enough rocks for these Rabbis to hide under. But here is my point: ARE THESE PEOPLE OUT OF THEIR MINDS???

First of all...if I told you the story happened with a misnagid then no one would be surprised. That’s normal because for the most part we don’t expect them to know better.

Second of all...I’m telling him how his friend got me to start wearing a yarmulke…and he is telling me to take it off because obviously he doesn’t agree with what is written on it.

Third of all…we don’t know each other from a hole in a wall…and he’s asking me about my bathroom practices, and my fashion tastes in religious head garments, and the consistency of my prayers.

Bottom line...he thinks I’m nuts…and stupid…I’m just a silly baal teshuva wearing a yarmulke that says that his dead rebbe is my living one…whatever.

And I think……..
This is the introduction to my new series...I hope you enjoy and stay tuned.

by Velvel Kutsy

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Moshiach Flag on Front Page of Washington Times

The link here

The source for having flags in the Chumash is in last weeks parsha Bamidbar.

Chumash with Rashi for Bamidbar
Numbers 1:1-4:20
2. The children of Israel shall encamp each man by his division with the flag staffs of their fathers' house; some distance from the Tent of Meeting they shall encamp.

with the flag staffs: Heb. בְאֹתֹת. Every division shall have its own flag staff, with a colored flag hanging on it; the color of one being different from the color of any other. The color of each one was like the hue of its stone, set in the choshen [worn by the Kohen Gadol], and in this way, everyone could recognize his division. Another explanation: with the signs

About the picture (taken during parsha Bamidbar).
Matisyahu Devlin wrapped Tefillin on the leader of the pro-palestine group after the leader admitted he was Jewish. The whole group then disbanded.  

The Washinton D.C. S.W.A.T. Team now has a Moshiach Flag in their headquarters.
A SWAT member who is a flag collector said it was the greatest flag he ever saw so he took it to put up in the office. An interesting thing that happened was that the SWAT team took away all the other flags and such because the long poles are potentially dangerous, the only flag that for what ever reason was left, was the huge Moshiach flag.

Moshiach Now!!! And a Good Week everybody!!!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

When will the Prophet Eliyahu come to announce the redemption?

The prophet Eliyahu is supposed to come before the redemption and announce that tomorrow Moshiach is coming! So if today I didn't hear his voice making this announcement, does this then mean that Moshiach cannot come tomorrow? This seems as a contradiction to the fact that we have to await every day for Moshiachs' coming.

The Rebbe says an unbelievable thing in a sicha parhas Brocha 5751:

Eliyahu HaNovi literally comes every single day to Tiveria (Tiberias) and announces that tomorrow Moshiach will come. And if a person is holding on the right level then he will hear his voice.
Therefore, there is no contradiction that some or most people haven't yet heard Eliyahu's voice, nevertheless, Moshiach can come any and every day!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Signs of Moshiach in the News's 9th Annual Mom Salary Survey Reveals Stay-at-Home Moms Would Earn $122,732 in the U.S. the full story by following this link.

A mother is not valued by how she competes with men. Real feminism shows the power of a woman in her womanhood, raising the next generation of children. Also, economically speaking, the children who are raised by moms who take care of them are generally better assets to society later on and are more well adjusted individuals.

Happy Lag B-Omer Everyone!

the world is burning with a spiritual fire tonight!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Hadar Hatorah Bal Teshuva Yeshiva in Crown Heights New York Shabbaton Poster

come learn some Torah and enjoy a good time in a friendly environment. perfect for those with little or not so little knowledge in Torah.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

the Inner lag baOmer by Sagi Shukrun

Omer - Achievement

We are 26 days along the count and 8 days away from Lag BaOmer. The counting of the Omer is an important commandment which G-d commands us to do each year in preparation of receiving the Torah which includes all of G-d’s commandments in order to be able to observe the commands of the commander-in chief, G-d Almighty himself. We can all learn something from this strong word – command. When was the last time you commanded something or someone? You might have suggested or implied, but commanded? What we need to realize is, that besides for following G-d’s Torah and Mitzvahs (commands) haphazardly and “trying” to be a good Jew, we have to command ourselves to be the best we can. In Hebrew the word for command (mitzvah) means also to bind and unite. By doing the mitzvahs we unite with G-d. By commanding ourselves we unite with ourselves, the real you. We have to realize that our main mission in life is to fulfill the commands of G-d in the best way possible in quality and quantity. Not to remove ourselves from worldly matters such as the finer things in life or other interests and act like angels; rather we have to use the best the world has got to serve G-d. The Holy temple was decked-out in gold, so too we can be. But this is all in order to elevate the world to be a fit home for G-d to come and live with us here. This is our purpose, carried out in our own individual way. We have to command ourselves to carry out this mission. This serves as our ultimate will. Next, we must constantly meditate on what and how we can fulfill this mission. When we get a strong “hunch” and insight into practical action we must begin to carry them out immediately with the aid of proper advisers. We must imagine that we have already accomplished the mission and feel as if we are there now. This is what counting the Omer is all about. We rise above our basic emotions and selfish feelings, a meaningless 9-5 existence, a “he who dies with the most toys wins” worldview, and connect to the Creator himself. We follow this up by taking practical action. We create an image of what we need to be and begin to make it a reality. On the way to achieving success, we receive a giant bonus from G-d in the form of insight and rise to infinitely higher levels. This is Lag BaOmer. We receive the secrets of the Torah, the holy book called the Zohar. In the Zohar it tells us to envision our ultimate goal, see and feel ourselves already there, and work practically to achieve it while keeping ourselves fit and in-line to realize it at any moment. Then we keep working to receive the Torah, the holiday of Shavuos…

by Sagi Shukrun