Tuesday, 30 June 2009

G-d's Amazing World... in Pictures

One can find the most beautiful words in the Torah that describe the beauty of G-d's world. That does not detract from our obligation each day to look around us - at the beauty of the sky, the grass, the sea and everything of nature. Could anything other than G-d have created this? G-d invests Himself... clothes himself in it all. He is there too. Open your eyes and appreciate the beauty of what G-d has given us. Be filled with awe. Be filled with love. Let it inspire you to want to do another Mitzvah, another act of goodness and kindness. And know... that through this small movement of bringing additional light into the world, you literally add to another beautiful piece of G-d's Art.

(You'll find our images at about 1:21 and 2:10 -

Thursday, 25 June 2009

The Mitzvah for a Man to Immerse in a Mikvah


The Lubavitcher Rebbe answers someone regarding the Mitzvah of a man having to immerse in a Mikvah:

"You ask about the matter of men immersing in the Mikvah. The greatness of this is described in a number of places, in particular with regards to prayer (i.e. that it is of great benefit to immerse in a Mikvah before prayer every single day before Shacharit). See Likutei Torah by the Alter Rebbe - author of the Tanya, Posek (authority) in the hidden matters of Torah, and author of the Shulchan Aruch (HaRav), authority in the revealed matters of Torah - Parshat Ki Tavo 34b, as described in a number of holy books, that the Baal Shem Tov merited great revelations of G-dliness beyond the norm because he immersed himself daily in the Mikvah. See also what the Mittler Rebbe, the son of the Alter Rebbe says about this in his discourses about the Mikvah. And (also see) from a number of holy books concerning these matters as collected in the book Taharat Yom Tov, Section 10, page 365 onwards. "

--- Igros Kodesh. Volume 22, letter 8546

Though every G-d fearing Jew is well aware of the Mitzvah of women to immerse in a Mikvah at a certain point each month, many of these same G-d fearing people do not consider it of value for men to immerse in a Mikvah on a daily basis. Though in a strict legal (Halachic) sense, there is no Mitzvah to have to do so, the Rebbe points out clearly that one who does go to a Mikvah certainly purifies himself to degrees such that it is told about the Baal Shem Tov, that he reached his holy levels and revelations of various kinds - because he immersed in a Mikvah on a daily basis.

May this thought inspire us even further into furthering our growth in Torah and service to G-d on many other levels -
including the immersing in a Mikvah on a daily basis.


We take the Mitzvah of immersing in a Mikvah for both men and women seriously.

For this reason, we run a Mikvah-Project "Purity with Dignity" that aims at raising funds to help women immerse in a Mikvah at no cost to themselves, should they be unable to afford the regularly monthly cost. If you wish to help, see "The Mikvah Project - 'Purity with Dignity'" and make your donation TODAY!


In addition to providing and helping women, we are currently working on building a men's Mikvah together with a Torah Learning Centre teaching the values you are reading more about on this blog, as well as at Torah Online.

Should you wish to learn more about our projects, or take part in helping to fund any particular area, from the Mikvah, the Centre itself or providing books, please be in touch with Rav Eliyahu directly and find out more about our online and offline Torah projects.

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

I Await His Coming Every Day

In honour of the Rebbe's 15th Yahrtzeit - Gimmel Tammuz:
Cry out for Moshiach: It's worth it... even if there are those that object.
May we merit the Geulah ha'amiti ve'hashleima immediately!

Rambam: The Mysterious Rotation of the Earth



"This Being (G-d) – He is the G-d of the world, the Master of all the Earth. And He guides the sphere (the world) with a strength which has no end or completion – a strength without interruption. The sphere continually spins around, and it is impossible for it to spin without Someone who spins it. And He blessed be He is the One who rotates it without a hand and without a body."

Continuing the theme of the All-Powerful G-d, the Rambam shares with us another "global" rule. G-d is in charge of everything in the world. Nothing is able to do anything without G-d's awesome power in making it happen. It may seem (to the non-believer) that the world magically spins about all on its own. Perhaps there is a man upon whose shoulders the world stands and who has the laborious task of keeping it moving – while keeping himself invisible? Or perhaps the laws of science – gravity and the like are what the non-believer feels keep the world in a rotating state. Or for those more concerned with wealth as opposed to science, it may be money that makes the world go around.

The Rambam clarifies: There is no mysterious invisible man holding the world on his shoulders. There are no magical forces or cosmic energies that allow the world to spin so faultlessly each day, each week, each month and each year – in perfect synchronicity. There is an All-Powerful G-d, filled with an infinite strength that continues to "exert" His force upon the world to make it turn around continually – without interruption.

He has no hand nor a body that allows Him to do this. Though the prophets speak of the many human-like features of G-d – His "outstretched" hand, His anger, His jealousy, His joy, His sadness, His eyes, His mouth etc., they use these anthropomorphisms for the simple reason of allowing us to better understand the current behaviour or feelings of G-d. G-d created man in His image. When man looks at his hand, he understands (ever so slightly) what the G-dly "hand" looks like – what it can do. When a man smiles, he understands what it means for G-d to be happy. When a man frowns, he understands the sadness of G-d.

But G-d is beyond all human comprehension. He is like no man who requires physical power and features to make things happen. G-d operates in a mode far above any level of nature than anybody could ever imagine. His strength is not in action, not even in our understanding of speech or thought. His strength exists in His very essence – something impossible for any of us to understand.

But it is clear. He is the Master of the entire cosmos and the Milky Way Galaxy! He is the Master of the physical, the spiritual, the good and it's opposite. He is all these things and more. It is through His active and constant supervision and power that the world rotates continually – perfectly. He never tires nor weakens.

Without G-d – without this awesome Force, the world would be unable to rotate. In fact, not only could the world not rotate, it would not even be here.

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Rambam: Truth - There is Nothing But Him



"This is what the prophet (Jeremiah 10:10) said, "And G-d the Lord is truth." He alone is the truth, and there is no other thing as true as His truth is (as His reality is.) And this is what the Torah (Deuteronomy 4:35) says, "There is nothing else but Him." This means to say, there is no other existence of truth (reality) except for Him – that is like Him."

When it comes to belief in G-d, which is by now a given based upon the first three laws that the Rambam teaches, it must be made clear that G-d Himself is absolute truth. The world is filled with a variety of truths. This is what makes people believe so many things – so many different gods. Were there to be no truth to them, they would fall apart immediately. As the Torah teaches, the letters of the Hebrew word for falsehood – 'Sheker' – are made up of three letters. 'Shin' a letter that rests upon one leg. "Kof", a letter that has only one main leg to stand upon. And 'Reish' another letter with just one leg. When it comes to total falsehood, it may possibly have a leg to stand on… but it will usually topple over in moments.

On the other hand, the Hebrew word for 'Truth' – 'Emet' – is made up of three letters of another kind. The first letter – Aleph – has two legs to stand on. The middle letter – Mem – has a complete sturdy base upon which it rests. And the third letter – Tav – likewise has two legs to stand on. Not only that, but it encompasses the entire Aleph Beit – the Hebrew alphabet. It's first letter Aleph, is the first letter of the word Emet. It's second letter Mem is the middle letter of the alphabet, and it's third letter Tav is the final letter of the alphabet. Truth can stand up to anything – because it has two strong legs with which to hold itself up and balance itself. It is also not afraid to encompass everything, because truth extends from the beginning of the matter to it's end – no matter what is included in it. It holds strong!

The sages teach that any falsehood not mixed with a little truth is destined to collapse (and fast!), but falsehood mixed with even the most minute amount of truth can still stand. This is because that point of truth mixed within the falsehood, works hard at balancing the falsehood (that cannot stand on it's own) making it appear that the falsehood is in fact truthful.

So it is that much of the falsehood of the world is believed. Those sharing this nonsense of falsehood, do so with wisdom – by including just the smallest measure of truth into things. Naturally, to the average person, the truth is so mixed within the falsehood, that nobody is the wiser to be able to distinguish the good from the bad.

As Rebbi Nachman of Breslov teaches: The reason we learn Halacha (the Jewish law) is in order to be able to learn how to separate the good from the bad. This is why the give and take of Torah learning is filled with a variety of opinions. Through the different opinions, one begins to see the situation from a variety of sides. Through the give and take – one eventually cuts away and comes to see the truth – finally brought up in a main code of Jewish law (without the give and take) such as the Shulchan Aruch.

Learning Gemara (Talmud) and other various legal texts helps to train the mind to understand how to think correctly. We live in a world mixed with truth and falsehood – a problem begun with the eating from the Tree of Knowledge - Good and Evil, when this mixture became absorbed into everything and anything. So today, there is nothing that does not include both good and bad. Our job is to be able to filter out the bad – to sort the bad from the good, to be left only with the good, only with the truth.

When it comes to G-d, however, He is absolute truth. There is nothing quite like His truth. There is nothing about Him that lies. There are no fabrications about Him. The essence of everything in the world – everything that exists, is included within the truth of G-d. Nothing can be concealed from Him – for He encompasses absolute truth and includes all truth.

Absolute truth is impossible for the average person to ever understand – though it is the ultimate goal for the serious student of Torah. The truth must be arrived at and must be practised, for this is what G-d wants from each of us.

There is nothing but G-d. He includes every possibility of truth. Everything about Him is true. There is nothing else that can compare to this truth, for everything else – no matter how good it is, still includes an aspect of ego, an aspect of a mixture of good and bad, an aspect of falsehood – no matter how far away it seems from that particular thing. Our very world is a world of falsehood, an upside down world, where "those on the top are really on the bottom, and those on the bottom are on top." The world that follows this one – the World to Come, is a world of truth, a world without the masks of our world – where everything is revealed – G-d is revealed, and with it, absolute truth, a truth that none of us can run away from.

Meanwhile, our job in this world is to acknowledge the truth of G-d, to strive for it, and to work towards the goal of making our lives filled with complete truth. We do this through the study of the Torah and the practice of the Mitzvot.

Monday, 22 June 2009

Rambam: G-d Does Not Need Us... For Anything



"And if it should arise in one's mind that all existence should cease to exist, (still) He alone would exist. And He will not lose His existence due to their non-existence. Because all existence needs Him and He blessed be He does not need them – not any of them. Therefore His reality is not like the reality of any of them."

The philosopher's mind might continue in his thoughts regarding G-d's existence. From considering the possibility of whether G-d exists or not, to considering that everything could exist even of it's own accord in any case, the Rambam points out in law 1:3 that G-d's existence is of a different kind to every other creation.

In fact, even if it would be, that every single creation in the world would suddenly disappear out of the time/space continuum for all eternity, still G-d would continue to exist. He is not dependent upon anything in creation in order to exist. We do not give Him life. He did not even create us in the hope of continuing His "own life" – fearing that were He not to create something, He would mystically expire into nothingness.

G-d has created a world to be inhabited. He desires a dwelling place in the worlds below. His desire is for man to create a place where ultimately goodness and kindness will prevail. He wishes to bestow His kindness somewhere else – other than in His "own world of existence." He wants this because He is good and it is the way of the good to do good. He wants a world where all will follow His laws – because His laws are good, and bring goodness to everything. The Jewish people must follow the 613 commandments of the Torah, and the remainder of the world must follow the 7 Laws of the children of Noach. But at no time does G-d *need* any of His creations in order to continue His life. We are not His oxygen cylinder that He needs in order to breathe. We are not His eyes that He needs in order to see, nor His ears in order for Him to be able to hear what is happening in this world.

G-d, while completely attached to everything, is also completely separate. Not like a soul attached to the body, that once it leaves, the body is unable to do anything and ends up becoming a part of the ground – from where it once came before. As if the body needs the soul… or as if the soul needs the body in order to express itself in this world. G-d is not attached to His creation in a way that any physical thing is attached to anything else.

While the garment of nature conceals G-d inside it, this does not mean that were nature to disappear – that G-d would too. Everything is His creation, though it is separate from Him. There is nothing else but G-d and G-d fills all of creation, but at the same time that He is everywhere, He is also somewhere else – so that should "everywhere" disappear, He will continue to exist.

Much like the body is in need of the soul, all of creation is in constant need of G-d to give it life. Yet G-d needs none of creation in order for Himself to exist. He is One with them all, yet He is nothing of any of them. His reality is not like the reality of any of them. He is completely unique. There are no words to describe His uniqueness. He simply is.

Sunday, 21 June 2009

Rambam: A World Without G-d



"And if it should arise in one's mind that He (G-d) is not present, then no other thing can be present (either.)"

There are those (philosophers) who assume the world was created with a Big Bang. An explosion of sorts that brought life into existence. There are some (perhaps even wiser!) that consider that life as we know it having begun out of an almost non-existence. Either creatures and life "just appeared" out of nowhere (with no actual Force bringing them into existence,) or one in which amoebas turned into fish. Fish turned into frogs. Frogs hopped onto land, to eventually grow up and become animals – monkeys perhaps. And eventually these monkeys became human beings – complicated human bodies with souls attached, one's that are able to think for themselves, to speak concepts filled with wisdom and understanding. To do acts of goodness and kindness. All this of course, without any type of G-dly force existing in the world.

One wonders who the greater "believer" really is! Is he the one who can so twist his mind into thinking that life can have existence through a bang? Through a cell that after millions of years developed into a human being – you?! Or is the real believer one who believes in a G-d – a One G-d?

G-d fills the heavens and the earth. He encompasses everything and fills everything. There is nothing without Him. If one should ever consider the possible notion that something can exist without G-d, one must realise – at the same time, that nothing else can exist either. Nothing. Not the amoeba, the frog, the fish, the monkey or the human being… not even you.

Of course those philosophers who believed in a big bang were certainly heading in the right direction. The most basic principles in the Kabbalistic teachings of the Torah teach that G-d created the world through a most mystical process (known only to Him) which included a world filled with the awesome light of G-d. Unfortunately the vessels that G-d had created were not able to withstand the powerful light of G‑dliness, and there was a breakage – known as "Shevirat HaKeilim" – the breaking of the vessels. This lead to a variety of creations coming about, bringing everything eventually to this physical world that we inhabit today. Our job – of course, is to find the broken pieces and put them back together again. Repair the broken vessels, making them fitting and ready receptacles to once again be able to reveal the light of G-d. This time, however – without them breaking! As Rebbi Nachman of Breslov taught, where philosophy ends, Kabbalah begins!

To those who point out the similarities between monkey and human, who philosophise that man simply must have come from a monkey – they too are not too far off. Though they miss the kindness that G-d created in the world. While we cannot ever hope to know the reasons for everything, we can take a step back and examine the ape in the hope of learning more about ourselves. There are so many physical similarities between the human and the ape, that by learning about the ape, we can come to understand the workings of our own human bodies better as well. Indeed, there are certain similarities that allow us to use certain body parts of the ape to save the life of a human – because they are so similar. We don't come from apes! But G-d has certainly bestowed another kindness. He has created a creature so close to us in physical comparison – that we stand to gain from this creature – for our own selves.

The philosophers are not so far off in their understandings of G-d not existing. He surely exists! Though He hides Himself completely, so that we are given the free choice to choose how to live our lives, whether to better ourselves, or whether to choose the opposite. It surely seems like G-d does not exist. Yet He does. He is everywhere, all the time. Did you look at the sky today? He is there hidden in the air, in the clouds, in the sun.

Did you look at the trees? He is there too, hidden amongst the leaves, the branches, the roots and the fruits. Did you see the ground? G-d is hidden inside the worm, inside the mosquito. Did you see the grass? There G-d is likewise… having given dominion to the angels to control the growth of every single blade of grass. There is no blade of grass below that does not have an angel above striking it, commanding it "Grow!" He is everywhere, yet most people see "only" the beauty of nature.

But without G-d, there is no ground. There is no grass, no mosquito, no worm. There is no sun, or moon. There are no stars… There are no apes, no humans. There is no you.

"Naturally" – the choice is yours. There is either a world of nature without G-d… though it has no existence. Or there is a world covered with the mask of G-d, the garment that conceals Himself. There He is to be found, if only we look hard enough.


Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Rambam: The Foundation of all Foundations




"The foundation of all foundations and the pillar of all wisdoms is to know that there is a first Something that has always existed. And He brings everything into existence. And all existence, from the skies and the earth, and all that is between them cannot exist except through the truth of His creating them"

Ever wondered where to begin life? The philosophers debate this point ad infinitum! Is there a G-d? Isn't there a G-d? This will surely change one's approach to life…

What kind of G-d – if there is one?! Has He abandoned us perhaps? Such a great G-d must surely acknowledge our smallness next to His greatness – and if so, He has surely abandoned His world having no need to associate with those far smaller than He.

Or perhaps, G-d, having now realised what He has done, has surely lost control of His world. Having given man free choice, He can surely not stop man from doing as he wills – ad infinitum. As for G-d, He may just as well have left the world, now having finally created His prize creation!

Or is there more? How are we to ever get by living a life filled with real meaning if we cannot know where to begin living our lives from?!

The Rambam's code – encompassing the entire Torah – was written in a particular order – for a particular reason. As he begins his work with this law, he must surely have meant it for a good reason as well. In fact, there simply is no other way to begin a work that discusses the laws of life than with a law such as this. Cutting through the possibility of philosophical debate of any kind, the Rambam sheds light on the most basic principle of life – G-d!

The Torah itself begins with the words, "In the beginning G-d created the heavens and the earth." The first of the Ten Commandments states, "I am the L-rd your G-d…"

The Baal Shem Tov teaches that even the very letters for the sentence stating that G-d suspends the firmament in the heavens continually stands in the air holding this command of G-d's in place! Were it not for those letters being suspended – continually, the heavens would collapse, and everything would revert back to a world of total chaos – as it was before G-d set up the order of life we have today.

The Baal Shem Tov teaches that nothing can happen in the world without G-d so decreeing it, without allowing it to happen. G-d watches everything, all the time. He encompasses everything, and is included within everything. One cannot run away from G-d, nor do anything without Him being aware of it.

These are the most basic principles of life. Without G-d, a world of chaos reigns. With Him, the start of a world of balance – of goodness and kindness, begins. He is all-powerful, and completely humble – both at the same time.

The wise man should set his eyes on this. It is the greatest piece of wisdom in the world – to know that this G-d has existed since any moment in time of infinity that anyone could ever dream of. And in turn, He will exist until any moment in time of infinity that anyone is able to dream of. In fact, He exists in both places at once – even now. He continually brings creation into existence every single moment. Not one moment passes by without His constant intervention and supervision in seeing to it that everything exists as it should.

Not like the potter – who takes clay, shapes it and moulds it into a new "creation" – which stands by itself when left afterwards. Not even like a magician who can magically cause the waters of the sea (in existence already) to change their path, forming columns and leaving the dry land for people to walk through. Rather, even the sea is His creation. He creates it from nothingness – a greater miracle than turning a substance of one kind into another – of changing a rule of nature, of changing one form of nature into another.

He continually brings it from nothingness into somethingness. He continually brings every single one of us from a nothingness into a somethingness. Right now, with every blink of our eyes. With every breath we take. With every movement we make. We are being brought into existence anew – every single moment. We are not pottery made from clay whose form has changed. We are literal nothingness – that G-d brings into somethingness existence – every single moment.

One must take a giant leap to enter the world of truth. In the world of falsehood, G-d can be anything. He can even not exist… But in the world of truth, He is here. He always has been. He always will be. And everything that has existed, does exist or ever will exist – is through His doing so… and through his doing so now.

To live any life filled with meaning, means that one must begin life right here. The acknowledgment that G-d does indeed exist, is the first step on the awesome journey of life. On a journey of discovery. A journey of bringing goodness and kindness to this world. A journey of learning about oneself – about one's soul. A journey of connecting with G-d Himself – in this world right here. A journey of bringing G-d into this world and of seeing Him wherever we look. In the heavens above and in the earth below. In the food we eat and the water we drink. In the actions we do, the words we say and the thoughts that we think.

Who can imagine a more exciting journey than the one – that includes G-d?

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Blessing and Learning Torah on an Airplane. Blessing Again After the Journey


The Torah commands us to keep connected with it at all times, "…and in your walking along the way." When traveling on an airplane one must not only keep the Mitzvah of studying Torah, but one must also bless and pray to G-d for a successful and safe journey. Upon safe arrival, one must bless again. Even if everything seems perfectly safe, still these are the laws that must be followed.

Many ask if there is any danger on an airplane. Is there a real need to ask G-d to protect us there? Everything seems safe enough. The planes are built according to the strictest requirements today. Engineers check everything again and again. Pre-flight tests are administered etc. Security checks, upon boarding, have become so strict, that the average person may feel like they're being accused of being a terrorist (G-d forbid) if security happens to find a pin in their pocket! The events of a current tragedy – as with others – clearly points us towards reminding us of these important laws of the Torah. The Torah is true for every single situation of today – no matter how awesome modern technology is.

Years ago, when man would travel by ship (only,) the Torah instructed us to make a blessing while traveling, for everything to be well during the trip, that robbers not attack one etc. In addition, when arriving safely, one must bless G-d at the first opportunity, by being given an Aliyah in Shul and reciting a blessing indicating one's thanks at the great favour G-d has bestowed in allowing us to live through this dangerous experience.

This was the Halacha before airplanes were invented. The Torah is constant. The laws applicable to times long past, still have value today. Today, however, it is the duty of the great rabbis of our generation to teach us the correct way when things "change." Many may think that the laws of the Torah are ancient – something to be practiced then, but not now. Yet today – we see quite literally how our sages of years ago, knew well what they spoke about then – and how these same laws would apply today. There is nothing new ever added to the Torah – just another angle of seeing the exact same law. A slight change in technology – and the Torah must be taught to accommodate the new lifestyle.

The Torah is as fresh today as it was thousands of years ago. The rabbis of today *must* give us guidance on understanding Torah for our times! We must live with the times. We must take the Torah which is not only thousands of years old, but indeed the very blueprint of creation, and apply every single law that was then – to what must be today.

Hundreds of years ago we had ships. Today we also have airplanes. When the Talmud was written, there were no airplanes. But could our sages have meant the same things about ships as they might mean about planes too?! Do the rabbis of today simply make things up – or do they in fact show clearly how everything is included in the root itself?

Think upon this: Electricity did not exist thousands of years ago. Could Moses have commanded us not to turn on a light on Shabbat nowadays? After all… it isn't really much work to do at all!

The Torah is infinite. Everything in it from the time it was given (and before that) – is the same as it applies today. Our job is to learn out from the previous cases, so that we can better understand how to apply things to today. "Moses" did indeed take electricity on Shabbat into account. "He" also took into account driving a car on Shabbat (even though it's far less work to do than to walk miles on end to get to shul!) And, in fact, he well took into account airplanes… Our duty now, is to learn from the events that happen in our day to day lives, and to know well, that every law of Torah must be observed. And we must know, that the legal authorities of Torah Judaism today, are as much connected with the laws of thousands of years ago – as they are, with the happenings and progress of today's technology.

The Lubavitcher Rebbe answers a letter addressed to him: The person asking is interested to know if we really do need to say any special blessing while traveling on a plane today. They also want to know if we need to study Torah on the plane (is it really included in the Mitzvah of learning Torah "…and in your walking along the way" – after all you're not actually walking!) And they want to know if one still needs to bless G-d after a safe arrival, after all, the Gemara doesn't speak about planes… but only ships!

The Rebbe replies:

"You ask whether an air passenger should say the blessing of HaGomel. It seems to me that the answer depends on which stand one takes in the question as to whether or not the Sages meant to be exclusive and specific when they listed the four categories of people who are obliged to express their gratitude through reciting this blessing. In Seder Birkas HaNehenin 13:7, the Alter Rebbe ruled that people in circumstances similar to those listed are also obliged to say the blessing. And this is the rule that applies here.

"One might add by way of mere observation that even according to the contrary view, an airplane that crosses the ocean also belongs to the category of 'those who go down to the sea.' Why should it be different? It is true that rumor ascribes to a certain scholar the argument that the phrase in Tehillim speaks of 'those who go down to the sea in ships,' rather than speaking of those who travel over the sea. However, we cannot be responsible for rumors, especially considering the view (cited in Sdei Chemed, Klalei HaPoskim, Klal 16, sec. 50) that we should not initiate derushim from Scripture that are not cited by the Sages. On the other hand, one might distinguish somewhat between the dangers undergone by a ship crossing the waves and an airplane flying far above them. But, as mentioned above, this whole discussion is merely academic, for common usage prescribes that the blessing is also said by people in circumstances similar to those listed.

"And now to a related question. Should one recite Tefillas HaDerech [lit., 'the prayer for the road,' i.e., the Prayer for Travelers; Siddur, p. 86] when in an aircraft? The Gaon of Rogatchov answered negatively, since its route is not a 'road' (cf. Chullin 139b; cited by R. Zevin in Ishim VeShitos, p. 97). This view, however, calls for close scrutiny, for it would seem that what matters is not whether or not a 'road' is involved, but rather the fact that a man leaves his home and travels outside his town through a place of possible danger involving enemies and so on, as specified there.

"Moreover, in the vast majority of cases a person has to travel by road until he reaches his airport (and likewise on arrival at his destination). If instead of taking his flight he would then (say) return home, the drive to the airport would be an ordinary occurrence. However, when this drive is about to be followed by a further journey by any means whatever, the Prayer for Travelers should be recited. Anyway, this is not the place for any lengthy discussion.
"(In lighter vein, one might seek to prove the point from the obligation to study Torah even in an airplane, despite the fact that the relevant verse obliges one to do so 'when you walk on the road....')"

(Quoted from "Sefer HaMinhagim – The Book of Chabad-Lubavitch Customs. Highly recommended purchase. Or read it online. As the 6th Lubavitcher Rebbe said in the name of the Alter Rebbe – the founder of Chabad Chassidism – the teachings of Chassidus in general are not intended for a specific group or class of Jews, but are relevant to all. See introduction to the book for more info.)

Need to learn more about the various blessings and prayers to be recited? Contact Rav Eliyahu rebeliyahu@gmail.com and set up a private or group lesson – ONLINE – today!


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