Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Why Does a Tzaddik have to Die? (Video Shiur: Rabbi Y.Y. Jacobson)

Monday, 25 July 2011

A Poem: Neighbourly Love! (Includes some Pics)

It's so much fun when the neighbours build
And think they're in charge of the whole wide world.
The mess they make, the noise they make
Please have respect for Heaven's sake!

We learnt a new law
No building and noise
Beyond seven at night and more

Who would expect at 9pm
A request to stop building
Is met with "Forgive them,"

It doesn't seem to matter
The time of night or day
Whether the neighbours
Need to work or pray

The motive in mind

Is expanding my house
No matter what trouble
Is caused to man or spouse

Don't worry about our balcony
Which once was clean and pretty
The damage – the mess
The headaches and stress

Don't think your landlord
Will be of help
It's up to you to clean and repair
Indeed it's true – we all need to share!

In short a tenant has no rights

The lowest of society
They'll need to pay the bills
Though it was they that suffered all the drills.

Where are our rabbis

From years gone by
Who have compassion on the needy
For the Beit HaMikdash they do cry!

Where is the honesty, kindness and truth

Have compassion on your neighbour
Don't be so aloof

They – who don't have money

Or so they say…
Are building again!
Does anyone pay?

So you be the judge. Who can say if the tenants whose balcony is destroyed was in the right?! Torah allows it and the tenant must pay for full damage done to the landlords balcony - though the damage was done by workers from the apartment above.

We need Mashiach - and soon!

Here's what it's all about in pictures:

Below: Apartment on floor 4 has begun building an upper loft. New rooms to be added instead of balcony too. Everything looks clean. Making those two tiny openings creates enough noise from the drilling as to necessitate leaving the apartment on floor 3 for at least a week!

Below: A side view. Building of upper floor on both sides.

Below: New room being added. Old rooms being renovated. Everything - clean, at least for the owners of apartment on floor 4!

Below: But take a look at what's really going on to the innocent bystander! Floor 3 must deal with the constant flying of rocks and stones.... and the wet cement (now dry of course!) Noise levels are impossible to recreate in this post!

Below: A sample and close up of the rocks, dirt and grime... and the wet cement (now dry!)

Below: Another close up of the mess. It's for the tenants to clean up - not the owners of the apartment who are actually building! However because of the wet cement - they're now required to repair the balcony for their landlords.

Below: On the other side, rocks have fallen even through the security bars onto the ledge of the main bedroom. Another mess for the tenants to clean up. It's not the responsibility of the owners above... yes, even according to Torah law!

I guess it's all just a reminder. The Beit HaMikdash is in ruins...

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

True Love - Words From the Arizal - Rabbi Yitzchak Luria

Before a person arranges his prayers in shul (or wherever he will be praying,) before the portion concerning the Akeidah (the binding of Isaac) and onwards, he should accept upon himself the Mitzvah of "ואהבת לרעך כמוך" - "I accept upon myself to love my fellow Jew as myself." 

One should have intention to love every single Jew as one loves oneself. This is because it is through this that his prayer will rise up being included with all the prayers of the Jewish people - and it is able to rise upwards causing fruit to bear from it. In particular the love of ones friends who study Torah together with one - everyone should include himself as if he was one of the limbs of his friends.

In particular - if any one of his friends is beset with distress, everybody (in the group) should join themselves with his distress - whether it be because of sickness or children (or because of a lack of children G-d forbid) and he should pray for him.

Likewise in all ones prayers and his needs and other things - he should join his friend together with him.

My teacher (the holy Arizal) warned me very much in the matter of loving our friends especially when they were part of a click (a group.)

--- Rabbi Chaim Vital (the Rechu) relating over his teacher's (the Arizal's) teachings. See beginning of Shaar HaKavanot and Pri Etz Chaim, Shaar Olam Ha'Asiya Chapter 1. Brought in Shulchan Aruch HaArizal, Chapter 1:2

Sunday, 10 July 2011

9 Tammuz - Yahrtzeit of the Klausenberg Rebbe

The 9th Tammuz marks the Yahrtzeit of the Tzaddik - the Klausenberger Rebbe - Rabbi Yekusiel Yehuda Halberstam. He survived the Holocaust - though came out having lost his entire family including his wife and 11 children. Should he survive - he said to himself, he promised he would build an entire hospital devoted to saving the lives of people. The Laniado hospital in Netanaya is the hospital that he built - a most remarkable hospital. Those members on its staff must comply with the most basic of all regulations, to treat people with respect and dignity.

Well known is the famous story when money was lacking to build the hospital. He was asked his opinion about which syringe needles to purchase. He asked what the problem was. They told him that one type of needle is much cheaper, but it stings the patient when inserted. The other costs far more, but it hurts less. It wasn't a question for the Rebbe. The latter was to be used at all costs!

There are some beautiful biographies written about the Rebbe. An exceptional person by anyone's standards. Having been through a world of hate - he was filled with nothing less than pure love. Who can even begin to compare to the greatness of such rare individuals?! But it is for us to strive to these levels. To stop the constant hatred and desire for war and death, and instead to focus our lives - every minute and every second of them to building places that help, that bring peace, that bring life. When will we stop with the stupidity of war, the baseless hatred of others and our desires to speak big about peace without being prepared to do anything to back it up?!

Life is real. It's not just about the latest I-gadget, and it's certainly not only about the "I" gadget. We need to read the heart breaking story of this Tzaddik - and then read it again. And then when we're finished it, we need to read it... again... because it seems, we still have a long way to go until we appreciate what life is really all about.

Below are two videos about the Tzaddik. The first is he himself speaking as he describes briefly - the multitude of tragedies he went through in his life. But it's enough for most of us to hear - because we still find it hard to believe that there are so many out there who still do not believe it, who do not even believe that there are many still wishing to continue this destructive behaviour in the lives of others.

The second video is all about the wonderful hospital he built. He never had any money to do it of course. He was by no means wealthy. But he chose to look the other way from those who might think to dissuade another for raising funds to build a building of life. He asked for those funds - and to those who gave, they will be blessed - forever.

Zechuto Yagen Aleinu - May his merit protect us.
May the soul of Rabbi Yekutiel Yehuda ben Tzvi זצ"ל merit to ascend level upon level -
and may it merit to stand before the Throne of Glory to plead our case in full,
to turn all the judgments of the world into mercy and hasten the final redemption - immediately!


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