Here's today's emuna news: the preoccupation with Coronavirus has taken the focus away from Israel's northern border, where an acute threat of hundreds of thousands of Hizbolla and Iranian missiles are aimed at us right now. Moses saw all this in this week's Torah portion...
Many of us want to change, yet we expect it to happen automatically, with no effort on our part. Life doesn't work that way. An old Hebrew expression says, "Even a journey of a thousand kilometers begins with a first step." What does that have to do with Moshiach, Geula? Do we really want them, or do we want to continue with exile, Diaspora and fasting on Tisha B'av?
If the emotional atmosphere of the constant COVID-19 threat is not enough to trigger panic, then the addition of the week of Tisha B'av makes it all the more of a challenge. Today's podcast is therefore a practical and effective guide for warding off panic attacks if they haven't started and for overcoming them if they have.
What possibly does COVID-19 have to do with Kamtza and Bar Kamtza? The key to the puzzle is Shalva Zalfreund, of blessed memory, a kindergarten teacher in Petah Tikva, passed away from coronavirus this past Friday, July 17, 2020. Shalva was an amazing teacher who educated several generations of Petah Tikva's children. Before she died, she wrote a letter to the parents of the children in her kindergarten. If you take a close look, the letter should be required reading for all of us, especially during the Three Weeks, a time when we're supposed to feel the lack and loss of our Holy Temple. Here is the letter and its mindboggling message to all of us.
Noam, an IDF soldier from a "hesder" tank unit, asked me: "I recall in one of your online Torah lessons, you said that if someone learns the right way, then the words of the Gemara come alive. How do you learn Torah in such a way that the holy words come alive right in front of you?" Here's your answer, Noam, which in your credit, others can benefit from also...
Our message today is intended to be a spiritual antidote to all that's trying to pull us down and to enable us to truly feel good about ourselves. The "Three Weeks" period is a time to yearn for Moshiach and the Holy Temple, but not a time to be sad or depressed.
We've just entered the Three Weeks again, the notorious period between the 17th of Tammuz and Tisha B'Av, when the worst things happened to the Jewish People throughout history. We can't understand the Three Weeks without understanding the root of Tisha B'Av and the destruction of both Holy Temples. It was the eve of Tisha B'Av when the twelve spies returned to the Israelite encampment from 40 days of scouting out the Land of Israel. All of them except for Calev ben Yephuneh from the tribe of Judah and Yehoshua Bin Nun from the tribe of Ephraim said slander about the Land of Israel and about how dangerous it was. That night, the entire Israelite nation sat in their tents and cried. Hashem said to them, "OK, you want to cry for nothing? I'll give you plenty of real reasons to cry for generations to come." What's the connection between the sin of the spies and everything that's happening to us today?
Many of us are unaware of what's going on inside of us. With pandemic all around us, it's only normal that anxiety levels are on the rise even in people who never suffered from anxiety. It's like walking in a battlefield – as much as you normally retain your cool, it's difficult not to feel pressure when people are getting wounded and dying all around you. That's exactly what's going on in the renewed wave of COVID-19. How can we successfully cope? Let's hear: