March 12, 2020
In this week's Torah portion, Moses begs Hashem to forgive the nation of Israel for the sin of the golden calf and says, "please pardon them of their sin, Hashem, for they are a stiff-necked people." (Exodus 34:9)
A stiff neck is the Torah's way of saying stubborn. Like any other character trait, stubbornness can go either way, for good or for evil. Throughout the ages, our righteous people have been so stubborn in their faith that they preferred to endure torture and death in sanctification of Hashem's Name rather than compromise their emuna. On the other hand, the riff-raff of our people have always stubbornly refused to recognize Hashem's monarchy and His Divine Providence, choosing the path of publicly and blatantly trampling the Torah's laws, from the time of Moses to the present.
Hashem is not some old lady in the sky that can do nothing against the Corona Virus, Heaven forbid. The first principle of our emuna is the "He alone did does and will do every deed." The Coronavirus, like all powers of evil, are emissaries of the Almighty and the executioners of stern judgment in the world. But like all powers, they can be harnessed to do good as well. Today's podcast shows the amazing way that the Coronavirus is paving the way to Moshiach...
March 8, 2020
A spiritual antiviral that's effective against coronavirus? Here's hope:
In a mad rush to prevent the global pandemic of coronavirus, researchers are looking for all types of defensive measures, such as boosting people's immune systems and looking for antibodies that prevent the penetration of coronavirus into healthy human cells. The difficulty of coronavirus is that its protein-like spikes serve as daggers that pierce and penetrate healthy cells. From a spiritual standpoint, though, I would take an offensive measure, and use a spiritual equivalent of what the pharmaceutical world calls antivirals, substances that fight off viral infections by attacking the viruses themselves. The power that knocked down the impregnable walls of Jericho can surely knock down the walls of the coronavirus.
Related: Go back and hear our podcast from Feb. 9, 2020 entitled, Protection from Coronavirus
January 26, 2020
I was lecturing at an IAF base, and my host - the assistant base commander - showed me where the bathroom was. When I came out, I washed my hands three times consecutively with a cup and said slowly and with intent the Asher Yatzar blessing that one says after visiting the toilet. My host looked at me wide-eyed, as if I'd suddenly sprouted peacock feathers. "Rabbi," he gasped, "you guys even make a blessing after relieving yourselves?"
We sure do! It's the best and cheapest health insurance policy anywhere. Hear this:
For your reference, The Asher Yatzar blessing and the practical Halachas of visiting the bathroom are posted here.
January 23, 2020
Who of us doesn't have difficulties or major troubles in life? We all do – that's part of the turf in this world. But today, G-d willing, we're going to look at our difficulties from a different angle. When we do, we'll see something precious that we never saw before. With Hashem's help, we're about to turn our difficulties into priceless diamonds...
Click here for the written text of the "Prayer for Turning Difficulties into Diamonds".
December 30, 2019
There isn't a single one of us that doesn't have a problem that hurts. To understand why, we must look at our spiritual health. We are all limbs of the whole body known as the Jewish People. Oftentimes, the pain in a limb is pain that has been radiated from the heart. In that vein, our individual problems are radiated from our national heart, Jerusalem and the Beit Hamikdash.