- ‎אֵין עוֹד מִלְבַדּוֹ - There is noone besides Him -

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Modesty or The Holy Scroll   ||   Why should I keep Shabbat? || CoronaVirus or What Is G-d Trying To Tell Us?

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Most Popular Articles

  • CoronaVirus or What Is G-d Trying To Tell Us?

    Shmuel Katanov

    As you know more and more countries get infected with CoronaVirus and it is not slowing down. The World Health Organization has officially named this virus as Covid-19. Why did they choose this name?

    The Sages tell us that parents become prophets when they choose a name for their child, since they name the child with the name G-d wants him to have. I believe same thing happened here, the World Health Organization has chosen a name that G-d wants, since He is trying to tell us something.

    But what exactly is He trying to tell us?

    Covid-19 is written in Hebrew as: 19–כוביד starts with letters כו - Kaf & Vav that has a Gematria or a numerical value of 26, as in the Tetragrammaton - YHVH, and the word ends with יד - Yud & Dalet or word Yad which means Hand - with a numerical value of 14. Together both words mean: the Hand of G-d. In the middle there's letter ב - Bet that has a numerical value of 2. So, if we add all these values together 26+14+2=42 it represents a powerful Kabbalistic 42 letter name of G-d.

    In Exodus 8:12–15, we have a similar reference, but to a finger of G-d: "And the Lord said to Moshe, Say to Aharon, Stretch out thy rod, and smite the dust of the land, that it may turn into lice throughout all the land of Mizrayim. And they did so; for Aharon stretched out his hand with his rod, and smote the dust of the earth, and it became lice in man, and in beast; all the dust of the land became lice throughout all the land of Mizrayim. And the magicians did so with their secret arts to bring forth lice, but they could not: so there were lice on man and beast.  Then the magicians said to Pharaoh, This is the finger of G-d: and Pharaoh's heart was hardened, and he did not listen to them; as the Lord had said." 

    Back then, G-d has showed His Might to Pharaoh and whole of Egypt. But during this process Pharaoh hardened his heart every time and at the end he lost it all.

    I believe this time, G-d is showing His Might to the whole world and it is not pretty

    But what should we do? There's only one way to stop it, and it is a Teshuvah - to return to G-d, to keep Shabbat, Torah laws,  learn the laws of slandering and to make G-d - our Master and the driving force of our life instead of wealth and comfortable lifestyle. The nation of Israel must embrace and keep their end of the bargain - we must follow what we have promised when we accepted the Torah at the Mount of Sinai. 

    Same thing goes for the non-Jews, who have their own set of laws to keep.

    These are the times of the Moshiach and G-d will do everything to bring the end of days events and prophecies to happen whether we are ready for them or not. 

    DO NOT Harden Your Heart, a lot is at stake and we are all in this together.

    The destruction of Egypt happened with The Finger of G-d, imagine what may happen to our World from the blow of The Hand of G-d...?!??... Let's work together, do our parts and make this World a better place for all of the Humanity. 

    ------
    Here are the latest news from around the world where Covid-19/CoronaVirus is found.

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  • The Baseless Hatred Mystery Revealed

    by Shmuel Katanov

     Our Chachamim z"l tell us that the First Bet Hamikdash was destroyed because of three sins: Avodah Zarah/Idolatry, Shefichat Damim/Murder, and Arayot/Adultery. The second Temple of only one sin - Sinat Chinam - Baseless Hatred.

    Each of the sins are bad in their own right, but it took three sins to bring down the First Temple and only one the Second. Why? Why only one, what is so destructive and bad about it?

    Let's dive into Sinat Chinam cause I believe the reasons for the destruction of the First Temple are pretty self explanatory.

    So what is Sinat Chinam? It is Baseless Hatred or simply Hate that is coming from a place of evil. It's a wish to see another's demise or failure and when you in that hating mode you observe and translate anything that person does to negative with no benefit of a doubt.

    When you hate you always pursue the harm of another. You speak of him in harmful way, you make up stories so you get more people on your side to believe the lies, so he can have enemies. You speak and spread lashon hara - an evil speech, because you want others to see him in a bad way. You may say things to his spouse, so the family will have no peace and eventually falls apart. You accuse him and his children, so it should effect their shidduchim/marriage prospects. You make sure his reputation is ruined in his community and places of business. You make sure your family and people around him show him a cold shoulder so he feels unwanted and unbelonged.

    All of this is done stealthily where few people involved in the community or many across many communities. In our times, all of the above can be accomplished with just few clicks of the computer or the phone.

    Because of this ugly behavior, of the few or the many, Hashem has destroyed the Second Temple. So if the Temple is destroyed and it may seem like nothing is at stake today, what do we have to lose this time around?

    Chachamim tell us, that when a new family is born, the chatan and kallah are on their way to build something enormously holy - their Own Bet Hamikdash, where each room of their house resembles the original Temple. The bedroom is like the Holy of Holies, the living room table is like a Mizbeach where we cater the guests and consume our earthly sacrifices. Kitchen is where it's all prepared to the strict laws of kashrut.

    Our houses and shules are small Batey haMikdashim. This is where Shechina rests, this is where the mitzvot are done and kedusha is kept.

    Hashem wants peace and unity between people in the community or between communities, where people help each other, happy for each other, where they see good in each other with no jealousy and hate towards each other. Where they want others to have better houses, cars, vacations, respect and accessories. This is what Hashem expects from his people.

    Second Temple was destroyed because of Hate, the most ugliest trait that consumes many communities and people no matter their religious backgrounds. The solution to it is Achavat Chinam - Baseless Love. Otherwise our small Batey haMikdashim are at stake.

    The Sages taught, "Any generation in which the Temple is not built, it is as if it had been destroyed in their times" (Yerushalmi, Yoma 1a).

    Our job is to change for the better, to do good to others, more of baseless love and no hate and animosity towards others - be it in their own community or outside of it, better ourselves in our servitude to Hashem and earn the merit to see Moshiach and the Third Beit Hamikdash rebuilt in our days. Amen.


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  • Modesty or The Holy Scroll

    Shmuel Katanov

    Modesty or Tzeniut... When one hears either one of these words, the first thing that usually comes to one’s mind is: Oh come on! Do I really have to wear all that? It is so hot outside, I feel so layered up, like an onion... There are lots of excuses one can come up with, but allow me to show you the outcome of either of the choices one decides to make.

    I looked up the word Modesty in the dictionary and this is what I have found: Modesty, is a mode of dress which intends to avoid the encouraging of sexual attraction in others. The word "modesty" comes from the Latin word modestus which means "keeping within measure". 

    The word Tzniut means: it describes both the character trait of modesty and discretion, as well as a group of Jewish laws pertaining to conduct. In modern times, the term has become more frequently used with regard to the rules of dress for women within Judaism.

    The Sages say, if woman keeps the laws of modesty as a reward she will merit to marry a Cohen and have Cohanim Gedolim come from her, she will have children that may be Jewish judges, sages, scholars, and righteous people and so much more and all of this just by being modest.

    But what is it about modesty that so much can be gained from it?

    In the book called Power Points by Rabbi Ephraim Nissenbaum, there's a story in Parashat Nasso, of a young woman that became observant and was bothered that Jews made a lavish Bar Mitzvahs for boys, while for girls - the Bat Mitzvah passes unnoticed.

    So she asked her Rav. To which he replied, "The Vilna Gaon says that tzeniut or modesty is to a woman what Torah study is to a man, meaning it is her vehicle for spiritual growth. When a boy becomes 13 years old, he is counted as part of the minyan and is being called to the Torah. These are public events and the celebration is therefore public as well.

    When a girl reaches bat mitzvah, her defining moment is marked by an image of royalty through modesty. So with this spirit of modesty, her celebration is less public and more reserved."

    An image of royalty - this is a great way of looking at it, but I believe there are could be more to it.

    The Sages compare a woman to a Sefer Torah scroll. Since the Sefer Torah is holy and valuable, we dress it beautifully and hide it in a safe box or the Aron. And not only that, if any of the letters in the scroll are missing or broken, the whole scroll becomes invalid or not kosher.

    But what is the scroll made out of? It is made of the skin of a kosher animal - klaf and the sofer - the person who writes it, writes it in holiness and while meditating on the names of G-d.

    In the Midrash Tanchuma, Bereshit 1 it says: How was the Torah written? It was written with letters of black fire on a surface of white fire or black ink against the white parchment. 

    The black fire on white fire, I believe there are could be more to it.

    We can literally compare them to a married couple - a woman as white fire and man as a black fire.

    Just like in the Torah, if the letter is broken or fallen from its original place, the scroll becomes invalid, so is the woman, if she is dressed immodestly not according to the Jewish law, that makes her lose that energy or her white fire.

    But, what is this energy or the white fire?

    In Bereshit 2:24 it says: "עַל־כֵּן֙ יַֽעֲזָב־אִ֔ישׁ אֶת־אָבִ֖יו וְאֶת־אִמּ֑וֹ וְדָבַ֣ק בְּאִשְׁתּ֔וֹ וְהָי֖וּ לְבָשָׂ֥ר אֶחָֽד׃ - Hence a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, so that they become one flesh." What happens when the two of them become one flesh? Once the man and the woman are united in holy act when allowed according to the Jewish law, this is when they combine their energies or their fires - black fire and the white fire, and this is when the Presence of Hashem comes and lives in their home, thus helping them grow in their holiness.

    When woman dresses immodestly, she is letting her energy or her white fire to drip out, which causes her to lose her holiness. This causes the couple to get distracted from serving Hashem and their goals switch from spiritual to physical, but this is not the only loss. This distraction causes all the members of the family to weaken from serving G-d  and makes them slowly move further and further away from Him. Since when she is together with her husband, he cannot cling to her, and they cannot become one flesh - thus they lose out in this world and the next. This is when the issues of Shalom Bayit and other problems arise.

    When woman keeps the laws of Modesty, she becomes a holy parchment - the white fire, a man becomes the black fire or the black ink, when they are together in the holy act, the couple becomes a Holy Letter of the Torah - with their children around them as crowns on that letter written on the parchment

    As the families all around the world strengthen in their modesty, they slowly grow in their holiness, Hashem handpicks them to be part of his own Sefer Torah - The Living and Breathing Sefer Torah. These holy couples, keep the laws of modesty and the laws of Torah - either from birth, or by returning to their roots later on in their lives, thus they become part of the Holy Scroll of Hashem. And if little is revealed by the woman in immodest way, that letter loses its place in the Holy Scroll of Hashem, but not only the woman looses its place - the whole family is affected by it as well.

    In the Megilat Ruth 2:5 says, "וַיֹּ֤אמֶר בֹּ֙עַז֙ לְנַעֲר֔וֹ הַנִּצָּ֖ב עַל־הַקּֽוֹצְרִ֑ים לְמִ֖י הַנַּעֲרָ֥ה הַזֹּֽאת׃ - Boaz said to the servant who was in charge of the reapers: Whose girl is that? Rashi explains, To whom does this maiden belong. What did Boaz see in Ruth? He saw her modest and wise behavior, how she was picking up the stalks of wheat in order not to bend over and did it in modest way by sitting."

    This act alone, led to her marriage with Boaz - thus paving the way to a royal lineage to come from her - King David, King Shlomo and long awaited Mashiach himself, and all of this because of her modesty.

    But let's look at this from yet another angle. 

    It is written in the Torah, "The Israelites journeyed from Raamses to Succoth, about 600,000 men on foot, aside from children." (Shemot 12:37) They all traveled with their wives and children, and as it says in the Masechet Sotah 11B, "Rav Avira taught: In the merit of the righteous women that were in that generation, the Jewish people were redeemed from Egypt."

    Also, the word "ישראל - Israel" can be read as an acronym for "Yesh Shishim Ribo Otiot LaTorah", meaning: "There are 600,000 letters in the Torah." Therefore, nation of Israel did not leave Egypt until there were 600,000 holy couples that were included in Hashem's Sefer Torah.

    So, if the problems come into this world, we have probably fallen from our minimum count of 600,000 families or letters in Hashem's Sefer Torah for modesty - if we improve on this collectively - this can be the answer to solve the current problems the world faces today.

    And as we bring up the numbers to 600,000+ families, this will increase our chances of bringing the redemption closer and finally meet Mashiach in the near future.

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Latest Articles

  • Modesty or The Holy Scroll
    Shmuel KatanovModesty or Tzeniut... When one hears either one of these words, the first thing that usually comes to one’s...
  • Why should I keep Shabbat?
    Shmuel KatanovShabbat or Shabbos... we heard it so many times, some heard it since birth if they were born into religious home,...
  • The Wisdom of the Jewish Sage
    Shmuel KatanovIt's very puzzling how it all played out. The nation of Israel was three days away from the Land of Israel - just...
  • Upon whom shall we depend?
    "When murderers multiplied, the [ceremony of] breaking a heifer’s neck ceased. That was from the time of Eliezer ben...
  • Why do we light bonfires on Lag BaOmer?
    Shmuel KatanovImagine it is dark, and there are hundreds of people dancing, and in the middle there's a huge bonfire lighting...

Most Popular

  • CoronaVirus or What Is G-d Trying To Tell Us?
    Shmuel KatanovAs you know more and more countries get infected with CoronaVirus and it is not slowing down. The World Health...
  • The Baseless Hatred Mystery Revealed
    by Shmuel KatanovOur Chachamim z"l tell us that the First Bet Hamikdash was destroyed because of three sins: Avodah...
  • Modesty or The Holy Scroll
    Shmuel KatanovModesty or Tzeniut... When one hears either one of these words, the first thing that usually comes to one’s...
  • Why should I keep Shabbat?
    Shmuel KatanovShabbat or Shabbos... we heard it so many times, some heard it since birth if they were born into religious home,...
  • Из-за Денег или Аз Баҳри Пул
    Шмуэль КатановВ Книге Деварим 21:1-2 говорится: וְיָצְא֥וּ זְקֵנֶ֖יךָ וְשֹׁפְטֶ֑יךָ וּמָדְדוּ֙ אֶל־הֶ֣עָרִ֔ים אֲשֶׁ֖ר סְבִיבֹ֥ת...