Ballot Blues

For those who don't know, Israelis return to the polls on Monday, March 2, 2020 for the third time in eleven months, for both the April, 2019 elections and the September, 2019 elections caught our country split apart and unable to form a stable majority government.

Elections in Israel are not only a heartache, but they're useless. Worse than useless, they're destructive. Why? I'll answer you with one of my metaphors: "Elections in Israel is like looking at ourselves through a broken mirror." Maybe you don't understand what I mean – today's podcast explains both the metaphor and what's going on in Israel today.

The Two Most Important Words

We're about to learn the two most important words in life - "thank you."

Today's podcast talks about gratitude on several of life's most significant levels: child-rearing, business and interpersonal relationships and marital relationships, among others. We also take a look at the two sides of gratitude - between man and fellow human, and between man and Hashem.

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The Power of a Mitzva

Today's podcast tells how one seemingly insignificant mitzva saved the life of an Israeli soldier in 1997, when two Israeli helicopters crashed in middair over Shaar Yeshuv in northern Israel, killing 73 Israeli soldiers and airmen in one of the worst disasters in Israeli military history.

Rebbe Akiva: Pillar of Emuna

Today's podcast come from the holy gravesite of Rebbe Akiva, overlooking the Sea of Galilee in Tiberias, Israel. The Gemara says that since Moses, there was no one greater than Rebbe Akiva, who overcame every possible disadvantage in the world while becoming the pillar of Torah and emuna, as we learn in today's podcast.

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Captain of the Ship

There was a tight-knit Jewish community built around the local Yeshiva. One of the children of the community was killed in a tragic accident, hit by a speeding truck while crossing the street. The community was shocked. The young men of the Yeshiva were so shaken at the child's funeral that for days afterward, they couldn't concentrate on their Gemara learning. To encourage them and ease their grief, the Rosh Yeshiva told them the parable about the captain of the ship...

The Ramcha”l: Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzatto osb”m

Today's podcast takes us to the holy gravesite of Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzatto (1704-1746), renowned Kabbalist and master of Jewish ethics, author of the classic books "Path of the Righteous," "Way of Hashem" and many more. Buried next to Rebbe Akiva in Tiberias, many kabbalists consider the Ramcha"l to be a gilgul (reincarnation) of Rebbe Akiva.

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The Emuna Babies

"You're carrying a monster," the doctor told the horror-struck expectant mother. "It's got two heads - you can see it right here on the sonogram. You should abort immediately!"

Stories like the above happen every day, even in Rabbi Lazer Brody's immediate family. Hear today's podcast - it can literally save lives.

Protection from Coronavirus

The world is in a near panic from the Coronavirus outbreak, as scientists and health authorities around the world are racing to halt the spread of this deadly virus that emerged from a live animal and fish market in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December, when it then jumped to humans. Once it jumped to humans, it was then transferred from human to human whenever they come in contact with one other.

At the time of this podcast, according to official Chinese statistics which many believe are downplaying the proportions of this health disaster, some 60,000 Chinese have already contracted the new coronavirus, which causes respiratory illness similar to pneumonia, and the death toll of nearly 700 is rising daily. This past January 30th, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak a “public-health emergency of international concern” — an alarm it reserves for events that pose a risk to multiple countries and that requires a coordinated international response.

The World Health Organization is correct – we need an international response. But what should that response be? Listen to today's podcast, which looks at current events through eyes of emuna.

Rebbe Ammi and Rebbe Assi: Cooperating, not Competing

Today's podcast comes from the holy city of Tiberias on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, where many of our Talmudic sages are buried. From the gravesite of Rebbe Ammi and Rebbe Assi, who were students of Rebbe Yochanan in the late 3rd Century CE, Rabbi Lazer explains two significant lessons we learn from these two pious and righteous Torah scholars of impeccable character.

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Rebbe Hiyya the Great: Master of Outreach

During the height of Roman occupation and persecution of Jews in the Land of Israel, Torah was in danger of being forgotten, for the Romans outlawed Torah learning. Poverty and deprivation prevailed among our people. Rebbe Hiyya the Great, at this most difficult time, took his wife Yehudit, his two twin sons Yehuda and Chizkiya, his two daughters and his two nephews Rav and Raba bar Bar Chana and made aliya to the Land of Israel. When he saw the terrible material and spiritual deprivation, he planted flax seeds. When he harvested the flax, he made nets to capture wild deer. He used the venison meat to feed starving orphans and used the deer hides to make parchment. On the parchment, he wrote the Five Books of Moses, which he taught to the orphans,  making a single-handed revival of Torah.

No wonder that Rebbe Hiyya's two sons and two nephews became prodigious Torah scholars and righteous men of the highest caliber.

Rabbi Lazer relates the story of Rebbe Hiyya the Great from his holy gravesite in Tiberias, overlooking the Sea of Galilee. 

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