Monday, August 27, 2012

A Cool Reception

(Painting by Hyman Bloom)
A Cool Reception
By Dovid Sears

In Chayei Moharan, sec. 87, Reb Noson preserves Rebbe Nachman's account of a dream he had after Kiddush on an unspecified Shabbos in 1804. Perhaps the Rebbe dozed off briefly while sitting at the table and had this extraordinary dream.

The Rebbe states:

I saw in a dream that I was in the middle of a city, and it seemed to me in the dream that the city was quite big. A great tzaddik came there who was one of the tzaddikim of old -- one who was assuredly a great tzaddik. Everyone went to him, and I went to him too. Then I saw that they were all passing by him at his side, and they didn't offer him greetings of "shalom." It appeared that they were doing so intentionally. I was amazed that they were so rude as to refrain from greeting him on purpose. 

The reason was that in truth he was a great tzaddik. However, his body had been collected from many places; it was an aspect of "unclean places." But he himself was a great man who had undertaken the task of spiritually perfecting this body. And it is improper to greet another person in unclean places (Tractate Shabbos 10a). Therefore, they didn't offer him "shalom."


There is a Chassidic saying that the "foreign thoughts (machshavos zaros)" of tzaddikim are indeed the thoughts (machshavos) of others (zaros). That is, the impure thoughts of other people enter the minds of the tzaddikim in order to receive a tikkun, particularly when the tzaddik transmute and elevate them to their source above. This concept seems to be related to the Rebbe's dream about the great tzaddik who must spiritually perfect his impure body.

This surely applies to the tzaddikim, who otherwise would be free of such thoughts and feelings. Ordinary folks like most of us have nurtured the Yetzer Hara through having yielded to its promptings in the past.

But if we take a closer look, maybe the Rebbe's dream has a broader message. As the verse states, "Your people are all tzaddikim; they shall inherit the land forever, the shoot of My planting, the work of My hands in which I take pride" (Isaiah 60:21).

"Deep down inside" we are all tzaddikim -- "chelek Hashem amo." Even if unlike the fully-realized tzaddikim we must bear responsibility for the negative thoughts and feelings we must contend with, ultimately "Elokai neshamah shenasata bi tehorah he ... My G-d, the soul that you imbued within me is pure" (Siddur). And it is everyone's task to elevate the physical and not be overwhelmed by it.

A Simple Jew: Passing along the little I know about how to learn Likutey Moharan

(Click on image above for the posting)

Monday, August 20, 2012

Tuesday: August 21 - What does the Kabbalah say about Tatoos

Exciting Judaism Summer Series presents 2 Lectures @
The Carlebach Shul, on our LIVE VIDEO FEED.

Tatoo’s & Kabbalah.

What does the Kabbalah say about tatooing ?


August 21, Tuesday

7:45 pm – 8:55 pm

Why are tatoo’s appearing on every body we look at,
& why can’t Jew’s do it too ???

We will also present the Chumash,Talmud,& Modern Codifiers.

Where did tatoo’s originate ?

What were their original purpose ?

What energy do tatoo’s channel down ?

What is the Kosher Jewish version of making tatoo’s ?

What do animals have to do with tatooing ?

We are supposed to write what we believe in on our heart, not our bodies.

The body is already made up of letters of light,
which reflect its higher source &purposeful journey.


This source material is the Kabbalistic work,

” The Mystical Shulchan Aruch,” of

Rabbi Natan of Nemirov.


Lecture 2


The Secrets of the Zohar,the Book of Illumination.
Selected teachings of Rabbi Shimeon Bar Yochai.

9 pm – 10 pm.


See both classes tonight from

Your Home on our

Live Video Stream,

on our homepage @

Suggested Donation $10


Carlebach Shul

305 west 79 st

Monday, August 6, 2012

Friends of Yosef HaKohen, A"H

Received via e-mail:
Dear Friends of Yosef HaKohen, of blessed memory,

On Monday the 27th of the month of Elul 5771 (the 26th of September 2011) a notice was sent out to inform you of the passing of Yosef HaKohen, A''H.  Since then, many responses came in; however, it was not possible to reply to each and every one of those letters.

In the merit and in memorial to Yosef's beautiful spirit, his website Hazon - Renewing Our Universal Vision  is being refurbished. The site currently lists a selection of the regular letters in which Yosef’s gentle words are contained. The long-term intention is to widen the selection and avail the many friends of Yosef HaKohen  of more of his precious writings sent out over the course of approximately eleven years. The website is positioned as a resource to continue his legacy of spreading Torah and his message of the Universal Jew. In the short term the site itself is being updated to keep pace with current technologies and is now searchable.

It would be an undeniable shame if Yosef’s thoughtful words were to remain simply preserved and yet dissipate from our consciousness. Thus, one of the forms in which his words will be disseminated is a tentative republication of his letters as a ‘parsha sheet’ available in hard copy and digital form. The intention is to publish a selected piece or two each week relevant to the Torah reading or period in the cycle of the Jewish year.

We hope to print and distribute each edition to selected locations in Israel and in America. This effort certainly would benefit with your involvement.

Anyone who would like to subscribe to the re-publication can do so on the website and re-live the experience of receiving his insightful and kind words on a regular basis. The article will also be posted to http://hazonarchives.blogspot.

Through Yosef HaKohen’s writings, a community has been formed, and we are hopeful that through the blog the community will continue to flourish and be united.

Please note,Yosef’s old email address (which this email was sent from) will no longer be in service as of the first of September.  From now onwards the contact email address will be changed to the new address of friendsofyosefhakohen@gmail.
com. It will be used as the means for all future correspondence regarding the website, the published sheets, future projects and any important technical details pertaining to Yosef HaKohen. 

Leading up to Yosef’s first yartzeit (27th of the month of Elul) and Rosh Hashanah, we hope to send out the weekly re-published letters from the new e-mail address.

You will shortly be receiving an additional email from the new address with specifics.

Any comments and feedback regarding the above initiatives will be greatly appreciated. If you received duplicates of this email, please let us know.

With best wishes to all of you,

We all remain, ‘Friends of Yosef A”H’.

Rav Kenig in New York

Rabbi Elazar Mordechai Kenig will be visiting arriving in New York this Thursday in order to attend a simchah in the Klein family, with whom he stayed prior to his lung transplant and during his subsequent visits to New York. His teaching schedule while here remains undetermined, but those who would like to have a private meeting with the Rav may call Rabbi Dovid Zeitlin to arrange a time: 718-288-1951.

A Simple Jew posting on

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Rabbi Perets Auerbach to Speak in NYC

Rabbi Perets Auerbach will be scholar -in-residence for a Shabbaton at the Carlebach Shul in Manhattan on Shabbos Nachamu. For more information, visit their website:

The following Tuesday night, August 7th, Rabbi Auerbach giving over a Chassidic teaching at the Carlebach Shul from 7:45 – 8:55 pm.

He is a former student of the Chaim Berlin Yeshivah, Rabbi Zvi Aryeh Rosenfeld of Breslov, and other teachers in Eretz Yisrael. Rabbi Auerbach has written books on Hisbodedus, Yichudim, and is presently writing a translation and commentary on the Zohar. He also has a strong background in Shas and Poskim, and has served as a rav and mashpia for many years, working particularly with American-born young people living in Eretz Yisrael.

Address: The Carlebach Shul
305 West 79th St, NYC

Topic: Nechamah (Consolation)

Suggested donation for lecture: $10

The shiur also will be shown live on David Schweke's website