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Month: February 2024

Ki Tisa: Appeasement will not Work with Violent Groups

Ki Tisa: Appeasement will not Work with Violent Groups

The sin of the golden calf is one of the lowest points in history. Idolatry is the first Noahide commandant and a grave sin. But it all started with the good intention of Aaron, the high priest, to appease. Aaron was a very righteous and respected man. He attempts to stop the sin of idolatry. He was known as a peaceful and loving person, not the confrontational type. He used diplomacy and appeasement and pretended to go along with the violent crowd of Erev Rav in an attempt to stall things with diplomacy until Moses returned and no one would turn to idolatry. In the end, he simply ran out of time, and the idolatrous golden calf was created by using black magic, and Aaron was powerless to stop them. Appeasement did not work in this case.

The idea of appeasing and accepting radical Islam or any extremist ideology as a means of achieving peace in Western countries is not a viable solution. Appeasement often emboldens extremist groups rather than relaxing them. History has shown that concessions to radical Islam can be interpreted as signs of weakness, leading to further demands and aggression. Many radical Islamist ideologies often violate fundamental human rights. Surrendering to such ideologies would undermine the very principles of liberty. It will lead to the glorification of terror groups and their deeds.

Instead of attempting to appease Islamic extremists, a more effective approach to fostering peace is promoting 7 universal Noahide laws. The Seven Noahide Laws, which are derived from Jewish tradition but are considered universal moral principles applicable to all humanity, can indeed serve as a framework for promoting worldwide peace and ethical behavior. However, it is essential to recognize that these laws should be accepted because they represent G-d’s will and not solely to reduce the number of wars in the world.

In the Jewish month of Adar, we are called upon to strengthen the spirit of faith in Moshiach. We recognize that true joy changes circumstances and connects us to the coming redemption. In a world often burdened with challenges and trials, it is our duty and privilege to cultivate joy in our hearts; this will increase resilience and strength. Joy is a profound state of being that nourishes our souls, uplifts those around us, gives us the force to win the war, and connects us to the coming redemption.

*This is from a series of articles by Rabbi Bernstein Moshe.

Tetzaveh: True Leadership

Tetzaveh: True Leadership

In this week’s Parsha, Tetzaveh, a seemingly curious occurrence takes place: Moses’ name is conspicuously absent. Why is his name omitted?

When G‑d informed Moses of the people’s sin, Moses began to defend the people fiercely, passionately taking up their case. “Listen, let Me destroy these people,” suggested G‑d. Let Me create a new nation out of you. Your descendants will be the new Jewish people.

But what did Moses do? He flatly rejected the proposition. He said, “G‑d, I refuse to be part of this operation unless You forgive the people. If You do not forgive them, erase me from Your entire book, the book of Torah!” Although G‑d ultimately forgave the people, the impact of Moses’ words remained. Somewhere in the Torah, his name would be erased as a consequence of his unwavering commitment to the people.

This is true leadership! The leader is not thinking about his own benefit at all! He only thinks of the people’s benefit. The world tends to think that the Gaza war is something local. This war is against the core of belief, the very essence of the Jewish people, and divine justice. This is not a territorial debate. The war is against the place of the Holy Temple, or, as the enemy calls it, the Al-Aqsa Flood. Just before the third Holy Temple is about to be rebuilt by Moshiach, evil forces are trying to delay it by all means. This is the core of the international conflict that is happening today.

Moses—the greatest teacher who ever lived—gives us an example in the message of Tetzaveh. The one parashah that omits his name gives us an example of what a leader should look like. May we all welcome the era of true redemption, and may it happen speedily in our days.

*This is from a series of articles by Rabbi Bernstein Moshe.

Rabbi Bernstein Mosheの記事翻訳シリーズです。今回は今週のパラシャ―、パラシャット・テツァベに関してです。

Teruma: Rectifying the World

Teruma: Rectifying the World

In this Torah portion, we find an answer to an ancient question: what is the purpose of creation? G‑d is the essence of good, and the nature of good is to bestow goodness. But goodness cannot be bestowed when there is no one to receive it. To this goal, G‑d created our world—so that there should be recipients of His goodness. The Divine desire is that we “make a home for G‑d in the material world.” the sanctuary in the Sinai desert and the following first and second Holy tempel were a dwelling place for G-d in this world.

Since the Torah is G‑d’s divine blueprint for creation, it teaches us how to spiritually elevate our world of action. Since the Torah is eternal, it speaks to a whole variety of people on different levels in all eras. The message is to lift yourself from where you currently stand. Torah expects us to stand a little higher, towards the ultimate goal of a perfected, rectified world.

G-d has instructed us to create a sanctuary for His presence to reside within us. This directive encompasses three forms of sanctuaries: the physical Tabernacle erected in the wilderness; the personal, inner sanctuary that each individual is required to build; and lastly, the entire world, which we are tasked to convert into a dwelling place for G-d by observing His commandments.

In all these instances, the mission is feasible because it merely uncovers the inherent, authentic nature of existence which is created by G-d. The universe exists solely due to the Divine energy that flows within it, transforming the world into a space where Divinity is apparent. Similarly, the core of every individual is our Divine spark, so transforming our lives into a dwelling place for G-d is simply a matter of letting our inner divine essence merge with the physical dimension of the world. However, we need to understand that our limited understanding can not grasp the infinite wisdom of G-d.

In our present reality, a profound battle rages—a cosmic clash between malevolence and sanctity. On one side stand the forces of darkness and terror, while on the other side of holiness stand the Noahides and the Jewish people. These events unfolding across the globe are linked to this pivotal struggle.

Yet, amidst the global chaos, we expect the fulfillment of the prophetic promise for a future where the world is rectified, and where evil ceases to exist. We await the dawn of true redemption, when harmony prevails, and the entire universe finds its ultimate rectification by King Moshiach.

*This is from a series of articles by Rabbi Bernstein Moshe.

Tiles-and-Smiles! Mikveh update

Tiles-and-Smiles! Mikveh update

We want to wish you a good and happy month of Adar I, this coming Friday and Shabbat, two days of Rosh Chodesh.

This year is a leap year, with two months of Adar. We have 60 days – double the amount of Simcha to break and overcome all difficulties and challenges.

May the blessings and joy of double Adar, which begins this Friday, bring the complete victory of Am Yisrael over its enemies in Israel and all around the world. May the hostages come back home right away. May all the sick be healed and may all those that were killed and passed away, be resurrected with the coming of Moshiach now!

Adar comes from the word, ”Adir Bamarom Hashem”- How great is G-d Almighty.

May Hashem show his compassion in the most revealed way, with open miracles, and may all the sadness turn over to great joy!

Mikveh in Tokyo construction process

The beautiful tiles are already finished in the Mikveh onsen. It looks absolutely beautiful. These special tiles are from the mountains in North Japan. They are used many times in onsens due to their non-slip quality and their stunning reflection in the water.

Below:This week, we miraculously had heavy rain for two days straight. The mikveh is filled up almost halfway. We are hoping that very soon, Hashem will send more rain so that the mikveh fills up and we will have the required amount of rainwater for a kosher mikveh.

A kosher mikveh is comprised of two pools. One pool holds the natural rain water and the other is the immersion pool. In some mikvahs, the pools are one on top of each other, and in others, the pools are side by side.

In Hebrew, the pool that holds the rainwater is called an ”Otzar”, a treasure. The Otzar is covered with a concrete block with two holes so that the top pool of water will always be touching the rainwater in the bottom pool.

Developments of the Mikveh Onsen in Kyoto

The Mikveh onsen in Kyoto has been dug up. It is all ready for the construction of the wooden mold to hold the concrete walls of the Mikveh.The land itself is all cleaned and cleared for the Mikveh building.

Below:We were blessed to have Rabbi Grossbaum from Minnesota, the Mikveh expert come to Japan to oversee and guide the construction of the Mikvehs in Kyoto and Tokyo.

Mishpatim- Safeguarding Our Souls

Mishpatim- Safeguarding Our Souls

In this week’s portion, we find the laws of “four keepers”. These keepers should keep a deposit or an item safely. The four are a free custodian, a salaried custodian, a renter, and a borrower, as well as the extent of their responsibility for the item entrusted to them. It is known that behind the visible layer of the words of the Torah are hidden inner and deep spiritual ideas.

Here is hidden the idea that the divine spark that was entrusted in our body is only a deposit and we must keep this deposit by observing the 7 commandments of the children of Noah. Ben Noah’s role is to guard this deposit from any transgression properly. The deposit of the divine spark requires constant ‘care’ – apart from the need to guard the soul so the physical and material world will not damage it, the keeper must achieve the goal for which the soul descended. The keeper, representing each individual, must engage in fulfilling the Noahide Laws, particularly those relevant to Noah’s descendants. These laws serve as the framework for righteous living and moral conduct.

All the spiritual illnesses of Western society stem from the fact that the self is at the center of a person’s awareness. In the age of redemption, the world will be on a higher spiritual level. The man’s purpose in the world is reflected in the saying: “I was created solely to serve my creator”. It is better to engage in one hour of good deeds and repentance in this world than to enjoy divine light in the world to come. The worship of the Creator should be in the center. The human consciousness moves to a higher consciousness of the Creator who is infinite.

As we approach the infinite space of true redemption, the Messiah will redeem all of creation. The lingering evils—manifested in idolatry, power struggles, and hostility toward the chosen people—will be eradicated. The Creator’s presence will be fully revealed on earth.

May we continue to guard the divine spark within us, fulfilling our purpose and contributing to the redemption of the world by King Moshiach.

*This is from a series of articles by Rabbi Bernstein Moshe.