Friday, December 31, 2010

A Memorial to the Deed of Creation

"A Memorial to the Deed of Creation"
(from the Shabbat Kiddush)
Tevet 25, 5771/December 31, 2010

When we say Kiddush, the sanctification of Shabbat on Friday evening, after we complete the blessing of the wine, we conclude with the following blessing:
"Blessed are You, HaShem our G-d, King of the Universe, Who sanctified us with His commandments, and hoped for us, and with love and intent invested us with His sacred Sabbath, as a memorial to the deed of Creation. It is the first amongst the holy festivals, commemorating the exodus from Egypt. For You chose us, and sanctified us, out of all nations, and with love and intent You invested us with Your Holy Sabbath."
The connection between the Shabbat and the six days of creation is inherently clear: G-d created the world in six days and rested on the seventh. Therefore, we also refrain from work on Shabbat. But what does Shabbat have to do with the exodus from Egypt? Where's the connection?
As we read this week's Torah parasha of Va'era (Exodus 6:2-9:35), we begin to learn about the ten plagues with which G-d would afflict Egypt. As the story unfolds we see that G-d's devastation of Egypt is so thorough and so complete, it can almost appear to be gratuitous. Why put the Egyptians through such misery when G-d could have easily sent Israel out in an instant. What was there to gain by drawing out the affair?
There are ten occasions in the Torah account of creation in which G-d said, "Let there be..." These are known as the ten utterances of creation. With these ten "Let there be's" G-d created the heavens and the earth, and all the elements and life that populate them. Could G-d have created all of existence with a single utterance, a single "Let there be...?" Of course. But G-d chose to bring creation into existence gradually, step by step, so that man will be able to witness and study and comprehend the act of creation, and by so doing, comprehend and appreciate and celebrate and honor the holy Shabbat, the day that G-d "ceased from work and rested." (Exodus 31:16-17)
It is our custom to stand while reciting the Shabbat Kiddush, in the manner of someone giving testimony. For by relating the six days of creation and the seventh day of rest, we are giving testimony to our faith that G-d did, indeed create our world. And therefore it is incumbent upon us, bearers of this knowledge, to likewise rest on the seventh day.
The only catch is that we weren't there for the six days of creation. We are in effect, giving testimony to something that we did not directly witness. We were, however, in Egypt, and we did, in fact witness the ten plagues with which G-d punished Egypt. If we examine the nature of the ten plagues, we become aware that each of the ten plagues directly affected a particular aspect of G-d's creation. In one plague, all plant life was destroyed. In another plague all the beasts of the field were annihilated. In one plague the waters of Egypt were rendered deadly, and in another plague the heavenly firmament was blotted out of the sky. In the final plague, the first borns of Egypt were slain, spelling doom for man himself, the crown of G-d's creation.
The math speaks for itself: With ten utterances creation came into being, and with ten plagues that very creation was undone, unravelled and made defunct. Each time it was only G-d's intervention, via Moshe that restored order back to creation. Anyone with eyes in his head would know that only a G-d who had created the world could thusly wreak havoc on His own creation. And this was G-d's express purpose:
"'But I will harden Pharaoh's heart, and I will increase My signs and My wonders in the land of Egypt. But Pharaoh will not hearken to you, and I will lay My hand upon the Egyptians, and I will take My legions, My people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt with great judgments. And the Egyptians shall know that I am HaShem when I stretch forth My hand over Egypt, and I will take the children of Israel out of their midst.'" (ibid 7:3-5)
But it wasn't just the Egyptians who witness G-d's signs and wonders. All the world witnessed, including Israel. And by witnessing, all the world understood that there is but one G-d, and that same G-d created the world and that same G-d will deal with the world as He sees fit. By having witnessed the exodus from Egypt we are able to personally substantiate our Shabbat Kiddush testimony that G-d is, indeed, the creator of our world, as it is stated in the first half of the Shabbat Kiddush:
"And on the seventh day G-d completed the labor He had performed, and He refrained on the seventh day from all the labor which He had performed. And G-d blessed the seventh day and He sanctified it, for He then refrained from all his labor - from the act of creation that G-d had performed."
There is no true observance of Shabbat without a knowledge of the exodus, and there is no true exodus from servitude without an acknowledgment of the seventh day, the day that G-d "refrained from all his labor - from the act of creation that God had performed." Shabbat Shalom!
Temple TalkTune in to this week's Temple Talk as Rabbi Chaim Richman and Yitzchak Reuven discuss the ten plagues, the blindness of Pharaoh to the truth of G-d's existence, and the beginning of the long march from exile & servitude to liberty & redemption.
Vendyl JonesThe Temple Institute is saddened to learn of the passing of a beloved friend and inspiration, Vendyl Jones.
Vendyl was a fearless searcher of truth, an uncompromising iconoclast who never swayed from his pursuits, both archaeological and theological, despite the fact that his discoveries were often met with skepticism, hostility, or indifference.
Vendyl was a pioneering spirit who challenged convention. His ground-breaking archaeological findings helped to return the Holy Temple and the Divine service back to its rightful prominence in the minds of many, and his Biblical scholarship and teachings aided countless spiritual seekers to return to the truths and values of the G-d of Israel. Perhaps more than any other individual of this generation, Vendyl is revered by many as one of the modern patriarchs of the burgeoning Noahide, (Bnei Noach), community in America. May his family and friends be comforted and may his life continue to serve as an inspiration. May his memory be for a blessing.
Building the Temple in Our DayThis week also features the Light to the Nations teaching by Rabbi Chaim Richman, entitled, "Building the Temple in Our Day: G-d commands and man fulfills. The long anticipated coming of themoshiach is not linked in any way to Israel’s obligation to build the Holy Temple, as explicitly commanded in Torah by G-d to the Jewish people. Nor is the popular notion that the Holy Temple will descend from heaven ready-built based in Torah or halachic reality." (This teaching was initially posted in October 2009. Rabbi Richman will not be recording new teachings until he returns from his upcoming trip to the USA.) Click here to view.
Rabbi Richman in

America, January 2011"Sing to the L-rd a New Song; Sing to the L-rd, All the Earth!" (Psalms 96) Rabbi Richman in America, January 2011: Please view this short video in which Rabbi Richman personally invites you to join him in America this January as he speaks about the world today and the role Israel is destined to play in leading the world "From Exile to Redemption." Click here!
For additional details of the Rabbi's speaking engagements in eight states, please click here.
Parashat HashavuaParashat Va’era traces the steps of the emergence of the children of Israel from the bondage of Egypt, for which we thank G-d every day, and celebrate on the seven days of Passover. True, we are no longer slaves in Egypt, but how free are we? Click here to view Rabbi Richman's short teaching on parashat Va’era (Exodus 6:2-9:35).
Blessings from the holy city of Jerusalem,
  Yitzchak Reuven
  The Temple Institute

Sunday, December 26, 2010

They Know Not Yosef

"A new king arose over Egypt, who knew not Yosef."
(Exodus 1:8)
Tevet 16, 5771/December 23, 2010

The opening of the book of Exodus introduces us for the first time to what has in modernity been dubbed, "the Jewish problem:" "[The Egyptian Pharaoh] said to his people, 'Behold, the people of the children of Israel are more numerous and stronger than we are. Get ready, let us deal shrewdly with them, lest they increase, and a war befall us, and they join our enemies and depart from the land.'" (Exodus 1:9-10) Too numerous, too wealthy, too poor, too clever, too strong, too weak, too crude, too assimilated, too separate, the list goes on and on. Wherever Jews dwell, their presence, with few historical exceptions, is perceived by others as a threat. Pharaoh, in this week's Torah reading, earns the honor of being the first potentate to propose the breathtakingly obvious response: Eliminate the Jews.
In attempting to eradicate the presence of Israel from within Egyptian society, Pharaoh actually embarked upon a three pronged approach, each of which have been repeatedly tried throughout Israel's long history, with increasing venom and aggression in modern times. Approach number one was servitude: make their lives miserable with the aim at breaking their spirits. Their spirits and bodies broken, they will lose their communal cohesiveness, break apart and disintegrate into nothingness. "So the Egyptians enslaved the children of Israel with back breaking labor. And they embittered their lives with hard labor, with clay and with bricks and with all kinds of labor in the fields, all their work that they worked with them with back breaking labor." (ibid 1:13-14)
Approach number two was genocide, or more specifically, infanticide: Destroy the males at birth. The surviving females with serve the Egyptians and eventually disappear into Egyptian society, leaving no trace. "'When you deliver the Hebrew women, and you see on the birthstool, if it is a son, you shall put him to death, but if it is a daughter, she may live.'" (ibid 1:16)
When the G-d-fearing Hebrew midwives, Shifra and Puah, refused to do Pharaoh's bidding, this approach was modified. "Every son who is born you shall cast into the Nile, and every daughter you shall allow to live." (ibid 1:22)
Now the third approach was really the first approach, as enslavement and genocide were but logical corollaries of the first approach, which was erasing Israel from the collective memory of the nation. "A new king arose over Egypt, who knew not Yosef." (ibid 1:8) In ancient totalitarian Egypt, Pharaoh's state of mind was what informed every nook and cranny of Egyptian civilization. What Pharaoh knew, or didn't know, was the law. Although the exact nature of Pharaoh's forgetfulness concerning Yosef and his people remains an unanswered question, (was this a new Pharaoh, or even a foreign invader who assumed the title Pharaoh, and to whom the legacy of Yosef held no meaning or allegiance, or was it the same Pharaoh of Yosef's day who experienced a change of heart), it ultimately translated into the same thing: the willful obliteration of Yosef from the national consciousness.
Every Pharaoh employed scribes skilled at chronicling their reign's history through hieroglyphics. Palace walls and all public buildings were adorned with the hieroglyphic retelling of Pharaonic history. Certainly Yosef, so central and revered a figure in his own lifetime, was mentioned, even glorified, on these walls. But now the word went out from Pharaoh and Yosef's name was whitewashed, erased, deleted, expurgated and expunged from every wall, ledger and record book within Egypt. Yosef no longer existed. And as he disappeared so did the identity of his people. Enslaved and set upon, now the children of Israel were robbed completely of their identity. How easy to actively be an accessory to the physical eradication of a people when they no longer exist in the mind! How difficult to survive such a wholesale attack on your very existence when those attacking you claim that you never existed in the first place!
In the past eighty years alone we have witnessed unrelenting attempts using all three of these ancient approaches to removing Israel, utterly and completely, from the world. Nazi Germany relied on slavery and genocide to accomplish their aim. The Arab states, after the birth of Israel in 1948, modified the Nazi attempt at worldwide genocide to the elimination of the Jews within the land of Israel. And like Pharaoh, they abandoned the methodical elimination of the Jews via a state run apparatus, (in Germany's case, the death camps, in Pharaoh's case, the use of the midwifes), and opted instead for "throwing the Jews into the sea!" as the well known battle-cry of the Arab states declared for many decades.
The current approach, even more dangerous than the others, for it is so easy to buy into, so easy to adopt, so easy to justify and sanitize, and so appealing to the politically correct thought tyranny that is threatening our world, is none other that the "know not Yosef" approach. "These people never existed before, never did a jot of good for humanity, never pulled their own weight, in the end always siding with the enemy, so why should they exist today? Why should they exist tomorrow?" Pull out the plug on Israel's "being" and they will cease to exist!
Alas, for our as-ever implacable enemies, the catch to this approach today remains the very same catch that made itself manifest in Pharaoh's day: "G-d heard their cry, and G-d remembered His covenant with Avraham, with Yitzchak, and with Ya'akov. And G-d saw the children of Israel, and G-d knew." (ibid 2:25) How foolish our G-dless persecutors are! How puny are their grandiose plans to destroy Israel and expropriate for themselves that which belongs to G-d! How fortunate is Israel, for even when all the Pharaohs of the world declare from every capital and every human rights forum and every international court of justice that they "know not Yosef," G-d knows Yosef and G-d hears the cry of Israel! This is all that matters. G-d knows!
Temple TalkTune in to this week's Temple Talk as Rabbi Chaim Richman and Yitzchak Reuven discuss the book of Exodus, the "king who knew not Yosef," the spiritual anarchists among us today who are his descendants, and who is ultimately responsible for the rise of hostility to Israel in recent years.
Miriam the Prophet, Part IThis week features the Bat Melech video teaching with Rabbanit Rena Richman, entitled, "Miriam the Prophet, Part I: Miriam, the older sister of Moses, was a women of prophetic vision and a teacher of her generation, whose unique ability was in channeling her love of G-d into creative outlets through which all the children of Israel can express themselves." (This teaching was initially posted in April 2009. Rena will not be recording new teachings until she returns from her upcoming trip to the USA.) Click here to view.
The Holy Temple: Man-Made or

Heaven-Sent?This week also features the Light to the Nations teaching by Rabbi Chaim Richman, entitled, "The Holy Temple: Man-Made or Heaven-Sent?: We have studied Maimonides’ Laws of the Chosen House, and we have learned the many details of the Holy Temple. Are we now ready to build? We think so, but some voices differ. A guide for the perplexed." (This teaching was initially posted in October 2009. Rabbi Richman will not be recording new teachings until he returns from his upcoming trip to the USA.) Click here to view.
Rabbi Richman in

America, January 2011"Sing to the L-rd a New Song; Sing to the L-rd, All the Earth!" (Psalms 96) Rabbi Richman in America, January 2011: Please view this short video in which Rabbi Richman personally invites you to join him in America this January as he speaks about the world today and the role Israel is destined to play in leading the world "From Exile to Redemption." Click here!
For additional details of the Rabbi's speaking engagements in eight states, please click here.
Parashat HashavuaA new Pharaoh arose "who didn't know Yosef." That's outrageous! After all Yosef had done on behalf of Egypt, to be unceremoniously expunged from Egypt's national narrative is unthinkable. Yet it was Yosef's own brothers who, not so long before, "didn't know Yosef" - not his face, and not his understanding as to how to bring about the redemption. Their animosity toward Yosef eventually engendered Pharaoh's animosity. Click here to view Rabbi Richman's short teaching on parashat Shemot (Exodus 1:1 - 6:1).
Blessings from the holy city of Jerusalem,
  Yitzchak Reuven
  The Temple Institute

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Don't be afraid, for am I instead of G-d?

"Don't be afraid, for am I instead of G-d?"

(Genesis 450:19)
Tevet 10, 5771/December 17, 2010

Perhaps more than any other figure in the entire book of Genesis, which draws to a close with this week's reading of Vayechi, Yosef understood the division of labor in G-d's world: G-d directs while man does his level best to fill a supporting role. Or, as Shakespeare put it, "All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players." But whereas Shakespeare's words speak dolefully of the futility of human endeavor, Yosef saw man's role in the opposite light. By maintaining a steady and unshakable belief in G-d's benevolence, man can pursue a purpose on this earth far greater than any motivated by self-interested, and by doing so leave a mark that will far exceed his own fleeting grasp on life. Certainly we witness this in Yosef himself. Whatever wounds he suffered in his one hundred and ten years, whatever human flaws he exhibited, he cast a giant shadow that extends until this very day.
It seems natural to speak of Yosef employing classical terms of drama. After all, he was not merely a player, but also took up the role of director in what may be the most compelling drama played out in the annals of humankind. It was he who set the stage when his brothers first traveled to Egypt, hungry and in search of food. It was he, as director, who first ordered the money to be placed in the brothers satchels, and later the goblet among Binyamin's belongings. And it was Yosef who deftly confronted his unsuspecting brothers, drawing forth from them their own recounting of their earlier crime, their acceptance of the responsibility of their actions, and their determination to make amends. Had he not invisibly guided them through these steps it is doubtful that they could have achieved it on their own. But with the conclusion of this family drama, Yosef retires as director, seeks to return to his original role as brother among brothers, and reasserts that, for all his dabbling in the art, there is really only one true Director,and that is G-d Himself.
We can even consider the book of Genesis, in its entirety, as the first act of an unfolding drama. The curtain rises and the world is being created. And as unsurpassable as that may seem, the dramatic tension continues to intensify throughout each of the first twenty four generations of man, arriving at a crescendo with the scene of Yosef alone with his brothers. And after the crescendo comes the denouement in which the brothers are reconciled and Ya'akov, reunited with Yosef, blesses all the boys, expires and is buried alongside his fathers, back in the land of Israel.
But even before the return of Yosef and his brothers to Egypt we sense a palpable change. A chill seems to have passed between Yosef and Pharaoh. Their relationship has grown formal and distant. In fact, Yosef no longer has direct access to Pharaoh, but must communicate with him through an intermediary: "When the days of his weeping had passed, Joseph spoke to Pharaoh's household, saying, 'If now I have found favor in your eyes, speak now in Pharaoh's ears, saying… '" (Genesis 49:4) He hasn't fallen out of favor with Pharaoh, but, it would seem that, having successfully completed his mission of feeding Egypt he is no longer essential to Pharaoh, no longer the apple of his eye. There will be no lifetime achievement award for Yosef. He dies, and as the book of Genesis comes to a close, the lid slams shut upon Yosef's coffin, and the walls begin to tighten around his remaining brothers and their offspring. The Egyptian honeymoon is over. A very cold "winter of discontent" is about to set in.
As the curtain closes on Genesis we may be tempted to question the virtue of creation. The great promise of "In the beginning" seems to have dissolved into a haphazard world where good deeds are quickly forgotten and selfless acts of kindness are repaid with scorn. It is precisely here where we need more than ever to remind ourselves of Yosef's consoling words to his brothers, "Don't be afraid, for am I instead of G-d?" It is not our task to second-guess all that has transpired or to needlessly speculate at what G-d has in store for Israel in Act II. We're not the Director. But we are the actors He depends upon. We must strive to fulfill our individual roles to the best of our ability.
So we conclude the book of Genesis with a heavy sense of foreboding, which we will dispel with the hearty call of "Chazak, chazak venitchazeik!" which we declare as a congregation at the conclusion of our reading on Shabbat: "Be strong, be strong, and be strengthened!" The curtain is about to rise, Act II is about to commence, and the great epic of enslavement and Exodus is about to take place: Director's cut. We're in very good hands.
Temple TalkTune in to this week's Temple Talk as Rabbi Chaim Richman and Yitzchak Reuven express their gratitude for the blessed rain that fell in buckets this week here in the Land of Israel. This current month of Tevet is traditionally considered to be a time of portent and distress, and features a public fast day, the 10th of Tevet, which commemorates a siege around Jerusalem that led to the destruction of the first Holy Temple. Is Jerusalem still besieged... or are its inhabitants just suffering from a siege mentality?
Three Days in TevetThree Days in Tevet: The eighth, ninth and tenth days of the month of Tevet are each considered dark days in the history of Israel. At one time each of the three days was observed by a fast. Today we fast only on the tenth. What happened on these three days?
The 8th of TevetThe 8th: The Septuagint: On this day seventy two sages translated the Hebrew Torah into Greek. Why is this accomplishment considered to be less than auspicious? Click here to find out.
The 9th of TevetThe 9th: This day marks the passing of Ezra and Nechemiah who led the Jews exiled in Babylon back to Jerusalem. Click here to learn more about their crucial role in Israel's history.
The 10th of TevetThe 10th: On this day the Babylonian army of Nebuchadnezzar first laid siege to the wall of Jerusalem which ultimately culminated in the destruction of the Holy Temple on the ninth of Av. Click here to learn more.
Queen EstherQueen Esther Takes up the Battle for Israel and the Holy Temple: The 2,500 year old scroll of Esther is alive and well, and still being written. It has been reported that "A group of Islamists staged a rally at the tomb of Biblical Queen Esther, one of the most revered sites for Jews in Iran, and threatened to destroy it if Israel damages the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. " Click here to learn more.
Rabbi Richman in

America, January 2011"Sing to the L-rd a New Song; Sing to the L-rd, All the Earth!" (Psalms 96) Rabbi Richman in America, January 2011: Please view this short video in which Rabbi Richman personally invites you to join him in America this January as he speaks about the world today and the role Israel is destined to play in leading the world "From Exile to Redemption." Click here!
For additional details of the Rabbi's speaking engagements in eight states, please click here.
Suppressing Iniquity, Part IIIThis week also features the new Light to the Nations teaching by Rabbi Chaim Richman, entitled, "Suppressing Iniquity, Part III: G-d is neither an accountant nor a scorekeeper. He doesn't tally up our good deeds, subtract from them our transgressions, declare the balance and call it a day. G-d gathers up our good deeds, places them before Him, and does not allow our transgressions to diminish His delight with with all the good that we have accomplished." Click here to view.
Parashat HashavuaYa'akov desires to bless each of his children before he dies and to share with them holy insights into their future. It is at this moment that he and we learn that the Divine promise of redemption which Ya'akov wished to introduce to his children can only become a reality when the entire nation of Israel is included. Not only those who are near to G-d and in touch with His Torah, but also, and especially, those of us who feel distant and disconnected must be brought close to the legacy of Ya'akov avinu - our father Jacob, in order for the redemption to transpire. Click here to view Rabbi Richman's short teaching on parashat Vayechi (Genesis 47:28-50:26).
Blessings from the holy city of Jerusalem,
  Yitzchak Reuven
  The Temple Institute

Friday, December 17, 2010

Hanukkah March of the Temple Mount Faithful

b'ezrat HaShem / with the help of G‑d

Hanukkah March of the Temple Mount Faithful — 2010/5771

The Temple Mount and Land of Israel Faithful Movement will hold their traditional Hanukkah march on the first day of Tevet (Wednesday, December 8), beginning at 9:00 AM, Jerusalem time. Starting out in Modi'in, the ancient city of the Maccabees, the march will follow the route taken by the Maccabees as they defeated the mighty Greek army on their way to liberate the holy city of Jerusalem. Their main goal was to liberate Jerusalem, to purify the Temple from the pagan idols, and to once again make the city of Jerusalem the capital of the nation of Israel.
It was in Modi'in where the high priest Mattityahu started a revolt, together with his five sons and many volunteers from the Jewish people. With the help and the strength of the G‑d of Israel, through battle after battle they defeated the Greek empire. They were a small minority fighting against what was at the time the world's greatest military force. When the Greek soldiers asked for Mattityahu's help in getting the Jewish people to make a sacrifice on a pagan altar, he cried out, "G‑d forbid that we should forsake the law and the ordinances. We will not obey the king's commands to turn away from our religion, either on the right hand or the left" (1 Maccabees 2.21-22). And with that, he killed one of the Jewish traitors who was getting ready to offer a pagan sacrifice, just as Phinehas son of Eleazar son of Aaron the priest did to Zimri the son of Salu (Numbers 25.6-15). As he went throughout the city, Mattityahu cried out to the people of Israel, "Whosoever is zealous of the law and maintains the covenant, let him follow me!" (1 Maccabees 2.27). As he fought on and on, more and more Israelis joined with him and his sons. But they all knew that the real reason for their victories and the complete removal of the Greek empire from the land of Israel was that the G‑d of Israel had become the General and the Commander of the Maccabee's forces, and He does today with Israel, so He did with the Maccabees and gave them their great victories in their time of need.
By their bold actions, the Maccabees began a spiritual revolution within the Jewish community, spreading throughout the Land of Israel which was laid heavy under a strong influence of the Hellenistic pagan culture, placing it in grave danger of loosing its godly Jewish identity. By saving Israel's godly identity through this revolution, the Maccabees provided a lesson to all the coming generations of Israel that a small minority, even one person such as the high priest Mattityahu, can change the negative march of history so long as they trust in the G‑d of Israel, and follow the eternal Torah which He gave to Israel.
Since the origin of our movement, the Temple Mount Faithful Movement has considered itself to be as the Maccabees, and as the Joshua's and the Caleb's of our time we swore to adopt this lesson of the Maccabees. We swore faithfulness to G‑d and to His Word and we trust Him absolutely. Like the Maccabees, we are struggling for the liberation and purification of the Temple Mount, the hill of G‑d in Jerusalem, to immediately remove the Arab Islamic pagan presence from the most holy place of Israel -- the location of the First, Second and soon-to-come Third Temple.
On the seventh day of Hanukkah, Wednesday, 1 Tevet 5771 (December 8, 2010) the Temple Mount Faithful Movement will travel by bus to Modi'in, where we shall swear faithfulness to the godly heritage of the Maccabees. We will light the Hanukkah menorah and say for the ears of the whole world, "You will never take the land of Israel given by G‑d only to His people Israel and give it to foreigners and enemies of the G‑d and the people of Israel". We shall swear before G‑d to make the same Spiritual revolution that the Maccabees made in their time. It will be an exciting moment to stand on the same ground where the Maccabees stood, the ground of the ancient city of Modi'in. After lighting the torch of the Maccabees, we will run for part of the way following in the tracks of the Maccabees and their victories against the Greeks, on the mountains of Beit Horon. When we arrive at the Jaffa Gate in Jerusalem we will demonstrate for the immediate removal of the Arab Islamic enemy from the Temple Mount. We will tell the leaders of the United States, the European Union, and the United Nations that they will not pressure us to stop building homes for the Jewish people on their ancient Land. We will stand against any false anti-godly plan to create a foreign Islamic terrorist state in the midst of the Land of the G‑d and the people of Israel. We shall call to everyone in the world -- and to all the leaders in Israel -- to take their hands away from the Land which belongs to G‑d, that Land which He gave to the people of Israel in an ancient, eternal covenant.
Our present era is reminiscent of the period of the ancient Maccabees, when Israel was controlled by the Greek Empire who prohibited Israel from attaining her divine mission of being a holy nation, a kingdom of priests and a light to the nations. Israel, who had sworn to commit herself to be faithful to the One True Living G‑d of Israel, immediately rejected the situation when the Greeks desecrated the Holy Temple of G‑d in Jerusalem and placed their own pagan idols inside the Holy of Holies of the Temple and forced the Israelites to accept a Hellenistic pagan faith and culture. The Israelites were determined to remain as servants 'only' to the G‑d of Israel and never to be slaves to pagan idolatries. The first book of the Maccabees reads as if it were written today. To all of those who devise evil plans to take Jerusalem from the G‑d and people of Israel, we answer today in the words of Nehemiah, the leader of Israel after the destruction of the First Temple and the redemption of Israel 2,526 years ago, who answered Geshem, the Arab and his companions:
"Then I answered them, and said to them, The G‑d of heaven, he will prosper us; therefore we his servants will arise and build; but you have no portion, or right, or memorial, in Jerusalem." (Nehemiah 2:20)
To those who have devised plans to divide the Land of Israel, to give it to her sworn enemies, listen to what G‑d said through the prophet Joel more than 2,500 years ago:
"For, behold, in those days, and in that time, when I shall bring back the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem, I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will enter into judgment with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and have divided up my land." (Joel 4:1-2/Christian Bible 3:1-2)
Everyone who reads this message is called to participate in this exciting and important event of the Temple Mount Faithful Movement. You can ride with us with no cost -- just bring an open heart and be a part of an event that will be another stage in the godly end-time campaign of the Temple Mount and Land of Israel Faithful Movement. For additional details, contact us by e-mail:, telephone: 02.625.1112 or FAX: 02.625.1113 (don't forget your country code).
In G‑d we trust!!

The Temple Mount and Land of Israel Faithful Movement
P.O. Box 18325, 4 Aliash Street, Jerusalem, Israel
Telephone: 02.625.1112 / FAX: 02.625.1113

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The Temple Mount and Land of Israel Faithful Movement is not associated or affiliated with the Temple Institute.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

For Your Servant Assumed Responsibility

"For your servant assumed responsibility..."
(Genesis 44:32)
Tevet 3, 5771/December 9, 2010

This year the Chanuka festival of light saw the outbreak of the worst forest fire in the history of the modern state of Israel, which destroyed over five million trees and took over forty lives. As to be expected in the fire's aftermath an atmosphere of blame and recrimination has emerged. Just who was responsible for the conflagration? Teenagers are suspected of carelessly tossing embers from a friendly picnic which quickly ignited the blaze. Firefighters are accused of being entirely too slow in initially reacting to the flames. Israel's firefighting forces have been exposed as being woefully under-equiped and under-trained. Various Israeli government ministries, led by various government ministers, over an extended period of various government coalitions have been cited as being neglectful, incompetent and unconcerned over a problem of fire fighting preparedness which has been well known for many years. Proposals for improvements have been rejected. Necessary decisions have been put on hold. By all accounts, this was a man-made disaster.
Yet, had the hills and valleys of Israel not been bone dry the gathering blaze would no doubt have progressed much more slowly, giving fire fighters a better chance to put out the flames before they swept out of control. A wetter month of November, (in which no precipitation fell), might have even prevented the fire at its source. And the strong winds which blew across the Mount Carmel region last week aided and abetted the rapid spreading of the flames. Was G-d then, an accomplice to this disaster?
This is not the first time in our long history that human frailty and Divine will have conspired to create a dangerous reality, fraught with painful and devastating ramifications. And it's not the first time that the children of Israel have had to face their own failings and take responsibility. This week's Torah reading of Vayigash opens with Yehudah drawing near to Yosef. (Genesis 44:18) Tensions couldn't be higher as Yosef threatens to imprison his brother Binyamin, an act which threatens both the life of their father Yisrael and the very integrity of the brothers themselves. If Binyamin is allowed to be taken, the family will be irreparably shattered. Israel, as a unified entity will cease to exist.
Yehudah, fulfilling his earlier promise to his father, accepts complete responsibility for his brother Binyamin's well-being. His resolve in the matter is unequivocal, forcing Yosef to finally reveal to his brothers his true identity. Yehudah's unassailable resolve not to allow his family another traumatic blow is, of course, also an acknowledgment of all the brothers' complicity in the earlier betrayal of Yosef. The guilt that the brothers have been silently harboring for more than a decade has finally been transformed into a powerful expression of family unity and mutual responsibility.
Yosef, in turn, reveals himself to his brothers, comforts them, and implores them "not be sad, and let it not trouble you that you sold me here, for it was to preserve life that G-d sent me before you." (ibid 45:5) Even as the brothers embrace, two very different perspectives are revealed. Yosef has always looked at "the bigger picture." He has always seen G-d as the guiding force behind both his misfortunes and his triumphs. He has always responded by moving forward with his life, making the best of every situation, seeing opportunity even in adversity. By doing so Yosef was taking responsibility for his life even while acknowledging G-d's will behind every turn in his fortune.
Yehudah has also had to reckon with many difficult situations throughout his life. It was he who saved Yosef's life by proposing to his brothers that they sell, rather than slay Yosef. Later in life he had to face up to his own wrong doing and acknowledge the righteousness of his daughter-in-law Tamar. And now, once again, Yehudah takes a hard look at his own actions and their consequences as he faces off with Yosef.
Yosef has made a life out of responding responsibly to adversity that came his way through no fault of his own, but ultimately only by virtue of Divine decree. Yehudah, however, has constantly had to examine and reexamine his own deeds, draw proper conclusions, and make the necessary corrections to his actions. This has been Yehudah's way of living life responsibly.
There is no doubt that G-d's hand was revealed foremost in the great Carmel Mountain blaze. No doubt it was a wake up call to the entire nation, a call for contrition and repentance; a call to examine our ways and correct them. And no doubt, just as Yosef was always able to recognize, G-d's will, even when excruciatingly painful, is always for the ultimate good of His people.
Having recognized this "Yosef's principle" of the ultimate good of the Divine will, we must, nevertheless, take upon ourselves the "Yehudah principle" of personal accountability, recognizing our errors, correcting them, and moving forward.
The Haftorah (additional scriptural) reading which accompanies parashat Vayigash in the Shabbat service is from the book of Ezekiel, in which the prophet is shown two branches, one standing for Yehudah, and one for Yosef. G-d instructs Ezekiel, saying, "Behold I will take the stick of Yosef, which is in the hand of Ephraim and the tribes of Israel his companions, and I will place them with him with the stick of Yehudah, and I will make them into one stick, and they shall become one in My hand." (Ezekiel 37:19)
Rather than slinging accusations at one another, it is incumbent upon us to take hold of the burnt branches of the once noble forest of Mount Carmel, and place them together as one people. If we can accept G-d's constant presence in our lives, as did Yosef, yet also understand deep within our hearts our own accountability and our own ability to take responsibility and to change our course for the good, as did Yehudah, we shall truly be a great nation, and so merit G-d's promise to Ezekiel:
"And I will form a covenant of peace for them, an everlasting covenant shall be with them; and I will establish them and I will multiply them, and I will place My Sanctuary in their midst forever. And My dwelling place shall be over them, and I will be to them for a G-d, and they shall be to Me as a people. And the nations shall know that I am HaShem, Who sanctifies Israel, when My Sanctuary is in their midst forever." (ibid 37:26-28)
Temple TalkTune in to this week's Temple Talk as Rabbi Chaim Richman and Yitzchak Reuven look back upon a week of terrific extremes: The joy of Chanuka against the backdrop of the devastating fire in Israel that claimed so many lives and did such horrendous damage. And in the aftermath, a little rain. And as we learn from the story of Choni Ha'Ma'agel, we never say "we've had enough rain!" so we continue to pray that the Land of Israel begins to receive bountiful rainfall. As we read of Yosef's reunion with his family in Egypt, the month of Tevet begins. What are the lessons of this month, which begins during Chanukah but yet, features a fast day over the First Temple's destruction just a week after the conclusion of Chanukah?
Rabbi Richman in

America, January 2011"Sing to the L-rd a New Song; Sing to the L-rd, All the Earth!" (Psalms 96) Rabbi Richman in America, January 2011: Please view this short video in which Rabbi Richman personally invites you to join him in America this January as he speaks about the world today and the role Israel is destined to play in leading the world "From Exile to Redemption." Click here!
For additional details of the Rabbi's speaking engagements in eight states, please click here.
Shouting to the DarknessShouting to the Darkness - A righteous Gentile's thoughts about Chanukah and the Holy Temple: Every year we are asked, "Why do you celebrate Chanukah?" and/or "Are you Jewish?" I understand people’s curiosity. I even understand that they may think it's a little weird. Heck, I even think it's a little weird that I'm not Jewish and I celebrate Chanukah. But like I tell my kids, sometimes weird is good. It means you're not following the norm. And more often than not these days, it's the norm that's becoming weird. Since the question keeps coming up, I thought I would write a little ditti about why we celebrate Chanukah. Please click here for the entire article.
Zot ChanukaThis week features the new Bat Melech video teaching with Rabbanit Rena Richman, entitled, "Zot Chanuka: The eighth and final day of Chanuka, the day on which we kindle all eight Chanuka lights is a day of great illumination. This illumination includes a great spiritual force that is brought down from above on this day, which floods the world and provides a supernal light that will remain with us throughout the entire year." Click here to view.
Making Miracles HappenThis week also features the new Light to the Nations teaching by Rabbi Chaim Richman, entitled, "Making Miracles Happen: Torah teaches us not to sit back and wait for miracles to happen. Instead we are instructed to actively pursue our own destiny as individuals and as a nation. If our intentions are good and our efforts are wholehearted, G-d will help us accomplish our goals. This is the real miracle of Chanuka. The people of Israel, led by the Kohen Gadol Mattitiyahu and his five sons, rose up and threw off the yoke of the Greek oppressors, liberated the Holy Temple and renewed the Divine service." Click here to view.
Parashat HashavuaWhen Ya'akov and Yosef reunite after seventeen years of separation, Yosef weeps while Ya'akov recites the shema prayer, ("Hear O Israel, HaShem our G-d, HaShem is One"). Was Ya'akov being distant? Cold? On the contrary. By saying the shema at the moment of his reunion with his son, Ya'akov was including his love for G-d with his love for Yosef. For there is no love outside the love of HaShem. HaShem's love encompasses all. Click here to view Rabbi Richman's short teaching on parashat Vayigash (Genesis 44:18-47:27).
Blessings from the holy city of Jerusalem,
  Yitzchak Reuven
  The Temple Institute

Monday, December 06, 2010

God hates Christmas!

Jeremiah 10 condemns Christmas trees!

Jeremiah 10
1 Hear the word which the LORD speaks to you, O house of Israel.
2 Thus says the LORD:

Do not learn the way of the Gentiles;
Do not be dismayed at the signs of heaven,
For the Gentiles are dismayed at them.
3 For the customs of the peoples are futile;
For one cuts a tree from the forest,
The work of the hands of the workman, with the ax.
4 They decorate it with silver and gold;
They fasten it with nails and hammers
So that it will not topple.
5 They are upright, like a palm tree,
And they cannot speak;
They must be carried,
Because they cannot go by themselves.
Do not be afraid of them,
For they cannot do evil,
Nor can they do any good.”
6 Inasmuch as there is none like You, O LORD
(You are great, and Your name is great in might),
7 Who would not fear You, O King of the nations?
For this is Your rightful due.
For among all the wise men of the nations,
And in all their kingdoms,
There is none like You.
8 But they are altogether dull-hearted and foolish;
A wooden idol is a worthless doctrine.
9 Silver is beaten into plates;
It is brought from Tarshish,
And gold from Uphaz,
The work of the craftsman
And of the hands of the metalsmith;
Blue and purple are their clothing;
They are all the work of skillful men.
10 But the LORD is the true God;
He is the living God and the everlasting King.
At His wrath the earth will tremble,
And the nations will not be able to endure His indignation.

Jeremiah 10 condemns idolatry, both in the letter and in the spirit, whether a physical idol or an idolatrous tradition based upon HEATHEN CUSTOMS like the "Christmas tree" that history clearly exposes as pagan in origin. Those who adorn their Christmas trees and remain in denial about its pagan origin, who play deaf, dumb and blind to the facts, who attempt to dismiss or downplay how it's a heathen custom, are living a lie and shamefully reject the clear commandments of God that speak against such spiritual adultery, mixing and matching pagan error with biblical truth, and will suffer the consequences for being so dishonest and deceitful.

Pagan holidays like Christmas and pagan customs like Christmas trees are both abominations to God. True Christians shun both, we avoid them like the plague, because we love God more than idolatrous traditions of apostate men!

Why I No Longer Celebrate Christmas

Christmas is About Giving -- Says Who?

C.H. Spurgeon on Christmas and Roman Catholicism

Will God Curse Our Countries for Christmas?

The Plain Truth about Christmas

Friday, December 03, 2010

"I have dreamed a dream"

"I have dreamed a dream"
(Genesis 41:15)
Kislev 25, 5771/December 2, 2010
1st Night of Chanuka

"To be or not to be: That is the question." At least in Hamlet's mind that is the question. Torah answers this question with an emphatic yes, resonating from the moment of creation, and even a moment before that. But Hamlet, in his long brood, carries his darkness even further: "To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub." It would seem that the hapless Hamlet is haunted by his own dreams, or more precisely, by what they reveal about himself. On the other hand, Yosef, our own inveterate dreamer, had no such compunction. Yosef sought only G-d's word in his dreams and in the dreams of others, and not his or their own earthly schemes or motivations. Our sages teach us that our dreams contains both the wheat and the chaff. Every dream we dream has an element of prophecy. But alas, every dream we dream contains its own fair amount of nonsense. Winnowing the kernel of truth from the mass of chaff is the particular skill that Yosef possessed, and that, in truth, very few of us today possess.
Yosef was a young man who followed his dreams, (and the dreams of others), which dragged him down to the depths of despair before propelling him upon his meteoric rise to fame and power. His story alone testifies to the Torah's endorsement of dreams and dreaming. His brothers misunderstood Yosef's dreams because they read their own fears and desires into his dreams. Pharaoh was confounded by his own dreams, unable to make heads or tails of their profound imagery. Yet Yosef, in a flash, was able to separate the message from the metaphor, and laid out for Pharaoh both the meaning of his dreams and the practical solution for dealing with their portent.
There are no dreams which accompany the story of the Chanuka victory of the Maccabi warriors over the Greek oppressors, but neither is the annual coinciding of the Yosef story with the Chanuka celebration a meaningless coincidence. On Chanuka, in commemoration of the miracle of the single cruse of oil which burned brightly for eight consecutive days, we kindle our own Chanuka lights. Anyone who prepares their own wicks for their Chanukiyot (lamps) knows the following: the wick draws up the pure olive oil, and produces both a brilliant illumination, and plenty of jet black soot.
A dream's ultimate source is G-d, akin, in the case of our Chanuka lamp, to the pure golden olive oil. In one's dream is both the Divine illumination, as envisioned in our mind's eye, (the wick), and all the senseless chatter that inevitably accompanies our dream. And that is the soot. Little wonder that we are instructed on each of the eight nights of Chanuka to take the time to gaze at and enjoy the the glow of our candles after we have kindled them. For this soft but penetrating light is both the source of our dreams and also the very light that first accompanied and illuminated creation. Our sages teach us that G-d, seeing that the world was not ready to merit this pure and holy light, hid that light away for the enjoyment of the righteous in the world to come. Behold - for the eight days of Chanuka, we are the righteous and this is the world to come!
Contrary to the apprehensions of Hamlet, we have nothing to fear from our dreams if we but cling to their pure source, seek out and behold the illumination of their true message, and regard their worthless soot and dross accordingly. One of the most moving of Psalms is Psalm 126, which begins: "A song of ascents. When HaShem returns the returnees to Zion, we shall be like dreamers."
Today all of Israel are as dreamers for we have indeed returned to our land. Our many enemies see only darkness and danger in our dream. They, like Yosef's brothers, are transposing their own fears and, (in this case), their own un-G-dly desires upon our dream. Many others just don't get it, for they, like Pharaoh, can't separate the wheat from the chaff. And to be sure, there is chaff and there is black soot, for this is a natural byproduct of G-d's dream in this world. And for this reason we are commanded to see the light and to dwell in its illumination, and not to dwell in the blackness of the soot.
Our ancestors, the Chashmonean (Maccabi) priests, knew this well. They recaptured and purified the Holy Temple years into a war for liberation that would last decades more. In spite of the daunting task and its many dangers that still lay ahead of them, they stopped all activity at once and busied themselves with only one thing: rekindling the seven lamps of the golden menora. The one cruse of pure olive oil that they discovered in the ransacked Sanctuary, which would burn uninterrupted for eight nights and days, was their reward for remaining true to their dreams and steadfast in their fight for G-d's honor, for His light is the light that our dreams are made of.
In the words of the unfortunate Dane: "perchance to dream." By all means - to dream! and to guided in life by the pure Divine light that lights up our dreams. Chanuka sameach - A Joyful Chanuka!
Temple TalkTune in to this week's Temple Talk as Rabbi Chaim Richman and Yitzchak Reuven dream aloud about Yosef the dreamer and the role he played in saving his own family and the entire nation of Egypt from famine. It seems that ever since Yosef, Jews are great at dreaming... Keeping their own dreams alive, and fueling the dreams that keep the whole world alive as well. The nations of the world are all for Jewish dream-power, but once we've made their dreams come true, they'd prefer it if we would just disappear...
Chanuka is here, time to bring the Hidden Light back into the world. Speaking of which, the light of this world is the Divine Presence which rests in the Holy Temple.
Rabbi Richman 2011 American

Tour"Sing to the L-rd a New Song; Sing to the L-rd, All the Earth!" (Psalms 96) The Book of Psalms speak numerous times about a New Song. "Sing to the L-rd a New Song." This is the song that will be sung when G-d ushers in the great moment of the Complete and Final Redemption. What is the secret of that song? What does it sound like? Will everybody get to sing it?
With G-d's help, Rabbi Chaim Richman of the Temple Institute in Jerusalem will be speaking throughout the United States during the month of January 2011. You are invited to join him and explore together, the timeless universal message of the holy Torah for all people - "From Exile to Redemption:"
  • What is the Divine promise of Redemption?
  • How does the process of Redemption affect every individual and nation? How close are we?
  • How are we all part of the Redemption? What role does every person play?
  • How do we understand cataclysmic world events in the light of the Biblical promise of Redemption?
  • How does the Holy Temple fit into this plan?
Rabbi Richman will also be unveiling an exclusive Temple building update, never before seen anywhere, which brings Israel and the world to an entirely new and unprecedented level of preparation for the rebuilding of the Holy Temple.
Rabbi Richman will be speaking in eight states. Please click here to see his complete schedule. here to view.
Chanuka: Symbolism & RealityThis week also features the new Light to the Nations teaching by Rabbi Chaim Richman, entitled, " Chanuka: Symbolism & Reality: Many Temple related commandments that we perform today are merely remembrances of the original commandments. The commandment to kindle Chanuka lights, however, is a commandment which effects a true spiritual reality unique to the days of Chanuka." Click here to view.
Parashat HashavuaHow strong is the bond between a parent and a child? A father and a son? Ya'akov could not be comforted by Yosef's loss. Just what did Ya'akov know concerning Yosef's apparent demise? Why was there a "conspiracy of silence" surrounding Yosef's disappearance? Click here to view Rabbi Richman's short teaching on parashat Miketz (Genesis 41:1-44:17).
Chanuka Sameach from the holy city of Jerusalem,
  Yitzchak Reuven
  The Temple Institute

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Cast Into the Pit

"And they took him and cast him into the pit."
(Genesis 37:24)
Kislev 18, 5771/November 25, 2010

What happens when an individual, a single soul, is torn from his father? When the wrath of his brothers is kindled and his own flesh and blood are set upon him, seeking his death? When he is thrown into a pit, abandoned to fate and the deadly caprice of the scorpions and snakes who slither and scamper over his naked body? When he is brought from the pit and sold to passing Ishmaelite merchants, mercenaries, dealers in human stock, who sell him again, at a neat profit? When he is ordered to be steward of his masters house, and gains mastery of all the possessions found in his master's house, whose master's wife attempts to seduce him, and unsuccessful, accuses him of rape, and he is arrested and convicted and thrown in the pit? Does his souls wither? Do his dreams perish?
The book of Genesis is the book of the patriarchs, Avraham, Yitzchak and Ya'akov. Yet more words are dedicated to the life of Yosef than are dedicated to lives of the three patriarchs, and more details are known about the life of Yosef, his trials and tribulations, than are known about the three patriarchs. For sure, Yosef's life was pivotal to the survival of the nation of Israel. But what is Yosef's life to us today?
G-d spoke to Avraham. He spoke to Yitzchak. He spoke to Ya'akov. Yet G-d never spoke directly to Yosef. At critical junctures in his life Yosef had no one to rely on but himself. He had to be his own guide, choose his own path. G-d didn't tell Yosef to go here or to go there. He didn't tell Yosef that He would protect him from harm. He didn't promise him seed or that his seed would prosper. Yosef was on his own. Completely.
On his own but never alone. Yosef never suffered loneliness for he attached himself always to G-d. He didn't require G-d's consolation or instruction for he acted always with the knowledge that the G-d of his fathers, the Creator of the universe, permeated His creation with His presence. Yosef was rejected by his brothers but he could never be estranged from G-d, for he understood that G-d, unlike man, was always there right by his side. A man's fate may seem cruel, but when seen through the eyes of Yosef, a man's fate ultimately is neither cruel nor capricious, but an expression of G-d's will, of His direct involvement in the life of the individual. G-d didn't appear to Yosef, nor did He talk to Yosef, but every moment of Yosef's life, every unforeseen development, every low point and high point of Yosef's life, was informed by G-d's will. Yosef knew this. This was the message of his own dreams, and this would be the message that he perceived in Pharaoh's dreams. And Yosef conducted himself always with this knowledge. This is why Torah calls Yosef tzaddik - righteous: despite every temptation he maintained his unbroken attachment to G-d.
Of all the patriarchs and sons of Israel who populate the book of Genesis, it is Yosef who most personifies the dilemma of modern man: man's isolation from his fellow man. Yosef, at any time could have fallen through the cracks, never to be heard from again. He could have been just another statistic, lost in the labyrinth of man's cruelty to man. But Yosef prevailed. He took upon himself what is the very heart and soul of Torah teaching: personal responsibility. In this manner it can be said that Yosef fulfilled G-d's expectations of man.
Yosef's soul neither withered, nor did his dreams perish. On the contrary, it was his indomitable sense of self and his fidelity to his dreams that carried him through his darkest moments. Ultimately, Yosef was the master of his own fate. We too can gain mastery over our own lives if we, like Yosef, accept upon ourselves the overriding teaching of Torah: personal responsibility for our own actions and an unbreakable bond to G-d.
Temple TalkTune in to this week's Temple Talk as Rabbi Chaim Richman and Yitzchak Reuven ponder American pressures and promises: Will we be guilty of selling Yosef again? The conflict between the righteous Yosef and his holy brothers is a conflict that still effects us to this very day. Will we ever fix the sin of the sale of Yosef? It's high time for the people of Israel to stop selling themselves short, and to stand up to the task that G-d appointed us for, no matter what is being used to bribe, threaten, cajole, intimate, or browbeat our people into giving up our Land and our legacy.
The Palestinian denial machine has determined, in the name of science, that the Western Wall is not Jewish. Everybody's upset, but they should have been upset long before this...
The Challenge of AdversityThis week features the new Bat Melech video teaching with Rabbanit Rena Richman, entitled, "The Challenge of Adversity: The suffering and adversity that are a part of life and that are so difficult to comprehend, are nevertheless an expression of G-d's love for us. If we can accept our suffering as a challenge, we can grow stronger and closer to G-d." Click here to view.
A Prayer for RainThis week also features the new Light to the Nations teaching by Rabbi Chaim Richman, entitled, "A Prayer for Rain: The rain that falls in the land of Israel represents and reflects our spiritual and physical well-being. G-d does right by Israel if Israel does right by G-d. If the rain is not falling, it is time for repentance and prayer." Click here to view.
Parashat HashavuaHave you ever felt utterly and completely alone? Yosef must have. He was separated from his loving father and his brothers wanted to kill him. Ultimately he was thrown in a pit filled with scorpions and snakes and then sold to some passing Ishmaelites, who in turn sold him into slavery. Yet we're never alone, and if our hearts are turned to G-d, we will identify His fingerprint upon our lives Click here to view Rabbi Richman's short teaching on parashat Vayeshev (Genesis 37:1-40:23).
Blessings from the holy city of Jerusalem,
  Yitzchak Reuven
  The Temple Institute