AuthorAvraham ben Yaakov

Jerusalem-based Avraham ben Yaakov is a Torah teacher & author of translations and commentaries on Bible, Hassidut, Kabbalah, Spiritual Growth, Health & Healing.

Our Finest Hour

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Several people who read my previous Letter from Jerusalem, “Year’s End”, sent five weeks ago, wrote back with some very positive reactions. Yet one or two found reason to take offense on the grounds that “rabbis should not meddle in politics”, angrily demanding to be unsubscribed. This simply underlines the deep polarization in today’s world. However, having recently passed my 72nd birthday on...

Year’s End: What’s Next?

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Shalom, dear Friend! I hope this message will find you safe and well. With thanks to God, here in Jerusalem my wife and I are both well, as are our children and all of their children in their respective homes in the south, center and north of Israel. As we approach New Year 5782, which starts on Monday night September 6, I’ve been thinking back over the past year, taking stock, and searching for...

Plea for the captive souls

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Rabbi Professor Hillel Weiss of the Renewed Sanhedrin writes: I received a desperate distress call from Kabul from our friend there. The position of the organization of seventy nations. The Pashtun tribes that stretch across Pakistan, Afghanistan and India are estimated at tens of millions. Data are in demographic and scientific articles. Some of them have a tradition of belonging to the Ten...

Taliban and the Ten Tribes

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We’ve been primed to hate the Taliban, but I just wonder if embedded among among the Pashtun-Taliban are souls of the Ten Tribes, who were originally exiled to that region. Zohar states that at the end of days the tribe of Reuben will rise and make war on all sides!

The Loaf & the Rod

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⁦R. Shimon b. Yochai says: A loaf and a rod descended intertwined from heaven. The Holy One Blessed be He said to Israel: If you observe the Torah, here is the loaf to eat. If not, here is the rod to be smitten with. And where is this articulated? — (Isaiah 1:19-20) “If you accept and you heed, the good of the earth shall you eat; and if you refuse and rebel, the sword will devour you. For...

What’s in a name?

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12 Iyar 5769 / May 6, 2009 Everyone talks about God, but when we use that word, are we all talking about the same thing? The Noahides aspire to unite all humanity in acceptance of the Seven Universal Laws, of which the first – not to commit blasphemy – includes acknowledging the presence of God, fearing God, praying to God, sanctifying the name of God… Do Christians, Moslems, Hindus, Buddhists...

Truth and the need to win

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5 Tammuz 5777 / 29 June, 2017 “A person who always wants to win the argument is very intolerant of truth. The truth may be staring him in the face, but because he is determined to win at all costs, he ignores it completely. If you want to find the real truth, you must rid yourself of the urge to win. Then you will be able to see the truth if you wish. But when it comes to God, blessed be...

The Real Israel

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6 Tevet 5766 / January 2, 2006 I was in my mid 20’s when back in 1974 I began my slow trek home to my Torah roots. I thought I was alone in no longer feeling satisfied by any of the “truths” and “realities” on which I had been nurtured in the home, at school, in university or through all the philosophy and literature I had ever read. Truth was on offer on all sides...

The Good Points

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21 Tevet 5768 / December 30, 2007 Rabbi Nachman’s lesson about the “good points” was the first piece I ever learned from his master work, Likutey Moharan. This was over thirty years ago in the summer 1977, when I was just embarking on my Torah pathway – a 27 year-old secular intellectual working as a BBC radio commentator and knowing barely more than a few words of Hebrew. I...

Avraham Ben Yaakov

Jerusalem-based Avraham ben Yaakov is a Torah teacher & author of translations and commentaries on Bible, Hassidut, Kabbalah, Spiritual Growth, Health, Healing and the Environment.

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