Brave New World


A rabbi writes: Many people have increasing mistrust in the mainstream media and social platforms like Facebook and Twitter, where increasingly heavy-handed censorship set in from the time of the Covid “pandemic” and the run-up to the 2020 US elections and continues until now. The recent acquisition of Twitter by multi-billionaire Elon Musk and his subsequent loosening of some of the previous...

From LFJ to Northern Breeze


I am writing to you from the celestial city of Tz’fat (Safed), set amidst the green hills of Israel’s beautiful Galilee, where I moved from Jerusalem with my dear wife just over a month ago, finally fulfilling a dream of many years to live in this holy place. It is close on 5 years since I fell ill and had an operation to remove a life-threatening cancerous growth. After four years of treatments...

The War in Ukraine


Just as we thought we were emerging from the Covid pandemic and started feeling the bite of steep inflation, months of intelligence warnings we did not want to believe have now culminated in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, plunging the entire world into deep crisis and thick gloom. Personally, I am not too fazed by the threats of imminent nuclear war, because I remember my Bar Mitzva day in October...

What’s in a name?


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


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


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


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...

Mashiah Bullets


“Mashiah will conquer the entire world without firing a single bullet.” Rabbi Nachman of Breslov “Hillel used to say: Be of the students of Aaron; love peace and pursue peace, love the creations and draw them close to the Torah.” — Avot 1:12 I don’t mind if Hebrews call him Mashiah or Moshiach, or if the English call him Messiah or Anointed. And if the Greeks choose to call him Christos...

The Center of the Universe


21 Shevat 5772 / February 14, 2012 The Talmud relates that the wise men of Athens asked Rabbi Yehoshua ben Hananya: “Where is the center of the universe?” He raised his finger, and said, “Here!” They asked: “Who could prove it?” He replied: “Bring ropes and measure it” (Bechorot 8b). Rabbi Yehoshua did not have the arrogance of the many who instinctively consider themselves as the center-point of...

King Solomon and the value of Pi


15 Shevat 5772 / February 8, 2012 Did King Solomon not know maths? King Solomon is said to have been the wisest man that ever lived. Yet critics of the Bible gleefully point to a seemingly glaring error which apparently indicates that he did not know the true value of π (Pi), which as every schoolchild knows is 3.14.. Pi stands for the Periphery (or perimeter, circumference) of a circle, which is...

Avraham Ben Yaakov

Avraham ben Yaakov Greenbaum is a Torah teacher in Tz’fat (Safed) in Israel’s Galilee, and author of translations and commentaries on Bible, Hassidut, Kabbalah, Spiritual Growth, Health, Healing and the Environment.

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