Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Today's Live Broadcast: What's Your Outcome?

People love to make "to do" lists. Then they go through their lists and cross off everything - but they still don't feel they accomplished anything. Why is that? Because they didn't start by asking themselves the most important question: "What's my outcome?"


People love to make "to do" lists. Then they go through their lists and cross off everything - but they still don't feel they accomplished anything. Why is that? Because they didn't start by asking themselves the most important question: "What's my outcome?"

G-d Willing we'll be broadcasting today's lesson live from the Chut Shel Chessed Yeshiva in Jerusalem at 5:00 PM Israel time. The broadcast, as well as my lessons posted are Mac and iPod compatible. If you tune in too early to the live broadcast link, you'll be sent to the main page of the Breslev Israel website, so try to tune in as follows: 11:00 AM in NY; 8:00 AM in LA and the West Coast, 9:00 AM Denver, 9:00 AM Mexico and Central Daylight; 3:00 PM in the UK, 5 PM Johannesburg and Capetown.

G-d willing, we'll post a link to the broadcast for all those who couldn't see it live by 12:01 AM  Sunday (Israel time). If you can't see the broadcast, you might need to download a new version of Flash Media player, which you can do here. If you have any questions or comments regarding today's lesson, please write to me at: zevballen@yahoo.com. 

With Blessings,
Dr. Zev Ballen

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

New Rabbi Arush Clip

If you're not a Rabbi Arush fan yet, you will feel, in the next 5 minutes, the power that is drawing millions of souls closer to to him and to Hashem every day. Enjoy!



With blessings,
Dr. Zev Ballen

Monday, April 28, 2014

The Soldiers of Genocide


If you call them victims
They will have died in vain.
They were martyrs, soldiers,
Who died in a war, a crime with no name.
Brought by failed experiments,
From the Island of Doctor Moreau.
They did not die for nothng,
Their blood and their ashes
Were the price they paid for us
To create our Israel.
And thus, they did not die in vain.
Am Israel Chai.

~ Samuel Lemkin

Dear Dr. Ballen,
 
I want people to know how great Hashem is!
 
I am a Holocaust survivor who originally came from Munkacz, Czechoslovakia.
 
When we arrived in Auschwitz, I was age 15. As we got down from the train, the first thing that I lost were all of my loved ones. I found myself all alone. A soldier pushed me off to the side, the side where people were being sent to the crematoriums. Then came another soldier, and he pushed me to the other side, the side where people were going to be "chosen" for different things.  At the time, it was not immediately clear to me, but soon after, I had realized what a miracle I had experienced. This was the first of many times I would be saved from certain death.
 
Another miracle was when I, along with a group of 15 and 16 year olds were facing the infamous Dr. Mengele.  He was selecting who would be put to work as slaves of the Nazis, and who would end up in the crematorium. He pointed to me, asking how old I was. Trying to save myself, I said I was 18. He asked when I was born. I was actually good at math, but I was so frightened that I began stuttering and he sent me to the crematoriums.
 
Once, when I was in Auschwitz, I was part of a group of people who were sent to take a "shower" (in the gas chambers), and where we were given a piece of "RYF soap" (Juden Fatte = Jewish Skin Fat). We were standing naked with the soap in our hands, and the gas malfunctioned! 
 
Another blatant miracle!
 
That day, I was crying so hard, as I knew my destiny had been determined; I was, with the very young, old and infirmed, who would end up murdered in the crematorium. People who were kept alive, were taken to the "toilet" (actually ditches) once a day. A woman who was on the line to be "toileted" was my saving angel; she simply grabbed me and said: "you're coming with us." She risked certain death if she were caught. I ended up going to the concentration camp of Christianstadt to work with the other women because of that angel.
 
Another time I was miraculously saved, was when I was part of a group of inmates chopping trees (yes, me, a young lady of 15!) and pulling apart train tracks. A wagon of sand toppled over me, and I was sure this would be the end of me! The other girls feverishly shoveled me out.
 
While working in Christianstadt, the inmates would make "soup" from dirty potato peels from the garbage. Someone accidentally knocked over the boiling pot which burnt me. I was forbidden from screaming from the horrible pain. I was told I would be sent to an infirmary if I was quiet, otherwise, I would be left alone to die with no one knowing the better.
 
I bit my tongue and lips...continue right here... 


With blessings,
Dr. Zev Ballen






































































































Dr. Zev Ballen 

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Goodbye Depression


Jacob was a very sad child. He constantly compared himself to other kids and considered himself to be inadequate in some way.  In his own mind, Jacob wasn't smart enough, or popular enough, or athletic enough, or happy enough to deserve to be liked by himself or by others. All of Jacob's possessions -  whatever belonged to him -  felt defective and worthless. Anything that Jacob associated with himself - such as his family and home - were somehow tainted and cursed. 
 
Jacob's father owned a gun which he kept in his bedroom closet. The children knew about their father's gun and had played with it more than once. When Jacob was in 4th grade, his little sister, Faith, shot and killed her girlfriend while playing with her father's gun. Jacob couldn't face the shame. He just wanted to die - but he didn't yet consciously know this.
 
One day when nobody was home, Jacob "played" at hanging himself out of his third story window. Suddenly, he heard a voice yelling up to him from the street: "Jacob Friedman! What do you think you're doing!? Get yourself back in the house this second!" Jacob was frightened and ashamed but also felt cared for and relieved. He listened to Mrs. Lyons, the good neighbor, and pulled himself back into his room. 
 
Jacob's 4th grade teacher, Mrs. Mermer hated children.  She claimed that Jacob wrote something derogatory about her on the wall in back of the class. Jacob didn't do it and told his teacher that he was innocent - but she accused him anyway - and shamed him in front of the class. 
 
That night, alone in his room, Jacob unconsciously scribbled something on the margin of his homework assignment and "forgot" to erase it. The next day he handed in his assignment.
 
Before handing back the homework, Mrs. Mermer read Jacob's comments out loud to the class: "I hate Mrs. Mermer, and I hate my whole life. I have nothing to live for. I wish I were dead."
 
Jacob listened in stunned silence, as he heard his deepest, most painful feelings being broadcast like an announcement to line up for lunch.  He barely remembered writing those words - he felt the eyes of his classmates on him - the class broke into laughter...continue right here...


Also recommended:

By Rabbi Shalom Arush - Encouraging Our Children

By Rabbi Lazer Brody - Your New Name

By Rivka Levy - Back to the Future

With Blessings,
Dr. Zev Ballen

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Dear G-d...


Dear friends here's a poem that was written by my beloved father-in-law Samuel (Shmuel) Lemkin, of blessed memory. "Dad" wrote many beautiful poems. Sometimes, on Shabbos we're in the habit of taking out Dad's book of poems and letting our spirits fly to reconnect with him - today was such a Shabbos. 

"Dear G-d: In times of sorrow I have found consolation in contemplation of your Presence. In times of happiness and joy the lightness of my heart was more uplifted in the Greatness of your presence. In my prayers for the safety and health of my family I was comforted by the thought that You hear. And in all my thoughts of those I hold dear I am overjoyed that thinking of them brings forth my thoughts of You."

May the soul of Shmuel HaLevy ben Freda Zesil continue rising closer to Hashem. In the merit of his poems to Hashem, may his loving wife Minna Lemkin and daughters Rebecca, Deborah and Sarah Tziva see enormous success and blessings in all of their endeavors

With blessing for a great week!
Dr. Zev Ballen

Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Song of Life


Here's one of our most popular inspirational stories. May it help you to have a wonderful day!




With blessings,
Dr. Zev Ballen


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Today's Live Broadcast: What's Your Outcome?



People love to make "to do" lists. Then they go through their lists and cross off everything - but they still don't feel they accomplished anything. Why is that? Because they didn't start by asking themselves the most important question: "What's my outcome?"

G-d Willing we'll be broadcasting today's lesson live from the Chut Shel Chessed Yeshiva in Jerusalem at 5:00 PM Israel time. The broadcast, as well as my lessons posted are Mac and iPod compatible. If you tune in too early to the live broadcast link, you'll be sent to the main page of the Breslev Israel website, so try to tune in as follows: 11:00 AM in NY; 8:00 AM in LA and the West Coast, 9:00 AM Denver, 9:00 AM Mexico and Central Daylight; 3:00 PM in the UK, 5 PM Johannesburg and Capetown.

G-d willing, we'll post a link to the broadcast for all those who couldn't see it live by 12:01 AM  Sunday (Israel time). If you can't see the broadcast, you might need to download a new version of Flash Media player, which you can do here. If you have any questions or comments regarding today's lesson, please write to me at: zevballen@yahoo.com. 

With Blessings,
Dr. Zev Ballen

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Living with Passion

"Success" without meaning, enjoyment, excitement and a sense fulfillment from what you're doing is not success at all. Are you ready to bring your life to the next level? Do you have a vision? If you do, we can have the tools to get you there.



With Blessings,
Dr. Zev Ballen


Sunday, April 20, 2014

Changing Beliefs

Human behavior is belief-driven. That's why any approach to human change that only seeks to change somebody's behavior without changing their underlying beliefs is destined to fail. Here's a good overview of our emuna or belief-based approach to personal change. The goal is always the same: to replace disempowering, limiting beliefs with believes that empower people and move them towards the goals that they truly desire. 



With blessings,
Dr. Zev Ballen

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Free at Last!


In the Hagadah, we read: "Had the Blessed One not taken our fathers from Egypt (at that very moment), then we, our children, and our children's children would still be enslaved to Pharaoh in Egypt."
One might ask: If Hashem had not taken us out of Egypt then we would still probably become free at some later date?
To this, one may answer yes, we might have become physically free at some later date, but our minds and personalities would have remained 'enslaved' forever, becoming totally Egyptian. Hashem 'pulled us' from Egypt at the last possible moment when most Jews were only one step away from adopting the Egyptian way of life, unable to become the Jewish nation.I
In fact, only one fifth of  of the Jewish people were saved. Four fifths died in the maka of darkness, having fallen so low that they didn't believe in the redemption or didn't even want to be redeemed.
So too do our brains get conditioned into patterns of apathy, sadness, lonliness and feeling distant from Hashem. Why? because most often our thoughts go where they're most familiar then they get hard-wired into those destructive emotions. 
Can you become conditioned to feel loved by Hashem all of the time and to be happy all of the time? Most people believe they can't so their brains don't go for better thoughts and feelings because they don't reward themselves enough.
In physical conditioning when a person works his muscles beyond what is comfortable for them, he becomes stronger and what was previously difficult for him becomes easy. It's the same with spiritual conditioning. You've got to work on yourself when you don't want to, when you feel one-step away from giving up. But if you do, that's precisely when you'll get the biggest spiritual rewards. The same nervous system that conditioned the person to feel like a  slave can condition him to feel truly free!
With blessings,
Dr. Zev Ballen

Monday, April 14, 2014

Passover Forever

Here's a thought that you can take from Passover and use all year long. It'll take less than 2 minutes to watch. A chag sameach to all my friends!




Happy Passover!
Dr. Zev Ballen

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Kayla Brown

For as long as Kayla Brown can remember, she was begging her mother to leave her father. Mrs. Brown was afraid that she couldn't support herself and her three daughters, so she stayed with her husband and squirreled away money with which to escape some day. It took twenty years of saving, and she finally had the money - unfortunately, by then the money couldn't buy her time.
 
Kayla's father found the money; and when he did he his violent temper erupted. Unfortunately, Mrs. Brown's already depleted health took a turn for the worse. The cancer spread quickly through her body, and she ran out of time. From her death bed, she apologized to her daughters for all that they had gone through. Gathering them together, she said: "I need to die to end this abuse. When I'm gone flee from your father. Have nothing to do with him or his family. No one will believe you, so tell no one what happened. Let all that happened die with me." In two weeks time, she was dead and Kayla was all alone with two disabled sisters. 
 
Mr. Brown was a "good provider." To outsiders, he was successful and charming. At home he was viciously cruel and tyrannical.  He threatened his family to "prove" that they had been abused or that he had been "sleeping around." "You're lying! Where's your proof!" he demanded.  On one occasion, they went to a family therapist, but Kayla's father just overpowered the therapist; he took complete control of the session and the therapist was unable to stop him. Mr. Brown used the session to splatter any hope that his family may have had for a better life. It was to be the last therapy session they would ever have together.
 
It was hard for Kayla to break off from her father. Her sisters were extremely vulnerable and needy. They continued to live with their father while Kayla was away at college. After graduating, Kayla came back to find that one of her sisters had become involved with a man who was living a double life. Like their father, the man was outwardly charming, but this was just a front for the many black market criminal activities he was involved in. Kayla's sister turned to prostitution because her father wouldn't help her financially.
 
When Kayla saw the extent of her father's indifference to his own flesh and blood daughter; and when she recalled her loving mother, who was just too worn down to act sooner on behalf of her children - she stood up without fear and confronted her father for the first time in her life. She blasted him with the strength of all of the pain and anger that had accumulated in her; and, for all the years of pain and anguish that the family had suffered at his hand. 
 
Mr. Brown exploded right back at his daughter. No one had ever dared to question him. Continue here...


See also:

By Rabbi Shalom Arush - Seder Night in the Hospital

By Rabbi Lazer Brody - Riches on the Beach

By Rabbi Nissan Dovid Kivak - Flossing the Brain

By Howard Morton - The Truth about Comedy

Friday, April 11, 2014

Developing Mental Toughness

How would you describe someone who is mentally tough? Is mental toughness a desirable quality to develop in ourselves, and if so what's it's connection to spirituality and faith?



Blessings for Shabbos HaGadol!
Dr. Zev Ballen


Thursday, April 10, 2014

Rescue from Death


A miracle rescue from certain death convinces someone that there is a loving G-d in the world.




With blessings,
Dr. Zev Ballen


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Bouncing Back from Adversity

What enables so many people who been exposed to very challenging even threatening circumstances to adapt, thrive and even become successful? I believe that this is one of our very best lessons to date.

With Blessings
Dr. Zev Ballen 





Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Removing Anxiety

Anxiety is associated with every type of emotional problem. It is also the cause of many psychosomatic and medical illnesses. Here's a psycho-spiritual method for treating anxiety. If you don't need it for yourself, I'm sure that you know somebody who does. In the merit of our complete belief in Hashem, may we soon see the removal of all anxiety from the world.

With blessings,
Dr. Zev Ballen





Monday, April 7, 2014

Relaxation


Simple relaxation will strengthen your mind, body and soul to start the new day in the right way. Use this exercise once a day for a week and see how much better you'll be feeling!



With Blessings,
Dr. Zev Ballen

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Video lesson: Spreading Emuna


The primary vessel for spreading emuna, whether on a personal or professional basis is learning how to be happy in the ways of Torah. 



With blessings,
Dr. Zev Ballen


Losing Weight

I tried to pack as many tips as I could into this 6-minute clip on using emuna-based principles to lose weight. I hope you like it.



Have a great week,
Dr. Zev Ballen


Thursday, April 3, 2014

The Bond

A young girl repairs the break in her family's Torah observance that lasted more than 100 years. 




With Blessings,
Dr. Zev Ballen

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Confidence

This 3 and a half minute clip can give your confidence a real boost. Why not give it a try?




With all my blessings,
Dr. Zev Ballen

Today's Live Broadcast: Spreading Emuna


What is the reward for one who is involved in the needs of the community with emuna? Here's the list - it's from the Shabbos prayer book right before Mussaf: "Those who are involved in the needs of the community with EMUNA, may the Holy One, Blessed is He, pay their reward and remove from them all sickness, heal all their bodies, and forgive all their sins, and send blessing and success to all the work of their hands, along with all, Israel, their brethren. And let us say: Amen." By helping each other by spreading emuna, you and your family will be receiving these blessings from every Jewish person who says them, every Shabbos morning on a weekly basis. Can you find a better salary then this?


G-d Willing we'll be broadcasting today's lesson live from the Chut Shel Chessed Yeshiva in Jerusalem at 5:00 PM Israel time. The broadcast, as well as my lessons posted are Mac and iPod compatible. If you tune in too early to the live broadcast link, you'll be sent to the main page of the Breslev Israel website, so try to tune in as follows: 11:00 AM in NY; 8:00 AM in LA and the West Coast, 9:00 AM Denver, 9:00 AM Mexico and Central Daylight; 3:00 PM in the UK, 5 PM Johannesburg and Capetown.

G-d willing, we'll post a link to the broadcast for all those who couldn't see it live by 12:01 AM  Sunday (Israel time). If you can't see the broadcast, you might need to download a new version of Flash Media player, which you can do here. If you have any questions or comments regarding today's lesson, please write to me at: zevballen@yahoo.com. 

With blessings,


Dr. Zev Ballen

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Be a Winner, Learn Patience!


This 9 minute clip is packed with potent advice from the Torah about how to stay CALM in all situations. For your convenience, there is written summary of the main points below.




If you want to taste Hashem's kindness, you can mainly get it by controlling anger. By controlling anger we sweeten all the harsh judgments and turn them into kindness and forgiveness. This is called cavishas cas. When we take a deep breath and wait to respond this is called arichas apayim

The Talmud and all of the books of mussar say that 99 percent of conflicts could have been avoided by just taking a breath and waiting. When someone says or does something that is insensitive or insulting we have to wait and not respond right away. The solution is always time. We can resist the temptation to react in the moment and retaliate. 

When the other person is angry we must also wait to appease them. We must save our apologies until the person has calmed down. The Talmud says don't try to appease a person who is angry. If you follow the Torah's advice things will go easier for you; things will go better for you - erech apayim (a long breath - meaning patience ) is the main theme of the 13 Attributes of Mercy - the 13 attributes of Hashem that we need to emulate.
Faith includes believing that all that comes your way - all the obstacles and opposition you are experiencing - is only coming from G-d. If you believe this, you too will be very slow to anger. Hashem will help you to be patient in the face of confusion and setbacks. You will keep taking deep breaths and believing that this too is for your very best...that this too is directly from G-d and in accordance with His will. With patience, you will have incredible strength and courage to stand up to enormous opposition and to overcome tremendous obstacles.
Sadness also reflects impatience, it results from a sense of feeling entitled to not have to bear and tolerate frustration and opposition. But if you really long to serve G-d, you will yearn for patience and emuna, which are closely related, and pray for these qualities constantly. Rebbe Nachman tells us that a propitious method for overcoming anger and sadness is to yearn for the Land of Israel because the Land of Israel corresponds to faith and slowness to anger.
Reb Noson tells us that ultimately with practice that this quality of being patient will reach our hearts. It will start with patience in our external behavior but it will become a deep inner patience that is natural and strong. Then we will never bear a grudge or harbor any hatred in our hearts. Our hearts will be completely purified and cleansed of anger and resentment.
When the Jewish people made the Golden Calf and committed idolatry, Moses prayed for our forgiveness and G-d revealed to him the Thirteen Attributes of Mercy. Moses saw one of these Attributes in particular and bowed to it - it was the attribute of patience...of being slow to anger. Moses bowed to Hashem's patience because he knew that through Hashem's patience the Jews would be forgiven for committing idolatry.
There was a time when Moses, our teacher, even on his level, lost his patience with G-d. The Talmud tells of when Moses was sent to convince Pharaoh to free the Jews from slavery in Egypt and Pharaoh responded cruelly by increasing their burdens and affliction. Moses became upset when he saw that his efforts to redeem the Jews only added to their misery. The combination of his frustration over Pharaoh's resistance and the Jews' misfortune caused him to lose his patience and he challenged G-d.

Moses turned to G-d and said "O G-d, why did You cause hardship to Your people...From when I came to Pharaoh to speak in Your Name, he made things worse...You have still not saved Your people." G-d answered, "Now you will begin to see what I will do to Pharaoh...The Talmud adds that G-d said to Moses: "You will see Pharaoh's fate, but not the fate of the thirty-one kings in the Holy Land" (meaning that Moses would not merit to enter the Holy Land (the place of patience) because he lost his own patience with G-d. Each of the Patriarchs were promised the Holy Land and even though each of them encountered obstacles, they never challenged G-d. Because the Patriarch's withstood trials to their patience and remained firm in their faith that they would inherit the Holy Land, they are buried there; Moses because he blemished the quality of patience, is not.
Patience is one of the greatest blessings you can receive. The ability to hear someone out...the ability to control your face; to hold back your words and to hold back your emotional reaction.  This was why Moses was so excited when he saw Israel because he knew that he needed more patience. If you are patient and remember that everything that you go through is for your own good you will taste the World to Come.

You must try your best to emulate Hashem's characteristics and be patient with everything and everyone. This means to not be bothered by people  doing things differently than you want them to be done. Just take a deep breath and remain quiet. Even if you believe you are right. Even if what the other person is doing is wrong. Unless it's is a very terrible sin just remain quiet and breath slowly. Your comments can cause much more destruction than what the person is doing or saying. 

You have to overcome many obstacles and endure much suffering in order for your soul to be healed - but your soul will be healed. If our suffering were really in proportion to the magnitude of our sins it would have been far greater.  G-d, in His love, only sends as much bitterness as a person can bear. It's certainly within our power to endure it. If you think carefully about your problems themselves you will see that each one has a positive side to it too. The problems themselves always have an angle which in itself offers a solution.

There's no one who does not suffer in some way. It may be the problems of making a living, problems of health or problems with a spouse or child. Nobody can escape a certain amount of pain and hardship because "man was born to struggle" (Job 5:7). Our Rabbi's have said, "The medicine for suffering is patience." A wise man said: "For someone without a strategy the best strategy is patience."
The holy Arizal shared with his chief disciple, Reb Chiam Vital, that the prerequisite to studying kaballah was that there can be no anger or impatience in the house - even in spiritual matters. We must be extremely careful  about expressing anger in any way at all. We must learn to accept the difficulties and challenges that come to us from the people in our lives: from our spouses, fathers, mothers, in-laws, children, relatives and neighbors. Hashem is helping us all the time, even when we don't know it and He can help us to handle the most difficult affronts to our honor, our patience and our self-esteem without getting discouraged.  
Something that can help you tremendously is to know that there are surely going to be a multitude of obstacles when you  decide that you want to grow spiritually. Right away you will be sent innumerable obstacles. Just knowing this can make it much easier for you. You will not be caught off guard. This is just what has to happen when you want to get closer to Hashem. You must have the brazenness of a leopard and strength of a lion to overcome each obstacle and to pass through it without giving any serious thought to the obstacle or dwelling on it at all. Just focus on your positive goals. Keep doing what you want to accomplish in your life.  
In Reb Noson's autobiography he describes how very trying and difficult it was for him when his own family objected to his becoming  involved in the chassidic movement and in particular with Rebbe Nachman of Breslev. Reb Noson's father and father-in-law were two of the most powerful figures who stood against chassidus in Russia at that time. His father was both a wealthy man and a Torah scholar. His father in law was one of the most respected rabbis in the part of Russia that they lived in - and they were both totally against him. Reb Noson's wife was also totally against him.
Nevertheless when Reb Noson saw the tsunami coming he prayed and Hashem gave him erech apayim (patience) and when  he was attacked, he never answered back unless there was an extremely important reason to - instead,  he just waited and waited...and soon Hashem made people change in relation to Reb Noson's patience.

His father in law once asked his wife if Reb Noson was learning any less since he became a student of Rebbe Nachman. She told her father that just the opposite was taking place...that he was learning two or three times more than before. When the father in law heard this he smiled and said "then leave him alone." He told her: "If you have to sell salt in the marketplace to keep the house going this is what you should do." This was the kind of respect that even Reb Noson's opponents developed for his honest yiddishkeit and desire to come close to the tzaddik. Because of his incredible patience he was able to weather and live through huge battles and to fortify himself so that he never stopped or interrupted his service to Hashem. His patience told him that he had the strength to outlast any storm ; he refused to become involved with obstacles... he never gave up; he focused on solutions and his vision of the future. May you merit to do the same.

Dr. Zev Ballen