Thursday, June 6, 2013

The Secret Power of Tehilim

David haMelekh, the greatest King of Israel was also the greatest poet in the Jewish people. He composed the book of Tehilim (Psalms).  Tehilim is a TOTAL book. A book we can relate to from virtually any emotional condition we are experiencing in our lives.  Any mood or state of mind. 


In Tehilim David heMelekh writes about happiness (For example Psalm 1, 118);  gratitude to God (18, 100 and many others), and praise to HaShem (about on fifth of the book). But he also writes about fear (23,71), war and escape from his enemies (many!), his sickness and near death experience (30,40). His remorse and sincere repentance (25, 32, 51). His awe for HaShem's wisdom (8,19,104), his trust in God's just retribution despite the apparent success of the wicked (37, 73) and many many more subjects.

David haMelekh was granted ruah haqodesh (Prophetic Inspiration, one level below Prophecy) to write his Psalms. And his personal experiences.  David had a truly turbulent life. He personally suffered persecution, war, death of his loved ones, fear of death, remorse, sadness and fear. But he also experienced immense happiness, delight and joy and spiritual ecstasy.

The special thing about King David is that in all these intense, profound and diverse  life situations he always saw the Presence (or sought the intervention) of HaShem. Tehilim teaches us that despite all our efforts HaShem is the ultimate source of our good health and success.  Tehilim also offers comfort and hope in times of despair by making us realize that HaShem is with us at all times. "Even if I would walk under the shadows of death, I will not be afraid, for I know that You are with me." (23)
The power of Tehilim consists in the power of its ideas.  They feed and strengthen our Emuna, i.e., our ability to see Him always, Present and Caring.

One condition is required for Tehilim to work effectively and impact our Emuna: we must understand what we are reading.

(To be continued....)
To get 
"Awesome Creation" 
click here

Read the Introduction HERE

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Awesome Creation

 Two months ago I published a new book, my first book in English, "Awesome Creation". The book is a study on the first three verses of the Tora.  This Biblical text, Genesis 1:1 to 1:3, consists of just twenty seven words or 103 letters, but it encapsulates the essence of what for us represents the most impenetrable of God's act: the creation of the Universe ex nihilo (=from nothing previous). In the first verse the Tora gives us a glimpse with just enough information to answer the most important matter in the field of Creation, namely, "WHO" created the universe.  The following verses describe the state of the planet upon its creation, the order of Creation and particularly the formation of life in our planet. Nothing is explicitly said about "how" did God bring matter from nothing to existence, let alone, "why".  

I devoted three chapters for each verse. To the novice reader, this may seem excessive. The advanced Tora scholar, however, knows well enough that a simple book could in no way be an exhaustive study of these verses. The Torah is like a deep sea, rich in treasures of wisdom. And most of us, myself included, just get close to the ocean's surface, collecting a few seashells from the shore. Isaac Newton said it best: "To myself I am only a child playing on the beach, while vast oceans of truth lie undiscovered before me."

The reader should know that this study of the first three verses of the Tora does not contain esoteric material. A mystical examination of Creation, i.e., the ways the Creator brought everything into existence (ma'ase bereshit), lies way beyond my knowledge and the scope of this humble book. The contributions of my book derive mainly from the field of Hebrew semantics. The words are examined through the eyes of the Rabbis of the Talmud and the classic commentators, especially those whose expertise was Hebrew grammar.

Read the complete introduction  here 

To get "Awesome Creation" 
from Amazon click here

"Awesome Creation" was dedicated to the memory of Ephraim ben Moshe Levian, z"l, by Mrs. Pary Levian and her sons, Larry, Eddie, and Moossa Levian.