Tuesday, May 05, 2015

My African Adventure

B"H had a great African Adventure..
Great People
Beautiful Land
Shabbos with nice company and preparing delicious colorful nutritious gourmet food
Loved African fruits - best pawpaw, mango, passion fruit in the world
Mountain Sanctuary Park.. the breaks..
Rose Garden, Botanical Gardens, swimming under the waterfall
Garden Route, Rushborn Hike,Camping at Storms River, Lelo's farm with the best gooseberries
Loved falling asleep at Lisbon Falls
Getting under Bridal Veil Falls
Camping out at the Pinnacle and waking up to the most amazing breathtaking perfect sunrise mountains, trees, waterfalls, rocks,
Camping out in the bush in Kruger and the thrill of seeing the pack of lions glowing in the dark
Davening at Gods Window
Sunset at Blyde River Canyon
Stunning scenic drives Graskop area

of course there are no photos of the best stuff.. the true adventures where you don't plan on anything, don't take along anything, you let go...and then the most amazing happens...

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


לראות בטוב ה' בארץ חיים
Thank You Hashem so much for the opportunity!

open up my eyes please so that I can see the goodness and beauty of Hashem.

I'm excited for the amazing discoveries... seeing the goodness in the Land of the Living. 

Please Hashem.. bless me with a wonderful journey, explorations and actions!
אתהלך לפני ה' בארצות החיים

הראיני את מראיך ... השמיעיני את קולך
לכה דודי נצא השדה נלינה בכרמים

Let's go out to the field... to reunite and be with our lover Hashem!

Thank You Hashem! for Your Amazing Kindness!!

הטוב כי לא כלו רחמיך והמרחם כי לא תמו חסדיך
כי מעולם קוינו לך

ברוך אתה ה' אלוקינו מלך העולם שעשה לי כל צרכי

Thank You!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Have you found my memory cards?

or any of my belongings?
It's been a year since then.  But I haven't given up and hope it will be returned.  Sometimes, I feel, that I just need to ask..
and then it would show up..
So here's my blog request --
if you have found or seen any of my belongings in Wellington New Zealand..
Please, please, be so kind and return to the Wellington Police Station/ Lost Property office.

I especially miss my memory cards for my camera which had original music I composed and I have no other recordings of them.

Thank You.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

receiving love letter from G-d in the Red Rocks

Greetings from Red Rocks.  B"H it is an amazing trip.  May we merit to continue receiving beautiful love letters from G-d and please may we make it home finally! the most beautiful wholesome loving place!
Chag Sameach!

Shavuot Small Tastings of Torah, Judaism and Spirituality From Rav Binny 
Moses Mendelssohn, the grandfather of the well- known German composer, was far from being handsome. Along with a rather short stature, he had a grotesque hunchback.
One day he visited a merchant in Hamburg who had a lovely daughter named Frumtje. Moses fell helplessly in love with her. But Frumtje was repulsed by his misshapen appearance.
When it came time for him to leave, Moses gathered his courage and climbed the stairs to her room to take one last opportunity to speak with her. She was a vision of heavenly beauty, but it caused him deep sadness by her refusal to even look at him.
After several attempts at conversation, Moses shyly asked, "Do you believe marriages are made in heaven?"
"Yes" she answered, still looking at the floor. "And do you?"
"Yes, I do" he replied. "You see, in heaven at the birth of each boy, G-d announces which girl he will marry. When I was born, my future bride was pointed out to me. Then G-d added, 'But your wife will be humpbacked.'
"Right then and there I called out, 'Oh G-d, a humpbacked woman would be a tragedy. Please, give me the hump and let her be beautiful.' "
Then Frumtje looked up into his eyes and was stirred by some deep memory. She reached out and gave Mendelssohn her hand and later became his devoted wife.
Sometimes, we have a sense that we have been there before. On our journey through life, we often experience the feeling that we are not traveling a new undiscovered path, but rather coming back to where we have somehow been.
Having left the festival of Pesach behind, the Jewish people finds itself eagerly anticipating the Festival of Shavuot, when we celebrate the giving of the Torah at Sinai over 3,000 years ago. And somehow, there is a feeling that we have been there before; that once, so long ago, we all stood together at the foot of a lonely, windswept mountain, deep in the heart of the desert, ready to receive... what?
The festival of Shavuot and indeed, the giving of the Torah itself is one of the strangest experiences in Judaism. The Torah shares no date for this festival, describing only the agricultural significance (the beginning of the harvest) of this celebration, leaving us to rely on tradition for the historical perspective.
Even stranger is the place where this momentous event occurs: deep in the heart of the desert. We don't even know exactly where Mount Sinai is, and amazingly, we gave it away in the peace accord with Egypt and no one even noticed!
The giving of the Torah has no date, and no place.
And that is precisely the point. Torah is the recipe we are given to make the world a better place. It is the sum total of why we are here, and how we can make a difference. The Torah is essentially one long love- letter written by G-d, for us; all of us. It contains the secrets of how we can tap into who we are, and become all that we can be.
And of course, if the Torah is about discovering who I am; about being and becoming, then that can never be about a specific time, or place.
Nonetheless, we receive this beautiful treasure in the desert, because sometimes, in order to take a good look at who I am, and who I need to become, I need to find a little bit of desert.
So many experiences in Judaism are about getting beyond time and space. On Shabbat we step back from the week, and experience the joyful opportunity to take a good look at where we are, and where we are headed. Traditionally, we take a little time in the allegorical desert every morning, in prayer, to consider, again, where we really are, and where we hope to go.
But make no mistake about it. Judaism is not about staying in the desert. We don't believe in staying up on the monastic mountain. The goal is clearly to find that place.
The Jewish people travel, ultimately, for 40 years, to arrive in the Land of Israel. To be a nation, you need a place you can call home.
In fact, one of the most basic rules in life, an essential piece of achieving one's goals and getting organized, is that everything needs a place.
When something has a place, you can always find it when you need it. And so it will always be there to achieve its purpose in this world. This is true for files, household items; for everything in life.
And it is true for people as well. We all need our place in the world. So many people in this world are still searching, and have not yet found their place.
This is why the festival of Shavuot follows Pesach. If Pesach is about freedom, Shavuot is about what to do with it. Judaism has never believed in freedom for freedom's sake. The Jewish notion is 'freedom for'. And so, we arrive at Sinai, an unknown mountain deep in the heart of no-place, to discover why we got out of Egypt. We all have our own personal Egypt, and it is so hard to get beyond it. Often, it seems we can't do it alone, and even if we could get out, then what? What would we do with our new freedom?
So the first time, G-d showed us how it works. And deep with in each of us is that collective sense that if we really try, we can succeed, because we have been there before. And of course, we don't stay at Sinai, because Sinai isn't the goal. The goal is what we choose to do with that newfound recipe. The challenge is to take that recipe and see if we can create a place that allows us to achieve our purpose here, in this world. For the Jewish people that place, ultimately, is the land of Israel, at peace with the world, maybe one day soon.
But first each of us has to find our own freedom, explore our own desert, and journey to discover, each in our own way, the place that will allow us to become all we can be.
May we all be blessed to experience the joy of discovering our place, and the power of the journey, together, soon.
Shabbat Shalom, best wishes for a happy and meaningful Shavuot,
Rav Binny Freedman

Monday, November 05, 2012

לך לך Tips for our Life Journey

as the Kotzker Rebbe says -- Hashem told Avraham Avinu -go- but never told him to stop..
so I'm still journeying or rather trying to Bezrat Hashem...
I want to share two inspirational emails offering great tips for the journey.. so here they are..

sweet and happy journies!

Lech Lecho: Are You Your Own Worst Enemy?
Rabbi Simon Jacobson

Your Mission Statement – Part II
Last week’s article, The Journey Begins, discussed the absolute necessity of having a personal mission statement in your life and methods how to discover your unique mission.
The question still remains: Why then is it so difficult to recognize your mission?
The obvious answer is that we are distracted. Our struggle for survival consumes us with the means, which can easily obscure the ends (as discussed last week). The pursuit of money, status, power and pleasure takes hold of us, and in its powerful clutches we can completely forget our mission. Indeed, we can even convince ourselves that we don’t need – or don’t have – a mission. The here and now is all that matters. Survival of the fittest. Dog eats dog. And may the best man win. (There’s a mouthful of clichés).
Yet, this answer is not adequate. Even people who are committed to discover their mission find it difficult to do so. Determination is vital; but something still seems to stand in the way between you and your mission.
This week’s Torah portion provides us with the solution. But first, a short introduction.
The sequence of the Torah portions contains the story of our lives. As the new year begins, following the holiday season, we begin the journey of life anew, refreshed and empowered:
Chapter one, Bereishit – Genesis – is exactly as its name implies: The beginning. Life commences with the statement that G-d created all of existence. In other words, the universe is not here by accident; it has purpose and design.
The first step is recognizing your mission.
Human then loses sight of his/her mission. Existential detachment is born with the eating of the Tree of Knowledge. The world then goes into a free fall, generation after generation wandering farther away from their calling, until it spirals into a society dominated by corruption and greed.
Chapter two, Noah, is the story of the flood that comes to cleanse the corrupt world (like the waters of a mikveh, ritual bath), and allow for global renewal.
Chapter three, Lech Lecho (this week’s portion), is the fascinating story of Abraham, who begins to reverse the fall that took place in the Garden of Eden. He first searched, then discovered his mission and the mission of all people on Earth. He then committed his life and the life of his family to forever embrace this mission, and never let go.
After that life and history were never the same.
What did Abraham discover? What tools did he acquire? How was he able to discover, and even more importantly, maintain, his mission in life?
Studying Abraham’s life can uncover for us invaluable resources to help us face the struggles of our own lives today.
The story of Abraham begins this week with G-d’s call – the first “mitzvah” – “Lech Lecho.” Go to you, away from your land, from your birthplace, and from your father’s house, to the land that I will show you.
Very strange command. When you offer someone directions, the most important thing is to clearly describe the destination. You must specify the destination so the traveler knows where to go. “Go to this and this country, this and this city, this and this street, this and this address.” The point of departure is not vital, because the traveler knows where he is leaving from; he needs to be informed where to go. Yet, when G-d instructs Abraham, He focuses entirely on the place to leave, and with three (seemingly redundant) descriptions: “from your land, from your birthplace, and from your father’s [parent’s] house.” When it comes to the destination, G-s vaguely says go “to the land that I will show you”!
Is Abraham supposed to go east, west, north or south, and then to which country and which city?!
Therein lies a vital secret in discovering your mission in the world.
Subjectivity is the most blinding influence in our lives. Specifically, three subjective forces in each of our lives cloud our vision and, resultingly, our ability to seek out, recognize and embrace our respective missions.
“Your land” – social conformity and peer pressure, which affect our standards and mind-sets.
“Your birthplace” – your inherent bias and self-love, that distorts your views and judgments.
“Your father’s house” – parental attitudes that shape and influence your life.
Subjectivity per se is not a negative thing. It is the driving force that compels us to protect ourselves and our lived ones, to excel and to demonstrate our personal strengths. Subjectivity can aversely affect us when we don’t acknowledge its existence, and when we allow it to blind our judgment.
Like the doctor that says, “I’ll tell you when you need a second opinion”…
“Bias [bribery] blind the eyes of the wise and distorts the tongue of the righteous,” tells us the Bible. Why are they called “wise” and “righteous” if a simple bribe can blind their eyes and distort their tongues? Because that is precisely the power of bias: It blinds everyone, even the eyes of the wise. This distortion can become so grotesque, that the wisdom can end up being used to justify a subjective, unjust cause. Unfortunately, examples of this abound, so there is no need to elaborate further.
All growth comes from an awareness of one’s own subjectivity and the willingness, the courage, to climb higher and see a broader horizon. Being stubbornly locked in one’s own subjective views, just to “feel good” or “feel right” or out of pride, is basically off any possible movement.
Now, the Torah tells us that there are three primary sources of our own subjectivity:
1/ “Your birthplace” – “A person is naturally close to himself,” the Talmud states, meaning, that by nature we are born with certain self-love that blinds us to some extent to our own shortcomings. We see flaws in others more acutely than we see our own, even if they are worse. It’s much easier to give someone else advice than to follow it yourself.
This inherent subjectivity can cause us to be self-righteous, protective and unwilling to acknowledge mistakes.
Natural subjectivity also includes, of course, the particular shape of our inherent personalities.
2/ “Your father’s house” - the subjective attitudes we assume from our parents, for good or for bad, which shape us in our early impressionable years. Even if these attitudes may not be genetic they become etched in our psyches.
3/ “Your land” – social mores constantly pressure us to conform. Human nature is such that we want to be accepted and respected by our peers. But what if the standards of our peers are petty and superficial? Then, that becomes a force that shapes and informs us, for good or for bad. Every society has its subjective standards that are always affecting us. Add into the equation the media and all the streaming images that inundate us in contemporary society, and you have a whole new entity shaping our subjective self-image
Add together all these three subjective forces that shape us, and you can just imagine the distortions that we may have in our own self-perception. Can you know who you really are in face of all these shaping influences?! Perhaps the person you think you are is a product of your parents and society? Throw into this combination your own inherent subjectivity and you have a real confused mess. How can you distinguish between who you really are and who you think you are based on all these subjective forces?
After all, your parents were the ones that By the time you can start thinking on your own (if that is actually happening), you have already been shaped and hardened and most of the big decisions (like what type of education you should have, what if any religion, what exposure) has already been made for you, again for good or for bad.
That’s why G-d’s first commandment to Abraham and to each of us is: “Lech Lecho” – Go to you, away from your land, from your birthplace, and from your father’s house, to the land that I will show you. “Go to you” and discover the “real” you is only possible when you leave the subjective influences of your inherent bias, your parents and society. Then you will go “to the land that I will show you” your true self.
Think about the first time you left the comfort of your home and went to school or summer camp. Initially disconcerting, but that is where you had your first real accomplishments. As long as you are in the shadow of the powerful influences in your life you can never know your true self, and inevitable you can never truly excel.
To find your mission in life you do not need to know the destination as much as you need to know how to free yourself from the shackles of your present state. Why? Because your mission is ingrained inside the very fiber of your being. You need not travel elsewhere to find yourself and your calling. It’s right there inside of you. But in order for it to emerge you need to strip away the subjective layers that don’t allow your true self and your true mission to emerge. Like flowers embedded in the earth, you need to
cut away the weeds and allow the flowers to emerge.
By no means does this imply that all the subjective influences in our lives are like “weeds.” Many of these influences may be powerful forces for good that have helped and continue to help shape our characters. Additionally, as mentioned earlier, subjectivity is also very much part of our unique individuality and self-preservation. However these subjective forces can become like “weeds” when left unchecked, and more importantly, when they control our lives and our decisions. They become impediments when they blind us from seeing “outside of our box” and seduce us to remain in our “comfort zones.”
After getting married, the great Alter Rebbe, Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi, was living in poverty with his new wife. His wealthy in-laws wrote to him that if the new couple comes to live in their home, they will provide for all their needs and he can freely and comfortably pursue his studies and spiritual travels. The Rebbe replied: “The most comfortable place for a child is in its mother’s womb, where all is provided for and the child is protected from the elements. Why then does the child leave the womb upon birth? Because there’s one problem: the place [inside the womb] has become too small, and the child has become too large”…
Life has many stages. In the early stages of life we depend exclusively on the protection and nurturing of family and home. Even later in life it is healthy and necessary to maintain the love and the connection. Family, friends and society are a powerful source of support. But then comes the stage of Lecho Lecho, when you need to go out of the “womb,” cut the “umbilical cord” and discover and actualize your true self and your mission – and fly with it.
We go through many Lech Lecho’s in our lives.
Lech Lecho teaches us that the mission stated in the beginning of Genesis and renewed in Noah is accessible when we challenge our status quos and free ourselves from the subjective narrowness of our initial perspectives.
How do you free yourself? Invite in ideas, books and people that challenge you and your perceptions. The great gift and blessing of Torah is that it provides us with a Divine blueprint how to live our lives, which offers us a backdrop as a contrast to our subjective and natural tendencies. Consult a trusted mentor or friend, who can offer a more objective view on your choices.
Free yourself from the exclusive influences of home and society by traveling to other environments and meeting new people. Allow yourself to use your unique strengths to help improve these new environments and people.
By all means utilize the strengths you gained through your home and society; see them as springboard for your growth. But then spring.
What is heartening about this is that you have the answers you need inside of you. Your unique mission statement is embedded within you, waiting to be released.
Making a Lech Lecho move and moving away from the subjective forces in your life – all the things that you think are important today – is the key to discovering your mission. It will help you look at your life in a new way – at your personality, opportunities, people and places – and know how to realize the mission for which you, and only you, were sent to Earth in the first place.
No small feat.

Let Us Become FarmersSoul Pruning & Plowing

The Pretzels
An old Jewish lady sold pretzels on a street corner for 25 cents each. Every day a young well-dressed man would leave his office building at lunch time, and as he passed the pretzel stand, he would leave her a quarter, but he never took a pretzel.
This went on for more than seven years. The two of them never spoke. One day, as the young man passed the old lady's stand and left his quarter as usual, the pretzel lady spoke to him.
"Sir, I appreciate your business. You are a very good customer, but I have to tell you that the pretzel price has gone up to 35 cents."
The Farmers
The Midrash on this week's Torah portion Lech Lecha relates a fascinating episode (1):
When Abraham traveled through various cities of Mesopotamia, he observed the people engaging in excessive eating, drinking and frivolousness. He said, "I do not want to have a part in this land."
When Abraham arrived at the mountains surrounding the north of the Land of Israel (2) he saw the inhabitants engaged in "pruning during the season of pruning" and "plowing during the season of plowing." Abraham declared, "I wish I could have a lot in this land."
So G-d told Abraham: "To your offspring I will give this land (3)."
Upon reflecting on this Midrashic tale, four questions come to mind.
First, what was it about the agricultural labor in the Land of Canaan that inspired Abraham to "fall in love" (so to speak) with the country (4)?
Second, the fact that G-d promises this land to Abraham for all of his children, as the eternal homeland for the Jewish nation indicates that the agricultural nature of the country's inhabitants somehow captured the legacy of Judaism (5). But what is the unique connection between Judaism and farming?
Third, why, given the multitude of labors associated with agronomy and farming, Abraham was impressed by the two particular labors of pruning and plowing.
Finally, the order in the Midrash seems amiss. The work of plowing - cutting and turning up the soil in order to make it fertile for production - must precede the work of pruning, which consists of removing weeds and harmful vegetation from the midst of the beneficial produce and takes place only after the plowing season. Yet the Midrash tells us that Abraham observed first the season of pruning and only afterward the labor of plowing (4).
Thou Shall Prune
The essence of the Jewish experience consists of two phases: pruning and plowing.
Every human being is a garden, containing within his (or her) psyche both weeds and roses. Man is a duality of heavenly grandeur and earthly beastliness, a vision of G-d and a mountain of dust, a ray of infinity and pompous aridity. Each of us operates on two levels of consciousness: a self-centered consciousness that makes us prone to narcissistic and immoral behavior, and a transcendental, divine consciousness which is the source of our ethical and spiritual yearnings and convictions.
Our mission in life consists of pruning, of removing the weeds from the roses. We must ensure that the mountain of dust does not eclipse the vision of G-d. Each day of our lives we are called upon to battle the forces of aridity and darkness in our psyche and to cultivate the plants of light and G-dliness within our heart.
Life is a daily battle for transcendence. On our own, we are a complex mixture of good and negative forces competing within us. Our choice and calling is to prune, to consistently cultivate the noble and pure dimensions in our psychological “garden,” to reign in the beast and reveal the Divine.
Thou Shall Plow
This work impressed Abraham deeply. But this was not all. He was even more moved by a philosophy and a lifestyle in which the season of "plowing" followed the season of "pruning."
Many of us have engaged at some point in our lives in a battle against the noxious and poisonous "plants" in our psyche. Many of us have fought battles for our souls, integrity and happiness. With sweat and toil we pruned the weeds and – at least to some extent -- our roses emerged.
Yet at some stage during the struggle we put down the tools in order to relax. At some point in our growing up, most of us make peace with the status quo; we become complacent with our garden, satisfied with our moral and spiritual condition. Once in a while we may look in the mirror and know that we can do better, but we learn to survive and even be happy with our destination.
Moral and spiritual complacency, though tempting and easy, is an invitation to the abyss because of two reasons. First, life is a cliff. If you are not ascending upward, you are falling downward. The forces of selfishness and darkness never leave you completely, and if you drop your guard, failing to fight them each and every day of your life, they may overtake you (6).
What is more, truth is infinite. The moment we become spiritually fixed in a particular mode and smug with our condition, we have lost touch with truth and with G-d. A relationship with G-d must include a steady yearning; an ongoing search. What was wholesome yesterday is broken today.
Abraham was transfixed by the vision of a human being who, following a successful season of pruning, returns to the plow to commence his spiritual process all over again, as though he never began (7).

Sunday, September 30, 2012

תהא שנת גן עדן May it be a year of -- Gan Eden

what a beautiful celebration celebrating the creation of the world -- ushering in the new year with beautiful song, music and inspirational torah thoughts! May it be a year of Gan Eden.. please Hashem A year where everything is just so perfect.. so beautiful... תהא שנת גן עדן שנת גל עיני ואביטה נפלאות בתורתך B"H beautiful R"H at the kotel. Please Hashem may it be the most beautiful delightful year! A year of Paradise!

Monday, August 13, 2012


rejuvenation with rejuvelac! Thank you Hashem for introducing me to some foods that You have granted amazing uplifting healthy properties -- rejuvelac! wheat grass! aloe vera!