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Today most people call me Rabbi Shlomo Nachman ben Ya'akov but it took a while to get here. According to most religious people, what one believes is vitally important. Most say some beliefs are true and others are false. But which is which? Most religious people, of whatever belief system, accept the beliefs and religion they grew up, or that of the promidant belief system of their peers. This is a generally true regardless of religion.
Since what we believe is so imporant, accepting this social conditioning seems ill-advised to me. Since 1969 I have invested the majority of my time seeking for what is true, mostly in the field of religion. I have always known inwardly that the Being called God exists both as First Cause and as Final Destination. Sharing my quest with others and formulating my beliefs is why I created AllFaith.com in 1998. At one point I was required to gut the site by a former rabbi in order to proceed with my Jewish education. Sadly, in hind sight, I obeyed. Fortunately, I saved most of the material. Now that that rabbi's authority over me is no more, I was in the process of restoring the AllFaith.com domain when the Globalists at Network Solutions decided to cancel me and deceitfully steal my domain name. Any lawyers out there want to help with a freedom of speach suit? I'd love to get my domain back and help others by standing up to the Globalist censors.
Since 1969 I devoted most of my energies to diverse religious studies from around the world including various forms of Christianity, Sanatana Dharma (aka Hindusism), Taoism, Buddhism, Sikism, Islam, Paganism, Occultism, and others. My quest led me home to Judaism, but with both a deep respect for all seekers of truth and realistic skepticism for those same people. Regardless of the reason, the religions differ on this, human beings are heavily influenced by their dual natures, our possitive and negative incliunations. Sainthood is a wonderful if hardly ever achieved ideal. This I have learned.
The Mind or the Heart
Broadly speaking, the world's religious systems can be divided into two basic methods: The Intellect and the Heart. Which is to say, some seek Truth through the power of the mind. This system holds that once the conditioned human mind is rightfully re-conditioned with accurate knowledge, the higher Mind will establish the person's enlightenment. This system often begin and/or leads to Impersonalism.
The other system, again generally stated, holds that the existence of God or gods is an objective truth and that inward realization is based on devotion and/or obediuance to this Being. This method is by its nature Personalist.
I have explored and practiced many forms of both approaches, however I have always been a Personalist at heart. For this reason, as an example, when studying the essential four philosophies of Hinduism: Impersonalism, Yoga, Personalism and Voidism, my natural attraction was to Bhakti yoga (or linking with the Divine through devotion) through the Peronsonlist systems. Likewise in my practice of Judaism, the Kabalistic supernal conceptions that seek to transcend the personal God worshiped by the patriarchs seems alien if not anti-Torah to me. My reasoning mind and experiences lead me to conclude that the Beloved is and must be the Divinely Inceivable Eternal Person. It is to the Beloved that I have and do dedicate my all. It is toward ever-more completely realising this Being that my quest continues. As the sages say: This Being is One; the sages merely apply different Names.
The development and furtherance of emunah (active and complete faith in G-d) has always been the major focus of his life's work and personal practice. Through voluminous writings and in-depth studies, found on websites and various social media platforms, through personal appearances, radio, and public rallies, via live and recorded broadcasts and more, Rabbi Shlomo has worked diligently to encourage baalei teshuva and others in their return to and advancement in their religious faith. It is his conviction that among all the shortages facing our troubled world today, none are as dire as the shortage of emunah. In agreement with the old adage, Rabbi Shlomo believes that, "with emunah all things are possible." His personal life is a testament to this as he occasionally shares.
In addition to his rabbinic smicha (or ordination) from ישיבה עבור כל היהודים על פי חוקי משה (Yeshiva Avur Kol HaYihudim Al Pe' Chukee Moshe), Reb Shlomo also holds an MA in World Religious Studies, an interfaith counseling certification, as well as several other religious and spiritual achievements. Rabbi Shlomo's rabbinic lineage passes through the Baal Shem Tov (1698-1760) directly, through the Maggid of Mezritch (1704-1772), and further to the great sage Rashi (1040-1105). He holds Yoreh Yoreh (i.e. smicha or ordination to render halachic judgments on matters of religious law as it pertains to daily life, and to serve as a congregational rabbi) and Yadin Yadin (i.e. ordination to render halachic judgments on matters of religious law as it pertains to monetary and property disputes).
It is my sincere prayer that my humble efforts will help unite our people and bless those who wish to find their way. As my dear brother Shlomo Silverman recently noted to me, "We Jews are not so good at multiplication, but we are the masters of division!" This ought not be true, but it is.
Concerning Jewish disunity the former Jerusalem Chief Rabbi, Rav Kook, declared: "Since there are enough people practicing rejection, I choose to practice acceptance." This is the goal of learnemunah.com. The Chofetz Chaim warned:
Our Sages state: "Jerusalem was destroyed only because its inhabitants limited their decisions to the [letter of the] law of Torah" (Bava Metzia 30b). This seems difficult, for Scripture records many sins of which that generation was guilty.
Our discussion sheds light on the matter. Had the people overlooked the wrong caused them, then HaShem would have forgiven them as well. However, they were absolutely unrelenting toward each other, demanding from one another whatever they could possibly extract according to the law -- and Heaven judged them accordingly
ENOUGH! We claim we want HaMashiach and the Third Temple now, and yet we continue doing the very things for which it was destroyed! Both Orthodox and non-Orthodox are guilty. We must understand that A Jew is a Jew! I hold this conviction close to my heart by the mercy of HaShem! Some Jews are religious, others are not. Some Jews are fanatics on both ends of the spectrum, most are not. Let us seek a love-based balance! Especially towards one another. We are a single extended family.
Personally, I am a traditional Sephardi Jew. This is enough for me. Of course there are always more details and people do ask, so...
I seek to observe the Way of the Baal Shem Tov, hence I am a "Chassid." As I am attracted to the teachings of his great grandson, Rebbe Nachman of Breslov, I am a "Breslov Chassid." In this way I seek to serve HaShem and my fellows as a simple Jew. I also embrace the wisdom expressed by many other sages, both current and past.
My Rabbinical lineage is as follows:
Rebbe Yisroel Baal Shem Tov (1698-1760), founder of Chassidut to his disciple,Here is a partial list of Rabbinic blessings I have received.
Rebbe Dov Ber (1710-1772), the Maggid of Mezritch to his disciple,
Rebbe Elimelech of Lizhensk (1717-1786), the Noam Elimelech to his disciple,
Rebbe Yaakov Yitzchak (1745-1815), the Chozeh of Lublin to his disciple,
Rebbe Moshe Teitelbaum of Ujhely (1759-1841), the Yismach Moshe to his son,
Rebbe Eluzer Nissan Teitelbaum of Drubitsch (1786-1854) to his son,
Rebbe Yekusiel Yehuda Teitelbaum of Sighet (1808-1883), the Yetev Lev to his son,
Rebbe Chananyah Yom Tov Lipa Teitelbaum of Sighet (1836-1904), the Kedushas Yom Tov to his eldest son,
Rebbe Chaim Tzvi Teitelbaum of Sighet (1884-1926), the Atzei Chaim, to his youngest brother,
Rebbe Yoel Teitelbaum (1887-1979), Satmar Rebbe to,
Rebbe Hayyim ben David (Joseph) Gelberman (1912 - 2010) the New Yorker Rebbe, to
Rebbe Aryel Nachman ben Chaim (the Ranbach), founder of Der Alte Weg Chassidut and the House of Seven Beggars, and co-Rosh of Yeshiva Avur Kol HaYihudim Al Pe' Chukee Moshe, a physical descendant of Rashi, AND Rebbe Ancel Salamon, Chief Rabbi of the Dominican Republic and co-Rosh of our Yeshiva Avur Kol HaYihudim Al Pe' Chukee Moshe. Smicha (Yoreh Yoreh, Yadin Yadin) was bestowed on me as Rabbi Shlomo Nachman ben Ya'akov.
Please Note: LearnEmunah.com is completely independent of the various groups I associate with. The views expressed here are my own understandings and do not necessarily reflect those of anyone else. Likewise, the views of the various groups I associate with do not always express mine.
I am the founder/owner of AllFaith.com and LearnEmunah.com. AllFaith.com is now my secondary site.
Please refrain from making assumptions about my beliefs and practices until you get to know me. If you have questions, ask me, don't assume. In many ways I'm not your average Chassid nor rabbi. Heck, I'm not even your average Jew! But then... few Jews really are when you get to know us! Our harmonious diversity is among our greatest strengths.
Although LearnEmunah.com began August 25, 2018, I have been sharing religious information with people online since 1997 at AllFaith.com and other domains.
I am a committed Religious Zionist, although I am not directly affiliated with any Zionist groups. I have the utmost respect for the work of late Rabbi Meir Kahana, but have no association with any of the groups that emerged from him. I support Moshe Feiglin but have no direct association with Manhigut Yehudit, Zehut or his other commendable endeavors.
Without supporting the Nation and People of Israel one can not honestly claim to be loyal to our Holy Scriptures, Traditions, Religion, or People in my opinion. Far too many Jews today, even some rabbis (both Orthodox and non-Orthodox), are turning against Israel and thereby betraying the Hope of the Redemption. The Hope of Zion is the bedrock of Judaism and our people. Judaism and Zionism can not be separated. They are one.
Of course, I'm not naive. The secular government of Israel today is far from perfect. The Israel that now exists is not the Israel that will be during the reign of HaMashiach ben David (may those days come soon and within our lifetimes). There are many things I wish were different there, HOWEVER I stand firmly and immovably with Israel, even as I beg HaShem to transform the Nation of the Jews into a truly Jewish Nation (to paraphrase Moshe Feiglin) as described by our holy prophets and teachers.
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