Friday, August 9, 2013

Klezmer Fest

Klezmer Fest in Tzfat was pretty fun. It was a very cool experience. Tzfat is just amazing. Ari Lesser had multiple performances with other members from the yeshiva. Here are a few pictures.

Tzfat has a way of bringing Jews from all backgrounds together. The inherent holiness of this place crosses all boundaries and allows us to all rejoice under the same religion and G-D. I highly suggest that anyone who has the opportunity to visit here should!

It is great for me to see people express themselves in a creative way. I too like to be creative although I have struggles for a long time as to how to actually do it. When I was younger it was much easier for me. I hope that Hashem will bring me clarity on this subject. I feel handicapped most times in this sense, as if there is something that wants to come out but is not able to. Just another step in this journey...

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Giving in to the process...fully...

Some things in life are easier to accept and take part in than others. Some times no matter how much we make changes there are some things that are more difficult to believe in or trust in due to many different reasons. In some cases, it could be because of a lack of faith, or maybe just because something is drastically unfamiliar. Whatever the case, in my experience there becomes a breaking point. Something which pushes a individual to a state of doing and then understanding.

Without getting too specific, certain social aspects of a secular lifestyle do not fit with the changes I have made. The signs have been there all along, but my unyielding to these subtle messages has pushed me into a state of full belief. There are only so many times one can continue the same patterns of thinking before eventually something changes. This change for me came about by external sources specifically conversation with others as well as my own experience.

Sometimes the difficulty arises when one confuses G-D's will with ones own. I have found this very easy to do. However I am thankful and grateful that I have a process to trust in. Specifically Torah.

The track record of others gives me all the success and proof I need to now find it within myself to believe fully. At least at this moment. The struggle of giving over to this process, or G-D's will is a never ending. However, the more I do on a daily basis, the more in starts to infiltrate every aspect of my life whether I am aware of it at the time or not. Immersing myself in Torah study certainly enhances my outlook. Specifically Chassidus which sheds light into everyday functions such as eating etc.

This journey keeps getting deeper and deeper. The beautiful part is that there is no "end". What is available is a endless supply of getting closer to G-D and incorporating everything I do for the sake of Him.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Shavua Tov!

Shavua Tov everyone! Tomorrow I go to pick up the rest of my things from Mayanot to bring back to Tzfat. I'm excited about what the future holds! Whatever it is I know it must be good considering I had a Rebbe dream last night.

The Rebbe only comes to people when he wants. I received a blessing from him in my sleep which is undoubtedly going to come into fruition. One step at a time this journey keeps getting better and better. I have to say that Tzfat holds a special place in my heart and I really enjoy the atmosphere here.

I have made a commitment to continue with what I have been doing for daily study which includes the daily portion of Chumash, Tanya, Rambam and Tehillim, and of course everything I am learing in yeshiva. I find it very peaceful to sit down with a nice cup of coffee in the middle of the day and break out the Chayenu.

After waking up from my dream I found I had a new strength to push forward and really soak up as much as I can. This place is growing on me...

Monday, July 22, 2013

First impressions

Arriving to Tzfat was amazing. It's very hard to describe the feeling this place has. I really enjoy it here. For someone who is a artist at heart like myself, I connect with the surroundings here on a very instinctual level.
The yeshiva seems to be a good fit for me so far. My learning should improve here.

I totally see myself spending time on the kikar deck(a patio surrounding with calm music and food etc.).

This place is great for introspection. You can randomly at any time engage in conversation with people about G-D or spirituality. In fact, a conversation can start on something mundane and turn into a deep one.

I project a significant amount of growth for myself here.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Tzfat Yeshiva

Today I am heading back to Tzfat to check out a different yeshiva which has been suggested to me. I have spoke with multiple people who feel that it may be a better fit for me.
I was also informed that the Rebbe said anyone who wants to go to Israel to learn should go to Tzfat. I am very hopeful and excited to see what this program will be like.
Last time I was in Tzfat I was only there for a shabbaton and I was sick. Even being sick, I could feel something there that made it extremely special.
Hoping for the best...

Sunday, July 14, 2013

It's been a little while...

So it's been a little while since I made a post. Since my last post I've been doing a lot of thinking. I'm evaluating my situation and where I think I could maximize my learning and spiritual needs. I want to make the most out of my time here it Israel. It is stated that the land of Israel possesses a inherent ability to increase study. 

Today I woke up with a amazing feeling. I've also realized and pondered on the question as to whether I should move to Israel. I can tell you that I really do want to be here. However, taking the easy route is not the point of my journey. At the end of my stay if Moshiach is still not here (G-D forbid!) I will return home. As the Rebbe explains, America is the "lower" part of the world because it did not receive Torah. This is where I need to be, no Jew can be left behind! 

So my goal here is to maximize my time here like a caterpillar turning into a butterfly. Then I need to spread my wings and fly!! My whole life I've tried to find the easy way out. Unfortunately there is no glory in the easy way. I do not want the "bread of shame". I have come too far to cop out now. I feel like moving to Israel would be a major cop out. 

Soon we will all be here with the coming of our rightous Moshiach! What are you doing to bring him? This is why my influence of where I came from and where I am now needs to be shared especially to those in the US! I love this place, a little too much...

Sunday, June 30, 2013

My first Trip to Tzfat

Arriving to Tzfat for the yeshiva's shabbaton was awesome! We received a short tour before shabbos came in. Unfortunatley I became a bit sick and wasn't able to fully enjoy the experience. However that just gives me a great excuse to come back during the break between the summer program and the High Holiday program to fully enjoy tzfat for more than a few days! I look forward to it!

I ran into a friend who also attended the Ivy League summer program with me last year! That was a great experience and surprise! To see the change in someone else really is a reflection to see the growth in myself.

Going to the Arizal mikvah was a experience for sure! It  is supposed to help with t'shuvah and I will take any help I can get!

The depth of culture here is amazing and truly takes more than a few days to soak up. You can see and feel the holiness of the city just by looking around and walking through the streets. Motzei shabbos we had a campfire on top of the hill overlooking the beautiful city. I will have pictures posted on my Google+ account.

All in all it was a great experience. The best way to describe it is a spititual trip to the Bahamas. Can't wait to go back!!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

My First Midrash Experience


So today was a bit more productive for me compared to recent days. I'm actually starting to get Talmud (although still not completely liking it). I felt pretty good about the test today.

I still think I am in a adjustment period here. Things here are much different compared to my previous yeshiva. I am hoping to gain the skills necessary here to be able to learn on my own. Feeling a bit under the weather today something is going around...

The toughest part of this whole experience for me is trying to stay in the moment and not think about the future.

Last night I decided to learn some Midrash, something I have never really looked at before. It is quite fascinating! The portion I opened up had to deal with Jacob going out to find a wife. I just chose this at random not even knowing. I found I related quite a bit to this encounter. In the Midrash is says that Jacob went out to find a wife with no material means, which is not typically the case. Previous forefathers would go out with valuables in order to find a wife. Except in the case of Issac who didn't even have to go far to find a wife. She more or less just came to him.

It goes on to explain how Jacob had trust in Hashem that everything would work out. I found I related to this quite a bit as I myself do not have any financial means and am also "searching". Even more interesting is how the Midrash went even further to explain the process by which Hashem brings people together. I have to say that by reading this portion it brought a sense of ease to know that even Jacob had struggles with this! However I hope to be able to draw his level of faith!

This entire journey has been trusting in Hashem. I literally dropped everything in my life to go study in yeshiva because something inside me said it was the right thing to do. The struggle I find is to maintatin that child like faith on a day to day basis.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed my Midrash experience and will be learning more of it! Who doesn't like to know details anyway!!?

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

First Entry


So this being my first entry I thought I should give a brief background. I'm a 27 year old Baal T'shuvah male. I'm from Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. I currently am attending Yeshiva Mayanot in Jerusalem, Israel. Prior to arriving here I was studying at +Yeshivah torah ohr in North Miami Beach, Florida. I have been Torah observant for roughly about 1 1/2 years. I have so much do say in regards to my history. However, you may just figure things out along the way ;-) WELCOME!

I am not too sure what exactly I will be posting, however I have been requested to share my experience in this form so people can follow. Feedback is always accepted. :-)

I also have a Google + account +Josh Gemmi
You can also find me on Instagram