29 Kislev 5782 / Friday, December 03, 2021 | Torah Reading: Mikeitz
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Eden's Garden

Eden is a very talented and extremely special young lady of eleven who not only listens to emuna CDs but speaks to Hashem every day in sincere personal prayer...


We receive substantial mail from children and teenagers, but few are as articulate as Eden's letter, which we've chosen to share with you. It shows the tremendous extent that emuna can contribute to the healthy spiritual and emotional development of children.


Dear Rabbi Brody,


Hi. My name is Eden Levi. I live in Chicago. It was my birthday on Rosh Chodesh Shvat and I just turned 11.


I listen to your CDs a lot (in the car with my mom) and I read your 3 children books a lot of times. I get a lot out of them. It would make me happy if you made a CD for kids so that I could relate to it better and understand more of what you are teaching. When I listen to my mom's emuna CDs I feel a sense of true happiness and connection to Hashem, but some of the things on the CDs are hard to understand and I don't relate to them kuz they are for adults. So, is it possible that you can make some CDs for kids?


Sometimes I get sad and frustrated when I don't feel connected to Hashem. How can I feel more connected to Him throughout my day? Like at school and home? I think my neshama has to be connected to Him in order not to be sad.



Also, I love to serve Hashem with all the talents He gave me. It makes me feel happy, and it makes me feel like I'm doing something important. My talents are taekwondo, music, art, dance/movement, cooking, baking and creative writing. It's also part of my personality to be in nature and enjoy what Hashem created.


Sometimes my yetzer hara makes me have bad thoughts and worries. How can I get it to stop putting those bad thoughts and worries in my mind? I do hitbodidut often, almost every night before I go to bed. I ask Hashem to help me get closer to Him but sometimes I get annoyed because I don't think He listens even though He does. Sometimes I feel like I'm just taking to the air but I know I'm not.


I think it's really nice that you put your flute music in the beginning of your emuna CDs. I also love your flute CDs. I'm learning to play the Indian flute and recorder.


P.S. It was my little brother who sang your song "I don't understand a thing" in the video clip that we sent to you. My mom sent it a few weeks ago.


Please write back if you can.

Thank you,

Eden Yisraella Levi


Rabbi Brody answers:


Dear Eden,


Here at Breslev Israel, we receive more letters than you can imagine, including substantial mail from children and teenagers. Few are as articulate as yours. Your radiant soul illuminates each word that you write and your emuna-way of looking at the world shows a level of spiritual maturity far beyond your age. You can thank your mom for creating an atmosphere at home (and in the car) so conducive to learning emuna.


Although we try to record the emuna CDs in clear and understandable language so that everyone can understand them, you're correct in noting that they are geared for adults. Personally, I don't initiate the CD topics; the English CDs are all my translations and adaptations of Rabbi Shalom Arush's Hebrew CDs. But, I just now spoke to Rabbi Arush, and I told him about your letter and your request. Thanks to your initiative, G-d willing, we hope to record emuna CDs tailored to young people of your age in the nearest future.  


Eden, with emuna, there's never room for sadness and frustration. Hashem not only does everything (first principle of emuna), He does everything for the best (2nd principle of emuna) and for a purpose (3rd principle of emuna). Therefore, as you so wisely noticed, when you don't feel connected, Hashem gives you the feeling of sadness and frustration so that you will seek to re-connect with Him. Many adults are unaware of this, so rather than connecting with Hashem to rid themselves of negative emotions, they do all sorts of silly things that don't help. The way to connect immediately with Hashem throughout the day, both at school and at home is to speak to Him in your own words and seek His help in everything you do. For example, "Hashem, help me catch the bus on time"; "Hashem, help me remember the correct answers to the questions on this test"; "Hashem, help me bake this cake." You'll be amazed to see and feel how Hashem is by your side all day long. That's called "living your emuna."


You are a bright young lady in knowing that negative thoughts come from the yetzer hara, the evil inclination – that's why it's called "evil". The more you immerse yourself in Torah subjects, Jewish literature, culture and music, and the more you add modesty and holiness to your life, the purer and more positive your thoughts will be.


I'm amazed at your talents; I'm interested in all the same things that you are. I do suggest though, if possible, that you switch the taekwondo for tai chi or aikido, for the latter are more graceful and less aggressive. Also, try to hear music from upright musicians only. Acid rock and the like are terribly damaging to the soul. I'm delighted that you enjoy my flute music – it's all the product of my personal prayer sessions all over the Israeli countryside. With Hashem's help, you too will soon be composing your own music.


Send my blessings and warm regards to your wonderful parents, and tell your little brother how much I enjoyed his singing.


May Hashem help you grow in strength to Torah, chuppa and good deeds, and may Eden's garden of emuna flower beautifully always.


With very best wishes,

Lazer Brody, Ashdod



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