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Not Just Three Letters

The newly released book “Remarkable Insights about Death and the Afterlife” is now available (as a paperback, hardcover and digitized version) for purchase and delivery on Amazon at or by sending an email to [email protected]Alternatively, you can call 054 849 5217 or 917 732 2371. This extensive and thought-provoking book addresses these questions and many more, providing transformative insights. With a collection comprising over 70 meticulously crafted essays, it eloquently articulates the Torah’s viewpoint regarding death and the afterlife. This work stands as an invaluable resource, facilitating readers in acquiring a deeper comprehension of this vital subject. It makes a great gift for friends, relatives, business associates and learning partners. Purchase it at

Some of the questions discussed in this book are the following.

What is the ultimate way to elevate the soul of one’s parents?
How does the death process rectify a person’s soul?
What profound life lessons can we learn from gravestones?
In what ways can the concept of reincarnation help us better understand life?
What is the idea behind davening at gravesites?
What will happen at the Resurrection of the Dead?

To join the thousands of recipients and receive these insights free on a weekly email, obtain previous articles, feedback, comments, suggestions (on how to spread the insights of this publication further, make it more appealing or anything else), to sponsor this publication which has been in six continents and more than forty countries, or if you know anyone who is interested in receiving these insights weekly, please contact the author, Rabbi Yehoshua Alt, at Thank you.

To purchase any of the author’s books (hardcopy or e-book) and get it delivered to your door, please send an email to or visit (where you can also see the reviews).

לעילוי נשמת שמואל אביגדור בן יצחק מאיר

These Torah articles can also be viewed in French and Hebrew atהורדות-עלונים.


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Rabbi Alt merited to learn under the tutelage of R’ Mordechai Friedlander ztz”l for close to five years. He received Semicha from R’ Zalman Nechemia Goldberg ztz”l. Rabbi Alt has written on numerous topics for various websites and publications and is the author of the books, Fascinating Insights and Incredible Insights. His writings inspire people across the spectrum of Jewish observance to live with the vibrancy and beauty of Torah. He lives with his wife and family in a suburb of Yerushalayim where he studies, writes, and teaches. The author is passionate about teaching Jews of all levels of observance.

Please feel free to print some copies of this publication and distribute them in your local shul for the public, thereby having a hand in spreading Torah.

Not Just Three Letters

A Jewish hospital was needed in Izmir, Turkey in the time of R’ Chaim Palagi and R’ Chaim accepted the responsibility to raise the funds. He wrote a letter to a wealthy man who did business with Baron Rothchild, asking him to go to Baron and request a generous donation. The wealthy man said that he was afraid that Baron would get upset at him for asking for money, and it possibly would lead to some damage in his business dealings with him. R’ Chaim wrote back in a letter to the man, “I am shocked that you didn’t notice in my first letter that I wrote on top of the page בס”ד (בסייעתא דשמיא), With Hashem’s help. Therefore you can see that I am relying on Hashem’s help.’” The man then went to Baron who gave him a generous donation.

הקדמה לתהילים של הרב חיים פלאג'י זצוק"ל ובו כמה וכמה מעלות על תהילים - מוקד  הישועות דוד המלך ע"ה

A man who was in desperate need of funds to make an imminent wedding for his daughter poured out his heart to Hashem[1] at the Kosel.[2] After he finished davening,[3] the salvation arrived as someone came and gave him the money he needed.[4] Seeing so openly the hand of Hashem, he expressed his gratitude effusively. When it was time for his next daughter’s wedding, he followed the same procedure and poured out his heart again by the Kosel. However, this time no one offered him money. When he cried to his Rebbe about this, his Rebbe said, the reason you received a different response from heaven this time is because when you davened, you were looking over your shoulder to see if a wealthy man would come over again. You didn’t put your full trust in Hashem.אל תבטחו בנדיבים…שאין לו תשועה, do not rely on nobles or people as they hold no salvation.[5]

[1] It has been said that some people have hearts of stones but these stones (referring to the stones of the Kosel) have the hearts of people.

[2] When the Roman Emperor Vespasian conquered Yerushalayim, he divided the task of destroying the four areas of the city among four of his military commanders. The assignment of destroying the Western Gate fell to Panger, the Arabic commander. While the other three destroyed their areas as per their instructions, Panger did not. Upon hearing that the Kosel Ha’maaravi (Western side) hadn’t been destroyed (Heaven decreed that the Kosel will never be destroyed) a fuming Vespasian summoned Panger to explain why he allowed his area to remain standing. Panger informed the emperor that he had left the area under his jurisdiction standing as a tribute to the honor of the emperor Vespasian and for the glory of his kingdom. Had he finished his assigned task and destroyed the area then there would have been nothing left of the city. The world would never be able to recognize and understand what Vespasian had destroyed. Leaving one small area standing displayed the awesomeness of the structure that Vespasian had torn down. Vespasian was pleased with the explanation but he said because you violated my orders and ignored my direct command, you must climb up onto the roof and throw yourself off. If you survive, good, and if not, not. Panger ascended to the roof, jumped off and died. So our enemy was assigned the task of demolishing the Kosel and mysteriously he had the peculiar notion of disobeying the command of the emperor. This idea was so convincing to Vespasian that he never sought to destroy the wall himself (Eicha Rabba 1:31).

[3] Around 100 years ago it was a common custom for visitors to the Kosel to leave their names behind as a tefilla or segula for a safe trip home — they would inscribe or paint it on the stones of the Kosel. People would carve their names into the stone or write them in red or black paint. Some added short tefillos or brachos while others drove nails into the wall as a segula before traveling abroad. There was even a custom of dipping one’s palm in paint and leaving a handprint on the wall. Of course many rabbanim frowned upon these minhagim especially when engravings were made on the holy stones since it showed disrespect to the kedusha of the Kosel and may have been a problem of meilah. From the earliest pictures of the Kosel in the 1860s until photos in the 1920s, names in script, large and small, are seen decorating the stones as far up as a person could reach. In 1931 one of the laws that were passed was that the Kosel should not be disfigured by having any engravings or inscription placed upon it or by having nails or similar objects driven into it. With the passing of this law the custom of painting names immediately stopped. Instead, people began placing notes in the cracks of the stones. Although this custom existed before writing names was outlawed, it grew in popularity in the wake of this law, and remains a popular custom.

[4] R’ Meir of Premishlan once called out during tefilla: “Hashem, I know that if we would gather all the tefillos and squeeze them out, the result would be concentrated requests for money. However, I also know that if we would gather up all the Jewish money and squeeze it out, the concentrated result would be Torah and good deeds. This is because what does a Jew do with his money anyway? Pay tuition for yeshiva so his sons can study Torah, marry off his daughters to Torah scholars, invite guests to his house and help the poor.”

[5] Tehillim 146:3.

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