MY VISION FOR A COLLEGE NEXT TO THE CHABAD OF MYRTLE BEACH.
WILL IT BECOME A REALITY?
WAS IT GOD (HASHEM) OR MY EGO?
Devarim - Deuteronomy - Chapter 30
1And it will be, when all these things come upon you the blessing and the curse which I have set before you that you will consider in your heart, among all the nations where the Lord your God has banished you, אוְהָיָה֩ כִֽי־יָבֹ֨אוּ עָלֶ֜יךָ כָּל־הַדְּבָרִ֣ים הָאֵ֗לֶּה הַבְּרָכָה֙ וְהַקְּלָלָ֔ה אֲשֶׁ֥ר נָתַ֖תִּי לְפָנֶ֑יךָ וַֽהֲשֵֽׁבֹתָ֙ אֶל־לְבָבֶ֔ךָ בְּכָ֨ל־הַגּוֹיִ֔ם אֲשֶׁ֧ר הִדִּיחֲךָ֛ יְהֹוָ֥ה אֱלֹהֶ֖יךָ שָֽׁמָּה:
2and you will return to the Lord, your God, with all your heart and with all your soul, and you will listen to His voice according to all that I am commanding you this day you and your children, בוְשַׁבְתָּ֞ עַד־יְהֹוָ֤ה אֱלֹהֶ֨יךָ֙ וְשָֽׁמַעְתָּ֣ בְקֹל֔וֹ כְּכֹ֛ל אֲשֶׁר־אָֽנֹכִ֥י מְצַוְּךָ֖ הַיּ֑וֹם אַתָּ֣ה וּבָנֶ֔יךָ בְּכָל־לְבָבְךָ֖ וּבְכָל־נַפְשֶֽׁךָ:
3then, the Lord, your God, will bring back your exiles, and He will have mercy upon you. He will once again gather you from all the nations, where the Lord, your God, had dispersed you. גוְשָׁ֨ב יְהֹוָ֧ה אֱלֹהֶ֛יךָ אֶת־שְׁבֽוּתְךָ֖ וְרִֽחֲמֶ֑ךָ וְשָׁ֗ב וְקִבֶּצְךָ֙ מִכָּל־הָ֣עַמִּ֔ים אֲשֶׁ֧ר הֱפִֽיצְךָ֛ יְהֹוָ֥ה אֱלֹהֶ֖יךָ שָֽׁמָּה:
4Even if your exiles are at the end of the heavens, the Lord, your God, will gather you from there, and He will take you from there. דאִם־יִֽהְיֶ֥ה נִדַּֽחֲךָ֖ בִּקְצֵ֣ה הַשָּׁמָ֑יִם מִשָּׁ֗ם יְקַבֶּצְךָ֙ יְהֹוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֶ֔יךָ וּמִשָּׁ֖ם יִקָּחֶֽךָ:
5And the Lord, your God, will bring you to the land which your forefathers possessed, and you [too] will take possession of it, and He will do good to you, and He will make you more numerous than your forefathers. הוֶֽהֱבִֽיאֲךָ֞ יְהֹוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֶ֗יךָ אֶל־הָאָ֛רֶץ אֲשֶׁר־יָֽרְשׁ֥וּ אֲבֹתֶ֖יךָ וִֽירִשְׁתָּ֑הּ וְהֵיטִֽבְךָ֥ וְהִרְבְּךָ֖ מֵֽאֲבֹתֶֽיךָ:
THIS WAS THE BODY OF A LETTER I SENT TO A NUMBER OF FAITH LEADERS I CAME ACROSS THAT ADVISED ME TO CONTINUE MY ADVENTURES.
When I started my Search for Justice I had a vision of property next to the Chabad of Myrtle Beach at Rabbi Aizenman's urging. I saw a two-story addition to his one-story Chabad and I saw the property next store as an old age home or school. this was in the early 1990's. Rebecca Sealfon, a phenomenal woman from Harlem formed Unity is Strength and Jewish Community Building - https://bettermarketing.pub/getting-to-1-000-000-views-a-year-online-b7981910fcd4
I became an administrator of both efforts. A month or so ago Rebecca told me of a Leon Levine Foundation looking for programs to benefit the Jewish Communities from S Carolina. My thoughts immediately turned to Doron and our vision 30 some odd years ago. The property was never sold and is still for sale. Doron has agreed to look into the possibilities of applying for a grant to develop a college there. As you have all advised me to continue this search for justice your interest has always got me past my dark days dealing with this spiritual adventure. They were many. Would you please comment on your thoughts? I have relied on each of you to determine God from my own ego.
I only have until September 1st to apply for this grant or it will be January first to apply. I hope this effort will result in standing on the thoughts and ideas of the Rebbe as well as a vehicle to bring all faiths closer together but know if this is God it will develop as he sees it.
Below is Chater 14 of my book Angels on the Bridge that tells the story of my vision.
RABBI AIZENMAN AND I DRIVE TO CROWN HEIGHTS. I CONFER WITH THE REBBE-
Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson
ANGELS ON THE BRIDGE A Private Eye’s Spiritual Search For Justice by Howard Gerald Comen
Published September 2001 The Time the Twin Towers Fell
CHAT 14, THE RABBI, SAINT AND SINNER 61 THE VISION
spent the next week or so waiting for God’s response, working in two different directions. In terms of the Griggs investigation, I communicated with Lori Griggs and Elizabeth. I tried to figure out what else I could find in the five thousand pages of contracts. Nothing became any clearer. I began to believe I wouldn’t get an answer. As far as my request to God, I went to the rabbi of the Conservative Synagogue. He told me to talk to the Orthodox rabbi. The Orthodox rabbi said he had only a little knowledge of Jewish mysticism. He said the Kabbalah is the mystical side of Judaism.
“You must have studied the Torah, the Mishna, and the Talmud before you can study the Kabbalah. A man must be at least forty years old to study,” he said. Rabbi Radinsky was a man a few years older than me, and a learned man in all things Jewish. “There are Hassidic rabbis in Myrtle Beach who are into the mystical. They come to Charleston every now and then. I’ll let you know when one comes to town,” he said.
Catherine had told me previously that I would be spending a lot of time in another city. She told me the funds from doing business with this one contact would bring in the amount I needed. I wondered if Myrtle Beach was the place. So, I decided to travel there and see Attorney Harry Pavilack. He was a Jewish lawyer; maybe he was part of my business’s future. I’d met Harry in the early ‘80s and rented an office from him at that time. Perhaps he knew these rabbis.
When I arrived, I walked into Harry’s office and immediately took note of the mezuzahs that were nailed onto all the doorposts of his law office. Hanging mezuzahs on the doorposts of the house is a sacred ritual practiced by religious Jews. Harry was about as religious as I was.
“Harry, what’s with the mezuzahs?” I asked the former Clemson football star.
“I am close with the rabbi from the Hassidic Chabad. He put them up,” he shrugged. “I’m glad you are here. This is quite a coincidence. Mr. Levy, the owner of the Wings Beachwear chain asked me if I knew anyone who could help him with his shoplifting and employee theft problem. I told him about you. Let’s go see if he is there.”
I was shocked. Perhaps this was what Catherine was talking about. Pavilack shared the building with the Wings office.
Mr. Levy was an Israeli born, Brooklyn resident and a Myrtle Beach businessman. He started with one store, added stores and imported Israeli relatives and friends as the business grew. His main competitors in Myrtle Beach were Eagles, Pacific and Bargain and they were also Israelis.
Levy was a slightly overweight, soft-spoken man living the American dream. He needed an idea. I gave him one. “First, I will survey your stores and come up with recommendations. I will meet with all your managers and introduce your new security operating procedures. I will have my investigators shop your stores, checking to see that the procedures are carried out,” I told him.
Mr. Levy seemed pleased with my plan. “Do the survey and come up with your recommendations. Let me know how much money you need,” he told me. I figured the contract would bring in a thousand or so a month. I said goodbye and headed to the Chabad to talk with the rabbi.
I drove into the modest one story synagogue with mixed feelings. I thought I would be thrown out for sure. I was a Jew, married to a Baptist. It was a sin in Judaism to marry outside of one’s religion and stop the flow of Jewish descendants. From Orthodox on up, I was supposedly a non-entity. Taking my situation into consideration and adding in that my best friends were a medium and a 640-year-old spirit of a Catholic Saint, I feared that I would be run out of the place on a rail.
Bracing myself, I walked into the ultra-Orthodox mystical world of Hassidic Judaism. I saw the rabbi seated in one small classroom-sized area, which housed his private interior and the secretaries’ exterior office. He sat behind a folding table, which served as his desk. He was a man in his thirties, wearing a black hat, black clothing, a white shirt and a long beard.
“Hi, I’m Howie Comen, a Jewish private detective from Charleston. I have a personal problem I was hoping you could help me with. Do you have some time?” I asked.
He rose from behind the table. “I am Doron Aizeman. Sure I have time,” he said as he extended his hand. “What can I do for you?”
I looked him over for an instant and then let the facts fly. “I have been conducting an investigation of a missing bridge inspector back in Charleston. My client and I have been dealing with a medium who channels the spirit of a fourteenth century Catholic nun, St. Catherine of Siena,” I told him, checking the distance from my chair to the door. “I have been told I was a very old soul, that our investigation into corruption would become national.” I looked at him. He was listening. I wasn’t asked to leave. “I also have been told that I have the gift of insight. Sometimes I do see things myself,” I said.
I continued in earnest, “My problem is that mystery writer Mickey Spillane who is a Jehovah’s Witness told me I was breaking God’s law by talking to St. Catherine. He familiarized me with King Saul and the Witch of Endor in the Bible. I asked God to let me know if I should be dealing with St. Catherine and Elizabeth Baron, the channel. I sought Catherine’s advice and she told me to go to the authorities of my own religious background...and, so, here I am.”
There, I got it all out and waited for the boom.
I watched him calmly as he digested the final piece of information. It didn’t seem to leave a bad taste in his mouth nor did it upset his stomach. Actually, I think he was savoring my experiences. I decided to add a pinch more of my reality to the mix.
“You know, Rabbi, I’m married to a Baptist woman, my kids are not Jewish and I’m certainly not religious at all.”
“Interesting story, Howie,” he began. “First of all, you ARE a very old soul; you have been here many times.”
I was shocked by his words. “But we don’t believe in reincarnation or talking to spirits, do we?” I asked.
“Yes, the Hassidim believe the soul comes back many times to get the job done. We believe in many miracles. We have a mystical side to our experience. There is what we call the Kabbalah, a collection of mystical experiences in Jewish history. We see the Bible as the doorway to God and the Kabbalah as the key to that door. You have to study much before you can study the Kabbalah. And you must be forty years of age. I have very limited knowledge as I am not yet forty,” he smiled. I knew this man was a wealth of information and knew with all my heart that God had sent me to him.
“I’ve heard of experiences such as those you are having. We know there are many spirits, Jewish and non-Jewish. I would prefer for you to be dealing with a Jewish spirit, but Hashem has his own way of doing things.” (Hashem was his Hassidic word for God.)
“As far as the Witch of Endor problem, yes, God forbids us to call the dead. Saul violated that commandment...” (I would later learn that the Hassidim do not stop at the Ten Commandments. They followed with 619 commandments of their own) “...by tricking the Witch of Endor into bringing down the spirit of the prophet Samuel. Both Saul and his son Jonathan died in battle as the spirit of Samuel had warned him. David became King.” He told me essentially the same story that Mickey Spillane told me.
I told him more about the Griggs case and that I was having to make quite a few sacrifices because of my lack of money.
“But you have not violated God’s law,” he reassured me. “You’ve been working on the missing man’s case with no more than a small amount of expense money. You even spent your own money to help this family. You were operating from your heart. God recognized this in you and led you to the medium and the saint. You are bringing about justice in both the life of this man’s family and the life in your city, fighting this corruption. You do have your own free will to stop, but that’s up to you. You are not violating God’s law. You’re trying to uphold it,” he reassured me. My fears were gone.
“Although I am familiar with much of what you are speaking, I am very unfamiliar with anyone who has the gift of vision. Look outside this window and tell me what you see,” he asked me.
“Can’t do that, Rabbi. I’ve been warned not to use my intuition when I play poker on Thursday nights, nor to impress anyone. I am only supposed to use it to keep myself out of trouble – to know if I am dealing with the good guys or the bad guys. In other words, I have the intuition to know right from wrong,” I informed him.
“I feel this is important,” he said. “I am being told to ask you again. It will be all right for you to answer me. Just look outside the window. I am curious as to what you see.” He awaited my response.
I knew he was right. After all, God must have sent me there to give back to the rabbi as he had given to me, reassurance that I was on the right path. Catherine had taught us that when you take, you must also give back – be it advice, love or money.
I looked out the window at the open lot. “I see a two-story addition to the synagogue. It has gray brick, a flat roof and dark brown trim. I also see some sort of deal to buy the adjoining property,” I told him.
“Well, Howie, come with me.” We walked into his office. He unrolled an architect’s drawings of a building I had just described. “The brick color is wrong, but most of the rest of what you described is correct,” he smiled. “We are trying to buy the property next door, just as you said. Do you think we will get it?” he asked in all seriousness.
The shivers began running up and down my spine. A Hassidic Rabbi had just answered my questions on the Mickey Spillane/Witch problem and solved it. I could continue. He had put me through a test of this vision business and I had passed. Now he is asking me about the future.
“I’m just not sure, Rabbi,” I answered, for fear of being wrong. After all, I was just a baby in understanding how intuition worked. Who was I to give advice to a holy man such as the rabbi? Even though he had asked me, I feared God would strike me down, as unholy as I felt, if I raised myself up to this level. I also felt he was really testing me to a point.
Thus began my entrance into Hassidic Judaism. Over the years, Doron would provide me with the wherewithal to understand the workings of St. Catherine, Elizabeth Baron, this world, God’s other kingdoms, God Himself and last, but not least, my own person. I would learn of these workings through my own Jewish tradition, just as Catherine had told me I should.
I went home to digest the whole episode. It was almost overwhelming. I knew I had so much to learn and that this was just the tip of the iceberg.
A few days later, I returned to Myrtle Beach to meet with Mr. Levy and the Wings people. I had faxed them a proposal. I agreed to set up a security posture to combat shoplifting and employee theft. We would shop their stores for a fee of fifty dollars per store per one monthly check, seventy dollars per store for two monthly checks, and one hundred dollars per store for three checks per month. The Wings chain consisted of six downtown stores, thirteen highway stores and five Shell stores. I figured the deal would be worth a thousand per month. Mr. Levy returned the proposal asking for four checks a month for his highway stores, one check a month in his Shell stores, and ten checks per month in his downtown stores. The contract was for between four thousand and five thousand per month – specifically what I had asked God for at the Synagogue.
I got everything I had asked for. The Spillane/Witch question was answered by an ultra-religious rabbi born in Jerusalem, who should have given me the boot when he learned I had married outside of my religion. I got the contract I had asked for. I felt as if I were back in high school and had passed a major test I knew I was unqualified to take.
I considered the new circumstances of my life as a huge responsibility. For some reason, I knew not what that reason was; God had put me in a position to investigate corruption in conjunction with angels and spirits. Our efforts would help prove spirits exist, that there is a God, and that there is life after death. The team was not encumbered by individual religious boundaries. It made me feel good to hurdle those boundaries as I was Jewish and my boys were not. I knew I was not an angel by any means. Although my head had swelled and my ego was in the way, I found it impossible to give up my worldly non-godly interests – at least for now. I looked for more acknowledgements as to what I was dealing with.
“Okay,” I told myself, “the Jews believe this is kosher, but what about the pope? St. Catherine was Catholic, or at least she was when she was living here in the fourteenth century. She was one of only two women who had been given the title of Doctor (which means teacher in the Catholic religion). She was the co-patron saint of Italy along with Francis of Assisi. How would the pope react to my story?
“God, get me the pope,” I asked, not as humble as I should have been but with a lot of arrogance mixed in my words.
Now, if I were God, I would have given this arrogant, bigheaded mortal the jawbone of the ass across his face. But sometimes God overlooks our shortcomings and always seems to give us one more chance. At least, he was giving me a chance. That’s not to say that God doesn’t inflict his wrath in other ways. I am constantly behind the eight ball with Him, bordering on severe financial ruin, but He never has given up on me. Nor have I ever given up on HIM.
Reply Reply All Forward