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Showing posts from July, 2020

Fundamentals #4- Reliability

In merit of the healing of Yitzchak Simcha Aaron Ben Basya Bluma from The Ultimate Healer. Some times I feel like I am in Limbo.  I have heard others talk about this when it comes to finding a Shidduch Hagun,  or other situations, as one who is going through a healing process that involves  the back and forth , or "in an out" that sometimes is present when healing. I need in my Relationship with You to know I have my ground to stand on.  I need Your Reliability., I Need Your words of "You will never abandon me" to be as true as the Sun comes out every morning! "Roka Haaretz Al Hamayim"

Fundamentals #3 Basic Needs

In honor of the spectacular Healing of Yitzchak Simcha Aaron ben Basya Bluma In the same way that a mother davens to Hashem for her children for their basic Motor skills , and basic functions work like walking, like running, like standing, like jumping, writing, using our hands to feed ourselves etc...  I daven to You Hashem thanking You first for all of these gifts You share with me and then I ask You for access to all my specific individual basic needs I need in order to live and serve you without ever accepting less than what You provide as the natural reality of the world.  You provide food for even the raven and animals.  Your provide rain , You provide Water etc... You breathe life in all of us!!  So may all the basic needs be taken care of  Yitzchak Simcha Aaron ben Basya Bluma as is Your way. "Hanosein Lee Kol Tzarchee"

Fundamentials in our relationship #2 Hearing

In honor of the beautiful  healing of  Yitchak Simcha Aaron Ben Basya Bluma, biezras Harofei Cholim. In the same way a mother has joy when her son speaks coherently so can know what he needs and relate to him in a deeper and meaningful way,  I need to hear You Hashem guide me, teach me in a Coherent way so I can work with all the world you have given to me and fulfill Your Ratzon.  Umilamed L'enosh Bina" "Atah Chonein L'adam Daas"... Umilamed L'enosh Bina"

Fundamentals I need in our relationship #1 You have to know me

In honor of the beautiful  healing of  Yitchak Simcha Aaron Ben Basya Bluma, biezras Harofei Cholim. In the same way it is the most appreciated and necessary for a son to recognize and know his mother and a mother to recognize and know her son no matter what ;  I need to know You Hashem always recognize me, and I recognize You . Atah Chonein L'adam Daas...  I need this gift from YOU and when I have it as Daas and my self awareness, internalized then I can relate to the world. 

The light behind the curtains

In this very long Golus night there's a lot of light behind the curtains. Sometimes we see it coming in like through a Crack of a thick wall. Sometimes its a ray through the curtains. No matter if we see it or not, the light is there. In the brocha of yotzer ohr ,my understanding is as follows, Yotzer ohr, Hashem first created the light. The yeshua and refuah is always prepared before the hardhip. Then, uborei choshech , The darkness was created. Hashem then made peace between the 2. Osei shalom .. Uborei es hakol .. And this is the way he created all of nature.. The light needs to get extracted from the dark. It's there. We just need to look for it and sometimes persevere. In the end we'll find it wrapped up in darkest places. That's actually where our greatest growth and light forms. In Eicha 1,3, we see the expression of being trapped between the boundaries or narrow places. We also see the expression of the walls of tzion crying.2,18 When we come to places in

Open Your Hands...

On this day of fasting, I want to share my insights on the verse of Poseach es yadecho that we say in Ashrei 3 times day. 1. Poseach es Yadecho - You open your hand(which is the source of plenty), Umasbia lchol chai Rotzon - And you feed them according to "their wants". Note: Hashem's generosity goes beyond"needs". . An Expression of Hodaah - Gratitude   2. Poseach es yodecho umasbia l'chol chai, Rotzon - "with your willingness". Meaning, you make their wish, (those who are Chai Ratzon) Your will. An Expression of Hodaah- Gratitude   3.(this one is a teffilah, versus the other 2 were hoda'ah.) Poseach es yodecho - please Hashem, open your generous hand, Umasbia lchol .. And now I pray for all that are suffering from eating disorders, and I have in mind some specific names too.. Chai - life through gentle and effective healing, Rotzon - and an appetite to eat..   4. This one is an hoda'a again.. Poseach es yodecho,umasbia lchol, Me and

"R'ei na b'onyeinu"-

In S hmonei Esrei we ask Hashem,  "R'ei na b'onyeinu "- Please Hashem see our pain and finally redeem us. Right after this teffilah , we ask Hashem , Tka b'shofar godol, And we finish with Mekabeitz nidchei amo yisroel . Our tefillah is not complete when only asking for redemption of the affiliated. We want to see a redemption of every Jew united from around the globe. Tisha B'av's destruction of the temple happened when Jews lived together one lifestyle, with a Bais Hamikdash, in likelihood. Still there was so much hatred, that Hashem dispersed us all over the world after the destruction. We are now a very diverse Am Yisroel. Maybe this was meant to bring us to a place of correcting Sinas Chinom by really learning to love each others in our diversity and differences.. By: Faiga Leah Landau 

Morning prayers , Second "Haleluya" verse 2

Today is Tisha B'av, when we mourn the loss of our Holy Temple and its destruction. We mourn for Hashem and for us. In this day I want to share some insights on how we daven for the Geula daily. And some insights that I merited to learn today. Bonei Yerushalayim Hashem- Hashem will rebuild Yerushalayim, and then, Nidchei yisroel yechaneis-  The outcast of yisroel, He will gather in. (Am yisroel will not be complete without every jew, affiliated or not, being brought back. Horofei lishvurei lev- He will heal their broken hearts, Umechabeish l'atzvosom- And he will bind their sorrows.  This is how we emulate Hashem, by embracing every Jew in a loving way!  By: Faiga Leah Landau


V’lirushalayim : there are two peshatim on why there is a vav . One is because the minute there are tzaddikim there is Yerushalayim, and the thing that is holding back Yerushalayim (Moshiach) is us not acting with enough beauty and grace to be deserving of it. Tosfos says that Moshiach cannot come until the way we behave is so beautiful that we are deserving of it. Not necessarily more observant, but more beautiful in our observance... We are not davening for what once was; we are davening for what can be greater than anything that ever was before. But if you want to be in a place that is better than the Yerushalayim of David Hamelech , better than the Yerushalayim of Shlomo Hamelech, better than the Yerushalayim of Yehoshafat, Chizkiyahu , and Yoshiyahu , you have to be prepared. You don’t go into the Palace of the King, or even the White House unprepared without learning the formalities of how to behave. The best way to daven for Yerushalayim the way it is in this bracha ,

A New Me

Today my three steps back allowed me to experience a sense of  consolation. I don't have to hide from my mistakes I don't have to feel "guilty" I can face "myself" with my Creator.       Who knows me!        Who invited me to talk to Him! I see it as  my time to begin to take responsibility .. and actively  distance myself from those parts of me that have held me back  from being  "Me" ...   So I invite Hashem to walk with me as I  place  the  limitations in a domain that has nothing to do with "Me"  I now  run up to Him responding to His invitation to come close to Him.   And... I  call Him "My Master" in a whole new way.. .

Facing each other- Bracha of Mikvah

It was after the mikvah that I suddenly realized we started our relationship with God, with our Ezer Kenegdo , as neged, opposing. Then we learn about the highest form of the relationship which is Panim El 'Panim, facing each other. As it is with a husband and wife relationship. Hamaivin Yavin . As the mikvah has the potential to repair the most intimate relationships. The Kavana when going to the Mikvah should be to learn how to cultivate a relationship of Panim El 'Panim , facing each other, seeing each other, rather than one of Neged , against each other. May Hashem grant every Bayit in Am Yisrael this awareness so that we may all shift from a relationship of Neged , to a relationship of Panim El 'Panim. From Mayim Tahorim Shared Anonymously

Shema... "Echad"

“My son,  She’altiel basically because of  quarantine has become a stay at home dad because his wife Baruch Hashem is still working. He said that he  finally understood something I'd said to him when he was a little boy. He didn't understand why he would get frustrated and annoyed by his children. They'd be crying. They'd be whining,  this would get  him very annoyed, frustrated, and was unbearable for him. He'd come home from work, he was tired and the kids would be kvetching..  He was worried that his kids would feel that they annoyed him. He didn't know what was going on. Then he realized that when his mind was on work , when his mind was on what “he wants to do”, his children appeared to be  a distraction.   When his mind is on his kids, there's absolutely nothing they do, or want, that's really unreasonable. And therefore he doesn't get annoyed. He doesn't get frustrated. And they're transformed!  The  transformation in them is remarkabl

First Prayer- Tisha B'av

 "My Master! Open my lips, that my mouth may declare Your praise." Evening: Jeremiah said, "You have covered Yourself with a cloud, so that prayer should not pass through (Lamentations 3:44)." I want to declare Your praise even if my prayers will not be heard! By: Rabbi Simcha Weinberg

Birchat Hamazon

By: Machberes Avodas Hashem The Chafetz Chaim taught: "At the conclusion of the main portion of Grace after Meals we add a series of,' May the All Merciful.' We add numerous such petitions, indicating that a request to God after the performance of a mitzvah is especially acceptable before Him (Michtevei haRav Chafetz Chaim, page 45)." One of the primary issues of the Exile is, "You wrapped Yourself in a cloud that no prayer can pierce (Lamentations 3:44)." It is more difficult to pray during the Three Weeks than other times during the year because we experience this "cloud." With COVID unfortunately around, this year proves to be even more difficult because our time in shul has changed drastically, and we have never experienced the pain of the three weeks while in a situation similar to the present state of the world. We can use this strategy of the Chafetz Chaim, that of praying immediately after the performance of a mitzvah, so that we may feel t

Modim (Kinah 13)

Written by Machberes Avodas Hashem The Chafetz Chaim taught: "Every man enters this world with a certain endowment. It behooves him to make use of his endowment, for he will be held accountable regarding it (Michtevei haRav Chafetz Chaim, page 51)." "Because you did not serve God, your Lord, amid gladness and goodness of heart, when everything was abundant (Deuteronomy 28:47)." The Torah reminds us that one of the primary reasons for the exile and the suffering of the diaspora is that we do not properly appreciate our abundance and endowments. It is appropriate during the period of the Three Weeks to pay special attention to all of the abundance in our lives, especially focusing on our endowments, the gifts God has given us to achieve our potential. Make a list of your special talents and gifts and use that list when reciting the Modim - Thank You prayer in the Amidah.

Nine Days: Amidah: Living With Salvation

Written by Machberes Avodas Hashem "For we hope for Your salvation all the day." When a soul is brought forward into its final judgment they ask her, "Did you await salvation?" (Shabbat 31a) The question is; "Did you live in such a manner that all you did was a reflection of a world in which salvation is possible?" This is the true meaning of "waiting for the salvation!" (Mei Marom, Volume 13, Page 106)

Bareich Aleinu

Bareich Aleinu: Abundance Written by: Machberes Avodas Hashem The Ropshitzer was told that his master, the Rimanover, blessed a man, and that the man was becoming richer every day. He inquired why this man deserved to receive a blessing of such magnitude. The Rimanover replied, "I merely blessed him that he might enjoy a comfortable living. But the man gives away so much to charity that his fortune must be increased abundantly by Heaven, so that he may have sufficient for his personal comforts." (Ohel Naftali, page 35) "Bless this year for us, God, our Lord, and all its types of produce for good. Grant blessing on the face of the earth, and from its goodness satisfy us, blessing our year as the best of years." I often wonder how we can recite this prayer on Tisha B’Av, when Jerusalem was destroyed, we were sent into exile, and we had lost everything. Perhaps if we can say that we use the little we have to give to others, which is something that we have witnessed dur

We pray for knowledge and understanding

The Chatam Sofer said," We read in Pirkei Avot (3:21),' Where there is no knowledge there is no understanding.' Knowledge is acquired from a teacher, understanding from a person's own mind. Understanding, however, must be based upon knowledge to be correct. Very seldom are original ideas correct unless the thinker has learned the rules of logic and the laws of derivation formulated by experienced sages." (Chut ha-Meshulash) In the fourth blessing of the Amidah, when we pray for knowledge and understanding, we should insert a prayer for the part of Redemption that will restore our teachers of knowledge so that we will be able to fully use our understanding. By Machberes Avodas Hashem

Ahava Rabbah

In Tanna d'Bei Eliyahu Zuta 2, God's qualities are enumerated. One quality is satisfaction with His lot. We are taught that Rabbi Chaim of Volozhin asked his rebbi, the Vilna Gaon the meaning of this statement. The Gaon replied, "The statement means that God is satisfied with His people, Israel, no matter in what state He finds them. God still loves us, even though our state of holiness is far below that of our fathers." (Michtevei haRav Chafetz Chaim, page 47) The blessing immediately before the Shema, both in the morning and evening, declare God's love for us: "Who chooses His people Israel with love," and "Who loves His nation Israel." It is at this point when we declare God's love for lsrael, just before He demands, in the Shema, that we love Him, when we can say to God, "We have been taught that Your love for us is expressed in Your being satisfied with our state of holiness no matter how lacking we may be. We therefore request th

Who removes sleep from my eyes and slumber from my eyelids

And may it be Your will "Sleeping is thick arras or ambsace, like an alcatraz across water." (Brian Teare, Sight Map: Poems) We often do not have the clarity to perceive God's messages to us personally, or to the world; it is often as if we are sleeping. We acknowledge the blessing of clarity that comes through Torah that keeps our minds sharp and allows us to catch God's messages and understand them. The remainder of the blessing is a request for the things we need to maintain that clarity. By: Rabbi Simcha Weinberg,n''y

Who crowns Israel with splendor

ho crowns Israel with splendor: G. K. Chesterton's ''The Man Who Was Thursday," features a plot to infiltrate the Central Council of Anarchists, whose 7 members are named for the days of the week, Sunday, Monday, etc., The main character Gabriel Syme finds himself recruited as a spy first by a regular police officer and then by a mysterious man in a dark room, whose face he never sees. "Are you the new recruit?" asked the invisible chief, "all right. You are engaged." Syme, quite swept off his feet, made a feeble fight against this irrevocable phrase. "I really have no experience," he began. "No one has any experience," said the other, "of the battle of Armageddon." "But I am really unfit-" “You are willing, that is enough," said the unknown. "Well, really," said Syme, "I don’t know of any profession of which mere willingness is the final test." "I do," said the other, "

Who girds Israel with strength

Three Silences there are: the first of speech, The second of desire, the third of thought; This is the lore a Spanish monk, distraught With dreams and visions, was the first to teach. These Silences, commingling each with each, Made up the perfect Silence, that he sought And prayed for, and wherein at times he caught Mysterious sounds from realms beyond our reach. O thou, whose daily life anticipates The life to come, and in whose thought and word The spiritual world preponderates. Hermit of Amesbury! thou too hast heard Voices and melodies from beyond the gates, And speakest only when thy soul is stirred! (Henry Wadsworth Longfellow; The Three Silences of Molinos) We acknowledge our ability to catch the "Mysterious sounds from realms beyond our reach," which has given us the great strength to survive the devastating challenges of exile. By: Rabbi Simcha Weinberg

Who has provided me my every need

O sweeter than the marriage-feast, 'Tis sweeter far to me, To walk together to the kirk With a goodly company!- To walk together to the kirk, And all together pray, While each to his great Father bends, Old men, and babes, and loving friends, And youths and maidens gay! Farewell, farewell! but this I tell To thee, thou Wedding-Guest! He prayeth well, who loveth well Both man and bird and beast. He prayeth best, who loveth best All things both great and small; For the dear God who loveth us, He made and loveth all."  (Samuel Taylor Coleridge; The Rime of the Ancient Mariner Part VII) "He prayeth best, who loveth best All things both great and small; For the dear God who loveth us, He made and loveth all." We are celebrating the powerful role of prayer in empowering us to thrive in exile: By providing us with prayer, the ability to speak to You and to know that You are listening, You have provided us with a means to address our every need. By: Rabbi Simcha Weinberg

Who firms man's footsteps

"These men asked the pilgrims whence they came; and they told them. They also asked them where they had lodged, what difficulties and dangers, what comforts and pleasures, they had met with in the way; and they told them. Then said the men that met them, "You have it but two difficulties more to meet with, and then you are in the City." (John Bunyan; The Pilgrim's Progress) We acknowledge that with each difficulty with which You present us, You are moving us forward toward our ultimate goal. By: Rabbi Simcha Weinberg

Who spreads out the earth upon the waters

I saw the world and yesterday! A flight of Angels tore It's cover off and Heaven lay Where Earth had been before. I walked about the countryside And saw a cricket pass. Then, bending closer, I espied An ecstasy of grass. (Elizabeth B. Rooney; Eschaton) Even when we do not have the Beit Hamikdash through which to view the Heavens, we can still bend down and find, "an ecstasy of grass," sparks of Heaven sprinkled throughout the world; sparks through which we can glimpse Heaven. By: Rabbi Simcha Weinberg

Who straightens the bent

Then loudly cried the bold Sir Bedivere: "Ah! my Lord Arthur, whither shall I go? Where shall I hide my forehead and my eyes? For now I see the true old times are dead, When every morning brought a noble chance, And every chance brought out a noble knight. Such times have been not since the light that led The holy Elders with the gift of myrrh. But now the whole Round Table is dissolved Which was an image of the mighty world, And I, the last, go forth companionless, And the days darken round me, and the years, Among new men, strange faces, other minds." And slowly answered Arthur from the barge: " The old order changeth, yielding place to new, And God fulfils himself in many ways, Lest one good custom should corrupt the world. Comfort thyself: what comfort is in me? I have lived my life, and that which I have done May He within himself make pure! but thou, If thou shouldst never see my face again, Pray for my soul. More things are wrought by prayer Than this world dreams

Who releases the bound

It is over. What is over? Nay, how much is over truly! - Harvest days we toiled to sow for; Now the sheaves are gathered newly, Now the wheat is garnered duly. It is finished. What is finished? Much is finished known or unknown: Lives are finished; time diminished; Was the fallow field left unsown? Will these buds be always unblown? It suffices. What suffices? All suffices reckoned rightly: Spring shall bloom where now the ice is, Roses make the bramble sightly, And the quickening sun shine brightly, And the latter wind blow lightly, And my garden teem with spices. (Christina Rossetti; Amen) "All suffices reckoned rightly." We are able to break the bonds of our exile when we understand that we have been empowered to create eternal realities with our Mitzvot, prayer, and Torah study. By: Rabbi Simcha Weinberg

Who clothes the naked

"Certainly those determining acts of her life were not ideally beautiful. They were the mixed result of a young and noble impulse struggling amidst the conditions of an imperfect social state, in which great feelings will often take the aspect of error, and great faith the aspect of illusion. For there is no creature whose inward being is so strong that it is not greatly determined by what lies outside it." "But we insignificant people with our daily words and acts are preparing the lives of many Dorotheas." "Her finely-touched spirit had still its fine issues, though they were not widely visible. Her full nature like that river of which Cyrus broke the strength, spent itself in channels which had no great name on the earth. But the effect of her being on those around her was incalculably diffusive: for the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to t

Who gives sight to the blind

“For us, - whatever's undergone, Thou knowest, wiliest what is done, grief may be joy misunderstood; Only the Good discerns the good. I trust Thee while my days go on. (Elizabeth Barrett Browning)” The darkness of exile is often compared to blindness. However, we continue to rely on God, "Who knows, Who Wills what is done," Who, "discerns the good." We thank God for the gift of Bitachon, trusting in, and relying on His vision. By: Rabbi Simcha Weinberg

For not having made me a woman:

"And the man assigned names to all the cattle and to the birds of the sky and to every beast of the field; but as for man, he did not find a helper corresponding to him. So God, the Lord, cast a deep sleep upon the man and he slept: and He took one of his sides and He filled in flesh in its place. Then God, the Lord, fashioned the side that He had taken from the man into a woman, and He brought her to the man. And the man said, "This time it is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh. This shall be called Woman, for from man was she taken (Genesis 2:20-23)." Although God made it clear to the man that he lacked a "helper corresponding to him," when Adam first saw the woman, rather than see her as God intended, Adam saw her only as an extension of himself; "bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh." Adam had an opportunity to see someone beyond himself, someone who would push him to grow and motivate him to achieve. The name "Woman," refers to th

For not having made me a slave

For not having made me a slave: "And when I rest in glory bright, The burden of my labor past, In hymns 1'11 praise Thee more and more While the eternal ages last (Synesius).” No matter how dark life may seem, no matter how hopeless, as long as I can focus on the future with hope, I am not a slave. By: Rabbi Simcha Weinberg

For not having made me a Gentile

"The happiest people seem to be those who have no particular reason for being happy except that they are so (W. R. Inge).” Many Holocaust survivors have told me that the key to maintaining their dignity even in a concentration camp was to look at their tormentors and bless God for not having made them such a low human being. They found joy in their essence. By: Rabbi Simcha Weinberg

Blessing For Torah Learning

Now, of course, we go to the blessings over Torah learning. During the beginning of the crisis of COVID and during the three weeks, the basic kavanah that I had about this blessing is not about the Torah that has been given to me. I don't begin with that intention. I begin with a quest, Torah as my quest, which is based on a teaching of the Talmud in Sanhedrin 97 A. The gemara explains that the 2000 years of Torah began with Abraham beginning his quest to find God. We are in a situation in which we're seeking answers, in which we're seeking to understand. What do we have to change? Are we doing anything wrong? In what way do we have to improve? How can I best guide my children through this crisis? How can I grow from it? That is a quest, and that quest is always guided by Torah, just as it was even after the walls of Jerusalem were breached because they still had Torah, and they still looked to Torah to guide them. By: Rabbi Simcha Weinberg, neiro yair