Skip to main content


Showing posts from January, 2021

Davening is a journey

You take the Zechus of Avraham   the Rokeiach says as follows. If you look carefully at the verses before the Karban Pesach in Perek Yud Bais ,(Exodus)  when Moshe is first giving them, (Klal Yisroel) the Mitzvos  that they have to do so he says , “everything has to be ready to go, you have to wear your belts and Naaleichem Biragleichem,   your shoes on your feet. The Rokeach says What do you mean “ shoes on your feet”? Plus shoes on your feet we make a Bracha , a special bracha for shoes so there must be some kind of relationship between the bracha of Hameicheen Mitzadei Gaver and Moshe telling them at before they before they did the first Karban Pesach, and Naaeleichem Biragleichem   You have to wear your shoes. Why do people wear shoes? They wear shoes if they're gonna walk. Who's the first walker? Avraham Avinu, Lech Licha   He says, it is interesting,  let's see if we could take this a little further because you know that we actually do something we're not allowed

Mizmor l’Todah

  Mizmor l’Todah   Rav Yaakov (ben Tzvi) Emden (1698-1776), known as Yaavetz (Yaakov ben Tzvi), son of the Chacham Tzvi:  We recite this Psalm as  Birchat haGomeil  for all the miracles we  receive each day of which we are unaware.    There are four mentions of God’s Name in the Psalm: “Call out to God,” “Serve God with gladness,” “Know that God,” and, “For God is good.”  These four mentions correspond to the “Four who must bring a Thanksgiving Offering,” Released from prison, healed from illness, after a journey through the desert, and after a sea voyage. This is also why there were four types of bread in this offering. One should sing this psalm with the same joy he would have bringing the Thanksgiving Offering. Shared by:  Rabbi Simcha Weinberg, n''y

Redeemer of Israel

  Dubno Maggid on Redeemer of Israel    Why was Jacob sent down to Egypt? Why did he have to suffer exile? Jacob was sent down to Egypt so that all would see that he returned to Israel, and they would understand and believe that they too would return to Israel. This was a sign for the righteous of all generations, when they suffer; they can look to Jacob and understand that their exile and troubles will end. Shared By:  Rabbi Simcha Weinberg, n''y


  Meor Einayim on Hodu:  ⁦ Give thanks to Ado-noy, proclaim His Name; make His deeds known among the nations. “ Shemot 1:1: Even when we are on the lowest of levels – that of Egypt – we should not give up hope, for our names are intertwined with the Names of the Holy One, Blessed is He, that will protect us. Shemot 1:8: “A new king rose over Egypt.” A major outcome of their stay in, and exodus from Egypt, is that God’s Name was acknowledged as that of the King. Thus, “ a new king,” a new appreciation of God as King, rose over the entire world. Shared By: Rabbi Simcha Weinberg  

Seek His Presences Always

  Rav Schwab on Hodu: “  Seek His Presence always.”    The term, “Seek His Presence,” means to look at someone’s face and see what he needs. (In German, there   is an expression: “ Einen ein wunsch aus den augen ablessen ,” meaning, “To read a person’s wish from his eyes.”) If one is eager to please another, he can just look at his face and see what he needs. If his friend looks hungry, or tired, or sad, he will offer him some food or shelter, or perhaps cheer him up. So the meaning here is, “Constantly seek ways to please God.” (Rav Schwab on Prayer, Artscroll) By:  Rabbi Simcha Weinberg  

Pesukei d’Zimrah Baruch Sh’Amar

  The Gra (Haggadah: Baruch HaMakom) explains that when we recite the words, “Blessed is He Who spoke, and the world came into being; blessed is He.” We are blessing both the revealed and the hidden. The specific praise of,   “Who spoke, and the world came into being,” refers to the world we see and can comprehend. The praise, “Blessed is He,” refers to all that is hidden in the creation, and cannot be described.    This idea of “Hidden and Revealed,” refers to the worlds of “Thought and Action.” We referred to what we see as Action, and to what we cannot see, as Thought. This teaches us that when singing this song of praise we must remember that there are two levels to each of the Ten (Explained by the Abudirham as corresponding to the Ten Statements with which the world was created) praises we recite; the Hidden–Thought, and the Revealed–Action. By: Rabbi Simcha Weinberg, n''y 


    KING, HELPER and RESCUER and SHIELD MELEKH, OZER, uMOSHIAH uMAGEN   From Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan zt’l's book: Jewish Meditation Chapter: “Relating to God” Pages 117-118 [Presented with slight edits by El-Ad Eliovson]   The first paragraph in the Amidah concludes with four words that  are designated to bring the worshiper closer to God. These words are "King Helper, Rescuer, and Shield " Whereas in the first part of this paragraph we relate to God in a general manner, here we develop our personal relationship with Him.   These four words are the key to the entire Amidah . If one says them correctly, one is left in a perfect spiritual space for the rest of the service. Even if one has said the first parts of this paragraph without proper concentration, if these four words are said properly, they will bring the worshiper to such a closeness to God that the rest of the Amidah will be perfect !! [Even] if one cannot say entire first paragraph at the rat

Prayer Skills- Joy- As A Story

One must perform the Mitzvot with such great joy that one does not even want any heavenly reward for it. He wishes only that God should prepare another mitzvah for him, for he derives pleasure from the mitzvah itself. Through   this one may know what has been decreed for the world, whether the decree have been confirmed or not, and upon whom the evil has been decreed, Heaven forbid. One thus knows how to pray for the world, for after the judgment has been decreed, the righteous must clothe their prayers in the form of stories. One merits all this by performing the mitzvah in great joy derived from the mitzvah itself. This may be merited by praying fervently and with great awe and love. (Likkutei Eitzot, Simcha 2-3)   Question : How can we clothe prayers in the form of stories? Rabbi Simcha Weinberg, n''y

Prayer Skills- Positioning Our Body

  The Amidah is recited with the feet together, emulating the stance of the Angels. We find other physical positions described in classic sources, such as sitting and meditating (Rabbi Avraham Abulafia; Chayei Olam haBah,   page 18a). A position found in the Bible involves kneeling with the hands outstretched. “He kneeled on his knees, and spread his hands toward heaven (II Chronicles 6:13).” Ezra likewise said, “I fell on my knees and spread my hands toward God, my Lord (Ezra 9:5).” Rabbi Moshe Cordevero explains that’s spreading the hands alludes to the fact that one is receiving spiritual sustenance from on high (Pardes Rominim 15:3).   There is also the “prophetic position,” which involves placing the head between the knees. “ Elijah went up to the top of the Carmel, and he placed himself on the earth, and placed his face between his knees (I Kings 18:42).” It is important to note that the origin of this position may be found in the Pesach Offering, which had to be roasted, as taug

Prayer Skills- Vaeira- Joy and Fear

  “The Lord spoke to Moses and said to him, ‘I am God’ (Exodus 6:2).” Why does the Torah not tell us what the Lord said when He spoke? Why he does God referred to Himself as God after He had already told Moses Who   He was in 3:15? At that time, He added: “This is My name forever!” Why then, did He have to tell Moses at this juncture, “I am God?”     Inasmuch as Moses had spoken in an unseemly manner in the presence of the Almighty, something that he never would have dared to do if God had not previously shown Moses His smiling face as represented by the attribute, “God,” He had to show him a different attribute, “The Lord,” before answering Moses in detail. The Torah introduces this conversation by letting us know that God spoke in His capacity as the attribute of Justice, “The Lord.”   When God appears to make a turnabout at the end of our verse and refers to Himself as the attribute of Mercy, this is in line with the principle expressed in the Talmud that “Wherever there is joy in o


  The ability to transcend the desire of the Nefesh into the reality of the Neshama by way of the Ruach (clear articulation) is in fact the process that allows us to glimpse through God’s “mirror”. But more than that… When, for instance, I go from “I want to cope well” to picturing myself at my best, I have aligned the mirrors as in “K’mayim HaPanim L’Panim”; it’s not two different mirrors, it becomes one. As the Baal Shem Tov describes; the closer one gets to our reflection in the water, the less of a reflection it becomes, to the point where it becomes as one. By training oneself to articulate and bridge the gap between Nefesh and Neshama, it is this unity that we seek to achieve. By: Rabbi Simcha Weinberg, n''y

Framing My Day

If God-fearing people who do not understand Hebrew ask you how they should say their prayers, tell them to learn to recite the prayers in the language they understand. Because prayer  depends on knowing what you are saying, and if your mind does not comprehend the words you are uttering, what is the use of praying? Therefore, it is better that people should pray in the language they understand.  By: Rabbi Simcha Weinberg, n''y – Sefer Chasidim #588, Translated by Avraham Yaakov Finkel. (See Magen Avraham 101:5, Teshuvot Rivash 388-391)language they understand.

Framing My Day

  Being obligated to pray at a certain time, no matter where I was, such as waiting for a flight to Los Angeles, helped me feel in control of time, and that my day, no matter how mundane, was boxed in by sanctity and God.   A person came to the corner where I was praying to pray next to me. It was clear that prayer was very important to this person and I derived great inspiration from praying with someone to whom it was so important to pray.  I found that this was an important feeling to use when praying with a minyan. By: Rabbi Simcha Weinberg, n''y 

Skills 3

  Parshas Noach:  “Make a Tzohar an opening or window for the Teyva ark.” The famous commentator Rashi explains that the word Tzohar is a precious stone. We can also suggest that the Hebrew word for ark -Teyva can also mean “a word”. Therefore the verse can be read “Make your words into a precious stone.” This teaches us that we should cause all the words we speak to shine with brilliance similar to the luster of a precious stone. * And to a cubit finish it above – this alludes to true unity, since a Tzadik must walk in unity in the higher worlds. * On a slighty different note the verse teaches us that we should “Make a Tzohar a light for the Teyva words” Make your words shine. Through the words of Torah that the Tzadikim learn they can transform Tzara into Tzohar1, calamity and disaster can be altered to spell radiance and light. 2 Tzara and Tzohar are both spelled with the same three letters Tzadi, Hei and Reish depending upon their order. The word Teyva again means word as well as a


  From The Introduction to Derech Chaim , his sefer on the laws of Tefillah: Our sages taught that, “A person should only take leave of his friend by sharing a word of Halacha, for it will be through it that he will remember him.” Many people read this to mean, that the friend will remember the departing friend through the Halacha that they shared, “remember him.” However, if someone is ready to leave, and quickly shares a Halacha, will the other friend remember him through the rushed words of Halacha? I believe that “Zachreihu,” should not be read as “Remember him,” the friend, but, “Remember it,” the one who leaves will remember to think of words of Halacha as he begins a journey, which can often be dangerous. The word of Halacha will protect him on his travels. I am now old and preparing for my final journey. I must evaluate my life and all my writings through the eyes of Halacha, so that I can ensure that my journey until this point has been according to the Torah’s teachings. I th