Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Mumbai Memorial With Professor Velvl Greene in Jerusalem


Last night Chabad in Yerushalayim held a Memorial Evening to mark the end of the 30 days following the tragedy in Mumbai. The evening was held at the Sheraton Plazza, right opposite from the Great Synagogue in the Centre of Yerushalayim's New City.

After some light refreshments of cakes, cold drinks, tea and coffee, the evening began with Tuvia Bolton of Kfar Chabad, followed by some very moving stories by Professor Velvel Greene. The article that appears on my husband's blog, A Dwelling Place Below, really captures the essence of the message given over. One story not yet mentioned that caught my attention was Prof Greene's explaining to us of a science project he was involved in. The idea was to get humans out into space and to investigate life on Mars. Though some of the facts escape me, I was intrigued by one of the final points. The expedition into space was planned to take place over very many years necessitating someone to know and remember the concept of gravity in order to make sure that when re-entering gravitational forces they would know which direction to enter.

It all sounds rather complicated and yet simple at the same time if that is possible. It was however, Prof Greenes conclusion that was so thought provoking. Just like those going into space, need to always be aware of the effects of gravity and which direction is up even when not experiencing it, so we on earth, need to keep focused on our directions. Where is up and what is up. Of course, for us as Jews, that means remembering our role in this world, even and despite being in thick darkness.

This, said Prof Greene is what the Shluchim Rav Gavriel and Rivky Holtzberg accomplished. This too was the focus of their guests, all of whom were attracted to the light of the Chabad House and the important work that really is the work of every Jew in this world.

For more information, please do read the article by Rav Eliyahu Shear.

If you have enjoyed the article and pictures, and are having your own event and are looking for photographers or writers to share the event with others, please be in touch with Shoshanah directly.

Monday, 29 December 2008

The Kallah on Her Wedding Day!

One of the great things about all the new widgets available on blogs, is the ability to view who is coming to one’s blog and what they are searching for. Just a few days ago, I noticed that someone was looking for “Kallah on her Wedding Day”. Since this is something of interest to many women, here are some valuable tips for your special day.

First of all, if you are reading on this topic, I presume either you or a close relative or friend are soon to come to Chuppah, Mazal Tov. It is an incredible experience and a very special day. From my own personal experience of getting married and being an occupational therapist, one of the first tips I can say is have everything well planned all the time leading up to this Special Day and then allow for some flexibility. What do I mean by that?

There are certain things that can only take place on this day and no other and these must be planned and the timing worked out in advance to make sure everything occurs in the right order and you get to the Chuppah on time. Regarding flexibility, there are times when certain details get muddled, if so, allow some flexibility. We will come back to this idea in a bit.

The day of the Chuppah for the Kallah, really begins the day before as she prepares for going to the mikvah. Make sure you have plenty of time available for all the preparation and that there are women around to offer support. The whole week leading up to the Chuppah, other forces are at play to try to prevent this very important mitzvah, this is why it is imperative that both the Kallah and Chosen have a Shomer, someone to be with them and “guard” them throughout the week leading up to the Chuppah.

The night of the Mikvah is an extra special time to make sure the Kallah is not left alone. I will not go into the details of immersing, for that, I hope you have a really good, kind and caring Kallah Teacher. What I will add though is that some women get so nervous as the big day arrives that they struggle to sleep. If this is the case, you might want to book a massage the day before the wedding, prior to or after the Mikvah or even a few leading up to the Chuppah. Please see the article on this blog LEIV ESTHER

Having taken care of all that you need to the night before, make sure you get to bed in time to have a good rest and feel refreshed for your special day. Please do all that you can to make sure that there are no last minute writing out of place tags, finalizing details etc that might keep you up all night. All the other stuff we want complete before you go to mikvah.

Let us suppose that you have now awoken for your final preparation leading up to the Chuppah. This day is a very special one on very many levels. This is a day that for the Chosen and Kallah is greater than Yom Kippur as all sins from the years leading up to this day are erased. It is therefore an auspicious time for prayer. Give yourself time to do your morning prayers and also for Tehillim.

There is a custom for the Kallah to go through the Sefer Tehillim on the day of her wedding. If you read the Tehillim at a good pace, then this is a wonderful thing to do. If you are very slow at reading Tehillim, get your female friends, relatives, rebbetzins etc to join in. The more who recite Tehillim for and with you the better. Once again, make sure the Tehillim are distributed earlier in the week, don’t leave it to the last minute. If you are able to, assign someone to organize this for you. Also, if you have assigned yourself let us say 50 Tehillim to say, make sure you have some women on standby to complete them for you if you run out of time.

When you are planning your schedule of having your hair beautifully done for you, nails painted, make up done etc, make sure to get the order co-ordinated. The ideal is if you can have the woman or women who do your hair and make up to come to you, this way you reduce running around and have more time for your Tehillim and to be calm and ready for the special time of joining with your Chosen under the Chuppah.

If someone is storing your dress and veil for you, make sure that everything has been checked at least 2 days prior to the wedding. The last thing you want is to find out on your wedding day that the veil can not be used or something else has happened.

Now for the words on flexibility, in my situation, as I was getting my things together to prepare for the mikvah, I decided to check my veil. To my horror there was a huge tear from top to bottom right in the centre. The nature of the material was such that it could not easily be repaired, certainly not quickly. I was getting married in a city that was not my home town and had no idea what to do. So I called a friend who was like an angel. She put me at ease and said she would go to a gemach and see if she could find anything. Of course, by this time the gemach was closed and the next day at 2 pm, I needed to be ready and at the Shul. Lo and behold, while I was sitting having my hair done the next morning, this friend arrived with two options of veils. Needless to say, the first she offered was much prettier than the original.
So if something like this happens, take a deep breath, daven to Hashem and call in any women you know who might help. You will be amazed at how incredibly things can work out to be even better than you had hoped for.

When it came to our flowers, the women doing my flowers had agreed on certain colours and types of flowers to be given to the mothers to pin on their lapel. I had chosen soft pink flowers and was rather taken aback to find that what arrived at the house moments before we were to leave for the Shul were yellow daffodils. My dear mother noticed these and smiled, reminding me that the yellow daffodil was a special flower to my beloved grandmother who had returned her soul to Hashem just a short while before. There is a teaching that on ones wedding day, all relatives who have passed on, come and celebrate with you. My grandmother certainly sent a wonderful message to let us know she was there too.

There is much more that could be written on the Wedding Day for the Kallah. If you would like assistance with preparing for your wedding so as to be organized and reduce or eliminate stress, please do contact Shoshanah. You are also welcome to set up an appointment for a massage and or healing for the Kallah or any other women attending a wedding in Jerusalem area.

Looking forward to hearing form you. 

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Safe and Appropriate Toys for Children

Being a parent, carer or teacher of children is always a challenge and one area that one needs to pay particular attention to is what kinds of toys and games we give to our children to play with.

Will the toys help their progress and development or will they pose any sort of a danger? This is an important question to keep in mind. When purchasing toys and games for children, please keep in mind what materials, paints, dyes etc have been used in manufacturing the toy or game. Make sure any paints used are non-toxic and will not pose a health hazard. Keep a look out for any small parts or items that could either hurt the child or be swallowed. These are potential dangers and one needs to be extra specially careful with our special and precious children. As mentioned else where in this blog, prevention is better than cure, so please be careful with what toys you purchase.

Another factor mentioned is whether the toy or game will help the progress and development of the child. Keeping in mind what milestones are typically reached at a given age, will help one to determine what toy might be best suited to that stage of development. It is important to offer toys and games to children that suit their stage of development while posing just enough of a challenge to keep them stimulated and interested in what they are doing, but not too much so that they can still succeed.

I would further recommend that when choosing soft toys, other toys and games, that we make sure that the toys have a beauty to them and attractive colour. Please keep in mind that our children learn through play and that they learn from what we expose them to. If you are going to offer them beautiful toys, they will develop an appreciation of beauty and kindness. If, G-d forbid you offer them any toys that are not beautiful, you will be training their precious eyes to look at items that are not beautiful. Every interaction and every item offered to anyone and especially to our children has significance.

Please choose the play things for your children with care and sensitivity.

For a few ideas of toys and games that could be wonderful gifts for children, please take a look at our Shopping for Goodness Store. There you will find some toys that have been specifically selected for you. If you have any questions as to what might suit a specific child, please do contact Shoshanah, experienced occupational therapist. Shoshanah is always happy to offer consultations via email, skype, Live Person or of course in Person.

To find out rates or book an appointment please email shoshanah.s@gmail.com

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Chanukah's Light

Just as the miracle of Chanukah occurs through one small jar of oil, that last for 8 days and continues each year for another 8 days; so this poem is written with just 8 lines but a long lasting message.

The Chanukah Candles flicker with glee,
In the window, outside the door and on the balcony.
The warmth of their light touches the heart of all Jews,
Reminding us of G-d's love and the miracles that He shows...
To Jews great and small, and to all of creation;
To those who respect His special nation.
We're reminded that the day will very soon come,
When our Righteous Redeemer will bring us all home.

Poem written by Shoshanah Shear on the third day of Chanukah 2008.

Sunday, 21 December 2008

Quality Photographic Service!

Mazal Tov! You are making a Simchah!

It could be a Bris, Bar Mitzvah, Bat Mitzvah, Wedding, Family get together – whatever the occasion, it is a happy event. Time and thought goes into planning the big day. Who will attend? Where will it be? What kind of invitations will be used or will all invites be directly via telephone or internet? What will everyone wear? How will you get there? The questions go on. The planning continues. All too quickly the big day arrives and even more quickly the whole special occasion is over.

Who came to visit? In all the excitement you can’t remember everyone who came.
Little Shimmy was so cute, did you see what he wore? Did you see how nicely he greeted….? Oh you missed it. Not to worry, it can all be captured on photograph and slide show for you to look back on and remember.

Did you see how nicely Shlomie and his brothers were helping? You missed it? Not to worry, it can all be captured on photograph.


In a religious wedding, the Kallah will have a thick veil covering her face from the time of the Kabbalat Panim until the end of the Chuppah. What did the Chuppah look like? Who gave the Brachos? Who stood near by? What happened all that time while she was hidden behind a closed veil? Ah, all of that can be captured and re-lived time and again through the photographs.

At most Jewish weddings, from the time the day begins, there are two events taking place pretty much until the time for the happy couple to go home. The Kallah wakes up, has a routine set out of preparing, reciting Tehillim, having her make-up done, her hair done, her sheital fitted if she will be wearing one, getting ready. If she is in Israel, she may go to the Kotel to daven prior to the Chuppah or the happy couple may go there at the end of the whole wonderful and special day. There is a whole build up to her and her direct family getting to the venue on time and then waiting patiently and praying while awaiting the Chosen to identify that the Kallah is in fact the one he had arranged to marry.

At the same time, the Chosen’s special day begins. He needs to get ready, perhaps go to the Mikvah, daven with a Minyan; perhaps he too will go to the Kotel at a different time to the Kallah or perhaps that will take place together later on. He and his family also have much to prepare to get to the venue on time. While on the Kallah’s side the Kallah is being greeted by family and friends, on the Chosen’s side there is a Tish taking place. There is much to do. The mothers need to come in and break a plate. Various documents are signed. Much takes place.

After the Chosen verifies that he has the correct Kallah, things once again separate. He is accompanied to the Chuppah with all the men while she waits a little, praying hard all the while until her turn comes to join him at the Chuppah.

Even after the Chuppah, once the dancing begins, in a religious wedding, the men and women dance on separate sides.

So much takes place; there is so much the family wish to share with one another. So many new memories that one wishes to hold onto and share with future generations.

Here is the great gift of photography of the event. In order to provide a complete, caring service, Shear Success Photographers offers a husband and wife team. We remember only too clearly our own special day and do what we can to help capture all the special highlights of the event. Since there is so much happening on both sides simultaneously, we offer a male photographer, Rav Eliyahu to photograph the men’s side. Being a Rabbi, Rav Eliyahu also helps with other behind the scenes details, like assisting a relative to follow the Hebrew or other texts that might be requested for them to read.

Simultaneously, Shoshanah photographs the women’s side. Again bringing other skills, Shoshanah does what she can to help the Kallah relax and feel special while having the appropriate support. For those who want it prior to the event or after the Sheva Brachos, Shoshanah offers a relaxation package for the Kallah and any other women in the wedding party. This consists of massage, healing, guided visualization, either one or the other or a combination of the choice of the woman.

I hope you are beginning to realise just how important those photographs with or without a slide show will be to capture all the special moments. Here we have a few tips for those attending the special event. While the style of Shear Success Photographers is to capture predominantly candid shots and not to interfere in the flow of the event, there are times that those coming to share in the Simchah can help to make it that little bit more special.


Whether it is a Bar Mitzvah, Bat Mitzvah, Bris Milah, Chuppah or other event, keep an eye on where the photographer is. Whoever is photographing, please try not to push them or knock them. If you jump in front of the photographer so that you can see something specific taking place, yes you will enjoy that short moment, but you just might prevent the same special shot from being available to the happy family afterwards for the rest of their lives. Remember, the family pays for professional photographers. If you are a family member or friend who loves photography, that is great, but please do not jump in front of the paid photographer as in the end, you are wasting the valuable money being paid by the happy family.


You may be searching for the cheapest photographer to reduce costs. You probably will find someone who will do it for just a few hundred shekels (maybe even less!) Please keep in mind that cheaper costs might also lead to reduced quality. You may also feel the desire to bargain down your photographer. Maybe you are the type who just loves negotiating or to try to cut the price. For you it is fun. For the photographer there are still costs involved (and the job does not end at 12am midnight!) If you knock the price too low the photographer just might lose the enthusiasm and instead be worrying about all the hidden costs.

Please also realise that while you only see the photographer from the time s/he arrives at the venue you request them to come to, or from the time you get there if they arrive earlier, until they leave – this is not the only time when the photographer is working. In fact, work begins hours and days before the event in preparing the equipment (making sure there are batteries charged etc.) and work continues for days (and weeks!) after the event, including having to select the quality images, possibly edit images, print them and set them into an attractive album and deliver this to you. Even in the set up of the album, much time is involved in arranging the photographs into an album in the right order to best portray the whole story of the event. Of course the client only sees the photographer for a few hours, not realizing just how much work is involved – before, during and after the event.

If there is a slide show or any creative album as well, there is much work required in terms of editing, arranging, adding in music or deciding on effects.

In short the work of the photographer is not limited to the number of hours that you see them. Please realise this when you wish to pay only for the hours that you see the photographer.

Remember that although the event is over for you, the album does not simply miraculously appear the next morning all done up and ready to be delivered to you at the first Sheva Brochas! We all wish things would work so fast, but the reality is far from this. In fact, many photographers will take weeks and often a couple of months to put everything together – as they may well be doing other events as well and must juggle all the work going on – from taking images to having them printed and set up into albums – for each individual client.

Shear Success Photographers works as fast as they can to make sure that your images are indeed set up in an album as soon as possible. Please leave it to them to select the best images and put everything together – that’s what they do best! If the client becomes involved in choosing images (often having to work through over 500 images to select the best one’s) the process of finalising the album may go on for months and months on end! In fact, all of these issues should be discussed with the photographer *before* the event, in order to make the whole process as smooth as possible so that the album will be completed as soon as possible. Many clients wish to skip the process of meeting the photographer before the wedding thinking that this is not necessary and that everything will simply work out for the best. The more that can be discussed before the wedding, the easier and faster it will be to finalize the album afterward making sure that everyone – especially the client – is happy, not to mention making sure that the photographer knows which shots will be important to the happy family.

We hope that you found this information useful. Please do let us know if you have questions or would like a similar article written on another aspect of photography. We look forward to hearing from you and to sharing in making your Simchah or event special by capturing the meaningful moments into a photographic reminder of your special day and significant milestones.

To book an event please email shearsuccess@gmail.com or call 052 767 7074

Friday, 12 December 2008

Help and Unite Jewish Women

Over the past few weeks, there has been a call for an increase in Mitzvos. As we have learnt elsewhere on this blog, the Baal Shem Tov teaches that there are no co-incidences. Everything is directed by Hashem our Living G-d and Creator of All. Since this is the case, we can not ignore an important fact in the tragedy of Mumbai.

Three precious Jewish women gave up their lives for the sake of Heaven - Al Kiddush Hashem - Rebbetzin Rivky Holtzberg, Yocheved Orpaz and Norma Rabinovitch - Shvazblat may their souls rest in peace. We as Jewish women have Three main mitzvos that are special for women: Lighting of Shabbat Candles, observing the laws of Family Purity and Making Challah. In fact these mitzvos are so important that we are taught at the time of giving birth, a Jewish woman is examined in terms of the extent to which she fulfills these mitzvos.

Please help Leiv Esther to assist Jewish Women in the land of Israel to fulfill these special mitzvos. You can help by making a donation that will go either to help Jewish women in Israel to Light Shabbat Candles or to help them to fulfill the mitzvah of Family Purity.

"The economy is such that money is extremely tight for many families. Considering traveling expenses, and entrance fees, some wives simply do not have the money to immerse.

This would be a fund aimed at alleviating that problem "

Rabbi Fishel Jacobs, Author of the book Family Purity, a Guide to Marital Fulfillment. This book can be purchased through our Shopping for Goodness Store on this blog in the section entitled books.

Regarding the making of Challah, we do not as yet have a specific project set up, although we are playing with various ideas. In the meantime if any Jewish women who do make Challah have a really good recipe that works, please send it in to share with other Jewish women. If any Jewish women have tips on how to find the time to make ones own challah when there is so much that vies for our time, please send these in too.

We will be starting by helping 3 orphans and a widow. Any additional monies that come in after this will be distributed to other women in need, Be'ezrat Hashem.

Together may we help strengthen Jewish women and through the unity of Righteous Jewish Women may we merit the Final Redemption without any further delay.

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Together We Can!

There is a teaching by the Baal Shemtov that we are to be as concerned about the physical well being of our fellow Jew as we are about our own. In fact he states that we are to see "your fellow Jews physical needs as if they were your spiritual needs and to see his spiritual needs as if they were your physical needs." We are also taught by the Rambam's laws of Charity that the highest form of charity is to help another to be independent, especially in terms of their livelihood.

Following the tragedy in India, there has been a call for us as Am Yisrael to increase in our mitzvos, increase in our acts of goodness and kindness and increase in our learning Torah. When one sits down to decide what can one do that would make this world a better place, many ideas one comes up with require some kind of money or resources. Whether it is raising money for the orphans left behind after the tragedy, whether it is helping other orphans in Am Yisrael. Whether it is helping a Kallah in need or giving out Shabbat Candles. Most ideas we come up with require that we also increase in what we give to others. In other words for us as Am Yisrael to really make the most difference, we really need more cash flow occurring within and amongst us, together with pooling of resources.

How can we manage this when we are hearing in the news that there is a financial crisis occurring? The truth is that if we just take a look at the abundance available in our world, there are many opportunities just waiting for us to tap into them and utilise their beautiful qualities to help in realising our potential.

But how? How can we possibly manage this? As someone reminded me just yesterday, the news tends to only portray the problems. How many newspapers and magazines are out there that have huge headlines of the latest act of kindness or the latest achievement that was accomplished after some challenge or just to be nice? Mostly they dramatise the problems and make one feel scared to continue pursuing ones dreams.

This is not the Torah way however. The Tzemach Tzedek, the Third Lubavitcher Rebbe used to teach us to "Think good and it will be good". So we see that remaining positive even if the news is telling us there is a world crisis financially, is a key factor in progressing. If anyone new the children's song of the little engine that could - the engine had to climb a large mountain. The story goes that the little engine was at first daunted but in the end it managed by telling itself while it proceeded on its journey "I think I can, I think I can, I think I can... until finally it ends, I knew I could!"

Being positive and reading positive information is a large part of the hurdle covered already. Now comes the fun part. As you will notice, if you visit this blog often, the internet is progressing rapidly in all manner of tools available to enable us to succeed. We can gather information, network with friends and make new connections, sell products and much more.

Now let us put these ideas together --. Yes, it is possible to help a fellow Jew to be financially independent and to realise his or her potential. Yes it is possible to consider the physical and material property or needs of our fellow Jew as much as our own. Yes there are ways that we can be productive, even when faced with hearing of yet another being retrenched or let go from their fixed, salaried jobs.

We at Yeshivas Dira BeTachtonim decided to do something practical to pool all these ideas. The result is the most wonderful, fun, entertaining, informative blog that will teach you the tools to create a good vessel to become financially independent. Hurry along to the following new and exciting blog http://millionairereality.blogspot.com

Our other latest new service is our online store

By purchasing a photograph or product through this store, you will directly be helping the Yeshiva to continue to progress in all the wonderful projects that we have on the go.

Please be in touch by sending a comment to this post or on the new blog, by sending us an email or by connecting with us on Skype. Together let us make this world a fitting Dwelling Place for Hashem.

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Testimonials Regarding Therapeutic Services from Shoshanah for Women

Many websites have a guestbook or some other form of feedback. We have encouraged comments to the blog, but find that the direct feedback has been slow in coming in, although much is sent to my email. After receiving several enquiries as to whether I have feedback from women regarding therapy / healing / massage sessions, I have decided to post a few comments or excerpts of emails sent in.

G-d willing we will post some other comments to these and other services offered through Leiv Esther.

Thank you again for everything you did for me before the wedding... you were totally a godsend and you provided exactly the type of relaxation and support I needed” (ASG) This excerpt from an email was posted by a happy Kallah in response to a massage given to her prior to her wedding.

"I received healing treatment from Shoshanah Shear more than two years ago when I was pregnant and I found it to be a worthwhile experience. I would recommend Mrs. Shear's services." (JM)

Shoshanah Shear is one of the most useful and helpful therapist / healers I have ever met. She helps not only with Energy type healing i.e releasing blocks, allowing for increased movement, releasing pain as well as allowing people like myself to get pregnant who for a number of years was unable to. I highly recommend Shoshanah Shear not only as a therapist but also as a human being. She cares about people, she davens for people and that is half of the battle” (Rachel S)

“When I was pregnant Shoshanah gave me a treatment and I saw how much I needed it too. It was very relaxing and helped me calm from things I was going through. I could feel strong energy from her hands and she is very gentle and loving.” (Devorah A)

If you have any questions or would like to send in a comment or book a session with Shoshanah, please email

Friday, 5 December 2008

Every Jew is Special and Important

It is just a week since the terrible tragedy that occurred in India. For the past week I have heard wonderful eulogies about Rabbi Gavriel and Rivky Holtzberg. From everything that has been said, this was certainly a special couple and deserves to be remembered and honored.

The eulogies almost all tell of how important our fellow Jew was to both Rav Gavriel and his wife Rivky. It tells of how much care they gave to their guests and to increasing unity amongst their guests. In keeping with this theme, we need to remember the guests of the Holtzbergs who also died in the Chabad House. Who were they? What brought them to India? Why do we hear so little of them?

Rabbi Bentzion Cromin z"l was a father of three, aged 5 years, 2 years and a few months old. He was said to always have a smiling face and to spend every spare moment in the study of Torah. Rabbi Cromin had gone to India regarding some Kashrut work he was doing. A circular that came around in Eretz Yisrael about him, stated that he had told his children he was just davening one more Minchah and Maariv, his suitcase was all packed and then he would be returning to his family in Eretz Yisrael. His body was found slumped over a Talmud, obviously learning Torah until the time came to go to the airport and return to Eretz Yisrael.

Rabbi Leibish Titelbaum z"l 38 years old was burried on Tuesday 2nd December 2008. His Eulogies took place in Mea Shearim, Yerushalayim and he was burried on Har HaZasim (The Mount of Olives). Rabbi Titelbaum was the father of eight children, his eldest had just had his Bar Mitzvah and insisted on eulogising his father. Rabbi Titlebaum had been in India to give a Heksher.

Yocheved Orpaz z"l aged 60 or 62 years was the mother of four and a grandmother. She was in India to visit some of her children and grandchildren. The fact that she took the trouble to spend time in the Chabad House shows how important Yiddishkeit was to her.

Norma Shvarzblat Rabinovich z"l - Age 50 was burried in Yerushalayim on Tuesday 2nd December 2008. Norma of Mexico had planned to make Aliya on Tuesday to join two of her daughters who had already moved here. Norma had travelled in India and had planned to fly to Eretz Yisrael on Monday, the 18th birthday of her son Manuel. Norma leaves behind her children, I am sorry, I do not have enough details on who they were or their ages.

If you know any stories about the lives of the guests that died Al Kiddush Hashem, please send them in.

If you would like to get involved in doing a mitzvah to help in increasing light in the world; to help to increase in Goodness and Kindness please do be in touch. You can write a comment to this post or email Shoshanah directly to shoshanah.s@gmail.com

There is so much more that could be written. Please take a look at other links, photographs and two very moving videos that are posted on the main blog A Dwelling Place Below

If you are visiting the blog, please take some time and read all that the blog offers. You will find Divrei Torah (words of Torah), Translations of Zohar, Laws of Charity by the Rambam, videos with meaning and much more. Please sponsor one of these articles or new ones to be posted in the merit of any of the 6 who died al Kiddush Hashem or for a loved one of yours.

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Prayer For A Shidduch

As a response to several enquiries about specific prayers for a Shidduch or for ones Zivug, I have decided to write a few thoughts. The first place in the Torah that we encounter a Tefillah specifically related to the person one is destined to marry is with regards to Leah one of our Matriarchs. We are taught that while Rivka gave birth to twin boys, in the home of her birth, twin girls were born. Rivkah's eldest, Esav, was destined to marry the older twin girl Leah. And the younger twin boy, Yaakov was to marry the younger twin girl Rachel.

Over the years as the two sets of twins grew, developed and began to approach marriageable age, news spread of the intended matches. We are taught from the Torah that the eyes of Leah were very beautiful, they had a special beauty from years of crying as she prayed to Hashem. Why was she crying?

Leah knew that she was destined to marry Eisav and that Eisav was not exactly a Tzaddik. So it was that she cried and she prayed to be worthy of marrying a Tzaddik.

Through the story of Yaakov marrying these sisters, many times the focus is placed on how Yaakov was tricked, we don't always recognise the power of Leah's prayer. Should she have davened that Eisav be a Tzaddik? I am not well enough versed in Torah to answer this, but we do see that she merited to marry a Tzaddik. Not just to marry a Tzaddik but to have 6 of the 12 tribes born to her and to be the mother of the Moshiach.

From this short outline of what the Torah teaches us, we do see that there is enormous power in davening to marry the right person. Leah our mother taught us what is important to daven for, that our Zivug should be a Tzaddik, someone who fears Heaven, loves Hashem, loves Am Yisrael and will be dedicated towards building Am Yisrael.

So the first lesson for us to learn regarding our prayers for our Shidduch is what kind of person to marry. We learn too that one of the most powerful prayers is straight from the heart with tears, for tears help to open the gates of Shamayim (Heaven). In addition, I would add to daven that ones Zivug be ready to marry you and that together you can build a strong Jewish home together.

Other than this invaluable lesson, there are many options of prayer for one's Shidduch. The book Aneni contains a specific prayer that you can recite daily or regularly.

Reciting Tehillim is always good for any assistance from Heaven. As my husband recommends, any Tehillim from 1 - 150, they are all good. If you can, recite the full Sefer Tehillim in one sitting; this has enormous power. If this is difficult, join a group reciting the Sefer Tehilim together. If you are interested in this, please be in touch as we have a group of women reciting Tehillim every Shabbos. We recite the Tehillim in the merit of a long list of Jews, thank G-d in the few months we have been going, three have already come off the list due to getting engaged. We are taught that if you daven for another who needs the same thing as you do, that your prayers will be answered first.

Then there are various segulas. Many advise to take on some kind of prayer for a cycle of 40 consecutive days. This can be reciting Shiras HaYam, the Song of the Sea, since the forming of Shidduchim is said to be as difficult as the splitting of the Red Sea. Some say to recite Song of Songs as this is a declaration of love. Some say to do 40 days consecutively to the Kotel or to one of the Kivrei Tzaddikim.

Some say to daven for 40 days in the merit of Rebbe Meir Baal HaNeis together with lighting a candle and giving a coin in his merit.

Some say that if you are not already davening Shacharit, the morning Prayer, to take this on, or Minchah the afternoon prayer or Maariv the Evening Prayer. In the Shmone Esrei, there are several places where it would be appropriate to pray and ask Hashem to provide your soul mate.

As we see thus far, there are various options available. How do we know which one will work for us? Unless you go to a Tzaddik or Rebbe, you probably won't know. However, we are told to daven to Hashem for everything we need. The important fact to remember is keep on asking. Be consistent, be persistent. Daven on behalf of your soul mate, daven for who your soulmate should be, daven that you should merit to build a good Bayit Ne'eman, and daven for others who also need to get married.

If you have any questions, you are welcome to contact Shoshanah we would be happy to help as best we can. If you would like us to daven on your behalf, we do daven at the Kivrei Tzaddikim. You can also enquire about our davening 40 days on your behalf.

We look forward to hearing good news for all of Am Yisrael and for the main wedding of all, that of Am Yisrael with HaKadosh Baruch Hu, i.e. the Final Redemption.

Sunday, 30 November 2008

Our Responses to Jewish Terror... Our Services

It is always hard to hear of Jews being hurt in any way. The Jewish response to any difficulty is to increase in our efforts to bring unity amongst Jews and goodness and kindness to the world.

Leiv Esther, the women’s section of Yeshivas Dira BeTachtonim has various services available aimed at exactly this. Please help us to increase in bringing light into the world by getting involved in at least one of our many projects.

How can you help?

1) If you know of any JEWISH SINGLES, who are ready to get married, please refer them to us to help them with finding the appropriate partner for them and building a strong home in Israel. We have a comprehensive questionnaire compiled specifically to help them to clarify what kind of home they want and who is best suited to help them build this home. The information also helps us to know who might be best suited to match them with. We have a nominal registration fee to assist with processing the data and checking references.
This week, i.e. from 30 Nov 2008 until 7th December 2008 in the merit of Rabbi Gavriel and Rivky Holtzberg HYD, anyone wishing to join our database will be added for free.

2) World Wide Tehillim Group: We have women around the world reciting Tehillim during daylight hours on Shabbos. Our aim is to unite women through the reciting of Tehillim. Thus far we have just over 40 women and complete the Sefer Tehillim at least once.
This service - link is FREE!

3) Brachah Parties. We regularly have BRACHA PARTIES to increase in reciting Brachos out loud and answering Amen to these Brachos.

4) We have many Jews who we are assisting. Our latest project is the MIKVAH PROJECT . Keep tuned into this blog for an approbation to this project by Rabbi Fishel Jacobs

5) We have beautiful gift sets made up individually to suit your unique taste and needs. These gifts are the personal creation of Shoshanah. Please take a look at the slideshow on this blog for ideas of gifts and artwork, or email Shoshanah directly to place an order. shoshanah.s@gmail.com.Please network with us and join to find out the latest in our gifts department.

6)  In addition to various chessed projects, Shoshanah is a qualified occupational therapist and healing facilitator. She works privately in person either individually or in groups and via the internet for clients in Israel. To set up an appointment please email 

7)  Shoshanah and Reb Eliyahu have a wonderful service offering a husband and wife team to photograph a wedding, Simchah, event, school photographs, photographs for gifts and more. email  to book our photographic services

These photographic services are one of the ways we fund the activities of the Yeshiva. By booking our services you do the added mitzvah of supporting or assisting in building a Yeshiva in Eretz Yisrael.

8) If you are enjoying the articles, poems, chizuk stories and many services available through this site, please EMAIL US to let us know what you enjoy and what else you might wish to see in further articles or services.

Chessed Ve'Emet needs your help to continue to grow, develop and increase its services. Please visit
our website and share our services with your friends.

There are various other services, not listed on this list. Please take a look further on the blog and also

We look forward to hearing from you and to working together to increase unity in Am Yisrael and acts of Goodness and Kindness.

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Please Help to Strengthen Jewish Women

It recently came to my attention that there are women in Eretz Yisrael who are unable to pay to immerse in a Mikvah. Immersing in a Mikvah is an important part of the Mitzvah of Family Purity. Women have just 3 main mitzvos that are specially observed by them, of which Family Purity is one.

The cost of immersing in a mikvah is on average NIS 30 a time, or just under $10. Please help these women to be able to continue this important mitzvah by making a donation to cover their immersion for this month.

If you are able to give anything, a few dollars, or $20 or more, the money will, bli neder be distributed to mikvaot and or to women who would benefit from this. Please make a donation via the donate button on this blogspot and specify that the donation is to assist women to fulfil the mitzvah of Taharas haMishpachah.

Rabbi Fishel Jacobs who wrote the book Family Purity is in the process of writing a letter regarding this need. This letter will be available to anyone who requires it and, G-d willing, will be uploaded onto the blog as soon as it is complete.

May your assistance to women in need in Israel help you in turn to have a strong family with healthy, happy children who have Yirat Shamayim. May it also go to the merit of saving and protecting Am Yisrael and especially the Jews in India right now.

For this Shabbos, we are calling for more women to join our Tehillim group to daven for the safe return of all the Jews affected in India. If you can say some Tehillim, please email us urgently.

Tizku LeMitzvos
Rebbetzin Shear

Monday, 24 November 2008

New Children's Book For Sale by Rosemary Kahn

A NEW Children's Book has just been published by Rosemary Kahn, entitled "Why Unicorns Eat Lavender". This delightful story is the latest book by this authoress. There are limited copies available so if you would like a copy, don't delay, make your order TODAY!

As the book begins:
"Down through all the years of many long centuries, a secret has been kept.
Can you keep a secret?
I hope so, for if you can, it is one so beautiful that it will keep you warm in winter and cool in summer. It will fill you with a wonderful feeling that has perhaps, up until this time, belonged only to the UNICORNS.
So listen carefully now…"

Children always wonder about the Unicorn. Did it go into Noah’s Ark. Did it exist? What does it eat? If there was ever a Unicorn, why don’t we see them today?

This very special, fantasy story explores the answers to these questions. There are ONLY 350 copies left so hurry along to get your copy and find out what the intriguing secret is as to “Why Unicorns Eat Lavender.”

The book is 24 pages, soft cover, A4 sized, presented on glossy paper, with attractive print and has been published by Viking Printers cc. It was launched on 2nd of November and is a MUST for anyone who loves Children’s Picture Books. The book has been illustrated by Annie Pigott using paintings on silk. The silk paintings and child-like technique of the artwork was used intentionally to give a dreamy appearance and feel to enhance the fantasy of the book.

If you enjoy fantasy, fairy tales and especially if you love unicorns, then don’t miss this opportunity. The story is the type one wants to keep re-reading - your children will be captivated, enthralled and will LOVE it.

Rosemary Kahn is also the the author of:

  • Grandma's Hat- This quaint story is available via Amazon.com and Barnes and Nobles.com
  • Naomi's Tonsils.
  • Various School readers
Some of her articles have been published on this blog.

For any other information about this book or other work by Rosemary Kahn, please email shoshanah.s@gmail.com

Please also visit the blog of Rosemary Kahn at http://rosemarysbookcorner.blogspot.com

PURCHASE "Why Unicorns Eat Lavendar" NOW!

Only $15. 

Order this before the end of December -
and receive a SIGNED COPY!

Monday, 17 November 2008

Blessings for Israel

As Jews we are taught to make a Brachah (a blessing) on the food that we eat and the beverages we drink, before and after a meal or snack. The reason for this is to acknowledge that G-d created the world, including the food and to offer thanks for what He is providing for us.
Avraham our forefather, the first Jew, taught a powerful lesson on the importance of both hospitality and of reciting a Brachah. We are taught that Avraham’s tent was open to all to come and enjoy a meal as they journeyed through the desert. He took his role of host so seriously that when he found that guests were not coming to him, he would move his tent to an area where he was more likely to find guests to feed and serve.
There was just one interesting aspect to Avraham’s enormous kindness and generosity. After enjoying a meal, his guests were instructed to recite a blessing. Those who did so were not asked to pay anything, their meal was a gift. Those who refused to recite a blessing, thanking Hashem for the food they had enjoyed were asked to pay an unusually large amount of money. In this way, Avraham taught all who came in contact with him and his children after him that we have a responsibility to be grateful for what we are given and to thank Hashem for everything. He taught further that when we do so, the food is ours to eat, enjoy and gain nourishment from. When we refuse to recite a blessing, it is as though we have stolen the food and we therefore have to pay for it.

It is taught in a number of places that just as reciting a Brachah over what we eat or drink and even on what we smell, and certain things we see is important, it is even more important to recite it out loud and have another Jew answer Amen. The word Amen אמן has the same numerical value as that of Malach מלאך the Hebrew word for angel, 91. It is taught that each time a person responds Amen to a Brachah said out loud, that an angel is created that stands in our defence in front of our Creator.
In recent years, it has become popular to have Brachah Parties. At these parties, those attending are provided with something from each of the five following Brachos:
HaGefen recited over wine or grape juice
Mezonos recited over biscuits, cakes or pastries
HaAdama recited over vegetables growing in the ground
HaEitz recited over fruits growing on trees
Shehakol recited over other food items such as chocolate, ice cream
After someone recites a Brachah on one of the above, everyone present responds "Amen." In this way we provide the opportunity to create many Angels to stand in our defence.
Mostly these Brachah Parties are held with more snack type foods. We are offering to arrange Brachah parties as a proper meal. In this way Jews have the opportunity to come together, recite Brachos, respond Amen, and enjoy good, tasty food together. Through this there is the opportunity to make contacts, and G-d willing new friends. There will be unity, sharing of chizuk stories and from the whole event we will, G-d willing create many angels to stand in our defence and thus usher in assistance from Heaven.
How can you participate? The cost of the meal per person will be $36. If you are in Israel or will be in Israel, have the means to pay the $36 and wish to participate, please contact us to find out when the next Brachah Party will be.
If you are not able to attend but would like to participate in this wonderful mitzvah, you can sponsor a Jew to attend. In this way you will be a part of enabling another Jew to enjoy a hot, yummy meal and also to participate in the sharing of Brachos. Through this, you too can benefit from the Yeshuos (salvations).
If you wish to participate but can only sponsor half, i.e. $18, you are welcome to do so. When there are two sponsoring, a Jew will be invited who otherwise could not have attended. For every $18 you donate, you can give a name in whose merit this mitzvah will take place.
If you wish to sponsor more than one person, you are welcome to do so. We are aiming specifically to have a beautiful event for Chanukah thus ushering in increasing light for Am Yisrael.
To sponsor a Jew or to book your place at the next Brachah Party, please visit our website


Related Posts with Thumbnails