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. 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 and Barnes and
  • 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

Please also visit the blog of Rosemary Kahn at

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

Saturday, 8 November 2008

Bris - The Covenant of Avraham Avinu

This Post is in the merit of Tinuk ben Shanah that he merit to be given a Bris Millah.

A Source of Blessing

The Gerrer Rebbe, Rabbi Yehuda-Aryed-Leib Alter, author of the Sfas Emes, once asked a relative to take his two sons, Avraham Mordechai (his eventual successor) and Moshe Betzalel, to a certain Jew in Warsaw for a blessing.

The relative set out for Warsaw with the two boys. Upon his arrival, he began to seek the Jew in question, assuming that he was surely a well known tzadik (holy pure person). To his surprise, it took many long and exhaustive inquiries before he tracked the man down.

And, to his even greater astonishment, when he finally met the fellow he found him apparently nothing more than a simple Jew! He brought the boys and asked for a blessing, but the impression he received was that the man was equally bewildered by the request. Nevertheless, the Rebbe's relative was determined to fulfill his mission.

"Even if you know nothing about all this, please bless the children as their father, the Gerrer Rebbe, has requested," he said.

The man did so, placing his hands on the boys' heads and blessing them.

It was time to leave. The Rebbe's relative was still burning with curiosity to know who the man was and what he had done to merit such attention. Could he perhaps be one of the world's thirty-six hidden righteous ones?

But there were no answers…until he returned to Ger and heard them from the Rebbe himself.

"Yes, he is a simple Jew," the Rebbe said. "But once, when the time came to circumcise his son, he found that he had not even a penny to spend on a meal to honor the occasion. In order to raise the money for the mitzvah feast, he sold his bed linens. Afterwards, he was left truly destitute. This act, by a simple Jew, made a tremendous impression up in Heaven. It was decided to grant him a reward in this world as well -- the reward that a blessing issuing from his mouth would find fulfillment.

"The man himself," the Rebbe added, "has no idea that he possesses the power to give blessings that come true."

[Adapted by Yrachmiel Tilles from "Stories my Grandfather told me" (Mesorah) by Zev Greenwald]

Biographic Note:
Rabbi Yehuda-Aryeh-Leib Alter (1847 - 5 Shvat 1905), the Sefas Emes, succeded his grandfather, the Chidushei HaRim, to become the Rebbe of the Gur-Alter dynasty at the tender age of 19. Over the decades, he became one of the most influential Chasidic leaders in Europe. His followers numbered in the tens of thousands.

This story is provided by Ascent of Safed website

The above story demonstrates both how important a Bris Millah is that a simple Jew would risk going into poverty in order to provide a seudas mitzvah for his baby son. It also shows the great humility of the Sfas Emes that even though he was a Rebbe, he wanted his own sons to receive blessings, even from a simple Jew.

In the merit of Avraham Avinu the first Jew who received the commandment from Hashem that he should fulfill Bris Millah and that all his baby boys born to the children of Yitzhak and Yaakov should also do so at 8 days. In the merit of Rachel Imanu and her youngest son Binyamin whose Yatzheits fall out today. In the merit of the Sfas Emes and the simple Jew who was given the brachah that his brachos would come into effect, may little Tinuk ben Shanah also eneter into the covenant of Avraham. Even if it means that Avrahama Avinu and Eliyahu HaNavi ensure this mitzvah is fulfilled themselves. May it also be Hashem's will that all Jewish boys receive their Bris Millah in their right time, on the 8th day following their birth.

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Our Recent Photographic Seminar

On the 4th November 2008 we had a successful and enlightening Photographic Seminar. Our Seminar was taught by Nissin Konikov and Evan Kotel, both experienced photographers with over 20 years of experience.

Our program was full, lively and interactive. We went over Ambient Lighting; Studio Lighting; How to set up studio lights; Posing for Portrait shots; we had the opportunity to take some photographs and to critique photographs. Photographers had the opportunity to meet with fellow photographers, to share ideas and to ask questions on how to improve in their studio photography.

As one of the photographers mentioned, she arrived as an amateur and by the end of the seminar, felt she had become a professional.

For photographers and those interested in photography who are in Israel, please let us know if you are interested in further seminars or in practical photography in nature.

For more information please email Shear Success Photographers at

Sunday, 2 November 2008

Why and How Should We Give To Help Our Fellow Jew

When someone asks us for tzeddakah or to help a fellow Jew, it is easy to ask: "why should I?" It is easy to judge the other and refuse to give. How often do we stop to consider what we gain by giving?

Rabbi Yitzhak in Bava Basra 9b taught: "One who gives a coin to a poor man is rewarded with six blessings... but if he cheers him with words of encouragement, he receives eleven blessings. And Rambam rules that it is a greater act of consideration when you tell him you are giving it to him because you want to cheer him and make him happy. To carry this idea further: it is undoubtedly a greater and deeper love which moves a person to declare his love to his beloved."

Rav Avraham Mordechai the third Gerer Rebbe provides an inspiring example of loving and caring for ones fellow Jew. The story is told that on one occasion, someone traveled by train from Warsaw to Ger. On his journey, his suitcase containing his tallis and tefillin was stolen.

On arrival in Ger, the man poured out his heart to the Rebbe. Upon hearing what had happened, Rav Avraham Mordechai consoled the man and said he could have the pair of tefillin that he, the rebbe, had inherited from his saintly father (the Sfas Emes), which he in turn had been given on occasion of his Bar Mitzvah by his grandfather the Chiddushei HaRim.

The man was nervous to receive such holy tefillin, to which the rebbe quickly had a response. He recommended that the man take the tefillin to his son-in-law Rabbi Yitzhak Meir Alter to exchange them for another pair.

During this conversation, one of the Rebbe's brothers was present. At the end of this exchange, his brother turned to Rav Avraham Mordechai and asked how he could give away the tefillin from their holy father so easily. To this the Rebbe explained that the Rambam teaches us: "If one gives something to a poor man, it should be the finest thing in one's possession. He who wishes to refine himself should suppress his Evil Inclination and act generously, by bringing as his sacrifice the best and finest of whatever commodity he is offering ... In the same way, if he is clothing a naked poor person, he should give him the best of his clothing .... As it says, all the fat (of the sacrifice) is for G-d" (Vayikra 3:16, Rambam Hilchos Issurei Mizbeach 7:11)

The seventh Lubavitcher Rebbe teaches that the giving of tzeddakah and spreading acts of goodness and kindness will hasten the Coming of the Moshiach. As we draw closer to the Final Redemption, may we all increase in our acts of goodness and kindness. May we give in the most beautiful manner with a smile and with loving care and the utmost consideration for our fellow Jew.

In this manner may we be zocher to greet the Moshiach even today, without any further delay!


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