Friday, 20 February 2009

The Beauty of G-d's Creation

So often we get caught up in the problems of life. It is easy to think G-d is ugly or unkind or any myriad of descriptions. The truth is completely the opposite. We are taught that G-d created the world out of kindness and with kindness.

A little while ago, a special person sent me the photographs listed below. If you spend a little time contemplating the absolute beauty, you will come to see that this is true. Notice the wonderful colours, the variety, the contrasts and the composition. Let the knowledge that the One who created all this can assist you with whatever it is that you need enter into your heart and fill you with hope, joy and anticipation for a life filled with good. A good that is revealed, visible and manifest.

Did you enjoy this article?

Did you know that we are involved in a number of projects that allow us to:
  1. Share Torah with you
  2. Share topics related to health and well being.
  3. Help women immerse in a Mikvah for FREE
  4. Help newly married couples to set up their home together without the financially stresses associated with their new start in life
  5. Much more!
If you feel we're benefiting others, including yourself, do consider making a generous donation. For more about our projects, take a look at our main website and click the different tabs to find out more about our various projects:

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Outstanding Debt - An Inspirational Story

Rabbi Yaakov Yisrael of Cherkass once visited one of his Chsasidim, Velvel, who was a farmer, and asked to be shown his estate and its holdings. Velvel was honored to comply with this request. When they came to the stable, R' Yaakov Yisrael inquired about one of the horses there, a small one standing in a corner.

"It would give me great pleasure if you would give me this little horse as a present," he told Velvel. The farmer was taken aback.

"Rebbe…this is a small horse. It won't be of use to you. I'll give you a big strong horse to draw your wagon; that would be a worthwhile gift."

But the Rebbe insisted that he wanted only this particular horse.

Velvel persisted in his refusal, explaining, "Rebbe, this is the best horse I have! It works hard all day and night; I have no other like it. Take any other horse, but not this one, please!"

When Rabbi Yaakov Yisrael saw that Velvel could not be persuaded to relinquish the horse, he steered the conversation in a different direction.

After that, when they had gone into the house and sat down, the Rebbe asked Velvel whether he had lent anyone money that was still outstanding.

Surprised at the Rebbe's interest, he replied in the affirmative. He did in fact have a list of loans that had not as yet been repaid.

Rabbi Yaakov Yisrael asked to be shown the list, and immediately picked out one loan, which had been taken by another of his Chassidim, and inquired about it.

Velvel explained that this particular debt was hopeless, as the borrower was now deceased. The Rebbe asked Velvel to give him the loan as a gift.

The farmer was perplexed; why would the Rebbe want a worthless debt? He tried to explain this to the Rebbe, but R' Yaakov Yisrael was adamant that he wanted this and nothing else. Finally, Velvel agreed to grant him this debt, and gave him the promissory note.

Shortly after that, one of Velvel’s workers rushed in and agitatedly informed their master that the hard-working little horse had died! The farmer was distressed at the news, but Rabbi Yaakov Yisrael did not seem a bit surprised.

He told Velvel, "No more debt, no more horse!" and proceeded to explain.

The horse had been a gilgul (reincarnation) of the soul of the debtor, who had been forced to come back to the world in that form in order to repay his debt. Now that Velvel had formally relinquished payment, the debtor's soul could return in peace to the Next World.

[Adapted by Yerachmiel Tilles from "Gut Woch" (Mesorah) by Avrohom Barash]

Biographic Note:
Rabbi Y Yaakov Yisrael (Twersky) of Cherkas (1794-1876) was the son of R. Mordechai of Chernobyl, son-in-law of R. Dov Ber of Lubavitch, and grandfather of R. Mordechai Dov of Hornisteipl

Helping a Jew to get out of debt is a very big mitzvah.
We are helping a number of Jews to pay off debts.
Please help us by making a generous donation to assist this cause.

Did you enjoy this article?

Did you know that we are involved in a number of projects that allow us to:
  1. Share Torah with you
  2. Help women immerse in a Mikvah for FREE
  3. Help newly married couples to set up their home together without the financially stresses associated with their new start in life
  4. Much more!
If you feel we're benefiting others, including yourself, do consider making a generous donation. For more about our projects, take a look at our main website and click the different tabs to find out more about our various projects:

Preparing for Purim

As Purim is fast approaching, it is customary to take a look at certain hallachos (Torah law) regarding Purim. Here is a beautiful hallachah which we hope will help in increasing in goodness, kindness and Simchah this Purim.

"It is best for one to increase (his expenditures) in giving gifts to the poor (Matanos L'Evyonim), than on increasing his seudah and gifts to friends (Mishloach Manos), as there is no greater and more glorified simcha (happiness) than gladdening the hearts of the poor, of orphans, of widows, and of converts; because one who gladdens the hearts of the these downtrodden are akin to The Shechina (Hashem) as it says about Hashem 'To give life to those who are low etc'."
Shulchan Aruch 694:1 MB3, Rambam Hilchos Megillah 2:17, Mes. Sofrim 21:4

In keeping with the teaching above we would like to offer two services.

We prepare stunning Mishloach Manos gifts which we deliver to your loved ones in Yerushalayim and surrounding areas and also to those in Cape Town, South Africa. The proceeds of these Mishloach Manos goes towards establishing our Yeshiva while also providing parnassa for the one making the deliveries on our behalf. Please visit our Mishloach Manos and make your order TODAY!!

In addition, we have a number of exciting projects that you can get involved in and contribute towards.

You can assist us in helping:
  • our Mikvah Project - Purity with Dignity
  • our other Mitzvah Projects including: Pesach Assistance; Wedding Project for All New Couples; Rabeinu Tam Tefillin

Thanking you in advance for getting involved in increasing Acts of Goodness and Kindness.

Monday, 16 February 2009

Out of the Mouths of Babes...

'Be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.'

A sharp tongue can cut your own throat.

If you want your dreams to come true, you mustn't oversleep.

Of all the things you wear, your expression is the most important.

The best vitamin for making friends..... B1

The happiness of your life depends on the quality of your thoughts.

The heaviest thing you can carry is a grudge.
One thing you can give and still your word

You lie the loudest when you lie to yourself.

If you lack the courage to start, you have already finished.

One thing you can't recycle is wasted time.

Ideas won't work unless ' You' do.

Your mind is like a functions only when open.

The 10 commandments are not a multiple choice.

The pursuit of happiness is the chase of a lifetime! It isnever too late to become what you might have been.

Life is too short to wake up with regrets. So love the people who treat you right. Forget about the ones who don't. Believe everything happens for a reason. If you get a second chance, grab it with both hands. If it changes your life, let it. Nobody said life would be easy, they just promised it would be worth it.

Friends are like balloons; once you let them go, you might not get them back. Sometimes we get so busy with our own lives and problems thatwe may not even notice that we've let them fly away. Sometimes we are so caught up in who's right and who's wrong that we forget what's right and wrong. Sometimes we just don't realize what real friendship means until it is too late. I don't want to let that happen so I'm gonna tie you to my heart so I never lose you.

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

The Most Beautiful Gift to Another Jew!

What is the most beautiful and precious gift you could give to a fellow Jew?
The gift of dignity and the freedom to fulfil a mitzvah, would have to be the answer.

Join us in giving such precious gifts. A gift that will bring Joy to Shamayim.

A few days ago we posted the story about Sarah and explained that there are many more Sarah's needing our help. Today we would like to outline a different story.

Today, join us to catch a glimpse of the life of Leah (name fictitious). Leah, like Sarah does all she can to fulfil her mitzvah of Family Purity. For Leah, it is not just a case of finding one month that she can not pay. Month after month she cries out to Hashem: "I just want to fulfil the mitzvah that is the right of every married woman. Why don't You let me have the means to pay. Just NIS 20 to immerse, plus my transport there. Please G-d, let me pay what I need to, help me to fulfil this precious mitzvah."

Yet, month after month Leah comes to the Mikvah and has to enter her name in a book. She will pay as soon as she has the means. The obligation weighs heavily on her and lowers her spirits.

Imagine how tempting it must be to skip. Just this month. Just this time I wont go. But no, Leah goes diligently. She can not touch her husband or fulfil her part to bring a Kosher Jewish soul into the world, unless she immerses. And so, even though she does not have the means, Leah still fulfils her role. Leah still carries out the mitzvah and prays all she can to be able to pay back the amount she owes the Mikvah.

The amount currently owing to the Mikvah for Leah is NIS 600. (THIS IS TRUE). Imagine her anguish. Imagine the potential strain this could place on her marriage, the stress itself could prevent her fulfilling the mitzvah of being fruitful and multiplying.

Please help us to be the messengers of Hashem to help Leah to immerse with dignity. Let her have the freedom of heart and soul to fulfil this mitzvah by helping to cover the amount she owes the Mikvah.

Make your donation now, Today. Imagine the extent of the gift you will be giving her. Imagine this scene:

The phone rings, who could it be. Is it another collector. Does someone else what money from us, Leah nervously wonders as she reaches for the phone. How will we pay the telephone? How will we cover the bills?

"Hello?" she answers.

"Hello Leah, this is the Mikvah"

Leah is nervous. "I, I, I don't yet have the money to pay. I am sorry. I know..."

Leah's apology is interrupted. "It's OK Leah, we have wonderful news. Hashem has answered your prayers. Some kind and caring Jew has covered your bill. You no longer have any obligation. The next immersion is covered too. Take a deep breath and enjoy this precious gift to you. Thank you for your Emunah in continuing to come. Thank you for your courage in carrying out this special mitzvah."

How would Leah answer such a call? How must she feel? The relief, perhaps joy, elation, partial disbelief. Gratitude.

Join our Mikvah Project and be that Caring Jew. Make your contribution TODAY and help to free Leah so that she can continue to fulfil her mitzvah with dignity.

Monday, 9 February 2009

Swallows - A Powerful Lesson of True Love for Another

Swallows: Here his wife is injured and the condition is fatal.
She was hit by a car as she swooped low across the road.

Here he brought her food and attended to her with love and compassion.

He brought her food again but was shocked to find her dead.
He tried to move her....a rarely-seen effort for swallows!

Aware that his sweetheart is dead and will never come back to him again,
he cries with adoring love.

He stood beside her, saddened of her death.

Finally aware that she would never return to him, he
stood beside her body with sadness and sorrow.

Millions of people cried after watching this picture in
America and Europe and even in India . It is said that the
photographer sold these pictures for a nominal fee to the
most famous newspaper in France . All copies of that
newspaper were sold out on the day these pictures were published.
And many people think animals don't have a brain or feelings?????

Wouldn't the world be a wonderful place
if we all demonstrated such pure love for our fellow,
whether our life partner or another.

May we always cherish how special
every aspect of Life and Creation is.

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Maintain the Pride and Dignity of Your Fellow Jew

Sarah came home from work. She made dinner for her three young children. And then her mind began to think about the special night it was. It was her mikveh night, and she looked forward to performing what she saw as the single most precious mitzvah in her life.

But then the reality set in. She anxiously opened her bag, and scrounged through her wallet.

"Oh," she calculated. "With all the coins, I have twelve and a half shekels."

She hurriedly searched through her drawer and found another couple of shekels.

The end of the month, she knew she could not draw not even one cent out of the ATM machine.

Sarah looked at her little children in the other room, she looked at the holy books on the shelf, and turned to wall.

And cried.

"Why, why, oh G-d, do I have to undergo this," she thought.

All Sarah wanted to be was a good Jewish wife, and pure Jewish daughter.

But she did not have the money to go to the mivkeh.

What could she do? The mitzvah of Family Purity is a private one. One we do not talk about to anyone. We generally do not tell a soul where we are going to. What could she do? How would she come up with the money?

There were needs in the family, more fruit and cereal to purchase. Bus tickets. Her child needed to give NIS 10 to the school for an outing the next day. But immersing in the Mikvah is an important mitzvah. She could not give it up.

Turning her faith to Hashem, Sara went to the Mikvah. Usually she would prepare there, taking her time to concentrate on what needed to be done. Putting her full focus on the mitzvah she was engaged in.

This time she arrived and mentioned she had already prepared in advance. Sheepishly she tried to get together just NIS 20 for the immersion.

The kind Mikvah Lady recognized the signs. They had seen them before. "It's Ok Sarah, this one is a gift. This time you can take your time, complete your preparations here, and we are giving you a box of Bedika Cloths. It has all been sponsored."

You see, Hashem loves this mitzvah so much, He has made sure there is a fund to help with women like you.

Sarah was able to breathe a sigh of relief. She would still have the NIS 10 to give her precious child for the outing the next day. She might have enough for at least one bus ticket. She would be able to prepare as she always did, with full concentration and extra special care.

With your help, we helped 23 Sarahs, last month, go to the mikveh.

With dignity and pride.

We want to help all Jewish women and ask you to help more women.

Friday, 6 February 2009

The Wedding Gown That Made History by Helen Zegerman Schwimmer

This very moving story was forwarded to me by a friend. It illustrates the very strong Jewish instinct to build. Even when faced with tragedy and having lost everything, we continue to build.
The story also demonstrates how Hashem provides for our every need. In this case a white wedding dress.

Lilly Friedman doesn't remember the last name of the woman who designed and sewed the wedding gown she wore when she walked down the aisle over 60 years ago. But the grandmother of seven does recall that when she first told her fiancé Ludwig that she had always dreamed of being married in a white gown he realized he had his work cut out for him.

For the tall, lanky 21-year-old who had survived hunger, disease and torture this was a different kind of challenge. How was he ever going to find such a dress in the Bergen Belsen Displaced Person's camp where they felt grateful for the clothes on their backs?

Fate would intervene in the guise of a former German pilot who walked into the food distribution center where Ludwig worked, eager to make a trade for his worthless parachute. In exchange for two pounds of coffee beans and a couple of packs of cigarettes Lilly would have her wedding gown.

For two weeks Miriam the seamstress worked under the curious eyes of her fellow DPs, carefully fashioning the six parachute panels into a simple, long sleeved gown with a rolled collar and a fitted waist that tied in the back with a bow. When the dress was completed she sewed the leftover material into a matching shirt for the groom.

A white wedding gown may have seemed like a frivolous request in the surreal environment of the camps, but for Lilly the dress symbolized the innocent, normal life she and her family had once led before the world descended into madness. Lilly and her siblings were raised in a Torah observant home in the small town of Zarica, Czechoslovakia where her father was a melamed, respected and well liked by the young yeshiva students he taught in nearby Irsheva.

He and his two sons were marked for extermination immediately upon arriving at Auschwitz. For Lilly and her sisters it was only their first stop on their long journey of persecution, which included Plashof, Neustadt, Gross Rosen and finally Bergen Belsen.

Lilly Friedman and her parachute dress on display in the Bergen Belsen Museum

Four hundred people marched 15 miles in the snow to the town of Celle on January 27, 1946 to attend Lilly and Ludwig's wedding. The town synagogue, damaged and desecrated, had been lovingly renovated by the DPs with the meager materials available to them. When a Sefer Torah arrived from England they converted an old kitchen cabinet into a makeshift Aron Kodesh.

"My sisters and I lost everything - our parents, our two brothers, our homes. The most important thing was to build a new home." Six months later, Lilly's sister Ilona wore the dress when she married Max Traeger. After that came Cousin Rosie. How many brides wore Lilly's dress? "I stopped counting after 17." With the camps experiencing the highest marriage rate in the world, Lilly's gown was in great demand.

In 1948 when President Harry Truman finally permitted the 100,000 Jews who had been languishing in DP camps since the end of the war to emigrate, the gown accompanied Lilly across the ocean to America. Unable to part with her dress, it lay at the bottom of her bedroom closet for the next 50 years, "not even good enough for a garage sale. I was happy when it found such a good home."

Home was the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. When Lily's niece, a volunteer, told museum officials about her aunt's dress, they immediately recognized its historical significance and displayed the gown in a specially designed showcase, guaranteed to preserve it for 500 years.

But Lilly Friedman's dress had one more journey to make. Bergen Belsen, the museum, opened its doors on October 28, 2007. The German government invited Lilly and her sisters to be their guests for the grand opening. They initially declined, but finally traveled to Hanover the following year with their children, their grandchildren and extended families to view the extraordinary exhibit created for the wedding dress made from a parachute.

Lilly's family, who were all familiar with the stories about the wedding in Celle, were eager to visit the synagogue. They found the building had been completely renovated and modernized. But when they pulled aside the handsome curtain they were astounded to find that the Aron Kodesh, made from a kitchen cabinet, had remained untouched as a testament to the profound faith of the survivors. As Lilly stood on the bimah once again she beckoned to her granddaughter, Jackie, to stand beside her where she was once a kallah. "It was an emotional trip. We cried a lot."

Two weeks later, the woman who had once stood trembling before the selective eyes of the infamous Dr. Josef Mengele returned home and witnessed the marriage of her granddaughter.

The three Lax sisters - Lilly, Ilona and Eva, who together survived Auschwitz, a forced labor camp, a death march and Bergen Belsen - have remained close and today live within walking distance of each other in Brooklyn. As mere teenagers, they managed to outwit and outlive a monstrous killing machine, then went on to marry, have children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren and were ultimately honored by the country that had earmarked them for extinction.

As young brides, they had stood underneath the chuppah and recited the blessings that their ancestors had been saying for thousands of years. In doing so, they chose to honor the legacy of those who had perished by choosing life.

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Chassidic Discourses by Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn

Today, Yud Shvat, is the Yartzheit of the 6th Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn. This Rebbe provided tremendous inspiration to all. He selflessly gave of himself even during time in prison where he experienced much physical torture.

Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn was a prolific and very talented writer. One of the most beautiful ways to honour the Previous Rebbe, is by purchasing one of his beautiful books. This particular set of two volumes contains a collection of discourses that were given by the Rebbe between 1941 and 1945. These discourses were initially published by the Previous Rebbe as a compilation of a monthly journal that he had written during this time, entitled Hakeriah Vehakedusha "Reading and Holiness." The collection offered here comes from this original sefer and has been translated into English.

Many of the discourses have as their central theme the concepts of self-sacrifice for G-d and the Jewish people, repentance and strengthening the observance of Torah and Mitzvot. The Rebbe often speaks of the lessons to be learned from the earth-shattering events of that time and their connection to the coming of Moshiach. The beautiful discourses were written for a wide audience and are available even to those who have never studied Chasidic philosophy.

Included in this two volume set are footnotes that provide explanation, a glossary of Hebrew terms, and a general index. In the second volume there is also an index of quotations and references for Volumes 1 and 2.

If you would like to learn more of who Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn is, purchase one of his many books. Here in our Shopping for Goodness Store you will find this set of Chassidic Discourses. In the merit of the Previous Rebbe, by your copy TODAY.

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Beautiful Thoughts - Especially for YOU!

There is something to be learnt from everything in the world. Some lessons are positive, such as: you can learn from the ant not to steal and to work industriously. While other lessons are negative, such as: you can learn from the shark how the bigger consumes the smaller.

The beautiful photographs and touching thoughts below were sent to me via email. Though I do not know who the photographer is or who put this together, the message is very beautiful as are the photographs.

May you be inspired from these photo's to notice the beauty in daily life.
May you contemplate the wonders of creation and be filled with the realization that there has to be a Creator, a Director of this show. May that thought give you hope, meaning, purpose and the inner knowledge that ALL your needs are being taken care of at every moment by YOUR Creator. One who knows you better than you know yourself and cares about you more than the human mind can conceptualise.

May you always make the right moves.

May your cup runneth over with love


May you remain good looking and looking good!

May you find the perfect diet for your body and your soul.
(If this face doesn't make you want to stop eating sausage, nothing will.)

May you find perfect balance in the company you keep.

May you have as much fun as you can before someone makes you stop.

May the worst thing that happens to you come in slobberry pink and furry TAN.

May you manage to MAKE time for siesta.


May your accessories always harmonize with your natural beauty!

Should your mouth ever be bigger than your stomach, may you have a
chewing good time!




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