Thursday, 10 September 2009

Reflecting on the Year That Was.

Elul is a time to reflect on the year that has been and plan for the year ahead. In reflecting on our past year, one aspect that stands out is the increase in our using various forms of technology to increase in acts of goodness and kindness. It is very intriguing to look at the cluster map on this blog and notice the far flung places, some even dots in the middle of the sea, all coming to explore what thoughts, articles, products and services we are offering.

Thank you to all the ladies who have continued to be involved in our Tehillim Group. We have women from Israel, USA, South Africa and Australia, all uniting each Shabbos through reciting Tehillim. Some women manage just one or two chapters, while others take on 20 or more. Mostly we manage to cover the sefer Tehillim each week. Sometimes we come close to completing the sefer Tehillim twice and sometime not quite once. If you know of other Jewish women who would like to join our group, please do send a message, either via the website or this post or send an email.

Having spent a year or more trying to put a group of 5 Moms with babies together, so as to complete the practical side of a course to teach infant massage to parents, it was very exciting to finally have a group. Thanks to efforts of my husbands, lots of prayers and many posts, finally the group was formed on Yeshuv Michmash. It was a fun group to teach and Moms and their babies seemed to enjoy. Thanks to their kindness, I have obtained my certificate as an Infant Massage Instructor and look forward to facilitating many groups of women. Infant massage is a wonderful gift to offer your babies, your children and yourselves. It increase love, relaxation, appreciation and understanding of the various members of a family. If you have a baby and are in Jerusalem or surrounding areas, do send an email to find out when the next course will be.

Our Photography and Creative Gifts have expanded to be now both on Etsy and on Artfire. We look forward to many more sales and orders. We are always happy to make up an order to suit your tastes, colours, needs etc. Do send us a message when you have a gift and or card to send and we will happily see what we can do to put a unique, personalized gift together for you.

During this past year, we have been rather active on various social network forums. While it is extremely heart warming to note the speed with which some are able to notice a Jew in need and just step in to assist. Whether it is with a small donation or a larger one. Whether it is in giving a Haskama or making a recommendation. There are those who just do, no questions asked, few words and many actions.

The hard part of the social network forums to comprehend is the extent of time wastage that takes place. It amazes me as to how very many virtual tasks, ideas, actions can take place. In the time of Moshe Rabeinu, David HaMelech, Rebbi Akiva, the extent to which they cared for the straggling sheep and lambs was noted in Shamayim. One wonders what is written in our books above when instead of helping with a very real need of a fellow Jew, we read post after post of those caring for virtual animals on virtual farms.

When a Jew is ill, will virtual chicken soup help much. Not sure how much it can sooth an aching throat or warm a tight chest? When Yom Tov or Shabbos are approaching, does virtual challah, virtual lulav and esrog really help? Or perhaps one can spend those minutes helping to encourage others to make a donation towards purchasing a real, physical lulav and esrog for a Jew who finds himself isolated this Yom Tov.

To what extent will we go to be accepted by hundreds and thousands of virtual friends. People who post everything they are doing from winning a ball game to taking a bath. Will send you endless invitations for causes, projects, events (sometimes that don't have a location) and more, yet will ignore a real request to help a fellow Jew. Is it numbers of friends that is the aim or is it perhaps, quietly doing an act of kindness, even and especially when no-one else knows what you have done. The Path of the Just is quite specific. Involving one's self in levity, jokes, idle chit chat to try to gain popularity has the power and risk to lead one to reduced fear of Heaven.

For those who are serious about wanting to grow and work on themselves in the coming year, please do get involved in our Yeshiva. We have many exciting mitzvah projects. We have a stimulating Torah program that you can participate in either via internet, phone or in person.

An exciting development of the past year has been our Mikvah Project - Purity with Dignity
Thanks to those who have made often anonymous donations, close to 100 women were assisted to immerse in the mikvah at no expense to themselves. In addition, we were able to pay off the mikvah debts of several women. Our fund raising ventures for this project continue, so please do give generously. In addition to working on helping many more women, we are expanding to assist Kallah and Chosen in need. This special package will require NIS 4500 per Chosen and Kallah gift package. Please assist us to meet this goal in helping those who have no family to help them.

We have many more goals and ideas. Stay tuned to the blogs and websites and do send us your comments. We do love to hear your feedback. Even more so, we welcome all those willing to participate in any way to help in increasing goodness and kindness.

Thank you for your part in our projects of the past year. We look forward to being able to report much more progress and many many more Jews who have received a special gift, a touch of love and genuine interest and concern.

One of our goals is to be able to merge our websites and online stores to come under one banner. On one website. If you enjoy our blogs, websites and creative work, we would be very grateful if you become a partner in enabling this new development to take place. Donations can be made in the merit of a loved one.

Tzeddakah is one of the 3 tasks that assists in clearing the difficulties of the past year and ensuring a better year ahead. Please do give generously to any of our many mitzvah projects. Remember, more than your kindness will be noted here, in this world, your thanks will come from Shamayim.

If you would like some sessions to assist you to make the most of Elul in preparation for Rosh HaShanah, please contact Shoshanah to set up a consultation. These consultations will be based on a combination of Life Skills training and Torah Concepts.

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