Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Vote or Enter for our New Year Competition.


Our New Year Competition has been going for a day now. Thus far we have 2 responses. One as a song and one as a Tehillim. Please let us know which one you find more inspiring and why, your vote will help us to select the winner.

Or

Send in your the song, or Tehillim that best describes how you feel looking at the year 5770 that lies ahead. Details of the competition can be found right here.

Entry of Song:
- My song is: Hayom Haras Olam the niggun from Rav Yitzchak Ginsburgh. I chose this because my goal and aspiration is to look at each day as new, like the world was just created. "Bishvili nivra haOlam" means that anything which looks like an obstacle, a "he'elem" is really created for me in order to understand that HaShem is right here, and "behind" the darkness is the Light I need to see. Entry by Malka Stern

- "
the other day i heard on an Opera W show a song that was sung by a 16 year old girl she wrote it herself and the song was called “If i could write a note to G/D” and it was amazing and that song really inspired me that a non Jewish teenage girl can have such a connection amazed me and i really am trying to work on myself and the one thing that I now do is give people the benefit of the doubt and just know that there are two sides to the storey"

Entry of Tehillim:
- My favourite psalm is 121 - I say it often and certainly every time I look at our beautiful mountain. I believe...


The competition lasts till the end of Succos, so hurry up to send in your entry.

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

New Year Competition


Hi Everyone.

Yom Kippur has finished but we still have till the end of Succot with our very special relationship with Hashem that began on Rosh Chodesh Elul.

As you stand facing the year ahead, what song comes to mind to describe your goal, wish, dream or prayer for the year 5770.

Send in your answer and stand to win a wonderful prize.

Here are the rules:

1) Send in either:
- the title of a song,
- the first line of a song
- the chorus of a song
or
- your favourite Tehillim

together with your reason for choosing this particular title, song, first line etc

2) You must be prepared to have your answer posted on Leiv Esther http://leivesther.blogspot.com to give encouragement to other women. Your post can be anonymous.

3) The most inspiring entry will win our set of 4 fridge magnets, bringing you some inspiration right into your kitchen.

The next 2 posts sent in that are close, 2nd and 3rd places will receive one of the fridge magnets each.

Take a look at what you stand to win by clicking on the words "to win"

4) The competition lasts from now until the end of Succos. Please send in entries only before Succos or during Cholemoed. Entries sent in over Shabbos or Yom Tov will not be included in the competition.

We look forward to hearing your goals and dreams for the year ahead and to enjoying a lot more unity through this Tehillim group.

We look forward to hearing lots of wonderful news for Am Yisrael. News that is good, a good that is revealed, visible and manifest.

Shanah Tova UMetukah

Inspirational Story - a Role Model for the New Year.


As we plan for the New Year, it is beneficial to look to good role models who will help us define what our goals are for the year ahead. Role Models who personify some aspect of goodness, kindness and sensitivity to others, that help us to internalize what a caring, successful person is.

I recently came across a story that highlights just such a role model. The story is told of Rabbi Ephraimel of Peshadborz, the author of the book "Oneg Shabbos". Rav Ephraimel had a guest who came to stay overnight. The preparations for the guest were all taken care of by Rav Ephraimel himself, including getting a mattress out of their storage room and setting up a bed.

When it came time to get the mattress out of the storage room, Rav Ephraimel opened the door and then quickly and quietly closed it once more. He repeated this procedure a number of times, until he finally entered the store room and brought out the mattress that was required.

Later he explained to his family his seemingly strange behaviour. As he opened the door to the store room, Rav Ephraimel noticed a rooster has settled on the mattress and fallen asleep. Since the rooster is also one of G-d's creatures, Rav Ephraimel elected to wait until the rooster woke on his own and moved off the mattress before taking the mattress out of the store room. For this reason, he quickly and quietly closed the door each time, hoping not to disturb the rooster until it woke on its own.

This incident shows the deep sensitivity that Rav Ephraimel had for all of G-d's creatures and the extent to which he was prepared to go to not disturb the sleep of any living creature.

What a beautiful role model and goal to set for the new year.

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If you would like some assistance in setting your goals for the new year, together with drawing up action plans, positive thinking and more, please contact Shoshanah to set up a session or series of sessions. The sessions are based on a combination of Life Skills and Torah concepts, helping you to work towards developing a life of meaning and purpose.


Thursday, 24 September 2009

Development of our Chatan and Kallah Package

Our Chatan and Kallah Package is starting to take shape, items have been sent in as seen in the above image.

We welcome donations of other books necessary for a strong Jewish home together with any new household items.

Thank you for your generous contribution towards this special package. This particular Package is to be given to a Chatan and Kallah in need, where one or both do not have living parents


Please help to increase this very special work. Your assistance is very greatly appreciated and the greatest thanks will come to you from Shamayim.

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Duties of the Heart!


In the last few days left of the 10 days of repentance, a very worthwhile book to begin working through is "Duties of the Heart". In particular, to assist in preparing for Yom Kippur, the chapter of Cheshbon HaNefesh (an accounting of the soul) is recommended.

If you follow the recommendations provided in Dvar BeIto, you can go through each subsection of the chapter on Cheshbon HaNefesh daily, covering the chapter each month. Thus by this time next year, you will be better prepared for Yom Kippur.

The book "Duties of the Heart" is a classic that anyone serious about working on themselves, their relationship with G-d and appropriate thought and emotions of a Jew should work through constantly and continuously. This edition provides the Hebrew on the one side and English Translation on the other.

The book is available in our Affiliate Store: Shopping for Goodness. Please do browse the store as there are other very worthwhile books and items you might enjoy, either for yourself or as gifts for others, during this important time.

Remember, if you like the book but are not ready to purchase it, please think of those who would love to engage in serious learning but can not afford the book. You can make a contribution even of $1 or $2 or $5 towards helping another Jew, right here. Please indicate whether you want it to go towards the Chatan and Kallah Package, thus contributing towards the very needed library of a new couple or towards a Torah Scholar who does not have the means to purchase the books he requires.

If you would like to begin a regular learning schedule and require some guidance or assistance, please be in touch with Rabbi Shear for guidance, to set up a learning program or to become a part of our Yeshiva.

Monday, 21 September 2009

A Time to Build



Every situation has a lesson for us to learn. We can choose to look at events and occurrences in a negative light or to use a situation as a spring board for good. Rosh HaShanah davening is just such an example. As in many Synagogues, there are those who enjoy davening (praying) with concentration on the words being said, the niggunim, the solemness of the day. Then there are others who elect to use the time in Synagogue as a time to chat.

The Torah provides us with laws as to how to behave in a manner that emulates G-d and brings goodness and kindness into the world. Prayer time is no different. The time to pray is a time to connect with our Creator. It is so important an avoda (task) that the code of Jewish Law forbids us to talk during prayer time, reading of the Torah, reciting Kaddish and blessings.

A particular incident brought to our attention that there are those who will elect to daven at home, rather than be affected or have their prayers interrupted by social chit chat and other extraneous noise. This motivated us to strengthen our efforts in developing the Shul part of our Yeshiva. For this we turn to you for assistance. Please become a partner in enabling a Minyan to develop. A Minyan that will focus on fulfilling the Hallachot to the best of their ability, with
unity - ahavas Yisrael and concentration.


In order to begin this Minyan, we need 10 shtenders and 10 chairs, suitable for Jewish men to have their backs appropriately supported while praying. The cost of each shtender is NIS 250 and each chair we estimate to be the same. This means, we require approximately NIS 5000 or US$1500 in order to accommodate just a Minyan.

Of course, this will only provide for davening during days that there is no Torah reading. For the days of Torah reading, please assist us in repairing a very special sefer Torah, so that this can be used in our Minyan

Thank you for your kindness.

Those who wish to donate or sponsor one or more chairs and or shtenders in the merit of a loved one can have a plaque with the name of the loved on attached to the item in whose merit it has been donated. For the addition of a plaque, please be in touch as we will need an additional amount to cover the manufacturing of the plaque.

A Powerful Lesson from a Patient

An eye opening lesson from a boy born blind - may even bring a tear to the eye.

Occupational Therapy is a very rewarding profession. Over the nearly 19 years since qualifying, it is safe to say each patient teaches one something. Each client opens one's eyes in a different way.

The following lesson was taught by a little blind boy. At least at the time he was little. This boy was born with Juvenile Chronic Arthritis (JCA) and was blind as a complication. He had spent most of the 6 years prior to my meeting him in hospital undergoing one or other test, surgical procedure or other therapeutic intervention. I first met him on ward round when the doctor of the Opthalmology Ward wondered if he was trainable.

After a little education on the role of occupational therapy with the blind and with JCA, the doctor agreed to an evaluation and to occupational therapy if indicated. For the next 18 months, this little boy underwent intensive occupational therapy. By the end of this, he was found to be not only trainable but certainly educable. He was discharged from hospital speaking 3 languages, walking, dressing, eating independently, posting shapes into the appropriate slot, going to the toilet and much more. He developed a keen interest in everything and a wonderful sense of humour.

His sharp hearing enabled him to imitate the nuance or accent of anyone who came to talk to him. He could identify someone approaching by their foot steps and was always ready with a question, a greeting and a smile.

On one occasion, a month or so before he was discharged, I was the one to pose him a question. I wanted to see just how his cognition had developed and so posed certain questions. One of them was if he was given 3 wishes that would come true, what would he choose. His answer is a lesson to all of us.

"I only have 2 wishes, he said. To praise the Lord and to go to school."

This little boy had come a very long way from being contracted in the foetal position unable to say a single word or to do anything for himself. His discharge was in deed in order to go to school. As for praising the Lord, this he did spontaneously on a daily basis.

Life has a tendency to throw us curve balls. Challenges, hurdles, tests. As we move from Rosh HaShanah to Yom Kippur may our wishes too be to Praise the Lord, despite such huge challenges as this little boy did, and to go to school. Remember, life really is a big school and every moment provides the opportunity to learn and to grow. May we always grow in the direction that comes closer to Hashem, closer to Truth and closer to Moshiach, a time for world peace. Shanah Tova. May we all merit to be sealed in the book of life for a year of everything good, a good that is revealed, visible and manifest

New Hat for the Wedding Day!



If you have been following this blog, we recently added to our
Mikvah Project - "Purity with Dignity" a very special package for a Chatan and Kallah. This package is being tailor made for a couple who do not have relatives to assist them either practically or financially, such a someone who is an orphan (lo aleinu).

On the day of ones wedding, the Chatan also needs to feel special. It is his day too. Though there are wonderful gemachim that will loan a Kallah an exquisite dress, the Chatan somehow has to come up with a new hat, new suit, new shoes. For someone who is a Chosid, that means new Kapota too. There are some who, for various reasons, are not able to purchase a new hat, or new suit, or even a new Kapota.

How would you feel standing under the Chuppah on your wedding day wearing an old, worn or borrowed hat? How would you feel with a Kapota loaned to you for an hour that you have to return even before the Seudas Mitzvah, even before the Yichud room? How would you feel wearing the same old suit you have worn for years? Not quite like a king would you?

Every Chatan and Kallah are supposed to feel like king and queen on their wedding day and in deed for the full first year after their marriage.

Please help us help the Chatan and Kallah feel like the king and queen that they are.
A new hat costs approximately US$150, a new suit is approximately US$100 and up, new shoes are US$80 and up, a new Kapota is at least US$ 100 and probably much more.

Please give your donation today towards this Package for a Chatan and Kallah. The full package will be photographed once it is complete. The full package is estimated to be NIS 4500. This amount is subject to change depending on the needs of the Chatan and Kallah.


Thank you for your generosity and for assisting a Chatan and Kallah to truly feel special, truly feel like KING AND QUEEN.


Anyone who gives a donation of 513 or more (513 being the numerical value of Chatan and Kallah) can receive a mention together with the package when given to the Chatan and Kallah and also on our website.
Those wanting their donations to remain anonymous, please indicate to this effect.

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Chosen and Kallah Package


Getting married should be the happiest time of your life. It is a time to share with those nearest and dearest to you. Yet there are some in Am Yisrael, who have to prepare their weddings alone. No family to assist or to attend the happy occasion.

While there are various Hachnosis Kallah gemachim or funds that help with actual wedding expenses, many lack the sensitivity necessary to make a Kallah feel cherished on her wedding day.

Unfortunately, due to some taking advantage of those funds set up to help those in need, an orphan can be insulted and even humiliated, having to prove that his or her parents really died, thus being painfully reminded that they are not in this world to enjoy her happy day. Promises can be made to the Kallah that are not fulfilled.

She can talk to the florist doing the very great kindness of helping enable that she has flowers to make her day special, and then have her dreams dashed as something totally different is provided.

The list of what can and does go wrong is endless. Through our work with the Mikvah Project - Purity with Dignity, we became aware that there are Kallot who can not manage the mikvah expenses.

To help them feel like king and queen during the first year of their marriage, we are working on a special Chosen and Kallah Package. We estimate the costs to be NIS 4500 per package. We have already receive NIS 100 for the first package.

As Rosh HaShanah fast approached, a day when we corronate Hashem as King, please think of those Chosen and Kallah who genuinely do not have others to be there for them. No one to help them through their first year and beyond.

Please give generously, either in monetary donations or via giving gifts that can be included in the package. You can browse our Store and purchase any of the items that would be appropriate for the first year to go towards the Chosen and Kallah package. If you have identified something, you can either purchase and be in touch, or contact us prior to deciding what to send.

Thank you for your generosity. May you be blessed abundantly for your kindness and sensitivity.

Keeping our Focus as we Approach Rosh HaShanah

Photograph by Vladimir Neichin

As we approach the High Holidays, (Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur) it is important to remember what we are striving towards. The month of Elul helps to focus us on our relationship with Hashem and what we need to do to improve our relationship with Him. As Elul draws to a close, an important article was written regarding a recent discovery. The article below together with the photograph are posted with permission of
Yoli Shwartz
Spokesperson
Israel Antiquities Authority

May it inspire us to increase our efforts in Tshuva, Tefillah and Tzeddakah so as to merit the Final Beis HaMikdash.

Second Temple Period Stepped Street Discovered in City of David Excavation


2000 Years Ago, Pilgrims Began Their Trek to the Temple Mount From Here


A section of a stepped street paved in stone slabs, going south in the direction of the Shiloach Pool was discovered in excavations conducted by the Israel Antiquities Authority in the Shiloach Pool Excavation at the City of David in the Jerusalem Walls National Park. The excavations are conducted in cooperation with the Israel Nature and Parks Authority, funded by the Elad Foundation, under the auspices of Prof. Ronny Reich of Haifa University and Eli Shukron of the Israel Antiquities Authority.


The existence of this road has been known about for over one hundred years, since it was first discovered between 1894 and 1897 by Prof. Frederick J. Bliss and Archibald C. Dickey of the British Palestine Exploration Fund, and then covered and filled in at the end of their excavation. Other sections of this same road, to the north, have been excavated and covered over in the past, including during the excavations of Jones in 1937 and Kathleen Kenyon from 1961-1967.


This section of the stepped street was discovered at a distance of 550 meters south of the Temple Mount. The road represents the central thoroughfare of Jerusalem that ascended from the north-west corner of the Second Temple Shiloach Pool to the north.


According to Prof. Ronny Reich, "In the Second Temple Period, pilgrims would begin the ascent to the Temple from here. This is the southernmost tip of the road, of which a section has already been discovered along the western face of the Temple Mount."


The current excavation has been concentrated in a very narrow strip (1-2 meters in width) in the western sections of the road. Essentially, the excavation work removed the earth that had been filled in by previous excavators over the sections they already discovered. This section of road is built in the Second Temple style, which comprises alternating wide and narrow steps.


Further work must be done to clarify what the relationship was between the current excavated section and the section of the road and the drainage channel that were discovered nearby two years ago.

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Paying Correctly


Part of reflecting back on the past year, includes evaluating the professional and work / business side of what we are doing. It has been a hard and painful lesson to admit that there are clients out there who will enjoy your services, receive the full benefits and then at the end of the session exclaim: "That was really wonderful, thank you, but now I am not paying you"

Once happening is a bit of an eye opener. But a few occasions gets a bit much.

In addition, there are those who request to pay with post dated cheques and then call and call and call to postpone the postponed date.

In order to avoid these difficulties, we are changing our payment policies. From this point on, all fees / payments are to be made in cash / PayPal or a valid cheque, prior to receiving services. For those not paying with cash, services will only be provided once the payment has cleared in the bank.

It saddens me to have to enforce such a practice, but good services do have fees attached and we too have expenses to cover.

Thank you for your co-operation. We look forward to a more peaceful business year in the coming year. May all transactions be smooth, easy, effortless. No negotiations, no finding reasons why you are exempt from paying. There are actually Hallachos (Jewish Laws) regarding business and paying your workers or service providers. Perhaps we will start to put a few on this blog or on the main Torah blog or site.

Just to highlight a few clients who have been an absolute pleasure to work with. There are some who enquire as to what we offer, ask what the rates are, make the payment. No fuss, no arguments, no criticism. After receiving either their photographs, their massage, healing, whatever the service from our range of services, they actually show appreciation. These are quality clients.

We all have the ability to behave as these quality clients have. Begin your New Year on the right footing. Emulate quality clients and help to bring peace and fulfillment to your service provider. You will be surprised as to how much extra you might end up receiving, just by being a pleasure to work with.

Monday, 14 September 2009

Tshuva During Elul as Likened to a Road Trip


A recent conversation with a friend, touched in part on the dangers of talking on the cell phone or car phone while driving. She was telling me how easy it is to suddenly find one's self reaching for a mobile phone when it rings, even though one usually does not do so.

My mind went back to the early days of cell phones. I was in my first or second year of working and my place of work was a major teaching hospital. One of my duties was to attend the ward round of the Orthopoedic wards that I covered as an occupational therapist.

The ward round was relatively uneventful. Mostly patients had been in the ward for several days or weeks and were already known to the team. Then suddenly the team stood at the foot of the bed of a patient, a case that left most of the team members teary eyed. A realization of a new technology with its extreme dangers, together with the so-called benefits.

Early one morning, a young man set off on his journey to work. He was the main bread winner of the family, his wife taking care of small children at home. Suddenly his life changed irreparably forever. What happened?

This young man's journey to work included sitting on the back of a van, together with a number of other workers. Usually the journey was uneventful. On this particular morning, the driver in the car behind him decided that a conversation on his new cell phone was more important than paying attention to his following distance or to what the car in front of him was doing. As cars do at times, the vehicle with our friend stopped at an intersection. The driver behind, still busy with his cell phone conversation, continued driving.

Needless to say there was an accident and the man who ended up in our Orthopoedic ward in traction, become instantly quadriplegic. For whatever reason, the driver had almost no injuries, slight whip lash, but otherwise, physically fine.

Our patient, on the other hand, ended up permanently disabled. His life instantaneously changed, forever. His wife's life, instantaneously changed, forever. His little children's lives, instantaneously changed, forever. And all he had been doing was sitting on the back of a vehicle taking him to work, to do an honest days work so as to put food on the table and a roof over the heads of his young family.

The journey in life is very much like the journey we take on the road to some destination. At every moment we are confronted with situations that cry out for us to make a choice. Will the choice that we make take into consideration the lives of those around us?

The Torah is filled with how to consider others. Whether it be thinking of Hashem and how our thoughts, speech and action will affect Him, bringing us closer to Him or sending us further away. Will our decision result in a positive or negative ripple effect for others.

Elul is the time to reflect on how we think, speak, act, behave. What are our motives? When we reach for the phone to take a call, do we consider whether now is the most appropriate time to take that call? Will talking on the phone take your mind and concentration off your journey? Will others be able to hear your conversation?

In today's time, people love to talk on the cell phone constantly. Walking down the street, sitting on the bus, standing in a queue. Wherever they are, the cell phone is attached to their ear and they engage in conversation. Do they stop to consider whether the conversation is beneficial and whether the place and time are appropriate?

Do YOU stop to think of the consequences of your actions?

With just a few days left of Elul, take the time to reflect on the year that was. Think of how you have acted. The goals you set and whether you achieved them. The consequences of your actions. Where can you improve, where do you need to change. What did you do that brought love and joy to the lives of others and Nachas to Hashem?

For those who would like some guidance in reflecting on the year that was, setting appropriate goals for the coming year together with action plans, please contact Shoshanah to set up a consultation. Part of the training for Occupational Therapists, certainly from South Africa 19 years ago, includes or included Life Skills Training. Amongst the Life Skills are wonderful tools that can be used both to reflect on the journey taken thus far and to prepare effectively for the coming year. Sessions take place either in person, via the telephone, skype or email.

May we all make the most of the rest of Elul and merit a year filled with goodness, kindness, peace, love, fulfillment and joy.

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Shanah Tova Message


To all those who have offered support, encouragement, friendship, interaction during the past year -

Thank you for your support and friendship during the past year. We very much appreciate it.

We wish you and your family Kesiva ve Chasima Tov, to be blessed with all your heart desires for the good, a good that is revealed, visible and manifest.

We hope you enjoy the Yom Tov card, this one was photographed and designed by Rabbi Eliyahu of Shear Success Photographers.

Shoshanah

If you would like to purchase any Yom Tov Cards, please be in touch
http://leivesther.blogspot.com/2009/09/hand-crafted-shanah-tova-cards.html

http://leivesther.blogspot.com/2009/08/showing-your-appreciation-with-unique.html

Friday, 11 September 2009

Progress and Receipts of our Mikvah Project

From time to time we get enquiries as to how anyone knows the money donated goes to cover a woman's mikvah expenses. In these two images, are receipts from The Mikvaot in Beitar Illit seen on the top image and the Mikvah in the Old City of Jerusalem seen in the image below.

The receipts to the Beitar Illit Mikvaot, show purely the lump sum donated. The second image shows the time and effort that the Mikvah ladies went to in itemizing each and every immersion or preparation and immersion that was sponsored through the efforts of your donations together with our requests to help and of course, Hashem's guidance.

There is another Mikvah that we are still awaiting the receipts to show the donation given and or how many women were helped through that donation.

The Mikvah Project - Purity with Dignity is an important one. We are currently working on obtaining further Haskamas, letters of approbation. In the mean time, please assist us to sponsor many more women. We would like to see these receipts grow so that women from these Mikvaot and others in Israel, who experience financial difficulty, can still fulfill their mitzvah with dignity.

Any donation is very welcome.

Why not sponsor a woman preparing and immersing for 6 months or a year. Or help to pay off outstanding debts to the mikvah.
Thank you for your kindness and generosity. May you and your family be rewarded a thousandfold for your kindness.

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.

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Think Before You Speak or Spam


When sending out emails requesting your friends and anyone on your email list to do xyz, please make sure the request is appropriate.

A little while ago I receive an email from someone I don't know at all, telling me that I just have to shop through a certain website. There was some special going that I just had to take advantage of.

The website was for baby goods. Since I don't have any babies and my niece is already a little girl, no longer a baby, I am not in the market for buying baby things.

If you decide to SPAM people, at least be sensitive to who they are. NEVER EVER presume if someone is a woman, she automatically has kids to buy for. There are many women who are not even married, let alone whether they have kids.

In a course I took some years ago, we were taught a simple but effective rule to increase your sensitivity to others. Along the lines of the above paragraph: Never ASSUME. If you ASSUME, all you do is make an ASS out of U and ME.

In addition to being more sensitive with your Spamming, please also think before bragging about how many kids you have. Once again, there are women who don't have kids and women who are older who are not even married yet. Please be sensitive to your Jewish sisters.

Since it is Elul and a good time to think of others, what you can do is give to help those women who can not afford to attend the Mikvah. For those who are still single, please consider sponsoring their shidduchim costs or towards Hachnasat Kallah.


Thank you for your consideration and your generosity.

For any of you who do not have the means to give but would like to, please do be in touch. We will happily work out an arrangement for you to help gather donations for these projects and receive a commission from monies raised.

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