Thursday, 24 June 2010

Words of Prayer, Words of Kindness - 3

This week's "Words of Prayer, Words of Kindness" is

sponsored in the merit of

Sara bas Dina and her son Moshe ben Sara

for Refuat haNefesh and Refuat haGuf.

The beautiful image above was submitted by one of the members of our Tehillim group, 
Rachel Chana.


A businessman from Warsaw once handed the Chofetz Chayim a list of his sforim that he wished to buy. After taking a quick glance at the list, the Chofetz Chayim asked him, "I notice that you ordered every one of my sforim except the Chofetz Chayim – laws of Lashon Hara. Why did you leave out such an important work?"

"I really would like to buy that sefer also," was the reply. "But I'm afraid to. You see, I come in contact with many people every day and in my position it's impossible for me not to speak and hear Lashon Hara."

"I'm fully aware of that problem," said the Chofetz Chayim. "I have even spoken to Reb Yisrael Salanter about it. He told me, 'It is worthwhile for someone to read your sefer on Lashon Hara even if the only result will be a sigh when he completes it." (This story is written in the introduction to the book "Guard Your Tongue adapted from Chofetz Chaim" by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin)


Last week we learned a teaching from Ramban (Nachmanides) from the book, "With All Your Heart – A Practical Approach to Bitachon by Rabbi S Wagschal. This week we continue from the same book, this time we learn that both Sefer HaCharedim and Rabbenu Yona teach us that it is a Torah commandment to trust in G-d in times of trouble. The former claims it is a mitzvah to put our trust in G-d in all situations. In Devarim (20:1) we read "When you go to battle against your enemies, and see horses and chariots – forces greater than yours - do not be afraid of them." Rabbenu Yona writes that if one detects approaching trouble, he should take G-d's deliverance to heart and trust in it, as it is written in Tehillim (85:10), "His deliverance is very near those who fear Him" and in Yeshayahu (51:12) "What ails you that you fear man who must die…?"


This thought is taken from the introduction to the section on Tehillim in the Artscroll Stone Edition of Tanach (Torah, Prophets, Writings)
For nearly three thousand years, every situation in a Jew's life has been reflected in King David's Book of Psalms. Referring to this Book, G-d said to David, "One day of your songs and praises is more precious to Me than the thousands of offerings that will be brought by your son Solomon." In illness and in strife, in triumph and in success, the Jew opens his Book of Psalms and lets David become the harp upon which his own emotions sing or weep. Small wonder that when the Chofetz Chaim, as an old man, was presented with his mother's ancient Book of Psalms, its pages swollen with her lifetime of tears, he was overcome with emotion. Who can assess the worth of the little Book that has been the chariot bearing countless tears to the Heavenly Throne?

Upon reading of King David's many ordeals, one can begin to understand how he could compose the psalms that capture every person's joy and grief, thanksgiving and remorse, cries from the heart and songs of happiness. He was the Sweet Singer of Israel; more than that, however, he experienced the travail of every person, and that is why everyone can see himself mirrored in David's psalms.


In the merit of our Torah learning together with our Tehillim recited on Shabbos during daylight hours, may Hashem sweeten all decrees for all Am Yisrael. The specific names for this week were updated yesterday 23 June 2010 and can be found on Torah Online Website

Since we are striving to have 1000 Jewish women in this group (minimum) we look today at the cause to this target. Today is 4 years since Gilad Shalit was taken prisoner. As his parents begin a 12 day march from where they live to Yerushalayim, we join them with our Torah learning and Tehillim and appeal to Hashem to send Gilad home safely, peacefully to fulfil Torah and mitzvos with his loved ones. Gilad's Hebrew name appears at the top of the list, Gilad ben Aviva.

Our thoughts also go to Shalom Modechai ben Rivka Rubashkin that he return to his family safely and peacefully, to Yoel ben Chana Henia for Refuat HaNefesh and Refuat HaGuf. May his most recent medical test results be turned into a clean bill of health.

May we share only good news in Am Yisrael, a good that is revealed, visible and manifest.

Shabbat Shalom


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