Thursday, 1 July 2010

Words of Prayer, Words of Kindness - 4

This weeks Tehillim Reminder with its Words of Prayer, Words of Kindness is prepared, compiled and sent out in the merit of
Shabtai Ephraim HaLevi ben Beila and Esther Naomi bas Devora
for Refuat haNefesh and Refuat HaGuf


Shmiras HaLashon Thought (Guarding Our Tongues)

The King's Guard:

If someone were appointed by a king to guard his royal treasures, he would guard those valuables with complete concentration. If robbers had already plundered a portion of the king's wealth, the guard will intensify his watchfulness to prevent further loss. We are in the same situation. All too often we have spoken Lashon Hara in the past; we must dedicate ourselves to the prevention of recurrences. (Guard Your Tonuge – Adapted from the Chofetz Chaim by Rabbi Pliskin)

Bitachon Thought

In the previous two emails we began to talk about trusting in G-d even and especially in times of trouble. The Talmud provides us with a story that illustrates this level of trust in action. Once Rabbi Akiva went on a journey, along his travels he came to a town and began to seek accommodation for the evening. Each place he went to, Rabbi Akiva was refused entrance. Trusting in G-d completely, each closed door that Rabbi Akiva encountered his response was: "Everything G-d does is for the best"

Finally, having exhausted all inns or teverns to spend the night, Rabbi Akiva turned to a nearby forest and settled down for the night. With him, Rabbi Akiva had a lamp, a rooster to wake him and a donkey to travel on his way. As night fell, suddenly a wind came up and blew out his lamp. A cat came and ate his rooster. Then a lion came and ate his donkey. To each apparent disaster Rabbi Akiva responded as above "Everything G-d does is for the best"

When morning came, Rabbi Akiva found that in the middle of the night, a band of violent robbers came and sacked the town and took all the inhabitants captive. When Rabbi Akiva heard this, he responded "Now I see that everything G-d does is for the best. Had the wind not come to blow out my lamp, the robbers would have seen me. Had the cat not come to eat my rooster, or the lion to eat my donkey, the animals might have made a noise in fright and alerted the robbers to where I was. This way, no-one knew that another person was there, lying down for the night in the forest."

Too often in life, we get caught up with being angry when the first person closes the door and turns us away, rather than having the patience and faith to see the event through to its conclusion. Rabbi Akiva teaches us a powerful lesson.

Tehillim Thought

"Many of the psalms were composed to be sung by the Levites in the Temple, with musical accompaniment, and such psalms generally begin by naming the instrument upon which they would be played. Many of the psalms are attributed to authors other than David, but according to one view in the Talmud, he was the author of them all, presumably drawing upon ideas or tests and weaving them into his own compositions.

Whatever the authorship of the psalms, one thing is certain: Since the day it was composed, the Books of Psalms has become interwoven with the souls of countless Jews. The psalms are part of the daily prayers. They are recited at moments of illness and crisis. They are chanted joyously in times of good fortune and when heartfelt prayers have been answered. The last verse of the Book proclaims: 'Let all souls praise G-d, Halleluka' The sages expound homiletically that the verse also means to teach: 'Praise G-d for every breath that you are privileged to take.' This degree of gratitude that sees everything – even as automatic an act as drawing a breath – as a Divine gift is one of the countless teachings of David. It is the soul that permeates the entire Book of Psalms." (From the last two paragraphs of the introduction to the book of psalms in the Artscroll Edition of Tanach – The Torah, Prophets and Writings)

May we all be zocher to master complete trust and faith in G-d, to guard our tongues and to find comfort and salvation through the reciting of Tehillim.

This week's list of names can be found on our website Torah Online 

May we be zocher this year to enjoy the three weeks being transformed into a time of the greatest celebration, even before we reach Tisha B'Av

We look forward to hearing very good news.

Shabbat Shalom


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