Friday, 17 December 2010
Monday, 13 December 2010
This weeks Words of Prayer, Words of Kindness is prepared in the merit of
Shoshana bat Pesa z"l and Michel ben Yaakov Omri z"l
for an Aliya of their Neshamot
Shmiras HaLashon Thought
The mother of the Gaon of Vilna and a friend of hers together managed a charity fund. Together they went from one address to another, collecting funds for their various causes – a poor family, bride to be, sick mother etc. The two women had a pact between then that whoever died first would come to the other in a dream and describe her experience in the Heavenly Court.
The friend was the one to die first and true to her word, she visited the mother of the Gaon of Vilna in a dream.
"Matters here are very complex," she revealed. By way of example she continued, "Do you remember the time we went collecting together for the poor and saw a woman from the community across the street? I suggested that we cross over and approach her for a donation, but you made a disparaging gesture with your hand as if to say, 'Why waste your time?' I convinced you to go, after all and she gave us a donation. Know my friend that that simple gesture was taken very seriously here in Heaven and counts heavily against you!"
This was all that the friend was permitted to reveal. With those words, she vanished, leaving the righteous woman with much to contemplate.
There are other versions to the story and each provides many lessons that we can practically take into our daily lives. Lessons of how a small gesture can make a difference in a positive or a negative way. Lessons that even our small gestures are noted in Shamayim (in Heaven). Lessons to judge favourably and not to waste time when working towards doing good for another, whether that be considering a person would not give only to find that they in fact did or not to stop or delay another giving.
A thought to contemplate when you go about your day. We are taught to remember that everything is G-d, there is nothing but Him as we learned in last weeks "Words of Prayer, Words of Kindness" If we stop to think of how this practically affects our lives, consider for a moment a comment many make that you have to decide one thing you are in need of and daven that Hashem provide that only. Why?
If Hashem is all powerful and is in fact everything, and everything is a part of Hashem, why ask for only one thing? Why not ask for your entire needs and then add to this how this will help you serve Hashem more effectively.
Consider for a moment that you met a person who was not able to see or hear or smell (lo aleinu) This person lacked the basic senses necessary to interact with the world and experience the world about him. Would you tell him to ask Hashem only for vision and sight? What about hearing? What about sense of smell? What about sense of taste? What about being able to function independently? What about all the other ramifications of the life he has being confined to such a limited body?
Why not give the person the hope to ask Hashem for ALL his needs?
This is in fact what the Rabbi Nachman of Breslav teaches us. Ask Hashem for everything even the smallest item or thing that you need. Not because He needs to hear your prayer, but to remind you that G-d is the one who provides everything and is the One who Can provide your every salvation and need. This in turns gives one hope, strengthens our belief and enables us to function in this world with joy and inner peace. These feeling in turn fill our hearts with love for the One in charge of all. When one contemplates correctly these thoughts should help one to be able to increase or improve our fulfilment of His will in this world. Don’t just tell G-d that you will be able to serve Him better, but that you will be able to do more and give more to others who may not yet have.
We move on now to Tehillim 2. In the first Tehillim David HaMelech begins with some ideas and thoughts about the happiness of the righteous and the difference between one who is righteous and one who is wicked. In the second Psalm, David HaMelech begins to show us how to both call out to Hashem in every moment and to praise Him even when things are difficult. We are taught that King Davids description of his afflictions and visitations represent the afflictions and difficulties that will be experienced by every Jew and by the Jewish people as a whole, throughout the generations. However, the afflictions and suffering are all linked to his yearning for redemption, the same yearning felt by all Jews. (Meam Loez)
Mazal Tov to Sharon in our Tehillim group who came to Chuppah during this week and is now enjoying being Mrs Klass.
Hope you are enjoying the last day of Chanukah.
The names for this week are to be found on http://lovingkindness.co/tehillim.html
Please remember, if you want names to go onto the list, names must be submitted by midday Wednesday Jerusalem time. Names must have a capital letter for each name and they must be the Hebrew name of the Jew we are davening for.
Thank you for your part in making this Tehillim group successful.
Tuesday, 7 December 2010
Time is running out and we need YOUR help
Do you spend any time thinking about Gilad Shalit? Do you really want him home safely? Do you know Israel has 5 other soldiers missing in action who have been away from their homes for over 20 years. Do you worry about Jonathon Pollard?
Do you ever stop to think that every Jew in Gulus is also in prison of a different kind?
Yes, there are Big Yeshivas doing wonderful work. But we cant leave it all up to the big Yeshivas and community Shuls. Each and every Jew can do something.
Our Sages teach us of the power of Tehillim. Tehillim are praises of Hashem written by David HaMelech the great great grandfather of Moshiach. Tehillim are applicable to all Jews all over the world, no matter whether you are secular or religious and what your Hashkacha / path is.
We manage an International Tehillim group aimed at increasing unity amongst Jewish Women through the reciting of Tehillim every Shabbos during daylight hours. Our group started small but we aim to have at least 1000 Jewish women. The number mentioned to release our cousins, in return for Gilad Shalit going home.
In an amazing development, Artscroll is interested in partnering with us to have not just 1000 but 2000 Sefer Tehillim that are pocket size with Hebrew, English and Transliteration. This enables all women to recite either in the Hebrew in their native English or to work towards the Hebrew through the transliteration. Artscroll is ready to go to press and we need your help to cover the printing and shipping costs for this special series. Artscroll is generously giving us 8 pages for explanation of the group and to mention the sponsors.
We need just another US$5000 to pull this off.
If we can, every woman in the group who signs up for a 1 year committment of reciting Tehillim with our group during daylight hours on Shabbos will receive their own FREE copy.
Every Jew in whose merit the Sefer Tehillim is sponsored will receive merit every time these Sifrei Tehillim are used.
Every Jew who makes a donation in the merit of a loved one will also receive merit.
Every woman participating in the group will receive both their FREE copy plus merit of increasing Tehillim and Unity within Am Yisrael.
AND we hope and pray that Gilad Shalit, the other MIAs, Jonathan Pollar and all Am Yisrael will finally be set free.
What do you say. Will you join us? Will you make a contribution and help to make this happen? Will you join our Tehillim group.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com urgently to join us in this exciting project.
Chanukah Somayach and Chodesh Tov
Sunday, 5 December 2010
This weeks Words of Prayer, Words of Kindness
is prepared in the merit of an immediate cease to the fire in the Carmel Mountains and to the start of good rain in Eretz Yisrael to fill the Kineret.
Shmiras HaLashon Thought
The story is told of Rav Shalom Hadaya, a renowned Kabbalist that when he moved to Eretz Yisrael from Aleppo in Syria, his followers rented an apartment for him. They found a comfortable, spacious apartment in the Burkhrin section of Jerusalem. Sounds like a wonderful start, but Rav Shalom preferred to live in Ohel Moshe neighbourhood, near Batei Broide, even though the only apartment available was a cramped one.
He explained why he preferred the smaller apartment to the one chosen for him. In Burkarin section, people spoke their native Arabic, a language that Rav Shalom knew well. He was afraid that being fluent in Arabic, he would be prone to overhearing Lashon Hara, which he wished to avoid at all costs.
In Ohel Moshe area, the language spoken was Ladino, a Spanish-Jewish dialect which he did not know. "My family will be much better off not understanding what is being spoken of in the streets," said Rav Shalom. This thought provoking story can be found in "Tales of the Tongue" by Esther Ehrenreich and Chaya Kahan
The second Mitzvah listed in the Concise Book of Mitzvot by Chofetz Chayim is a positive Mitzvah, meaning something we are commanded to do as opposed to abstain from doing. This positive Mitzvah is to know the unity of the Blessed G-d, to believe with complete faith that He is one, without any partner or associate. As we read in Chumash, Devarim 6:4 "Hear, O Israel: Hashem our G-d, Hashem is one.
This Mitzvah is one of the core principles of Judaism as we are taught "Ein Od Milvado" There is nothing but G-d.
A few more details related to this concept include that Hashem is complete and absolute unity. He is not physical or a physical being. No concepts about physical being can apply to Him, nothing that affects a physical being affects G-d, there is nothing like Him and without Him there is no G-d.
We are duty bound to bear this belief in mind at every occasion and moment, this is applicable to both men and women.
We have been looking at the first Psalm. The last verse of this Psalm ie Tehillim 1:6 reads: "For the Lord knows well the way of the righteous; but the way of the wicked will perish."
There are two important ideas here. One is how closely Hashem knows the ways of the righteous, supervising everything for the Tzaddikim whereas He removes His supervision from the wicked. Secondly, the ways of the righteous both provide inspiration in this world and last even after they have left this world. In contrast to this, the only good the ways of the wicked pose is to teach us what not to do, and in the end they perish.
This first Tehillim begins with the happiness of the righteous and ends showing that the way of the wicked will perish, teaching us how far apart these different paths are.
A few ladies are stopping the Tehillim Group. Thank you to them for their Tehillim, we do hope they will return to the group soon. In the meantime, we need more women to join our Tehillim group so as to at least fill these spaces, or even better to come closer to our goal of 1000 Jewish women, uniting through Tehillim.
We are happy to relay that two names have come off the list for good reasons, may we continue to hear good news for Am Yisrael.
Chanukah Somayach to everyone and Shabbat Shalom