Friday, 28 January 2011

Words of Prayer, Words of Kindness - 23

This weeks Words of Prayer, Words of Kindness is in the merit of an Aliya Neshama for Hannie Linsen (I apologize for not knowing her Hebrew name) who returned her soul to Hashem.

 Hannie was born in Holland and was taken with her mother and family to Aushwitz. Hannie and her sister were the only survivors from her family. After liberation she spent some time in a hospital recovering from an infection she contracted in the camps, prior to starting the long road to building a new life. We had the privilege of getting to know Hannie when she moved into the same retirement village that my grandparents were in, in Somerset West, South Africa. In the last few years, Hannie moved to one of her sons in USA. Hannie is survived by 3 children and several grandchildren. May her Neshama receive a complete and speedy Aliya, strengthened by the fact that despite the horrors she faced, Hannie built a new life, leaving Jewish children and grandchildren, she was a special lady, soft spoken, creative with an amazing inner strength; may Hashem avenge the blood of her family.

How can one begin to prepare inspiring thoughts in light of losing a special Jew? This week was also Yom HaShoah and many may think how could this have happened? The horrors of what occurred during WW2 leave questions for which there are no answers. However, it also provides for us the incredible lesson of a Nation that lives by a different standard. Where the Germans and some other nations tried to annihilate us completely, tried to turn us into animals, we survived, leaving a long list of incredible mitzvos fulfilled within death camps. While Yemachshemo (Hitler) thought he was succeeding, countless Jews recited Shma while being lead to gas chambers, thus elevating their final moments. Jews like the Klassenberger Rebbe managed to fulfil all the mitzvos, laying Tefillin, not eating for 8 days in Aushwitz, despite being deprived of food, to make sure not to eat any chometz. A brave and courageous woman defied a German soldier by insisting on a knife, using it to bris her baby son, even in a death camp. These and many other stories shine through, demonstrating the incredible love of Am Yisrael for both Torah and Hashem. Though the generations who have come after the Shoah have been deeply affected, especially by the reactions and experiences of our parents or grandparents, the fact that Jewish children have continued is nothing short of a miracle. May we all merit the complete Redemption and unity and peace amongst all of Am Yisrael.

Shmiras HaLashon Thought

Since learning the laws of Guarding our Tongues helps to Hasten unity in Am Yisrael and Redemption perhaps an appropriate Hallachah to remember, in light of the Shoah, is "Beware lest you forget the Lord, Your G-d" (Devarim 8:11) In the Book Guard Your Tongue, Adapted from the Chofetz Chaim by Rabbi Pliskin, we learn that speaking ill of our fellow stems from arrogance, a feeling of being superior than our fellow. We are taught further that if we were aware of our own faults, we would not be so quick to put down others. The gravity of the transgression is increased if the person speaking Lashon Hara does so in order to elevate himself by putting down a fellow Jew.
Perhaps one sobering thought from the Shoah is that at the end of the day, we are all in it together. Once a Jew, always a Jew, hence if something as terrible as the Shoah or other events against Am Yisrael begin, we all face it together and are affected together. Hence, we are not one greater than the other but all very needed and important as the Large Family of Israel. May we all merit to speak and share only words of kindness, upliftment, prayer and blessing within the laws of Guarding our Tongues to, with and about our fellow Jew.

Bitachon Thought

The Chofetz Chaim teaches a powerful lesson regarding the World Ecconomic Depression. "When there is an electrical problem, many forget the electric company and elect instead to poke around with various sharp items, thus risking a burn, electric shock or worse. In the same way, when faced with a life situation, many forget about G-d, the Creator of the World, Director of all and the One best equipped to help us out of the situation.

When a father strikes his son, he explains the reason to the young boy: "This punishment is for the wrong you did. And if you do so again, I will punish you again." In the time of our prophets, they would give similar admonitions to the Jewish people, warning them to change their ways and stop their corrupt acts. Warning them of potential punishments if they did not follow G-ds Laws.

In examining the world economic depression, let us be aware that G-d often executes a punishment in a form in which the sin can be inferred from the punishment. The Chofetz Chaim gives us a moral examination to the economic depression. The basic problem appears to be that there is no money. The question is where has the money gone? When the state of affairs is bad in one state and good in another, we can presume that the money went from one state to the second. Therefore the money circulated from the one place to the next. However, when the depression affects the whole world at the same time, there is no ordinary way to explain this or where the money went to. It certainly did not sink into the ground!

The answer is that the same amount of money as ever exists in the world today, perhaps even greater in quantity than the years of prosperity. One thing is missing, however: TRUST. No one trusts anyone else any longer. The basis of an economy is mutual trust including acts of kindness – one man should help another with his money matters.

The core problem is lack of Trust in Hashem. When we stop trusting G-d and His Laws, we stop trusting each other and the flow of abundance becomes clogged with animosity. Says the Chofetz Chaim, the anti-dote is to return to Hashem and His Torah, this would include learning laws of Business, extending kindness to ones fellow, setting up and proving interest free loans etc. Instead of pointing the blame at external causes, our avoda is to look inside, to correct the areas of our lives that are not in keeping with the Will of Hashem and in this way, to clear up the pipes once more that abundance can flow to all." This teaching is found in the book on the life of the Chofetz Chaim written by Moses M Yoshor, some has been summarized here some is direct quote

Since this weeks Words of Prayer, Words of Kindness is longer, I will just state a reminder that reciting Tehillim has tremendous power and can bring salvation to all situations in ways we can not completely understand.

This weeks list of names can be found on

Have a wonderful Shabbos


Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Learning from Nature

The Law Of The Wild says kill only when you are hungry
Photographer Michel Denis-Huot, who captured these amazing pictures on safari in Kenya's Masai Mara in October last year, said he was astounded by what he saw:

"These three brothers (cheetahs) have been living together since they left their mother at about 18 months old,' he said. 'On the morning we saw them, they seemed not to be hungry, walking quickly but stopping sometimes to play together. 'At one point, they met a group of impala who ran away.. But one youngster was not quick enough and the brothers caught it easily'."

These extraordinary scenes followed.

and then they just walked away without hurting him..........
May your day be filled with blessings, love and hugs!

Life is short... forgive quickly, love truly, laugh uncontrollably...and never regret anything that made you smile

Friday, 21 January 2011

Words of Prayer, Words of Kindness - 22

This weeks Words of Prayer, Words of Kindness is prepared in the merit of
Refuat HaNefesh and Refuat HaGuf of Eliyahu ben Devorah Gitta and
 for blessings on the Hebrew Birthday of Mira bas Tikvah.

The story listed last week one of our members kindly sent in the source. It comes from he story you quoted is from the Gemara, Masechet Taanit and the Rabbi is Rav Bruka, I've enclosed the quote for you in Hebrew:

עוד מעין זה מספרת הגמרא (מסכת תענית) על רב ברוקא שהיה בשוק והתגלה אליו אליהו הנביא. שאלו רב ברוקא: "מי הוא בשוק הזה בן העולם הבא?" ובהמשך לתשובת אליהו הנביא מובא הקטע הבא: בינתיים באו שני אחרים, אמר לו (אליהו לרב ברוקא): אלו גם הם בני העולם הבא. ניגש (רב ברוקא) אליהם ושאלם: "מה מעשיכם?" אמרו לו: "בדחנים אנחנו, כשאנו רואים אדם שדעתו עצבה אנו מבדחים אותו, או גם כשאנו רואים שיש מריבה בין שניים אנו טורחים ועושים שלום ביניהם"
Those wanting to know the English can refer to last weeks story.

Shmiras HaLashon Thought

The Gaon of Vilna teaches us a powerful lesson on the extent to which one should go to protect a fellow Jew. A certain trust was set up by the Gaon's ancestor Rabbi Moshe Rivkas to support Torah scholars in the Vilna community. As a descendant, the trustees included the Gaon of Vilna as on of the Torah scholars who would receive a weekly stipend.

The Shamash appointed to deliver the stipend to the Gaon, one week decided to keep the money for himself. The Gaon of Vilna did not utter a word. Seeing that nothing had transpired from taking the Gaon's stipend, the Shamash continued to keep this money for himself.

Meanwhile in the home of the Gaon, his wife asked her husband to do something as there was no food for their children. The Gaon instructed his wife to send their children to visit friends, saying if they visited just before meal time, when the friends began to eat, the children would naturally ask if they could also eat and in this way they would receive a daily meal. Things continued in this way in the home of the Gaon.

The news of what really happened to the money only came to light when the Shamash took ill and was on his deathbed. Then the Shamash himself confessed as to what he had done with the Gaon's stipend. Were it not for this confession, no-one would have known that the Gaon chose keeping quiet and going without food as being preferable to revealing what was happening to his weekly stipend.

Tehillim Thought

Me'am Lo'ez highlights an interesting and powerful thought regarding the second verse of the second Psalm. The words read: "The kings of the earth stand forth, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against His anointed"

There are commentators who state that this Psalm was composed for the Messianic time when the other nations will try one last time to eradicate the Jewish People and their G-d. History demonstrates how repeatedly they have striven to replace Hashem with various forms of idolatry but the Almighty thwarts all their designs, plans and attempts.  May we merit the Final Redemption speedily, even before Shabbat, a time when the world will recgonize G-d as King.
We hope you enjoyed Tu B'Shvat. For those interested, there is still time to make a donation towards a group contribution of planting trees in Eretz Yisrael. Thus far just 2 of the members of this Tehillim group have made a donation for this. If you would like to participate, we would love to be able to contribute as a group to a Grove of trees here in Eretz Yisrael. Since we lost so many trees in the fire in the North, Eretz Yisrael is in need of more trees. Donations can be sent via the green donate button on Loving Kindness

The names for this week are up on our website

Shabbat Shalom


Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Message and Question from a Client

I am very touched that Shoshanah took the trouble to ask Jewish women what is special enough about having children to inspire me to keep wanting my own. As Shoshanah mentioned, I had the mis-fortune of having 3 health professionals dissuade me, without even examining me. 

The words of one of these was the worst. She stated that I have no mitzvah to be a mother. I am very grateful to Shoshanah for her caring support. I did read the answers that women wrote and decided to respond.

I am not looking for an allopathic treatment. Yes I do know about IVF etc and no, that is not what I am searching for. I am not searching for an alternative to having my own children either. What I am searching for is different. I am not sure if I was unclear in my wording to Shoshanah or if my request is unfair. You see, most of the time when something is difficult to do, I remember that it is a mitzvah and find within me the strength to work on fulfilling whatever it is. I dont always succeed but knowing this is what G-d wants of me is a very strong motivator.

When I look at the daily news and the world news, lets face it, the world is not the most friendly place to bring a new life into. If having children is not my mitzvah then what is the motivator for having them? Why bring a new little baby into this world, a world filled with pain and suffering. Why go through the trials and tribulations of pregnancy, pain of labour and child birth if as the doctor said, it is not my mitzvah. 

As I explained to Shoshanah I always always wanted my own children, this is why Shoshanah is pushing me to find that something within me that wants to be a mother. Somehow the words of two doctors keep ringing in my ears. 

Surely there are some Jewish mothers out there who can put into words something to make it worth the battle? Do any of you understand the question I am posing or do I need to re-word it?

I must say again, thank you sincerely to Shoshanah for all her time and loving care, if you know of Jewish women who do want children, I highly recommend working with Shoshanah. She is patient and good at what she does. She even goes the extra mile to help someone who has all but given up on a goal to find within themselves a reason to keep on asking Hashem to help them reach their goal.

Thank you again for this opportunity and to Shoshanah for making her blog available to search for such an answer.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Bringing Comfort to a Want-to-be Mother

In the previous post, we outlined a difficulty a client of mine presented and asked other women for words of comfort to a woman who really wanted to be a mother and went out in search of a good gynaecologist. What transpired was not what she expected when the doctor, prior to examining her stated that "She had not mitzvah to be a mother"

Here are a few words of comfort sent in by other women. May these words bring comfort and hope. If you have other words to share, please do send them in.

- I daven that from here on she has an easy journey to becoming a mother. The Yeshuah really does come in a blink of an eye even if it seems sometimes like it will never, ch"v, happen."

- Why did Hashem send her to someone who was so obviously not going to be the Shlucha to help her? I don't know. I do know someone who had a horrible experience with a doctor who literally left her in tears but soon after her Yeshua came so who knows? Maybe that was a necessary step for her.

- Some people want to hear others stories and be inspired. Others find them to be difficult to hear. Hopefully the right words come to her ears and soothe her soon. To be greeted in such a negative way is not easy and does sting horribly. All I know is patiently waiting and accepting what is brought to your life is not easy. But if one's hopes are fulfilled, the joy is worth every moment of the struggle. Maybe some mommala's out there have something better to offer.

- The right to have my own children is inspiration enough in of itself. I dont know that it needs to be any more complex. Every woman has the right to all options available. She should never be turned away because of some Drs cruelty or pe...rsonal opinion. If it is possible, then all efforts should be made to make it happen.

How Would YOU Encourage a Jewish Woman?

As part of my private practice, some of my work includes working with Jewish women experiencing fertility difficulties. Recently an older Jewish woman mentioned that she had married late and in searching for the right doctor for her came across a traumatic experience.

The gynaecologist, prior to examining her, or even saying hello my name is Dr X, told this woman she has no Mitzvah to be a mother and so what is she there for?

This woman was understandably hurt and traumatised from the experience. She then began to say maybe it is not my mitzvah so why should I go through the pain and trouble of pregnancy, labour, child birth etc.

What words of comfort would you offer to this woman? How would you give her hope or comfort or help her to continue to cry out to Hashem for the blessing of being transformed into a glad mother of children? אם הבנים שמחה

Please send in yoru answers either via a comment at the bottom of this post or an email to Shoshanah
Please note, spamming your services will not be posted, but writing words of encouragement as one Jewish woman to another will be.


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