Friday, 27 May 2011

Words of Prayer, Words of Kindness - 37



The Ahavat Yisrael section of  this week's
"Words of Prayer, Words of Kindness"
 is sponsored in the merit of
Iluy Neshama of, Shulamit bat Benzion Mordechai a"h, on her first Yartzeit

Shmiras HaLashon Thought

It is proper to avoid focusing on the negative. As an example of this, the book Chofetz Chaim – a Lesson a Day brings an example from the early commentators that a wise man and his students came across the carcass of an animal. When the students commented on the foul odour of the carcass, the teacher responded "But how white are its teeth!"


Ahavas Yisrael Thought

The following story is told regarding Menachem Mendel of Rimanov (1745–1815) whose yartzheit was 19 Iyar (the day after Lag B'Omer).
The Rebbe had been given an expensive table as a gift. One day, the Rebbe's young son and a friend were playing and amongst their play ran around and around the expensive table. Amidst their play, at a certain time, the friend knocked his head against the corner of the table and cried in pain for a few moments. He then returned to play with the Rebbe's young son, laughing and enjoying. Even though the friend had recovered fairly quickly and return to play happily, the Rebbe arranged that the corners of the table be cut off and rounded. In this way the Rebbe ensured that the potential stumbling block be removed to prevent anyone else from coming to harm, since someone had already come to be hurt (al beit just for a few moments). (Sipurei Chassidim)


Tehillim Thought

Tehillim 3: 3 "Many are there that say of my soul: There is no deliverance for him in G-d. Selah"
 The commentary in Me'am Loez points out that during the time that King David was suffering so, many would comment that King David could not rely on Hashem but that Hashem's help was merely by chance. In contrast to this, King David states that Hashem was a shield for him, guiding and protecting King David by direct and often open deliverance.

The names for this week are found on www.lovingkindness.co/tehillim.html

Thank you to all those who participate in this Tehillim group each week, we very much appreciate your kindness, participation and dedication.

SPONSOR THE
WORDS OF PRAYER - WORDS OF KINDNESS
WEEKLY E-MAIL


Each week, we send out an email sharing positive Torah thoughts including deeper thoughts on Tehillim, the laws of Lashon Hara, concepts about faith and trust, Ahavas Yisrael, and more. 

It takes much time to prepare this beautiful email - but we trust that those reading it do thoroughly enjoy it.

Become a partner with us, and sponsor the weekly email or a portion of it, in the merit of or memory of a loved one, or honor of a friend (family member).

Have a wonderful Shabbat

Shoshanah

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Rise up to the Challenge with Rebbetzin Tziporah Heller

In the Youtube clip below, Rebbetzin Tziporah Heller challenges you to be the best you can be.



As you can see, Rebbetzin Heller is now teaching a daily teaching from the book, Duties of the Heart by Rabbi Bachya ben Yosef.

This is an excellent set of two books, a must for anyone serious about a Torah life. I highly recommend obtaining your own copy of Duties of the Heart. Better yet, join Rebbetzin Heller for a short thought each day or even a few times a week. May it be Hashem's will that He bless your efforts and you merit to realize your true potential.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Hachnasat Kallah - 1


The following message was seen recently on Face Book
 "If you are in ... (place) , please do a big (fun) mitzva and show up at the (place) shul at (time) for the wedding of a poor couple. They need more guests!" 
 
Though I am not sure whether we can advertise that a couple is poor so as not to embarrass them, there is something praiseworthy about this request and that is the recognition that this couple needed more guests to make their wedding Simchadik.
 
Chessed VeEmet is in the process of assisting a couple who do not even have friends to make such posts on their behalf. Please help us to bring Simchah to this special couple, by assisting to build their Bayit Ne'eman B'Yisrael. The couple needs:

  • New pots (both for fleishik and Parev / Milchik)
  • Kitchenware
  • Linen
  • Judaica (Kiddush cup, Havdala Set, Challah board)
  • Seforim 

We give the couples we assist ONLY NEW items. If you have any new items to give to a needy couple setting up their Bayit Chadash in Yerushalayim, or you are able to give a donation towards their purchasing the items that they need, please either email us



Please note, we offer the couples to choose from items donated. If you are donating towards this couple in terms of New items, your donations are very much appreciated. However, the couples are provided with the opportunity to select what they need and what suits their colour scheme or taste. If your gift is not given to this specific couple, it will be given to a later couple G-d Willing.

Thank you for your kindness and your generosity. May your gifts be rewarded a thousandfold and your family receive much blessing from Hashem directly.






Friday, 20 May 2011

Words of Prayer, Words of Kindness - 36

        Rebbi Meir Baal HaNeis

This week's Words of Prayer, Words of Kindness is sponsored in part
Le'Iluy Nishmat Shoshanah Baya bat Moshe a"h whose Yartzheit is on Pesach Sheni
It is also partly prepared in the merit of Rachel Chanah bas Esther
for a speedy and complete recovery

The period between Pesach and Lag B'Omer is a time of mourning for 24 000 students of Rabbi Akiva. Actually there is a Machloket (disagreement) as to when these great students began dying and when this epidemic came to an end.

After this period, Rabbi Akiva had a further 5 students, two of whom were Rebbi Meir (whose Yartzheit was on Pesach Sheini which fell on Wednesday of this week) and his friend and Chavrusa, Rebbi Shimon bar Yochai. It is said in one place (Eiruvin 13b) that Rebbi Meir was the greatest of his generation. Yet a fellow student of Rabbi Akiva – Rebbi Shimon bar Yochai whose Yahrtzeit is on Lag B'Omer the 33rd day of the counting of the Omer – was also considered the greatest of his generation.

Amongst the stories about Rebbi Shimon, is one that far exceeds any fantasy story or science fiction. On a certain day, Rebbi Shimon had discovered an angel, enclothed in a dramatic way, about to carry out a decree against the world. Upon hearing this, Rebbi Shimon instructed the angel to tell his Master that Bar Yochai is in the world. Thus, in the merit of Rebbi Shimon bar Yochai, an evil decree was overturned and the darkness turned to light.

If Rebbi Shimon was so great that his merit alone was enough to overturn an evil decree, how do we understand the other Gemara? The truth is, in today's time we cannot understand such statements. All we can do is examine the sources and ponder them.

Eiruvin 13b teaches us that Rebbi Meir is regarded as the greatest of the 4th generation of Tannaim, "Rebbi Acha bar Chanina said 'It is revealed and known before the One who spoke and the world came into being, that there was none in the generation of Rebbi Meir as great as he (i.e. as great as Rebbi Meir) '"

In contrast to this, the Yerushalmi Gemara 1:7 states that Rabbi Akiva told Rebbi Shimon bar Yochai "It is sufficient for you, that I and your Creator know of your power."

When faced with two Tzaddikim of such stature, who are we to decide which is greater?! Let us rather share further stories to come to appreciate how wonderful and beautiful our Torah is, and how wonderful the Tzaddikim who mastered it are - coming to teach us some of the magnitude of Torah.

Let us conclude with a story of how Rebbi Meir obtained his name Baal HaNeis – Master of Miracles.

One of the ten Martyrs, Rav Chananya ben Tradyon, was brutally burned and tortured by the Romans. Rav Chananya had two daughters. The eldest was Bruria who later became the wife of Rebbi Meir and was a Torah genius in her own right. Prior to marrying Rebbi Meir, an incident occurred with her younger sister, who was taken by the Romans to live a life of immodesty. The Romans placed her in a brothel where she was kept captive.

Bruria sought the assistance of Rebbi Meir in rescuing her sister. Rebbi Meir agreed to assist and, dressed in a disguise and taking with him a pouch of gold coins, set off to find and rescue the younger daughter of Rav Chananya, despite the risk to his own life. Rebbi Meir managed to locate where the girl was kept captive and after discovering she had managed to guard her chastity, he bribed the guard of the brothel with an amount of the gold coins with an additional amount for the guard to use to pay off any officials within the brothel to release Bruria's sister. When the guard asked what he should do if the money was not enough, Rebbi Meir responded that he should say "May the G-d of Meir answer me" and a solution would be provided.

The guard then asked how he could know to trust this prayer. In order to provide a satisfactory proof, Rebbi Meir crossed the street in the direction of some vicious, hungry dogs that were grouped there. As he approached the dogs, they came towards him as hungry animals. Without showing any fear, Rebbi Meir said out loud "May the G-d of Meir answer me," and the dogs that had been approaching him as hungry animals immediately became docile, to the amazement of the guard.

With new respect the guard agreed to assist, and so it was that Rebbi Meir was able to rescue Bruria's sister – a little traumatized but untouched – and return her to her sister and to Am Yisrael. It was through this heroic act of completely unselfish striving to protect and save a fellow Jew that earned Rebbi Meir the title of Rebbi Meir Baal HaNeis. It is also due to this scenario that we are taught that when a person needs assistance from Heaven, if they recite "May the G-d of Rebbi Meir answer me," three times and give Tzeddakah for the sake of Torah scholars in Eretz Yisrael (especially on his Yahrtzeit) that one's prayers will be answered.

May we merit to share more stories of Rebbi Meir Baal HaNeis and Rebbi Shimon bar Yochai.


The names for this week are to be found on www.lovingkindness.co/tehillim.html

SPECIAL FOR THIS WEEK: If you'd like to "meet" me and hear a little about my husband's background, do tune in to the recently broadcast podcast of our interview with Judy Simon on Arutz Sheva this past week. The interview can be found by clicking here: http://bit.ly/jiiiLa

Thank you to those who have responded to our email and are participating in this special international Tehillim group. To those who have not yet responded, please read the email sent out at the beginning of the week and let us know whether you do recite your Tehillim and whether you read the names on the list each week. Our aim is for 1000 Jewish women who are dedicated to increasing unity and blessing for Am Yisrael rather than a list of names of women who are just names but not active participants.

Thank you to all who give of their time and interact – and to those who also take part by making donations in the merit of those in need of salvation. Your donations go towards aiding financially struggling newly weds to be able to set up their very own homes. We very much value all your efforts.

 Mazal Tov to one of the ladies, Aimee from Canada who was blessed with a baby girl a few days ago. We look forwards to hearing the name of the new bundle of joy. Mother and baby are Baruch Hashem progressing nicely.

 Once again, Refuah Sheleima to another Tehillim group member, Rachel Chanah who is about to undergo a procedure on Monday. We look forward to hearing good news.

Shabbat Shalom

Shoshanah

Monday, 16 May 2011

Words of Prayer, Words of Kindness - 35


This weeks Words of Prayer, Words of Kindness is prepared in the merit of
Sarah bas  Dov Baruch a"h for a Aliyat Neshama.
 Sarah bas Boris (who was on our Tehillim list with her mothers name) was Niftar early Thursday morning, she is survived by 4 children, 8 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren.
May her family be comforted amongst the mourners of Tzion.

Shmiras HaLashon Thought

It is forbidden to speak negatively about Eretz Yisrael. As the Torah teaches us the generation that merited to be freed from Egypt, spent 40 years wandering in the desert and died there due to their Evil Speech concerning the Land of Israel.  (Chofetz Chaim – A Lesson a Day)


Bitachon Thought

We are taught that there will come a time when G-d "will send to the nations a pure language so that all will call on the name of G-d, and the idols will completely fall away" (Tzephanaiah 3:9) Evil will then be returned into good and it will be revealed that even those attempts to deny G-d are in reality a call to faith. This concept is hinted at in the first words of Leviticus (1:1) " VaYiKRA) – And He called to Moshe". When one reads from the Torah Scroll, one sees that the aleph in the word VaYiKRA, is a small letter. The other letters ie without the aleph would read VaYiKR meaning "it happened". From this we understand that hidden within the different events in a person's life is the voice of G-d calling him – the quiet, small voice. (Likuey Moharan I33, 54, 62, II, 12, 78)

Tehillim Thought

Rebbe Nachman of Breslav spoke on the verse "Today, if you will listen to His voice" (Tehillim 95:7)

A fundamental rule when serving Hashem is to think only of what is today… One should think about today, at this very moment and start to serve Hashem from here, right now. Often times when one thinks about serving Hashem, people get overwhelmed and think it will be a big burden. But if we think just of today, what we must do right now, then it is not such a big burden. One should also not push off serving Hashem tomorrow as tomorrow is another world away. All that we have is today, right now. And hence it says "Today, if you will listen to His voice!" (Likutey Moharan I:272)


The Names for this week are to be found on
www.lovingkindness.co/tehillim.html

Thank you everyone for your support and for continuing to recite your Tehillim.


SPONSOR THE
WORDS OF PRAYER - WORDS OF KINDNESS
WEEKLY E-MAIL


Each week, we send out an email sharing positive Torah thoughts including deeper thoughts on Tehillim, the laws of Lashon Hara, concepts about faith and trust, Ahavas Yisrael, and more. 

It takes much time to prepare this beautiful email - but we trust that those reading it do thoroughly enjoy it.

Become a partner with us, and sponsor the weekly email or a portion of it, in the merit of or memory of a loved one, or honor of a friend (family member).



Shabbat Shalom

Shoshanah

Friday, 6 May 2011

Words of Prayer, Words of Kindness - 34

This weeks Words of Prayer, Words of Kindness is prepared in the merit of K.M.
with gratitude from Chessed Ve'Emet for her continual support of our work and Mitzvah projects
especially helping young couples to build their new home
May these kindnesses stand her in good stead for the blessings she needs in her life.


Shmiras HaLashon

While the prohibition of speaking Lashon Hara as written in the Torah refers to how we speak about those who are living, our sages teach us also not to say anything slanderous about the deceased. (Chofetz Chaim – A lesson a day)

Bitachon Thought

In the book, "Duties of the Heart" by Rav Bachya ben Yosef ibn Paquda we read that we have a responsibility to use our intellect in order to contemplate creation and through this recognise that the world and the universe must have a Creator and Director, ie G-d

Have you ever spent much time contemplating fruit; any piece of fruit that you might enjoy? Did you notice that the skin of the fruit begins a certain colour and the colour changes as the fruit ripens? Did you notice that the colour of a ripe fruit is usually a beautiful red or orange or more appealing colour than the colour of the unripe fruit?

Have you noticed that the colour of the fruit inside is an attractive colour? Have you noticed that the colours children usually prefer are the same as the colours of ripe fruit? Consider a watermelon for example, the ripe fleshy part is a beautiful red, isn't this the colour most children love?

Have you noticed that the seed of some fruits is slippery whilst others are bitter all to help the seed to be discarded and hence to re-seed itself and begin the chain of events to lead to more fruit trees and more fruit?

Have you thought about the unique combination of nutrients that each fruit contains?

Have you ever wondered how all the information of how to become a fruit tree that will grow and produce more fruit is contained in the DNA of the tiny seeds?

Here you can listen to Rabbi Avigdor Miller discussing a few thoughts about apples:



If you stop and consider all the intricate details of fruit, is it possible that the fruit created itself? Does it help you to understand that there must be a higher power or greater wisdom that put all these details together to create fruit trees that bear fruit. (Adapted from the teachings of Rabbi Avigdor Miller)

Tehillim Thought

We have learned a bit about Tehillim 2, which focuses on the continuation of the royal house of David. In the next few Words of Prayer, Words of Kindness we will learn about Tehillim 3, whose theme is the trust David HaMelech had for Hashem even in the face of his son Absalom drove him from his throne and pursued him. As a powerful lesson in trust that also brings hope, we learn that just as Hashem saved King David from a son who tried to kill him, so Hashem will save King David's descendents and bring salvation to the Jewish people.

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This weeks list for our Tehillim Group can be found on our website


If you are a Jewish woman reading this blog post and not yet a member of our International Tehillim group, please do join the group via our website

Thank you all for your kindness

Shabbat Shalom

Shoshanah

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