Friday, 29 July 2011

Words of Prayer, Words of Kindness 44


This weeks Words of Prayer, Words of Kindness is prepared in the merit 
of a Refuah Shelayma (complete healing) for  
Rachel Chanah bas Esther.


As we approach Rosh Chodesh Menachem Av, Israel mourns. We mourn the loss of the Beis HaMikdash, and as a painful reminder, we have lost two giants in the past few days.

2 days ago, the Spinka Rebbe was Niftar after a long and painful illness at the age of 80 years. The Spinka Rebbe was a quiet and humble Rebbe who lived in Mea Shearim in Yerushalayim.

Last night, in Beer Sheva, Israel, Rabbi Elazar ben Meir Shalom zt"l Abuchatzeira, who was 70 years old, was stabbed when receiving someone he knew in a private audience. The Levaya of Rabbi Elazar ben Meir Shalom zt"l is due to take place at 11 am this morning ending with Rabbi Elazar ben Meir Shalom zt"l being laid to rest next to his father on Har HaZeisim.

I don’t know enough about the Spinka Rebbe, but Rabbi Elazar ben Meir Shalom zt"l was one of the grandson's of the Baba Sali and son to Baba Meir. This marks the second brutal murder of Jew to Jew in just two weeks. What can our only response be to acts that can only be explained as Sinas Chinam (baseless hatred)? Ahavas Chinam (baseless love).

Let us turn to some teachings from the life of the Baba Sali for ideas as to what Ahavas Chinam looks like. The Baba Sali is the grandson of the Abir Yaakov, a very great Tzaddik and Mekubal. Actually the entire illustrious family were / are very pious with an unusual strength in their Avodas Hashem. The Abir Yaakov is the (great-great etc.) grandson of Rav Shmuel (Elbaz) Abuchatzira who began the family name due to an amazing miracle that earned him the name of "Master of the Mat" which is the translation of the Aramaic name "Abu Chatzira".

The Baba Sali, like other of his relatives would take on many fasts, extra Torah learning, acts of kindness and more to help to sweeten decrees for his fellow Jew. Even in his own sorrow he noticed the needs of his fellow Jew and would strengthen himself to appeal to Hashem even to take his own life rather than afflict his fellow Jew.

This great family began in Yerushalayim and migrated to Morocco. The Baba Sali came to Eretz Yisrael a number of times and lived the last 20+ years in Eretz Yisrael. So it was that one Motsei Tisha B'Av, a close confidant came to break the long fast at the end of a hot day in Israel at the house of the Baba Sali. As the friend entered the home, he discovered the family in mourning having just recently received the news of the passing of the wife of Baba Meir. Everyone was involved in the mourning of Rabbanit Simcha. One lone figure was found in the kitchen, cooking up a delicious meal for the guest to break his fast. Even after the Baba Sali was "caught" in the kitchen, he refused to stop or to permit anyone else to assist or to take over the task. To the Baba Sali, it was a rare treat to have the kitchen to himself and the ability to personally serve his guest.

Even in the midst of his sorrow at the loss of his daughter-in-law, the wife of his beloved son Baba Meir, the Baba Sali still noticed the needs of his guest and made sure that he would be taken care of, even if it meant he would cook the meal himself.

One has to realise that the Baba Sali had been head of the Jewish Community in Morocco. He was invited to be the Chief Rabbi of Israel but turned down this offer. He was very involved in studying Torah, assisting his fellow Jew, receiving guests and Jews for Brachos, Eitza, Sheilas and more. Usually he had staff and family to take care of the running of his home.

However, in his humility, he was ready to jump to the mitzvah of serving a guest no matter that he himself had been fasting all day.

May we be inspired by the lives and service of the Tzaddikim of our generation and may the loss of these Rabbis atone for our sins and hasten the Redemption.

Both the Spinka Rebbe and the Baba Sali had a close relationship with the Lubavitcher Rebbe.

The names for this week are to be found on our Tehillim page 

Shabbat Shalom and Chodesh Tov

Shoshanah


Friday, 22 July 2011

Words of Prayer, Words of Kindness - 42



This Weeks Words of Prayer, Words of Kindness is prepared in the merit of a
Refuat HaNefesh and Refuat HaGuf  (A healing for the body and soul) for both   
Eliyahu ben Devorah Gitta  
and  Tikvah bas Rachel Chanah


The following poem was written by Rav Dovid Ostroff of Yerushalayim, and is published with his permission. 
I have inserted translations for the Hebrew in brackets for those who need it.

"When Aharon Hacohen’s two sons died, it says וידום אהרון, (Veyadom Aharon – Aharon was silent) Aharon was silent, because silence is sometimes the wisest thing to do, and yet, when saying something is required or requested, words might explain silence.

            What good could there be? does it make sense?
            we are all so afraid, confused and tense,
            but he was so innocent, little and pure,
            and Hashem, where was He, He knew, for sure.
           
            And everything else, sits well in your mind?
            are you in charge, are you the mastermind?
            don’t we all agree, that we are puny and small,
            accepting without question, from the Kindest of all?

            But please show me now, just a glimpse of You
            so that I may continue to pray and love you too,
            and always believe with a loving heart,
            that everything you do is planned from the start.

            No, we don’t understand, not much at all,
            where comprehension ends, Emunah (faith)stands tall,
            It is Emunah that says - Hashem has a plan,
            and we, His children, do not understand.

            But let us see, what happened to us,
            when the alert was sent out, wow, what a fuss,
            who cares, did we say? He is not mine or yours
            he’ll be found it’s ok, let’s continue with chores.

            That’s not what happened, as we all know,
            we all said Tehillim, the day didn’t flow.
            A little boy is missing, he couldn’t be found,
            so we all stopped playing, stopped messing around.

            We became one family, our hearts are now one,
            look, little Leiby, look what you’ve done,
            So many people now feel so near
            so many people shed many a tear.


            Kabolos, to be better, dear little one,
            are your z’chus to present to the Holy One
            how Am Yisrael is special, like no other,
            oh how much we care, and cry, for each other.

            We must improve, we must be better,
            it’s a message from above, a G-d sent letter -
            Leiby was pure, a sacrifice for the tzibbur, (community)
            so we should try and improve our dibbur. (speech)

            Talk nice about others, show that you care,
            why wait for tzorus, (difficulty, hardship, distress)
             we have enough to spare.
            Be happy for others, send קנאה away,
            Learn shmiras halashon, (Guarding your tongue) 
two halachos (laws)  a day.

            Be מכבד (honour) your friends,  place them before you,
            See Leiby, see, what you make us do,
            שלום לך לייבי, (Shalom lecha Leiby – Shalom or goodbye or
               peace to you Leiby)  pray for us too,
            because we’re trying and trying to be as holy as you."
                       
Shmiras HaLashon Thought

The Chofetz Chaim brings us a sobering thought. On Yom Kippur we beseech Hashem to "silence the Accuser and let the Defender take its place". The Chofetz Chaim reminds us that the Accuser was created by our forbidden speech, how then can we request that this Accuser be silenced?

Conversely, those who put in effort to guard their tongues, their request to Hashem to "silence the Accuser" carries great weight as they themselves managed to overcome their negative instinct to speak negatively of others and in so doing would increase in Defenders rather than Accusers.
           
Ahavas Yisrael Thought

My husband posted a powerful teaching of the Holy Ari as taught by his pupil Rav Chaim Vital. On his blog  
A Dwelling Place Below, you can enjoy this thought but powerful thought by clicking on the link.  


I mentioned previously about the recent Orphans we are helping. One of our Tehillim Group members requested that I share the story of one of these. It is a touching story and the Kallah certainly is more than worthy of our assistance. 

May Hashem cause love, peace and brotherhood to dwell amongst His people, Am Yisrael.

The names for this week are to be found on our Tehillim Page

Shabbat Shalom

Shoshanah

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Recommendation from Rabbi Fishel Jacobs

We just received this referral from Rabbi Fishel Jacobs via FaceBook, regarding our Chatanim and Kallah Lessons on the Laws of Family Purity.
Notice

Rabbi & Mrs. Eliyahu Shear both recently received certification from the Family Purity series organization.

This couple is extremely well-rounded in many areas, including halacha.

Chosonim: http://www.lovingkindness.co/c​hatan-lessons.html

Kallahs: http://www.lovingkindness.co/k​allah-lessons.html

I am warmly referring new chosons/kallahs to them.

Please pass this on."

Monday, 18 July 2011

The Reward of a Mitzvah


Many times it is asked, what is the purpose of doing a Mitzvah. Why must I trouble myself to say a blessing or keep Shabbos, Kashrus, the Laws of Family Purity. Or one might ask, if I already know that Kashrut means not eating meat and milk, why should I learn further about it. Why is it important to have a library of Torah related books and to set aside time each day to learn.

It is easy when one is a Kallah or Chatan to think a one hour shiur that outlines the most important points of preparing for the Mikvah is enough. Why learn further, what else can there possibly be to know.

The Torah teaches the reward of a Mitzvah is another Mitzvah but we do not always see how this plays out in reality.  All too often we get caught up in the busy-ness of life and forget to stop a moment to take stock.

In truth, if we take a moment to reflect upon how our lives are unfolding, there are times that it is easy to see that one mitzvah does infact lead to another and another and G-d willing to many more.

Here is an example from our life. We have already introduced to readers of this blog our Mikvah Project and the follow on Mitzvah Project - the Bayit Chadash.

In truth these Mitzvah Projects began in the first few weeks of our marriage. As a new Chatan and Kallah, we found ourselves as guests at the home of a Rabbi who happened to have on his bookshelf a nice looking book on the laws of Family Purity. During the stay, we had the opportunity to browse through the book a little and were very impressed by how clearly it is written.

Yes we could have left the experience at that, having enjoyed browsing through a well written book, but instead we chose to write an email of thanks to the author. Within 24 hours we had a reply written in a very caring tone and of course with Mazal Tov for our being newly married.

The book of course is Family Purity - A Guide to Marital Fulfillment by Rabbi Fishel Jacobs.

When we were able to, we purchased our own copy and remained in touch with Rabbi Jacobs. We did not expect how things would unfold.

If one takes a look at our website, you will find that this initial email has in deed lead to other Mitzvos.

When we considered starting our Mikvah Project, we turned to Rabbi Jacobs for guidance and he was excited about the idea and kindly provided us with a letter of Approbation. When this project expanded to become our Bayit Chadash - Wedding Project, Rabbi Jacobs once again provided a letter of Approbation supporting this worthy cause.


It is always special to identify Torah being played out in ones life and so we see a clear teaching from Pirkei Avos, in Chapter 4 Mishna 5, Rabbi Yishmael ben Rabbi Yosay said: "He who studies Torah in order to teach is given the opportunity to study and to teach; and he who studies in order to practice, is given the opportunity to studyand to teach, to observe and to practice."

We initially contacted Rabbi Jacobs both to thank him for his beautifully written book and to improve our practice of these very important laws. Now we have taken our learning with Rabbi Jacobs further still and become qualified as Chatan Teacher and Kallah Teacher.

If you are newly Chatan and and or Kallah preparing for Chuppah or have recently married or even have been married for a while and require a refresher, please do contact Rabbi Eliyahu and Shoshanah Shear. We would be happy to teach you the laws of Family Purity.

Hachanasat Kallah - A Mitzvah to Assist an Orphan

Recently we posted about a Chuppah taking place and in need of our assistance. As we mentioned, it is a very big Mitzvah to assist an orphan to come to Chuppah and in deed to set up their Bayit Chadash.

Thus far we have had just two donations come in. In continuation of the previous post, perhaps a little insight will assist our fellow Jew to donate generously.

For the past 8 years, a certain family has had much difficulty in their day to day needs. The mother was niftar just a month after her triplets were born, leaving behind 9 orphans. The father, now a widower has done his best to keep his family together and functioning, assisted by his eldest daughter who took on the role of mother to her siblings.

Now, not yet 18 years old and still young in appearance, this eldest orphan and "mother" of her siblings finds herself needing to make decisions one usually needs a real mother to assist with.

There is no mother to ask advice about the dress for the Kallah, or suitable dresses and outfits for the other 8 siblings. There is no mother to help with selecting a hall, deciding on suitable invitations, table settings, flowers or no flowers, how to set up the Kallah's chair or whether the chair provided from the hall is sufficient.

For 8 years, this young lady has assisted with many tasks usually a mother will take care of. Now as she begins to build her own home, she feels the loss.

Please have compassion on this family and help to bring Simchah to the new home of this young Kallah, not yet 18 years old, who has had to grow up too quickly. She has already learned how to run a household, but as skilled as she has become by necessity, she still requires real items in order to run her own home. Each item that enables a Jewish home to be a Bayit Ne'eman, costs real money.


-- The greatest charity
is to bring a poor orphaned Kallah to the wedding canopy! (Shach)

We appeal to you to join our Bayit Chadash - Wedding Project to help to bring Simchah to the Chuppah of this new couple. We only have a few days as the Chuppah will be, G-d willing prior to the 3 weeks.


Thank you for your kindness.




Friday, 15 July 2011

Searching for Leiby - My Personal Story

 
  Guest post written by Dvora Gelfond

I needed to type out my experience in searching for Leiby. I just typed my thoughts. I'm not a writer, so forgive all the mistakes. I want to share with you, from a personal viewpoint what happened last night July 12, 2011 in Brooklyn, New York.
 
As I was standing in front of Leiby's apartment building, someone asked me, "Where do you live?" I answered, "Passaic, NJ." she said, in shock "You came here all the way from Passaic to help look for the little boy? I answered, "Yes." "Wow" was her answer. "What a zechus, that's amazing that you came to help." I said to her, "When you have a child almost the same age as this boy, it's not such a difficult decision to make."

On Tuesday, July 12, 2011, I sat glued to all the social media outlets my computer could handle. I kept thinking, I must go and help. Then I started reading messages like...Volunteers needed. Please come and help. Over and over again. As if Hashem (G-d) was screaming at me to do something.

I made the decision at around 4:30. I called my husband immediately. I said to him, "Please come home as soon as possible. I need to go to Brooklyn to help find Yehuda ben Itta Esther." Without a pause, and in a very humble, I know she means it tone, he said, "OK, but I can't leave until 5:00."

He came home and I was out the door at about 6:30.

I arrived a little after 7:00 PM. I went to the command center that I was told to go to when I called. There, I was standing with hundreds of other volunteers. It was a heartwarming and heart wrenching scene all at the same time. I was overwhelmed with the outpouring love that the Jewish community was displaying. A Kiddish Hashem (Sanctification of G-d's Name) like I had never seen before.
 
I walked around for a good hour looking for 3 women to join a search party with. They were not letting people go without a group of four. I met this wonderful Israeli woman who has lived in the states for quite some time. She told me that she is a good friend of Leiby's mother. She said they go to the same synagogue. My heart skipped a beat when she told me she went to be with Leiby's mother earlier in the day. She had no words to describe the pain Itta Esther was going through. She tried to speak to me about it, but nothing came out of her mouth. She would just shake her head in disbelief.
 
I asked her "Where does Leiby live?" She said to me, "Right there" and she pointed to the apartment building directly across the street. My heart sunk fast and furious. I just stood there, staring at the building. I couldn't stop thinking about what his mother was going through, right in that building in front of my eyes. I didn't want to think about it, but my mind kept forcing me to go there. This made me want to help even more. I went over by the building, and I saw the women who lived there outside in the front, with their babies. The look on everyone's face was indescribable.
 
There was one point while my new friend and I were standing by the Shomrim command center and they made an announcement. "WE NEED VOLUNTEERS TO GO TO SUNSET PARK." I looked at her and asked where that was. She said in her beautiful Israeli accent, "They will not let the women go there, it is not a nice area."
 
I was getting very anxious to go out and start searching. By 9:00 PM, we were finally on our way. They told us to go from 15th street and 57th avenue all the way to 86th street. We got our waters, and were on our way. I couldn't believe I was actually doing this. It was quite surreal. I wasn't exactly sure what to do, but my maternal instincts apparently did.
 
For 29 blocks, there was not one garbage pail, garbage bag, dumpster, parking lot, car, backyard, ally, tree, bush or garden that was left unturned. It was dark, we had no flashlights and I had no idea where I was. B"H the angel, my partner in all this, did.
 
There was absolutely no stopping this wonderful woman that walked with me. As we walked up the blocks, she would shout out "LEIBY!!!!" My heart would drop each time. After she would call out to him, she would say to me, in a whisper, "You never know, maybe he will hear us." Now I know, I'm sure he did.
 
As we were walking, we would show people on the sidewalks the flyers we had and say..."Have you seen this little boy?" I could not believe those words were coming out of my mouth. Was I in a movie? "There is a $100,000 reward if you find him. Please call 911 if you see him or have any tips." 
 
The people we approached were so helpful, caring, and warm. You could see they were also in pain with us. As we were walking across a street, a man in his car said to us..."Is that a picture of the missing boy?" We ran to his car, and said "YES!" He said to us "I'm a cab driver, give me a copy of the picture so I can show it to my passengers. I can put the flyer up in my shop tomorrow morning."
 
There were a few men standing outside a bar. We approached them and asked them if they saw Leiby. They said no, but they put a flyer up of him in the bar to help us.
 
A woman approached us and asked us for a flyer so she can help with the search in the morning.
 
Someone sitting on his steps out front asked if he could take a picture from the flyer on his phone so he had it with him and he could send it to his friends.
 
There were 3 women and about 6 kids sitting outside their house. The mothers were very upset about this and the kids kept asking us questions about little Leiby. The response was amazing!
 
It took us approximately 2 hours to walk the 29 blocks. My friends husband picked us up and brought us back to the command center. I had a friend who lived in the area I contacted earlier who asked me to come visit her. I thought I would go see her and then go home. It was almost midnight, and there was not an aching muscle in my body. I don't think that Lucille Roberts should get the credit for that though. It was my adrenalin going into overtime. 
 
My friend came over to me and said, "D'vora, they still need us. Do you want to continue?" I thought about it for a second and I said, "Of course." Then I was greeted with a huge bubby type hug and a "Your so good D'vora!" I knew I was doing the right thing.
 
She told me they needed people to check basements. I said.."OK, lets go." A woman was standing there and said to me, "Why are you going into basements? It's scary, aren't you scared?" I said to her, "Not as scared as Leiby is right now." I couldn't even think about how scared I would be doing this. I could only think about what he could possibly be going through at that moment. Little did I know, he was already in Shamiyim (heaven) with The Rebono Shel Olam. (The Creator of the Universe).
 
We were assigned to go to Flatbush. We found two other amazing Israeli women (25 years old and looking for shiduchim ;) to join us. On our way to my car, I received a Facebook message. My friend wrote that he possibly got into a gold colored sedan. BTW, thank you for that, you know who! In Flatbush we had to cover avenues K, L, M, and N. from 17th-19th street. Then after that, we had to do Avenues S, T and U from 20th until 22nd street. We get to Flatbush and park.
 
As we were walking, one of the women with me said, "Is that a gold car?" I said, "Yes it is." On every single block we walked in Flatbush, every time we saw a gold car, we didn't take any chances. With a lump in my throat, and holding my breath, I put my ear to the trunk, and knocked. THAT was scary. But I did it to EVERY car that fit the description. While one of the other women looked inside the car with her flashlight. Except when she told me right before I knocked on the trunk, "D'vora, be careful, that's a Jaguar." I skipped that one.
 
There was a track and a football field. A woman was jogging on the track and came over to us because she heard us calling out Leiby's name. She said, "Are you looking for someone?" We said, we are looking for a 9 year old boy. Her face sunk. She said, "There was a boy who ran through here not so long ago!" We quickly moved to get closer to her. My friend showed her the picture and she said in a very sorrowful voice, "Oh. No, that's not him, he was a Spanish boy. I'm so sorry. Good Luck." We all walked away with our heads down.
 
Shortly after that happened, I received an e-mail that I shared with the women. "Giving to others will increase your love for them. If you make an effort to help everyone you meet, you will feel close to everyone. Doing acts of kindness for everyone fills your world with friends and loved ones. "A stranger is someone you have not yet helped." I think that gave us a lot of chizuk (strength).
 
A few times, we found blankets in the back seats or in the trunks. We scanned those cars thoroughly with our flashlights. The scariest one was when we found a thick black plastic bag in the trunk of a gold mini van. We called the authorities about that one. They said let it go. So we did.
 
As I am typing this I realize that while we were there, at one point there were police cars, and most likely under cover cars speeding down the streets. Helicopters in the area as well. It was a concern because that didn't happen for a few hours. But it was Brooklyn, so it could of been anything. We all looked at each other and said, "What's going on?" Now I know. :(
 
3:00 AM rolled along and my feet weren't necessarily agreeing with my heart. I am ashamed to say, that I told the women, "I can't do Ocean Parkway. I'm too tired." They immediately said, no problem, please stay over my house and sleep here tonight. My friend who wanted to see me earlier also wanted me to stay over, but I just couldn't. I needed to get home to my husband and my children.
 
By 3:30 we got back into the car. I drove two of the women home. On my way to drop off the woman who I was with all night long, she asked me if I wanted to go to the area where Leiby was last seen. So I said yes. We get there a few minutes later. I park and we got out of the car. It was now 3:45 in the morning. I couldn't believe my eyes. I was standing there. In the same spot where he was just a day before. The spot where the monster went over to him to begin his journey to GEHENIM (hell).
 
There were a lot of things going on all at once. The corner ice cream shop was open and packed with people. We were standing next to private investigators looking at a house and saying, "There is a camera there." I couldn't believe I was standing there. I was speechless.
 
At the command center they gave us a bunch of flyers for the next days search. I thought I would bring some to Passaic and put them up in the local Jewish shops, because, well, you never know.
 
4:00 AM, we decided to head home. I started my drive back to Passaic. I cried a lot. Listened to talk radio to see if I could hear any news. I got home at around 4:30. Gave a small update to my Facebook friends. I finally fell asleep at around 5:30.
 
At 7:00 one of my kids came in my room and woke me up. Half asleep, I reach over for my phone and see the light blinking. I've got mail. I press the button to turn on the screen. Subject line, "Tragedy."
 
I can't tell you exactly what made me do this. I didn't really think about it. I just did it. I put in all the effort that Hashem gave me. Now, we just need to figure out a way to cope with the horrific events that are unfolding in front of our eyes. We can't forget, ever. Please do not read this and walk away. Let's all try to do an act of kindness in Leiby's name. 
 
As I type this, Yehuda ben Itta Esther is being laid to rest.
 
Tonight, in the midst of tears, frustration, and questions, my dear husband said to me, "He is, for sure in Shamiyim" I ask him, "But he doesn't feel pain when he sees what his mother is going through? What we are going through? He said, "No" I said "How?" He said, "Because he is able to see the truth."
 
When we hear of tragic things that happen in this world, we always think, those things happen to other people. I didn't know this child, or his family. But, I felt, and I knew, this did happen to me. It happened to all of us.
 
To the Kletzky family, May the Almighty comfort you among all the mourners of Tzion and Yerushalayim.
 
We should hear of no more sorrow.
 
A very tired, worn out but feel good because I wrote this, mom. Good night.
 

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Words of Prayer, Words of Kindness


This weeks Words of Prayer, Words of Kindness is prepared
Le'Iluy Nishmat Yehuda Leib ben Nachman A"H
and for strength and healing for his family and loved ones.

Thank you to those of you who recited Tehillim while the 36 hour search was taking place for Yehuda Leb ben Nachman a'h the 8 year old who went missing in BoroPark. The end of this tragedy is one that has left us all heart-sore. Appreciation is due to the thousands who put their lives on hold to help search for Yehuda Leib. In addition, one can hardly begin to understand the task of the Chevra Kadisha involved here as every piece of body and every drop of blood would have had to be collected and prepared for the mitzvah of receiving a Kosher Burial.

Young Yehuda Leib was an only son, leaving behind parents, sisters and other family. He was described by teachers as being a "holy and pure soul".

At a time like this, the words of Rav Simchah Wasserman (1900–1992)  quoting his father Rav Elchanan Wasserman (1874 – July 6, 1941) whose Yartzheit was this week can perhaps give us a little comfort.

Rav Simchah Wasserman shares that his father taught that the miracles that will occur at the coming of Moshiach will be greater than those that occurred at the time Am Yisrael left Mitzrayim (Egypt). In everything that happens, there are two aspects: there is a part that we see and a part that is hidden, that we don’t see. Rav Wasserman teaches that at the time of the coming of Moshiach, the revealed part will be greater than both the revealed and hidden of what transpired at the time we left Mitzrayim.

It is like saying that whatever we experienced is like a bad dream. When a person is dreaming, anything is possible. When he wakes up – when he "comes to his senses" – he realizes that is was only a dream and not reality.

When we wake up and Moshiach comes, we will realize that it was all a bad dream. But it is very, very hard to understand. All the people who have been tortured, all the people who have been lost – how can we say it was a bad dream? How can we say such a thing? But it seems that all our worries will be over, like a man waking up and saying "ay, it was just a dream."

But even knowing that intellectually, there is still something inside that cries out and says, "How can you say that it was simply a bad dream?" All those people who suffered? For them it was not a dream. It was REAL!"

Rav Wasserman continues that "many times I would assist a child to cross the street. The child does not know how to cross the street, but he knows that if he is holding on to an adult, everything is okay. We should know that we are in the same position. We can only hold on to the Torah, and the Torah will lead. Alone, we are lost and without answers." (from the book Reb Simcha Speaks by Yaakov Branfman and Akiva Tatz)

As news of the tragedy with Yehudah Leib ben Nachman a"h unfolded, a 14 year old was missing too. Thank G-d, he has been found and is safe and well. Unfortunately there have been more rockets in South of Israel and more tragedies in Mumbai. As painful as this tragedy is, we can not get lost in our sorrow as more is happening to us around the world.

The Torah way when faced with such tragedies is to increase in Torah, mitzvos and building either Yeshivot or something to strengthen Am Yisrael.

If you would like to contribute to any of our Mitzvah Project, please either email us or visit our website  

The names for this week are to be found on the Tehillim page of our website.

For those fasting on Tuesday the 17th Tamuz, please drink plenty of water and fruit juices for 3 days prior to the fast. Refrain from caffeine as much as you can for 3 days prior to fasting. As we come towards the Three Weeks, may our efforts and our heart ache hasten the coming of Moshiach and may we all be UNITED in Yerushalayim preferably before Shabbos and certainly before the fast.

Shabbat Shalom

Shoshanah



Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Hachnasat Kallah - A very great Mitzvah!



Preparing for ones wedding is a very special time. A busy time and a time to have quality time with parents as one prepares for both Chuppah and building ones own home - a Bayit Ne'eman B'Yisrael.

Mazal Tov, Mazal Tov. Another Jewish couple is coming to Chuppah in just a few days. !!

Like all Chatanim and Kallot, this is a special time. But, unlike most, it is also a sad time as both Chatan and Kallah are orphans.


-- The greatest charity
is to bring a poor orphaned Kallah to the wedding canopy! (Shach)

We appeal to you to join our Bayit Chadash - Wedding Project to help to bring Simchah to the Chuppah of this new couple. We only have a few days as the Chuppah will be, G-d willing prior to the 3 weeks.

Thank you for your kindness.


Friday, 8 July 2011

Words of Prayer, Words of Kindness - Tehillim Reminder

This weeks Words of Prayer, Words of Kindness is prepared as a thank you to Hashem for answers to tefillos for some on our Tehillim list.

There are so many incredible stories regarding the Lubavitcher Rebbe Menachem Mendel ben Levi Yitzhak (April 5, 1902 OS (some documents state the Rebbe was born in 1895) – June 12, 1994 NS). His life from birth till his Petira and beyond is filled with one story after another that makes one realise there is far more to the life of a rebbe and the connection of Tzaddikim to Am Yisrael.

This week contained a day many refer to just as Gimmel Tamuz, the Yartzeit of Rebbe Menachem Mendel ben Levi Yitzhak and so it is fitting to share a story.

Rav Zelilg Slonim was the director of Kollel Chabad for many years. At one stage he would spend his winters in America. Before every Pesach he would visit the Rebbe for a blessing and would receive Matzos to distribute to various rabbanim and individuals according to a list provided by the Rebbe. Among the names on the list was usually the name of the Tzaddik Rav Aryeh Levin.

One year, the Rebbe gave the matzos to distribute as usual, but when Rav Slonim looked at the list he noticed that Rav Aryeh Levin's name was missing from the list. Rav Slonim was surprised and mentioned to the Rebbe that Rav Aryeh Levin's name was not on the list. The Rebbe, in his modesty obliged and added the matzos for Rav Aryeh Levine. When Rav Slonim returned to Yerushalayim just prior to Pesach, he was amazed to discover that Rav Aryeh (March 22, 1885 - March 28, 1969) had returned his soul to Hashem a few days earlier.

Then he realised the far seeing vision of the Rebbe and understood why Rav Aryeh Levin was not on the list for matzos that year, he would no longer be requiring it. (From Rosh Bnei Yisrael by N.T. Gotleib)

The Rebbe was very firm about the importance of appropriate Chinuch (Jewish education) for our children. Here is a letter the Rebbe wrote to someone regarding what language is most appropriate to teach our children. The Rebbe answers:

 "You ask which language to use in teaching the children Talmud Torah.

In my opinion, the emphasis should be on educating the children to be G-d fearing, on loving to learn Hashem's Torah and performing His mitzvos. If a particular language will affect the child's Yiras Shamayim (fear of Heaven), that is wonderful. Of course, in the middle of the school year, it is not proper to change the studies from one language to another.

If the parents desire a certain language, suggest to them that, based on a majority vote that is the language that will be used in the classroom.

The parents mention the great importance of learning in Yiddish. True, however they fail to realize that the responsibility of teaching children to speak Yiddish is theirs and not the school's!

Most importantly, I was informed of the misconduct of the children on days when there is not school. They are acting without menschlikheit. It is most relevant for the parents to alter their "Yiddish" campaign and to place the emphasis upon saying simple blessings, davening, respecting teachers, parents and grandparents and upon basic decent behaviour towards people.  (Yagdil Torah (Israel) Volume 12 p 16 )

The names for this week are to be found on LovingKindness.co 

Wishing everyone a very good and restful Shabbos.

Shoshanah

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Help a Couple Start Their Life Together - Continued


Thank you to those who contributed towards the Chatan whose mother returned her soul to her eternal rest just a few weeks prior to the Chuppah. Chessed Ve'Emet, with your assistance, did not bring in as much as we had hoped, but your kind donations will certainly make a difference to ease the physical needs of the Chatan and his new Kallah.

We are still working to assist another young couple to build their Bayit Ne'eman together. As we posted previously we have a target of NIS 11 000 or around US$3000 to assist this young couple. We have had a kind donation of a toaster and a set of bath towels. D-Day to assist this couple is Tu'Be'Av or 15th Av which is just a few weeks away.

Some of the items needed include:

  • A new suit for the Chatan
  • Two new outfits for the Kallah for Shabbos, Yomim Tovim etc
  • New shoes for each of them
  • New pots and other kitchenware
  • Two new bookshelves for the Chatan's Seforim
  • An Urn and Blech for Shabbos
  • Judaica including a Kiddush Cup
  • A ladder, toolbox and household tools
  • Plus a little gift to help them enjoy some time off, or even to get away for a few days or a week.

If you can assist with a monetary donation, please email us or donate here.

Donations have been placed in Shekels although you are welcome to donate from any country, any amount will be gratefully received.
Thank you for your kindness.

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