Friday, July 31, 2009

Do You Really Want Moshiach?

I am writing this post in response to a comment by Miri, on my post, "The Nine Days."
For those of you who did not read the comment, here it is:

My teacher told me that when moshiach comes we won't be happy- we'll be terrified! Only tzadikim will be able to greet moshiach with joy. I am not a tzadik by any means and now I don't want moshiach any more. Help!

I want to point out something that you may not have heard before.
I'm sure we all know and heard that the times before Moshiach comes will be terribly painful. We see this for ourselves. There is pain and suffering all over. I don't have to go into detail to describe each thing but each person does not have to look too far to notice that every family is touched in some way by these terrible times. Illness, death, financial problems, shalom bayis, trying to keep our children on the proper derech, there is no one person, no one family that is immune to the obvious chevlei moshiach.

When a person looks around at all the terrible things going on, it is easy to question and say to Hashem, "Why?!" and to turn away. But those who do not turn away from Hashem despite all the craziness going on around us, those who continue to cling to Hashem with faith, will be praised and admired when moshiach finally comes. They will be told, "After all you saw around you, you still remained faithful to Hashem and still kept His mitzvos?!?! Wow!! Look how special you are!!"
So the first thing I want you to know, Miri, is that if you are still holding on closely to Hashem, then you can consider yourself extra special and yes, you will be able to greet moshiach with joy!! You ar soo precious to Hashem for still remaining close to Him and just for that alone, you have enough of a reason to be sure that you will greet moshiach with joy.

We just came out of a tisha b'av. We (hopefully) cried and mourned and begged Hashem for moshiach. So why do we really want moshiach that badly?
What will happen when moshiach comes that makes us want him to come already???

Firstly, we know that the bais hamikdosh will be rebuilt in all its splendor and glory. There will be a closeness to Hashem like you have never felt before. If you have ever been to the Kosel, try to imagine the feeling you felt when you standed there in multiply that feeling again and again and you still might not be able to imagine the feeling of closeness we will get to experience once moshiach arrives!
There will be an end to all the pain and suffering! That means, no more crazy stories making the headlines, no more tradgedies, only good things will be happening!!
There will be answers to all of our questions! We will be able to understand why all the things that we perceived as terrible happened and how they really were the best that ever could have taken place!
There will be an end to all our confusion. No more wondering, "why..."
There will exist a clarity in the world like never before. The goyim will respect us and look to us with admiration and yes, jealousy. They will praise us and praise Hashem for all that He did and continues to do.
Techiyas Hameisim.

I think you all know that this one has a special place in my heart.
Almost four years ago, my younger brother, Shalom, was niftar. (His yartzheit is coming up and I will be writing a few posts about that soon iy"h.) Can you imagine my joy and excitement when we finally get to meet once again?!Can you imagine the amazing feeling each and every one of us will experience when we get to see those people who left the world?!
I know that I want moshiach badly.
What about you?
I'm sure there are other reasons you wait for moshiach - what are they?

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Bringing Hashem Into Your Everyday Life

How can we bring Hashem into our daily lives?
We know Hashem exists and that He does soo soo much for us, more than we can ever imagine, but how can we try to bring Him into our lives more than before?
Here is what I think a really simple way: try to notice the little things Hashem does for you. If you think about it for even a minute, you will notice that Hashem gives you an unlimited amount of bracha on a regular day of your life! If you woke up this morning, that counts as loads of brachos in one because if you woke up, that means you are breathing and what does it take to breathe? Your blood has to rush through your body in the most incredible way so that you can inhale and exhale properly!
Do you have two eyes that see all the colors in the rainbow? Consider yourself super lucky!! Can you put a price tag on eyes that can see? Close your eyes for a moment and imagine trying to go through one hour of your day with your eyes closed...think about it for a you know how lucky you are to be able to see?!!!
So thank Hashem for that!!!
Can you walk?
Can you talk?
I once read somewhere that included in the bracha of "ata chonen l'adam da'as" is the fact that you can remember your own name! And that you remember where you live and how to get to school/work/the grocery or wherever you need to get to! Who ever thought of thanking Hashem for that?! I mean, of course I remember my name! But no! We have to remember to thank Hashem for every little detail of our lives because it's all from HIM!!
Are you able to read and understand this post? That's another reason to thank Hashem!
There are soo many different things that go smoothly in our daily lives and we should try to thank Hashem each time. This way, He will want to continue to give us things to thank Him for. Because if we acknowledge that Hashem is doing all these amazing things for us, He will want to continue to give us things to thank Him for!! He wont have to give us painful moments to help us remember that He exists because we already turned to Him in the good times!!
What other things can you think of?
What else can we thank Hashem for?
Our family...
Our friends...
The beautiful weather...
What about all the delicious foods we have?
You walk into the supermarket and just look at the shelves lined with soo many choices of foods. Hashem is soo good to us! He gives us soo much bounty! There are soo many things to choose from, different brands of the same item...different variations and flavors of all kinds of snacks, drinks and ice creams!! This is all because Hashem loves us and wants us to enjoy the world He gave us and then remember to THANK HIM!! That's all He asks of us - remember me and thank me for the good things I give you!! It's that simple!!
So give it a try today!
Thank Hashem for the good things He gives you!
The more you notice the little things Hashem gives you, the more He will become part of your daily life!
If any of y
ou have any other ideas of things to thank Hashem for (I'm sure I left out tonzzzz because we can never thank Hashem enough!), please post them here so that we can all grow to be more thankful to Hashem!!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Shabbos Chazon & Parshas Devorim

This is taken from the Hineini weekly email on the parsha, by Rabbi Osher Jungreis.
Shabbos Chazon
The Shabbos preceding Tisha B’Av is called Shabbos Chazon. It draws it’s name from the first word of the haftorah which contains Yeshaya's rebuke of the Jewish people: “I raised and nurtured children, but they betrayed me. An ox knows its keeper, a donkey the hand that feeds it, but Israel does not know - My people do not perceive.” But the prophet also shows us the way to return to Hashem and to start a new life: “Cleanse yourselves, purify yourselves...desist from doing evil...learn to do good, seek justice....”
Is it possible for a person to really cleanse himself and start life anew?And here too, the prophet assures us, “Let us reason together. If your sins be red as scarlet, I will make them white as snow” is Hashem's promise to us. In these prophecies we can discover the unconditional, eternal love of our Heavenly Father. Even as He instructs His prophet to admonish us, to rebuke us for our betrayal, in the same breath He also shows us how to return to Him, and He assures us of His total forgiveness. How can any of us resist such an offer? Let this Shabbos Chazon, which ushers in Tisha B’Av, the most tragic day in the Jewish calendar year, the day when all our sins were visited upon us; the day when both Temples were destroyed and Jerusalem was razed; the day when all the major calamities that befell us throughout the centuries occurred – let that day once again become a Yom Tov” in which we are reunited with Hashem and rediscover our Divine calling. Perhaps it is because of this that this saddest Shabbos in our calendar year is called Shabbos Chazon which means “The Sabbath of Vision”, for even in the midst of our darkness, our vision of Jerusalem and our Temple rebuilt is never lost.

Parshas Devorim
This week, we commence the fifth Book of the Torah - Devarim. This fifth Book is also called Mishna Torah - A Review of the Torah. Prior to his death, Moshe Rabbenu reviews the entire Torah and admonishes the nation. We learn from Moshe, the master teacher, how to rebuke without alienating and offending.We live in a culture that is not accepting of criticism. “People just don’t want to hear it.” The motto is “mind your own business, don’t interfere”, so parents have refrained from voicing their concerns. There is no one to tell it as it is, and the damage is evident everywhere. Moshe teaches us that if you truly love someone, then admonishment is “a must”, but the words have to be couched in love. This teaching may be seen throughout our rabbinic literature which instructs those who would criticize to “push away with the left hand and simultaneously draw near with the right.”
But perhaps what is most telling is that even as Moshe recounts the names of all the places where the Jewish people angered Hashem during their forty years of sojourning, he demonstrated to them the extent of Hashem's great love, for despite their rebelliousness, the Almighty always forgave them and the people flourished.“Hashem your G-d has multiplied you and behold, you are like the stars of heaven in abundance." (Devarim, 1:10)
Herein lies another lesson - we should never feel that, because of our sins, we have so distanced ourselves from Hashem that we can no longer come back to Him. Hashem is our loving compassionate Father, and is waiting for all of us to return to Him. Nevertheless, we dare not abuse this love. Never should we rationalize that it’s okay to sin, because He will forgive us. Nor should we feel that we are doomed because of past mistakes. If our repentance is sincere, Hashem will always embrace us and we will merit seeing our Temple in Jerusalem rebuilt in our own days. “He who mourns for Jerusalem will be there to rejoice in her.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Nine Days

We are now at the start of the nine days, the days when many tzarros befell Klal Yisroel. Yet many of us just forget what this time is all about. We go on with our daily lives and almost continue regularly as if everything is fine and dandy. Of course, we make sure to find out what our family "holds" but is that all there is to it? Do we realize what the meaning is behind the nine days?!

These days begin with Rosh Chodesh and lead up to tisha b’av, the day of the churban Bais Hamikdosh. They are compared to Hashem’s shiva. That’s right! Hashem is sitting shivah for His Bais Hamikdosh! His house, His palace was destroyed and He is mourning!

I remember when I sat shivah for my younger brother, a"h. It was almost four years ago. (Oh how time flies...!) Was I interested in music? Did I care to take a shower? Did a thought enter my brain to put on makeup in the morning or go shopping?! I was sitting shivah for my brother, it was time to remember him and focus on all the things he did in his life and NOTHING else mattered! I didn’t think about music or shopping! I was concentrating on the loss and the lesson I was supposed to learn from it. I was thinking about what message Hashem wanted me to take from this difficult tzarah.

The Bais Hamikdosh was destroyed! Hashem is sitting shivah! Is it time to think about music or shopping? Or should we focus on the message we can take from the fact that the Bais Hamikdosh still was not rebuilt? Is it time to look in the mirror and count our pimples or check out how pretty we look? Maybe we should take a good look in the mirror and check deep inside ourselves, way deeper, into our neshama and ask ourselves: What can I do to bring Moshiach one step closer?! How can I change myself in areas of bein adam l’makom and bein adam l’chaveiro?
Maybe I can dress and act in a more refined manner.
Maybe I can speak to my parents, siblings or children with more respect.
Maybe I can be more careful with the words I say and watch the way I speak about other people.
Do I need to work on controlling my temper?!
Is there someone who gets on my nerves who I should start acting a bit nicer to?!
Does my tefillah need a little more kavanah?!
Do I kiss the mezuzah every time I pass it and think, "I love you Hashem. Thank you for all the gifts you have given me."?!
Am I careful to say each bracha slowly before I eat?! And how about when I’m done? Do I rush to bentch so I can hurry on with my day?!
Am I always looking to change and grow and become a better person?!
I think it’s time to do some serious soul-searching. It’s time to think about what we can change. It’s time to act.
We have no time to wait.
We need Moshiach. Badly.
In the zechus of the changes you make, may we all be zoche to meet in Yerushalayim and celebrate tisha b’av as a Yom Tov this year! Amen!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A Powerful Letter

My Dear Sisters,

I am writing to you in my last moments, with the last threads of my strength. I am writing to you with blood and tears, from the bottom of my broken and tormented heart.
Yes, I, Revital Avraham, 19 years old, am standing on the threshold of death, so young, but already feeling all the gates of life shutting slowly before me. I am like a beautiful flower closing its petals.
Like all o f you, I had my dreams about love, husband, children and social position. But Hashem has decided otherwise, and I know today that if I had lived differently, nothing would have happened.
I was born in a religious family from the center of Israel. From the day I can remember, I knew I was a beautiful child. From kindergarten, I attracted everybody's attention, and I knew I had been blessed with a rare beauty, and I am not exaggerating. Even though people were talking my exceptional beauty, my dear and wise parents tried to minimize the effect of such a gift on me, and made all possible efforts to put the whole family on daily routine.
But I was a bright child, and I cherished more and more my beauty.My friends encouragements made me understand that beauty can buy anything in this world - friendship, position and honor. I learned to exploit it for my goals, I wore clothes which draw attention, my very long hair caused astonishment and envy, and every detail in my appearance was thoroughly taken care of.
I enjoyed the long looks of people everywhere I went - to my deep regret. My teachers in high school tried to change my mind, but it was already too late - I was attracted to a magic circle called "to please and be outstanding".
I can remember one of my teachers' words: "Revital, you have received a rare present, a special beauty - This is your trial in life, keep it carefully for the right person to come in your life". I was pretending to be convinced, but these words were just passing by my ears.
I was addicted to my looks and did everything to bring people to admiration. I know today that I have caused hundreds or even thousands of people to fail because of my clothing. I was really enjoying it!
And then I received a first warning sign. One evening, while preparing an omelet in the kitchen, and made a brisk turn and my beautiful long hair got caught in the fire and became in seconds a red and fearful flame. I was saved, but my hair had gone. I remember my hysterical crying in the hospital, and my father trying to console me: "Revital, Hashem has made a miracle. You could have been entirely burnt! You have now an opportunity to change and leave your foolish attitude behind you".
But I didn't listen. I was 16 years old then, and within two years my hair grew back to what it was, and everything was forgotten.
I was the queen of my class. My friends loved me, anything I wanted was granted, and I never was alone. I grew more and more beautiful with the years, and at 16, I began to put on make-up and tight clothes. At this stage, I even got involved in some trouble. It is hard for me to write about it, but I think you can guess.
I forgot to tell you about my grand-mother. She was a wonderful person, a real "Tzadekes" and I loved her very much. She was very sad and upset about my spiritual state of mind.She was giving some money to buy more decent clothes, but nothing helped! She died before I was 17. I cried a lot and didn't know how to live without her, and for a brief period, I even became a little bit more religious.
But time eased the pain, and within a few months I was back to my bad habits, boastful and immodest as ever.
And then I received a second sign from above. One night I had a dream about my grand-mother. She wa s sitting on a stone and crying. I asked her why she was crying, and she pointed to her head without saying a word. I woke up very upset, but I forgot the whole thing very quickly, and this second sign melted away without any thought.
And then, I received the big blow. It came gradually but consistently. At the beginning, there were headaches, and my mother said I was tired and studying too much, that I should rest more, but deep down I felt it was something more serious. After a month, I couldn't even stand because of the headaches, and I thought my head was going to explode.
My mother and I were worried and anxious on our way to the doctor, to get the answers to all the examinations and analyses I had been through, but the doctor's face revealed the fearful truth. He said: "such a beautiful girl and so sick!"
I burst into tears, asked for explanations. My mother and I were disoriented and helpless before this new and cruel reality: I had a cancerous tumor in my head. It was only a question of time.
I don't remember how we got home that day. I just remember tears, fear, confusion and pain.
And suddenly I remembered the dream, my grandmother crying and pointing to her head! If only I had understood at the time the meaning of that dream, my life would have different! But I didn't give any importance to this dream and went on with my life.
The next day, at the hospital, I began the treatment I never thought would be so painful. I felt death crawling slowly inside me, burning my bones, my blood, and my whole self.
Dear Hashem…You are all goodness, but I didn't listen to you. Dear Father, I ignored your compassion and your messages.
The rest of my story is sad and painful, and I don't even have the strength to write it. My wonderful hair fell. Within a few months I was left completely bald, fearfully pale and weak. Every doctor I met was mentioning my rare beauty, and I, every time, felt my heart break a little bit more. Hashem had given me a precious gift, an outstanding beauty, and I had used it the wrong way, instead of keeping it intact and pure for a true cause.
Oh Hashem!Today I am 19 years old, living a tormented life. My days are counted, my illness is getting stronger and I feel death coming closer. I pray that my suffering be the atonement for my sins. I turn to you, my dear sisters, with a torn soul and a broken heart, and ask you to listen to my last words: be decent. There is Law and there is a Judge. And He sees all and knows all…and every one of our acts will be brought to judgment. I beg you: strengthen your decency, don't wait for signs, please don't…Do it for yourselves, do it for me!
My pillow is soaked with tears. I am writing with tremendous efforts. Please pray for me and say that you'll keep decent so that I recover and be healthy again.
I beg you… I want to live.
Revital Avraham
P.S. Revital died a short time after writing this letter. Her last will was a request to publish it. Shall her memory be blessed and her message embraced by all!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Please Be(a)ware

Thank you to the one who brought this to my attention (she knows who she is)!

Please can you all beware and be aware that there are some ads on the side of this blog that seem to be "Jewish" but really are not. I would definitely not want you to go onto any of these sites. Each time you go onto this blog, the ads may change so there's no way for me to know exactly which ads will show up each time, but I'm giving you a little warning in advance. Some of them look like they are okay and the website name is deceiving! (For example, the 'baruchhashem' site is a missionary site.) These ads are from google and not, chas v'shalom, a website I am trying to get you to check out because of inspiration you might find there.

So please, be careful with the links on the right. When you click on them, it brings in some cash for this blog (yes, the blog makes some money when you click on the ad), but just be aware that some of the websites are not as kosher as they look. So if you click on it and it's not really a Jewish site, please close it right away as I do not want to transgress, "do not place a stumbling block before a blind person."

Thanks in advance!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

I Was Made Way Back in 1842...

Thank You Shuli for emailing this to me!! You have a real talent with words, writing and expressing deep feelings!! May Hashem give you the ability to continue to inspire many people!

Its to the tune of 'I was made way back in 1842'. It's an old tune from pre-war Europe, going back generations that has had a couple lyrics written for it.

(Low) There was a prince who rebelled against the king
and went out to live on his own means.
The son traveled to a small village near a town
that was at the aege of the kindgom far from his father's crown.

(Low) Many months passed, he forgot what he used to be
the place he lived, his parents the king and queeen.
At the time he looked like a peasant, not the prince he really was
but the king still knew him, he was still his son.

(High) Many long nights he lay awake in his bed
waiting for the separation to end
hoping he'll hear a knock, followed by a call
"Father open, I want to fix my wrongs."

(Low) One night the prince lay awake too
something that day created de je vu
and he began to remember, uncover the blocked mind
he wanted to return home to the old times.

(Low) The next day he left as the sun began to shine
full of hope, he started out his ride
far ahead in front of him was a letter of his own
asking his father if he is welcomed home.

(High) Suddenly he heard a noise, a familiar voice.
It was father riding towards him on his horse
words of love, "My dear son, heir of my throne
If you're returning, I'll gladly take you home."

(Low) We're the prince who ran away from home
claiming it's better out there on our own.
We forgot our past and started leading a peasant's life
entering a backwards world filled with strife.

(Low) A few times a year we experience de je vu
and remember who we are and what we're supposed to do.
We yearn to carry our royalty and wear our crown with pride
go back to our real life, throw our current aside.

(High) Now it's time, we're begging to go home
It's been too long that we've been on our own.
We want to return, it's time to knock, "Father please open Your door
We want to come back and stay forever more."

(High) Father hears the ringing on His bell.
He hars our cries of pain, sees the tears as well.
And if we listen silently, in a soft and loving tone
we'll hear, "Return, My son, I'll gladly take you Home."

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Of Bombs and Burials

by Rabbi Aryeh Z. Ginzberg

This is one of the coolest stories that I've heard in a long time! YOU can be the one to make a difference! Just know that each of your tefillos are sooo precious to Hashem.

The call came from one of my old ba’alei battim, whose son was serving in the Israeli army. Several years earlier, his son had gone to learn in Eretz Yisrael after high school, like many of our children do, and had fallen in love with Eretz Yisrael. He joined a hesder yeshiva and promptly entered into the army.

Quickly advancing in the army ranks, after just three years, he became an officer in charge of a large group of men. Last summer, exactly one year ago, he was assigned to lead a group of solders to evacuate one of the settlements in Gush Katif. He begged to be released from that assignment, as he was totally opposed to the government’s decision to remove the settlers from their homes, but was ordered to do so anyway. On the morning of the evacuation, he entered into a small moshav and went directly to the shul, where everyone had gathered, including the rabbi of the moshav.

After davening and crying together, both the rav and the soldier spoke about the need to exit peacefully, so brother would not have to fight against brother. With tears, everyone exited the rear of the shul onto the buses, waiting to escort them from the only home that many of them had ever known. The rav and the officer exited together at the end of the line.
Before the soldier got onto the bus, he stopped in his tracts, reached back into his knapsack, and withdrew his personal siddur from it, opened it up and wrote in that day’s date. He then got down on his knees, and with his bare hands started digging a hole in the ground. After a few minutes, he kissed the siddur, placed it into the ground, covered it up with the dirt, and then stood up.

The rav was watching him, and asked him why he was burying his siddur in the ground. He explained that he was confident that one day Jews will return to Gush Katif and to this moshav. He didn’t know when – maybe in ten years, or twenty or fifty – but one day maybe a Jew will find his siddur and realize that Jews were here and left their hearts behind. With that being said, the soldier and rabbi embraced and then together, arm in arm, got onto the bus and left.

Eleven Months Later

The story continues some eleven months later. This soldier, now an officer in the Engineers Corps, received an order to enter Gaza with his men under the cover of darkness and set up a headquarters from which the soldiers would be sent for missions deep into Gaza.

He entered Gaza, proceeded to the designated spot, and set up the headquarters tent. When it began to get light, he looked around, and all he saw was total destruction. Mountains of debris and devastation abounded; he had no idea exactly where he was. All of a sudden – he doesn’t know what compelled him to do so – he dropped to his knees and began to dig furiously at the dirt with his hands. After several moments, he felt something. As he reached in further, he pulled out his own siddur, the very siddur that he had buried just eleven months earlier.

He was in shock. After several moments, his entire body began to shake uncontrollably. He cried out loud, “Hashem, why? What are you trying to tell me? What is the message that I am to get from coming back to the very spot where I buried my siddur only eleven months ago and finding it again?”

He called his father in New York and told him the story. He requested, “Please call Rabbi Ginzberg, tell him what happened to me and ask him for an explanation.”

The call touched me to the core of my neshama. I explained to the father that I am not on the level required to even begin to understand the meaning of this incident and what Hakadosh Baruch Hu was telling His son. But I had a suggestion. “There is an adam gadol in Bnei Brak who lies in a world of kulo Torah. Maybe he can answer you.” I told him I would arrange a private visit for him on Motzaei Shabbos. He should go to Bnei Brak and tell his story to Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky shlita.

I called Rav Chaim’s son, explained the matter, and arranged for him to meet Rav Chaim on Motzaei Shabbos. He was received with the utmost seriousness. Rav Chaim responded to his question immediately.

He asked him what he did to prevent the expulsion from Gaza. The soldier said, “I davened constantly, and pleaded with my superiors to ignore the government’s directives, all to no avail.”

“And after the expulsion, what did you do?” asked Rav Chaim.

The soldier responded. “What could I do? It was all over.”

Rav Chaim said, “The power of tefilla is not to be underestimated. You should have taken your siddur in hand and continued davening. Who knows what Hakadosh Baruch Hu would have done, if we still stormed Shamayim with tefillos! You instead chose to bury your siddur in the ground. For you it was over. But Hashem says, ‘It’s not over. Here is your siddur. Pour your heart out again for Eretz Yisrael and for Klal Yisrael.’”

What an inspiring and powerful response: Through continued tefilla, through inspired tefilla, anything is possible and everything is possible. Things change so quickly in Eretz Yisrael. Not in months or weeks, but in days and in hours. Our tefillos can be crucial.

This article is from

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Three Weeks - A Poem

The Three Weeks
I wrote this about two years ago...but the message still remains! Hopefully, next year we wont need to read it!

During the three weeks,
There is a change in mood,
And when we get to the nine days,
We stop eating fleishige food.

Why all these changes?!
Is there a point here?!
There is a message we should take,
And show Hashem we really care.

Although it was many years ago,
We still remember it now,
The bais Hamikdosh, Hashem’s holy house,
Was destroyed and burned to the ground.

It was a place of total clarity,
Where we gathered three times a year
And now it is gone, it is no more,
And for this we should shed a tear.

But how much do we really feel it?
Do we mourn the way we should?
Do we genuinely feel,
That we are missing out on so much good?!

We have to stop and think,
About the churban and its loss,
And how we can rebuild it,
No matter what, at all costs.

If r"l, YOUR house was gone,
And was burned in a terrible fire,
And you watched it burn to the ground,
You saw those flames rise higher and higher,

And the people closest to you,
Had their lives taken away,
Yes in the time of the churban bais Hamikdosh,
All this happened on one day.

Hashem’s palace, His home,
Was destroyed on Tisha B’av,
And believe it or not,
This too came from His love.

Because Hashem let out His anger,
On bricks and stones,
Instead of destroying all of us,
The Jewish nation as a whole.

And now it’s up to us,
To help rebuild it fast
By doing as many mitzvos as we could
To build the third bais Hamikdosh that forever will last.

So use this time to be extra kind,
Do chesed with the people you know,
Keep adding bricks to the bais Hamikdosh shel ma’alah,
So back to Yerushalayim we will go.

Take on something extra now,
Say tehillim, smile at your friends,
Apologize to those you have hurt,
Yes, now is the time to make amends.

Just show Hashem you are trying,
And you want to come back to Him,
And by each person doing teshuva,
He’ll bring us back to Yerushalayim!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Thoughts on a Fast Day

Today is a fast day. Each and every Jew should stop and think, "Why am I fasting today? What is it that I am remembering?!"
It is so hard to remember when we don’t have the memories. How can we remember the bais Hamikdosh when we have never seen it standing? How can we remember the avoda of the kohanim if we never saw them bring up karbanos to Hashem?
Can we ever imagine the beauty of the harmony of the songs of the levi’im?
It’s so hard. It’s hard to picture that which you have never seen. It’s hard to feel like you miss the bais Hamikdosh if you’ve never been there before.
So how does one deepen their feelings and await the rebuilding of the bais Hamikdosh?
By thinking.
Think about what we have.
Think about what we could have.
Think about what we are missing.
Look around you. There is so much pain in the world.
Young children who are becoming adults are leaving the most beautiful path of life and exchanging our mesorah for the "street life." They are throwing away diamonds in exchange for cheap glass.
People are struggling to make a living. They work so hard and try to put bread on the table. They try one job, another and yet another but they just can’t seem to make it.
Young children are losing parents. A house that is meant to be run by a father and a mother begins to fall apart when the mother is gone. The children have to learn to take charge, make the suppers and do the laundry. The children have to do homework with their younger siblings and tuck them under their blankets and kiss them good night.
Parents are taking their sick children from one hospital to the next, from one specialist to another, waiting and hoping. They watch their child slowly deteriorate before their very eyes, until…those dreaded words…baruch dayan ha’emes...
People are dying in the most unnatural ways, at the most unexpected times. We are constantly hearing about accidents that make no sense. Every day, another story.
Don’t you think Hashem is trying to tell us something?!
Isn’t it about time that we wake up and take the message?
Hashem wants you to turn to Him!
He wants you to take one step closer to Him and make that change!
He wants you to dig deep inside yourself and see, Who am I?! What is it that is really hard for me?! What change can I make to become a better eved Hashem?!
Ask yourself these questions.
Get yourself some answers.
Make the change.
And when you show Hashem that you are willing to make that change, He will show all of us that He is ready to change the world!
And then He will rebuild the bais Hamikdosh and we will all go to Yerushalayim with moshiach!
It is up to YOU to bring moshiach today!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Before the Three Weeks

Here is a beautiful and inspiring video that is worth watching before the three weeks!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Don't Worry

"Worrying is like a rocking chair, it keeps you going but gets you nowhere."

I was thinking about this when I was worrying about something. I kept thinking, "what if this happens?!" and "what if that happens?!" and then I said to myself, "You know, there are so many things that could go wrong but don't and all you have to do is put your trust in Hashem. Hashem loves you and only has the best things in mind for you. All you have to do is believe in Him."
I had to keep thinking these thoughts and reminding myself that I am totally in Hashem's hands. Hashem loves me and wants to keep me happy so why should I worry so much? And besides, it's true that worrying won't accomplish anything productive at all! All it does is make you nervous. And that wont really get you very far!!

So why do I worry so much? I think it's because I need to strengthen my emunah in Hashem. Because if I really trusted that Hashem only wants to make me happy and only wants to do good for me, I wouldn't worry so much. In fact, I wouldn't worry at all!! Now, it's easy to say that I shouldn't worry at all, but there are things on my mind and I do think about the things that could go wrong in my day, in my week ahead and in the month that is coming along. But no! Hashem does not want us to spend our time worrying and thinking negative thoughts. He wants us to think positive and trust in Him. Thinking positive is very productive because then you want to follow your thoughts.

It's like this: If I wake up in the morning thinking, "Oh no! It's raining outside! It's gonna be a horrible day..." then, yes, chances are that my day wont turn out so nicely. But if I wake up that same morning and say, "Modeh Ani! Thank you Hashem that I am alive and healthy! Hey! It's raining outside! I'll take an umbrella and I'll be fine." The rain didn't go away but my attitude is what will make all the difference!

So next time you have thoughts that make you nervous, think about the rocking chair, it just moves back and forth, back and forth...but doesn't get you anywhere! That's what worrying is like, it keeps you thinking those same, "what if" thoughts again and again but you end up in the same place, without moving at all!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


Over a year ago when I was going through a difficult time I kept asking my friend, "What does Hashem want from me?!?!" I felt completely out of control, feeling there was nothing I could do to change my situation. My friend wrote for me on a post-it, "I believe Hashem believes in me" (a line taken from a song) and I put it in my calendar so I could always see it. Then, my friend sent me this article in a card which answered my question of what exactly Hashem wants from us when we feel hopeless. I hope that this will help anyone else who is going through a difficult time and feels the same way I did.
A man was sleeping at night in his cabin when suddenly his room filled with light and Hashem appeared. Hashem told the man He had work for him to do and showed him a large rock in front of his cabin.
Hashem explained that the man was to push against the rock with all his might.
So, this the man did, day after day. For many years he toiled from sun up to sun down, his shoulders set squarely against the cold, massive surface of the unmoving rock, pushing with all of his might.
Each night the man returned to his cabin sore and worn out, feeling that his whole day had been spent in vain.
Since the man was showing discouragement, the Satan, decided to enter the picture by placing thoughts into the weary mind:
"You have been pushing against that rock for a long time, and it hasn't moved."
Thus, he gave the man the impression that the task was impossible and that he was a failure.
These thoughts discouraged and disheartened the man.
Satan said, "Why kill yourself over this? Just put in your time, giving just the minimum effort, and that will be good enough. That's what the weary man planned to do, but decided to make it a matter of prayer and to take his troubled thoughts to Hashem.
"Hashem" he said, "I have labored long and hard in your service, putting all my strength to do that which you have asked. Yet, after all this time, I have not even budged that rock by half a millimeter. What is wrong? Why am I failing?"
Hashem responded compassionately, "My friend, when I asked you to serve Me and you accepted, I told you that your task was to push against the rock with all of your strength, which you have done. Never once did I mention to you that I expected you to move it. Your task was to push. And now you come to Me with your strength spent, thinking that you have failed. Is that really so?
Look at yourself.
Your arms are strong and muscled,
Your back sinewy and brown;
Your hands are callused from constant pressure,
Your legs have become massive and hard.
Through opposition you have grown much, and your abilities now surpass that which you used to have. True, you haven't moved the rock. But your calling was to be obedient and to push and to exercise your faith and trust in My wisdom. That you have done. Now I, my friend, will move the rock."
At times, when we hear a word from Hashem, we tend to use our own intellect to decipher what He wants, when actually what Hashem wants is just a simple obedience and faith in Him.
By all means, exercise the faith that moves mountains, but know that it is still HaShem who moves mountains.
When everything seems to go wrong...just P.U.S.H.!
When the job gets you down... just P.U.S.H.!
When people don't react the way you think they should... just P.U.S.H.
When your money is "gone" and the bills are due... just P.U.S.H!
When people just don't understand you... just P.U.S.H.

P= Pray

U= Until

S= Something

H= Happens

This article has such a powerful message! Sometimes, we are not meant to make BIG things happen, all we have to do is do try, put in the effort - because in reality, the outcome is up to Hashem!!! And when we go through difficult times, we become stronger!! We are not looking to see what great things we have accomplished, rather, we are looking to see what we became as a result of what we went through!!
Thank you sfashkenaz for this post!