Wednesday, June 30, 2010

When Saying Shema

Here's a really good answer to a question asked to R' Avigdor Miller zt"l.

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When saying S'hma Yisroel, what should you think about?


First thing is, Kavana P'shuta, you have to know the translation of the words and think the translation. But I will give you a good suggestion. Every day you can put in another Peirush in that. S'hma Yisroel Hashem Elokainu Hashem Echod, Echod means He is One. What does One mean? That if you will travel to the North Pole, there Hashem is too. If you travel to the South Pole, He is there too, and in between by the way. Not only is He there, he is in between too. You go all the way to the West, or to the East, wherever you go, you will find Hashem. So if you travel to Tokyo, and you are all by yourself in a hotel, and you have a lot of money to spend, and a lot of leisure, know that Hakadosh Baruch Hu is looking at you. You have to behave. You behave. If you go all the way to Hungary, in a hotel in the mountains, you have a lot of money. Behave, because Hakadosh Baruh Hu is looking at you. If you are in the North Pole all by yourself. Behave, Hashem is looking at you. And if temptations come, then you have to behave like He is on the spot, which He is. So every day think at least this thought. Mizrach, Maariv, Tzafon, Darom, Maaloh, Umatah, He is One everywhere. Now you do this for homework one day, the next day think like this.

Hashem Echod
, Hashem is One, there is only one interest in our lives. We have a lot of interests, but He is the One interest. So when I go to work, it's only of Hashem that I am thinking. When I get married, only for Hashem. When I am raising children, only for Hashem. When I eat, only for Hashem. Even when I Daven, I am davening for Hashem, remember that to, it's a good idea, by the way. And so, Echod means, in all the things I do in this world, He is the only interest I have.

The next day, think
Hashem Echod it means, Hakadosh Baruch Hu is in this world, Ata Hu B'olam Hazeh, V'ata Hu B'olam Haba. Hakadosh Baruch Hu is in both worlds. So beware of Him in this world, and fulfill His mitzvos, because in the next world we will be together with Him too. You can not take a dive off the Empire State building and get rid of Him. No. "Im Esak Shamayim Sham Ata" (Tehillim) if I will go up to the Heavens, Dovid said, there You are. If I will go down to the depths of the sea, there You are. Everyday you can add another kavana if you want, in Echod.

Another Peirush you can say in Echod means. You are the only One that exists, nobody else exists, it's all imagination. NOBODY EXISTS in this world. Nothing exists, no sun. Hakadosh Baruch Hu imagined the sun, and it came into being. If He would withdraw His imagination, there wouldn't be any sun. When you look at the sun, or the moon, you are not seeing anything. You are seeing only the D'var Hashem, B'dvar Hashem Shamayim Nasu, its only His word that you see. When He said "Yehi", let it be, U'vruach Piv Kol Tzvam, L'olam Devarcha Nitzav Bashamayim, Your word is standing in the Heavens. That's all you see, the word of Hashem. There are no trees, no people, no houses, nothing. There is only Hashem. He is the only One that has real being, like the Rambam says in the beginning of Hilchos of Yesodai Hatorah. Hashem Elokim Emes, He is the only true being. Hu Levado Emes, He is the only One that is true. All the rest in the world is not real, it's only imagination. That's a meaning of Echod.

So I gave you a few things to think about. When you finish with them see me for further homework.

Monday, June 28, 2010

The Three Weeks

We are about to start the Three Weeks-the time between Yud Zayin Tammuz and Tisha B'av. It is interesting that this time starts and ends with a fast day-a day we do not eat food at all. Why?

I'm coming up with this answer on my own so I can't quote any source but I think a big part of it is that when we refrain from eating it gets our brains working and we can try to THINK a little bit. Instead of focusing on food (which we do a lot on a regular day, breakfast, snack, drink, snack, lunch, drink, snack, drink, supper, snack, drink, midnight snack?!), we can focus on other things, things that really matter. When we think, we we can ask ourselves some important questions and hopefully come up with some answers.

What happened during this time that we make so many changes in the way we act? We stop listening to music and we don't make weddings because these things bring us joy and now's a time to focus on what we are missing so we can try to bring it back!

This is the time when the bais hamikdosh, Hashem's house was destroyed. It was a place where we were able to achieve total clarity and connection to Him. We don't even begin to understand what we are missing!

Just think about how much we need moshiach! Focus on it for a few minutes. Imagine, there will be a clarity of understanding like never before. Children who left the path of Torah will
want to come back! Those who are missing that important love and appreciation for yiddishkeit will finally get that amazing feeling in their hearts that this is the most beautiful and precious gift they ever could have gotten-the Torah and the life that goes along with it! We will get answers to our questions in a way we have never heard before-with a new level of understanding!

Instead of anti-semitism, the non-Jews will respect us and look at us in awe. They will want to do anything they can to help us - the Chosen People!

There is so much pain in this world. Rejection. Arguments. Confusion. Stress. Anger. Loss. Sickness. Poverty. Imagine when it will all be GONE!

And it will be replaced with all the beauty and happiness we've been hoping for! Sunshine. Light. Love. Joy. Acceptance. Excitement. Clarity. True happiness!!

What can
YOU do to make this day we are waiting for come closer?

You can smile at people as you pass them in the streets. You can be friendly to the cashier when you pay for your purchases. You can hold the door open for someone as they walk through with their packages. You can help your parents take care of your siblings. You can be pleasant to your neighbors and coworkers. Call your friend to say hello and let her know you've been thinking of her... there's so many things you can do to make the world a happier place-just open your eyes!!

You have extra time on your hands? There are so many organizations who need volunteers to help them out. Make the call - offer your help. The reward for this cannot be imagined!

We are all waiting for this day to arrive! Each of you have the power to make this day come closer!! Search deep within your hearts and find a way you personally can do something to bring moshiach one step closer...because we really need this day to come!

Friday, June 25, 2010


My friend sent this unbelievable story to me and I wanted to share it with all of you.

People tend to be skeptical when it comes to this but it happened to MY family so I know it's true. My mother isn't the type at all to have weird thoughts or whatever...I'm telling you, if you'd know my mother, you'd know she's not this "spiritual" person. She was even embarrassed to repeat this story because she realizes how hard it is to believe...but when you read this story you will see the hashgacha so clearly!

The story began when my family went to Eretz Yisrael in the year 2001 for Yom Kippur and Sukkos. My older brother, who was learning in Yeshiva there was able to arrange through an acquaintance for us to daven in R’ Elyashiv’s minyan on Yom Kippur. It was a very uplifting experience for us to daven with the Gadol Hador on the holiest day of the year, and to have our tefilos go up to the Kisei Hakovod together with R’ Elyashiv’s.

11 Months Later, Erev Rosh Hashanah:

One night, my nephew, Menachem, a one year old, was not acting himself. His hand was red and swollen and he was very lethargic. His parents assumed it was because he fell off a chair that day and figured he had injured his hand in the process. He was running a fever too but his parents thought it was because he was teething. In any case, they called the doctor. The doctor said that it wasn’t urgent and that they can wait until the morning to take care of it. My mother, having a Bubby’s intuition, begged my brother to go to the emergency room right away. They listened and after my nephew was examined they were told that he had a very dangerous inflammation called necrotizing fasciitis. The doctors told them that had they waited overnight, it could have spread to the heart and been fatal, chas v’shalom. Even if hadn’t spread to the heart at that point, he would have been at a severe risk of losing his hand chas v'shalom. Menachem had a few emergency surgeries to remove the infection and puss that had accumulated in his hand.

During that time period, my mother, Menachem’s grandmother, had a dream. In the dream, my mother saw R’ Elyashiv (the face wasn’t R’ Elyashiv, but in the dream she knew it was) looking very upset and he told her that one of her sons is using a shaver that has a razor in it and he will be punished for it. Immediately the next morning, my mother approached all her sons about it including Menachem’s father and asked them if they are using a shaver with a razor in it. Menachem’s father said that he had recently bought a new shaver in a Jewish frum store and they reassured him that they had removed the razor. My mother begged him to please check again and sure enough the razor was still inside the shaver! He took care of it immediately.

Unbelievably, the Doctors had been saying that Menachem would need to be hospitalized for at least another 2-3 weeks. Suddenly, right after he took care of his shaver, the doctor walked in and said that Menachem is fine and he was to be discharged that very same day!

Boruch Hashem Menachem fully recovered and is a smart, active nine-year-old today. Aside for the scars on his hand, he doesn’t remembering anything from his near brush with death.
In the zechus of the Tzaddik, our Menachem was saved!

This story shows you that you never know how your actions can have an affect on someone else-and how mitzvos really do protect us. Although we may not understand the reasons why we do certain mitzvos, they are important to follow through all the way, with every little halacha! You see that my friend's brother's mitzvah had an affect on his own son's health and on his life!! Another lesson to take from this story is that our gedolim are protecting us and watching out for us all the time! Wow!!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

What is Real Beauty

This is sent from a web site called Guard your eyes. Although it was posted once before, I think it is important to read now that the summer is here and there are so many temptations to look at things we shouldn't.

Sometimes when we're out there in the big world surrounded by all the temptations wherever we seem to look, we cry out in our hearts "Dear Hashem , where are you? I can't see you, I can't feel you! All I see is a beauty of a different kind, wherever I look!"...

But then the answer comes to our hearts from Hashem, "My son, does there exist any beauty besides me? I am in the beauty you see as well!" For Hashem is indeed everywhere, and He - and only He - is the source of all beauty. The beauty that we see and crave here on this world is truly only a mere shadow of a manifestation of Hashem's beauty. We need to train our minds to realize that there are no two types of beauty. There is only one source of beauty in the world.

But, Hashem has decreed that in order to merit perceiving His true beauty, we must first learn to turn our eyes away from the physical beauty that is only His creation, and instead turn our hearts to Him - to the SOURCE. In His great wisdom, Hashem determined that only one who is ready to give up the physical manifestations of Hashem's beauty should be worthy of experiencing the true beauty of Hashem's - in a much more sublime way.

If you take a look at a precious little 3yr. old, who just got his upsherin, think about how lit up his face is!! Why? Because he was just carried out of yeshiva wrapped up in a tallis, feeling the sweetness of Hashem's torah enveloping him! Are you getting that warm feeling!!

Every small mitzvah that we do, lights up our neshama and that light radiates from our faces!

Now lets take look at a 3yr. non-Jewish little boy coming out of public school, does his face light up???

I think you can now understand the true meaning of beauty,and the concept that real beauty is only from Hashem!!

May you be zoche to look into Hashem's magnificent world and find his signature of true beauty!

When we see beautiful things we must remember this beauty is from Hashem!!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Stunned by Science

My friend, Ruchiccio, shared this with me and I'm posting it here with her permission.

Here is an amazing lesson in niflaos haborei that she learned while playing a computer game! (Not that these games are in any way encouraged, you should only play with complete consent and guidance from your local orthodox rabbi - kidding!! but you can take a lesson from everything.)

Lugaru is an action game where you play the role of Turner, a rabbit. A traitor in your camp gets Turner's whole family killed out. To avenge their deaths, he sets out to find those killers and bring them to justice.

I just finished Lugaru, which means that I was finished with all the levels. However, I discovered another treasure trove of CHALLENGE levels! I zipped through levels 1-10 really fast. But level 11 was a killer of a level. I must have tried about 30 times. I never even made it close to the end!

Tonight I decided to try an experiment:
I brought a blood pressure machine (a sphygmomanometer, if you want to get technical) to my computer desk. I attached the cuff to my arm and checked my blood pressure. We'll give this baseline rate a value of "X". I then played 12 minutes of heavy Lugaru in Level 11 and rechecked my blood pressure. It jumped to about 2x for the systolic (the top number) and the diastolic (bottom number) remained the same as before. I was clearly able to see the effects of stress on my heart processes! After 20 more minutes of playing, I checked it a third time and it was back to normal.

It's amazing the way Hashem makes our bodies adapt to stress so easily and proficiently. When you need more energy to fight (even though this was virtual fighting, it still is fighting!), your body accommodates by increasing blood pressure, heart rate, dilating the pupils, releasing more carbon dioxide etc etc. These are just some of the many changes that happen during a stress response - manifestations of the sympathetic nervous system.

What's even MORE amazing is that Hashem fashioned us with a parasympathetic nervous system which brings us back to normal after the stressful incident passes. Imagine what would happen if we never returned to "normal" mode!

Just had to share this bit of Niflaos Haborei and science!

Oh, and I managed to overcome Level 11 - WOOOHOOO!!!!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

If Hashem Were To Go On Strike

Here's a really great poem to help you realize how much Hashem does for us!!
Taken from a tape, The Iron Butterfly, by Suki and Ding

It’s just a good thing that Hashem above has never gone on strike,
Because He wasn’t treated for or for the things he didn’t like.
And if He had just once sat down and said, “That’s it, I’m through,
I’ve had enough of those on earth so this is what I’ll do:

I’ll give my orders to the sun, cut off your heat supply,
And to the clouds, give no more rain and run those oceans dry.”
And just to make it tough and to put the pressure on,
He’d cut off all the oxygen ‘til every breath is gone.

Do you know that Hashem would be justified if fairness were the game,

For no one has been more abused or treated with disdain.
And yet Hashem has carried on supplying you and me,
With all the favors in His world and everything for free.

No more would flowers bud in spring and food just wouldn’t grow,

And summer turn to winter, Hashem can do it all, you know.
He could make the daytime pitch black so we’d see our way no more,
There’s just so much Hashem can do to even up the score!

Men say they want a better deal and so on strike they go,

But what a deal we’ve given Hashem to whom everything we owe?
We don’t care who we hurt or harm to gain the things we like,
But what a mess we’d all be in if Hashem were to go on strike!!

Please let me know what you think about this and how this can help you enhance your appreciation for what you do have!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Every action that you do makes a difference

Butterfly Effect The Butterfly Effect
so watch this short inspirational idea and let us know what you think!!! then we will add more if you explain why you think this is imp. to share!!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

No Tefillah is EVER Wasted!!

This was posted before but the story is so powerful and inspires me every time I read it that I'm letting you all read it again...and gain from it! Enjoy!

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

Monday, June 14, 2010

Torah is the Blueprint

Here's a really cool video!

It shows you that any person can learn Torah no matter what level they are on. The Torah speaks to all of us...just open it up and enjoy it! (I'm not sure why the aish videos don't show up in Google Reader but this one is really worth it so come to the blog to watch it!)

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Custom Made

Here is a very powerful mashal.

There was once a king who had five yards of the world’s most beautiful fabric created, and then had his loyal tailor custom-tailor an exquisite suit out of it. A problem arose when one of the king’s jealous advisers suspected the tailor of using less than the five yards of fabric and stealing the remnants.

The king was extremely perplexed by the accusation that his tailor had stolen any material and insisted the tailor prove to him that all five yards had been used to make the suit. The tailor claimed that the only way he could prove it would be to take apart the suit piece by piece, which would destroy it. The king was so baffled that he agreed.

The servants bought in a fifteen-foot table, and the suit was laid out. The tailor began by cutting the cuff off the jacket sleeve and exposing the inner lining. “You see, Your majesty,” he began, “an ordinary suit has just one inner lining. A better suit has two, and a great suit has three linings. I used no less than six linings!” As he spoke, he carefully laid out each small piece of material.

Then he continued to cut the inner fabric of the sleeve. He explained how a regular suit was constructed, how a better quality suit was made, and how he had used a totally different method of construction to design this suit. “Because this suit was for Your Majesty, I wanted it to have every possible quality. In order to achieve this I used fabric in ways never before conceived.” The tailor continued painstakingly to cut each layer of the fabric he had so lovingly fashioned.

After he had taken apart the entire jacket and laid out each scrap of material on the table, he began to do the same with the vest and the pants. Slowly and meticulously, he cut each layer and carefully laid it out on the table.

The king and his entourage were all watching with rapt attention as the tailor took apart the last few inches of what had once been a pair of pants and laid it out on the table.

As the last piece of fabric was set down, the king gasped because there on the table lay exactly five yards of fabric!

There was not an inch of material missing!

The tailor had clearly shown not only how honest he was, but how well he had constructed the world’s finest erstwhile suit.

“Your majesty,” the tailor said, “now you see how everything fit. Now you understand how every piece of fabric was used. Now you appreciate all the genius that went into the creation of this most wonderful garment. How it pains me that now there is no longer any suit!

Don’t take apart Hashem’s world (like the tailor).

Remember that your difficulties are custom tailored for you! Hashem knows what is best for you and what you need at every stage in your life.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Spoken Words

The spoken word is a powerful thing,
Whether uttered by a pauper, an actor, a king,
For each word has meaning that to it is unique,
Your words are a part of you that take wings when you speak.

Whether whispered very softly or hurled in a shout,
A word is unstoppable once it’s let out,
When you part with a word you can’t take it back,
It flies to its intended, its full meaning intact.

A word can be a healing thing,
A word can make a sore heart sing,
Giving relief, hope and courage to those in tears,
Building bridges between strangers, dispelling all fears.

But a word can be a pain-giving thing,
It can cut, it can hurt, it can deeply sting,
And both speaker and listener, regret and shame,
For the bond that was, will never be the same.

A word once spoken is a life enhancing tool,
But a weapon of destruction in the mouth of a fool,
Weigh your words carefully, release them with thought,
For words that take flight, can never be caught.

Written by Cheryl Kupfer

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Protection From Harm

Sometimes, we underestimate the power of one small mitzvah. We may think to ourselves, "How important is it to do something that seems so small? Does it really make a difference if I kiss the mezuzah every time I pass one in the doorway?"

But the mitzvos we do really are important. They really do make a difference. Even the ones that may seem small are much greater than we imagine.

Here are two stories that illustrate the power of one small mitzvah and how it can truly save lives.

Prior to the Israeli Army’s last incursion into Gaza, an effort was made to purchase pairs of tzitzis for not yet religious Israeli soldiers. The Army agreed that if the tzitzis were made to specific specifications, e.g. “non slip”, and special material, they would allow the soldiers to wear them. Funds were raised and numerous soldiers asked for and were given tzitzis, for many this was the very first time they were zocheh to this mitzvah. A division of the elite Golan brigade is known as the Yalom force. This team of ten elite highly trained soldiers is assigned the riskiest covert operations. They have a support staff of sixty soldiers, including spotters, reconnaissance, etc. supporting their efforts. Camouflaged as Chablonim, terrorists, they were assigned the mission of penetrating the enemy front lines and preparing for the Israeli incursion to follow. It was in middle of the night, they were lying on a rooftop in enemy territory, shooting down at the enemy, when suddenly Israeli warplanes spotted them from above and began raking the rooftop with machine gun fire. Communications were down, and there was no way to notify the planes that these were “our boys”. Suddenly, a few of them jumped up, tore off their shirts and began waving their tzitzis that they were wearing. The soldiers in the plane saw the tzitzis and flew off. The mitzvah of tzitzis saved their lives.

This story was told by Rav Moshe Tuvia Lieff, Shlita, at last week’s Pirkei Avos shiur. He was told the story by a mispallel
of his Shul in Minneapolis, whose son was one of the soldiers on the rooftop.

* * *

The following story was submitted by a reader of the Hakhel daily emails.

My father's tzitzis saved his life. He was once mugged by a young person who was very nervous and obviously "new" on the job. At the time, my father was very strong and could have easily overpowered the mugger except for one thing--the mugger had a gun pointed to my father's head and my father was afraid that the shaking mugger would shoot him just out of nerves even if he did not intend to shoot. The mugger held one hand on the gun pointed directly to my father's head and with the other hand he went through my father's pockets, all the while it was obvious that the mugger was nervous. When the mugger pulled out my father's tzitzis he asked what they were. When my father replied that they were “holy strings" the strangest thing happened. Something overcame the mugger and he calmed down. He told my father to lie down on the ground...and promptly ran away!

Look at how powerful one little mitzvah is! The tzitzis these people wore were a protection for them and saved them from harm!

You never know how your little mitzvah can really affect the things that happen to you. One extra inch, covering your hair, knees, elbows or any part that should be covered - these are very big in Hashem's eyes!

When you are careful with saying brachos properly, washing your hands before you eat bread, kissing the mezuzah, remember that although these actions may seem small in your eyes, they are not small at all-they are big!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Questions, Answers & Their Importance

These questions were submitted anonymously by the same person and answered by R' Dovid Levine.

Q: Why did Hashem bring us a neshama if we would get big troubles in life?

A: Hashem gave us a neshama so we could choose to do His will, rectify the world according to His plan, and, consequently, enjoy indescribable eternal pleasure.

Q: I have always wondered why does Hashem try to hide His face doesn't he want us to know He is there with us at all times?

A:Hashem hides because we are not great enough for Him to show Himself and still have free will. For the world to reach its purpose, we need to have free will to serve him. If He showed Himself, everyone would feel no choice but to do the right thing. Also, in order to increase our accomplishments and reward, Hashem raises the challenge by hiding in nature.

Q: I have recently learned that there is four different kind of galus there all very bad the one we are in is very very long why does there have to be more than one different galus?
A: The world needs to travel a long path to rectification. We need to travel along four roads of galus to reach the objective. Each one of the four roads bring us closer to the ultimate redemption.

Q: Its been years years and a lot of years! when will moshiach finally come!
Q: I heard all about moshiach but how do I really know it will come? how do I know its not a joke I hear all about it
A: The more important question is are we doing our job. Moshiach is mostly Hashem’s business, and it is not supposed to be the focus of our life. We need to focus on fulfilling the mitzvos and improving our emunah and middos.
We get great reward when we have doubts and still try to accept what the Torah says. The Torah refers to Moshiach and his times in several places: Beraishis 49:10, Bamidbar 24:17-19, Devarim 30:1-10, 32:34-43. Look them up. Many more times the ultimate redemption is spoken of by our prophets in Na”ch. Just as the exiles the Torah warns about came true, so will the redemption it promises.

As always, questions are encouraged so that I can work on getting the best answers for you.You can submit it anonymously on the right, post your question as a comment or if you would like, you can send an email to inspirationalinformation1 [at] gmail [dot] com and the answer to your question will be sent to your inbox.
It is so important to ask questions about yiddishkeit. Although it is important to remember that "the first thing to understand is that we can't understand," that's just a prerequisite to any question you have. But if a person were to live their lives repeating this line to themselves and not seeking answers, they'd be in very big trouble!

Torah is not about stifling questions and never getting answers. If our rabbanim and gedolim did that, we wouldn't have clarity in any area. That's what all the meforshim are all about - they asked, (understood that we may not be able to fully understand) and then dug deep to try to find the answers-and got them! That's how a person can develop and appreciate the depth of Torah and the beauty of it, from the questions AND the answers!! If not for all the questions, how would we have torah sheba'al peh? All the seforim on all topics that we have now come from people's thirst for knowledge and answers!! So if you ever have other questions, make sure you ask someone. Don't let yourself be satisfied with "we cannot understand" - when it's the first stage. Ask. And then if you don't get the most satisfying answer, you should have that line in the back of your head. But keep searching, keep asking and keep looking because you will find the answer!!

When I was in high school, a girl in my class asked a question to our teacher (a good, deep question) and the teacher said she would answer her after class. (I guess she felt it was too long of an answer to give over to the whole class in middle of the lesson and the answer would be deep and possibly fly over some girls heads) and I was stuck with that question for a long time...until one day I took out the Hamodia and saw the exact question and an amazingly clear answer right before my very own eyes!! I was so floored and the answer was so good and so deep! (I just wish I would have saved that page from the paper.)

So just keep in mind how very important it is to ask-because that is the foundation of our Torah. Questions and answers give us a love and appreciation for who we are and what treasure we have!! May you always feel so lucky to be a Jew and may you always find the best answers to your important questions!! :-)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Footprints - You Are Never Alone!

Footprints In The Sand

One night a man had a dream. He dreamed he was walking along the beach with Hashem. Scenes from his life flashed across the sky and he noticed two sets of footprints in the sand, one belonging to him and the other to Hashem.
When the last scene of his life had flashed before him, he recalled that at the lowest and saddest times of his life there was only one set of footprints. Dismayed, he asked, "Hashem, you said that once I decided to follow you, you'd walk with me all the way. I don't understand why, when I needed you most, you would leave me."

Hashem replied, "My precious child, I love you and I would never leave you. During your times of trial and suffering when you saw only one set of was then that I carried you."

This is a very powerful piece of writing. You may have read it before but I thought it was worth posting for those who might not have seen it and for the message to be taken from it.

There are so many times that you may feel alone. You have to remember that you are NOT alone, you are never alone, no matter what you are going through. Always remember that no matter how hard your life is, there is Someone orchestrating every detail of your day and He is always there with you.

When things are difficult and you feel you have nowhere left to turn, turn upwards, towards
your loving Father. Hashem is listening to you whenever you call out to Him. Speak to Him in any language. He understands all of them because He created them! You don't have to wait for the next chance to daven from a siddur. You can speak to Him throughout the day just like you talk to a friend. Tell Him what's on your mind. He loves hearing from you because you are His precious child!

And best of all, Hashem is never too busy for you. You don't have to schedule an appointment, wait in a waiting room full of people and keep checking your watch to see when He'll be available - because Hashem is ready to listen to you 24/7!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Appreciation - Eyesight

The fact that you have eyes that can see is something to be grateful for every single day. The bracha of pokei'ach ivrim in birchas hashachar mentions just that - that Hashem opens the eyes of the blind. Every morning, when you wake up and are able to see, you should realize how lucky you are to have a pair of eyes that work so perfectly!

They work better than any digital camera you will ever find! They can see in all directions, have a panoramic view and you don't have to wait even an extra second from the moment you see an image - to press buttons, review the picture or develop it, because your eyes work with such incredible speed that you see something, your brain interprets what it sees and then the right messages are sent to you so that you comprehend whatever it is that you just saw! And you don't just have one eye-you have two such priceless cameras that work perfectly! So thank Hashem for it every single day!!

I once heard a great and practical suggestion for bringing this appreciation for your eyesight directly to your heart. Right before you say the bracha of pokei'ach ivrim in the morning, close your eyes for five seconds and let yourself see black. Then, open your eyes, look around at what you see in the room you are in - and then you can fully appreciate the gift of sight, the fact that you can see so clearly and perfectly.

A few summers ago, I was in a bungalow colony for Shabbos. We were in middle of the meal on Friday night when all of a sudden the entire place became dark-there was a blackout. All you could see was the shabbos candles from the windows of each bungalow. (It was actually quite cool! The bungalows were in a circular setup so when we looked out the window, we saw the flickering candles of the entire bungalow colony!) We didn't know how long it would take until we would get power again and so we continued our meal in the dark. Let me tell you, the food did not taste the same! It is something I never realized until I experienced it. The ability to see the food you are about to eat adds so much to your appetite and the enjoyment of your meal! Imagine eating chicken and kugel that you cannot see. Will you enjoy it the same way as when you can see the food?

The lights went back on while we were in middle of the main course. I cannot tell you what a difference it made when we were able to see the food we were in middle of eating. It tasted so much better!

Think about it. How much food would you consume if you ate in the dark? (Maybe it's a good diet idea because then you'd eat a lot less!) How many times do you eat food, not because you are hungry but because you see the food is in front of you and it looks so good?! We have so much to appreciate!!

Imagine if the entire world was black and white. How much more boring would life be? The world is so colorful! We don't just have the colors of the rainbow, there are so many colors that are a combination of two or more colors mixed together. Why do we have so much? Just so we can remember who it comes from and turn to Him and say thank you. How easy is that?

So try to spend some time each day (maybe while saying the bracha of pokei'ach ivrim) appreciating the gift you have been given-the gift of sight!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Beauty of Creation

My friend from Switzerland sent me most beautiful picture I have ever seen. When I saw it, I almost couldn't believe that it was real! She took it this past Sunday while she was benching at a lake in the mountains.

This was my reaction to her email: ohmygosh! is this picture real? it almost looks fake it's so beautiful!! Wow, Hashem really created such beauty in this's unbelievable!!thanks for sending this pic to me!!

I asked her to tell me a little bit about the place she took the picture and this is what she said:

It's only about an hour away from Zurich. The place is called Engelberg and the mountain we went to is called Titlis. We didn't even go all the way up. We only went until the station called Truebsee. See it's a lake, so that's the picture.

I was totally amazed by this picture because it is so, so beautiful! Look at it yourself and tell me, is it not stunning?!

Look at the lake with the mountains in the background. How magnificent is that?!

Hashem created the most beautiful world for us to live in. There are so many places to go where you will see the most incredible sights in the world. We are so lucky to be able to see it all. And why was it put into this world? So when we see it, we will remember Who created such a stunning place for us to live in and thank Him!

Ma Rabu Ma'asecha Hashem - Thank you Hashem for all the beautiful sights for us to see in this world!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Jack OUT of the box

Try your best to give everyone the benefit of the doubt, and focus on the customized unique gifts Hashem gave each and every one of us! We'd love to hear your experiences with courage and finding your unique strengths.

For years they whispered behind his back,
They just couln't relate to uncle Jack

Who was constantly miserable inside the box,
He felt so chained- and trapped with locks!

He tried to comply with what he was told,
But he just couldn't squeeze into the mold.

Choices in the box were just up or down,
But Jack just wanted to go to town.

One day he just had enough,
Life in the box was much too tough!!

He wiggled and jiggled and turned his crank,
with all his strength he gave a YANK.

And felt the rip that set him free,
Now uncle Jack was filled with glee,

With boundless energy he bounced all around,
learning from everything that could be found,

He pondered the purpose and meaning of life,
and discovered new ways to prevent world strife,

(He even managed to find a wife-
Her name is Jill, yes that one from the hill),

His creative ideas the doctors resisted,
But Jack found the cures, because he persisted.

He grew as he helped the others he met,
and his work isn't done- not as of yet.

As a child they considered him a zero.
but now they admit that he's a real hero!

We've all met people that seem a bit weird,
Maybe we're snobs or maybe just scared,

Gather your courage, be brave and reach out,
the response you'll get will assuage your doubt.

Beware and don't look at that odd guy with disdain,
For one day he may do surgery on your brain,

So the next time you meet someone who doesn't follow the pack,
Before you pass judgment-

Remember Uncle Jack.

Giving Tzeddaka - A Video

Here is a great video with a powerful message on giving tzeddaka.

So keep this in mind next time you do this special mitzvah and may you always be on the giving end!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

I'm a Millionaire!!

No, I didn't win the lottery! It's just that I wanted to share an incredible thought with you. And once you come to this realization, you can also be a millionaire!

I once heard this from a speech from R' Shimshon Pincus. It was so amazing and I wanted to tell it to you because I think you can all gain from it! I'm not sure if it's exactly what he said or if some of my own thoughts are mixed in while I'm writing it, but either way, it's good to hear...

He was talking about bitachon and trusting in Hashem and that everything comes from Him. So he was saying that what's the difference between me and the millionaire? The millionaire has tonz of money in the bank. He doesn't even use it all every single day. The fact that his money is sitting in the bank is what makes him a millionaire. But can he depend on his money? From one minute to the next, Hashem can do anything that will make him lose his money. But me, I'm even richer than the millionaire because I have Hashem! And Hashem has all the money in the world! I don't have the worries that the millionaire has, what if this happens, what if that happens, because I know that as soon as I need the money, Hashem will provide me with it! And if I do not need it, I wont have it!! It's that simple!! (Halevei it should be that simple for us, but for R' Pincus, it was so clear!)

It's such an amazing thing, to be able to live with this level of emunah!

Also, the difference between me and the millionaire is the money that's in the bank. It's not that he needs the money that minute so it's really all in the head because as long as the guy knows his money is in his bank account, he's happy, he knows he has it. But if someone would tell him that he lost all his money, even if he had no need for it, he would get so upset!! Why? Because his money isn't in his account anymore! Did he need that money? Not that minute! He just needed to know that the money was there!! He might want it for the future but if he worked on his trust in Hashem, he would know that as soon as he needs the money, He will get it in a way that only Hashem knows!! And so we should remind ourselves that Hashem knows exactly how much money we need at all times! He has more money than all the million & billionaires!! And as soon as you need the money, as soon as Hashem feels you need the money, you will have it!

I remember learning in seminary about the passuk in tehillim, "mizmor l'dovid, Hashem ro'ee lo echsar" - Hashem is my shephard, I am not missing out on anything. This means that: whatever I have I need and whatever I don't have, I don't need. A person should tell themselves this all the time because we need this reminder. If I have it, I need it and if I don't have it right now, I don't need it!!

It's such an important thing to keep reminding ourselves! Tell it to yourself again and again!! You have whatever you need! Hashem knows you best, He knows your needs and wants and as soon as you need it, you will have it!

(This is talking about things that you cannot change, for example, the family you were born into and thing like that. Many things can be changed through tefillah.)

This is not only with money, it's with many other things and we can use this lesson for everything and anything. Hashem knows what you need and He has reasons for each thing He puts you through!!

May you be able to live every day of your life with the knowledge and realization that everything comes from Hashem, He can do anything and may you be able to strengthen your faith in Him more and more each day!