Friday, October 29, 2010
Thank you divrei chizzuk.com for this incredile post!! you will get such a great feeling in thanking hashem&seeing extra brachos in ur life!!
Then he spoke how people had problems (all kinds) and tried to just focus on thanking Hashem for 2 weeks and saw such help from above. Problems were solved and wonderful things were happening. Let us all try for the next 2 weeks just to focus on thanking Hashem for everything we have and what he has given us, include everything you can think of that Hashem put in the world. Look around and just thank Hashem no matter how small or how big it seems. Thank Hashem and say Gam Zu L'tova and put your trust in Him, believe in Hashem.As we are working on ourselves on saying THANK YOU TO HASHEM!!!
Here is a another thing I heard from the shiur. When one thanks Hashem all the windows in Hashem's palace are opened and Hashem pours down on that person yeshuos, hashem tells the melachaim send that person more and more,without the person even having to ask for it. But when a person cries for nothing is misyaesh feeling down complainig not happy all the windows in Hashem's palace are closed. That is what brings all the problems. Just keep thanking Hashem!!!!
How to be a ''CAN DO'' person.
“I was feeling down so I went to a class on the Torah approach to happiness. The young rabbi spoke well, and he was quite interesting, but when you’re not into something it is hard to take it seriously. He spoke about what he called ‘The Happiness Game’, which he said was a powerful tool for getting out of sad moods and staying upbeat. ‘All you have to do,’ he said with conviction, ‘is make a continuous list of your blessings that you add to each day, starting with the most obvious things in life, like your eyes, for example, and then your nose, etc. … because for everything you have there are people who don’t, so they count as blessings. And you keep adding to the list every time you can think of something for which to be grateful, even if it seems so obvious to you. There is some kind of psychological thing,’ he explained, ‘about seeing so many blessings on a single page or in a single book. It just lifts you,’ he finished. Personally, I didn’t think his little psychology game had much merit, at least not for me, so after the class I just forgot all about it. But, my situation worsened, and over the weeks I became more desperate for anything to lighten my mood. So, just to say I tried everything, I started playing his ‘Happiness Game’ and to my utter surprise it began to work for me instantly … and it just kept getting better. Even when I wasn’t adding to the list I felt the comfort of my blessings everywhere I went. When bad thoughts came to me to bring me down, remembering my list would lift me up again. I had great pleasure just reviewing the list over a cup of coffee, and it never got boring. There is this magical effect that keeps it alive and real for me, as if my emotions have a soft spot for it or something. After a while, I stopped adding to the list because the list became me. I may have forgotten many of the items, but I always feel as if I have everything to be grateful for, and feel no threat of depression anymore. And, I can always review the list …”
This is the other end of the continuum. On one side we have to believe that we’re going to get what we want and succeed at what we are trying to do. We have to be bota’ach — trust — in God and remember that nothing stands in the way of bitachon (Sha’arei Leshem, p. 114). Nothing
And He doesn't "do" just for some people, He is ready, willing, and able, to "do" for each and every Jew on this earth! But people have grown distant from Him, and have forgotten how to speak with Him. So I can tell you: Just talk to HaShem in your own words, your own language. He's the Creator of all language, He understands them all! Tell Him that you love Him, and want to get closer. Tell Him that you need whatever it is you need.
Rebbetzin Kamenetsky has tells people often that when I thank HaSHem for something He has done for me I am remiss if I do not immediately ask Him for something else.
She says- He loves to be asked for things!!!!
keep thanking Hashem & say over and over
"Hashem loves when I ask Him for things.
Thursday, October 28, 2010
There are three possibilities in the performance of chessed:
- As we see from the thoughts and actions of Avraham Avinu, one who
actively seeks and pursues chessed, looking in the distance for opportunities, and not resting on laurels or being complacent with past and even significant accomplishments.
- One who properly and meticulously performs chessed, but only when the opportunity arises, such as the knock at the door-giving a respectable amount, b’Sever Panim Yafos.
- One who does not utilize every chessed opportunity, and does not like “getting caught” in a chessed, but instead does chessed “in his way” and “at his time.”
Obviously the chessed of our forefather Avraham is the #1 enhanced and preferred method. With this in mind, the Skulener Rebbe looks to the zemiros that many of us sing on Friday night: “Dorshei Hashem Zerah Avraham Ohavo HaMe’achrim Latzeis Min HaShabbos U’Memeharim Lavo - seekers of Hashem descendents of Avraham His beloved, who delay parting from Shabbos and rush to enter.” The Rebbe queries, what does rushing to enter or delaying to leave the Shabbos have to do with the fact that we are descendents of Avraham His beloved?! He beautifully looks to the three levels of chessed performance, and compares them to our Shabbos performance as well:
“There are those, like Avraham Avinu, who look out for shabbos well in advance, beginning preparations to enhance the shabbos earlier on in the week - What do I need to buy? What do I need to clean? What do I need to prepare? Is there anything that happened last Shabbos that I have to improve upon or make sure that it does not happen again? What do I need to learn this shabbos?
This enhanced level of preparation, U’Memeharim Lavo,is a mark of the progeny of Avraham Avinu, and labels one as an especial Doresh Hashem as described in the zemiros.
The second level of shabbos preparation, with almost everything left for Erev Shabbos, and much especially left for the hours close to shabbos, is comparable to the second level of chessed in which the Mitzvah is properly performed, but lacks the grand level of excellence attributable to our forefather.
The third level, of course is the person who does not seem to get it all together on time and is “caught by the bell” (or the siren), having done what he could under the circumstances, but entering into and experiencing shabbos with something lacking, just as the one not recognizing or properly dealing with the chessed opportunities that have presented themselves to him….
We are coming off the very shabbos in which we witnessed Avraham Avinu’s anticipation and earnestness in pursuit of Chesed. It is up to us, teaches the Skulener Rebbe, to take the lesson to heart for shabbos kodesh and to look out, put additional thought, effort, and action into enhancing the coming Shabbos early-on.
Perhaps the best way to demonstrate that we are the descendants of Avraham Avinu is by following his great and active lead, as we look out for Shabbos, and begin to prepare for it with love!
(Taken from yesterday's Hakhel post)
Monday, October 25, 2010
As he looked at the others high over his head.
“I know I should fall if I tried to fly.”
"Try,” said the big kite, “only try,
"Or I fear you never will learn at all.”
But the little kite said, “I’m afraid I’ll fall.”
The big kite nodded, “Oh, well good bye,
"I’m off,” and he rose toward the tranquil sky.
Then the little kite’s paper stirred at the sight,
And trembling he shook himself free for flight.
First whirling and frightened, then braver grown,
Up, up, he rose through the air alone,
Till the big kite looking down could see,
The little one rising steadily.
Then, how the little kite thrilled with pride
As he sailed with the big kite side by side!
While far below he could see the ground,
And the girls like small spots moving around.
They rested high in the quiet air,
And only the birds and clouds were there.
“Oh! How happy I am!” the little kite cried,
“And all because I was brave and tried!”
Taken from www.chinuch.org by Miss Antebi
Friday, October 22, 2010
Lest we think that Avraham's treatment of his guests was something someone only on his level could achieve, we need not look so far back in time. A visitor recalls his visit to Reb Elyah Lopian after Tzom Gedaliah when Reb Elyah was already in his 90s.
"Reb Elyah's first question was whether I had eaten yet," recalls Mr. Jakobovits. "It was shortly after the end of the fast, and I told him in all honesty that I hadn't. He brought me into the dining room filled with bachurim. He sat at the head table, and sat me down next to him, while someone brought me a cup of coffee and something to eat. I chose not to drink the coffee right away.
"Seeing this, Reb Elyah rose from his seat and went to the other table to bring me some sugar. In his weakened state he could barely walk, but he brought the sugar and put some into my cup, although I certainly had not asked him to do this. Someone else could easily have seen to my needs, but Reb Elyah would not have allowed it. There was a chesed to be done, and he would not have allowed any physical difficulties of his own to prevent him from performing this chesed personally."
(Reb Elyah, Rabbi David J. Schlossberg, p.88)
There was a time I went away for shabbos and was told I will be staying in someone’s basement. Nothing more was said. When I got there, the place was set up so beautifully and so fancy! It looked like a hotel. There was a mini fridge in the closet with cold soda, the drawers were filled with Mishpacha Magazines to read, there were a few leather siddurim and leather krias shema cards in another drawer in the night table…I felt so important! I was treated like a queen and felt so special to have such a stunning place set up for me to stay at. This is the way to do this special mitzvah of hachnosas orchim – and without saying much. The hosts of this house truly epitomized “emor me’at v’asay harbei” – say a little and do a lot! Mi K’amcha Yisroel!!
Thursday, October 21, 2010
The Posuk teaches that Avrohom Avinu encamped to the west of the City of Ai and to the east of the City of Bais Kail. [Note: HaRav Chaim Kanievsky, Shlita, rules that the name of Hashem should not be mentioned when mentioning the City “Bais Kail”.] Chazal (Sanhedrin 44B) teach that Avrohom Avinu encamped in this place in order to daven for his descendants who he foresaw would have trouble with the people of Ai. The lesson Chazal draw from this is that “LeOlam Yakdim Adam Tefillah LeTzara - a person should always daven before a tzara takes place" with the hope that the tefilla will void the need for the tzara. We note that Chazal do not distinguish between 'sizes' of tzara, and that the lesson applies to tzaros of all kinds both large and small.
For example, as we are now in a “changing weather” season, one can certainly daven to Hashem that he not get a cold, strep, or any virus, infection, or other illness which r’l seems to be more prevalent during these times. Nothing is too big or too small for Hashem. We should be smart enough to recognize in advance that He is the Source of Everything, that He starts and stops, brings on and withholds, weakens, invigorates and reinvigorates, and can bring on pain, adjust it, and cure it. Our ability to sincerely daven to Hashem in advance, demonstrating our emunah and bitachon, may obviate the need for symptoms, events, and occurrences which may have been otherwise necessary, but are no longer needed!
In the bracha of Refa'einu, we should focus when we especially ask Hashem for "Hoshi'ainu VeNiva'shaiya" save us from sicknesses (one can, of course, be more specific in his personal requests) and their causes (Kuntres Avodas HaTefillah).
I remember reading from R' Shimshon Pincus zt"l how important it is to daven for things to stay the way they are before a bad thing happens. A person should always daven to remain healthy because it takes more zechusim to heal a sick person and more tefillos on your part than when you daven for the person before they even get sick. We can take this lesson for all aspects of our lives and daven for all kinds of things before the tragedy strikes chas v'shalom.
There are, of course, other tzaros to avoid besides sickness - the nuclear threats of madmen; the effects of an estimated tens of thousands of rockets around Eretz Yisroel in the hands of terrorists; issues relating to shidduchim, marriage and parent-child relationships, parnassah and money.... We know to Whom to turn--let us take the lesson of Avrohom Avinu and do what we can to help save ourselves, our people, and the world from pain and suffering, from difficulty and devastation - tefillah is the preemptive strike that Hashem is looking for!
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
There is a story told about a little boy who lived in South Florida and decided to go for a cooling swim in the old swimming hole behind his house. In a hurry to dive into the cool water, he forgot to check the water for dangers before he jumped in. He didn’t realize that as he swam towards the middle of the lake, an alligator was swimming to the shore.
In the house the mother was looking out the window and saw the two as they got closer and closer together. Terrified, she ran toward the water, yelling to her son as loudly as she could. Hearing her voice, the little boy became alarmed and made a u-turn to swim towards his mother. But it was too late. Just as he reached her, the alligator reached him.
From the dock, the mother grabbed her little boy by the arms just as the alligator snatched his legs. That began an incredible tug-of-war between the two. The alligator was much stronger, but the mother loved her son too much to let go. A farmer happened to drive by and heard the screams, raced from his truck and shot the alligator.
Remarkably, after weeks in the hospital, the little boy survived. His legs were extremely scarred by the vicious attack of the animal, and on his arms were deep scratches where his mother's fingernails had dug into him in her effort to hang on to the son she loved.
A newspaper reporter, who interviewed the boy after the trauma, asked if he'd show him his scars. The boy lifted up his pant leg. And then, with obvious pride, he said to the reporter, "But look at my arms. I have great scars on my arms, too. I have them because my mom wouldn’t let go."
You and I can identify with this little boy. We all have our own scars as well. Not from an alligator, or anything quite so dramatic, but the scars of wrong decisions and mistakes. Some of those scars are unsightly and have caused us deep regret. But some wounds are there because Hashem wants to protect and provide for you in every way. But sometimes we foolishly wade into dangerous situations. The swimming hole of life is filled with peril – and we sometimes forget that the yetzer hara is waiting to attack. That's when the tug-of-war begins. As the yetzer hara scars your legs with aveiros, Hashem is scarring your arms with tzaros only to get you out of the yetzer hara's grasp.
Don’t complain that your tefillos concerning your tzaros aren’t being answered because they are the answer. Be very grateful for those scars on your arms because it is telling you that Hashem did not and will not let you go.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Today, yud aleph cheshvan, is Rachel Imeinu's yartzeit. Here are two things I would like to share with you.
Why is Rachel the only one of the imahos that are called "Imeinu"? There's no Sara Imeinu, Rivkah Imeinu or Leah Imeinu? Why is she the lucky one to be called, OUR MOTHER?!
We all know, that Lavan fooled Yaakov and set up that Leah should marry him instead of Rachel. So what did Rachel do? She spared her sister major pain and emarrassment by giving over the simanim to Leah.
When she did this, not only did she give up her olam hazeh, that she would now have to be married to the rasha, Eisav, she also gave up her olam habah. At that point, she had no idea that she would still marry Yaakov. In her mind, by giving up the simanim, she was giving up her whole life - in this world and in the next!
The dream of every Jewish woman is to bring up a family. She wants to be a mother to her children so she can have a part in the future of Klal Yisroel.
And that is why she is given the title of Rachel Imeinu. Since she gave up her dream to be a mother of Klal Yisroel, she is called by the beloved title of Rachel Imeinu.
I remember learning the following in 10th grade from my teacher, Reb. Slomowitz…(b’shem omro, I hope it brings the geulah real quick because we really need it!)
When we speak about Rachel Imeinu, we say, “Kol B’ramah nishma…Rachel mivaka al baneha ki eineinu…” a voice is heard on high…Rachel is crying about her children…
The word mivaka seems to be grammatically incorrect. The definition of mivaka is to cause someone else to cry. The question is, why do we use this term for cry? If Rachel is crying for us on high, (as we know that Hashem says that her tears are going to bring the geula, not the tears of any of the avos) why is the term "causing to cry" used?! It should probably say, Rachel boche, Rachel "is crying" because she is constantly crying for us to come out of galus!!!!!
The answer is, that Rachel Imeinu is crying because we Jews are not crying! She is trying to get us to cry out of the pain of galus because we seem to forget where we are. Hashem puts us through so much pain and suffering in galus and our job is to cry out to Him and BEG Him to take us out! But instead, we try to ignore the pain we are in and try to run away from the pain using all sorts of escapes and distractions. We forget that we are in galus by making ourselves comfortable here. We try to enjoy life to the fullest instead of remembering that we are supposed to be davening to come out!! What we have to do now is cry out to Hashem and beg and plead for Him to take us out!!!
Rachel is trying to get us to cry, to feel uncomfortable in galus! If we don’t feel like we are in galus and we don’t cry out to Hashem, then why should He take us out altogether?! If we are fine where we are, then why should anything change?! The only way to get out is by asking for it! And if Hashem sees we really want to come out, He will take us out!!!!
And I’m telling you, when we come out of this galus, life will be so beautiful! Life will be soo unbelievable! We will live with total clarity and understanding of Hashem and His world and our job in it! We will feel what Torah means and realize how much we were missing out on beforehand!!
So take out your siddur, take out your tehillim or use your own words to BEG Hashem to bring us out of galus!!
And THEN Hashem will tell Rachel Imeinu, “Minee koleich m’bechee v’einayich midim’ah,” Rachel, you can stop crying, because “v’shavu banim ligevulam,” Bnei Yisroel will return to their boundaries!
May we all have the zechus to see these very words come true!!
Here's a link to the comments from last year's post. Feel free to add your own!
Saturday, October 16, 2010
What can we learn from this?
The Torah isn't just a storybook - it is a guide for life. It is here to give us lessons on how to live life today - here and now. It's not just nice stories about our ancestors and the things they did. There are practical lessons for us to be able to apply to our lives, so many generations later and we can learn them from studying the parsha. The Torah is eternal and the things written in it so many years ago still apply to us today!
Hashem wanted Avraham to experience firsthand what it's like to be a guest, a traveler, a stranger in another land so that he would be able to bring his mitzvah of to another level. Avraham, who was a master host, the best you can get at treating guests needed to see what it's like to be a guest at someone's house so that he would get to feel the discomforts, the shyness, the awkwardness a guest feels when he goes to the home of someone he doesn't know. Then, he would be able to fulfill this mitzvah to the maximum.
And we see, in next week's parsha, Parshas Vayeira, three malachim (angels) disguised as guests came to Avraham's house. He greeted them, welcomed them in and treated them in the best way possible, and he did this only after he himself was a guest, after he knew what it felt like to be uncomfortable in a stranger's house. That's when the Torah tells us how he fulfilled this mitzvah of hachnosas orchim.
We can take this to another level.
The best way to know how to treat others is by putting yourself in their shoes. Try to imagine what it's like to be in their situation. Then and only then can you really identify with what they are going through and treat them properly. When you hear that someone just went through something difficult, the way for you to truly feel with them and know how to help them is to try to picture in your mind what they are experiencing. Then you can try to help them out the best way possible.
It is interesting that many organizations were started by people who were in a situation and needed help. Once they realized what it was like to, for example, care for a sick family member without support, deal with the overwhelming feelings and needs of the birth of a special needs child, take care of marrying off children when there is only one parent to do the job, they decided to start an organization that would help others in the same situation so they could make it easier for them when they have to go through it too.
Many of these big organizations only started by people who felt a lack - and decided to do something about it!
So the lesson you can take from the parsha is that just like Avraham had to go through the experience of being a guest in a stranger's home before he could fully appreciate and fulfill the mitzvah of hachnosas orchim, the way to feel for someone else is by putting yourself in their shoes. This way, you will be a better friend and a better support to those you know who are experiencing difficult times in their lives. And when someone you know is going through happy times, by you feeling with them and putting yourself in their shoes, you can really be excited for them and experience joy on a whole new level.
May you always be able to join in others simchas and happy times!
Thursday, October 14, 2010
I have two pair of glasses,
I wear them every day,
The difference is that one is “Rose”
And one is tinted “Grey”
There are some days
When things go wrong,
I end up feeling “Blue”
My mood is bad,
I’m feeling sad,
But I know just what to do!
I change my pair of glasses
To the one that’s tinted “Rose”
My day looks so much brighter,
I forget about my woes.
My friend got a new dress to wear
It’s much nicer than mine
Uh oh! I’m “Green” with envy
My dress is not as fine
I change my pair of glasses
To the one that’s tinted “Rose”
And say “What a pretty dress you have
I love your taste in clothes.”
My sister that is one years old
Tore my new book page by page
I yelled, and screamed, and shouted
And turned “Purple” with rage.
I change my pair of glasses
To the one that’s tinted “Rose”
I forgive my little sister
“Cuz that’s all a baby knows!”
My friend and I argued
We called each other names
We hurt each others feelings
My face turned “Red” with shame
I change my pair of glasses
To the one that’s tinted “Rose”
I told her “I am sorry”
We’re friends again, not foes.
Wouldn’t days be happy
And wouldn’t weeks go by
With “Neon hues of color”
If we would only try?
To wear one pair of glasses
Not the “Clouded or the “Grey”
But our “Rose Tinted Glasses”
To brighten every day!!
This is the first of a new series on CHARACTER PERFECTION taken from http://www.chinuch.org/ by Miss Antebi
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Soon, Yankele’s Tatty realizes that his son is no longer with him and he begins to search frantically for his lost son! He hurries to the Police station to inquire whether they have received a lost child. To his relief, they answer in the affirmative and ask him to prove that the boy is truly his own son. All of a sudden, a shrieking child is heard in the background…..
Yankele makes a beeline straight for his Tatty and grabs him and hugs him tight…WHERE DID YOU GO, TATTY!!!! Why did you leave me! In this instant, there are no questions as to this Father/Son relationship, Yankele holds his father tight and vows to never let go again!
This is the definition of Teshuva – Repentance! This moment in time facilitates the most powerful type of connection to Borei Olam; through the power of a true Teshuva!
We are all children of Hashem. We love our Tatty in heaven and he loves us unconditionally in return. Hashem provides for all of our needs. We try to stay close and keep a connection with Hashem. However, we are all human and at times we stray far away by virtue of our sins which act as a barrier to distance ourselves from Hashem Yisborach.
However, there comes a moment in time – when we fall so low, we stumble so severely AND THEN WE SUDDENLY FIND HASHEM (Yom Kippur is such a day)!
In this instant, we cry out to Hashem with the force of all of our mishaps, of our trials, tribulations and failures – and we scream; TATTY, WHERE ARE YOU?? WHY DID YOU LEAVE ME!! I NEED YOU!!!
We proceed to grab Hashems hand with such a fierce love and longing and with a deep and unswerving desire to never let go again!
This situation of love is the distinguishing characteristic between our situation before and after Yom Kippur.
It is this overwhelming feeling of love, generated by our finding Hashem during the awesome days of Rosh Hashana through Yom Kippur, which leads us into the days of Sukkos – which are precisely defined as days of love and devotion to Hashem!
In fact, everything we do on Sukkos (from our move into the Sukkah – to our shaking of our Arba Minim) is replete with the overtones and demonstration of love for Hashem Yisborach!
Monday, October 11, 2010
Sunday, October 10, 2010
We have to thank Hashem for the animal’s eyes, too. But whatever there is in the world, is given for the purpose of making us aware of Hashem. And not only thank Hashem for the fact that we have eyes to use, but the eye itself is a testimony.
You know; that Rasha himself, Darwin, Yemach Shemo, himself said, that when I come to the subject of the eye, I feel somewhat faint to think that such a contrivance could happen by itself. He felt somewhat faint, he should faint, he’s in Gihenom fainting right now.
The eyes are a wonderful thing, Nisay Nissim what an eye is, you have to talk about the eye, at length - to appreciate it. Wonder of wonders. It’s a camera taking pictures every second, color pictures, and it functions perfectly not only for close nearby pictures, but it can focus on far away pictures in the same minute. When I look at you, now the camera, I have to adjust it for far away, but immediately the eye adjusts for far away pictures, then I turn back to you, close pictures. Wonderful.
You're sitting in a car speeding down the road, you look at the speedometer right here, and then you look at the mountains miles ahead; you couldn't do that with a camera. The wonders of the eye would occupy volumes and volumes to explain. And the eye itself testifies to the endless wisdom of its great designer. And therefore when we thank Hashem, Pokeach Ivrim, not only for the happiness of the eye, not only for the joy of sight, we appreciate a life of color and motion. Great pity, a great sadness to lose sight. Opportunity that sight gives us to gain understanding, to see people we love, to be able to guard ourselves against danger, when you have to cross the street, pitfalls. Eyes are not only useful for us in every sense but the eyes bring us the greatest benefit of all, the awareness of the great Designer who brought such a most complicated contrivance into existence.
This question was answered by R' Avigdor Miller zt"l. If you would like to get more emails like these, they are sent out once a week. You can subscribe by clicking on this link.
Saturday, October 9, 2010
You wake up every morning, daven, eat a kosher breakfast (do you even think twice about that?!), get dressed in your uniform/skirt and top or whatever it is that you are wearing...for these kiruv girls, this is a huge struggle! Their parents are against them and they have to put up such a fuss to be able to eat kosher or even wear a skirt! So just because they don't look like you, doesn't mean they aren't trying and they don't want to! They really do want to be on a certain level but their parents just don't let them! So don't look down at them - instead, respect them for trying so hard and working to get there!
Here's an interesting way to explain this really well.
Every person is trying to climb the spiritual ladder but each person starts off at a different rung. So just because one person starts off higher up on the ladder, doesn't make them any better than someone who started off lower. What matters is how far you have climbed!! People who are working on themselves, even if they are still on a rung that is lower than the one you are on, they may be on a greater level than you - why? because of how high they climbed!! So instead of looking down at other people for the things they don't do, look at yourself and ask: how much did I climb? Am I working on going higher?!
That's what's important - it's important to be striving and growing - and not so much looking at where other people are holding, unless that inspires you to go higher...sometimes it can be so inspirational to watch a non frum girl trying to daven in English! Even though I don't daven in English and it's "better" to daven in hebrew words, a person who cannot read hebrew can daven in English and cause those watching them to be blown away by their sincerity! They are actually greater than me because of their struggles, challenges and how hard they have worked on themselves to become better!!
Friday, October 8, 2010
1. Don't miss the boat
2. Remember that we are all in the same boat.
3. Plan ahead. It wasn't raining when Noach built the Ark.
4. Stay fit. When you're 600 years old, someone may ask you to do something really big.
5. Don't listen to the critics, just get on with the job that needs to be done.
6. Build your future on high ground.
7. For safety's sake, travel in pairs.
8. Speed isn't always an advantage. The snails were on board with the cheetahs.
9. Whe you're stressed out, float a while.
10. Remember, the Ark was built by amateurs-the Titanic by proffessionals.
And my favorite one...
11. No matter the storm, there's always a rainbow waiting.
(Special thanks to my friend Devorah from Switzerland for emailing this to me. I love it!)
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
R' Mordechai was supposed to pick up the others at 5:00 A.M. to catch the flight an hour later. But he overslept, and at 5:30 his brother, a second member of the group, came frantically to his house to see what had happened. R' Mordechai awoke with a start and told his brother to get the others and go without him; he himself would have to make the next plane. The three others made their way to the airport as R' Mordechai frantically put his things together, dashing around to find his tallis, tefillin, attaché case, trade samples, and car keys. Equipped with a cup of coffee and his radar detector, he drove with abandon and got to the plane just as the doors were about to be closed. The others were surprised that he had made it.
The plane took off from Cleveland's Hopkins Airport in perfect weather. But shortly after the flight was in progress, the captain announced that he had just been informed that there was a thick blanket of clouds and fog enveloping the New York City area. He promised the passengers to keep them informed of any developments. The men began to get apprehensive, for they had not really left much time to get from the airport to a minyan and still be on time to the trade show.
The flight continued as passengers tried to figure out alternate ways of getting to their destinations if they couldn't land in New York. Soon the captain's voice came over the intercom again. The news was not good, he announced. The fog had traveled westward over the New Jersey border, and not only was it impossible to land in New York, it would be dangerous even to attempt a landing at Newark Airport. They would have to land further south -- in Washington, D.C.
A member of the airline personnel designated a corner of the waiting room where they could say their morning prayers. The ten men congregated there, each in his tallis and tefillin. All this was in perfect view of any passersby who could watch the proceedings through the glass partition behind which the mispalelim stood.
As they were saying Hallel, a well-dressed man slowly and hesitantly walked into the area where they were davening. A few heads turned to see what he wanted. "Would you mind if I said Kaddish?" the man asked softly.
One of the businessmen, R' Yankel was taken aback. The man hardly looked Jewish. How did he even know about Kaddish, and what did he want with it? It was then that R' Yankel noticed that the man was wearing a black ribbon on his lapel. (Numerous Reform Jews who do not observe the ritual of rending a garment as a sign of mourning wear a black ribbon instead.)
R' Yankel motioned to the man to wait for a few moments and he did so. At the appropriate time R' Yankel went over to the man, and said, "You may begin Kaddish." The man looked around uneasily, then began. "Yisgadal veyiskadash..." he whispered, and burst into tears. He regained his composure and continued, "...shemei rabbah..." The men answered Amen with reverence. The gentleman struggled through the remainder of the words, as the men of the minyan helped him get through the entire Kaddish.
When he finished, he nodded his head in thanks and asked, "Is there another one to recite later?" They told him that there was. He waited patiently and then after the davening they motioned to him once again to begin. And once again as he said the Kaddish he burst into tears. All in the minyan could not help but be touched by the sensitivity and sadness of the man.
When Shacharis ended, one of the Chassidim went over to the gentleman and introduced himself. After a few moments of conversation the chassid said, "I couldn't help but notice that you wee so emotionally torn as you prayed. Is everything all right with you?"
It was then that the gentleman told this incredible story.
"You see," he began, "my father died just a few days ago, and last night he came to me in a dream and said to me, 'Robert, how come you're not saying Kaddish for me?'
"In my dream I replied, "Dad, I hardly know how to say Kaddish, and besides, there are no synagogues where I live and I am always traveling."
"'I need you to say Kaddish,' my father insisted to me. I kept repeating that I just could not get to a place where I could say Kaddish for him. It was then that he asked me, 'But what if I send you a minyan? Would you then say Kaddish?'
"'Of course I would,' I replied, and that's when I woke up. I couldn't believe that dream. I was trembling as I awakened. As I was getting dressed I managed to convince myself that there was really nothing to that dream. But then I came to the airport to catch a flight, and there, to my unbelieving eyes, were all of you praying in a minyan -- in the minyan that was obviously meant for me!"
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Sunday, October 3, 2010
I was in there in brooklyn college when the father got up and said over his story.
I will share with you just the beggining of the story bec we only have one part of the story here...
This father has a son who was 3 yrs old and one night while his wife was getting her son into pjmas she noticed his stomach seemed to be a bit bigger than normal.. every day it grew.. so they said lets go check it out and the worst news was told to them that unfortunately there son was told he has a very very dangerous cancer parents were completely shocked totally unprepared for such news!!!! He was in the hospital for many weeks and he just got worse and worse.. his parents were terrified they did not think he would make it! someone sent him to amnon yitzchok to ask for a bracha to have a miracle happen..his son eliya yoav had a dream that in order for him to get better he needs a sefer torah that is white with a tree on it... they had no clue how they would find such a thing!!! This 3 year old boy would not give up no matter what he begged and begged for the sefer torah!! One day Chai lifeline heard about this and found someone who helped pull this together and his dream came true!! he woke up and asked his father where his torah was... the father said its in the room waiting for you!! the boy totally shocked and got renewed energy and ran to see his torah!!!! wow!!!!what a kiddush hashem mi kiamcha yisroel!!!
this painful time in his life brought him to find hashem in the realest way!!
sit back and watch how great hashem is and hashem waits for us to trust in him and only his power!! see if the doctors could say anything!! only hashem has the power of life and death!! torah and mitzvos can revive a neshama!! lets take this real message home when things are hard for us we must know that the only place to turn to is to our loving father in heaven who will never forsake us!!!
I met this boy and his family they live in Far Rockaway and they are extraordinary people!!! If you would like to e mail the wife she would be more than happy to tell you about this story!!
truly see the power of small mitzvos open your heart to really be moved!!!
Saturday, October 2, 2010
I am visiting five-year-old Lily, whose mother attends my parenting classes. Last summer, Lily had some awful headaches. One night, they became so terrible that Lily woke up her parents in middle of the night. The shock upon receiving a diagnosis of a brain tumor was beyond.
Lily's initial treatments included six weeks of radiation and chemotherapy, and then some more chemotherapy. Besides treatment days, Lily never complained or even missed a day of school. This summer, Lily has just been put on a clinical drug trial.
We are sitting across from each other, beautiful Lily, her incredibly gracious mother, Felicia, and I. Lily is chatting and busy coloring a white tzedakah box that I had brought over.
She stops for a moment as her soft voice grows serious. "Sometimes it really hurts, you know. And I get scared."
Felicia leans towards Lily. "That's okay sweetie, we sometimes all get scared. I'm scared of spiders, did you know that?"
Lily's eyes open wide.
"And I'm scared of big bugs," I add. "Not only that, but one of my children jumps from loud thunder and lightning. It's okay to sometimes be afraid."
Lily giggles. I want to scoop this precious child into my arms and kiss all her fears away.
Driving home, I cannot get Lily out of my mind. I am trying hard to find some profound thoughts to come away with. While spending time with Lily and Felicia, I feel as if I've been privy to a most priceless moment in time. I am moved by this child and her sweet innocence as she confronts a most difficult challenge.
There is no life that will be spared adversity. True, some challenges are more arduous then others, but for each person, their challenge is an uphill battle. Health issues, financial problems, marital stability, difficulties while raising children, are just a few of the struggles that may come our way. We cannot choose our life challenge. But we can choose how to get through the challenge. Will we become better or bitter?
That is up to us.
The Hebrew word for challenge is ‘nisayon.' The root of the word is 'nes,' which can also be defined as ‘miracle' or ‘banner.' My mother once explained to me that as we go through our nisayon , our life test, and then emerge stronger and wiser, we have created our own personal banner. We have unearthed a part of ourselves that until now remained concealed deep within us. We've discovered our hidden potential. And that becomes the miracle of life.
Our banner is our legacy through which we are remembered. When going through difficulties, instead of being miserable and sinking into despair, let us ask ourselves, "How have I colored my banner?" Did I choose to create a banner filled with colors of faith, courage, and strength, or did I pull up the covers and become overwhelmed with my sadness? Did I reach out to others in my life or did I only have room for myself?
A Kindness a Day
Felicia told me that Lily's preschool class had embarked upon their own tzedakah project this year. After collecting coins, the class discussed where the charity should go. Lily's teacher called to say that Lily raised her hand and expressed her wish. She described going to the doctor and finding children in the office who had just a few toys and crayons to play with as they waited. Some toys were broken and old.
"Can we give the charity to my doctor's office?" she asked.
The decision was unanimous.
If this child, amidst her pain, can think of others and see their needs, what about us? Can we not sensitize ourselves despite the stress and burdens that we shoulder, to open our eyes and bring a kindness each day into this world of ours?
Parents, especially, need to remember that the greatest kindness begins at home. There are times that we have patience for the world but our own children and spouses remain longing for a compassionate word or a sympathetic ear. The next time your daughter asks for a bedtime story or your son for a game of catch, just say yes. And say it with a smile, as if you really do want to spend time together. Take a moment to call your spouse during the day, even send a text. Don't get into your daily aggravations or which bills need to be paid. Instead, simply say "I love you." "I can't wait to see you".
Lights for Lily
Jennifer, a mother who is an old college friend of Felicia's, wanted to ‘do something' for Lily, but what?
Recognizing the power of doing mitzvahs in the merit of another, Jennifer started a campaign called ‘Lights for Lily.' Each week she sends out hundreds of emails that are then forwarded to hundreds more, asking women to light their Shabbos candles and add a special prayer for Lily. Some of these women have never lit Shabbos candles before. Some have never even really prayed. But we are a family and we are responsible for each other.
So this week, and each week to come, as you kindle your Shabbos lights, please close your eyes and pierce the heavens above. Take a moment and say a prayer for Leah Chana bas Frayda Rochel. Choose a new mitzvah, do an act of kindness, give charity, and think of this little girl who has taught me how to handle life's challenges while thinking of others. And when you are done reading this article, pass it on. Let us join together as one people.
Lily has surely painted a most incredible banner. Now it is our turn.