Sunday, July 31, 2011

Thoughts-The Nine Days

The nine days are here and we are hoping things will be good and news will be better iy"h. We've been having too many sad stories already and it's time for besuros tovos-good news! We all need to daven real hard for moshiach and beg Hashem to bring an end to everyone's suffering and pain! Hopefully, if we daven hard enough, we will all have yeshuos and good things!

The nine days isn't something we just talk about. We need to make the churban and the pain we feel over the loss of the bais hamikdosh a REAL thing. Think about all the good things we will have when moshiach comes! Take a few minutes to really think about it! When moshiach comes, we will have unbelievable clarity and understanding. We'll see why things happened and how it was really meant for the best - for our good.

We will all be so close to Hashem, our Father and we'll be truly happy! We won't be busy running after materialism, cool gadgets, jewelry, clothes, shopping - just to keep us busy. We'll buy what we need and then stop! Then we'll use the rest of our time for things that really matter - connecting to Hashem!

There will be no more pain, no more sickness, no more children going off the beautiful path of Torah! There will be happiness, people will have all their needs taken care of and we will have the ultimate connection to Hashem!

Let's all daven and hope that this day will come very soon!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Another Message?!

A European Gadol taken from us.

We didn't get the message.

An American Gadol taken from us.

We didn't get the message.

A Gadol from Eretz Yisroel taken from us.

We didn't get the message.

A little boy from Brooklyn, NY brutally sacrificed for us.

We didn't get the message.

A Sephardic Mekubal from Be'er Sheva savagely sacrificed for us.

Will we once again not get the message?

We shuddered.

We cried.

We gave Tzedakah.

We sighed.

We prayed.

We learned Torah.

But did we get the message?

Did we change?

Are we changing?

We heard speeches.

We heard tributes.

We heard songs.

But did we get the message?

Did we change?

Hashem is talking to us.

Are we listening?

Are we so brazenly insensitive?

Are we so deeply incapable of change?

Are we that numb?

The world is full of Achzariyus

The world is stooping to unprecedented lows.

The world is in a fast paced transition.

We dare not be insensitive.

We dare not chalk it up to coincidence.

We dare not block ourselves from feeling.

We must open our eyes and listen.

We must become bigger than our minute selves.

We must be ready to change...

ready to get the message...

ready to part of the transition...

Every Jew must be a part of this movement.

If not for him/herself, for the sake of their brothers and sisters, Am Yisroel.

It's time to really focus on Ahavas Yisroel

For the sake of Klal Yisroel

So we can merit Mashiach shel Yisroel

And the return of the Shechinah to Eretz Yisroel

Hazorim B'Dima, B'Rena Yiktzoru.

We wept oceans of tears

The time has come to reap with joy


Only together.

Taken from an email sent by

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Three Weeks - A Poem

I wrote this poem a few 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!

Sunday, July 24, 2011


Chaya Sara is in Eretz Yisroel for the summer and asked me to post this for her.

Hey everyone its Chaya Sara from Eretz Hakadosh!!!! Its amazing to be here you feel so connected to Hashem and the truth of the world!!!

We were all so shooken up by this insane story and I heard something that we could do in a small way and it has powers to help us grow from this whole experience!! It's so hard to understand what is going on now and we must realize that Hashem wants to get our attention and we need to do something fast!!!! Here's one small and very easy thing to do. Please share this idea with others! (It's not copy writed at all!!!)

We had a speaker come to speak to us in eretz yisroel about the awesomeness of making brachos out loud and getting someone to say amen to your brachos. She said in the name of R' Moshe Feinstein zt"l that brachos with someone saying amen to the bracha is a full bracha and it saves a person from death!! She said to repeat in your head brachos save from death:)!! So we should work on saying our brachos out loud because then we really connect to hashem in a real way and open up the doors of bracha!!

She also said that a few years ago a big tzaddik came in a dream and said tell everyone that making brachos opens up many doors of brachos and everyone should make sure to get someone to say amen!!! And while saying amen the thought you should have is to think Hashem is true!!! So that is a small thing that you could really work on to help us all get closer to Hashem in a real tangible way!!!! And she said that every amen creates a malach and we dont want to throw a malach in the garbage...She said in hebrew
malach lo lepach:)!! Isn't that cute?

So if we could really work on it that could be a great starting point:)

This is something that is not so difficult at all. It takes a little bit of extra concentration and the effect this can have is unbelievable! When you have someone to answer amen to your bracha, you will automatically say the words of that bracha slower, try not to jumble the words together and you will probably start to think of the meaning of the words you are saying!

Let's all try to work on this together and then we will bring so much goodness into the world!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

If Hashem Were To Go On Strike

I posted this once before and am putting it up here again because it's so good!

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!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Just One Week Ago...

Just one week ago, we were all davening and hoping little Leiby would be found.
Just one week ago, many, many people went out to search for missing Leiby.
And then…
…came the news.

We were so saddened, horrified, we didn’t know what to do.
Some of us cried.
Some of us didn’t.
But we all felt the pain.

The voices of those people searching for this missing little boy kept ringing in my ears. “Leiby, Leiby, Leiby”…and then I thought to myself, how far have we all gone?! We are lost!

Hashem is looking for us!
Do we hear His call?
He calls out to us through simchos, by giving us so much goodness, health, families, jobs, food, technology to make life easier, and then do we notice Him and thank Him for all He gives us?
Then He calls out to us through painful times, by sending stories our way that make us cry…and think…and return to Him.

Can we heed the call?
Can we listen to His voice?

Imagine Hashem calling our YOUR name.
You are His precious child and He wants YOU to come back!

“Sara, Sara, Sara”
“Ruchi, Ruchi, Ruchi”
“Chaya, Chaya, Chaya”
“Esther, Esther, Esther”

Where are you?! Come back home to me!!
Hashem is calling out to each and every one of us.
We got the message.
Now it’s time for us to come back.

Today, Shiva Asar B’Tammuz is a fast day. The purpose of a refraining from eating all day is to get you to think-to think about where you are in life and where you want to be and to work on moving forward towards becoming a better person. If a person refrains from eating all day but does not do some teshuva, some repentance, then what was the point in fasting altogether? They just did the external without focusing on the inner purpose of the day.

So today, take a few minutes to think about one practical thing you can do to bring the geula closer.

There’s so much to work on. Let’s start now.

Just one week ago, a story happened that impacted all of us in the most personal way.
Just one week ago, we were all hurting, crying and in pain.

Let’s do something real, today, so that this will be the last painful story we hear.

Also, last year’s post about
the three weeks is powerful. You’ll want to read it.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

How Can One Believe in Hashem After This?

Someone submitted this question anonymously: How can one believe in Hashem after this?

You want to know how one can believe in Hashem after such a horrific story. I have a different question for you. How can one
not believe in Hashem after this?!

Only Hashem, who is way above and beyond our understanding could make something as crazy as this happen. If Hashem were just a friend who we can sit down with and have a conversation with and try to understand the way He works, then He would not be a G-d. A G-d is someone who is by definition above our understanding and so there will be times when we will not be able to get clear answers as to why things happen.

It's hard.

But it's the reality of life and the definition of what a G-d really is.

Only Hashem could have caused such a crazy story such as this one to happen. We try to understand, we try to figure out if there is someone to blame, something that could have been prevented and we come up with nothing.

These parents were so careful with the safety of their child. This was the first time they let him walk alone and planned the route with him so they'd meet up at the right time and place.

But it was not meant to be.

When Hashem gave the job to the
malach hamaves, the Angel of Death, he didn't want to do it. He said, "I don't want a job that will make people look down upon me." So Hashem told him, "Don't worry. Every time you do your job, whenever you take someone's life away, people wont even realize that it was you who did it." And that's why when someone passes away, people are always finding someone, some reason, some piece of negligence, some other excuse as to why the person died the way he did. People blame the driver who was driving too fast, the doctors who could have done something else, the illness...but in this case there is nothing and no one to blame! It is obvious and clear that this is the work of a very scary Angel of Death and the work of G-d and G-d alone.

No one else could have made this happen but Hashem.

And that is why I can say I still believe in Him, even after such a horrible story.

After such a story, it is still very important to strengthen our trust and belief in Hashem and I can understand that this shook you up and gave you some questions to think about.

But if you know that only Hashem could have caused it, you are already a step in the right direction.

What you need to remember is that we have a long history with a proven track record of trust in Hashem as our G-d, our King and our Savior.

Hashem created the world and everything in it, from the tiniest ant, to the little worm, to the dog and cat and elephant and everything in between.

He created the first person who existed in this world and every person who came after him.

He's the one behind the story of Yosef and the brothers and He caused 70 people to go down to
mitzrayim and endure suffering there. And then He redeemed us, a nation that grew to over one million people, through unbelievable miracles, such as the 10 makos, from when water turned into blood up until the death of the firstborn of each Egyptian household. He led us out of the land that we suffered in-Egypt-and then through His miracles we crossed the sea and our enemies drowned.

He kept us alive throughout the 40 years we spent in the dessert by keeping us nourished through the
mon and well hydrated with the water from the well of Miriam. We were also protected by the heavenly clouds on all sides so no nation or animal could attack us.

He brought us into the holiest land, Eretz Yisroel, and kept us going even after the first and second Bais Hamikdosh were destroyed.

Throughout our long and bitter exile, whenever any nation tried to destroy us, we have remained alive and they have not been able to wipe us out.

And one person, one murderer, who brutally took the life of a precious and innocent Leiby Kletzky a"h, is going to shake our rock solid faith in Hashem, who did so much for us as a nation and does so much for each of us as an individual?!

How can any of us let this one person, this murderer, cause our emunah in Hashem to crumble?!

Hashem wakes you up every morning.

Every second of the day that you are alive and breathing is because Hashem is blowing air into your body and keeping your heart pumping blood through your veins.

You are able to see because Hashem wills it so.
You can read and understand what this says only because that is the will of Hashem, because He is your Loving Father and wants you to know that this one story cannot shake the belief we all have in Him.
He does so much good for you.

We cannot let one monster get rid of the everlasting belief we have in Hashem, who brought us into this bitter exile and kept us alive throughout all these years and will redeem us with miracles - miracles that are greater and more awe-inspiring than the miracles He performed in Mitzrayim.

May that day come very soon!

I would really appreciate if the person who asked this question can please let me know if this helped you and if you still have any questions.

Friday, July 15, 2011

A Korban - Yehuda ben R' Nachman


That's all I can muster.

I'm looking for words; the right words.

They aren't forming cohesively, but too many people are seeking direction after this unspeakable tragedy for me to remain silent.

We have no Bais Hamikdash; yet we have Korbanos.

The latest Korban's name was Leiby Keletzky Hy"D

A young, innocent, sweet boy on this earth for less than a decade.

His life violated by a monster , then snuffed out in an act of unimaginable barbarism.

His body treated in unthinkable ways; a true Korban for Klal Yisroel.

What message lies therein?

If Hashem has allowed this to happen, it is unquestionably a message for us.

How many more messages do we need until we all wake up?

How can we be so numb and insensitive to what's going on around us?

We hear of this Korban, who serves to atone for OUR sins, yet we carry on with life as usual.

Yes, we say the expected things such as "what a tragedy!", "Hashem Yerachem" and such.

We put on a sad face and sigh for a minute or two; we may even shed a tear or two.

Then it's back to "business as usual".

We continue our vacations.

We continue our lunch dates.

We continue peppering our speech with vulgarities.

We continue watching forbidden television and movies.

We continue making disparaging remarks to our family and friends.

We continue worrying more about dressing in style than dressing B'Tzniyus.

We continue catering to our bodies at the expense of our Neshamos.

We totally miss the many messages that Hashem is sending us.

Are we so numb and blind?

How many more Korbonos do we need?

Do we need it right between the eyes R"L for us to finally take them seriously?

This boy was the son, brother and Korban of EVERY single Jew on the planet.

The amazing and heroic efforts of Acheinu Bnei Yisroel of all stripes and colors who united in the search for this boy, is surely part of the message.

He may not have been found as we all hoped, but his passing should leave us with the clarity to hold on to the Achdus that was engendered.

The outpouring of Tefilos that were said and tears that were shed for this boy and his family may not have produced the results that we hoped for, but they were not in vain.

Not one single tear, not one single prayer was for naught.

It is in times of pain and tragedy that Klal Yisroel gets their priorities straight, and focuses on the right things instead of the mundane.

We need to hold on to this focus and not need more messages to keep us anchored in Achdus and Tefilah.

Yes, there may be some evil people amongst us, but as a whole, Klal Yisroel is a great nation

Let's all be greater than we think we have the capacity to be.

Let's all start taking life a little more seriously.

Let's add more Torah to our lives, more Tzedakah, more Mitzvos, more Ahavas Yisroel....

Let's rid our lives of Lashon Hara, Machlokes, Sinas Chinam, Pritzus...

Let's show Hashem that we got the message!

May the Korban be accepted by Hashem and may our thoughts and actions not invalidate its powerful effect.

May we be zoche to a rebuilt Bais Hamikdash, where we can bring the kinds of Korbonos that we can offer with joy.

Perhaps if we did some real soul searching and internalized the many messages Hashem has been sending lately...

...We will be able to celebrate the 9th of Av this year instead of spending the day crying again.

Taken from Halacha for Today

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Leiby Kletzky a"h - a Brick

Last night, I just couldn't come to myself. I couldn't function, there were too many details swimming around in my head and it was too hard to go on.

I needed chizuk.


I called in to
Kol Halashon to see what I could listen to and R' Zecharia Wallerstein was speaking live. Although I came on in middle of his shiur, I wanted to share some of what he said with you. Perhaps it will give you some chizuk too.

He read a famous article called "The Brick". It is about a young guy who bought himself a Jaguar and as he was driving down the street, someon threw a brick at his car. He got out of his car really angry, only to see a little child asking for help-his brother fell out of his wheelchair and he was too heavy for him to lift on his own. With tear-filled eyes, he asked this man to please help him. The man's heart filled with compassion for this young child and after he helped him, the boy continued on his way while the man slowly walked back to his car.

His Jaguar had a huge dent from the impact of the brick but he chose not to have it fixed. He kept it there as a reminder: don't ever go through life so fast that someone has to throw a brick at you to wake you up.

R' Wallerstein continued by saying, Hashem just threw a brick at us. How are we going to react?

We have to make sure we don't forget about this story. We have to let that brick leave it's dent on us and let it make an impression.

I'm not here to tell you to take specific kabalos upon yourself, make specific changes, do this, don't do that.

There have been enough reminders, enough bricks thrown at us.

When will we finally take the message?

And the answer is: NOW.

Hashem, that's enough. Enough beautiful flowers and roses in Your heavenly garden. We need some beauty down here on earth. Stop picking. Let us enjoy the scent, the beautiful colors, the unlimited potential in each and every child put here on earth.

We got the message.

If you wanted some specific ideas of what to work on, here are a few things that come to mind:
Kibbud av v'eim-speaking to your parents respectfully and showing appreciation for the little things they do for you.
Tefillah-have extra concentration when davening for moshiach (in v'liyerushalayim)
Birchas Hamazon-think for an extra minute about what you are saying when you recite the words "Harachaman hu yishlach lanu es eliyahu hanavi"-how we all wait for that day!
Shabbos-make an extra effort to be ready on time for candle lighting
Chessed-at the end of every day, before you go to sleep, make a mental note of something you did to brighten someone's day. If you can't come up with anything, think ahead of time about what you can do tomorrow-and remember, small things are really big!
Tzeddakah-try to give tzeddakah, charity once a week. Make a calculation of your earnings so you are sure you are giving ma'aser, one-tenth of your earnings to tzeddakah.
Spiritual Growth-spend some time once a day or once a week to read/learn something that enhances your connection to Hashem, the Torah or mitzvos. There is so much reading material out there!
Smile-greet one person you meet in your office/school/camp or when you shop at a store with a real, genuine smile.
and lastly...
think about the lasting impact the next thing you see, read, watch or listen to will have on your neshama. Then, ask yourself is this really good for me? If the answer is yes, go ahead. If it is no, think twice and then make your decision.

May Leiby's pure and holy neshama have an aliya. I don't know if his neshama can go higher than where he is right now, in Hashem's embrace but if it can, our deeds and actions will surely help him reach the highest heights.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Leiby Kletzky a"h - a Message?!

People want to know what to take from the most recent story of Leiby Kletzky's disappearance and murder that left everyone shaking.
Who am I to give over heavenly messages?
How am I the one to know?

It says in pirkei avos (4:23): R' Shimon ben Elazar tinachameihu b'sha'ah shemeiso mutal lifanav-do not comfort [your friend, a mourner] when the dead person is still sitting in front of him.

We are now at a time when the dead child has not yet had proper kevurah, he has not been buried. It is not a time for me to offer words of comfort, to try to explain, give answers and say it's for the best. It's a time to mourn! It's a time to cry! It's a time to pierce the heavens and tell Hashem: ENOUGH!! We cannot take this anymore!!

When we heard the news of the missing boy, little Leiby, we all ran to take out our tehillims, we davened and we cried.
What should we do now?
We should continue davening. We should continue crying. We should continue asking, begging, pleading and yearning for the geula.

Do we need another reminder that we are in galus?

Maybe in another few days, someone can try to offer some words of comfort. But at this point, I am too shaken up to say things like "there's a plan, we just don't understand" and the like. Although I know it's true, there is a time and place for everything. And now is not the time for answers.

Now's the time to cry and daven and beg Hashem for moshiach.

Feel the pain of this family, let it enter your hearts and don't stop davening. We need every tefillah we can to bring us back home.

Opening your eyes to seeing hashems love:)will only make you happier

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Non-Jewish Music

Q: Is there anything wrong with listening to classical music?

A: Your question isn't a simple one.

Music is the language of the soul-we know that many people say that. What this means in real life is that music is a very deep thing. The essence of the person who makes up the music, their inner soul, goes into the music they compose and enters the soul of the one listening to it.

R' Shimshon Pincus zt"l says that when a person is trying to express themselves but the thoughts in their mind and the feelings in their heart are so strong that they can't say what they mean in words, they burst into song. This is why on Shabbos, the holiest day of each week, we begin with the song of Lecha Dodi. It's because Shabbos is so special and so pure and so holy that our hearts are overflowing with such strong emotions that we can't express our feelings in words, and so we sing.

When listening to music from a non-jewish source, composed by a non-jewish author, they put their whole heart and soul into the music - and that is what can enter your neshama when you listen to it. Sometimes, it's a very subtle thing that you may not even know about, but it goes in there.

I'm not saying that all classical music is bad. I personally LOVE classical music. I stopped listening to it when the rav in seminary who taught us halacha spoke to us about classical music and non-jewish music. We specifically asked him about a certain classical music composer - and he listened to it and said that he can feel the ruach hatumah that's coming from his music! We were all blown away!! (He must be on quite a level to be able to feel it-cuz I most certainly wasn't able to!) He must keep himself really pure to be able to feel the negative vibes in the music of the player!

And from then on, I don't listen to classical music. I know where you are coming from and it's a hard thing to stop, especially if you're hooked. It can be very relaxing at the end of a long day, or even at the end of a regular day. I'd listen to the music and feel myself breathing in and out and calming myself down, even when I didn't feel stressed out in the first place-that's the power of music and it can really relax you! But I decided to stop because I didn't want that negative power to enter my neshama-even if I can't feel it!

If you do want to listen to classical music, here is what I suggest. Do a little bit of research on the composer of the music. Check out online to see what kind of person he was/is. Google his name and see what comes up. Then you can decide for yourself if you want to listen to the things he has composed...and if you want the essence of who he is, which is what goes into the music that he plays, to enter the very fiber of your being, your neshama.

Hatzlacha and let me know what you think of this.

Monday, July 11, 2011


Question: Why did Hashem create bacteria which cause disease to man? Which means, why did Hashem create disease?

Answer: Rashi explains in one place, disease comes for a very important purpose. There's a bigger sickness that disease can overcome; that sickness is arrogance. Hagaavo Rosh Kol Chatos, the worst of all disease is arrogance, when people are conceited. But when a person comes down with a heavy cold, he's not arrogant anymore. His chest is heavy, he's coughing, he can't sleep at night, his mucous passages are irritated, it feels terrible, he's not arrogant anymore.

A sick man is not a Baal Gavaah, Rashi says that, and the purpose of illness is to tame your arrogance. That's a very important lesson. So therefore when a man is lying sick in bed, it states that the Shechina comes down and rests on him. Why does the Shechina rest on a sick man’s head? Because Hakadosh Baruch Hu likes humble people. At that time you're humble, you're broken. Oh, Hashem says, Ani Es Dakoh, I am with the broken man. But when you’re healthy and everything is going well, you're cocky, you’re arrogant, you have to know that's a bigger illness. And now come along the nice bacteria, and they help you out to take away your arrogance.

By the way, bacteria makes all the good things in life. Without bacteria you couldn't eat, in our stomachs we have bacteria to help us digest the food. Bacteria makes cream, otherwise it would never turn into cream. Bacteria causes everything to happen in this world. You'd be surprised, bacteria causes food to grow out of the ground. Bacteria are one of the most important functions in all the physical things that take place in the world.

But those bacteria that cause us to be deprived of arrogance are among the most beneficial of all of them.

To subscribe to weekly emails with questions and answers from R' Avigdor Miller zt"l, click on this link.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Privacy and DBJ-Lessons From the Parsha

In this past weeks parsha, Parshas Balak, Bilam planned to use the power of his words to curse the Jews. In the end, he praised us - because Hashem only allowed him to use this incredible power for the good.

One of the things he said was "ma tovu ohalecha ya'akov mishkinosecha yisroel"- how good are your tents, your dwelling places, Bnei Yisroel.

There are many interpretations to this passuk, this phrase. One of the ways this can be explained is that when Bilam was on his way to come and curse the Jews, he saw that the openings to their tents were not facing one another. The Jews purposefully placed their tents in a way that they would not see into another person's tent. They did this so that THEY wouldn't see into the other person's tent, not that the other person wouldn't see into THEIR own tent! What greatness! They weren't concerned about someone looking in on them, but they wanted to make sure they wouldn't put themselves into a situation where they would be tempted to look into someone else's!

This is how careful they were to protect the other person's privacy. They were so extra careful-they took this extra measure, an extra step so that they wouldn't see into another person's house. This teaches us just how careful we should be to protect another person's privacy.

* * *

Another thing Bilam was praising us Jews for is that we don't eye other peoples things with jealousy. We are a nation that works hard on this middah to try not to be jealous of other peoples' good fortune.

On the other hand, people look at YOU and are jealous! When you walk down the street looking your best (which is important and you always should look good), people think you must have the perfect life. Don't we all?!

But if people would know what goes on behind closed doors, what challenges you are facing, what troubles you are covering up for under that perfectly made-up face, hair/shaitel done so well, and big bright smile (which are all important- you should certainly look your best and don't have to look like a washed out rag just because you are going through something difficult), they would not be jealous!

When you think about this for a minute, you will come to realize that every person has their package and that you never know what someone else is dealing with! Just like even though you may look so good on the outside, you may not always feel it on the inside - but no one would ever know - there are other people who also feel the same way!

So when you see another person who looks like their life couldn't be more perfect, remember, that just like your life has it's own ups and downs, so does everybody else. Everyone has things to deal with. Whether it's big frustrations or little ones, nobody has it easy.

And that is the second lesson we should take from this weeks parsha. DBJ is not just a texting shortcut, we should really live it. Don't Be Jealous of other people. Why? Because looks can be very deceiving.

You really never know what someone else is dealing with! So try, really try to internalize this lesson so that you will not be jealous of others!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Footprints - You Are Never Alone!

I posted this once before and wanted to share it with you once again.

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!