July, 2011 Archives

31
Jul

Rabbi David Lapin on Tisha B’Av: Small Steps – Giant Leaps

by admin in Spiritual Growth

Arch of Titus

Arch of Titus

“Exhausted, struggling to breath and unable to see more than a few feet in front of him, the climber focused every ounce of his physical and mental effort just to get one foot in front of the other. It took him years of preparation and weeks of torturous climbing to get to this point. With one slip he could tumble to his death in an instant.” Spiritual climbs also have their dangerous moments. After 49 days of the incremental spiritual climb from Egypt to Sinai, the Jewish people fell to the depths of idolatry in an instant: “They have moved away quickly from the pathway I instructed them, making for themselves an artificial calf” (Shemot 32:8).

Climbing is incremental, one step at a time, it is hard and it is slow. Falling is quick, it is hardly incremental; falling is a virtual quantum change in altitude. This is why Eicha uses the image of a fall to portray the status of the Jewish nation after the Churban Beit Hamikdash (destruction of the Temple): “Hashem threw the majesty of Israel from the sky down to the earth” (2:1). Once, at the very moment that Rebbe was reading this verse his book fell to the ground. “From an exalted peak,” he lamented, “to the depth of a pit” (Chaggiga 5b). Tish’a Be’Av was a cataclysmic tragedy. It is a stark reminder to us how any nation, organization or individual no matter how powerful, if they become arrogant or they panic in fear, can lose their exalted status in an instant.

A Quantum Leap

But there are also strains of festivity in the Tish’a Be’Av dirge. The day caries good tidings too, this is why we do not say tachanun on Tish’a Be’Av and we know that one day it will be celebrated as a festival. Tish’a Be’Av teaches us not only about falls but also about how quickly we can again reach pinnacles of achievement if we choose to.

The fall described by Eicha and amplified by Rebbe, is not a physical fall, it is a spiritual one. And while physical falls only appear to be quantum movements because of the speed with which they happen compared to the climb, spiritual falls really are quantum. A person at the peak of spiritual mindfulness in the moment of crying out Hashem Hu Ha’Ellokim (“Hashem; He is The Power”) at the end of Yom Kippur, can become ordinary and less than ordinary a moment later as he speeds through ma’ariv to get to his meal. In fact, like a quantum particle that can be in two places at once, a person can be in two spiritual places at once. He can be both ordinary and exceptional at the very same moment, simultaneously both righteous and bad.

In the spiritual world there need not be any time separating a low level from a high one. No matter how low a person is at a given moment in time, they can transform to angelic heights in an instant: “Yeish Koneh Olammo besha’ah achat” (“It is possible to achieve an eternity in a moment”) was the axiom of the same Rebbe who commented on the speed and the severity of a fall when his book of Eicha fell to the ground. Rebbe was not drawing our attention to the difference between a fall and a climb. He was alerting us to the difference between changing altitudes in the physical world and in the spiritual world. All physical movement, both horizontal and vertical, is incremental no matter how fast it occurs. Physical climbs are incremental and slow. Physical falls are incremental and fast. But spiritual change, whether climbing or falling, is not incremental at all. Spiritual change is quantum.

Because of its quantum nature, spiritual movement follows different laws from the laws that govern physical movement. For example, in the physical world if a particle has been moving in a specific direction at a given speed, then without further intervention and friction it will continue to move in the same direction at the same speed. Not so in the more spiritual world of quantum mechanics where a sub-atomic particle’s movement is unpredictable even if we know how it has been moving until now.

In the same way, in the physical world, history is a fairly accurate predictor of the future. For example, we use the historic financial performance of a company to predict its future performance. In the quantum world of spirituality, history has little bearing on the future. People that have shown no tendency for growth in the past may through a sudden disruption of life, transform into individuals with spiritual greatness. In the physical world, we also use statistics to indicate future trends. But in the spiritual world, statistics have limited or no predictive relevance. Consider how both demographic statistics and the history of the Jewish people would have predicted our demise centuries ago. But we are a spiritual nation. Our rises and our falls are quantum not incremental, history and statistics tell us nothing about our future.

Ramping up for Transformation

There is a strange law that governs the construction of the main Mizbeach (altar) in the Beit Hamikdash and the way we bring korbanot (sacrifices). The top of the ramp leading up to the 15 foot-high mizbeach had to be placed at a small distance from the mizbeach surface. This gap between the ramp, the Kevves, and the mizbeach necessitated the Kohannim to have to throw the pieces of carcass to be sacrificed from the ramp onto the mizbeach surface rather than to drag or carry them. There is a shock-factor in that throw: we are never permitted to throw food, why are we commanded to throw our korbanot onto G-d’s table, the mizbeach?

The ramp represents the incremental climb by which the physical (the animal) prepares to be converted into the spiritual (the burning korban). However, there is a point in the conversion from physical to spiritual that cannot be incremental. Throwing an object entails a flight through the air. Like a flying trapeze artist there is a moment in time when the object in flight has left the security of one platform before it has landed on the other. This is the moment of transformation. The moment where there is no security in any structure. It is the moment where connection to G-d is the only certainty: the moment of bitachon (trust). This moment as the piece of meat hurtles through the air just for an instant (like the sprinkling of the animal’s blood did a few minutes earlier in the sacrificial practice), is the moment of transformation not only for the korban but also for the person bringing the sacrifice.

We did take 49 days to travel both the physical and the spiritual journey from Egypt to Sinai. But that journey was merely the step-by-step preparation it was not yet the leap of transformation. This 49 day journey was just the “ramping up” to Sinai. The real transformation came when we put “na’asseh” (we commit to observe) before “nishmah” (we commit to learn). Committing to observe something you have not yet learnt is the jump over the gap. In the physical world you need to know something before you can observe it. However, in that quantum moment of bittachon when we said na’aseh venishmah we recognized that in the spiritual world, learning and observance happen simultaneously.

Engrossing oneself in a Talmudic tractate is like practicing the laws of that tractate; experientially doing a mitzvah, is also a moment of learning it. Learning is not the pre-condition for observance; they happen simultaneously.

When at Sinai we said na’aseh venishmah G-d said “who revealed this secret that only angels know, to my children?” In that instant we were at once both human and angel. This is the nature of the quantum: at the same moment it is possible to be you can be both human and angel, both physical and spiritual. At Sinai we made a quantum leap. We transformed into a different category of human being: a part of the Jewish Nation, a species capable of simultaneously being in two places: in heaven and on earth.

Jump with Joy – so that you are not thrown

Tish’a Be’Av reminds us and cautions us about the potential and the quantum nature of spiritual freefalls. But Tisha Be’Av should also remind us how we can instantly transform both nationally and individually from where we are to where we want to be. There are times in life when we stand at the precipice of the ramp. Having taken the 49 steps of incremental preparation to come to where we are, but there are no more incremental steps. The next one is a quantum leap. We have a choice to make: We can stay rooted on the edge of the ramp until Hashem “throws” us over the scary abyss, or we can make a free choice, to joyfully skip over the gap. In any transformation and at each point of moral choice there is a moment of uncertainty and insecurity: “What will happen on the other side?” This is the moment that defines who we are. This is the moment in which we can either panic and fear, or do the right thing and stride onto a higher plane of moral and spiritual being. This is the moment of Bitachon.

When you are faced with a hard decision the outcome of which cannot be fully certain and that might entail some personal sacrifice, follow these steps:

Am I satisfied that doing this is the RIGHT thing in terms of my own value system? If no, examine the correctness of the decision further and explore alternatives. If yes, then:

Have I done everything that is reasonable to prepare for this (walking up the ramp)? If no, outline additional incremental steps of preparation. If yes, then avoid remaining stationary:

Envision, imagine and actually feel the joy of being on the other side, and having the decision behind you instead of ahead of you;

Tune your connection into Hashem and feel your Bitachon in His power;

Use the joy you feel in being on the other side and the power you feel from your connection to Hashem to energize your jump over the little gap ahead of you;

Thank Hashem for the courage and congratulate yourself for the movement.

The Foundation Stone is proud and honored to introduce Rabbi David Lapin of i-Awaken.org to its readers. Rabbi Lapin is a brilliant Torah scholar, thinker and a true Servant of God. We urge people to register on the i-Awaken website.

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31
Jul

Morning Blessings For the Nine Days & Tisha B’Av: Part Four

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Prayer

Tisha B'Av Prayers

“Who gives sight to the blind.” For us, — whatever’s undergone,

Thou knowest, willest what is done,

Grief may be joy misunderstood;

Only the Good discerns the good.

I trust Thee while my days go on.

(Elizabeth Barrett Browning)

Kavanah:

The darkness of exile is often compared to blindness. However, we continue to rely on God, “Who knows, Who Wills what is done,” Who, “discerns the good.” We thank God for the gift of Bitachon, trusting in, and relying on His vision.

“Who clothes the naked.”

“Certainly those determining acts of her life were not ideally beautiful. They were the mixed result of a young and noble impulse struggling amidst the conditions of an imperfect social state, in which great feelings will often take the aspect of error, and great faith the aspect of illusion. For there is no creature whose inward being is so strong that it is not greatly determined by what lies outside it.”

“But we insignificant people with our daily words and acts are preparing the lives of many Dorotheas.”

“Her finely-touched spirit had still its fine issues, though they were not widely visible. Her full nature, like that river of which Cyrus broke the strength, spent itself in channels which had no great name on the earth. But the effect of her being on those around her was incalculably diffusive: for the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs (George Eliot; from the epilogue to Middlemarch)

Kavanah:

We thank God for the Mitzvot that allow and empower us to have a diffusive effect of goodness on the world. We acknowledge that our souls are dressed in many unhistoric acts that may remain hidden to the world, but are our garments before God.

Who releases the bound.

It is over. What is over?

Nay, how much is over truly!—

Harvest days we toiled to sow for;

Now the sheaves are gathered newly,

Now the wheat is garnered duly.

It is finished. What is finished?

Much is finished known or unknown:

Lives are finished; time diminished;

Was the fallow field left unsown?

Will these buds be always unblown?

It suffices. What suffices?

All suffices reckoned rightly:

Spring shall bloom where now the ice is,

Roses make the bramble sightly,

And the quickening sun shine brightly,

And the latter wind blow lightly,

And my garden teem with spices.

(Christina Rossetti; Amen)

Kavanah:

All suffices reckoned rightly.” We are able to break the bonds of our exile when we understand that we have been empowered to create eternal realities with our Mitzvot, prayer, and Torah study.



“Who straightens the bent.”

Then loudly cried the bold Sir Bedivere:

“Ah! my Lord Arthur, whither shall I go?

Where shall I hide my forehead and my eyes?

For now I see the true old times are dead,

When every morning brought a noble chance,

And every chance brought out a noble knight.

Such times have been not since the light that led

The holy Elders with the gift of myrrh.

But now the whole Round Table is dissolved

Which was an image of the mighty world,

And I, the last, go forth companionless,

And the days darken round me, and the years,

Among new men, strange faces, other minds.”

And slowly answered Arthur from the barge:

“The old order changeth, yielding place to new,

And God fulfils himself in many ways,

Lest one good custom should corrupt the world.

Comfort thyself: what comfort is in me?

I have lived my life, and that which I have done

May He within himself make pure! but thou,

If thou shouldst never see my face again,

Pray for my soul. More things are wrought by prayer

Than this world dreams of. Wherefore, let thy voice

Rise like a fountain for me night and day.

For what are men better than sheep or goats

That nourish a blind life within the brain,

If, knowing God, they lift not hands of prayer

Both for themselves and those who call them friend?

For so the whole round earth is every way

Bound by gold chains about the feet of God.

But now farewell. I am going a long way

With these thou seëst–if indeed I go

(For all my mind is clouded with a doubt)–

To the island-valley of Avilion;

Where falls not hail, or rain, or any snow,

Nor ever wind blows loudly; but it lies

Deep-meadowed, happy, fair with orchard lawns

And bowery hollows crowned with summer sea,

Where I will heal me of my grievous wound.”

(Alfred, Lord Tennyson; “The Passing of Arthur”)

Kavanah:

We have the opportunity to straighten the sin of baseless hatred that led to the destruction of the Second Temple by raising ourselves up from the bent position of sheep and goats, and lifting our hands in prayer for others.

Author Info:
Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

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31
Jul

Hallel Rosh Chodesh Av Paragraph Two: We Will Leave Again

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Prayer

Life as a Rowboat

“It’s why we’re all so fascinated with history. We’re in a rowboat. We move forward, but we’re always looking back (Louise Penny; “Bury Your Dead”). The Jews sang Hallel on Rosh Chodesh Av even as the Babylonians, and five hundred years later, the Romans, were pillaging the city, fully aware that they were on their way into exile. They were determined to move forward, but continued to look back to draw strength and guidance for the future. They sang with the sense that just as they were redeemed from Egypt and experienced great miracles, so too, they would eventually leave this exile, and experience even greater miracles:

The verse says, “As for us, our eyes yet fail watching for our vain help, in our hoping and watching for a nation that would not save us (Lamentations 4:17).” In spite of the destruction, and in spite of our descent into a bottomless abyss, nevertheless, “My eyes await (Kinah #6),” we have never given up hope.

Is it reasonable? Is it logical?

No more than the Splitting of the Sea. No more logical than crossing the Jordan. No more reasonable that God turning a rock into a pool of water:

“When Israel left Egypt, Jacob’s family from among a people who spoke a strange language, Judah became God’s Holy Place, Israel, His realm.

The Sea saw it and ran away. The Jordan River reversed course. The mountains danced like deer, the hills like lambs.

What’s with you, Sea, that you flee? With the Jordan, that you turn around? With the Mountains, that you dance like deer? With the hills, like lambs?

Quake, you Land, before your Master, before the Lord of Jacob!

Who turned the rock into a pool of water. Pebbles into a source of water.”

Author Info:
Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

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31
Jul

Morning Blessings For the Nine Days & Tisha B’Av: Part Three

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Prayer

Tisha B'Av Prayers

An Understanding Heart to distinguish between day and night: “If you see ten troubles coming down the road, you can be sure then nine will run into the ditch before they reach you (Calvin Coolidge).”

Kavanah:

We thank You for giving us the understanding to distinguish between the troubles that will run into the ditch and those that will reach us.

“For not having made me and Gentile.”

“The happiest people seem to be those who have no particular reason for being happy except that they are so (W. R. Inge)

Kavanah:

Many Holocaust survivors have told me that the key to maintaining their dignity even in a concentration camp was to look at their tormentors and bless God for not having made them such a low human being. They found joy in their essence.

“For not having made me a slave.”

“And when I rest in glory bright,

The burden of my labor past,

In hymns I’ll praise Thee more and more

While the eternal ages last (Synesius)

Kavanah:

No matter how dark life may seem, no matter how hopeless, as long as I can focus on the future with hope; I am not a slave.

“For not having made me a woman.”

“And the man assigned names to all the cattle and to the birds of the sky and to every beast of the field; but as for man, he did not find a helper corresponding to him. So God, the Lord, cast a deep sleep upon the man and he slept; and He took one of his sides and He filled in flesh in its place. Then God, the Lord, fashioned the side that He had taken from the man into a woman, and He brought her to the man. And the man said, “This time it is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh. This shall be called Woman, for from man was she taken (Genesis 2:20–23).”

Although God made it clear to the man that he lacked a “helper corresponding to him,” when Adam first saw the woman, rather then see her as God intended, Adam saw her only as an extension of himself; “bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh.” Adam had an opportunity to see someone beyond himself; someone who would push him to grow and motivate him to achieve. The name “Woman,” refers to the first woman who was perceived not as herself, but only as an extension of someone else.

We thank God for, “not having made me a woman,” meaning someone who is perceived by others only as an extension of them rather than as a fully independent and passionate human being.

Kavanah:

We thank you God for giving us constant opportunities to develop our own sense of identity, and never only as defined by those who have power over us.

Author Info:
Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

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31
Jul

Morning Blessings For the Nine Days & Tisha B’Av: Part Two

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Prayer

To Toil in Torah: “An ant on the move does more than a dozing ox (Lao-Tzu).” “When you’re at the end of your rope, all you have to do is make one foot move out in front of the other. Just take the next step. That’s all there is to it (Samuel Fuller).”

Kavanah: Our toil in Torah allows us to constantly be “on the move,” never stagnating, always growing and responding the life’s challenges.

“Who selected us from all the peoples and gave us His Torah.”

Young Reuben Land, on the point of death after a shootout in his front yard, finds himself in a heavenly country where he has a surprising encounter:

“And now the orchard ended, and a plain reached far ahead to a range of blanched mountains. A stream coursed through this plain, of different personality and purpose then the earlier wide river. A narrow, raucous stream, it flowed upward against the gradient, and mighty fish arched and swam in it, flinging manes of spray. I meant to jump in, where ever this river went, I wanted to go, and would’ve done so had not another figure appeared, running beside the water.

A man in pants. Flapping colorless pants and a shirt, dismal things most strange in this place. He was running upslope by the boisterous stream. Despite the clothes his face was incandescent, and when he saw me he wheeled his arms and came on ever faster. Then history entered me; my own and all the rest of it, more than I could hold, history like a heavy rain, so I knew the man coming along was my father, Jeremiah Land; and all that had happened, came back like a mournful story told from ancient days.

He was beside me in moments, stretching out his hands. What cable strength! I remember wondering what those arms were made for, no mere reward, they had design in them. Dad was laughing meantime at my arms, which were similarly strong! We were like two friends, and I saw he was proud of me, that he knew me better than he ever thought to and was not dismayed by the knowledge; and even as I wondered at his ageless face, so clear and at home (Leif Enger; “Peace Like a River”).”

Kavanah:

Each time we study Torah, we have an opportunity to reconnect to our Father, run into His arms, and experience His joy over reconnecting with us, and Is probably over our strength manifested by our continued commitment to studying His Torah.

Author Info:
Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

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30
Jul

Morning Blessings For the Nine Days & Tisha B’Av Part 1

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Prayer

How does one pray with joy during the Nine Days and on Tisha B’Av? I offer the following Kavanot for the Morning Blessings for this time of year:

Modeh Ani:

“So the king gave the order, and they brought Daniel and threw him into the lions’ den. The king said to Daniel, “May your Lord, Whom you serve continually, rescue you!”  A stone was brought and placed over the mouth of the den, and the king sealed it with his own signet ring and with the rings of his nobles, so that Daniel’s situation might not be changed.

Then the king returned to his palace and spent the night without eating and without any entertainment being brought to him. And he could not sleep.

At the first light of dawn, the king got up and hurried to the lions’ den.

When he came near the den, he called to Daniel in an anguished voice, “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your Lord, whom you serve continually, been able to rescue you from the lions?”

Daniel answered, “O king, live forever!

My Lord sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions.

They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in His sight.

Nor have I ever done any wrong before you, O king.”

The king was overjoyed and gave orders to lift Daniel out of the den.

And when Daniel was lifted from the den, no wound was found on him, because he had trusted in his God (Daniel 6:16-23).”

Kavanah:

What did Daniel experience when he realized that he was safe?

How did Darius respond to the fact that Daniel was still alive?

We can use this blessing to rejoice in the fact that we are alive for another day, ready to continue to fight for life and redemption.

Netilat Yadaim:

“I will betroth you to Me forever; I will betroth you in righteousness and justice, in love and compassion. I will betroth you in faithfulness, and you will acknowledge God (Hosea 2:19-20).”

Kavanah:

The Abudirham associates the verses above with this blessing: we celebrate the unbreakable bound between God and Israel that is compared to the relationship between a husband and wife. We raise our hands as if to show that we still carry the betrothal ring given to us at Sinai.

Asher Yatzar:

“By wisdom God laid the earth’s foundations, by understanding He set the heavens in place; by His knowledge the deeps were divided, and the clouds let drop the dew (Proverbs 3:19-20).”

Kavanah:

The wisdom of, “Who fashioned man with wisdom,” is the same wisdom with which God laid the foundations of the earth. We need only look to the functioning of our bodies to experience this wisdom and know that we can rely on that wisdom to protect us.


  1. “It is obvious and known before Your Throne of Glory.” Why do we speak of our bodily functioning as being before God’s Throne of Glory?


“When the Ark of God had been in Philistine territory seven months, the Philistines called for the priests and the diviners and said, “What shall we do with the Ark of God? Tell us how we should send it back to its place.”

They answered, “If you return the Ark of the Lod of Israel, do not send it away empty, but by all means send a guilt offering to him. Then you will be healed, and you will know why his hand has not been lifted from you.”

The Philistines asked, “What guilt offering should we send to Him?” They replied, “Five gold hemorrhoids and five gold rats, according to the number of the Philistine rulers, because the same plague has struck both you and your rulers. Make models of the hemorrhoids and of the rats that are destroying the country, and pay honor to Israel’s Lord. Perhaps He will lift His hand from you and your gods and your land.

Why do you harden your hearts as the Egyptians and Pharaoh did? When he treated them harshly, did they not send the Israelites out so they could go on their way? “Now then, get a new cart ready, with two cows that have calved and have never been yoked. Hitch the cows to the cart, but take their calves away and pen them up.

Take the Ark of God and put it on the cart, and in a chest beside it put the gold objects you are sending back to him as a guilt offering. Send it on its way, but keep watching it. If it goes up to its own territory, toward Beth Shemesh, then God has brought this great disaster on us. But if it does not, then we will know that it was not his hand that struck us and that it happened to us by chance.” So they did this. They took two such cows and hitched them to the cart and penned up their calves.

They placed the Ark of God on the cart and along with it the chest containing the gold rats and the models of the hemorrhoids.

Then the cows went straight up toward Beth Shemesh, keeping on the road and lowing all the way; they did not turn to the right or to the left. The rulers of the Philistines followed them as far as the border of Beth Shemesh.

Now the people of Beth Shemesh were harvesting their wheat in the valley, and when they looked up and saw the ark, they rejoiced at the sight.

The cart came to the field of Joshua of Beth Shemesh, and there it stopped beside a large rock. The people chopped up the wood of the cart and sacrificed the cows as a burnt offering to God.

The Levites took down the Ark of God, together with the chest containing the gold objects, and placed them on the large rock.

On that day the people of Beth Shemesh offered burnt offerings and made sacrifices to God.

The five rulers of the Philistines saw all this and then returned that same day to Ekron. These are the gold hemorrhoids the Philistines sent as a guilt offering to God–one each for Ashdod, Gaza, Ashkelon, Gath and Ekron. And the number of the gold rats was according to the number of Philistine towns belonging to the five rulers–the fortified towns with their country villages (I Samuel 6:1-18).”

The hemorrhoids the Philistines sent were eventually placed in the Holy of Holies!

Kavanah:

Even when we, Israel, are in our lowest state, we still stand before God’s Throne of Glory.

My Lord, the soul You placed within me:

“I cannot think that we are useless or God would not have created us (Geronimo, Apache Leader).”

Kavanah:

The complexity of our Higher Souls and the process of creation, formation, and making, are powerful indications of our significance. Even in the darkest moments of exile, we have derived our meaning from God and not from the way we are treated by others.

Author Info:
Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

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30
Jul

Forms of Mourning: Misped & Sackcloth III: The Eventual Dance

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Prayer

Mourning

“You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing to you and not be silent. O God, My Lord, I will give you thanks forever (Psalms 30:11-12).”

Rav Isser Zalman Meltzer zt”l (Even haEzel, Kodashim) describes a person who is in serious financial straits, and pleads with God for sustenance. He then becomes ill, and no longer prays for money, but for health. When God answers his prayers for a cure, he again prays for financial security, and eventually becomes quite wealthy. Will he remember to thank God? Will he remember all the stages of his life, and thank God for healing him, and for saving him from destitution?

King David constantly remembered his wailing, and kept his sackcloth so that he would always thank God for each miracle at every stage of his life.

This Misped and sackcloth serve as reminders to appreciate each gift in our lives, so that when we review our blessings we will rise to dance with joy.

The mourning of this Misped and sackcloth is only complete when we joyfully express thanks for what we have.

Tools:

This should be used a a Kavanah for the blessing of Modim of Mincha of Tisha B’Av.

Author Info:
Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

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30
Jul

Hallel: Rosh Chodesh Av Paragraph One: Aways Your Servants

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Prayer

“And who recited this Hallel? The prophets among them ordained that Israel should recite it at every important epoch and at every misfortune — may it not come upon them! and when they are redeemed they recite [in gratitude] for their redemption (Pesachim 117a).”

How did the Jews sing Hallel on Rosh Chodesh Av, when the Babylonians were already in the city, and they knew that they were defeated? Did they sing it so that the misfortune would not come upon them; a desperate plea for a miracle?

I suggest that they sang this Hallel according to the first instruction: “The prophets among them ordained that Israel should recite it at every important epoch,” this was a Hallel for the future. They sang Hallel with the clear understanding that Israel was poised to begin another important stage; surviving in exile. They sang this Hallel as a declaration that they would continue to sing to God as His servants even in exile. It was this Hallel that empowered them to achieve great things in Babylon, in Rome, and all over the world.

We too can sing this Hallel with the same intention: So much of what once was is gone. It is clear that we must be prepared for a new existence in this complicated world. We begin the preparation by declaring our commitment to continue to sing as God’s servants:

“Hallelukah!

Praise, you who serve God! Praise the Name of God.

Let the Name of God be blessed from now and forever.

From sunrise to sundown, the Name of God is praised.

God is above all the nations. His Glory is beyond the sky.”

Many of us wonder, whether God, Who has hidden His Presence is still involved in our existence as a nation. We therefore declare:

“Who is like God, our Lord, Who lives up high, but drops down to see what happens (to us) in the (lower) heaven and earth? “

If the rest of the world is against us, and if they urge us, as the Midrash (Pesikta Rabbati 21:11) states: “Leave and desert your people, and we will raise you to the rank of nobility,” we respond:

“Who lifts up the lowly from the dust, raises the destitute from the garbage dumps to be seated with leaders, the leaders of their people.”

As the world criticizes everything Israel does, declaring her barren; abandoned by the rest of the world, we respond:

“Who Makes a home for the childless woman and joy for the mother of children. Hallelukah!”

Author Info:
Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

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29
Jul

Fable of the Porcupine

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Relationships

A message about Sinat Chinam – Baseless Hatred, as we approach the Nine Days: Offered by Mel B.

It was the coldest winter ever. Many animals died because of the cold. The porcupines, realizing the situation, decided to group together to keep warm. This way they covered and protected themselves; but the quills of each one wounded their closest companions.

After a while, they decided to distance themselves one from the other and they began to die, alone and frozen. So they had to make a choice: either accept the quills of their companions or disappear from the Earth.

Wisely, they decided to go back to being together. They learned to live with the little wounds caused by the close relationship with their companions in order to receive the warmth that came from the others. This way they were able to survive.

Moral of the story: The best relationship is not the one that brings together perfect people, but when each individual learns to live with the imperfections of others and can admire the other person’s good qualities.

Author Info:
Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

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29
Jul

R’ Shlomo on P’ Mas’ei:The Essence of True Prayer -No Plan B

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Portion of the Week, Prayer

I want you to know something very deep. Sometimes we are angry at G-d because He doesn’t listen to our prayers. Reb Tzadok Hakohen says something so strong. The truth is that G-d listens to every prayer, but if while I am praying I’m already making plans what to do if G-d doesn’t help me, G-d says ‘listen brother, do your thing, let me not disturb your plans.’

Let’s be very honest. I look at my little daughter Neshamale, and I want nothing more than for Mashiach to be here and teach her. But then I think that if Mashiach is not coming, I might send her to this school or to that school. The Ribbono Shel Olam says ‘listen brother, don’t let me disturb your daughter’s education, do your thing’. If I would stand before G-d and say ‘Ribbono Shel Olam, I mamesh need the Mashiach because I have nobody else to send my daughter to study with’, Mashiach would come.

What would be if a yidele would come to G-d and say ‘Ribbono Shel Olam, I mamesh don’t know what to do,’ only then does he begin to actually have an idea. You see, until Tisha B’Av we still think we could manage without the Beis Hamikdash. Until Tisha B’Av we still think we can manage without Mashiach’s coming. Let’s be very honest with each other.

We all are hoping for Mashiach to come, but we are still making plans if he doesn’t come…

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