September, 2012 Archives


Jacob the Builder

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays

I spent a great deal of time thinking about Jacob this year, especially about his death as I knew that my mother a”h was approaching her end. (“A Different Sort of Fear of Life,” “Not Waiting for the Monument,” “The Fragrance of Permanence,” “Stopping the Leaks,” “Strength from Brokenness,” “Power of Softness,” “The Character in the Storm,” and “Laban’s Gasconade.”) I saw Jacob as one who considered life the connection to that which is eternal, specifically, the power to retrace our steps all the way back to Eden, and repair the damage caused by Adam. I was nervous about my expected visitor on the Third night of Succot; would he consider my life well lived?

I looked up to the sky and wondered how much of my life was connected above rather than anchored to the limitations of this world. I was suddenly aware of another presence in my sukkah; it was Jacob.

“I love the blogs and wish you had written more. Why did you stop writing for so long?”

“I was deeply affected by my mother’s death and have been having difficulty writing.”

“That would certainly imply that you are more connected to this limited life than to living a life that will lead you back to Eden. I am sure that you recall that before I left this world I charged my children with a vision of their ultimate future. The only way to live a life that is constantly connected to the eternal, to fighting your way back to Eden and repairing this damaged world, is to constantly look toward the Ultimate Future! This is the meaning of someone looking toward Redemption. Tzipita l’yeshu’a means that you will be asked in Heaven whether you lived a life that was focused on building a world prepared for Redemption.”

Jacob left. It was a short visit. But his message of Building a world that is prepared for Redemption filled my sukkah.

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.


Isaac the Builder

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays

It’s now the second night of Succot and I await a visit from Isaac. It’s fair to say that this visit is the one to which I look forward with most anticipation as Isaac is the least familiar of the Seven Guests. I wonder about him. The verse makes it clear that Abraham was chosen, “It is You, God the Lord, Who chose Abram (Nehemiah 9:7).” Jacob, too, was chosen, “But hear now, Jacob, My servant, and Israel, whom I have chosen (Isaiah 44:1)!” There is no verse that speaks of Isaac as being chosen. In fact, when Maimonides (Laws of Idol Worship, Chapter 1:3) describes the transmission of Abraham’s message through the first generations, he speaks of Jacob as being appointed, and Levi also, as being appointed. However, he says only that Abraham made his message known to Isaac, but he never describes Isaac is being appointed by Abraham. There seems to be something missing about Isaac, and I can’t wait to ask him why.

My eyes are closed as I ponder Isaac’s life and mission. I open them to find my guest sitting facing me across the table.

“Do you feel chosen for a special mission in life?” It’s as if he was reading my mind.

“No,” I respond, “I feel that God has given many gifts to me, but that it is entirely up to me how to use them.”

“So,” Isaac continues, “you do not feel chosen. Do you feel that you have been appointed to a special position?”

I chuckle, point to my less than expertly assembled sukkah, and say, “and the position to which I have been appointed is not much better than the construction of this sukkah!”

“Did my father not visit you last night? Did he not describe to you how his first home was built in the air, so to speak, standing alone without any support from anyone other than himself (See “Abraham the Builder.”)?”

“Yes, he did visit me and speak of beginning my own construction project so that I could live a life in which I create my own destiny.”

“So then, how can you possibly describe this sukkah as something lacking, rather than the beginning of a major construction project to create something infinite, ‘above the stars’? If you truly desire to live a life in which you create your own destiny, you must understand that it is your choice and that you must assume the responsibility to appoint yourself as head of your unique project.”

“Did you do that?”

“Yes, my son, I did. My ‘project’ began as I lay bound hands and feet on an altar with my father standing over me prepared to sacrifice me to God. When I rose from that altar, I realized that I would have to build a life of my own. I did many of the things my father did. I visited Gerar. I dug the same wells  he had. I understood that I could do the same things my father had done before me and still make them my own actions. You sit in a sukkah as did your father before you, and as so many of your brethren do. You recite the same prayers. You practice the same mitzvot. Do you do it only as your father did, as others do, or are you able to make each thing your own?”

“I try to do each thing as my own.”

“So you are learning how to become a Builder.”

Isaac looks at me with piercing eyes and points out, “I suspect that you are held back by believing that you will never be as great as your father. Can you imagine what it was like to be the son of Abraham? I decided never to look back, but to look forward not only for myself, but in others as well! I was able to look at Esau, whom all are convinced was wicked and see his potential, to the point that I was willing to offer my greatest blessing to him. You will know that you are truly prepared to become a Builder, when you are able to look at anyone and see his potential. When you can see the potential for Building in each person you see, you will be able to see yourself as a Builder. I see some open spaces in your walls not just your roof. Use them to look outside the walls of your sukkah and perceive the potential for Building in all the people around you.”

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.


Abraham The Builder

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays

I built the house.

First I made it out of air.

Then I raised the flag

and left it hanging

from the firmament, from the star, from

light and darkness. (Pablo Neruda in honor of La Sebastiana)

“God said to Abram, ‘Go for yourself from your land’ (Genesis 12:1).” Rabbi Yitzchak opened his discourse on this passage with a quote from Psalms: “Hear, O daughter, and see, and incline your ear;  forget your people and your father’s house (Psalms 45:11).” This is analogous to someone who was passing from place to place and saw a certain palace ablaze. He said to himself, “Shall you say that this palace is without a supervisor?” The owner of the palace peered out at him and said to him, “I am the master of the palace!” So too, because Abraham said to himself, upon seeing the constant structure and that was taking place in the world, “Can it be that this world is without a supervisor?” The Holy One, Blessed is He, peaked out at him and said to him, “I am the Master of the world!” The next verse in Psalms states, “Then the King will desire your beauty; for He is your master; so bow to him.” God will desire to beautify you, Abraham, in the eyes of the world, so bow to Him and be His servant (Bereishit Rabbah 39:1).”

Abraham has come to visit my sukkah and instruct me so I may join of The Society Builders (See “Ghosts As Guests.”) Abraham began his construction project by connecting people to God as the Ultimate Builder. He stood alone against the world. He chose his unique path and was willing to stand against everyone as he searched for the Master of the Palace. “First I made it out of air.”

He began to travel and to speak of the Creator as the Master of the Palace to others; “Then I raised the flag and left it hanging from the firmament.” He dedicated his life to having people look high above the heavens and join him in the search for the True Master of the Palace; “from the star.”

This is the Abraham of whom it is written, “He took him outside, and said, ‘ Gaze, now, toward the heavens, and count the stars if you are able to count them!’ And He said to him, ‘ So shall your offspring be’ (Genesis 15:5).” We are taught that God lifted Abraham above the stars and the planets and promised him that he would not be controlled by the constellations but would always be empowered to create his own destiny. This was the promise for Abraham himself and for his offspring.

This is the message that Abraham brings to my Sukkah: “You must be willing to build your own house; a place that reflects your vision and values, your beliefs and convictions. Even if you begin by making it out of air; having to stand up against the world and fight for what you believe is true. If you can build such a house, if you’re Sukkah will reflect your beliefs, it won’t be a flag hanging, “from the firmament, from the star,” and will empower you, as it did me, to live above the stars; to create your own destiny.

“Your little booth here may be a little flimsy, but it is no weaker than the house I built that began, “out of air.”

Abraham bids me a farewell and goes on to his next visit.

I sit alone in my sukkah and reflect on his message.

Is this, my small booth, a reflection of my beliefs?

Am I able to look through the empty spaces in my roof toward the heavens and see myself lifted as was my special guest, above the stars?

Am I willing to live a life in which I can shape my destiny?

I am ready. I am ready to build such a house, such a life.

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.


Ghosts As Guests

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays

It is a myth of the lazy storyteller that ghosts primarily inhabit desolate houses and crumbling castles. No ghost ever walks down the stairs and corridors of the places I visit; no specter looks in from the other side of the window. However, when I return to my sukkah, I encounter ghosts. It is in the strangeness of their fleeting presence that I feel haunted; it is in the familiarity of their absence.

I can see and hear the muffled footsteps of my sukkah guests. I know them intimately, though in another plane of existence. I speak, of course, of the Seven Ushpizin, the Seven Guests who visit us, according to the Zohar, each day of Succot.

Why would I possibly describe a visit from Abraham or Isaac as strange when they are such an essential part of my spiritual existence? How could I possibly say that a visit from Moses, Aaron, or Joseph, as haunting?

I am haunted by the strangeness of their visit because I have no idea what I would say to any one of them if I met them in person. I love Abraham’s creativity, Isaac’s determination, Jacob’s clarity, Moses’ sense of the eternal, Aaron’s appreciation of the majesty of every detail in creation, Joseph’s loyalty and, King David’s all encompassing personality. I study their lives. I strive to emulate them. Each is a very real character in my life. However, I perceive each of them as a giant, whose presence would fill my succah; each, a larger than life character who would overwhelm me with their presence.

I welcome each at the beginning of the evening meal, as I sit in my sukkah staring up through the holes in the s’chach at the dark sky sprinkled with the flashing lights of the stores. The setting itself is perfect for a ghostly visit; a little strange for a visit from someone so important to the way I live my life.

I’m even slightly embarrassed over the quite imperfect way I have assembled my sukkah. How strange that I choose to welcome these awesome visitors in a flimsy booth rather than in my home! I can just imagine these people who have successfully built a nation that has lasted for thousands of years wondering how one of their descendants/students could be such a poor builder.

That is, until I remember that their visit is intended as an invitation, to me, the host, to join them in the Society of Builders. Each of them offers guidance in becoming a better builder of a better world.

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.


R’Shlomo on P’ Vayeilech-Fixing With Hands

by developer in Holidays, Portion of the Week

The Mei Hashiloach begins to talk about something very very deep. There are two things going on with us human beings. There are certain mistakes which I make, we are talking about chas veshalom doing aveiras, that’s one thing. But then there is something much deeper. Every person has something wrong with them inside. This is why we are here in this world, because if I would be complete than I wouldn’t have to be in this world. So basically, this world is a hospital, this world is where I fix myself. The truth is that even after I fixed every aveira I did since I was born, I am still not fixed, because there is something deep deep inside of me which needs fixing.

I want you to open your hearts like mad. It says ‘Vayelech Moshe’, And Moshe went. And the Zohar Hakadosh says  ‘Kegufa Belo Yada’, like a body without hands. I’ll give it you a nutshell, maybe not a hundred percent but approximately it’s what it is. The Holy Ishbitzer asks what does it mean? The Holy Ishbitzer says like this. Right after it says Vayelech Moshe, it says that Moshe Rabbeinu told the yidden that every eighth year all the yidden should get together in Yerushalayim and mamesh learn Torah, this is called ‘Mitzvas Hak’hel’. All the yidden mamesh got together on the eighth year. When it comes to Mitzvas Hakhel it says ‘bring your children.’ The Gemara asks why do you have to bring children, they don’t understand what will be spoken there. But the Gemara says ‘Liten Sachar Lemivieihen’, a person was to bring their children in order so that the children would cause their parents to receive a reward for bringing them.

Now open your hearts.

There is a Torah which I understand with my head, when something makes sense to me. Then there is a Torah that has to do with my hands, I do this and I do that. But my hands have two functions, my hands down below represent what I’m doing. But imagine if I am holding up my hands, what am I doing? When I hold up my hands, I am reaching for something which I don’t have yet, I am longing for something which I don’t even know how to get. So the Ishbitzer says like this. Can you imagine what Moshe Rabbeinu was longing for with his hands? You know what happened, on that day he mamesh reached that point of getting to where he always longed to get to. Wherever he was holding up his hands, that’s where he reached.

There is a level which I did wrong, I did an aveira, and I can fix it by doing tshuvah. What about that part of me that needs fixing which is so deep, that which is beyond me? Dovid Hamalech says ‘Becheit Yechematna Imi’.We are talking about a part of me that was created like this, the way I was born, there is something inside which needs completion. Where do I reach that? I only reach that when I hold up my hands. That’s a different Torah. So I want you to know the deepest depths. When was Moshe Rabbeinu given the Torah of the hands? Throughout his life, Moshe Rabbeinu taught the yidden how to fix everything they did wrong, but how about the things they didn’t do anything wrong on a practical level? We were born this way, you gotta fix it.

Now listen to this unbelievable thing. When we take out the Torah and we put it on the table, we don’t say ‘Vezos HaTorah Asher Sam Moshe’. Do you know when we start yelling ‘Vezos HaTorah Asher Sam Moshe’? This is the Torah which G-d gave us? When we are holding up the Torah with our hands. Only when we lift our hands up do we say ‘This is the Torah which Moshe brought down from heaven’. The Torah which Moshe Rabbeinu brought down from heaven is that you can even fix that thing which is embodied in you. The holiness of the Torah is that you can fix that.

Now listen, just open your hearts. The Ishbitser says a mind-blowing Torah…mamesh a rebbeshe Torah. He says what do parents worry most about their children? Not so much about the mistakes they will make, because I know they will make mistakes and they will fix it. But I’m worried most about this one little thing which is wrong with them. How would I fix that, how will I fix that? So he says a gevalt Torah. On the eighth year, when everybody carried their children in their hands, what level of hands were they holding them? Are the hands on the level of doing something or are the hands on the level of mamesh reaching to the highest depth? When I am carrying my children to Hak’hel this is the Torah of holding up my hands to heaven. So he says ‘Liten Schar Lemiviehen’, what kind of a reward? I was given the reward that I can fix my children and I can fix myself. So how do I fix myself? When I carry my children. Unbelievable Torah, mamesh a Torah from heaven. So he says that on the eigth year, when yidden would carry their children up to Yerushalayim, the Torah of Hak’hel is not the Torah of what you did wrong. The Torah of Hak’hel is getting all the yidden together, and this is the Torah which Moshe Rabbeinu left us before he left this world, the Torah of how to fix that which can’t be fixed. It’s unbelievable.

This is what was given to us in Vayelech.

Okay, now I thought of something very deep.

Now listen to this sweetest friends. On Yom Kippur I am doing tshuva. I want you to know something very deep. I can tell one of my friends what I did wrong, and they will help me fix it. i can go to a rebbe and tell him I did this wrong, I want to do tshuva. The question is, whom can I tell that one thing which is wrong with me? I want you to know the deepest depths. I can’t even tell G-d unless I lock the door and I want to be alone with G-d. I am afraid to even tell G-d. So you know what the last prayer of Neila is? Neila is when I lock the door and I am pouring out my heart and I am telling G-d ‘you know something, this is all nothing. Yom Kippur is beautiful and cute, but I want you to fix that one thing which is so deep that only you can fix it.’

Now listen to the deepest depths, again you have to open your hearts very wide. There are two kinds of prayers. There is a prayer I am praying for sometimes, and then there is a prayer which I am praying for all the time, mamesh all the time. Obviously this prayer which I pray to G-d to fix the mistakes I made I am not praying all the time. Sometimes I make mistakes, sometimes I fix them. What am I praying for constantly? That one thing which needs fixing inside, it’s beyond me, I don’t know what to do with it, it’s beyond me.

This is Achas Sha’alti Me’eis Hashem… that one thing which I constantly pray for.

What’s a house? In Ishbits it’s very strong. Ki Beisi Beis Tefila. That prayer which I constantly pray for is called a house, a house is constant. Friends, let me ask you, do you know what it means that the Holy Temple is destroyed? We still pray, but we don’t pray anymore to fix the deepest depths. We only pray for the little outside things. The Beis Hamikdash is a place where you fix this deepest depths there is. I want you to know that Moshe Rabbeinu basically is the Master of the Torah what to do. Ahron Hakohen… how come Ahron Hakohen is blessing with his hands, what’s so special about his hands? Ahron is the Master of the hands. Ahron Hakohen, his thing is how to teach yidden how to hold up their hands. So therefor he has the holiness of how to bless in his hands. Everybody knows that the Beis Hamikdash is the house of Ahron Hakohen.

Now listen to this deepest depths. Everybody knows that the Succa is Ahron Hakohen’s house, annanei hakavod, the clouds of glory. Without even getting involved in the deepest depths.  The Succa is Ahron Hakohen’s house. You know what we do? The Ishbitser says, the only one who is mamesh praying like mad that I should fix that which is so deep are my parents. Who are my parents, who are your parents? Avraham, Yitzchak and Ya’akov, Moshe Ahron, Yosef Dovid. The guests of the Succa. So you know what it is? On Yom Kippur I realize that throughout the year? I was always praying for the little mistakes I did, I was waiting to do tshuva for the little things. Why didn’t I pray for that which I have to pray for all the time, for the real fixing? And now I want you to go one step deeper. What does it mean that all of Israel is in exile? All of Israel in exile means that we are praying for little things, we stopped praying for the big things. Being in exile means that we stopped praying that Mashiach should come. I cannot bring Mashiach, you know why? Because Mashiach’s fixing is that fixing where my actions don’t reach, my actions don’t reach there. It’s something deeper than all this.

You know what it says? Vehesihiv Lev Avos Al Banim Velev Banim Al avosam. When Eliyahu Hanavi is coming he will bring the parents and the children of the parents. Mamesh, now it’s so clear, because the Ishbitzer says that the only one who can fix this inside of children is when parents carry them. And they in return fix their parents. So this is what Eliyahu Hanavi is doing before Mashiach is coming, the fixing between the children and the parents.

So this is the whole thing of the being in the Succa after Neila, after I lock myself and I tell G-d everything which is wrong with me, not this little things I made mistakes, that I fixed already by Mincha. By Neila I am mamesh taking G-d inside of me to that place which is locked all year long, I’m afraid to open it. So then I make a little Succa’le, and there my parents come, Avraham, Yitzchak, and Ya’akov, and they mamesh carry me into the Succa. So I want to add that not only Avraham Avinu comes to the Succa while I am sitting there, but mamesh Avraham Avinu carries me into the Succa, because how are parents fixing their children? By carrying them. What do we do with the lulav? Mamesh, the whole thing is holding up the hands. shukling, the hands, unbelievable. The whole thing about succos and the succa is the hands. I am holding up my hands, putting up the Schach. Everything is holding up the hands higher than myself. And then, the end is Simchas Torah when mamesh I see that the Ribbono Shel Olam put everything in the Torah. Suddenly I realize this is mamesh the Torah which is fixing myself. What am I doing? I don’t open the Torah, because that Torah which is fixing my deepest depths is not the words of the Torah, but it’s the whole Torah itself, mamesh the whole Torah.

I want you to know something, between people it’s also very deep. Sometimes I love somebody very much on a detail level. I am filling certain needs a person, I am doing them certain favors. Sometime a husband and wife fill each other’s certain needs, but then… then they cannot fix that which is missing. But if it’s beyond words, beyond everything there is like this Torah, Vezos HaTorah Asher Sam Moshe, the Torah of when you are holding up your hands, this has no words because it’s everything together. This is the Torah of Simchas Torah. And it’s unbelievable how on Simchas Torah every father and mother bring their children to shul. They mamesh carry their children because they know that this is the only way to fix it, they know it’s the only way to fix it.


The Walk

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Portion of the Week

Almost forty years before this week’s portion of Vayeilech, “And we (Moshe) walked,”    God began revelation by saying, “Thus shalt you say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel,” understood as an instruction to teach each person in the manner with which he or she could relate. Strangely, we never find Moshe speaking to each individual in this personalized manner. Rather, “Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and set before them all these words which God commanded him.”

And God said to Moses: “Go, Lech, to the people,” reminiscent of His first charge to Abraham, “Go from your country, Lech Lecha,” and, again, we find that Moshe seems to do something other than what God commanded, “And Moses went down from the mount to the people,” he did not Lech, go, but ‘went down.’

Until this week’s portion, Vayeilech, “And Moses went and spoke these words to all Israel.” It seems that on this, the final day of Moshe’s life, he fulfilled the Lech of long ago, and the personalized instruction first commanded at Sinai, because Vayeilech is understood as Moshe going to each family to offer personalized words of farewell.

Abraham too ends the significant part of his life as patriarch with a Lech: “And He said: ‘Take now your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac, and go, lech lecha, into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt-offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell you of’.”

Moshe could not fulfill the personalized Lech until the end of his life, when he could go to each person with an individual message. The commandment of Sinai was to take them on a journey that would culminate in this sense of Lech, a personalized message that would allow each his or her individual journey with God.

We read of Abraham’s ultimate Lech on the second day of Rosh Hashanah, because his journey too was one that would serve as an example of walking with God, journeying through life with God; the real challenge and blessing of Rosh Hashanah: Discover your own personal journey through life.

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.


Listing Who Matters

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Reflections & Observations

It wasn’t boring; it was moving. I intended to listen to the reading of the names of the victims of the 9-11 attacks for just a few moments to honor those who died on that tragic day. I ended up listening for quite a while. It may have been the recital of a long list of names, but the way it was done left me feeling that each name mattered.

The Reading of the List set me on a search for a list of my own. I kept a list of all the people at whose funeral I was honored to officiate. The list began in 1983 when, as a new rabbi in Saratoga Springs, New York, I was asked to officiate at a funeral in Glenns Falls, New York. This was the first time I was asked to serve at a funeral for someone who was a stranger. He was a member of a dying community and there were few people who knew him to honor him. His wife was already quite old, and did not remember very much. His son, grandchildren, and great grandchild, seemed to be in a rush to get through the funeral and returned to their lives. I had a devastating sense that this man would soon be forgotten. I wanted him to be honored by more than a tombstone, so I began my list. He is remembered. His life mattered.

There are, unfortunately, hundreds of names on the list. A childless man buried by his wife, who is also on my list as she passed away just a few months later. They were all alone in the world. Clearly, soon to be forgotten. They are on my list and I mention their names each time I recite Yizkor, the Memorial prayer we recite on major holidays. Their lives still matter.

There is the man who sat by himself in synagogue week after week, praising every sermon that he, being deaf, could not possibly have heard. He was buried far away from home in a cemetery close to his long deceased wife and parents. I made a pledge to him at his funeral that I would not forget him and that he too would be on my list.

The Reading of the List on 9-11 moved me because I recalled visiting El Salvador just a week after a devastating earthquake killed more than 20,000 people, and realized how many of them would soon be forgotten as if they had never existed. The List reminded me that all too often in this world there are those we treat as if their lives did not matter.

The Reading of the List reminded me of another list that is also read aloud each year: Our tradition teaches us that every human being is called before the Heavenly Judge on Rosh Hashanah, his name is announced, and he is judged. This is a list of Names that Matter.

We matter to the Creator.

God judges us because we matter to God.

God judges us because everything we do matters to God. This is the list of people who matter.

This is the gift of Rosh Hashanah.

When we are taught that on the opening night of Rosh Hashanah the judgment begins, we are reminded that the opening moments of Rosh Hashanah are gift from God, assuring us that we matter. The rest of Rosh Hashanah is simply a celebration of that gift.

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.


Kavanot-Kabbalat Shabbat-Elul & Days of Awe-Psalm 96-The Coronation of Justice

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Prayer

Psalm 96: “Say among the nations, ‘God reigns.’

The world is firmly established, it cannot be moved;

He will judge the peoples with equity.


Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad;

let the sea resound, and all that is in it.


Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them;

let all the trees of the forest sing for joy.


Let all creation rejoice before God, for He comes,

He comes to judge the earth.

He will judge the world in righteousness

and the peoples in His faithfulness.”

Rosh Hashanah, the Coronation of God as King is also the Day of Judgement.

We look to the King:

to establish justice;

to guide the world in righteousness;

to offer stability and reliability so we feel that our efforts will be worthwhile;

A just world will be a joyous world.

A joyous world can be healed.

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.


Kavanot-Kabbalat Shabbat-Elul & Days of Awe-Psalm 95

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Prayer

Moses had seen the Children of Israel at their best when they stood before Sinai and chose to engage in an eternal conversation with God.

Moses saw the Children of Israel at their worst when he rushed from Sinai to present God’s gift of the Two Tablets only to find them dancing wildly around the Golden Calf.

The man who had met these people as slaves, led them through redemption, and watched them grow into expansive human beings, was convinced that they could raise themselves from their deepest pits of self-doubt and soar back to their highest potential:

“Come!” he invites them and us, “Let us sing to God,” and regain your crowns of achievement that I have been holding for you since you shed them after the Golden Calf.

Moses remembers a powerful tale of a human being who appreciated Shabbat as the perfect opportunity to reconnect to his highest moments: Adam.

Adam sinned on the same Friday on which he was created. When he heard God’s voice after he ate of the Tree of Knowledge, rather than hear the message, “I want you to hear me even though you slipped up,” Adam ran away. He did not know, he did not believe that a person who fell so hard could rise again. That is, he did not believe it possible to regain his heights until Shabbat.

God allowed Adam to remain in the Garden for Shabbat. God granted Adam the gift of Shabbat and eternity despite Adam’s belief that he had forfeit access to the eternal. God allowed Adam to continue to experience the Original Perfect Light of Creation even when Adam closed his eyes and hid from himself, convinced that such vision would never again be his.

As Shabbat began, Adam opened his eyes, experienced the Original Light, felt the light touch of the Eternal, and began to discern God’s Voice/Message in the gift of Shabbat:

Moses, who began by inviting us to sing with him and reclaim our crowns of achievement, helps us listen in to Adam’s invitation of Teshuvah: “Come! Let us prostrate ourselves and bow, let us kneel before God, Who relates to us even when we relate to existence at the lowest level, that of Assiyah – The Maker.”

Adam invites us to kneel after we prostrate and bow. Do we not kneel on the way down to bowing? Why speak of kneeling after bowing?

Unless, Adam is speaking of kneeling on the way up after bowing; pausing as we rise from the lowest point and focus on the rising that follows the bow rather than the prostration. Adam understood that the gift of Shabbat is the opportunity to rise to the greatest heights no matter how distant or low we feel.

Moses applies Adam’s lesson and invites us to rise up and sing with him, reclaim our lives at their highest. The question is never how low we fell. It is always how well do we rise?

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.