September, 2013 Archives

11
Sep

Pig Wrestling

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Spiritual Growth

“I learned long ago, never wrestle with a pig, you get dirty; and besides, the pig likes it.” George Bernard Shaw

I agree with Shaw, and yet, I see all sorts of people pig-wrestling. We recite numerous Viduiim, or, confessions, from a few days before Rosh Hashanah through Yom Kippur. I watch people crushed by guilt over their numerous mistakes, imperfections and sins, who promise themselves that they will never sin again. They are directly confronting their Yetzer Harah, Evil Inclination. They lost before and they will lose again. Basically, they are pig wrestling and are bound to get dirty. At least the pig likes it!

Pig wrestling is not the proper response to Vidui. We are not encouraged to directly confront our mighty adversary. We are asked to develop strategies that will help us in battle.

I hope you will read and benefit from The Seven Levels of Teshuvah series, and the three commentaries on the Vidui. No matter what you do, please, never wrestle with a pig. It’s not worth it.

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.

Share

10
Sep

Prayer & Yom Kippur Stories

by admin in Holidays, Prayer

1.This from R Moshe Mayerfeld, heard from Dayan Dunner, London Beis Din, a true story which the dayan personally verified, on the power of prayer.

An orthodox woman in an old age home, lets call her Mrs Shwartz, dies suddenly, the family is called, and they give her the fitting and appropriate halachic burial. Three days into shiva the phone goes, the daughter answers the phone, is clearly shocked by whatever she hears on the end of the line and faints! The brother goes to the phone, puzzled, picks up the receiver, is also clearly shocked by what he hears on the line and also faints. Finally someone is able to take the phone calmly – and hears the voice of Mrs Shwartz herself, terribly upset……..‘Where have you been? What’s happened, you haven’t come to see me in three days?!?’ So of course, Mrs Shwartz is alive and well! What happened?

Well they investigate, and it turns out that the nursing home made a terrible clerical error – it turns out that Mrs Shwartz had a room mate, Mrs Cohen, and it was in fact Mrs Cohen, her room mate, who had died! So great, the Shwartzes are elated, reunited with their mother – and that alone would be a great way to end the story. Imagine how the Shwartzes recommitted to life after that! But what about the other side? What does the nursing home do about the family of Mrs Cohen, who died three days earlier, and was already buried? How do they face that horrific situation of advising the family? So the staff holds an emergency meeting at which the director decides to take the responsibility of calling the family and breaking the news however best he can.

So he calls the next of kin – a son, let’s call him Michael Cohen – even though the staff have never met him; in fact none of the family have ever been around! And so the director calls, introduces himself over the phone, but before he can say any more, the son cuts him off abruptly, saying if it is about his mother he doesn’t want to know. Of course, the director is taken aback, but this is important, he has to try to get the news through, but whenever he speaks the son just cuts him off. Eventually the son gets really angry and says: ‘Let me explain something to you! We disowned our mother three years ago. She was always going on at us about our Jewishness, or lack of it as she would complain. She would drive us crazy. In the end we threatened that if she did not stop nagging us we would cremate her, but even that did not stop her – on and on and on until we just cut ties altogether. And even then the last thing she told me was, until the day she dies, she will pray for a Jewish burial – and the silly woman really believed it would happen!!’

Story told by Dayan Dunner, confirmed as true! Power of prayer etc etc

2.This from Steve Eisenberg, a moshal as told to him many years back by R Simcha Weinberg

1941, small shtetl in Poland, erev YK, Jews doing what they do to get ready for the holiest day of the year. Men are rushing to mikve, women preparing the seuda hamafsekes, kids are cleaning their clothes, …….all in an aura of sanctity and awe.

Suddenly, breaking the focused tumult of the afternoon, Nazi trucks come storming into the shtetl, and within moments the Jews have been rounded up and every man, woman and child was shot. What took generations to build was destroyed in a matter minutes. The neshomos came to the beis din she’ll maalo and they were preparing to stand in judgement, but they complained to Hashem: ‘Ribbono shel Olam, Your will is supreme, we will accept our fate, but so close to Yom Kippur? We have not even had the chance for tshuva!’ Evidently the Al-mighty listened and told them: ‘Your’e right, I will give you the opportunity that you are asking for, you will return to life and have one hour to change your destiny.’

So they came back, and each was clearly aware of the area of his life that he needed to fix up. This one gave tzeddoko, this one helped the elderly, this one learned Torah in his given hour. Everyone in shomayim had been lacking the limbs corresponding to the lackings in their actions – they knew what they had to change and they were driven to do it.

Not a true story – obviously – but imagine if it were. What would you change? You have one hour, make the most etc etc

Thank you to all for their contributions gmar chasima tova

Rabbi Yitz Sandler

Aish UK

Share
10
Sep

Bowing

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Prayer

We often call Pip, our dog, ‘The Yogi’. He is a master bower, especially when he wants a cookie. Even after a few years of Yoga, I still cannot bow as well as Pip.

His students watched as Rabbi Yehoshua Leib Diskin practiced the Amidah bowing for hours. They would not dare disturb their great master. When they finally had an opportunity they asked: “Why were you practicing so much and for so long?”

The great sage answered: “Everyone from the lowest servants to the highest nobles practice how to bow before a king or queen. Shall I not perfect my motion before bowing to God?”

I love bowing on Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. Some bows led me to reflect on God’s Infinite Greatness. Other bows led me to consider my act of submission. I experience the High Holyday bows in a much more powerful way than my twelve daily, lesser, bows. The physical action is so complete that I cannot help but think about what I am doing. I never considered bowing as a skill until I read the above story.

“But because of our sins we have ben exiled from our land,” (Festival Mussaf) The Vilna Gaon (Commentary to Song of Songs 6:4, and Isaiah 1:7) explains that ‘our land’ refers to the Beit Hamikdash – the Temple in Jerusalem.

“From one month to the next and from one Sabbath to the next, all people will come to bow before me,” says God. (Isaiah 66:23) We miss bowing in the Temple.

I decided to practice bowing according to the precise instructions of Halacha and to take those Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur bows with me each time I bow during prayer in order to imagine that I am bowing in the Beit Hamikdash.

If only it was not limited to my imagination…

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.

Share
10
Sep

Yom Kippur: Selicha & Kappara

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Prayer, Relationships

The husband and wife have been arguing for hours, but they love each other. They both calm down and work things out. Both accept some of the responsibility. Both apologize and they forgive each other. They work harder at ending the argument than they did at arguing.

The husband and wife have been arguing for hours, but they love each other. They look at each other while yelling and screaming and both realize that they love each other so much that the subject of their argument is insignificant. They reconnect in love and the argument disappears.

I picture the former as Selicha – Forgiveness.

The latter scene describes Kapparah – Atonement – as in Yom Kippur: God looks at us and we look at God and we realize how much we love each other, and everything else drops away. The arguments, resentments, harsh words, and anger, all disappear. We only have to remember to look up with love: God is already looking at 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.

Share
10
Sep

Knowing

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Prayer, Spiritual Growth

The people of Nineveh committed to fast and pray until God rescinded the decree of destruction. They ended their fast and prayers. How did they know that they were safe?

Jonah was angry that the people of Nineveh were saved. He had not received a prophecy informing him that God had rescinded the decree. How did he know?

They knew. There is such a thing as knowing that our prayers have been accepted.

When I began building my Succah this evening, immediately after Yom Kippur, I realized that I too, know. My Yom Kippur prayers were accepted. My Succah is my statement that I can now live sheltered by the Wings of God; His Divine Presence. It is only because I know that my prayers were accepted. What a feeling!

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.

Share
10
Sep

Something To Explain

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Relationships

I was putting the final touches on my first Yom Kippur sermon in my new synagogue. I wanted to begin with an acknowledgment that I hurt people even though I had only been there for a month or two, and I wanted people to learn to ask for forgiveness. I was writing, “Request for Mechilah – forgiveness – on my notes and the phone rang.

A friend was calling: “Rabbi, it is the custom that the rabbi begin his Yom Kippur sermon by asking everyone in the congregation for forgiveness.” I thanked him and hung up. I stared at my sermon notes, wondering what to do. When I decided to ask for Mechilah it came from my heart. I wasn’t going to do it because it was the custom of my predecessors. My friend had put me in a difficult position. I did not want my congregation to think that a request for forgiveness was only pro-forma. I wanted them to believe it was real. What was I to do?

Eighteen years later, just one of many congregants, I privately corrected the rabbi for an Halachic error. He thanked me and easily acknowledged that he was unfamiliar with those laws. I was so impressed by his natural willingness to recognize the gaps in his knowledge that I told the story at my Shabbat table.

My intentions were to praise him, and yet, the story included that he did not know certain Halachot. I had spoken Avak Lishon Harah – the dust of Lishon Harah about him. I immediately went to his home to ask his forgiveness. “Rabbi, I came to ask for forgiveness for…” and before I could finish my sentence, he said, “I forgive you.”

It was a strange experience. I did not feel that I had successfully repaired anything. He responded before I could even generally describe my sin against him. It was my problem, not his. It was another experience that confused me about the process of asking for forgiveness before Yom Kippur. People treat it as pro forma that everyone will forgive them. I always wonder how seriously people desire forgiveness, meaning to repair their relationship with me and how much they simply want to assuage their own guilt.

Yesterday, one of my children, who has not spoken to me in more than two years, called to wish me a Shana Tova – a Good Year. “Thank you.” “You sound confused.” “I am happily surprised to hear from you.”

“I have nothing to explain to you.”

My child spoke and I appreciated the pre-Yom Kippur “Please forgive me” ceremony in a new way: When my child insisted that there was nothing to explain, the child was saying that there was nothing to fix. When we observe the pre-Yom Kippur “Please forgive me” ceremony we are acknowledging that there is something to repair.

Had my child made that simple acknowledgment, my child would have healed more than two years of torture and suffering. “I have nothing to explain to you”, only made it worse.

So, I openly acknowledge that I have much to repair in many relationships. There are the calls I haven’t returned in a timely fashion, if at all. There are times I am not available to help. I may speak sharply when teaching or answering a question. I am often impatient.

Please know that I understand that I have much to repair and I want to fix all I humanly can. So, please forgive me.

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.

Share
Google Analytics integration offered by Wordpress Google Analytics Plugin