‘Prayer’ Category Archives

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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16
Jul

Kinah 22 – The Composer

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Prayer

“All I know about music is that not many people ever really hear it. And even then, on the rare occasions when something opens within and the music enters, what we mainly hear, or hear corroborated, are personal, private, vanishing evocations. But the man who creates the music is hearing something else, is dealing with the roar rising from the void and imposing order on it as it hits the air. What is evoked in him then is of another order, more terrible because it has no words, and triumphant too, for that same reason. And his triumph, when he triumphs, is ours (James Baldwin, Sonny’s Blues).”

Our Tisha b’Av Kinah – Lamentation begins, “Leave me in silence, that I may speak (without fear – Job 13:13), and let come on me what may [See, “Kinah 5-Unclothed Words – Kinah 22-Fearing To Speak,” in Readings: Kinot], I cry out to You, Who dwells in heaven; my spirit constrains me for it lacks the space to contain all I feel (Metzudat David, Job 32:18), and is too distracted by this world to express her song (Ibid. Ralbag) but I cannot keep silent.”

The Yesod v’Shoresh haAvodah, connects this Kinah – Lamentation to the Halachah that a person with a beautiful voice is obligated to use it in singing to God by leading services: We are so overwhelmed by those pressuring to convert that we have lost our ability to hear the song of Torah revealing her secrets and lessons, and are no longer able to sing our song in response to God.

This Kinah is reconnecting us with the composer within, the one who, “is hearing something else, is dealing with the roar rising from the void and imposing order on it as it hits the air.”

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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15
Jul

Kinah 36 – Zion: Beyond Our Fears

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Prayer

“Our tragedy today is a general and universal physical fear so long sustained by now that we can even bear it. There are no longer problems of the spirit. There is only the question: when will I be blown up? Because of this, the young man or woman writing today has forgotten the problems of the human heart in conflict with itself which alone can make good writing, because only that is worth writing about – worth the agony and the sweat (William Faulkner, Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech, 1950).”

I hear the same idea resonating in this Tisha b’Av Kinah – Lamentation: “You are the Royal House, and you are the throne of God.”

“Who will make me wings that I could wend my way afar?”

“The air of your land is the very life of your souls!”

“To whom are your anointed ones to be compared, to whom your prophets?”

Why, asks Rav Yehudah haLevi, are we living in fear, rather than problems of the constrained spirit that is in conflict with itself as it struggles to fly free of exile and soar to the Highest Heaven?

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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15
Jul

Kinah 13 – Script or Writer

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Prayer, Relationships

Remember what Chardin told us at the Salon: “Gentlemen, gentlemen, be lenient. Look through all the paintings here and find the worst, and know that two thousand poor devils have bitten their brushes to pieces in despair of ever doing as badly. You all call Parrocel a dauber, and so he is, if you compare him with Verner, but he’s a rare talent compared with the multitude of those who’ve abandoned the career they entered with him.

Le Moyne used to say that it took thirty years’ practice to be able to turn one’s original sketch into a painting, and Le Moyne was no fool. If you’ll listen to what I say, perhaps you’ll learn to be indulgent.” [Denis Diderot, The Salons]

In this Tisha b’Av Kinah – Lamentation, (The Oakling and the Oak, Just So, Clarity, & Kah), we ask God, “Where is the promise You made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob?” I can hear the unspoken challenge to the question: “Who are you to compare yourselves to the Patriarchs? Are you not the ones who forfeit the connection to their merit? (See, “Kinah 26: Growing Old.”)

In “The Oakling and the Oak,” we began discussing the challenge of living with great parents, and the dangers of comparing ourselves to them, and in “Kinah 4 – Salieri & Mozart,” and, “The Hovering Life,” we wondered about the impact of the competition between Samaria and Jerusalem had on both populations. Diderot’s report reminds us to be patient when judging good artists who fail to match the great ones. How are we to ask where is Your promise to the Patriarchs in our lives? Where was it at each stage of our suffering? Are we, as Chardin advises, asking God to indulge us and be lenient? Or, are we really asking for the same promise made to Abraham?

In “Kinah 7 – Above The Stars” we explained the essence of God’s promise to Abraham as, “Hashem will acknowledge Abraham’s descendants’ accomplishments and give them the means to raise themselves up above the stars and create their own reality.” The words, “Koah y’hiyeh zaracha,” “so shall your children be,” means, “They will be Koh, just like you, and have the ability to rise above their destiny and create new destinies for themselves.” We are asking, “Where is that promise?” Perhaps, we are not asking God, but ourselves, “Are we even striving to live above the stars, creating new destinies?”

This Kinah – Lamentation is the reverse image of Kinah 3, which describes people limited by an imposed destiny – people who cease to use their Free Choice – a natural consequence of experiencing the destruction and suffering the exile.

Are we following a prewritten script, or, are we scriptwriters? Are we stuck where we were in Kinah 3, or have we accepted the challenge of living as Koh, as Abrahams who write their own script and change the world?

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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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15
Jul

Kinah 16 – Readings – In the Slave Hold of a Ship

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Prayer

In “Kinah 16- The Greater Terror,” we read of the young boys and girls who were being brought by ships from Israel to Rome for immoral purposes. I share the following chapter from the narrative of a slave to help us understand what the experience must have been:

The first object which saluted my eyes when I arrived on the coast was the sea, and a slave ship, which was then riding at anchor, and waiting for its cargo. These filled me with astonishment, which was soon converted into terror when I was carried on board. I was immediately handled and tossed up to see if I were found by some of the crew; and I was now persuaded that I had gotten into a world of bad spirits, and that they were going to kill me. Their complexions too [Page 71] differing so much from ours, their long hair, and the language they spoke (which was very different from any I had ever heard), united to confirm me in this belief. Indeed such were the horrors of my views and fears at the moment, that, if ten thousand worlds had been my own I would have freely parted with them all to have exchanged my condition with that of the meanest slave in my own country. When I looked round the ship too and saw a large furnace or copper boiling, and a multitude of black people of every description chained together, everyone of their countenances expressing dejection and sorrow, I no longer doubted of my fate; and quite overpowered with horror and anguish, I fell motionless on the deck and fainted. When I recovered a little I found some black people about me, who I believed were [Page 72] some of those who brought me on board, and had been receiving their pay; they talked to me in order to cheer me, but all in vain. I asked them if we were not to be eaten by those white men with horrible looks, red faces, and loose hair. They told me I was not; and one of the crew brought me a small portion of spirituous liquor in a wine glass; but, being afraid of him, I would not take it out of his hand. One of the blacks therefore took it from him and gave it to me, and I took a little down my palate, which, instead of reviving me, as they thought it would, threw me into the greatest consternation at the strange feeling it produced having never tasted any such liquor before. Soon after this the blacks who brought me on board went off, and left me abandoned to despair.

I now saw myself deprived [Page 73] of all chance of returning to my native country, or even the least glimpse of hope of gaining the shore which I now considered as friendly; and I even wished for my former slavery in preference to my present situation, which was filled with horrors of every kind, still heightened by my ignorance of what I was to undergo. I was not long suffered to indulge my grief; I was soon put down hinder the decks, and there I received such a salutation in my nostrils as I had never experienced in my life: so that, with the loathsomeness of the stench and crying together, I became so sick and low that I was not able to eat, nor had I the least desire to taste anything. I now wished for the last friend, death, to relieve me; but soon, to my grief, two of the white men offered me eatables; and on my refusing to eat, [Page 74] one of them held me fast by the hands, and laid me across I think the windlass and tied my feet, while the other flogged me severely. I had never experienced anything of this kind before; and although, not being used to the water, I naturally feared that element the first time I saw it, yet nevertheless, could I have got over the nettings, I would have jumped over the side, but I could not; and, besides, the crew used to watch us very closely who were not chained down to the decks, lest we should leap into the water: and I have seen some of these poor African prisoners most severely cut for attempting to do so, and hourly whipped for not eating. This indeed was often the case with myself. In a little time after, amongst the poor chained men, I found some of my own nation, which in a small degree gave ease to my mind. I [Page 75] inquired of these what was to be done with us; they gave me to understand we were to be carried to these white people’s country to work for them.

I then was a little revived, and thought, if it were no worse than working, my situation was not so desperate: but still I feared I should be put to death, the white people looked and acted, as I thought, in so savage a manner; for I had never seen among any people such instances of brutal cruelty; and this not only shewn towards us blacks, but also to some of the whites themselves. One white man in particular I saw, when we were permitted to be on deck, flogged so unmercifully with a large rope near the foremast that he died in consequence of it; and they tossed him over the side as they would have done a brute. This made me fear these people the more; and I [Page 76] expected nothing less than to be treated in the same manner. I could not help expressing my fears and apprehensions to some of my countrymen: I asked them if these people had no country, but lived in this hollow place (the ship): they told me they did not, but came from a distant one. ‘Then,’ said I, ‘how comes it in all our country we never heard of them?’ They told me because they lived so very far off. I then asked where were their women? had they any like themselves? I was told they had: ‘and why,’ said I, ‘do we not see them?’ They answered, because they were left behind. I asked how the vessel could go? They told me they could not tell; but that there were cloths put upon the masts by the help of the ropes I saw, and then the vessel went on; and the white men had some spell or magic they put in the water [Page 77] when they liked in order to stop the vessel. I was exceedingly amazed at this account, and really thought they were spirits. I therefore wished much to be from amongst them, for I expected they would sacrifice me: but my wishes were vain; for we were so quartered that it was impossible for any of us to make our escape.

While we stayed on the coast I was mostly on deck; and one day, to my great astonishment, I saw one of these vessels coming in with the sails up. As soon as the whites saw it, they gave a great shout, at which we were amazed; and the more so as the vessel appeared larger by approaching nearer. At last she came to an anchor in my sight, and when the anchor was let go I and my countrymen who saw it were lost in astonishment to observe the vessel stop; and were now convinced it was [Page 78] done by magic. Soon after this the other ship got her boats out, and they came on board of us, and the people of both ships seemed very glad to see each other. Several of the strangers also shook hands with US black people, and made motions with their bands, signifying I suppose we were to go to their country; but we did not understand them. At last, when the ship we were in had got in all her cargo, they made ready with many fearful noises, and we were all put under deck, so that we could not see how they managed the vessel. But this disappointment was the least of my sorrow. The stench of the hold while we were on the coast was so in tolerably loathsome, that it was dangerous to remain there for any time, and some of us had been permitted to stay on the deck for the fresh air; but now that the whole ship’s cargo were [Page 79] confined together, it became absolutely pestilential. The closeness of the place, and the heat of the climate, added to the number in the ship, which was so crowded that each had scarcely room to turn himself, almost suffocated us. This produced copious perspirations, so that the air soon became unfit for respiration, from a variety of loathsome smells, and brought on a sickness among the slaves, of which many died, thus falling victims to the improvident avarice, as I may call it, of their purchasers. This wretched situation was again aggravated by the galling of the chains, now become insupportable; and the filth of the necessary tubs, into which the children often fell, and were almost suffocated. The shrieks of the women, and the groans of the dying, rendered the whole a scene of horror almost inconceivable. Happily perhaps [Page 80] for myself I was soon reduced so low here that it was thought necessary to keep me almost always on deck; and from my extreme youth I was not put in fetters. In this situation I expected every hour to share the fate of my companions, some of whom were almost daily brought upon deck at the point of death, which I began to hope would soon put an end to my miseries. Often did I think many of the inhabitants of the deep much more happy than myself. I envied them the freedom they enjoyed, and as often wished I could change my condition for theirs. [Olauadah Equiano,  Interesting Narrative, Chapter Two]

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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15
Jul

Kinah 16 – The Greater Terror

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Prayer

“The ocean is an object of no small terror. Indeed, terror is an all cases whatsoever, either more openly or latently, the ruling principle of the sublime (Edmund Burke).”

This Tisha b’Av Kinah – Lamentation mentions a famous story from the Talmud: On one occasion four hundred boys and girls were carried off for immoral purposes. They divined what they were wanted for and said to themselves, “If we drown in the sea we shall attain the life of the future world. The eldest among them expounded the verse, “The Lord said, ‘I will bring again from Bashan, I will bring again from the depths of the sea’ (Psalms 68:23).”

‘I will bring again from Bashan,’ from between the lions’ teeth (bein shain).

‘I will bring again from the depths of the sea,’ those who drown in the sea.

When the girls heard this they all leaped into the sea. The boys then drew the moral for themselves, saying, “If these for whom this is natural act so, shall not we, for whom it is unnatural?”

They also leaped into the sea. Of them the text says, “Yes, for Your sake we are killed all the day long, we are counted as sheep for the slaughter (Psalms 44:23).”21 [Gittin 57b]

Which was the greater terror for these young boys and girls? It was not the sea; it was the fear of being used for immoral purposes. Despite all the destruction they witnessed, they maintained an inner sense of dignity, and lived with great courage. Despite Titus violating God’s Home, they believed that the God would keep the promise made in Psalms. Titus may have ripped the curtain that covered the Holy of Holies, but he did not succeed in violating the internal holiness of these boys and girls.

Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “The power which the sea requires in the sailor makes a man of him very fast, and the change of shores and populations clears his head of much nonsense of his wigwam.” Perhaps the Romans sailing these ships were as the sailors described by Emerson, but they were far lesser “men” than these young people who, in a world without structure, cleared their heads of all the wigwam, and had the clarity to live higher than the Holiest of Holies.

While we plead with God to remember Titus’ violence, we remind Him of that holiness to which we cling in every moment and every place.

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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15
Jul

Kinah 10 – Silence

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Prayer, Reflections & Observations

“The voices of those who carried the Ark were silenced.” Destruction often causes the loss of music:

Listen to, “TED Talks: Bernie Krause: The Voice of The Natural 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.

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