Posts Tagged ‘Psalms’

7
Sep

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.

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30
Mar

Arguing with God-Haftarah Shabbat HaGadol

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Portion of the Week

“Your words have been harsh against Me, says God. Yet you say, what have we spoken against You? You have said, it is useless to serve God; what profit is it that we have kept His ordinance and that we have walked as mourners before the Lord of Hosts? So now we call the proud sinners with praise, for those who do wickedness are raised up; they have even tested God and been spared (Malachi 3:13–15).”

“What’s the use in serving God? No matter what we do, we still get abused; we don’t have anything, and we are prosperous!” These are their words even though they had just been relieved from seventy years of captivity and slavery!

King David describes his response to such arguments and complaints in Psalm 73:

This is what the wicked are like

always free of care, they go on amassing wealth.

Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure

and have washed my hands in innocence.

All day long I have been afflicted,

and every morning brings new punishments.


If I had spoken out like that,

I would have betrayed Your children.

When I tried to understand all this,

it troubled me deeply

till I entered the sanctuary of God;

then I understood their final destiny.

Surely You place them on slippery ground;

You cast them down to ruin.

How suddenly are they destroyed,

completely swept away by terrors!

They are like a dream when one awakes;

so You, My Master,

You will despise them as fantasies.

When my heart was grieved

and my spirit embittered,

I was senseless and ignorant;

I was a brute beast before You.

Yet I am always with You;

You hold me by my right hand.

You guide me with your counsel,

and with glory You will receive me.

Whom have I in heaven but You?

And earth has nothing I desire besides You.

My flesh and my heart may fail,

but the Lord is the strength of my heart

and my portion forever.

Those who are far from You will perish;

You destroy all who are unfaithful to You.

But as for me, it is good to be near God.

I have made My Master, the Lord God my refuge;

I will tell of all Your deeds.

Isaiah too, responded to such complaints:

“But now listen, Jacob, my servant,

Israel, whom I have chosen.

This is what God says—

He who made you, Who formed you in the womb,

and who will help you:

Do not be afraid, Jacob, my servant,

Jeshurun, whom I have chosen.

For I will pour water on the thirsty land,

and streams on the dry ground;

I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring,

and my blessing on your descendants.

They will spring up like grass in a meadow,

like poplar trees by flowing streams.

Some will say, ‘I belong to God’;

others will call themselves by the name of Jacob;

still others will write on their hand, ‘God’s,’

and will take the name Israel (Isaiah 44:1-5).”

Malachi continues his message by reminding us that each word we speak is recorded:

“Then those who feared God talked with each other, and God listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in His presence concerning those who feared God and honored His name.

‘On the day when I act,’ says God, Master of Legions,, ‘they will be my treasured possession. I will spare them, just as a father has compassion and spares his son who serves him.  And you will again see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve the Lord and those who do not’ (Malachi 3:16-18).”

Malachi well understands our fears and frustrations. He urges us to accept God’s promise of assurance and protection. He wants us to remember that each word of complaint we speak leaves a permanent Mark on our soul. He urges us to fear God, not His wrath, but rather to be in awe of Him, and hold on to His promise of protection just as did the Children of Israel when they risked their lives and took the animal worshiped as a god by the Egyptians and tied them up in front of their homes, provoking their former masters, and saying, “We fear God, not you.”

When the people returned from Babylon to Jerusalem they were still frightened of the military powers who threatened their existence in their new home. They did not fear God as much as they feared men. They cried out against God, rather than to Him, in rejection and anger, rather than connection. They were unchanged despite experiencing redemption. Their complaints were no different from those in King David’s time, and those to whom Isaiah spoke. Their words were the same even after experiencing Redemption. This is our challenge on Pesach- “Peh Sach,” a mouth that converses; has our vocabulary and speech changed because of our positive experiences? (Please see our special series on TheFoundationStone.org: Nisan-Perfecting Our Speech, and Nisan-Fighting The Fire of Anger)

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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14
Sep

Tehillim Tools: Elul: Ask Big

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Prayer

“I am God, your Lord, Who raised you from the land of Egypt, open wide your mouth and I will fill it (Psalms 81:11).” Asked of me all that your heart desires, and I will fulfill every request (Ibn Ezra), on the condition that you hearken to Me. Then you will never know want, hunger, or thirst, just as you were completely provided for one I brought you from Egypt. (Radak)

From these words, the Talmud (Yerushalmi Ta’anit 3:6) derives the halachic principle that the worshiper should supplicate God for all his needs, thereby demonstrating his complete faith in God’s omnipotence and benevolence. The more one asks for God’s help, the wider he opens his mouth, the more he shows that he believes in God’s ability to provide all of a person’s needs.

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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3
Aug

As Dreamers: Whose Dreams?

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays

“When God will return the captivity of Zion, we will be as dreamers (Psalms 126:2).”

Everyone dreams. What is different between our dreams and those of our enemies? Why will we be “as dreamers,” rather than dreamers?

In 1918, after one final military assault that fails, Germany is defeated. Young Adolf Hitler, blind after a mustard gas attack, and humiliated after the Fatherland’s defeat, vows to enter politics:

“As the train took Hitler to a hospital in the Pomeranian town of Pasewalk, his own pain and despair obliterated any such aspiration, but after several weeks of medical treatment be began to regain his sight. Inflammation of the mucous membrane and swelling of the eyelids had receded; ‘the piercing in my sockets’ began to diminish and ‘slowly I succeeded in distinguishing the broad outlines of things about me.’ With sight came an end to depression and the mental instability that had required special treatment from a consulting psychiatrist, Professor Edmund Forster, chief of the Berlin University Nerve Clinic. Little was known about mustard gas and Hitler’s inexplicable recovery confirmed Dr. Forster in his diagnosis of the blindness as hysteria. In fact, the patient had experienced the usual symptoms of moderate mustard gas poisoning – burning, swelling, moaning, depression – and recovery in several weeks.

“Sight also brought Hitler hope and renewed interest in the events of the day. Berlin itself was in a state of virtual siege as the new Chancellor urged the Kaiser to abdicate so that an armistice could be signed. Hitler had heard stories of rebellion throughout Germany but discounted them as rumor until a delegation of Red German sailors burst into his ward early that November in an attempt to convert the patients to the revolution. … Indignation was followed by shock. Hitler took to his bed. ‘I lay there broken with great pains, although I did not let on how I felt; for it was repugnant to me to cry out at a time when you could feel that the collapse was coming.’ A little later, on November 9, a dignified elderly pastor arrived at Pasewalk hospital to confirm news of the uprisings. Revolution had even broken out in Munich.

“The patients were gathered in a little hall and the pastor, so Hitler recalled, ‘seemed all a-tremble as be informed us that the House of Hohenzollern should no longer bear the German imperial crown; that the Fatherland had become a ‘republic.’ ‘ As the aged speaker eulogized the services rendered by the Hohenzollerns, he ‘began to sob gently to himself – in the little hall the deepest dejection settled on all hearts, and I believe not an eye was able to restrain its tears.’ The pastor went on to say that the war must now be ended, that all was lost and they had to throw themselves upon the mercy of the victorious Allies. To Hitler the revelation was intolerable. ‘It became impossible for me to sit still one minute more. Again everything went black before my eyes; I tottered and groped my way back to the dormitory, threw myself on my bunk, and dug my burning head into my blankets and pillow.’

“It was the first time he had wept since standing at his mother’s grave eleven years earlier (she had died in agony of cancer), in the churchyard of the Austrian village of Leonding. He had borne the fear of blindness ‘in dull silence,’ endured the loss of so many good comrades. ‘But now I could not help it. Only now did I see how all personal suffering vanished in comparison with the misfortune of the Fatherland.’ Out of his black despair came a decision. ‘The great vacillation of my life, whether I should enter politics or remain an architect, came to an end. That night I resolved that, if I recovered my sight, I would enter politics.’ There was no medical reason for Hitler’s second blindness and Dr. Forster reinforced in his initial conclusion that his patient was definitely ‘a psychopath with hysterical symptoms.’ Hitler, however, was convinced he was permanently blind.

“The shame of Germany’s surrender on November 11 in the forest of Compiegne overwhelmed him. Life seemed unbearable, but that night, or the next, Hitler was abruptly delivered from his misery, as he lay in despair on his cot, by a ‘supernatural vision’ (perhaps deliberately induced Dr. Forster). Like St. Joan, he heard voices summoning him to save Germany. All at once ‘a miracle came to pass’ – the darkness encompassing Hitler evaporated. He could see again! He solemnly vowed, as promised, that be would ‘become a politician and devote his energies to carrying out the command he had received.’”

(John Toland; “Adolf Hitler”)

Hitler ysv”z, dreamed as a response to tragedy. The verse describes us as dreamers after the troubles are over and all is well. What were we before God returned the captives of Zion? Were we not dreaming all along?

Our dreams are not a response to tragedy, but maintaining a sense of reality and perspective. We will be “as dreamers,” when we have the privilege to see that reality is even better than what we believed. There will be a day when we look back on our visions of redemption were simple dreams in comparison to reality!

We remind ourselves now, that no matter how clear our vision, we will one day know that we were only dreamers; we know that there is much more to see. We are aware, even now, that our vision is limited. We want to see more. We need to see more.

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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2
Aug

Tehillim: The Nine Days: Psalm 137:2

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Prayer

“There on the poplars – Aravim – we hung up our lyres (Psalms 137:2).” In view of the bitter experience of the exile, especially prior to Ezekiel’s revelations, there would have been ample reason to destroy their harps since they had nothing about which to sing and be happy. After the news of Ezekiel’s visions, and the guarantees of their future redemption, they hung the harps on the Aravim, the kind of trees whose very name has the dual meaning of guarantors and willows. This is why they did not hang them on any other type of tree.

The reason they did not destroy their musical instruments altogether was so that they would be able to play those instruments once the time for redemption would arrive (Romemot El, Rabbi Moshe Alshich).

Tools: Meta Prayer: Praying to Become a Better Davener

We have the idea of praying even when we don’t feel like praying, just as a marathon runner will practice running before the big race. We practice singing songs in response to redemption; we hang our musical instruments within reach, to be fully prepared for the proper song when the time arrives. We are praying for the privilege of singing the song of redemption.

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

Tehillim: Psalm 137: The Psalm of Exile I

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays

By The Waters of Babylon

“By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat, sat and wept, as we thought of Zion (Psalms 137:1).” The placement of this Psalm immediately following the Hallel haGadol, Psalm 136, indicates that if Israel will merit it, it will be able to recite the former, if it will not merit it, it will have to recite this Psalm, lamenting what could have been and what should have been.

We are told in the Zohar that the exiles in Babylon were death like, as zombies, having been brought from a life of great comfort to the depths of deprivation. They refused to accept any attempts to comfort them, to offer them consolation.

This is why God revealed visions to the prophet Ezekiel on the Euphrates, showing him in God and His entourage, in order to convince the exiled Jews that they had not been abandoned by the Divine Presence, and that in fact, the Divine Presence was exiled alongside them, as well as the Angels. These acted as guarantors, the Aravim, of verse 2, that He Cool would free the Angels would also free the Jewish exiles in due course.

When Israel heard all this, it began to regain its composure. This is the background against which we read that the Jews, “sat alongside the rivers of Babylon,” meaning, they are they experienced some degree of relief having been told Ezekiel’s vision.

On the one hand, they rejoiced, but on the other hand, “we cried,” when they fought back to Zion. (Rabbi Moshe Alshich; Romemot El)

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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24
Jul

Loving Others By Using Your Talents

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Relationships, Spiritual Growth

“Happy is he who understands, Maskil, the needs of the lowly (Psalm 41:2).” Rabbi Yonah said, “Happy is the person who uses his talents when giving to those in need.” What does Maskil really mean in this verse? That the person doing tzedakah takes and intense look at the midst of a situation at hand and considers the very best way to give back to the other person is or her decent and dignified life (Midrash Tehillim 41:3).”

“Charismatic leaders make us think, ‘ Oh, if only I could do that, be like that.’ True leaders make us think, ‘ If they can do that, then I can too’ (John Holt).”

There is more to being creative and using our talents in loving and helping others then the help itself; when we can exemplify a new approach to loving others and acts of tzedakah we can inspire others to say, “If he can do that, then I can too!” An important aspect of the mitzvah to love others is to inspire them to believe that they can achieve ever greater heights.

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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12
May

An Improved Vocabulary

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Portion of the Week, Reflections & Observations

Mah inyan Shemitah etzel Har Sinai,” What is the correlation between the Sabbatical Year and Sinai, or, in the vernacular; “What does one thing have to do with another?”

I grew up in an environment in which Talmudic sayings, such as the one above, were a natural part of the vocabulary, as were Biblical verses, prayers, and classic Hebrew poetry. I am still surprised when I describe a friend as, “Water facing water,” and the person with whom I am speaking has no idea what I mean. There are times when I am dealing with a situation that reminds me of a Bible story, Talmudic tale, or a midrash; “This is just like…” to a blank face.

I would love to enhance our Jewish vocabulary, so, I decided to post a daily reflection on Psalms, hoping that people would begin to memorize the verses and improve their Jewish vocabulary. Well, it happened! Someone responded to something I said with a verse they learned in Tehillim Tools ! Life is good.

Today is the second anniversary of this blog. I thank you for your feedback and for honoring me by reading and sharing my thoughts.

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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9
Mar

Psalms of Moshe: 97:11: Rav Matisyahu Solomon – Matnat Chaim

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays

“Light is sown for the righteous, and for the upright of heart, gladness.” The “Light,” refers to the light we create with our Mitzvot. Even in those moments when our hearts are stirred to Teshuva and we achieve the status of, “Righteous,” that light is planted and hidden from us. If we hold on to those moments and reach even higher in our Service of God to God because of the Teshuva stirrings, the light will burst forth and we will merit, “And for the upright of heart, gladness,” and we will be able to serve God as we should, in joy and happiness. (Rav Matisyahu Solomon – Matnat Chaim)

Tools

Kabbalat Shabbat: We use the stirrings of Shabbat to pray for our “seeds of light,” to burst forth so that we can achieve serving God with happiness.

Use this verse whenever you have a powerful moment when your soul is stirred to reach higher to God.

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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8
Mar

Psalms of Moshe: 91:15: Etz ha-Chaim

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Portion of the Week, Prayer

“He will call upon Me and I will answer him, I am with him in distress; I will release him, and I will honor him.” The Talmud (Taanit 16a) in describing the intense practices of a declared fast-day, teaches, “And why do they place wood-ashes upon the Ark? Rav Yehudah ben Pazzi said: As if to express the verse, “I will be with him in trouble.”

Resh Lakish said: As if to say, “In all their afflictions He was afflicted (Isaiah 63:9).” Rabbi Zera said: When I first saw the rabbis placing wood-ashes on the Ark my whole body shook.

The Ra’anach explains the debate between Rav Yehudah and Resh Lakish as whether we emphasize that God suffers with us, as in, “In all their afflictions He was afflicted,” or, whether we stress that God is focused on us, as in, “I will be with him.”

In our verse, God waits until we call upon Him from our distress, so that we will experience His response, “I will release him,” as God honoring us, “I will honor him.” Moshe is teaching us that when we pray to God and He responds, He is honoring us.

He waits for us to cry out to Him so that He can honor us. Etz Chaim, Rabbi Chaim Abulafia

Shabbat Pesukei d’Zimrah: We experience the relief offered by Shabbat as being honored by God.

Motzaei Shabbat: As we struggle with life during the week, we will recall the Honor we received from God through Shabbat and will recall that when He asked us to work during the six days, He was offering us an opportunity to earn His honor.

Funeral: We are in distress, and we call out to Him for the honor of His hearing and responding to our prayers. We escort the deceased with this Psalm to celebrate the opportunities for Honor that God provides through dealing with life’s challenges.

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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