Posts Tagged ‘Rosh Chodesh’

24
Dec

Hallel Rosh Chodesh Tevet Part Three

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Prayer

Paragraph Seven:

“Your Majesty, you are the king of kings. The Lord of heaven has given you dominion and power and might and glory; in your hands He has placed all mankind and the beasts of the field and the birds in the sky. Wherever they live, He has made you ruler over them all. You are that head of gold (Daniel 2:37-38).”

“Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell prostrate before Daniel and paid him honor and ordered that an offering and incense be presented to him. The king said to Daniel, ‘Surely your Lord is the God of gods and the Lord of kings and a revealer of mysteries, for you were able to reveal this mystery’ (Verses 46-47).”

King Nebuchadnezzar, who began his siege of Jerusalem on the 10th of Tevet, acknowledges God as the Supreme Power, just as all nations will as described in this Psalm:

“All you nations; Praise God!

Sing compliments, all you peoples!

For His kindness overpowers us,

and God’s Truth is forever.

Hallelukah!”

We sing this paragraph of the Hallel with the confidence of having witnessed our greatest enemy acknowledging and blessing God.

Paragraph Eight:

The following is the story of King Nebuchadnezzar, who, on the Tenth of Tevet, lay siege to Jerusalem: All this happened to King Nebuchadnezzar. Twelve months later, as the king was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon, he said, “Is not this the great Babylon I have built as the royal residence, by my mighty power and for the glory of my majesty?”

Even as the words were on his lips, a voice came from heaven, “This is what is decreed for you, King Nebuchadnezzar: Your royal authority has been taken from you.

You will be driven away from people and will live with the wild animals; you will eat grass like the ox.

Seven times will pass by for you until you acknowledge that the Most High is sovereign over all kingdoms on earth and gives them to anyone he wishes.”

Immediately what had been said about Nebuchadnezzar was fulfilled.

He was driven away from people and ate grass like the ox.

His body was drenched with the dew of heaven until his hair grew like the feathers of an eagle and his nails like the claws of a bird.

At the end of that time, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven, and my sanity was restored.

Then I praised the Most High; I honored and glorified him who lives forever.

His dominion is an eternal dominion;

his kingdom endures from generation to generation.

All the peoples of the earth

are regarded as nothing.

He does as he pleases

with the powers of heaven

and the peoples of the earth.

No one can hold back his hand

or say to him: “What have you done?”

At the same time that my sanity was restored, my honor and splendor were returned to me for the glory of my kingdom. My advisers and nobles sought me out, and I was restored to my throne and became even greater than before.

Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, because everything he does is right and all his ways are just. And those who walk in pride he is able to humble (Daniel 4:28-37).”

It is astounding to read this Psalm, the concluding paragraph of Hallel, which is the story of David rising to his throne and succeeding despite terrible tribulations, and realize that the man who destroyed God’s Temple, ultimately sang a similar song.

For the miracles described in this paragraph of the Hallel are not unique to King David; they were experienced by one of our worst enemies as well. These miracles are not limited to the great and holy such as King David; they are possible for all of us. When can we possibly experience this potential more than we do on Hanukkah. We sing this paragraph with total confidence that these miracles can be ours. May it be God’s Will.

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
Dec

Hallel Rosh Chodesh Tevet Part Two

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Prayer

Paragraph Four:

“Neither the dead can praise the Creator, nor any who descend into silence; but we will bless the Creator from this time and forever (Psalm 115:18).”

God had warned the inhabitants of Jerusalem, through Jeremiah, that the Babylonians would be coming, and that they would be victorious. God instructed them to repent and to leave the city and surrender to the Babylonians.

The people refused to listen to Jeremiah. They preferred death to surrender.

This paragraph of the Hallel is a celebration of the potential of life, “the dead cannot praise the Creator.” The inhabitants of Jerusalem were so devastated by all that happened since the Babylonians rose to power, that they lost their connection to life. They ceased to see that alive, they would have the opportunity to rebuild. They stopped believing that alive, they could still live a life of blessing.

Once they disconnected from the potential of life; they disconnected from God as the Creator of heaven and earth.

On Hanukkah, our souls vibrate with the potential of life, and of purpose. On Hanukkah we connect to life at its source; God. On Hanukkah we sing this paragraph as a celebration of life, potential, and blessing, so that we will never allow ourselves to stand as those people did so long ago in Jerusalem.

Paragraphs Five & Six

In this paragraph and the next, King David is expressing gratitude for deliverance. When he thought he was at death’s door, he cried out to God. He expresses his gratitude through the medium of praise in the presence of an assembled congregation, and that what appears to be a private event, is inseparable from the life of the community. All the people share each other’s joys and sorrows, and so, King David summons them to celebrate with him.

This is the theme of this paragraph of the Hallel, Psalm 116, as it is the theme of the Hanukkah Psalm # 30.

Both these Psalms were part of our liturgy even as the Babylonian hordes approached Jerusalem. Imagine how different the story would have been if only we had reconnected to King David’s voice reminding us of the power of prayer, the impact of repentance, and the promise to express our gratitude to God upon salvation!

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
Dec

Hallel: Rosh Chodesh Tevet: Part One

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Prayer

This Rosh Chodesh Hallel is unusual in that we recite the complete Hallel, rather than skipping the first half of Psalm 115 and that of Psalm 116, because it is also Hanukkah.

It is unusual in another sense, as we are singing with the full joy of the Festival, even though in just a few days we will be fasting to commemorate the Babylonian siege of Jerusalem just before the destruction of the First Temple in Jerusalem. The people of Jerusalem surely knew that the Babylonian army was on its way to attack.

We will be commemorating other tragedies that occurred during this Hebrew month, such as the deaths of Ezra and Nehemiah, and the translation of the Torah into Greek for Ptolmey.

First Paragraph:

We sing this Hallel with full joy despite knowing that we will soon be commemorating this series of tragedies. This Hallel surely falls into the category of the Hallel we must sing before tragedy strikes.

“From the rising of the sun to its setting, God’s Name is praised (Psalm 113:3).” Although we know that it is not the sun that is circling the Earth, it is certainly the way it appears to our eyes: As if, we are circled by the sun; it surrounds us as a siege surrounds a city. This reminds us of another verse in Psalms, “Jerusalem is surrounded by mountains, and God surrounds His people, from now and forever (125:2).”

We sing this paragraph of the Hallel with full confidence that even though armies may come and surround Jerusalem, laying siege to it, God surrounds them and will protect us.

We take the joy of the Chanukah miracle with confidence and project it into the future and rejoice that the same Divine Guidance that protected us during the Chanukah story, will protect us during the coming month.

Second Paragraph

The theme of this paragraph of the Hallel is: Just as we were redeemed from Egypt, so too, will we be redeemed from the Babylonian exile. The Exodus was not just something that happened in our great history; it became part of our very nature and reality. It is part of our being.

It was the Exodus that gave us the power to fight against the Greeks and win the Chanukah victory.

It was the Exodus that empowered us to survive the Babylonian exile with confidence that we would return to Jerusalem.

It is the Exodus that empowers us to continue to survive despite all our troubles with the confidence that He, “Who turns the rock into a pond of water, the flint into a flowing fountain,” will transform everything around us so that we may return to Him in full glory.

Third Paragraph:

The word came to Jeremiah from God when King Zedekiah sent to him Pashhur son of Malkijah and the priest Zephaniah son of Maaseiah. They said: “Inquire now of God for us because Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon is attacking us. Perhaps God will perform wonders for us as in times past so that he will withdraw from us.”

But Jeremiah answered them, “Tell Zedekiah, ‘This is what God, the Lord of Israel, says:

I am about to turn against you the weapons of war that are in your hands, which you are using to fight the king of Babylon and the Babylonians who are outside the wall besieging you. And I will gather them inside this city.

I myself will fight against you with an outstretched hand and a mighty arm in furious anger and in great wrath.

I will strike down those who live in this city—both man and beast—and they will die of a terrible plague.

After that, declares God,

I will give Zedekiah king of Judah, his officials and the people in this city who survive the plague, sword and famine, into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and to their enemies who want to kill them. He will put them to the sword; he will show them no mercy or pity or compassion.’

“Furthermore, tell the people, ‘This is what God says:

See, I am setting before you the way of life and the way of death.

Whoever stays in this city will die by the sword, famine or plague.

But whoever goes out and surrenders to the Babylonians who are besieging you will live; they will escape with their lives.

I have determined to do this city harm and not good, declares God.

It will be given into the hands of the king of Babylon, and he will destroy it with fire.’

“Moreover, say to the royal house of Judah, ‘Hear the word of God.

This is what God says to you, House of David:

“‘Administer justice every morning;

rescue from the hand of the oppressor

the one who has been robbed,

or my wrath will break out and burn like fire

because of the evil you have done—

burn with no one to quench it.

I am against you, Jerusalem,

you who live above this valley

on the rocky plateau, declares God—

you who say,

“Who can come against us?

Who can enter our refuge?”

I will punish you as your deeds deserve,

declares God.

I will kindle a fire in your forests

that will consume everything around you.’

(Jeremiah Chapter 21)”

This is the paragraph of Hallel that describes our great trust in God because He is True and real. He is not like the idols of the other nations.

Jeremiah’s audience trusted that God would save them.

They trusted that God would never allow the Babylonians to successfully destroy Jerusalem.

They trusted that God would protect His Holy Temple.

Jeremiah is warning them that their trust is misplaced; not because of God being unable to protect them, but because they have rejected God and His multiple warnings that if they refused to change and live as good people and create a just and righteous society, that they would be destroyed by the Babylonians.

We sing this paragraph because it is Hanukkah,

because our trust in God after the Chanukah miracle is so real and tangible, because we have recommitted ourselves to live as He desires,

because we are committed to bringing His Light to the world.

We can use the trust of Hanukkah,

the confidence of Hanukkah,

the joy of Hanukkah,

the reconnection to God of Hanukkah,

to project deserved trust that God will surely protect us over the coming month.

It was this level of trust that was lacking in Jeremiah’s generation.

It is not lacking as we sing this Hallel on Hanukkah.

We have the ability to sing this Hallel to protect us from tragedy with full confidence that this time it will protect 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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29
Aug

Elul Hallel VI.III

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Prayer

“Please God; Save us! Please God; Make us successful!” (Psalms 118:25) We sing the first half, “Please God; Save us,” as we approach our service with prayers that God will empower our actions and service so that His Presence will rest upon our efforts.

We sing, “Please God; Make us successful,” when we complete our service that all our efforts be successful. (Rabbi Yechezkel Levenstein – Or Yechezkail)

We sing these verse on Rosh Chodesh Elul, with the intention that the first half will empower all our work during the coming month as we repair the past year and prepare for Rosh Hashana. The second half of the verse is our prayer that we should complete the month with a powerful sense of success, so that we can enter Rosh Hashana with great joy and confidence.

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

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29
Aug

Elul Hallel VI.II

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Prayer

“God is with me, I have no fear; what can people do to me?” (Psalms 118:6) The ‘people’ mentioned refer to the ‘man’ described in Daniel’s vision of the Four Beasts,when he says, “I was watching in night visions and behold! with the clouds of heaven, one like a man came; he came up to the One of Ancient Days, and they brought him before Him. He was given dominion, honor and kingship, so that all peoples, nations and languages would serve him; his dominion would be an everlasting dominion that would never pass, and his kingship would never be destroyed.” (Daniel 7:13-14) Jacob saw this ‘man’ in his dream of the ladder, when the fourth (exile) ascended the ladder and did not seem to come back down. (Chapters of Rabbi Eliezer 35) Jacob was terrified, until God came and said, “Behold I am with you.” (Genesis 28:15)

In Obadiah’s prophecy against Edom, the ‘man’ in Daniel’s vision, and the fourth exile in Jacob’s vision, he promises: “Even if you raise your nest like an eagle or if you place your nest among the stars, I will bring you down from there.” (Obadiah 1:4)

Our verse, “God is with me, I have no fear; what can people do to me,” explains Rabbi Yitzchak Eizek Chaver (Yad Mitzarim) is a reminder of Obadiah’s promise. Although we may feel that the exile is unending we must grasp and hold onto Obadiah’s promise, and David’s song, “God is with me, I have no fear; what can people do to me?”

We approach the end of the Jewish calendar year, another year and the exile has not ended. We sing this verse with joy as we celebrate Obadiah’s prophecy and David’s promise; as long as we feel that “God is with me,” especially during this month of intense relationship with God, “(we) I have no fear, what can the ‘man’ do to 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.

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29
Aug

Elul Hallel VI.I

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Prayer

“Give thanks to God Who is good, for His kindness is forever!

Let Israel declare that His Kindness is forever!

Let the House of Aaron declare that His kindness is forever!

Let those who are in awe of God declare that His kindness if forever! “ (Psalms 118:1-4)

Rav Yechezkail Levenstein explained that we must read these four verses as ascending from one level to another: We begin to offer thanks as part of the entire creation, but are not satisfied.

We rise to the level of Israel and offer songs of gratitude for the opportunities offered by being part of the covenant between God and Israel.

We are so moved by our expressions of thanks that we want to intensify the gratitude by singing as part of the “Kingdom of Priests,” as we were promised at Sinai.

Our songs of thanks raise us to a point at which we are still not satisfied with all the expressions of gratitude until this point; we want our thanks to come from an even higher point; those who achieve Awe of God.

We sing these four verses in this order as we begin the month of Elul to celebrate our opportunity to ascend to higher levels of attachment each day of the month so that the songs of thanks of the previous day are no longer sufficient to express the intensity of our gratitude.

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

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29
Aug

Elul Hallel V

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Prayer

“For His kindness has overwhelmed us, and the truth of God is eternal, Halleluyah!” (Psalms 117:2) Rabbi Baruch Ber Leibovitz, Rosh Yeshiva of Kaminetz, shared the following story with my grandfather, Rav Ruderman zt”l, when my grandfather was a young teenager: The Vilna Gaon went to visit the Righteous Convert, (Count) Avraham Potoski when the latter was waiting to be executed for converting to Judaism. Avraham ben Avraham was weeping. The Vilna Gaon wondered how such a remarkable human being could weep when he had the opportunity to display such an act of Kiddush Hashem – Sanctification of God’s Name. “I rejoice over my opportunity,” said the Holy Convert, “I weep because I have no father in Israel, nor any children, and I feel as if I never took root among Israel.”

The Gra responded, “We find in the Midrash, “This said God, King of Israel, ‘I am the first,” (Isaiah 44:6) means, ‘I am the Father for one who has no father.’ “I am last,” I am the son of one who has no children. This refers to one such as you, a convert; God is your Father and Your child. He is your root in Israel. Is he not better than ten children?” (See Samuel I 1:8)

As we enter the month of Elul, the month of Love, we celebrate the intensity of God’s love for us that is expressed in such attention to every detail of what we need, even on an emotional level.

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

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29
Aug

Elul Hallel IV

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Prayer

“I will raise the cup of salvations and the Name of God I will invoke.” (Psalms 116:13) The Talmud (Pesachim 119b) offers a remarkable explanation of this verse: R. ‘Avira lectured, Sometimes stating it in R. Ammi’s, Sometimes in R. Assi’s name: What is meant by, “And the child grew, and was weaned [va-yiggamel]?(Genesis 21:8) The Holy One, blessed be He, will make a great banquet for the righteous on the day He manifests [yigmol] His love to the seed of Isaac.

After they have eaten and drunk, the cup of Grace will be offered to our father Abraham, that he should recite Grace, but he will answer them, ‘I cannot say Grace, because Ishmael issued from me.’

Then Isaac will be asked, ‘Take it and say Grace.’ ‘I cannot say Grace,’ he will reply, ‘because Esau issued from me.’

Then Jacob will be asked: ‘Take it and say Grace.’ ‘I cannot say Grace,’ he will reply. ‘because I married two sisters during [both] their lifetimes, whereas the Torah was destined to forbid them to me.

Then Moses will be asked, ‘Take it and say Grace.’ ‘I cannot say Grace, because I was not privileged to enter Eretz Yisrael either in life or in death.’

Then Joshua willbe asked: ‘Take it and say Grace.’ ‘I cannot say Grace,’ he will reply, ‘because I was not privileged to have a son,’ for it is written, “Joshua the son of Nun;”(Numbers 14:38) “Nun his son, Joshua his son.” ( Chronicles I 7:27)

Then David will be asked: ‘Take it and say Grace.’ ‘I will say Grace, and it is fitting for me to say Grace,’ he will reply, as it is said, “I will lift up the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the Lord.”

The Talmud is describing the great banquet for the righteous on the day “He manifests His love” for Israel. Elul, the month of manifest love, is the period of this great feast and celebration. It is during this entire month that King David accepts the Cup of Grace and sings with us, “I will lift up the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the Lord.”

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

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29
Aug

Elul Hallel III

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Prayer

“May God increase upon you, upon you and upon your children!” (Psalms 115:3) Rav Chaim Kanievsky (Ta’ama Dikra) points out that the increase mentioned cannot refer to children as the verse also says, “upon your children.” Therefore, the increase is in terms of what the Talmud (Pesachim 87b) teaches: “R. Eleazar also said: The Holy One, blessed be He, did not exile Israel among the nations save in order that proselytes might join them, for it is said: “And I will sow her unto Me in the land,” (Hosea 2:25) surely a man sows a se’ah in order to harvest many kor!”

This verse describes the Children of Israel living with such sanctity and integrity that they attract all the nations of the world to attach to God.

We sing this paragraph of Hallel on Rosh Chodesh Elul, the month of intense love between God and Israel, with a vision of that love being so manifest to all the people of the world that they desire the same level of relationship.

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

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29
Aug

Elul Hallel II

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Prayer

“Who turns the rock into a pond of water, the flint into a flowing mountain.” (Psalms 114:8) The water that issued forth from the rock is far beyond the rules of nature. Generally, God desires to minimize the miraculous. It would have been sufficient for God to provide water for the people, but He wanted to did far more, and with great display to show His concern not only for the people, but for their animals as well. This is the meaning of the Talmud (Menachot 76b):

Said R. Eleazar, The Torah wished to spare Israel unnecessary expense. Where is this indicated? For it is written, “And you shalt give the congregation and their cattle drink.”(Numbers 20:8) Rabbi Yechezkail Landau – Responsa Nodah Biyhuda, Y”D

As we begin the month of Elul, the month of intense expression of God’s love for us, as expressed by His concern for all we do, and our love for Him as expressed by our desire to reconnect, we remember and celebrate another powerful expression of His deep love: He cares even for our money and possessions. There is no detail of our lives that escapes His attention and concern.

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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