Posts Tagged ‘Rosh Hashana’

27
Sep

One Small Detail

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Spiritual Growth

I spent most of yesterday battling with Land Rover over a receipt. Our car is under warranty and the transmission failed immediately after the engine was replaced. (Long Story!) Land Rover wanted receipts proving that we properly maintained the car and were not the cause of the transmission’s death. We have receipts for maintenance every 3,000 miles, which is impressive as the car has almost 80,000 miles on the odometer.

We even have a receipt for changing the transmission fluid at the 60,000 mile scheduled maintenance. However, we called our mechanic from Land Rover, our car needed some warranty work, and he wrote the date of the call on the work order. The dealer had the car for a few days to make some important repairs, so we didn’t bring the car to our mechanic for a few days.

The work order has the date of the call, not the work. The date is the same day that Land Rover had our car and therefore, Land Rover claims that the receipt is fraudulent and we never changed the transmission fluid and therefore, they are not responsible to replace the transmission.

One detail out of hundreds. They acknowledge that the transmission worked until they had the car for repairs. They acknowledged that they changed the transmission fluid. They acknowledge that the car is a lemon. They acknowledge that we have perfectly maintained the car, except for one detail: The date on the work order is incorrect. That one detail will now cost us almost two thousand dollars to fix the car.

One detail can negate the hundreds of acknowledged positive steps. One detail is sufficient to declare all the established maintenance as invalid. All I can say is: “Thank God, Land Rover is not in charge of the Rosh Hashana Judgment!”

Imagine if God would say, “Well, you have been superb this year except for one detail. All the positive is negated.” None of us could survive a Land Rover judgment.

Details matter. We can lift someone’s spirits with one kind word However, the King’s perspective is Infinite, and each detail is part of a much larger picture.

We also most consider the larger picture of our lives, not the details. What have we become? How have we grown? Where and how do we fit into God’s creation?

God is not defining us by details. Why would we?

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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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18
Sep

Sound Bites: Beautiful Words

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Prayer

“Naftali is a hind let loose who delivers beautiful sayings.” (Genesis 49:21 Beautiful sayings is “Imrei Shafer”. We again find the word shofar associated with beauty. (See Soundbites 1 & 2)

The Panim Yafot (Genesis 49) explains the verse using the words of Isaiah: “ The Lord said: inasmuch as this people has drawn close, with its mouth and with its lips it has honored Me, yet it has distanced its heart from Me – their fear of Me is like rote learning of human commands.” (Isaiah 29:13) Isaiah reminds us that prayer without awareness and commitment to our words is like a body without a soul.

He continues; When is Naftali compared to a hind let loose and free? Only when he delivers beautiful sayings – Imrei Shafer.

The Shofar reminds us that in order for our words to have “shafer” – beauty – they must come from the heart. The Shofar blast from deep inside the one who blows in an expression of his whole being in the blast.

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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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18
Sep

Master & Servant: The Privilege of Being His Servant

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays

“And now God says — He who formed me in the womb to be His servant

to bring Jacob back to Him, and gather Israel to Himself, for I am honored in the eyes of God

and my Lord has been my strength —

He says: “It is too small a thing for you (Israel) to be My servant

to restore the tribes of Jacob

and bring back those of Israel I have kept.

I will also make you a light for the nations,

that My salvation may reach to the ends of the earth (Isaiah 49:5-6).”

Isaiah describes how he was formed by God in the womb to be His servant so that he would successfully bring Israel back to God. “I am honored in the eyes of God,” it is an honor to be His servant. Yet, God points out that to Israel, “It is too small a thing for you to be My servant.” Isaiah sees it as an honor, but Israel sees being God’s servant as insignificant.

Only when Israel learns from Isaiah how to take pride in being God’s servant will they become, “a light for the nations, that My salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.” We must not only become God’s servants, we must take pride in being His servants so that we can achieve the mission of Israel, stressed on Rosh Hashanah, of becoming a light to the nations.

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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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18
Sep
18
Sep

Joyous Trembling: God as My Advocate

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays

“Judge me, Lord, and plead my cause against a nation without passion. Rescue me from those who are deceitful and wicked. You are my Lord, my stronghold.

Why have you rejected me? Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy?

Send Your light and Your truth, let them lead me; let them bring me to the mountain of Your holy sanctuary, to the places where You dwell.

Then I will go to the altar of the Lord, to the Power, my joy and my delight. I will praise You with the lyre, O Lord, my Lord.

Why, my soul, are you downcast?

Why so disturbed within me?

Put your hope in the Lord,

for I will yet thank Him,

for He is my deliverance,

the light of my countenance,

and my Lord (Psalms 43).”

David is requesting that God judge him and plead his case! How can the Judge plead the case of the servant?

After his request, David challenges God, “Why have you rejected me? Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy?”

David experiences the taunting of those who do not understand his passion as God not advocating for him; he feels that when God does not advocate, He is rejecting David.

David desires God’s light and truth as his guides to finding God, and he is insisting that God’s light and truth will be his advocates.

Rather than respond to the accusations of his enemies as an indication that he is mistaken in his choices, David insists that he is vulnerable because God is not pleading David’s case that all his choices are intended to find God’s light and truth.

King David sees the Judgment as an opportunity for God to vindicate him, plead for him, and allow him to discover God’s light and truth. David surely trembled when placed in judgment, but he was confident that even if he had made serious mistakes, that God would clearly see David’s intentions and desires as part of his search for closeness to God.

King David is confident that the judgment will result in his being able to see God’s light and truth and promises, “Then I will go to the altar of the Lord, to the Power, my joy and my delight. I will praise You with the lyre, O Lord, my Lord.

Once David will experience his Joy in Trembling, he will address his soul and say, “Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in the Lord, for I will yet thank Him, for He is my deliverance, the light of my countenance, and my Lord.”

This is not a Rosh Hashanah or Teshuvah of tears and mourning, but of rejoicing, a time of discovery and vindication. King David sees the judgment of Rosh Hashanah ending with God as his advocate. This is the, “Serve God with fear, and rejoice with trembling (Psalms 2:11),” of Rosh Hashanah.

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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17
Sep

Tehillim Tools: 80:5: Elul: Removing the Smoke

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays

“God, Lord of Hosts, how long will You fume (smoke) at the prayers of Your nation (Psalms 80:5)?”  When God is angered, the verse states that, “Smoke arose from His nostrils (18:9).” A barrier of smoke bars the path of Israel’s prayers as they struggle to ascend heavenward. (Rabbi Moshe Alshich)

I imagine the smoke of this verse, the smoke that blocks our prayers as hovering over us just as the smoke hovered over the ruins of Jerusalem and the Beit Hamikdash. I then imagine the Shofar of Elul as blowing away all the smoke that lingers from Av, clearing the way for our prayers to soar.

This verse can be used as a Kavanah when listening to the Elul Shofar: Please allow the Shofar, and the feelings it arouses in our hearts to clear all barriers between our prayers and 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.

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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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14
Sep

Hearing: The Full Message

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays

“Listen, My nation, and I will attest to you; O Israel, if you would but listen to Me (Psalms 81:9).” The Midrash (Shir Hashirim 1) says that God’s commanding voice made such a profound impression on them at Sinai that the Evil Inclination was purged from their hearts. After hearing these two commandments, however, Israel grew weak. They panicked and refused to listen to God’s awesome voice. They demanded that Moses to come their intermediary and transmit the remaining eight Commandments to them. At that moment, they ceased to be spellbound by God’s holy words, and the Evil Inclination returned to their hearts.

Therefore, God says, “Oh, Israel, if you had listened to Me there would be no strange god [i.e. Evil Inclination] within you.” (Shevet M’Yisrael)

The Shofar’s voice is the same voice we heard at Sinai. It potentially carries the same power to purge the Evil Inclination from our hearts. We must lease in as if we are being presented with the same choice as the people who stood at Sinai: Will we choose to listen directly to God’s voice? Or, will we be so intimidated that we will, once again, fail to take full advantage of the opportunity.

What do we desire to hear?

How do we desire to hear the Voice of the Shofar?

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

The Search: Seeking Life

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays

“When someone tells you to consult mediums and spiritists, who whisper and mutter, should not a people inquire of their God? Why consult the dead on behalf of the living?Consult God’s instruction and the testimony of warning. If anyone does not speak according to this word, they have no light of dawn (Isaiah 8:19-20).”

Most of us are seekers, whether we seek God, truth, material success, happiness, or the ultimate thrill; we are seekers.

When Isaiah urges us to,

“Seek God while He may be found;

call on him while He is near.

Let the wicked forsake their ways

and the unrighteous their thoughts.

Let them turn to God, and He will have mercy on them,

and to our Lord, for He will freely pardon (Isaiah 55:6-7),”

he is reminding us, that we not only must choose to seek God and His love, we must choose how we will seek, where we will seek, and whom we will consult.

“Why consult the dead on behalf of the living?” We are seeking life, “Remember us for life, King Who desires life; Inscribe us in the Book of Life, for Your sake, the Living Power.” If we are seeking life, we must seek in something living, vibrant and real.

“Consult God’s instruction and the testimony of warning.” Elul, the most auspicious time to seek God, as this is the time when He may be found, is the time when we must “Consult God’s instruction,” and search for answers to our questions in His Torah.

We can use this month to make a list of our questions, the issues that we have with God and Judaism, our doubts, and our need for clarity. We should then use this month of Seeking God to “Consult God’s instruction,” to find answers.

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
Sep

The Mystery & The Puzzle

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Prayer

David Morris writes in “The Culture of Pain” that to a doctor, pain is a puzzle, but to a patient it is a mystery, in the ancient sense of the word, a truth necessarily closed off from full understanding, which refuses to yield every quantum of its darkness: “a landscape where nothing looks entirely familiar and where even the familiar takes on an uncanny strangeness.”

I study the Vidui, the Yom Kippur Confession, and immediately experience the mystery of pain. I grew up observing people weeping as they recited the Vidui. When asked, they would describe the pain they felt over their mistakes, and how undeserving they were of God’s blessings. I never heard that approach from my father zt”l, but it left its mark. Here I am, pained over my imperfections and failings. I am viewing my life through the eyes of the Vidui, the things I could be doing better, and the landscape looks different from my regular perspective. I try to observe all that I do through the eyes of God’ Judgment, not my daily perspective, and everything becomes slightly unfamiliar. I become a mystery to myself. Why is it so difficult to change? Why do I repeat the same mistakes year after year? In my regular view, my anger was appropriate. In the Vidui’s view, the situation is different; there was no call for anger and resentment.

If my Vidui causes me to see me and my life as mysteries, how will it help me change in practical ways? Are Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur about the mysteries of life or the way we deal with what we perceive?

I decided to take the physician’s perspective; that of a puzzle, not a mystery. I acknowledge the pain and attempt to understand it as a piece of the huge puzzle of a human being struggling with life: “Is the pain another piece in the complex puzzle of my life?”

For some people, the pain is how they experience Teshuva – they only feel that they are doing Teshuva when they feel pain over their mistakes. They want to feel the pain. It becomes an essential part of their religious life: “If I can’t live at a higher level, I will, at least, be pained that I cannot. The pain is my way of exculpating my inadequacies.” The pain has become part of the person’s service. It is one piece of the puzzle; a piece that adds pain to their spiritual lives. They do not believe in the pure joy of serving God; it must come with some pain.

That cannot be the intent of the Vidui.

The Vidui lays out a structure that describes our struggle with mastering a spiritual life challenged by the mundane. It lists the daunting challenges of living a God oriented life. It lays out the map of how spiritual yearnings may mislead us. It points out where we are straying from the path to success. I can pinpoint my mistakes and sigh in relief, not pain, as I realize where and how I can return to my path.

The Vidui helps me identify the source of my pain, and repair it. It is not intended to cause pain, but to identify it at its source. It restores the joy in my service of God. It heals me. It empowers me to move forward without pain.

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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