Posts Tagged ‘Shabbat’

7
Sep

Kavanot-Kabbalat Shabbat-Elul & Days of Awe-Psalm 95

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Prayer

Moses had seen the Children of Israel at their best when they stood before Sinai and chose to engage in an eternal conversation with God.

Moses saw the Children of Israel at their worst when he rushed from Sinai to present God’s gift of the Two Tablets only to find them dancing wildly around the Golden Calf.

The man who had met these people as slaves, led them through redemption, and watched them grow into expansive human beings, was convinced that they could raise themselves from their deepest pits of self-doubt and soar back to their highest potential:

“Come!” he invites them and us, “Let us sing to God,” and regain your crowns of achievement that I have been holding for you since you shed them after the Golden Calf.

Moses remembers a powerful tale of a human being who appreciated Shabbat as the perfect opportunity to reconnect to his highest moments: Adam.

Adam sinned on the same Friday on which he was created. When he heard God’s voice after he ate of the Tree of Knowledge, rather than hear the message, “I want you to hear me even though you slipped up,” Adam ran away. He did not know, he did not believe that a person who fell so hard could rise again. That is, he did not believe it possible to regain his heights until Shabbat.

God allowed Adam to remain in the Garden for Shabbat. God granted Adam the gift of Shabbat and eternity despite Adam’s belief that he had forfeit access to the eternal. God allowed Adam to continue to experience the Original Perfect Light of Creation even when Adam closed his eyes and hid from himself, convinced that such vision would never again be his.

As Shabbat began, Adam opened his eyes, experienced the Original Light, felt the light touch of the Eternal, and began to discern God’s Voice/Message in the gift of Shabbat:

Moses, who began by inviting us to sing with him and reclaim our crowns of achievement, helps us listen in to Adam’s invitation of Teshuvah: “Come! Let us prostrate ourselves and bow, let us kneel before God, Who relates to us even when we relate to existence at the lowest level, that of Assiyah – The Maker.”

Adam invites us to kneel after we prostrate and bow. Do we not kneel on the way down to bowing? Why speak of kneeling after bowing?

Unless, Adam is speaking of kneeling on the way up after bowing; pausing as we rise from the lowest point and focus on the rising that follows the bow rather than the prostration. Adam understood that the gift of Shabbat is the opportunity to rise to the greatest heights no matter how distant or low we feel.

Moses applies Adam’s lesson and invites us to rise up and sing with him, reclaim our lives at their highest. The question is never how low we fell. It is always how well do we rise?

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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13
Jan

The Music of Halacha-Bishul-A Matter of Time

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Music of Halacha

We began our discussion of the laws of cooking on Shabbat in, “Cooking With the Miraculous.”

When we speak of the miraculous we are speaking of that which is otherworldly. When we speak of the otherworldly we not only speak of that which we cannot understand or explain, we are also speaking of that which is not directly in front of us but something for which we must wait. We wait for our reward in the World to Come. We wait for the Redemption. There is quite a bit of waiting in our spiritual lives. I am currently experiencing a powerful lesson in the role of waving in a more immediate sense:

Those of you who read The Foundation Stone Newsletter, know from “As A Parent,” and, “Debate Performance,” that I write these words as my mother is currently in the world of Waiting. She lies between this world and the next, between life and death. In it is not only she who is in this world of Waiting; her entire family, her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and the countless people she has helped and guided for so many years, are also stuck in this world of Waiting. We are waiting to see what happens next. I am not handling the world of Waiting very well. I’m having trouble writing, thinking, and planning. This heterotelic transivity of Waiting, although seemingly disconnected from the Shabbat laws as described in, “Consciousness, Intention and Purpose,” “What’s Your Purpose?” and, “Purpose Driven Action,” added its viscidity when we considered, “Probable Consequences.” Although the laws of Shabbat are very purpose oriented, perhaps it is even fair to say Tangible Purpose, “Cooking with the Miraculous,” has introduced us to the world of Purpose For Which We Must Wait.

The Biblical prohibition of Bishul, is defined as “causing a change in the properties of a food or substance by use of heat (Rambam, Laws of Shabbat 9:6).” These laws do not only apply to cooking a raw food until it becomes edible, they also apply to any action that brings about a change in non-foods as well. Heating wax until it melts, or causing metal to become red-hot, are included in this category (Rambam). Heating a soft or pliable substance to cause it to harden is also considered Bishul. This is why we may not place bread near the covered stove with the intention of toasting it (Shevitat Shabbat, Bishul #92; Sho’eil U’Meishiv II:20).

The aspect of Bishul that most concerns our discussion is that unlike most of the other categories of prohibited creative work, it is a slow process that takes time to complete. We are culpable for violating this law only upon completion of process the cooking (Shabbat 3b). Because Bishul takes time to complete, it follows that if one places a pot of raw food on the flame, he can still avoid the transgression by removing the pot before it finishes cooking. He is required to do so (Rambam 9:5).

We now have one of the 39 major categories of prohibited work that addresses our issue of Waiting: there is a period of time between the prohibited action and the fulfillment of its purpose which will retroactively make us liable for an earlier action. As far as the Biblical law is concerned, the moment I place a raw food on the stove to cook, I am in a state of Waiting. The action is only triggered when the purpose is achieved.

Let’s consider this idea in the context of the Primal Shabbat. God created the world. Each Utterance of Creation resulted in the immediate appearance of its expression. However, we do not speak of the Creation only in terms of its immediate expression, but , primarily in terms of its purpose, its Ultimate Purpose, which was initially achieved with the creation of Adam, the purpose of the rest of the creation (The Way of God, 1:2:4–5). This would mean that although all the creations had physically appeared, they were all in a state of Waiting until Adam appeared. “These are the products of the heaven and the earth when they were created in the day that God, the Lord, made earth and heaven; all the trees of the field were not yet on the earth and all the herb of the field had not yet sprouted, for God, the Lord, had not sent rain upon the earth and [because–Rashi] there was no man to work the soil (Genesis 2: 4–5).”

However, the world was still not considered complete even with the Creation/Formation of Adam: “And the Lord completed His work which He had done, on the Seventh day (2:2).” The world was not complete until the Creation of Shabbat. This is why we speak of Shabbat as a “Taste of the World to Come,” for just as the world was not complete until the primal Shabbat, the world is not complete, meaning, its Ultimate Purpose has not been achieved until the World to Come. All of creation is in a state of Waiting!

I find it interesting that the Sages compare the formation of Adam’s body as “baking,” when they speak of Adam as the Challah of creation. The laws of Bishul take us back to the beginning of creation, to the first appearance of Adam, and to the Primal Shabbat. The laws of Bishul remind us that we constantly exist in this World of Waiting: a world in which we wait for the fulfillment of purpose.

We must therefore study the precise point at which Bishul is “finished,” as addressed in the laws of “Ma’achal ben D’rusai, Mevushal kol Tzarcho, and Mitztamek.

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
Dec

Shabbat Prayers-Blessings of Morning Shemah-Illuminate Our Eyes

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Prayer

“Illuminate our eyes in Your Torah.” The theme we are using this Shabbat is how Shabbat is an experience of the World-to-Come (See: “Kabbalat Shabbat-A Single Utterance”). The Talmud offers two powerful examples of the Special Light of the World-to-Come:

“And it shall come to pass in that day that there shall not be light, but heavy clouds [yekaroth] and thick [we-kippa’on] (Zechariah 14:6),” what does yekaroth we-kippa’on mean? Rav Yochanan said: This refers to Nega’im and Ohaloth (The laws of biblical ‘leprosy’ and the defilement of tents through a dead body), which are difficult in this world, yet shall be easily understood in the future world.

While Rabbi Joshua ben Levi said: This refers to the people who are honored in this world, but will be lightly esteemed in the next world. As was the case of Rabbi  Joseph the son of R. Joshua b. Levi, who became ill and fell into a trance. When he recovered, his father asked him, ‘What did you see?’ ‘I saw a topsy-turvy world’, he replied, ‘the upper [class] underneath and the lower on top’’ he replied:

‘My son’, he observed, ‘you saw a clear world (In which people occupy the positions they merit).’ (Pesachim 50a)

Application: Requesting the Light of the World to Come to Shine on this Shabbat

Kavanah: “We ask that God shine the Light of the Future World on our Torah study; the Light through which even the most difficult subjects will be understood.” Spend extra time studying Torah topics and books that are usually difficult to learn with after using this Kavanah.

Shabbat Before the Tenth of Tevet Kavanah: “Illuminate our world so that people occupy the positions they truly merit,” so that we can choose those from whom to study, as we Battle the Siege.

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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11
Nov

Tested by Spiders

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Portion of the Week

I only notice them on Shabbat, up toward the ceiling; spiders. There’s nothing I can do about them because of Shabbat. I may not kill them, or even trap them to move them outside. I may not even plan to kill them after Shabbat, because one may not plan on Shabbat to do something that is forbidden on Shabbat.

I suspect that these spiders have spent so much time in the house listening to shiurim that they are experts in the laws of Shabbat. The spiders disappear immediately after Havdalah. They know that they are perfectly safe from me on Shabbat and Jewish festivals; yes, they also come out on those days, although, they avoid the living room on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur where we hold services. The spiders in my house are familiar with Halachah, respectful of prayer, and committed to test my observance.

I could, of course, determine that they are poisonous, finding justification to trap them, but they remain in one place all day and pose no threat. Perhaps they know even more Jewish law than I suspect. How sad that my biggest temptation to violate Shabbat has to do with spiders! The real test is not even the desire to kill them, but how they occupy my mind all day, disturb my peace. I have trouble maintaining my concentration for 25 hours because of tiny, albeit smart, spiders. I wonder how Abraham remained focused for 72 hours while headed to Moriah to offer Isaac to God.  The Midrash describes Satan as appearing as a huge river on the way, but I suspect that it was not a huge hindrance, but a series of minor distractions along the way, something such as, well, spiders. Abraham managed his spiders much better than do I.

Satan’s distractions were not intended to stop Abraham from offering Isaac, but from being able to make every moment of the three day trip part of the offering. I can attend prayers, properly celebrate the Shabbat meals, and still have hours of non-Shabbat, distracted from the nature of the day. You see, even when I am frustrated by spiders, I am thinking about Shabbat; how to apply her laws to the situation. The challenge is to focus even the most trivial concerns around Shabbat. Abraham could have remained in contact with his financial advisor even while traveling to Moriah, but he left his iPhone at home. He wanted to use every moment of the trip as part of his offering.

We tend to think of the Evil Inclination’s challenges as huge rivers and mountains and forget that he will take advantage of our concern for the big tests to distract us in small ways…with spiders.

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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5
Aug

R’ Shlomo on Bo’ee B’Shalom – The Transition Into Shabbos

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Prayer

Every Shabbos is “m’ein Olam Habbah” – a taste of the World to Come. Kabbalas Shabbos, Friday night, are transitional prayers helping us move from the weekdays into Shabbos.

[The following transcription is copyrighted material belonging to Reb Shlomo’s family. It is presented here in the context of our parsha learning. Transcibed from L’kovod 
Shabbos by Reb Shlomo Carlebach zt”l. The Hebrew words are transcribed phonetically, conveying Reb Shlomo’s pronunciation.]

WHY WE BOW IN “BO’EE B’SHOLOM”

Okay my beautiful friends brothers and sisters 
you know when it comes to Bo’ee V’Sholom 
we are turning over our hearts our souls 
we’re turning back and I hope 
most of you all of you have been in a beautiful synagogoue 
where people daaven with all their hearts 
by Bo’ee V’sholom 
such a special moment 
everyone turns around and looks back

and here I want to share with you two Toirehs (teachings) 
one is from Reb Tzoddock HaKoihein

you know friends, do you know the difference 
between going for a walk and moving out? 
it’s very simple

imagine I go for a walk and someone says to me 
”Hey you forgot your furniture in your house.” 
I say “I’m not moving out I’m just going for a walk.” 
but if I move out and someone says to me 
”Hey you forgot something.” I’m going back

the beginning of the service 
you know G-d makes it so easy on us 
G-d wants so much but He makes it so easy 
at the beginning it says “L’chu neranena” 
”Hey Moisheleh Channaleh Rivkeleh 
how about going for a walk into Shabbos?”

so until this moment we’re just walking around in Shabbos 
but after L’cho Doidi I don’t ever want to go back 
I don’t ever want to sink again 
in lies and materialism, competition and pettiness

I say “Master of the World, I’m moving into Shabbos 
”Oh? You’re moving? You better look back maybe you forgot something?” 
so I’m turning around

and here is Reb Tzaddok HaKohen’s Toireh 
I’m turning around and I realize 
”Oy! There’s so many things I didn’t fix yet!” 
my past is so heavy 
how can I take it into Shabbos?

But here Reb Tzuddik Hakoihen says 
and it’s so special because at this Toireh he says 
”I received it from all the great Kabbalists of the world – 
this is what they say”

“how long does it take to fix your past? 
how long does it take to fix anything?”

“Yes, if I fix it, it might take a hundred lifetimes 
but Shabbos 
I’m not permitted to do anything 
on Shabbos I’m just giving it over to G-d

so Reb Tzuddik Hakoihen says 
I’m turning around and I bow down 
and I say “Master of the World, I can’t fix my past 
can You please fix my past?” 
and I’m bowing down to say to G-d 
”Master of the World I can’t fix it 
only You can fix it!”

then on my right I turn again and I say 
”Master of the World what’s so good about my present? 
Do I really know how to take care of my present?”

you know my beautiful friends sometimes people ask for something 
and we answer the most stupid answer in the world 
because we don’t even know what they were asking us 
we make so many mistakes

you know how much we need G-d to help us every split second 
every time we open our mouths we have to pray a 1000 times 
”Master of the World, let me say the right word.”

you know friends we don’t even known who a true friend is 
we don’t know who really loves us the most 
if G-d doesn’t open our eyes 
we’ll never see it 
so I bow down again I say “Master of the World 
can You shine into me THE LIGHT OF Shabbos 
so my present should be the way… Paradise like 
the way You want it to be

but then my beautiful friends do you know the difference between 
G-d soap and the soap you buy at Woolworth’s? . . . very simple

ordinary soap 
can only wash you clean from dirt you have already on 
but for the future 
if you want to get dirty the soap can’t help you

G-d soap, Shabbesdikke soap can even prevent 
that you’ll ever, ever be dirty again 
that you’ll ever be low again

so I bow down one more time 
and say “Master of the World, surround me with so much light of Shabbos 
that even my future will be so holy 
. . .

okay one more thing my beautiful friends 
most people if you ask them how was your past life

ay they begin to ‘krechtz’ to complain to say oy it’s so bad 
hopefully in the future it’ll be better

then I’ll ask them what about your present life 
they’ll say ‘oy vey’ I hope tomorrow will be better

then sometimes I ask them what’s about the future 
(some say) “the future, what future, when future, there is no future”

I want you to know what a real Jew is 
what a real yid is

by Lecho Dodi when I receive Sahbbos 
I turn around and look at my past life 
and I bow down before the One 
before the only One (and I say) 
Ah, life is so beautiful 
thank you for everything

then I turn around on my right side and look at my present 
Ribboinoi shel Oilam how do I deserve such a beautiful present 
everything is so good

I want you to know, Reb Nachman says 
why are you krechtzing, why are you so sad 
because everything is wrong 
but everything is only wrong because you’re so sad

so on Friday night I want to fix my life 
I want to fix the world

so the first thing 
I bow down to my past I say Master of the World 
thank you so much thank you so much 
my life is so beautiful and so deep

and Master of the World 
let me taste my present life 
let me taste every second the depth the holiness the sweetness 
that You’re the Master of the World

and then I say Master of the World give me 
give me give me a clear prophecy give me a clear vision 
to see how beautiful the future is.

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13
May

Precious Time

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Portion of the Week

Once again I am falling behind in responding to e-mails. I am falling behind in writing down all the ideas I have for both the website and the blog. I am falling behind in keeping a comprehensive record for my Service of God notebook. I am far behind in responding to phone calls. Worst of all, I feel that I am falling behind in my Torah study. There is so much I have to do.

My wife has this coming Sunday off and I was thrilled to learn that I could spend an entire day with her. When she saw Powell excited I was just to have time with her, she said, “I feel like it’s Shabbat!” I looked at her, and admitted that I did not quite understand what she meant. “You are rejoicing in the preciousness of time. Is that not what you do every Shabbat?”

She’s 100% right! I realized that the reason I was falling so far behind in so many areas was that I was not treating my time as precious. I was so busy that I forgot to spend a few seconds before learning, writing, thinking, to appreciate the preciousness of the time I was using for something productive.

I suspect that because I was not treating my time as precious that I was conveying a message to all the people who call, send e-mails, and ask for appointments that my time is not precious. The fault was not in them, but in me.

Is this not the message of the Counting of the Omer? We count each day and each week to remind ourselves of the preciousness of each moment in our lives. We count the seven year cycle of the Sabbatical year to remember and honor the preciousness of time. We count the seven cycles of the seven years to remember, appreciate, and honor, the preciousness of time.

When my children were younger I used to learn with each one every day. My wife pointed out that all I was doing was sending them a message that I would fit them into my schedule. I decided at that point to focus my attention on the preciousness of spending 30 min. with a child. When I began to approach the half hour as precious time rather than the fulfillmentof my obligation to teach Torah, my children responded in kind; they wanted to spend the time to gather. We connected in a way that enhanced our learning.

I wish each and every one of you a Shabbat that is precious in time; so precious that we remember to live with the awareness of the preciousness of each moment in our lives, and live a life in which every moment is a treasure.

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
Apr

Shabbat Prayers: Pri Shabbat: Vayichulu

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Prayer

The 4th of Nisan is the Yahrtzeit of Rabbi Yehuda Leib of Lublin, author of Pri Shabbat. He died on April 2, 1748. The Talmud (Shabbat 119b) teaches: R. Hamnuna said: He who prays on the eve of the Sabbath and recites “And [the heaven and the earth] were finished,” the Torah elevates him as though he had become a partner with the Holy One, Blessed is He, in the Creation, for it is said, Va-yechullu [and they – the Heaven & Earth – were finished]; read not va-yechullu ,but va-yekallu [and they – the partners – finished].

R. Eleazar said: How do we know that speech is like action? Because it is said, “By the

word of the Lord were the heavens made (Psalms 33:6).”

R. Hisda said in Mar ‘Ukba’s name: He who prays on the eve of the Sabbath and recites “and [the heaven and the earth] were finished,” the two ministering angels who accompany man place their hands on his head and say to him, “and your iniquity is taken away, and your sin purged (Isaiah 6:7).”

When the Talmud says, “read not va-yechullu ,but va-yekallu,” it relates to a teaching in the Midrash (Bereishit Rabbah 10:5): Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi taught that we learn from, “va-yechullu,” (which relates to the word, “Clal,” that which incorporates) that the process of creation began with a “Clal,” a general creation that continued to express itself in specific details until the Shabbat when, “va-yechullu,” all that was in the “Clal,” was expressed.

We must reflect on these teachings in the context of another teaching that, “Adam was not created until Friday so that they would not say that he was a partner in the creation of the world.” If it is true that the world continued to express its details right until Shabbat, that would mean that this expression of creation continued even after the creation of Adam; would that not raise the issue of Adam being present during some of the creation process, and leading to the impression that he was a partner in creation? Plus, we saw earlier that, “the Torah elevates him as though he had become a partner with the Holy One, Blessed is He, in the Creation,” we are encouraged to see humanity as partners in creation!

There is a difference between being a partner in creation of something from nothing, which is only possible for God, and being partners in the expression of the details of creation. We are encouraged to view ourselves as the latter; to live as though we are active participants in the unfolding of the original creation; the most powerful tool being our prayer.

When we rise and recite Va-yechullu in prayer, acknowledging God as the sole Creator, we are by definition participating in the unfolding of that creation; becoming God’s partner.

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
Mar

Spiritual Exercises for Shabbat Parah

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Portion of the Week

“I will sanctify My great Name that is desecrated among the nations, that you have desecrated among them; then the nations will know that I am God, the Word of the Lord, God, the Lord, when I become sanctified through you before their eyes (Ezekiel 36:23).”

“Then I will sprinkle pure water upon you, that you may become cleansed; I will cleanse you from all your contamination and from all your idols (Verse 25).”

“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh (Verse 26).”

“I will put My spirit within you, and I will make it so that you will follow My decrees and the guard My ordinances and fulfill them (Verse 28).”

From the text of this week’s Haftarah, we see that Parshat Parah discusses more than purity and impurity, it also discusses sanctification and desecration, a new heart and a new spirit, and, eventually the gift of God’s Spirit being placed within us.

From the midrash (Bamidbar Rabbah 19:8), the Talmud (Moed Katan 28a), and the Rambam (Laws of the Red Heifer 1:9) we know that there is another element to the Parah Adumah; that of atonement.

It seems to me that we can use all these elements of the Parah Adumah as part of our Shabbat, Parshat Parah:

Friday Night: Sanctification

Ezekiel describes sanctification coming before cleansing and purification. Therefore, we must use the sanctity of Shabbat, specifically Kiddush, to access this area of Divine Influence on this Shabbat.

One: We should have special Kavanah for the Friday night kiddush that we merit this special gift of sanctification available on this Shabbat.

Two: we should make sure to expend every effort to sanctify this Shabbat in all of our actions and speech.

Three: Use the Friday night meal to discuss and describe your most powerful experiences of sanctity.

Four: Have extra Kavanah when reciting the blessing of Keddusha in the Friday night prayer.

Five: Focus on the special gift of Sanctity offered on this Shabbat when reciting the prayer, “Ata Kidashta,” “You sanctified.”

Shabbat Morning: Purification

Ezekiel describes cleansing and purification following sanctification. We should therefore, use the Shabbat morning prayers to focus on purification.

One: Have Kavanah, especially during Pesukei d’Zimrah and the Blessings of the Shema, to use the words of your prayers to purify each aspect of creation described in the prayers from any impurity caused by our actions, words, and thoughts.

Two: Have the following Kavanot in the Morning Amidah:


  • “Moses rejoiced;” focus on the purity necessary for Moshe to stand before God on Mount Sinai, the extraordinary level of purity necessary for him to hold the Luchot in his hands, how a “faithful servant” must have a certain level of purity to serve the King, and, how only one with a very high level of purity can merit to where, “A crown of splendor.”

  • “And the Children of Israel shall keep the Shabbat;” focus on the “guarding” of the the Purity of this specific Shabbat. Just as there were boundaries marking different levels of purity necessary to a approach the Mishkan, so too, we must have, especially on this Shabbat, very clear boundaries guarding its purity; determining before the Shabbat meal, which speech will be allowed at the table, and which will not.

  • “You did not give it, God, our Lord;” to anyone other than those prepared to live a life of purity. “I will make an extra effort to maintain my internal purity so as to merit the gift of Shabbat.”

  • “Our Lord and the Lord of our forefathers;” emphasize the phrase, “Purify our heart to serve You sincerely.”


Three: Wash your hands before the Ark is opened focusing on the purity necessary to stand in the Presence of God.

Four: Wash your hands before touching the Torah, focusing on the purity necessary to a approach Torah.

Five: Make a special effort to stand during the Torah reading in a state of Spiritual purity.

Mussaf: A New Heart and a New Spirit

The Mussaf, or Additional Service, is a time when things are added; things such as a New Heart and Spirit. Therefore, the prayers that allow us to segue from Shacharit and the Torah Reading to Mussaf must be used to prepare for the Additional Gifts we are about to receive, on this Shabbat specifically a New Heart and Spirit.


  • “Yikum Purkan;” focus on the community as a whole receiving the New Heart and Spirit offered on this Shabbat.

  • “Ashrei;” a good part of this prayer focuses on what will happen: “I will exalt You,” “I will bless Your Name for ever and ever.” “Every day I will bless You,” “Each generation will praise Your deeds to the next.” We are describing what can and will happen, especially when the we aspire to pray with the New Heart and Spirit that we will receive on this Shabbat.

  • Psalm 29: The The Ari haKadosh rights of many Kabbalistic allusions found in this Psalm and teaches that when it is recited with intense devotion it causes profound spiritual benefit in the Heavenly realms. Recite this Psalm with intention that we should all merit, through our New Heart and Spirit, to seeing this Psalm with the power described by the Ari.

  • “And when it rested,” the verses sung when the Ark was returned to its place; picture in your mind how we are different after learning Torah, having a New Heart and Spirit, then we were when we first took the Torah out.

  • “Those who delight in it will inherit eternal honor, those who savor it will merit life and also those who love this speech that befits it have chosen greatness.” Focus on the New Heart and Spirit that is possible on this Shabbat.

  • “They shall rejoice in Your kingship, those who observed the Shabbat and call it a delight. The people that sanctifies the Seventh, they will all be satisfied and delighted from Your goodness.” Concentrate on the “delight” of a new heart and spirit, and the higher level of satisfaction and delight only possible with the new heart and spirit.


Mincha: Receiving God’s Spirit

if we have properly used all the previous steps; Sanctification, Purification, the gift of a New Heart and Spirit, we will be properly prepared to receive the gift of God’s Spirit. Therefore, this prayer demands preparation, specifically that of reifying all that we have learned and experienced since the beginning of this Shabbat. We should review any new insights, and any powerful experiences of this Shabbat, and adding them to this prayer. The goal is to pray as if animated by God’s Spirit.

Seudah Shilishit: Yom Kippur

It is at this point of Shabbat that we access the special gift of Atonement, as if we had just experienced Yom Kippur, which is why the Parah Adumah shares so much in common with the Yom Kippur service. This meal should be eat-in just as we eat the meal immediately after Yom Kippur. We should have the same sense of joy of having achieved total Atonement.

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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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10
Mar

The Music of Halacha: Shabbat: The Creativity of Restriction

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Music of Halacha

Every time I walk into a store to begin my Pesach shopping, I feel a slight twang of nostalgia for the Pesach of my youth. Everything had to be prepared by hand, at home. There were very few Kosher for Passover products available. Every year there would be one new product, especially treasured and appreciated if it was a new type of Pesach Candy, which was so exciting. Nowadays, we simply walk into a store and buy everything that we need for Pesach, and end up not missing very much at all. It just doesn’t feel the same as the pace of my youth. I guess my perspective was that the Pesach restrictions were an essential part of its special feeling. I think I was wrong.

One of the biggest thrills of my life is to watch as my wife creates new spectacular recipes that are gluten-free. I remember when the doctor in Germany told me that I have Celiac Disease, that my heart sank. My favorite food was bread. No more bread for me. We found gluten-free matzo, but it tastes like cardboard. Then, one of my daughters found gluten-free challah. “Oh joy! Oh heaven!” It was even edible, especially if you heat ed it and added some honey. The menu continues to expand. I can now have pancakes, pretzels, pasta, brownies, blondies, scones, muffins, fantastic cakes, and things just keep on coming.

All of the restrictions of a gluten-free diet inspired my wife to achieve new heights of creativity. I remarked on this, this morning, and Debbie looked at me and said, “of course! Just think about Shabbat! The point of restriction is to encourage creativity and thought. Isn’t that why you write “The Music of Halachah?”

She’s right! I always hated when people emphasize the restrictions, and the rules, rather then the creativity demanded by the restrictions. I always celebrate Debbie’s resourcefulness as she figures out how to use what’s available, no matter how limited, to create the most fabulous things. Every time I face one of the Shabbat restrictions, I have an opportunity to review the complex laws of Shabbat to see if there is any way I can do a specific action with in the Shabbat guidelines. The restrictions encourage creativity.

I was wrong about Pesach. Yes, I do miss the involved work of making all the Pesach food rather than simply walking into a supermarket. However, every time I now look upon the thousands of Pesach products available, I can celebrate how our natural response to restriction is creativity.

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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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9
Mar

Zachor: Shabbat Prayers: Pesukei d’Zimrah: Vayivarech David

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Prayer

“And David blessed God in the presence of the entire congregation.” David represented everything to the Jewish people. Can you imagine his impact when the now unified, stronger, and confident people? If they understood this farewell speech that we are reading, in which he introduces the seven lower Sefirot, he must have elevated them to an unbelievable level. Yet, with all his greatness, he would have to die in order for the Beit Hamikdash to be built.

Can you imagine the mixed feelings of the people? They are filled with both devastating sadness over the end of their beloved Kings life, and expectations of the magnificent future.

This paragraph leads directly into the next, “And they blessed Your glorious Name that is exalted above every blessing and praise (Nehemiah 9:5).” This paragraph composed before building the second Beit Hamikdash, continues the theme of expectations. They too were filled with expectation mixed with sadness that this temple would not equal, could not equal, the first.

Nehemiah’s prayer is immediately followed by the song at the city. The song is a song of expectations! “God shall reign for all eternity!” Is a statement of their expectations of the future. The women’s song was accompanied by musical instruments they had prepared in Egypt because they left Egypt with expectations that tremendous miracles would occur.

The Zohar (Vayakhel) teaches that at this point of the conclusion of Pesukei d’Zimrah, we should be filled with expectation that our Shema and Shemonah Esrei will be the greatest of our lives.

The fact that we read Nehemiah’s prayer immediately after King David’s is to remind us that expectations exist on a continuum that stretch back to the song of the Sea and in fact back to the moment when we left Egypt:

Imagine if you saw everyone around you die, the world being turned upside down, even if you were not affected, and all that was protecting you with some blood on your door, would you feel vulnerable? Even though your enemies are being punished, even though you are safe, this new Master of yours, God, has the ability to reverse reality. At least when Pharoah was in charge, the trains ran on time. How many of us wait so long for everything to be just right only to constantly lose significant opportunities? We were forced to leave before everything was right. We did not have enough to eat. We were not prepared for a long journey. Sometimes you have to rush at an opportunity, the secret of the matzoh. Bitterness, Maror, can destroy us. Things not being right is livable. Bitterness is unbearable. The key to being able to rush at an opportunity despite not everything being prepared or ready is expectation.

We may not feel adequately prepared for the most awesome Shema or Shemonah Esrei of our lives. But the expectations will get us there. They will allow us to rush at the opportunity and to succeed.

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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