Posts Tagged ‘Yom Kippur’

11
Sep

Pig Wrestling

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Spiritual Growth

“I learned long ago, never wrestle with a pig, you get dirty; and besides, the pig likes it.” George Bernard Shaw

I agree with Shaw, and yet, I see all sorts of people pig-wrestling. We recite numerous Viduiim, or, confessions, from a few days before Rosh Hashanah through Yom Kippur. I watch people crushed by guilt over their numerous mistakes, imperfections and sins, who promise themselves that they will never sin again. They are directly confronting their Yetzer Harah, Evil Inclination. They lost before and they will lose again. Basically, they are pig wrestling and are bound to get dirty. At least the pig likes it!

Pig wrestling is not the proper response to Vidui. We are not encouraged to directly confront our mighty adversary. We are asked to develop strategies that will help us in battle.

I hope you will read and benefit from The Seven Levels of Teshuvah series, and the three commentaries on the Vidui. No matter what you do, please, never wrestle with a pig. It’s not worth it.

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

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10
Sep

Prayer & Yom Kippur Stories

by admin in Holidays, Prayer

1.This from R Moshe Mayerfeld, heard from Dayan Dunner, London Beis Din, a true story which the dayan personally verified, on the power of prayer.

An orthodox woman in an old age home, lets call her Mrs Shwartz, dies suddenly, the family is called, and they give her the fitting and appropriate halachic burial. Three days into shiva the phone goes, the daughter answers the phone, is clearly shocked by whatever she hears on the end of the line and faints! The brother goes to the phone, puzzled, picks up the receiver, is also clearly shocked by what he hears on the line and also faints. Finally someone is able to take the phone calmly – and hears the voice of Mrs Shwartz herself, terribly upset……..‘Where have you been? What’s happened, you haven’t come to see me in three days?!?’ So of course, Mrs Shwartz is alive and well! What happened?

Well they investigate, and it turns out that the nursing home made a terrible clerical error – it turns out that Mrs Shwartz had a room mate, Mrs Cohen, and it was in fact Mrs Cohen, her room mate, who had died! So great, the Shwartzes are elated, reunited with their mother – and that alone would be a great way to end the story. Imagine how the Shwartzes recommitted to life after that! But what about the other side? What does the nursing home do about the family of Mrs Cohen, who died three days earlier, and was already buried? How do they face that horrific situation of advising the family? So the staff holds an emergency meeting at which the director decides to take the responsibility of calling the family and breaking the news however best he can.

So he calls the next of kin – a son, let’s call him Michael Cohen – even though the staff have never met him; in fact none of the family have ever been around! And so the director calls, introduces himself over the phone, but before he can say any more, the son cuts him off abruptly, saying if it is about his mother he doesn’t want to know. Of course, the director is taken aback, but this is important, he has to try to get the news through, but whenever he speaks the son just cuts him off. Eventually the son gets really angry and says: ‘Let me explain something to you! We disowned our mother three years ago. She was always going on at us about our Jewishness, or lack of it as she would complain. She would drive us crazy. In the end we threatened that if she did not stop nagging us we would cremate her, but even that did not stop her – on and on and on until we just cut ties altogether. And even then the last thing she told me was, until the day she dies, she will pray for a Jewish burial – and the silly woman really believed it would happen!!’

Story told by Dayan Dunner, confirmed as true! Power of prayer etc etc

2.This from Steve Eisenberg, a moshal as told to him many years back by R Simcha Weinberg

1941, small shtetl in Poland, erev YK, Jews doing what they do to get ready for the holiest day of the year. Men are rushing to mikve, women preparing the seuda hamafsekes, kids are cleaning their clothes, …….all in an aura of sanctity and awe.

Suddenly, breaking the focused tumult of the afternoon, Nazi trucks come storming into the shtetl, and within moments the Jews have been rounded up and every man, woman and child was shot. What took generations to build was destroyed in a matter minutes. The neshomos came to the beis din she’ll maalo and they were preparing to stand in judgement, but they complained to Hashem: ‘Ribbono shel Olam, Your will is supreme, we will accept our fate, but so close to Yom Kippur? We have not even had the chance for tshuva!’ Evidently the Al-mighty listened and told them: ‘Your’e right, I will give you the opportunity that you are asking for, you will return to life and have one hour to change your destiny.’

So they came back, and each was clearly aware of the area of his life that he needed to fix up. This one gave tzeddoko, this one helped the elderly, this one learned Torah in his given hour. Everyone in shomayim had been lacking the limbs corresponding to the lackings in their actions – they knew what they had to change and they were driven to do it.

Not a true story – obviously – but imagine if it were. What would you change? You have one hour, make the most etc etc

Thank you to all for their contributions gmar chasima tova

Rabbi Yitz Sandler

Aish UK

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10
Sep

Bowing

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Prayer

We often call Pip, our dog, ‘The Yogi’. He is a master bower, especially when he wants a cookie. Even after a few years of Yoga, I still cannot bow as well as Pip.

His students watched as Rabbi Yehoshua Leib Diskin practiced the Amidah bowing for hours. They would not dare disturb their great master. When they finally had an opportunity they asked: “Why were you practicing so much and for so long?”

The great sage answered: “Everyone from the lowest servants to the highest nobles practice how to bow before a king or queen. Shall I not perfect my motion before bowing to God?”

I love bowing on Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. Some bows led me to reflect on God’s Infinite Greatness. Other bows led me to consider my act of submission. I experience the High Holyday bows in a much more powerful way than my twelve daily, lesser, bows. The physical action is so complete that I cannot help but think about what I am doing. I never considered bowing as a skill until I read the above story.

“But because of our sins we have ben exiled from our land,” (Festival Mussaf) The Vilna Gaon (Commentary to Song of Songs 6:4, and Isaiah 1:7) explains that ‘our land’ refers to the Beit Hamikdash – the Temple in Jerusalem.

“From one month to the next and from one Sabbath to the next, all people will come to bow before me,” says God. (Isaiah 66:23) We miss bowing in the Temple.

I decided to practice bowing according to the precise instructions of Halacha and to take those Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur bows with me each time I bow during prayer in order to imagine that I am bowing in the Beit Hamikdash.

If only it was not limited to my imagination…

Author Info:

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

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10
Sep

Yom Kippur: Selicha & Kappara

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Prayer, Relationships

The husband and wife have been arguing for hours, but they love each other. They both calm down and work things out. Both accept some of the responsibility. Both apologize and they forgive each other. They work harder at ending the argument than they did at arguing.

The husband and wife have been arguing for hours, but they love each other. They look at each other while yelling and screaming and both realize that they love each other so much that the subject of their argument is insignificant. They reconnect in love and the argument disappears.

I picture the former as Selicha – Forgiveness.

The latter scene describes Kapparah – Atonement – as in Yom Kippur: God looks at us and we look at God and we realize how much we love each other, and everything else drops away. The arguments, resentments, harsh words, and anger, all disappear. We only have to remember to look up with love: God is already looking at us.

Author Info: 



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

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10
Sep

Something To Explain

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Relationships

I was putting the final touches on my first Yom Kippur sermon in my new synagogue. I wanted to begin with an acknowledgment that I hurt people even though I had only been there for a month or two, and I wanted people to learn to ask for forgiveness. I was writing, “Request for Mechilah – forgiveness – on my notes and the phone rang.

A friend was calling: “Rabbi, it is the custom that the rabbi begin his Yom Kippur sermon by asking everyone in the congregation for forgiveness.” I thanked him and hung up. I stared at my sermon notes, wondering what to do. When I decided to ask for Mechilah it came from my heart. I wasn’t going to do it because it was the custom of my predecessors. My friend had put me in a difficult position. I did not want my congregation to think that a request for forgiveness was only pro-forma. I wanted them to believe it was real. What was I to do?

Eighteen years later, just one of many congregants, I privately corrected the rabbi for an Halachic error. He thanked me and easily acknowledged that he was unfamiliar with those laws. I was so impressed by his natural willingness to recognize the gaps in his knowledge that I told the story at my Shabbat table.

My intentions were to praise him, and yet, the story included that he did not know certain Halachot. I had spoken Avak Lishon Harah – the dust of Lishon Harah about him. I immediately went to his home to ask his forgiveness. “Rabbi, I came to ask for forgiveness for…” and before I could finish my sentence, he said, “I forgive you.”

It was a strange experience. I did not feel that I had successfully repaired anything. He responded before I could even generally describe my sin against him. It was my problem, not his. It was another experience that confused me about the process of asking for forgiveness before Yom Kippur. People treat it as pro forma that everyone will forgive them. I always wonder how seriously people desire forgiveness, meaning to repair their relationship with me and how much they simply want to assuage their own guilt.

Yesterday, one of my children, who has not spoken to me in more than two years, called to wish me a Shana Tova – a Good Year. “Thank you.” “You sound confused.” “I am happily surprised to hear from you.”

“I have nothing to explain to you.”

My child spoke and I appreciated the pre-Yom Kippur “Please forgive me” ceremony in a new way: When my child insisted that there was nothing to explain, the child was saying that there was nothing to fix. When we observe the pre-Yom Kippur “Please forgive me” ceremony we are acknowledging that there is something to repair.

Had my child made that simple acknowledgment, my child would have healed more than two years of torture and suffering. “I have nothing to explain to you”, only made it worse.

So, I openly acknowledge that I have much to repair in many relationships. There are the calls I haven’t returned in a timely fashion, if at all. There are times I am not available to help. I may speak sharply when teaching or answering a question. I am often impatient.

Please know that I understand that I have much to repair and I want to fix all I humanly can. So, please forgive 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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21
Sep

R’Shlomo on P’ Vayeilech-Fixing With Hands

by developer in Holidays, Portion of the Week

The Mei Hashiloach begins to talk about something very very deep. There are two things going on with us human beings. There are certain mistakes which I make, we are talking about chas veshalom doing aveiras, that’s one thing. But then there is something much deeper. Every person has something wrong with them inside. This is why we are here in this world, because if I would be complete than I wouldn’t have to be in this world. So basically, this world is a hospital, this world is where I fix myself. The truth is that even after I fixed every aveira I did since I was born, I am still not fixed, because there is something deep deep inside of me which needs fixing.

I want you to open your hearts like mad. It says ‘Vayelech Moshe’, And Moshe went. And the Zohar Hakadosh says  ‘Kegufa Belo Yada’, like a body without hands. I’ll give it you a nutshell, maybe not a hundred percent but approximately it’s what it is. The Holy Ishbitzer asks what does it mean? The Holy Ishbitzer says like this. Right after it says Vayelech Moshe, it says that Moshe Rabbeinu told the yidden that every eighth year all the yidden should get together in Yerushalayim and mamesh learn Torah, this is called ‘Mitzvas Hak’hel’. All the yidden mamesh got together on the eighth year. When it comes to Mitzvas Hakhel it says ‘bring your children.’ The Gemara asks why do you have to bring children, they don’t understand what will be spoken there. But the Gemara says ‘Liten Sachar Lemivieihen’, a person was to bring their children in order so that the children would cause their parents to receive a reward for bringing them.

Now open your hearts.

There is a Torah which I understand with my head, when something makes sense to me. Then there is a Torah that has to do with my hands, I do this and I do that. But my hands have two functions, my hands down below represent what I’m doing. But imagine if I am holding up my hands, what am I doing? When I hold up my hands, I am reaching for something which I don’t have yet, I am longing for something which I don’t even know how to get. So the Ishbitzer says like this. Can you imagine what Moshe Rabbeinu was longing for with his hands? You know what happened, on that day he mamesh reached that point of getting to where he always longed to get to. Wherever he was holding up his hands, that’s where he reached.

There is a level which I did wrong, I did an aveira, and I can fix it by doing tshuvah. What about that part of me that needs fixing which is so deep, that which is beyond me? Dovid Hamalech says ‘Becheit Yechematna Imi’.We are talking about a part of me that was created like this, the way I was born, there is something inside which needs completion. Where do I reach that? I only reach that when I hold up my hands. That’s a different Torah. So I want you to know the deepest depths. When was Moshe Rabbeinu given the Torah of the hands? Throughout his life, Moshe Rabbeinu taught the yidden how to fix everything they did wrong, but how about the things they didn’t do anything wrong on a practical level? We were born this way, you gotta fix it.

Now listen to this unbelievable thing. When we take out the Torah and we put it on the table, we don’t say ‘Vezos HaTorah Asher Sam Moshe’. Do you know when we start yelling ‘Vezos HaTorah Asher Sam Moshe’? This is the Torah which G-d gave us? When we are holding up the Torah with our hands. Only when we lift our hands up do we say ‘This is the Torah which Moshe brought down from heaven’. The Torah which Moshe Rabbeinu brought down from heaven is that you can even fix that thing which is embodied in you. The holiness of the Torah is that you can fix that.

Now listen, just open your hearts. The Ishbitser says a mind-blowing Torah…mamesh a rebbeshe Torah. He says what do parents worry most about their children? Not so much about the mistakes they will make, because I know they will make mistakes and they will fix it. But I’m worried most about this one little thing which is wrong with them. How would I fix that, how will I fix that? So he says a gevalt Torah. On the eighth year, when everybody carried their children in their hands, what level of hands were they holding them? Are the hands on the level of doing something or are the hands on the level of mamesh reaching to the highest depth? When I am carrying my children to Hak’hel this is the Torah of holding up my hands to heaven. So he says ‘Liten Schar Lemiviehen’, what kind of a reward? I was given the reward that I can fix my children and I can fix myself. So how do I fix myself? When I carry my children. Unbelievable Torah, mamesh a Torah from heaven. So he says that on the eigth year, when yidden would carry their children up to Yerushalayim, the Torah of Hak’hel is not the Torah of what you did wrong. The Torah of Hak’hel is getting all the yidden together, and this is the Torah which Moshe Rabbeinu left us before he left this world, the Torah of how to fix that which can’t be fixed. It’s unbelievable.

This is what was given to us in Vayelech.

Okay, now I thought of something very deep.

Now listen to this sweetest friends. On Yom Kippur I am doing tshuva. I want you to know something very deep. I can tell one of my friends what I did wrong, and they will help me fix it. i can go to a rebbe and tell him I did this wrong, I want to do tshuva. The question is, whom can I tell that one thing which is wrong with me? I want you to know the deepest depths. I can’t even tell G-d unless I lock the door and I want to be alone with G-d. I am afraid to even tell G-d. So you know what the last prayer of Neila is? Neila is when I lock the door and I am pouring out my heart and I am telling G-d ‘you know something, this is all nothing. Yom Kippur is beautiful and cute, but I want you to fix that one thing which is so deep that only you can fix it.’

Now listen to the deepest depths, again you have to open your hearts very wide. There are two kinds of prayers. There is a prayer I am praying for sometimes, and then there is a prayer which I am praying for all the time, mamesh all the time. Obviously this prayer which I pray to G-d to fix the mistakes I made I am not praying all the time. Sometimes I make mistakes, sometimes I fix them. What am I praying for constantly? That one thing which needs fixing inside, it’s beyond me, I don’t know what to do with it, it’s beyond me.

This is Achas Sha’alti Me’eis Hashem… that one thing which I constantly pray for.

What’s a house? In Ishbits it’s very strong. Ki Beisi Beis Tefila. That prayer which I constantly pray for is called a house, a house is constant. Friends, let me ask you, do you know what it means that the Holy Temple is destroyed? We still pray, but we don’t pray anymore to fix the deepest depths. We only pray for the little outside things. The Beis Hamikdash is a place where you fix this deepest depths there is. I want you to know that Moshe Rabbeinu basically is the Master of the Torah what to do. Ahron Hakohen… how come Ahron Hakohen is blessing with his hands, what’s so special about his hands? Ahron is the Master of the hands. Ahron Hakohen, his thing is how to teach yidden how to hold up their hands. So therefor he has the holiness of how to bless in his hands. Everybody knows that the Beis Hamikdash is the house of Ahron Hakohen.

Now listen to this deepest depths. Everybody knows that the Succa is Ahron Hakohen’s house, annanei hakavod, the clouds of glory. Without even getting involved in the deepest depths.  The Succa is Ahron Hakohen’s house. You know what we do? The Ishbitser says, the only one who is mamesh praying like mad that I should fix that which is so deep are my parents. Who are my parents, who are your parents? Avraham, Yitzchak and Ya’akov, Moshe Ahron, Yosef Dovid. The guests of the Succa. So you know what it is? On Yom Kippur I realize that throughout the year? I was always praying for the little mistakes I did, I was waiting to do tshuva for the little things. Why didn’t I pray for that which I have to pray for all the time, for the real fixing? And now I want you to go one step deeper. What does it mean that all of Israel is in exile? All of Israel in exile means that we are praying for little things, we stopped praying for the big things. Being in exile means that we stopped praying that Mashiach should come. I cannot bring Mashiach, you know why? Because Mashiach’s fixing is that fixing where my actions don’t reach, my actions don’t reach there. It’s something deeper than all this.

You know what it says? Vehesihiv Lev Avos Al Banim Velev Banim Al avosam. When Eliyahu Hanavi is coming he will bring the parents and the children of the parents. Mamesh, now it’s so clear, because the Ishbitzer says that the only one who can fix this inside of children is when parents carry them. And they in return fix their parents. So this is what Eliyahu Hanavi is doing before Mashiach is coming, the fixing between the children and the parents.

So this is the whole thing of the being in the Succa after Neila, after I lock myself and I tell G-d everything which is wrong with me, not this little things I made mistakes, that I fixed already by Mincha. By Neila I am mamesh taking G-d inside of me to that place which is locked all year long, I’m afraid to open it. So then I make a little Succa’le, and there my parents come, Avraham, Yitzchak, and Ya’akov, and they mamesh carry me into the Succa. So I want to add that not only Avraham Avinu comes to the Succa while I am sitting there, but mamesh Avraham Avinu carries me into the Succa, because how are parents fixing their children? By carrying them. What do we do with the lulav? Mamesh, the whole thing is holding up the hands. shukling, the hands, unbelievable. The whole thing about succos and the succa is the hands. I am holding up my hands, putting up the Schach. Everything is holding up the hands higher than myself. And then, the end is Simchas Torah when mamesh I see that the Ribbono Shel Olam put everything in the Torah. Suddenly I realize this is mamesh the Torah which is fixing myself. What am I doing? I don’t open the Torah, because that Torah which is fixing my deepest depths is not the words of the Torah, but it’s the whole Torah itself, mamesh the whole Torah.

I want you to know something, between people it’s also very deep. Sometimes I love somebody very much on a detail level. I am filling certain needs a person, I am doing them certain favors. Sometime a husband and wife fill each other’s certain needs, but then… then they cannot fix that which is missing. But if it’s beyond words, beyond everything there is like this Torah, Vezos HaTorah Asher Sam Moshe, the Torah of when you are holding up your hands, this has no words because it’s everything together. This is the Torah of Simchas Torah. And it’s unbelievable how on Simchas Torah every father and mother bring their children to shul. They mamesh carry their children because they know that this is the only way to fix it, they know it’s the only way to fix it.

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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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26
Aug

Pip and Yom Kippur-Personal Ramblings

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in 613 Concepts, Holidays

It is not easy to put a beloved pet to sleep. It was clear that Pip was suffering. He couldn’t stand, eat, drink, or even relieve himself. He had to be relieved of his suffering, and yet, it was almost unbearable to be with him in the room as the veterinarian administered the drugs.

She first gave him a sedative to calm him and I insisted that he not be placed on the surgical table, but that I hold him in his final moments. He smooshed his head into my chest and looking up licked the tears off my face.

The decision to euthanize was the most compassionate, and yet I still felt guilty. I felt, with life and death of an animal in my hands, as if I were living the commandment, “If a birds nest chances to be before you (Deuteronomy 22:6),” which is the subject of debate between many of the great thinkers of our heritage, who use this commandment to explore the very purpose of Commandments.

“The Sages have already arranged it for us in Neilah, the closing service of Yom Kippur, ‘You have distinguished man from the beginning, and have recognized him to be privileged to stand before You, for who shall say to You, ‘ What are You doing?’ And if a person is righteous what can he possibly give You?’

Similarly, it states in the Torah, “Which I command you this day for your good (Deuteronomy 10:13).” Also, “And the Eternal commanded us to do all the statutes, to fear the Eternal, our Lord, for our good always.”

The intent in all these expressions is “for our good,” and not for His, blessed and exalted be He! Rather, everything we have been commanded is so that His creations be refined and purified, free from the dross of evil thoughts and blameworthy traits of character (Translated by Rabbi Dr. Charles Chavel zt”l).”

The only thing we can “give” God is to use this life for good; to use His Mitzvot to refine ourselves.

There are times when acts of compassion hurt. I thought of the Ramban’s reference to Neilah as the gates were closing on Pip’s life: We are reminded to use all such moments, “for our good,” to refine our character. Pip helped everyone in my family refine themselves:

Pip help me become a better, more consistent parent.

We jokingly referred to him as, “The Pipometer,” because he would tremble whenever someone in the room was tense. He helped all of us learn to manage our anger.

He taught us forgiveness; he would lovingly run to us just moments after we would speak roughly to him.

He was a great teacher of humility, because even when students would treat me with great honor, Pip would gently remind me that my job was to clean his poop.

He greeted everyone with a wagging tail and filled with joy.

He was great comfort whenever a member of the family needed a companion.

Pip was a dog. He was also a friend and teacher. He was a constant lesson in character refinement; that we can use anything in life, even a dog, to derive insights into ways to make ourselves better people.

If I can learn from a dog how to refine my character, I can surely learn more from the Torah and Mitzvot.

Additional Thoughts: The fast is almost over by the time we reach Neilah on Yom Kippur, but we can use our hunger to refine our character and think of those who are constantly hungry because they are too poor to buy food.

Our feet hurt and we can think of those who can’t afford shoes.

We can empathize with those who have yet to find love.

We can consider those who don’t have clean water in which to wash.

We can reflect on whether we have refined our character to constantly think of others.

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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6
Oct

Mistakes: H’evinu

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Prayer

“Noah removed the covering of the Ark, and looked, and behold! The surface of the ground had tried (to see Genesis 8:13).” It is also possible to read the final phrase of the verse as, “the surface of the ground had been destroyed.”

What did Noah see when he first looked outside of the Ark after the waters of the Flood had tried? Did he he see a pristine perfect world, with everything fresh and alive? Or, did he see a beautiful world that was made possible only by the destruction of all that had existed before?

“The Lord spoke to Noah, saying. “Go forth from the Ark; you and your wife, your sons, and your sons’ wives with you. Every living being that is with you of all flesh, of birds, of animals, and moving things that move on the earth, ordered them out with you, and let them team on the earth and be fruitful and multiply on the earth (Verses 15–17).”

God understands that Noah is torn between the beautiful future laid out before him and the past that was so devastatingly destroyed. God instructs him to go forth and build and be fruitful and multiply on the earth. God wants Noah to be focused on building the future.

Noah rises to the occasion: “then no I built an altar to God and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird, and offered burnt offerings on the altar.”

God responds to Noah’s actions: “God smelled the pleasing aroma, and God said in His heart: “I will not continue to curse again the ground because of man.” “All the days of the earth, seed time and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.”

More blessing follows: “the Lord blessed Noah and his sons, and He said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the land. The fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth and upon every bird of the heavens, in everything that moves on earth and in all the fish of the sea; in your hand they are given.”

Everything is moving forward as it should. This is a time of great blessing; that is, until Noah takes a slight detour:

“Noah, the men of the earth, debased himself and planted a vineyard. He drank of the wine and became drunk, and he uncovered himself with in his tent. Ham, the father of Canaan, saw his father’s nakedness and told his two brothers outside.”

One moment, Noah is the man of the future. The next moment he is the man of the earth, drunk and naked. Noah took a detour from his greatness and his mission. This detour is H’evinu.

The detour was made. Noah had to choose whether to return to what he was ordered to remain off his path: “no awoke from his wanting and realized what his small son had done to him. And he said, “Cursed is Canaan; a slave of slaves shall he be to his brothers.” And he said, “Blessed is God, the Lord of Shem; and let Canaan be a slave to them. May the Lord extend Japheth, but he will dwell in the tents of Shem; May Canaan be a slave to them.”

Noah awoke and rejected his detour and returned to his role as the builder of the future. He laid out the course of human history.

Many of us have our great and grand moments. We find ourselves on a productive path. We have a vision. We live as builders of the future. But then, all too often, we too take a detour and lose sight of our vision. H’evinu describes those people who, when they find that they have detoured from a healthy path, lose sight of their original vision and remain lost in their turn off their road to greatness.

Noah teaches us how to repair H’evinu: by taking a firm stand, making a loud declaration that we are determined to return to our original path of greatness.

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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6
Oct

Mistakes: Maradnu

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Prayer

“Then the king called together all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem. He went up to the temple of God with the people of Judah, the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the priests and the prophets—all the people from the least to the greatest. He read in their hearing all the words of the Book of the Covenant, which had been found in the temple of God. The king stood by the pillar and renewed the covenant in the presence of God—to follow God and keep his commands, statutes and decrees with all his heart and all his soul, thus confirming the words of the covenant written in this book. Then all the people pledged themselves to the covenant (II Kings 23:1-3).”

“Neither before nor after Josiah was there a king like him who turned to God as he did—with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his strength, in accordance with all the Law of Moses (Verse 25).”

Can this king who is so praised by the Bible ever rebel?

The Midrash teaches: Jeremiah said to Josiah, “I have received the following tradition from my teacher Isaiah: “I shall confuse Egypt with Egypt (Isaiah 19:2),” meaning, Egypt’s defeat will not come through you.” Josiah did not heed him. He said, “Did your teacher Moses not say, “The sword shall not pass through your land (Leviticus 26:6)?” Now the sword of that wicked one is passing through my land and within my border.” (Eichah Rabbati 1:53)

“After all this, when Josiah had set the temple in order, Necho king of Egypt went up to fight at Carchemish on the Euphrates, and Josiah marched out to meet him in battle. But Necho sent messengers to him, saying, “What quarrel is there, king of Judah, between you and me? It is not you I am attacking at this time, but the house with which I am at war. God has told me to hurry; so stop opposing God, who is with me, or he will destroy you.”

Josiah, however, would not turn away from him, but disguised himself to engage him in battle. He would not listen to what Necho had said at God’s command but went to fight him on the plain of Megiddo.

Archers shot King Josiah, and he told his officers, “Take me away; I am badly wounded.” So they took him out of his chariot, put him in his other chariot and brought him to Jerusalem, where he died. He was buried in the tombs of his ancestors, and all Judah and Jerusalem mourned for him (II Chronicles 35:20-24).”

“The archers shot at King Josiah (II Chronicles 35:23).” Rabbi Mani said: They shot 300 arrows into him until his body became like a sieve. Jeremiah listened carefully to hear what he would say as he expired. What did he say? “It is God Who is righteous, for I disobeyed His utterance (Lamentations 1:18),” His utterance, and that of His messenger, Jeremiah.”

The righteous Josiah refused to obey the instruction of Jeremiah. He rebelled. He disobeyed the prophet because he was convinced that he is reading of the Bible was correct, and more significant then the tradition Jeremiah had received from Isaiah.

His intentions were perfect. His motivations were directed toward God. Yet, his actions are considered an act of rebellion.

Josiah learns from his mistake in the final moment of his life, acknowledges his error, and accepts the authority of God and His messenger, Jeremiah.

There are times when we act with the best of motivations, the purest of intentions, and yet our actions may very well be considered an act of rebellion. Whether it is to speak negatively of someone we consider wicked, or to insist on perfect decorum in prayer even at the price of embarrassing someone, or ignoring a child’s cries for attention because we need to study, or to publicly rebuke someone we consider a bad influence even if that means the person will feel cut off from the community, actions motivated by good do not necessarily mean that they are consistent with God’s wishes. In fact, they may actually be considered an act of rebellion.

I recall people who publicly declared that a halachic decision of Rav Moshe Feinstein zt”l was a travesty. They were convinced that they were fighting for truth. Despite their intentions, there is no question that their actions were a rebellion against the authority of Rav Moshe.

Josiah learned from his mistake and died with and acknowledgment of God’s authority on his lips. We do not need to wait for our final moment to repair our acts of rebellion. We can repair all of the moments when we questioned God’s judgment, fairness, and justice; our Maradnu, by following our recitation of Maradnu by declaring God’s righteousness.

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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