Thursday, March 7, 2013

The Amazing 72 Days of Chesed (Kindness) Rabbi Aryeh Nivin

The Amazing 72 Days of Chesed (Kindness) by Rabbi Aryeh Nivin

Today is the 25th day of the month of Adar and we now stand at the gateway to the new month called Nisan and the special preparatory Shabbos called Parshas Hachodesh. What is the special message and meaning of this day and this new month?

Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakai said that “If all the sages of Israel were in one scale of a balance and Eliezer ben Hyrkanus in the other, he would outweigh them all” (Avos 2:12).  Since Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakai was comparing Eliezer ben Hyrkanus to his other main disciples, four very important and wise sages, this is high praise, indeed. Yet the Mishnah continues with another evaluation: “If all the sages of Israel, together with Eliezer ben Hyrkanus, were on one scale of the balance, Elazar ben Arach would outweigh them.” We can understand, then, what a tremendous scholar and lofty individual Elazar ben Arach was, and we would expect to find him quoted on every page of the Gemara. However, there are only a few passing references to him. Why? What happened to him?

Elazar ben Arach’s wife was located at a pleasant hot spring called Emmaus. After the death of Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakai, Elazar ben Arach went to be with his wife, and, at her suggestion, waited for his colleagues to join him there. However, they didn’t follow him, so he remained there without them (Kohelles Rabba).

After a few years he left Emmaus for a visit elsewhere, where he was called to the Torah for an aliyah. The parshah then being read was the parshah that we read this coming Shabbos, Parshas Hachodesh, and Elazar ben Arach was called up to read maftir. In those days, there was no ba’al koreh; each person read his own Torah portion. When he got to the words “Hachodesh hazeh lachem”—“This month shall be to you,” he mistakenly read them as “Hacheresh hayah libam”—“Their hearts were deaf.”

How could the great Elazar ben Arach have made such a mistake? In his isolation, he had fallen; he had forgotten almost everything he learned, even how to read fluently. The rabbis prayed for mercy on his behalf, and eventually he regained some of his wisdom. The Gemara delves into the lessons that may be learned from this situation (Shabbos 147b), such as the importance of staying with your chaburah. But there’s another, hidden message in the words uttered by Elazar ben Arach.

Rav Elyashiv’s, zt”l, grandfather, a mekubal, was known as the Leshem. He explains that the time period from the 25th day of Adar until the 6th day of Sivan (Shavous) is allegorically 72 days. The gematria of chesed is 72, and these 72 days comprise a season of great chesed. Right around the time when we say “Hachodesh hazeh lachem,” we begin a period of renewal, or hischadshus (related to hachodesh, the new month). This time is called “an upper awakening”—a time when Hashem brings about growth and teshuvah from above.

This is the season in which Hashem took the Jewish people out of Egypt. He did not do so because of their great merit; in fact, on a scale of 0 to 50, they had fallen to the 49.9999999th level of tumah, of impurity. Since they held onto that tiny bit of goodness, of Jewishness, they were deserving of redemption. Hashem carried them on eagles’ wings; He did most of the work. Because no matter where a Jew has been or how far he falls, as long as he makes the tiniest effort, shows the smallest inclination to move forward, Hashem will bring him straight to Har Sinai, to Shavuos, to Kabbalas Hatorah.

"My sons,” says Hashem, “open for Me an opening of teshuvah the size of an eye of a needle, and I will open for you openings big enough for wagons and carriages to pass through” (Shir Hashirim Rabba 5).

No matter how far we’ve fallen, we need not be discouraged. Even if, like Elazar ben Arach, our hearts have grown deaf, this a time of “upper awakening.” This is a time of “Hachodesh hazeh lachem.” It’s a time of renewal—hischadshus. It is a time of Divine grace, of Divine chesed, of Divine goodness. It’s a time when small efforts yield great results. All we need to do is point ourselves in the right direction and open up a pinhole of avodah. He will carry us on eagles’ wings straight to Him.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Wonderful post on supportive healing affirmations for your children and therefore really for you :)

                                Messages Your Children Need to Hear (sorry so small)
                                Carol Tuttle  12/30/2009

Infancy  ( 0-9 months old).Developmental Need: To be validated for “being who you are.”
“Welcome to the world! We’ve been eagerly waiting for you.”
“We have prepared a special place for you.”
“All your needs are important to us.  We will provide for you willingly.”
“You can be touched and held when you want to be.”
“You are more important than any of my doings.”
“We love you just the way you are.”
“There is nothing you have to ‘do’ to be loved.”
“We like feeding you, bathing you, changing you, and spending time with you.”
“We want to take care of you, and we are prepared to do that.”
“You are a gift to the world.  In all the world, there has never been another like you.”
“God smiled the day you were born.”

Toddler ( 9 – 18 months old).Developmental Need:  Supported in exploring, sensing and doing in the world.
“It‘s okay to be curious, to want, to look, to touch, and to taste things.”
“We will make it safe for you to explore.”
“We love you just the way you are.”
“We are here to take care of your needs.  You do not have to take care of our needs.”
“It is okay for you to be cared for by us.”
“It is okay for you to say ‘No.‘”
“It is okay for us to be different.  We will work out our differences.”
“It‘s okay to feel your emotions.”
“Your emotions are important to us.”
“You can be you, and we will always love you.”
“We love watching you grow and learning to walk and talk, and starting to separating from us.”
“We love and value you.”

Preschooler ( 3 – 6 years).Developmental Need:  Coming into your own identity and power.
“It is okay for you to test your boundaries and find out your limits.”
“We will set appropriate limits for you, to keep you safe and help you find out who you are.”
“We like your energy; we like your curiosity about life.”
“It’s okay for you to think for yourself, and we will think for ourselves.”
“You can think about your feelings, and have feelings about what you are thinking.”
“You can know what you need and ask for help.”
“It’s okay for you to feel any way you want to feel.”
“We see and appreciate your wholeness.”
“You can think and feel at the same time.”
“We are glad you are starting to think for yourself.”
“You can try out different ways of using your power.”
“We love to listen to you.”
“We are here for you.”
“We love to do things with you.”
“It’s okay to cry even though you are growing up.”
“It is good for you to find out the cause and effect of your behavior.”
“You can ask questions if something confuses you.”
“You are not responsible for our marriage.”
“You are not responsible for our happiness.”
“You are not responsible for the problems in our family.”
“It’s okay for you to explore who you are.”

School –Age ( 6 – 12 years).
Developmental Need:  Fitting in, having structure, knowing and learning.
“You can be your own unique self at school.”
“There is no one you have to please.”
“It’s okay to learn to do things your own way.”
“It’s okay to think about things and try them out before you make them your own.”
“You can trust your own judgments.”
“You can do things your own way and it’s okay to disagree.”
“We love you just the way you are.”
“You can trust your feelings to guide you and to know what you want.”
“It is okay to want.  You can have dreams and desires.”
“You deserve to have the things you want.  It will be fun to see how they show up.”
“You have a lot of spiritual help to assist you in creating what you want in life.”
“You can dress the way other kids dress, or you can dress your own way.”
“We respect and trust your choice of friends.”
“We love growing with you.”
“God is watching over you and cares very deeply for you.”
“The world is a safe place; there is so much goodness for you to experience.”
“You deserve to attract safe and loving people into your life.”

Adolescence ( 13 – 18 years).Developmental Need:  Separating and creating independence from family.
“You can take all the time you need to grow up.”
“You can know who you are, and learn and practice skills for independence.”
“You can grow in your maleness and femaleness.”
“You can still feel dependent at times.”
“We are happy with your choices.”
“Our love is always with you.”
“It is okay to make mistakes.”
“You can always choose again.”
“We trust you to ask for help.”
“We look forward to knowing you as an adult.”
“You can develop your own interests, relationships, and causes.”
“You can learn about sex and nurturing, and be responsible for your needs, feelings and behaviors.”
“We approve of you.”
“We love you.”

Monday, November 19, 2012

Waging the Spiritual Battle- A Journal from the Home Front

Friday night Nov 16th (Jerusalem)- Right after lighting candles I started singing the song Hu Yigal Otanu...which was strange as I usually start to sing the same shabbat niggun every week.  The siren sounded a couple of minutes later....I was with my 3 kids and two other holy women.  We went into the safe room, held hands, davened, and danced.  I felt so much light.  We spoke after that the scence felt like we had just crossed the Yam Suf.  For the rest of Shabbat I felt so much light and protection from Ha Kadosh baruch Hu.  This was in direct contrast to the almost panic attack I had as we were about to take in Shabbat, going on my 2nd full week without my husband here and I could not remember how to set up the plata. The light of Shabbat was a huge matana and strength that I hope I will be able to carry into the week.

Sat Night- Saw the post to learn tehillim 83, which was the same tehillim I had opened up spontaneously when I asked Hashem to show me what tehillim to say.

Sunday- Too much media watching is not helpful to keep a state of emunah strong.  Lets go back to Shabbat!!!  I decided bli neder to start learning more hilchot brachot in addition to daily tehillim for the war.  Less news more Torah!!!!

Monday morning-  Saw a husband in uniform dropping off his daughter in my son's gan.  Out of 8 kids only, there are definitely a few soldiers in the group.  I gave him a bracha and took his name to daven for and then saw the post that Shirat Devora put up about the Shmira Project.  Please Am Yisrael pass this on to as MANY PEOPLE AS POSSIBLE!!!!! This project is crucial as we are Am Echad and Lev Echad.  Each ones teshuvah supports the whole nation.  I personally am going to learn hilchot brachot daily bli neder on behalf of the soldiers in my sons gan.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Important Time Imminent: Tehillim 130 to be said in conjunction with mekubalim at the Kever of Rebbi Shimon at 5:00PM Israel time

I just had a recording on my machine from Rav Moshe, a mekubal who works with other Rabbis at the kever of Rebbe Shimon Bar Yochai to support Am Yisrael with personal etzot and tefilot (nightly tikkun Hatzot- for the benefit of all Am Yisrael).  He said that at 5:00 P.M to light a candle and say perek tehillim קל 130. The Rabbis will be davening at the kever that in the zchut of Rebbe Shimon bar Yochai Am Yisrael should come to its speedy redemption and merit to receive Moshiach Tzidkenu. Amen!!!

Tehillim 83 should be said daily during the duration of the War

Thank you Yeranen Yaakov for posting this for us:

Arutz Sheva:
Rabbi Ovadia Yosef has called on Jews to seek divine protection as well as taking safety measures. He declared Friday that worshipers should say Psalm 83 for the safety of Israeli civilians and soldiers after opening the Aron Kodesh, both on the Sabbath and during the week, for the duration of the military operation.

I had asked Hashem the first night of the operation what tehillim I should say and then opened my tehillim to פג and saw last night this post above

Here is the translation and intro from my Metsudah tehillim
#83 פג

This Psalm is a fervent prayer for God to exterminate the nations who plot the destruction of Israel.  Their intention is not merely to destroy Israel but to obliterate God's Name from the face of the earth.

1. A song. a Pslam of Asaph.
2. God, do not hold your silence; be not silent and be not still Almighty
3. For behold, Your enemies are in an uproar and those who hate You have lifted up their head.
4. Against your people they plot deceitfully, and they conspire against those sheltered by You.
5.  They say "Come, let us cut them off from nationhood, let Israel's name be remembered no more"
6.  For they conspire togethere with a unanimous heart, against you they make a covenant.
7. The tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites; Moab and the Hagrites.
8. Gebal, and Ammon, and Amalek; Philista with the inhabitants of Tyre.
9. Even Assyria is joined with them, they become a supporting arm to the children of Lot, Selah.
10. Do unto them as with Midian; as to Sisera as to Jabin, as the river bed of Kishon.
11. They were destroyed at Ein Dor, they became dung for their soil
12 Make their nobles like Oreb and Zeeb, and like Zebach and Zelmuna, all their princes.
13.  Who said, "Let us inherit for ourselves the pleasant habitations of God"
14. My G-d, make them like whirling chaff, like straw before the wind.
15.  Like fire that burns the forest, and like a flame that ignites the mountains.
16.  So pursue them with Your tempest, and terrify them with Your storm.
17.  Fill their faces with shame, then they will seek Your Name,  Hashem (insert YKVK)
18.  Let them be ashamed and terrified, forever; and let them be humiliated and perish.
19.  Then they will know that You, Whose Name is Hashem (insert YKVK), are alone, the most High
       over all the earth.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Names to daven for immediately!!!! -War Injuries

These were names were just sent to my inbox from my community group in Jerusalem to say tehillim for.  I have no further information at this time.

Shmuel ben Chaya Sarah Yehudis
Mira Rut Bat Chaya Leah
Yosef Yitzchak ben Mira Rut
Chanah Bat Mira Rut
Geulah Bat Mira Rut
Yehudah Chai Ben Chanah