If you find the world confusing, frightening and filled with darkness, you are not alone. As we see more darkness and feel more despair, this is a sign that actually there is much more light being generated! Sounds strange? Well, Chassidus tells us that before Moshiach comes, as we get closer and closer to the revelation of Moshiach, when the world will be filled with a new sublime light and we will experience a huge revelation of G-dliness and kedusha, we will experience the greatest appearance of so called “darkness”. Because the light is concealed. Truth is more concealed. We have to dig harder to find it. But it is there. If there would not be a lot of light, there would not be a lot of darkness. G-d created one thing opposite the other, to make a balance. So when you see more darkness, more impurity, you can be sure there is also more purity and light being generated at the same time in the world. That is why we can see great extremes: tremendous holiness and goodness and acts of kindness as well as the lowest depraved acts of terrorism, Hashem yirachem. People often find themselves feeling really confused…wondering about basic things that in the past they never had difficulty believing in. How could such a phenomenon happen? How is it that pious religious Jews actually could be questioning basics of their faith? How is it that doubts pop into peoples minds? How is it that basic qualities of life are questioned? That morality is no longer clear cut like in the past? G-d has not changed. Torah has not changed? Neither have our obligations….neither has our spiritual make up. So what has changed? Only the fact that the truth is more hidden from us….more covered over so we don’t feel it or sense it as much. That is a result of the darkness of galus. When we get to that point, that level of really feeling we understand nothing and feeling that the world is no longer clear and bright and there is a huge amount of confusion prevailing….then we simply have to hang on harder to the truth, cleave to Torah and do more mitzvoth and generate more light to dispel the darkness. The forces of darkness and unholiness strive harder to disturb our service to G-d because they sense their end is near when the spirit of impurity will be removed from the earth. Hence they try harder to gain some life force from us…something to keep them going. We have to simply stand strong, say no to darkness, no to confusion and cleave to light. We have to beg G-d to have mercy on us and protect us and to strengthen our faith and our inner light. And with that we can rise from the lowest levels and achieve true purity and holiness. WE can reveal the inner light within each of our souls. We can dispel our inner darkness and the outer darkness of the world. We can bring Moshiach! We can make it happen. By seeing darkness we can laugh, as Rabbi Akiva did when he saw the destruction of the Beis Hamikdash, because he knew that the rest of the prophecies would also come true. Same way, as we see darkness rampant, we can laugh knowing a better world is around the corner.
Well now we are entering the month of Nissan, the month of nissim and geula! How exciting is that!! This year as you clean for Pesach, anticipate the redemption. Work hard, scrub your inner self, remove any trace of "chametz" (pride or ego or selfishness). Let's make ourselves true vessels for the light of Hashem. This is what Pesach is all about. Why is it that the dough did not rise when the Jews left Egypt? think about it for a moment...they prepared their dough the night before and they took it with them for an entire day or more...it was way over 18 minutes! But their dough did not rise. Why? the reason is that Hadadosh Baruch Hu revealed Himself to them and in the face of such holiness and light the dough COULD not rise...it was total bitul. Total humility. And we have to feel that way also. Eating matza is eating G-dliness. So as you chew on your matza this year, have some deeper kavanas...but truthfully happy cleaning. Pesach cleaning is great. the feeling of holiness and light in the home as you scrub and remove dirt and chametz is an amazing feeling...only on Pesach. So happy cleaning, and a kosher freilichen Pesach to all
So we are now entering Adar and we all know the famous saying "Mishenichnos Adar marbim b'simcha": when Adar enters we increase in simcha (joy).
Well, Zohar tells us that the month of Adar is the time for laughter. The letter corresponding to this Jewish month is the letter kuf which is connected to laughter. It is the letter that controls the sense of laughter.
so Adar is all about laughing. Just keep laughing all the time. And as you laugh, things change....things change for the better. Even if something looks terrible, looks impossible, just keep laughing because through simcha, through laughter, you can change every decree. You can change things completely, as it says that in this month, everything turns around. And this is the month when the Jewish mazal is strong. It is the month when we also stamp out and get rid of Amalek....not only the physical nation of Amalek, but the spiritual counterpart which means doubts. those little doubts that creep into our minds and souls and attempt to throw cold water on our faith and enthusiasm. But we have to get rid of doubts and introduce enthusiasm and new energy into our service
Happy Chanukah everyone!!! as you light the Chanukah candles, think of the great miracle that happened to the Jewish people. And may we merit great miracles in our days. The soul of a person is compared to a candle. And light is a very spiritual thing. So may we all add light to the world and spread the light of Torah and may we truly light up the darkness of exile, nullifying all impurities. May we really see the days of Moshiach when the spirit of purity will be removed from the world. Chanukah is a taste of Moshiach time.
Hmm, well that was a quick "war".....of course, as usual, Israel backed down at the wrong time. However, we are grateful that soldiers did not have to go into gaza and risk their lives....it is not worth it when the Israeli govt simply does not do the right thing. The entire situation is ridiculous. for years the arabs are screaming about Israeli being "aggressors", "occupiers", etc. etc. Nothing could be more absurd!
Yes, we are occupiers...of OUR OWN LAND! the land G-d gave to the Jewish people. It is clearly written in the Bible. Nobody can argue with G-d.
At one point in history perhaps the Ottoman empire ruled Israel, or perhaps the Greek empire ruled Israel, or perhaps the British empire or the Turks did...and even perhaps the arabs did. But that does not make them the owners of the land!
Now we, the Jews, have taken over the land and it is ours. But besides historically speaking,, it is ours from a religous perspective because it is G-d given. No other land in the world can make that claim.
And no other country in the world would even attempt to share their country with a second nation. Two state solution??? it is a joke. The arabs just want an excuse to get into the country and take over , G-d forbid. They dont want two states and should we even consider such an absurd idea???
Yet we always feel we need to convince the world of our "right to self defense"> Tell me, did the United States try to convince anyone of their right to self defense when attacked by terrorists? why is it only Israel that needs to convince the world of things?
Because the world is one sided and anti semitic. that is the reality. the media makes Israel look bad and the arab oppression look terrible...but there is only an arab oppression if the arabs start their terror attacks, throw missiles on innocent people and begin the fighting. why cant the world see that?? the only solution is to say the truth to the world: this land of Israel belongs to us because G-d gave it to us. that is it. May Hashem help the leaders of Israel, even the secular ones, to say the right things and make the right decisions
The topic is not new, unfortunately. But what we hope will be new will be a much stronger response from the government to terror....and more importantly, we hope and pray that the government and all Jewish people will have the strength to stand up and say the truth to the world:
That the land of Israel belongs to the Jewish people because G-d gave it to us! It is clearly written in the Torah, the Bible.
So the idea of being "occupiers", the foolish excuse the arab world constantly throws out at the nations, is nothing more than imagination and brings confusion.There is no occupation...other than occupation by the arabs in our land!!
it does not matter if the British occupied the land at some point or if the arabs ever controlled the land at any time in history....none of that is relevant because we have to go back in history to the beginning of time when G-d gave the land of Israel to the Jews. That is all that matters. Nobody can argue with G-d.
And honestly that is all that has to be said to the non Jewish nations. It is our land. Why are the arabs even trying to claim a part of it? And why are we even thinking of negotiating any part? the Lubavitcher Rebbe said that even thinking or talking about negotiations leads to blood shed and destruction because no Jew has the right to give away any part of the land of Israel to a non Jew. That is totally going against the will of G-d.
And in any war, to be victorious we need G-d on our side. Of course G-d protects the Jewish people and the land of Israel with constant miracles. But from our part we must declare the truth to the world and not be afraid of how the world may react. People respect truth. And we must stand up strong and do what G-d wants.
We also have to increase in Torah and prayers and in ahavat yisrael.
So please everyone, say prayers for the safety of the Jewish people and the land of Israel.
Make good resolutions to add in deeds of goodness and kindness and in mitzvot and additional tehilim etc.
May we merit the coming of Moshiach brachamim rabbim.
The Rebbe always quoted a famous yalkut shemoni about how a ruler from Persia will threaten Israel and the Jewish nation will be surrounded by hostile nations who want our destruction chasve shalom...the Jews will be very much afraid and will not know where to turn or where to go....and at that moment Moshiach will arrive and will declare:
anavim, anavim, higia zman geulatchem.....humble ones, the time for your redemption has arrived. Everything Hashem did was for your sake.
Let us all pray that this time will be very soon, immediately now, and we will all merit the time of peace, true peace, and to dwell securely in our land, the land that G-d gave to us and the land that G-d's eyes are upon from the beginn
There is a pasuk in Torah that says "Those whom Hashem loves, He chastises".
When anything goes wrong in life or when someone goes through suffering (chasve shalom, may we all merit only open revealed good) we think , as little children would think when their parents punish them, that our Father is angry with us and we are not pleasing to Him. That often brings feelings of sadness or depression. Feelings of being unworthy, somehow lower than others who have it "good" in life.
However, when we think deeper, a parent who truly loves their child, wants their child to be the best, to express their true potential, and the parent expects MORE from that child. Hence, a parent may punish a child that they know could do better and that they know could reach a higher level. So the punishment becomes a means to elevate that child. It is from love, not anger. If a child is a "good" child, we expect more from that child. A child who is misbehaving and not giving us so much nachas, we do not expect as much from...although we still pray that the child will do teshuvah and return, and sometimes we also need to use harsher measures or even a bit of aloofness to bring that child back.
The same with Hashem. When He loves someone, He sometimes wants to bring that person to a higher level and to reach a greater spiritual perfection , so He brings various "problems' or difficulties to that person. Sometimes it is a test, sometimes it is a form of purification, sometimes it is an expression of love that is so high it cannot feel like love in this world.....
We pray to have only open revealed good and to reach those levels without the need for suffering or without the need for gevura. And yet, if we are challenged by any difficulties in life, it helps to keep a positive attitude and to remember Hashem loves us and we can respond with love by growing positively, improving ourselves, purifying ourselves, doing more teshuvah and giving more nachas to our Father in Heaven.
When we do that, accepting afflictions with love, the sefer Tanya tells us that we then sweeten the dinim and everything turns to open revealed good so that we are able to appreciate the hidden kindness behind everything and to actually see the good. then everything turns to goodness and happiness.
Galus is the same idea. Hashem sent us into galus because He loves us. And through galus we reach a much higher level. But we now pray that Hashem should end the galus and reveal His hidden kindness and redeem us so we can truly serve Him with simcha.
I always heard that being a grandmother is better than being a mother. You can enjoy the kids but you don’t have to work so hard and if they cry, you just hand them back to their mother.
Well, now that I am a full fledged grandmother, Baruch Hashem, I feel qualified to comment on this idea. I personally love being a grandmother…but that is only because I no longer am of the age to bear my own children. But honestly nothing is as wonderful as being a mother. Having your own baby, nursing your own baby, putting your child to sleep….all of that is very special and only a mother can appreciate it. A grandmother can make every effort to fill the mother’s role (such as when babysitting) but it is never the same. And you end up feeling a bit rejected…both by the child (who consistently cries that he or she wants their MOTHER) or you end up feeling exhausted (by the amount of work involved running after the children to clean up etc. since your energy level is no longer the same) or you feel a bit rejected by your own daughter (or son) who keep expecting you to be able to do so much more than you can and they simply don’t understand your limitations at an older age. They may even become annoyed if you are not able or willing to do as much as they want simply because they dont really understand what it is to be older.
So what is so SPECIAL about being a grandmother?
I guess it is the feeling of accomplishment. You went through being a mother.
You raised your children and now they have children. It is a special feeling. As
the Torah says, grandchildren are the crown of the aged. They truly are. It is a
special relationship and bond that you develop with your grandchildren.
The truth is that grandchildren reflect many of your good qualities (and sometimes some negative ones). It is the "next generation" and it is the concept of infinity....how through the G-d given gift of procreation you can actually reveal the potential hidden within yourself. To see the grandchildren personifying these qualities is often mind boggling.
Sometimes grandchildren are closer (as they get older) to their grandparents, in
some ways, than to their own parents. A grandparent warrants respect. A grandparent is not someone a child can abuse or take advantage of the way they can a parent…because the grandparent will simply get up and leave! And a grandparent can teach children so much. They also have time, a lot more of it than the parents may have. And all of those factors combine to make a very unique relationship between grandparents and grandchildren.
As grandchildren grow up, they often can confide in grandparents
more than in their own parents. They often turn to grandparents for advice, for
comfort, for that extra bit of attention they may not get from their own
parents, especially if they are part of a large family.
Grandparents provide a certain sense of security to grandchildren, as well as to their own children even though they are grown up and married. There is something comforting about a grandparent being in the home. A grandparent also can be a
very important role model for a grandchild.
And the proof of how special and important grandparents are is when, after 120 years, they leave this world, grandchildren cry and mourn almost as much as their parents do.
So now that I am a grandparent, I want to fulfill this role in the best manner possible and make up for all the“mistakes” I made while raising my own children! I guess in a way Hashem gives us a chance to do it again, better and with more simcha and more confidence…grandparents become parents again but in a more matured manner . And the results are praiseworthy. May we all enjoy each role we fulfill in life, from babyhood to grandparenthood! L’Chaim!!
Yesterday, Yud Aleph Cheshvan, was the yahrtzeit (hilloula) of Rachel Imenu. so let's reflect for a moment upon the greatness of the Jewish mother. This is truly mother's day!
What is it that we associate with Rachel Imenu? her tears! The tears of a Jewish mother crying for her children. The concept of arousing mercy for us, the Jewish people.
The tears of Rachel cleanse us from spiritual blemishes and nurture us. And the tears of every Jewish mother cleanse and purify her children.
A Jewish mother gives us our essential identity as Jews...a child is only Jewish if the mother is Jewish.
and a Jewish mother nurtures her children spiritually and physically and emotionally. A Jewish mother subconsciously and consciously influences her children from the time they are born, shaping who they are.
A Jewish mother is the akeret habayit, the foundation of the home, the one who makes the holy spiritual atmosphere in her house and who teaches her children to serve Hashem with simcha, and who instills yirat Shomayim (fear of G-d) in her children.
So Jewish mothers, let's rejoice! Rejoice in our portion and in our role and let's do our best to make our homes into miniature sanctuaries for G-d.
May our tears bring mercy for our families. And may we merit the greatest expression of mercy which is the geulah shleima, the complete redemption through Moshiach.
It is Rosh Chodesh Elul today! And we all know what that means....the King is in the field! As the famous metaphor says: when the king is in his palace in the city, one cannot just enter and ask for favors. You need special connections. But when the king goes out to the field, to the commonTake advantage. Pray, ask for whatever you need....now is the time that He greets each one of us with a happy face and grants our wishes. So use the month wisely and pray constantly. May we all merit a ketiva vchatima tova, shana tova umetuka.