A good Shabbat Nachamu to all!

A Good Shabbat Nachamu to everyone! May you be comforted from all your hurts and challenges!

I saw something the other day that I just had to share. I’m signed up to Torah Anytime’s email list, and they sent out their ‘Tisha b’Av stats’

tisha b'av stats

I did the math, and that’s and 162% increase! Kol Ha’Kavod to everyone who learned. You are helping bring Moshiach sooner.

Now, if you help bring it…

Every year for the past few years, I’ve written a post that I firmly believe Moshiach can, and will, come this year, and that we’ve just seen the last Tisha B’Av. The first ones were in my journal, and more recent ones are shared here.

And in spite of being wrong, every year, I still believe. I believe that the upcoming Tisha B’Av might be the promised day of celebration, and even if that doesn’t happen, I will believe the same of next year. But I’m coming to realize that it isn’t so simple.

We aren’t waiting for G-d to ‘spontaneously’ decide that now is the time for Moshiach. WE HAVE THE POWER TO BRING MOSHIACH EVERY DAY! WE HAVE THE RESPONSIBILITY TO TRY TO BRING MOSHIACH EVERY DAY!

(Sorry for yelling but that was really therapeutic.) Let me explain. G-d can bring the Moshiach at any time. But He is waiting for us to be ready, waiting for us to receive the Moshiach with open arms as one united people. Learning this made me realize that it’s not that I believe that G-d can bring the Moshiach, because of course He can. It’s ‘do I believe that my fellow Jews have the ability to bring the Moshiach?’ And the answer is yes.

So, why isn’t the Moshiach here yet? Good question. As much as I believe we are each responsible for bringing Moshiach, the only person I have control over is myself. So the question is – ‘If I believe that everyone has the potential to bring Moshiach, and I trust that everyone is doing their own personal best, then what more can I do to bring Moshiach?’

That’s what the Three weeks, and the Nine days, are meant to make us think about. We’re meant to truly appreciate the depth of what we have lost, of what we are missing in our lives each day.  It’s not meant to drag us down into hopeless misery, but to motivate us to do better, to try harder, since we have the potential to bring back, not only what we have lost, but a whole new bright future.

So, do your best. Try a little bit harder. Embrace the pain and sadness and use it to remind yourself that no one else should ever hurt like that because of you. Examine yourself and see where you have room to improve, and if you think you’re doing your best (as I have faith you all are,) you are welcome to climb aboard here and help others improve.

EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU HAS THE POWER TO BRING MOSHIACH TODAY! REMEMBER THAT! YOU ARE AMAZING! WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?!

Artistic Visit

Today we had the privilege of having a guest speaker in our careers class. She volunteered her time to visit her old school and speak for close to an hour, two consecutive classes

Not only was I impressed with her speech and the information she taught us, I was also impressed with her career. Makeup artist is often seen as such an external-related, physical, gashmiyusdik occupation. Hearing her speak gave me a totally different mindset.

First of all, in contrast to the gashmiyus of the makeup industry, she was dressed impeccably tzniusdikly. Her own makeup was subtle and very tasteful—in fact, clueless me is just assuming that she was wearing any at all. The glow of her skin was concentrated only in the areas that were visible

She described using makeup for the most spiritual of purposes—to make brides look amazing and feel confident on their wedding days. She talked about how the flexible hours allowed her to work even after her own marriage (Hashem should bless them both with everything). She emphasized how thrilled she was to finish school and work with the frum community.

Thank you for many lessons, well taught.

The lunch that lasted all afternoon

What bracha do you make on a tuna wrap?

I still don’t know. But THANK YOU to all the teachers and rebbeim who took time out of their day to point me towards the right person and THANK YOU to the teacher who provided me with the solution.

The consensus? Still unknown. But I was told that my mezonot was ok and to say an al hamichyah.

As with nearly everything, if you find yourself in a similar situation, ask a Rabbi!

Spot the connection

Mim’s post brought up an interesting thought. What does Sfira– counting up towards accepting the Torah– have to do with being kind to one-another. Is it just a coincidence that the death of Rabbi Akiva’s students died during the count-up to Matan Torah?

The post was due weeks ago so I’m condensing it now.

Rabbi Hillel said that the foundation of the Torah is ‘V’ahavtah Leracha Kmocha’– Loving your fellow like yourself. Without it, Torah cannot be sustained.

Whatever the sin of Rabbi Akiva’s students did (and there are many many interesting opinions,) they are said to not have been on the highest level of love for each other.

We don’t just wait to receive the Torah, we are actively preparing ourselves for it. Preparing ourselves to be the foundations of Torah.

Without Torah, there is no life. And without respect, love, and consideration for each other, there can be no Torah.

 

See you all at Har Sinai!

Huge Kiddush Hashem

http://forward.com/news/306056/can-an-orthodox-charity-help-save-lives-in-this-mans-church/

Not only are the actions presented in the article amazing and bring honour to Hashem, but so does the article. So rare at the moment is an article that is from a secular site, yet honest and unbiased.

Apologies that the article is too long to embed. It looks clean and good, but, as with always, think before you click.

Yom Ha’Zikaron

We just watched a video of the funeral of one of the soldiers who was killed this summer during the war. One soldier. One soldier, a huge void in the world. And there are sixty six more. And all the civilians. And the people who’ve died to terror attacks, unspeakable tragedies that should never have happened.

If G-d allowed it to happen, then it must be good. Why does it hurt so much?

For me, it’s not just human pain, but guilt. These are the pains before Moshiach, but they are not inevitable. They are to wake us up and bring us together. If we were already there, the pain we now feel, the pain of mothers and fathers and sisters and fiancees and brothers and wives and children, might not have happened.

Maybe this is what G-d intended. Guilt, however crushing, is not the answer.

All we need to do is to remember the pain. Remember how we feel when our nation is attacked. Remember that pain every time you forget the value a single soul has. Remember this pain EVERY TIME you encounter another Jew. Treat them as though the fate of the world, the fate of every human being, rests on how you treat this person.

Because it does.

So Inspired

Read the original here, or look below. A thank you to the owner of Mevakesh Lev for giving open permission to me to share such posts.

Mizmor Li-toda!

With gratitude to and with the help of Hashem Yisborach, I have reached the milestone of 2000 recorded shiurim on line. I say this not to boast [for arrogance makes one smelly and I don’t want to be that] but to thank Hashem and the countless people who have been listening and reading over the last 9 years since I entered the world wide web.I often have my doubts and hesitations as to whether it is the right thing to be part of the Internet world because as we know, רובא דרובא דרובא דרובא – the vast-vast majority of the Internet is at best dvarim betialim, frivolous matters, and all too often much-much worse, but I hope that Hashem has nachas ruach from my attempt to try to add Torah and Kedusha to the many who are there anyway.Money

Besides the benefit of spreading Torah that I already mentioned, there is another benefit – money. Lots of money.

Meaning – I get paid zero-zilcho-efes-kloom for all of the Torah that I spread and that is the way it should be. Torah is NOT a means to earn a living – it is too holy for that. Those who take money in order to learn and teach Torah only do so in order to save themselves and families from starvation. When not necessary, it should not be done. So it is very gratifying that after years of having to take a [albeit miniscule] salary for teaching Torah, the Internet afforded me an opportunity to teach for nothing. Or better – for nothing material but for everything spiritual.

So I want to pray to Hashem that He, in His infinite mercy, allows me to continue being involved in Torah day and night שלא על מנת לקבל פרס.

I would be remiss if I didn’t thank the many who appreciate my efforts and have been helping me in my efforts to spread Torah and light, especially for the last four years since I left yeshiva.

So thank you Hashem and thank you beloved friends. Many of you I know personally and many-many more I don’t, but I thank and love you all.

Bi-ahava,
Me 

No Music– More talking (but of course, No lashon Harah)

I often wondered what having no music over Sfirat Haomer has to do with the message of the time. of course, it makes us, (me, me) miserable, but so could many other restrictions. Why music?

This restriction has a modern day effect only a Navi could have foreseen. On the school bus each morning and evening, most people who aren’t chatting listen to music. It’s a wonderful way to recharge for the work ahead.

You have no idea how much more sociable the bus was last Monday. At first, everyone was simply kvetching and commiserating. Those who could swapped recommendations for a capella. But by the end of the long ride, everyone was chatting happily.

Even I was drawn in. Why? Though I had an audiobook to listen to– my headphones broke over Pesach cleaning! So while at first it began with some harmless conversations about ‘G-d doesn’t want to make us miserable, so obviously there’s a point to this.’ (Which, by the way, is my motto during Sfira. We’re supposed to learn from the experience.)

And yet, (gasp), yesterday I talked the entire ride home with a friend. In my defence, I was hyper and off the wall and she’s leaving for seminary next year, but still.

During Sfira, it’s nice to see that a restriction can no only upset us, but serve as a springboard for growth. In this case, the growth is in the exact area we need to improve during this time.

May our efforts in increased achdus during these days bring us to Shavout in the Bais Ha’mikdash, SOON!

An Old Friend

An anonymous reader recommended this post. Read it here: –>  or below

Friday, March 6, 2015

Hello, Old Friend

I met up with an old friend the other day. I’d spoken with him fairly recently, but it had been a while since I’d seriously opened up to him. I’m not really sure what made this time different, other than the fact that I’d been drinking. Still, for the first time in way too long, I felt heard, as if he was seriously listening. I spoke in that  non-self-reflective way, opening up in a manner that I can truly do, only when speaking with close friends.


It felt good, but as I spoke, I had this terrible gnawing feeling. I started thinking about the fact that soon our meeting would be over. I began to  become self-conscious of the fact that I better say everything I had to say, as I was unsure when the circumstances that had led to this conversation might happen again. I don’t know who  is responsible for our recent divide, although I can’t deny that I am far from blameless.


So there I was, with a combination of the joy that came from opening up to a friend, combined with the recognition that I better not waste a moment of our time together. Then, it was time to go. Reluctantly, I parted, sadly taking my leave. Without turning my back, I bowed and took three steps back.
Yihiyu l’ratzon imrei pi v’hegyon libi lifaniecha, HaShem Tzuri v’Goali.

 

Thank you to the person who sent me the article, the person who allowed me to use it, and to all you loyal readers!

Have a wonderful Shabbat!