Monday, October 7, 2019

The cleanse we crave- Yom Kippur

As we tap our hearts, we release the layers covering it.
The layers fall away and what remains is 
our truest emotions and yearnings.
By nightfall our existence is pristine.
There are no barriers left for us to conceal from G-d.
He is once again vivid before us and within us.




Thursday, September 26, 2019

Wishing you a sweet new year....

If you're anything like me, you probably feel some anxiety when you think about Rosh Hashana through Yom Kippur.

It seems like there's so many things we should have in mind and daven for- that by the time I open my siddur, I'm just overwhelmed.  Honestly, often by the end, I'm not even sure I did it right.

Today I heard Rav Shmuel Braun speak about the shofar.  He said that when Mother Theresa was interviewed, she was asked, "What do you say to G-d when you pray?" She responded, "I don't say anything.  I just listen." So the reporter asked, "What does G-d say to you?"  She responded, "He also doesn't say anything, He just listens."

Rav Braun explains that when you are in deep love with someone, you just need to hear their heartbeat, you don't need to have words.  He adds that, the Mitler Rebbe said these ten days are when the 'luminary approaches the spark'- G-d approaches us and we are so close we can hear his breath. 

Wait- so I just have to listen?  How? 

In fact, the word to pray- l'hitpalel- is reflexive- it's an inner journey of listening.  Listening to our innermost self, the part that exists in a state of joy because it senses Hashem.  Prayer brings us back to that space of existence where we simply are and from that space we can hear His heartbeat in sync with ours.

This is the power of these ten days and the shofar.  We have to do LESS not more.  We have to simplify, not complicate.

With the blowing of the shofar- we hear Him and He hears us- we silently cry out our longing for Him and He sends His inner voice back to us.  Is there anything more calming or sweeter than this?






Sunday, September 15, 2019

Elul

The natural tendency is to treat matters of the spirit as luxury items—sort of an appendage to life.
Eating, sleeping, making money—these things are given priority and the time dedicated to them is sacrosanct.
But prayer, meditation and study fit in only when you feel like it, and are pushed aside on the slightest whim.
You’ve got to make your priorities faithful to your inner self. You’ve got to ask yourself if this is what your life is all about.
Set a schedule for exercising your soul as an athlete does for his body.
Treat those things as though they were your proprietary business. Because they are.




By Tzvi Freeman

Sunday, August 4, 2019

A letter about the nine days from:

בסד
The following is a translation from the strengthening letters to her friends, that was written with devotion and bravery by Hadassa Klein ע"ה
the letter's wordings was not changed and remain like it was intended, straight from the heart that the  שכינהis resting upon.

                                                 נלב"ע כ"ח תמוז תשע"ח
                                                   ת.נ.צ.ב.ה


ד אב תשעז 

               What Is Mourning?

Mourning is the time given to us by our Sages to commune with our sadness, to sink in it, talk, to unload, to disengage from the world, to live with the grief and to digest the absent.
Ask anyone who sat Shiva on a loved one, and followed the customs of mourning, and he'll tell you the kindness that was done to us by the Sages, giving us the Shivamonth, and with parents the year.
The legitimate opportunity to sit and simply feel the pain, to delve into it, not to move on, just sit and talk. To talk about the deceased, to cling to the beautiful memories and to comprehended slowly that now it's over.
It's over, now there is a different reality, a very difficult one.
And with the unloading of the hard emotions to be given, somehow, the opportunity to recharge our strength and to continue with life despite the tremendous lose.
Such are the days of the three weeks.
The three weeks is a period of mourning, simple mourning. Once a year we are permitted to connect to our inner depression, to commune with our hardship that is consuming our minds, to take a deep breath, and to say, wow, how difficult.
And all the hardship is derived from  the Exile.
We were taught, and rightfully so, to live in happiness, to give ourselves the strength to be happy with what we have, to be grateful for the smallest of things, and this is wonderful.
But now, in mourning, it's different.
Now is the time that it's permitted to complain, to say that yes, there is a possibility of boundless bliss, blessing and abundance, no hardship, happiness and more happiness, good news, life of serenity and calm, contentment and truth, and much more.
But, what?
Fairly, we got used to this way of life, the slavery to hardship, to constant bad news, lack of ability to cope, the anxiety, insanity, the inability to accept difficult existence, the daily rush to satisfy ourselves and to give us strength.
We became accustomed to wallow in the mud, and also to enjoy it, perhaps with a bucket and a shovel to build a mud castle. And maybe to try and to slip into it and in an attempt to somehow enjoy it from the slipping perspective, but in reality it is mud, and there is a beautiful world outside.
And we are wallowing in the mud.
Once a year our Sages tell us, stop, think about the sorrow, go into the pain and the hardship. There is something really terrible here, and you're in the mud, you're in Exile.
I remember last year in the nine days, which was a very hard period for me in my illness, and I was dealing with many very difficult things. I was sitting by the Seuda Shlishit's table at my host's house in the U.S.A., where I get my treatments, and I say to them :"wow, finally it's Tisha B'av, at long last I'm allowed to be sad. If all the time I'm working on myself to be happy, now Ican relax from this hard job".
Tisha B'av came last year on Motzai Shabbos and already by Seuda Shlishit it was sunset, but not the end of Shabbos, and Iwanted to let myself be washed in a wave of sadness for all the previous generations, and my host asks me, please, DasiShabbos is not over yet, now be happy still. I smiled with all my strength, in the honor of Shabbos, but really I wanted to cry and not be consoled.
Two year ago, in the beginning stages of my illness in the nine days, I didn't understand what was so hard for me all these years, so hard not to take a shower in the nine days and all the other laws of mourning that were such a nuisances. really, I thought to myself, I don't even feel myself from all the craziness and fear.
But this year, I'll tell you secretly, that I got used to my illness, and not that I'm not normal, I know very well that I live in a very hard existence, but I got accustomed.
In the beginning my illness was horrible and terrifying, and rightfully so, I was used to the sane life more or less of before illness.
The fall into such terrible reality depressed me and depleted all my physical and emotional strengths, and I was bitter. Like a bird that her wings were cut off and she can't even flutter.
But today, two and half years later, B'H, I don't suffer any less than in the beginning, and it didn't get any easier, but what?
I got accustomed!!!!!!
Simply, I got used to living with the ongoing suffering and to find myself some enjoyment, used to the fact that I'm hardly functioning, and my house is a public domain with the help and recourses, used to the tight grasp of fear of death, used to the hard separation from the kids.
Yes, I simply got accustomed to, accustomed to everything.
In the beginning, our Forefathers didn't know how to be consoled. Our tongue  is glued to our palate, they said. They sat and cried when they remember Zion and begged with all their might: return us!!!
And today we simply got accustomed, accustomed to the long Exile, to the tragedies, hardship, anxiety, wars, illness and poverty and more and more.
Once in a while, when it's too much we cry, Aba!!! and that's it.
But, friends, this is Exile.
Habit is God's kindness, but now we are in mourning.
Let's commune with our hardship deep inside us, let the bitterness and the general pain of the whole nation, and the private pain of every single one of us wash over us, because now is the time.
This is the time of mourning.
Later the consolation will come, and we'll get stronger, hopefuland will receive energy. 
But, in order to receive strength we need to unload today, and to cry,
For a terrible, horrible destruction. 



 Thank you Reitza sarah for sending our way!


Saturday, August 3, 2019

nine days- final question and answer

(We actually answered question three in question two's post last week.  This week we are up to the final question)

What do I bring to the table that no one else can- How am I a messenger for Hashem in an individual/ singular way?

Someone told me that she was raised in a house that had tons of love but no rules.  She said that she never felt safe.  Hashem in His infinite wisdom- gave us a set of rules- to support us and give us a feeling of safety so that we could use His Torah as our bedrock foundation and from that safe space- express our individuality.

Step 1. Learn the rules
Step 2. Follow the rules
Step 3. Your individuality will sprout from that bedrock foundation.  Guaranteed.

IY'H all of the klal with each individual expression will meet at the third bayis- now!



Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Answering Question number 2

Our second question was:

"How do I know what Hashem wants from me?- specifically me..."

Well...you know the thing that you seem to be working on forever....and maybe it's constantly on your mind...it could be the biggest botheration about yourself? THAT'S WHAT HE WANTS FROM YOU- (face it- be vulnerable with it- cry to Him and beg for Him to help you with it or show you what the next step would be for you to take).

And you know the thing that everyone thanks you for or compliments you on -....HE WANTS YOU TO KEEP DOING THAT IN WHATEVER WAY YOU CAN.