Wednesday, September 26, 2018

What is HoShanah Raba?

Willow tree - ''Aravah''

The seventh day of Sukkot is called Hoshana Rabbah, and is considered the final day of the divine “judgment” in which the fate of the new year is determined. It is the day when the verdict that was issued on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur is finalized.

The Midrash tells us that G‑d told Abraham: “If atonement is not granted to your children on Rosh Hashanah, I will grant it on Yom Kippur; if they do not attain atonement on Yom Kippur, it will be given on Hoshana Rabbah.”

Isaiah says, “They seek Me day [after] day.” The Talmud explains that these two “days” refer to the day when the shofar is sounded [Rosh Hashanah] and the day when we take the willow [Hoshana Rabbah]—the day when the heavenly judgment begins, and the day when it concludes.

In addition, on Sukkot we are judged regarding how much rain will fall in the upcoming year. Thus, on Hoshana Rabbah, the final day of Sukkot, this judgment is finalized. Considering how much our wellbeing and economy depend on bountiful rainfall, it is clear how important this day is.

Read more :  click here

Rain and Dew

The sporadic nature of rainfall represents the Divine attribute of Justice, which responds to us according to what we deserve. The mystical reason that rain is more plentiful at certain times is that the world goes through periods of being more and less deserving.

Dew represents the Divine attributes of Kindness and Generosity, giving with no consideration of worthiness. From G‑d’s perspective the worthy and the unworthy are equally valued. Thus, He gives at all times to all people, deserving or not. [Rabbi Lazer Gurkow]

Sunday, September 23, 2018


Please excuse my absence but I've been busy with the arrival of a new baby.... my daughter's ....who was named in shul yesterday:  "Esther" [after my mother a''h].    Sorry no photos on the blog, she's too precious.  

And because I really do live my life by ''expecting nothing and appreciating everything'', when something truly amazing happens, such as a new baby, I am absolutely overjoyed and thankful.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Tzedaka for Ari

It is customary to give tzedaka before Yom Kippur to serve as protection against harsh decrees.

Heartbreak and Heroism Shatter the Night as Thousands attend Funeral of Ari Fuld

Please consider giving to help the family of Ari Fuld HY"D who was killed in a terror attack - click here to donate.

Wishing everyone an easy fast.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Fooling Yourself

People mistakenly think they can hide those parts of their personality they don't want the world to see, and reveal only the parts they are willing to let others know about.

But the truth is that even the deepest parts of a personality stand out on the tip of your nose for everyone to see - everyone except yourself.

A person thinks he knows himself, but even that he doesn't know. Similarly, a person thinks he knows how his voice sounds, but when he hears himself on a tape he sounds strange. He can't believe it's really him while others recognize his voice right away. This is also true of our drives and motivations: we deceive ourselves as to what we really think, while to an outsider it is obvious.

Rabbi Mendel Kaplan "Reb Mendel and his Wisdom" by Yisroel Greenwald

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Shana Tova

Wishing everyone a Shana Tova and may we all be written in the Book of Life for all revealed goodness for the coming year. 

Friday, September 7, 2018

Mind Games

So much seems to be happening right before Rosh HaShanah, but the rules of lashon hara prevent me from saying exactly what I want to to say right now....   so I went searching my blog for a old post which reflects how I'm feeling.

Art: Mike Worrall

The Baal Shem Tov said : "The world is a mirror. The defects you see in others are really your own."

That solves one problem: if we see a defect in someone else, we can rest assured that defect exists in us too, otherwise we wouldn't have noticed it.

But what happens when that defect does not exist in you, and therefore you don't notice it in someone else... ?

That's how simple, naive, innocent people fall for con-artists [and narcissists]. These innocent people don't possess a sneaky or manipulative trait: for them, it would be unthinkable to deceive someone else or use a friend to further their own agenda.... and therefore they do not realize when they are being taken for a ride, being used and manipulated.

They didn't see it, because they don't have that quality themselves.

When the truth finally hits, that they have actually been deceived, they are in a state of shock. It's hard to believe, how could this happen? Sometimes the victim may turn nasty and try to shoot the messenger, but ultimately, once they have given the matter a lot of thought, they should realize that the "messenger" was the one they should be thanking for waking them up and ensuring that they will be on their guard in future relationships.

It's no crime to be innocent and naive, in fact it's a virtue, but these days the world is a very dangerous place, and we need to be on the alert for anyone who's messing with our minds.

Geneivat da'at - Theft of the Mind - is the worst theft of all.

Geneivat da'at is not limited to con-artists..... it's practised all the time by abusers and manipulators.  They do the crime, but they won't admit it, or accept responsibility for it.  Instead, they'll blame you, the victim, for everything, and bring attention to your defects in order to take the heat off themselves.   They will try to discredit you in every way possible in order to ensure that no-one will listen to a word you're saying.

Be aware that this is how abusers behave, and be on your guard in the future. Get as far away from these people as you can, and don't go back. 

Monday, September 3, 2018

The Messianic Light


Source: Rabbi Mendel Kessin, an excerpt from his soon-to-published book

There's a midrash that relates that the Torah of Moses, which is everything that Jews have now, will seem as vacuous as air when compared to the Ohr Mashiach, the Messianic Light that will come into the physical world. 

Furthermore, the midrash adds that the Torah of Mashiach will be vaporous compared to the Torah of the World-to-Come. Can you believe this? It's astounding what G-d has in store for klal Yisrael and for those others who are deserving of the Messianic Light’s teachings. 

In truth, we really have no concrete idea as to what will happen in the World-to-Come because we cannot comprehend what it means to be alive in that dimension. Were G-d to show you what it means to be alive in that world, it would completely destroy your free will. 

It's an exhilarating experience of truth and, if you know the truth, you don’t choose anymore. In our world, however, you are compelled to act in the way that is commensurate with the truth you perceive.

Sunday, September 2, 2018

The Future Redemption

Parshat Nitzavim:

The future redemption: Moses warns of the exile and desolation of the Land that will result if Israel abandons G‑d’s laws, but then he prophesies that in the end, “You will return to the L‑rd your G‑d . . . If your outcasts shall be at the ends of the heavens, from there will the L‑rd your G‑d gather you . . . and bring you into the Land which your fathers have possessed.” 

The Talmud Talmud [Sanhedrin 97a–98a] mentions various signs to identify the generation in which Moshiach will arrive.

In that generation:
  • Torah scholarship will be diminished. 
  • There will be many troubles and difficult decrees. 
  • The younger generation will not respect their elders. 
  • There will be inflation in food prices. 
  • The government will turn towards heresy (denying the Torah). 
  • People will despair of the Redemption. 
  • People will have no money left in their pockets (i.e., savings). 
  • The Jewish people will not have supporters. 
  • The generation will be either entirely righteous or entirely wicked. 
  • There will be no fish available for purchase, even for sick people. 
  • There will be no arrogant people left amongst the Jews. 
  • There will be no judges or enforcers left amongst the Jewish people.

Source: Chabad