I Prayed for This Child

The moving story of Hannah appears in the first and second chapter of Samuel I: Hannah had no children, and she begged Hashem in the holy tabernacle at Shilo that if He gives her a child, she will dedicate this child to the service of Hashem. Hashem heard her prayers, and Samuel was born.

When Samuel was weaned, Hannah brought him to the High Priest Eli in Shilo, where the little Samuel grew up devoting his entire life to serving Hashem. As Hannah presents her son to Eli, she says, "This is the lad I prayed for; Hashem granted me the request that I asked of Him" (Samuel I, 1:27).

In a beautiful age-old Jewish tradition, when we check on our sleeping children at night, and we see them like little angels fast asleep, we repeat the above passage as an expression of gratitude to Hashem, and we continue to pray for their spiritual and physical welfare and development.

Shraga Gold, soloists Motty Steinmetz, Levi Falkowitz, Moshe Mendlowitz and the Shira Choir sing Rabbi Shlomo Yehuda Rechnitz's lovely rendition of Hannah's moving expression of gratitude in the following beautiful clip, which we hope you enjoy as much as we did. G-d bless and much joy from your children!


The Tiniest Light

Tiniest light
Try this experiment: go into a pitch-black room, like a cellar or a bomb shelter with the lights off. Take a pack of matches with you and light a match. Better yet, light a small candle. Notice how one tiny flame illuminates so much darkness. 

The above phenomenon is a wonderful spiritual metaphor: sure, there are tons of evil in the world - wherever you go, wherever you look. But, one righteous person engaged in charitable deeds and in spreading love, peace and joy virtually purifies the atmosphere. The Gemara teaches that such a person can save the world.

You, cherished friend, have every attribute to be that person. Even if you regard yourself as nothing more than one tiny light, you can illuminate the darkness, if you only believe in your ability to do so. G-d bless for a lovely Shabbat!


Turning Pain into Gain

Pain and Gain
Whoever said life was supposed to be easy? Do you know anyone great who had an easy life? A hassle-free life is like saying grass that's not green - it simply doesn't exist! Why? We're all down here to complete a mission, and a considerable part of our mission is dealing with the challenges of life.

Thank G-d, I'm out of the hospital after a bout with pneumonia and what looked like a clot on my brain that had knocked me for a loop, together with some cardiac issues as well. It's all for the best. The love, the well-wishes and the blessings that you, cherished friends, have been giving me are making the uphill road to recovery a whole lot easier. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. It's all good, all from Hashem and all for the best - let's never forget that. Love you so much, LB