People think that their happiness is dependant on outside stimuli. That's a big misconception. Happiness comes from within. First, you have to be happy with yourself, as you'll see in the 2-minute clip that follows:
Teshuva is an amazing mitzvah. Many people find difficulty in believing that it’s for real. Many an email asks me, “Does Hashem really forgive me for what I did?” The simple, categorical and indisputable answer is a resounding and emphatic yes! It doesn’t matter what you did or how serious the Torah regards the transgression. Not only does Hashem forgive, but He loves us and trusts us enough to always give us a new beginning. You know what that means? Stop wringing your hands about past mistakes!
When you willfully put someone else's desires before your own, then you love that person. And, when you cherish a person so much that his or her desire is your desire, then not only do you love that person but your connection with him or her is unshakable.
If your own desires are dearer to you than your spouse's desires, for example, then you love yourself more than you love your spouse. The entire Hollywood notion of love is nothing other than selfishness and self-indulgence. People are out to take rather than give. A taker is never a lover, much less a true lover. How many people lie to others and say, "I love you", simply because they're trying to take something? Millions are - the vast majority of modern society.
We can apply all of the above to our relationship with The Creator. When we place His desires before our own, we really love Him. When we induldge in ourselves while ignoring what He really wants from us, there's no love and no relationship.
When we ponder the zillion blessings that Hashem does for us every day, it's really embarrassing to think how we're lax in doing what He wants us to do, whether it's refraining from gossip, dressing modestly or making Aliya. At least, let's be honest with ourselves. The way to build a relationship with someone is to begin talking to him/her. The same too applies with Hashem. The more you get to know Him, the more you'll love Him. And wait and see how He answers you. Just be open and honest; even if we're not yet doing His will 100%, Hashem loves when his children speak to Him openly and honestly. Nothing is so beneficial to the soul as a daily hour of personal prayer. Try it - you'll love it.
Today's post is dedicated to the soldiers and civilians who are still recovering from their wounds during the recent Gaza hostilities. We also dedicate this to the miraculous, full and complete recovery of all the Chai Lifeline children.
Here are the words of Avraham Fried's "Shabbos MiLizok," which we're delighted to share with you, in transliteration:
Heal me, Hashem, for my bones tremble, and my soul is utterly confounded. And You, Hashem, until when? Return, Hashem, release my soul. Save me for the sake of your kindness. (Psalms 6)... Though the [holy] Sabbath prohibits crying out, may a full recovery come soon! (a Sabbath prayer for health)
Please, let's here good tidings of miraculous recoveries, soon, amen! Have a wonderful Shabbat! We pray that everyone will be healthy by this coming Saturday night, when we light the first Chanuka Candle.
It's been a while, but we just received a clip of an evening of song and inspiration that we had during a Melave Malka in South Manchester four years ago, together with my dear friends, renown guitarists Rabbis Danny Bergson and Mitch Goodman. Enjoy it and have a great week!