94 posts categorized "Encouragement"

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!


The Rod and the Staff

Rod and Staff
King David declares to G-d, "Your rod and your staff – they comfort me" (Psalm 23:4). "Staff" is a leaning stick, like the cane that an old man leans on. As such, "staff" symbolizes the comforting presence of G-d, which King David could lean on during all his troubled times. "Rod" symbolizes the punishment stick. King David in effect says to G-d, "Whether You console me and resemble a staff, or whether You torment me and resemble a rod, I am comforted by Your presence." Such a righteous man knows the value of the "rod", which is nothing other than the seemingly bad.

King David, as a three-year old shepherd, killed both a lion and a bear that threatened his flocks. As a twelve year old, he killed the giant Philistine warrior Goliath. David remained undaunted. Only one thought scared him: "Don't cast me away from you, G-d, and don't remove your spirit of holiness from me" (ibid. 51:13). King David's only fear in life was losing the proximity of G-d.

Just as a gold-medal Olympic sprinter cannot be a world champion without supreme effort, King David could not have become G-d's anointed, the head of the messianic dynasty, and role model for subsequent generations to this day, without the many arduous experiences in his life.

When you're able to treat the trying situations of your life as precious gifts designed to enhance your spiritual and emotional growth, then you're well on the way to inner peace.


It Don't Come Easy

TurtHare
Nothing in my life was ever easy. In athletics, everybody on the team had more talent than I did. In the army, all my buddies were stronger and faster than I was. In Rabbinical Yeshiva, I was always the last one in the class to understand a concept. Sounds like a curse, doesn't it, as if Hashem was giving me a raw deal, Heaven-forbid...

It was the biggest blessing. If fueled my desire and made me work harder. The desire and the willingness to sweat are what makes the tortoises of the world surpass the hares.

Due to the nature of the unit where I was privileged to serve in the IDF, our training was gruelling, long and forever challenging, both mentally and physically. In one instance, during a night-time run with full backpack on rough terrain, my legs and lungs were about to give out. Anyone who wouldn't complete this run would be kicked out of the unit. I had no more physical strength. The game was about to be over for me. Suddenly, one of my favorite songs from way back when popped into my head: it was Ringo Starr singing, "It Don't Come Easy". I kicked into gear with a second wind and a surge of strength, playing that song over and over in my head until I finished the run. This is the song that became my personal theme song during all my years of army service. And thanks to you, Ringo:

The problem with the internet and Ipod generation is that they expect instant gratification, a great life with no effort. Sorry, youngin's, things don't work that way. If you want to succeed big time, you have to take The First Step.


Hashem Loves Me

Do you know why people are weak in their love for others? They don't love themselves.

Do you know why people are weak in their love for themselves? They don't believe that Hashem loves them.

If you feel down for some reason, watch the following 3-minute clip. It will pick you up. My Chanukah gift to you today is a 3-word saying that you must tell yourself as soon as you sense the slightest bit of sadness or depression: Hashem Loves Me. It's true, and it kills the evil inclination. Enjoy.

You can obtain the full-length Hashem Loves Me CD and many more Rav Arush/Brody titles at the Breslev Israel Online Store. These are vitamins for the soul that we all need. Happy Chanukah and a wonderful new month of Teveth!


The BEST Yom Kippur Hack Ever

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No, it has nothing to do with this ice cream cone. What a shame. 

Do you have any idea how hard it is to type with one hand? But that little guy dressed in a skin-tight metallic red jumpsuit who likes to sit on my left shoulder and whisper all kinds of evil world domination plans in my ear won't leave me alone. He said I must finish that second ice cream cone. OR ELSE. 

If only the hack was a really cool way to get through the fast without being hungry, thinking about food, having your brain feel like it's gonna explode because it can't get its daily caffeine fix, and getting cranky and irritable because you're all of the above. And really hot. Silly readers, I meant sweaty hot! I don't know whatchu look like! 

That would be the BEST. HACK. EVER.

Well, what I'm about to share with you is almost as good, if not better. 

So check it out. 

Yom Kippur is known as the Day of Atonement, when Hashem forgives us for all of our sins against Him over the past year. You know, it kind of reminds me of what it's like to be a mom. Like, a mom knows her kids are going to do the same stupid nonsense a split second after they apologize. But she forgives them anyway and pretends to believe that they've learned from their mistakes and her punishment. That way, the kids feel better.

But, uh, uh. Mommy ain't no fool. She knows her kids are going to test her again. And again. And again. AND AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN UNTIL SHE HAS TO TAKE A TIME-OUT AT TARGET!!!!! AHHHHHHH!!!!

G-d I LOVE Target! 

Truth is, I like Walmart better. But let's save that debate for another time. 

Yes, Hashem sure is forgiving. Let's be honest. We don't deserve His forgiveness, and we certainly don't deserve His continued blessings every single second of our lives. He could have continued on just fine without us, but no. He wanted to give us a chance to enjoy being His creations. 

Back to the Day of Atonement. 

Yom Kippur is also the day when the judgments from Rosh Hashana are signed, sealed, and sent off for the next 365-day cycle of Prime Heavenly Shipping. 

So what's the hack already?!

As Rav Brody has said millions of times, there's no double jeopardy in the Heavenly Court. If you confess to a sin, they can't charge you upstairs for it, because your confession has already gone straight up to Hashem Himself, who forgives all sins against Him. 

BUTTTTT!!!

What if we do one better?

What if we also THANK Hashem for all of our blessings on Yom Kippur?

Wouldn't that bring an even more favorable judgment??

Confessing and repenting are mandatory because that's the way we're supposed to ask for forgiveness and another chance.

But what do we do on Yom Kippur to bring ourselves an even greater abundance of blessings?

As far as I know (and I could be wrong because it's happened once in the past,) there is no formal prayer of thanks in the Yom Kippur machzor. Of course, I haven't looked through it in a year, so it could be that I'm wr-wr-wrong. Yuck. 

Rav Arush teaches that expressing our gratitude is the best way to keep our blessings coming. So why not express your gratitude even more profusely on the day that your case is being decided? 

C'mon. Tell me that's not an awesomely genius super-brilliant mind-blowing hack.

Just remember one thing, people. When your year, G-d willing, is amazing beyond belief, remember me. Give credit where credit is due. And send me some flowers or Adidas anything. 

Wishing you all a G'mar Chatima Tova! May you all be inscribed in the Book of Life and enjoy a sweet year filled with every blessing your hearts desire!

~Racheli

We at the Beams offer our deepest condolences to the family of Ari Fuld, who was stabbed to death by a terrorist earlier this week. May his courage, drive, and passion to stand up for truth and Torah values continue to shine. He will be greatly missed.

 


Free At Last, Free At Last!

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All you parents out there know exactly what this picture's all about. 

And if you don't, just nod and pretend like you do. No one will know the difference, I promise.

DO YOU KNOW WHAT'S IN THESE MOUNTAINS OF BAGS???

SCHOOL SUPPLIESSSSS!!!!! 

And that means....

SCHOOL IS HERE!!!!

Do I sound a little too happy? Well, I am. Because I just spent the last nearly three months on the roller coaster ride of my life, and lucky me, the kids were a part of the excitement every step of the way.

See, isn't it nice how I wrote that? Like, all non-insulting? I could have said they annoyed me to no end with their fighting, complaining, whining, screaming, fighting, not sleeping, and complaining about everything. But I didn't. 

I tell you, I'm completely burnt out. The stress of this summer was astronomical. Gargantuan. Behemoth. Outer space, even. I have no idea what I'm saying anymore because my brain cells are on self-preservation mode. You know, when the machine shuts down into like a hibernation in order to stop it from burning out completely.

Does this make any sense?

Well, the kids started school yesterday and I feel like I deserve a medal or at least an Oscar nomination for Most Wacked Mother of the Year. I'm sure a few of you out there would happily give me that nomination.

Last night I went to sleep at 3:30 because we had just finished registering for the school the week before, and I had just gone school shopping over the past few days. It was completely overwhelming, because not only did I have to get supplies for five kids, which equals like 2,047 different things, but the boxes from our move are still mostly unpacked because I don't have any place to put anything. 

So the stress was... stressful. Very. Very. Stressful.

But in the end, the kids got into a great school at the last minute, and I managed to get 72% of the stuff I needed. Still another round or two to go, but the worst is over.

Finally, after a long, difficult summer, I'm finally starting to see the light. Hallelujah! 

Which leads me to my point.

All of our suffering, all of our challenges - as intense and difficult as they are, the good news is they don't last forever. 

Eventually they pass and we draw on our emuna and gratitude to help us heal and move on.

Sure, much easier said than done.

But that's what life is all about. Overcoming challenges. Learning and growing from those challenges. Completing our soul corrections.

As I advance into adulthood, at least somewhat, I am sometimes terrified by the things I see people going through, Hashem have mercy. While I can't take their pain away, at least I can give them awareness of the life-saving tools that we are so fortunate and blessed to know about.

I can help them understand the concepts of emuna and gratitude. You and I know that there is no greater wisdom to live by in this entire world. Emuna and gratitude literally save lives. They save people's sanity, their marriages, their everything.

No matter what part of the world I decide to hop to next, my life's mission is to help spread the wisdom of emuna and gratitude n any way I can. 

I know that if you're reading this blog, you've likely benefited from these amazing teachings. So I'm asking straight out for you to partner with myself, Rav Brody, and Rav Arush, and the entire Breslev Israel family in spreading emuna around the world. 

Especially with Rosh Hashana around the corner, now is the best time to start the coming year with blessings, both for yourself, your family, and all the people in the world that so desperately need these teachings.

Donate to Emuna Outreach.

Be our partner in making this world the beautiful place Hashem intended it to be.

I wish you all a happy and healthy Shana Tova, and may Hashem bless you with a year filled with health, love, spiritual and material abundance, and most importantly, joy. 

Don't forget to check out Rav Brody's weekly emuna lesson below!

~Racheli

 


Patience? I Ain't Got No Time For That!

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That line has got to be one of my favorite memes I ever did see. It's so ironically funny.

Well, this summer has been an endless test of patience. Finding schools and a place to live has been harder than I expected. 

Even getting our driver's licenses has been a challenge that we haven't yet overcome. Turns out yours truly, Mrs. Genius de la Geniuses, never actually officially changed her name. Like, legally. Like, ooops. I had no idea! 

I went to the driver's license place to renew my license and they said the system wouldn't let them do it because I never changed my last name. Well how was I supposed to know? No one told me! You would think the guy at the legal place where people go to get legally married would have told me that I'm legally supposed to change my name. 

Anyway. Check out this couch! It's so symbolic of how my summer has been. And it's really nice, right?

G-d I LOVE Costco!

Did I mention that whole little test of patience thing? Well. Basically it's been like banging my head against the wall to accomplish anything. Driver's licenses, school, finding a place, finding furniture, absolutely everything was and still is preceded by a brick wall. 

The original school we had planned on attending didn't work out. So we spent many weeks looking for a new school. B"H yesterday the kids were accepted to a school that I had not planned on looking at. And whaddayaknow? They have amazing programs in English and Math that can be individualized for the kids!

The area and apartment building we wanted to live in didn't accept us. At the last minute. Apparently there's a rule here of only six people maximum in a 3 bedroom apartment. Can you imagine if that rule were in Israel? Each family would have like, seven apartments! 

But finally, we found a house that's an actual house as you can see above. A real house. And affordable! I can't get over it. And the best part? The neighborhood is not only primarily shomer Shabbat Jews, but Israeli. That means no one cares if they hear you screaming at your kids from three doors down. Hopefully.

Oh, and there's even a shul in the neighborhood! A Sephardi one! Unbelievable, I tell you! 

The couch? Symbolic to the max. Do you know how many couches I looked at? How many arguments David and I had about couches? You can't imagine. But all the while, in the back of my mind, this couch was waiting for me in my imagination. At the last minute, just yesterday, we found it at Costco. It was love at first sight. The perfect balance of firmness and fluffiness. The perfect color and fabric and style. Just what I wanted.

Same goes for our kitchen table, which isn't set up yet. 

The main lesson I've learned from this summer is PATIENCE! 

I admit that I didn't and still don't have much of it. But I see very clearly that Hashem is definitely running the show, guiding us in the exact direction He wants us to move in. He's literally closed doors and opened new ones with such obvious divine providence, and it's an incredible thing to see.

I am so grateful for being forced to learn that patience is such a blessing. It saves you from tremendous stress when things aren't going your way. It helps you realize that you need to let go and let Hashem guide you. If your spiritual eyes are open, you'll see how everything will work out for your best. 

Ultimately, only Hashem knows what's best for each and every one of us. 

And if we can just remember that, imagine how much happier and more relaxed we'll be.  

Now I'm off do do some more serious damage at Costco. 

~Racheli

p.s.- Don't miss Rav Brody's weekly "Garden of Wisdom" lesson below!