Sunday, December 14, 2014

It's All Good


When things go wrong.... there is usually a reason why.... do some soul-searching and try to work out why this particular thing happened and what Hashem is trying to tell you.

And they said to one another, "Indeed, we are guilty for our brother, that we witnessed the distress of his soul when he begged us, and we did not listen. That is why this trouble has come upon us." [Miketz 42:21]

The brothers realized immediately that when misfortune befalls a person, he must search his deeds to find a negative word or action that may have brought on such a punishment.  Then he should do teshuvah.

The brothers' teshuvah was remarkable in that:

1) They were able to feel remorseful about a bad deed they performed some twenty years earlier.

2) The fact that they could not find a more recent sin to explain their current misfortune shows that in the past twenty years they did not sin at all.

3) Their teshuvah was immediately effective in reducing the punishment: Yosef had promised to imprison one of the brothers, but after the brothers did teshuvah, Shimon was released [see Rashi to v.24].  Similarly, Yosef's harsh attitude towards them changed, for they were given food and their money was returned. And eventually, as a result of their teshuvah, Yaakov and their entire family were saved from hunger.

Source: Based on Sicha of the fifth day of Chanukah: Lubavitcher Rebbe

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Trust Only in Hashem



"Yet the chief wine butler did not remember Yosef, and he forgot him" [Vayeishev 40:23]

This verse seems redundant, noted the Maharam of Amshinov. Why must it state that "he forgot him" once it already informed us that "the chief wine butler did not remember Yosef".

The Rebbe answered: As soon as Yosef uttered his request to the chief wine butler he realized that he had sinned, as he had trusted in a human being instead of Hashem.  He therefore prayed to Hashem that the butler would forget his request entirely! And, indeed, "he forgot him".
Rashi explains that Heaven punished Yosef and made him remain in prison an additional two years because he placed his trust in the chief wine butler.

The Alter of Novarodok's (R' Yosef Yozel Horowitz) level of bitachon was legendary.

One night, the Alter was sitting alone in his house in the woods learning Torah by candlelight. He continued learning until his very last candle burned out.

The Alter was now left sitting in complete darkness and it saddened him that he would have to stop learning for lack of a candle. But then the Alter decided that he must strengthen his faith in Hashem and trust that He would provide him with all that he needed - including a candle.

The Alter quickly got up and opened the door of his home. At that very moment, a man stepped out of the forest, handed him a candle, and disappeared.

For twenty-five years, the Alter saved the candle as a remembrance of that miracle and to show his students that Hashem takes special care of those who sincerely trust Him.

But then a fire broke out in Novarodok.  The Alter's home was among the many homes that were destroyed in the fire.  The fire consumed everything that was in the house, including the wondrous candle.

"You should know" said the Alter to his students, "that Heaven made us lose the candle in order to teach us that we must trust in Hashem even when we have no proof that He will help us".

Source: Rabbi Yisrael Bronstein

Monday, December 8, 2014

Judging Others


 וַיְהִי אַחַר הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה  - And it came about, after these words....  [Vayeishev 40:1]

The "words" that are referred to here are those of Potifar's wife, who bad-mouthed Yosef throughout Egypt.

From the actions of Potifar's wife, we can learn a powerful lesson about judging other people:

At first glance, Potifar's wife's actions appear to have been utterly evil.  Not only did she cause Yosef to be sent to prison, but furthermore, she spoke badly of him so that his name was blackened throughout Egypt.

Rashi however enlightens us to the truth, that even these actions were intended for the sake of Heaven! Despite the fact that she was brought up in the corrupt, idolatrous atmosphere of Egypt her intentions were pure, to the extent that our sages compared her to Tamar, the mother of "strong ones and righteous ones" [Rashi]. 

From this we can learn the importance of not judging other people by their first appearances.

Source: Sichos of the Lubavitcher Rebbe
Art: Abraham Leon Kroll

Monday, November 24, 2014

The Profound Near-Death Experience of a Nazi Concentration Camp Survivor

“And suddenly I was ejected from my body and I wasn’t angry anymore,” she said. A blaze of light appeared and she felt an energy pervading everything, including herself. “I was completely that energy,” she said. “It was love, it was wisdom, it was dynamism.”

She received all the answers to her questions at once. “I was so happy, so incredibly happy.” 

“In my life I always had a lack of energy because my body suffered so much damage in the concentration camp,” she said. But here she felt wonderful and whole again. “I wasn’t dead, but I wasn’t in my body.” - 


Read more : click here

Sunday, November 23, 2014

''Murdered Jews Atone for Generation, Messiah Must Come'''

Rabbi Yitzhak Mordechai Hacohen Rubin, rabbi of the Kehilat Bnei Torah synagogue in Jerusalem that was brutally attacked on Tuesday, went to visit hareidi leaders on Thursday to ask their participation in a eulogy for the four Jews murdered in the attack, in which a Druze police officer was also murdered.
Rav Kanievsky

Rabbi Rubin visited Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky, one of the foremost rabbinical authorities in the hareidi world, and described the horrific attack.

The two Arab terrorists "came in with axes, with guns, they cut off heads...someone who was there from (United) Hatzalah told me they cut off the head completely, cut off hands, simply horrors," related the rabbi, noting the wounded included those missing arms, ears, suffering brain damage and lost eyes.

"I heard the story," replied Rabbi Kanievsky. "The Mashiach (Messiah) has to come."

The hareidi leader explained that "there needs to be an atonement" for the generation so as to merit the coming of the Mashiach, an atonement he argued the victims of the terror attack partially made.
In hearing how the congregants "shake like fish" in shock following the horrific attack, Rabbi Kanievsky stated "G-d will help. Those who shake (with fear) make repentance."

click here for more

Also see:  Why Tzadikim Atone for Us All

Prepare Yourselves for Moshiach

Video from Rabbi M. Glazerson

 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Asher Yatzar



Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, 
Who fashioned man with wisdom, 
and created within him many openings and many cavities. 
It is obvious and known before Your throne of glory,
that if but one of them were to be ruptured, 
or but one of them were to be blocked, 
it would be impossible to survive and to stand before You. 
Blessed are You, God, Who heals all flesh and acts wondrously.