Friday, February 12, 2010

PARSHA - Mishpotim

Our Rabbis teach us that the commandments that G-d asks us to do He Himself fulfills them as well.

This week's Torah portion, Mishpatim, has many commandments. We will take one of those commandments and see how G-d fulfills it. The mitzvah of "lending money to a person in need".

When we give someone a loan, it seems as if we are giving away something for nothing. That person is not giving us anything back immediately for the money we gave him, but of course, we expect to get it back one day. We trust him.

How does G-d fulfill this commandment?

Well, just like a person lends another some money, G-d "lends" each and every soul the special strength and ability to fulfill G-d's will.

As with a loan, the soul gets its strength "for free." But G-d expects that, in return, our soul will pay back the loan by using this strength to fulfill His (G-d's) will.

When we lend money, we do not tell the borrower how to use that money. It becomes his, and he can use it for whatever he wants. When G-d gives us a "loan," it also becomes ours. We can use the strength and power He gives our soul, for anything we choose. We hopefully will do our best to make the right choices though.

We must show G-d that we are worthy of this loan, and "pay it back" by using the strength He gives us - to fulfill His will.

Candle lighting time in Los Angeles is 5:16 pm

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Be Happy!

The Baal shem tov said, that joy leads one to the greatest heights, it is a foundation for all Mitzvot.

A person will always be happy if he realizes and is aware that everything is Hashgocho Protis, meaning, that everything that happens comes as a direct result of G-d's Will. Everything that happens to us, even difficulties and undesirable events, are controlled by Hashem. And we must trust that there is a good reason for everything in our life.

When we are sad or depressed, our energy is drained, we are weak and it is possible that the evil inclination will overpower us.(chsv)
Experiences that appear negative, undesirable, are really disguised good and it is only a test for us.

G-d is testing us to see how committed we are to the Torah and Mitzvos.
Chassidus gives a deeper explanation for the purpose of these tests and challenges.
It explains that the word, "test" - Nisayon, comes from the word "l'nasos", which means - "to test", and it also means "to raise high".
The tests and challenges we face are intended to enable us to reach a higher spiritual level.

G-d chose to allow us to reach a higher spiritual level thru tests and challenges.
When we realize that there is G-dliness contained in these challenging experiences it helps us become aware that they are in essence hidden good.
When we realize and believe that everything is really good then that will cause us to be truly happy.

Wishing you all a very joyous day!

Monday, February 8, 2010

The power of Tehillim

If you've ever felt that in addition to your daily prayers, you find that reading Psalms helps you feel close to G-d and you'd like to say them every day, here is a small guide to help you.

Psalms is certainly a powerful book.

The Midrash tells us that when King David compiled the Psalms, he had in mind himself, every Jew, and every circumstance. No matter who you are and what the situation, the words of the Psalms speak the words of your heart and are heard on high.

If you only knew - The 3rd Lubavitcher Rebbe, the Tzemach Tzedek said - the power of verses of Tehillim and their effect in the highest Heavens, you would recite them constantly. Know that the chapters of Tehillim shatter allbarriers, they ascend higher and still higher with no interference.

In the standard books of Psalms, the 150 chapters are grouped into seven portions, so that they can be completed every week, and into thirty portions, so that they can be completed every Jewish month. Some people recite Psalms according to the weekly cycle, while others follow the monthly cycle.

If you are considering starting to say Psalms daily, start with the monthly cycle. With the monthly cycle, you'll be committing to an average of five chapters a day.

The Rebbe requested that in all synagogues, Psalms be recited according to monthly cycle after the morning prayers and this custom is applicable to everyone.

He would suggest this as a conduit through which blessings enter into virtually all areas of life, ranging from health and wealth to spiritual wellbeing and harmony.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Yisro - 22 Shvat, Rebetzin Chaya Mushka...

In this week's Parasha, Parashat Yisro, G-d gives the Torah to the Jewish People on Mount Sinai.

Standing at the foot of Mount Sinai in readiness to receive the Torah, the Jewish people proclaimed that they would first observe all its commandments and then attempt to understand them. We declared first "we will do" and then "we will understand."

Some people maintain that they will begin to observe mitzvot when they understand them.

The irrationality of this attitude may be understood from the example of the body. The body requires a daily intake of food and air. No amount of thinking, speaking or studying about food and nutrition can substitute for actual consumption.

Obviously the correct and healthy approach is not to study nutrition and then practice them, but the reverse. And while the person is eating and drinking -- though he may not fully understand the process involved -- he is strengthened.

The same applies to the soul. At Mount Sinai G-d informed us that the "air" and "food" vital to our spiritual existence are HisTorah and mitzvot.

Tomorrow marks the anniversary of the passing of Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka Schneerson.
She was the daughter of the previous Lubavitcher Rebbe, and wife of the Rebbe.
The Rebbetzin exerted a powerful influence on Chabad-Lubavitch, but remained outside of the limelight.

An intelligent and educated wise woman, Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka carried the mantle of her exalted position in a most humble and unpretentious way.
Yet despite her extraordinary role – as unknown as it was to the public – and her regal upbringing and bearing, it seems that she always found common ground with those who came to her and helped each one feel comfortable and heard.

In the days and months following her passing, the Rebbe spoke frequently on the theme, "And the living shall take to heart"—how the passing of a person close to oneself should prompt one to positive action, in the form of lessons derived from that person's life and G-dly deeds undertaken to perpetuate his or her memory, then the death itself becomes a form of life.

Therefore, for her sake and in memory of her soul we should increase and make good resolutions in the areas of Prayer, Torah Study and Tzedaka/good deeds.

Candle lighting time for LA is 5:09