Monday 4 May / 10 Iyar:
Today is the first of the three optional daytime fasts of BeHaB (signifying days 2, 5 & 2 of the coming 2 weeks, i.e. "Monday-Thursday-Monday") that follow the Pesach festival after the end of Nissan. The practice is based on Job 1:5, where Job sacrificed to atone for possible inappropriate behavior on the part of his children during their feasting. Great spiritual gains are available for those who are able to observe these fasts.
Thursday 7 May / 13 Iyar:
Second of the fastdays of "BeHaB".
Friday 8 May / 14 Iyar
Pesach Sheni In Temple times those who had been ritually impure or far from Jerusalem at the time of the Pesach sacrifice on 14 Nissan had a second opportunity to bring their paschal sacrifice on Pesach Sheni, "the second Pesach" (see Numbers 9:1-22). Today is a semi-festival and the usual Tachanun supplications are not recited in the Synagogue services. Some celebrate Pesach Sheni by eating Matzot. The most appropriate time to eat the Matzot would be on Friday evening as the Pesach Sheni sacrifice was offered by day and eaten that night at a "Seder" together with Matzot.
The lesson of Pesach Sheni is that even if we fail to put things right the first time, G-d gives us a second chance!!!
Today is the Yahrzeit of the holy Tanna, Rabbi Meir "Baal HaNess" ("Master of the miracle"), familiar from his teachings throughout the Mishneh. He is buried in Tiberias, Israel.
Friday night-Saturday 8-9 May / 15 Iyar Shabbat parshat EMOR:
Torah reading: Leviticus 21:1-24:23, including laws relating to the priesthood and the annual cycle of festivals; Haftara: Ezekiel 44:15–31 on the laws relating to the priests of the Future Temple. Pirkey Avot Chapter Four is read after the Minchah service on Shabbat afternoon.
On this day the 30-day supply of Matzot which the Children of Israel took with them out of Egypt came to an end, and when they cried out for food, HaShem sent them the Manna. This is a day to focus on the miracles with which the Almighty provides us with our livelihood, physical and spiritual, and to develop our trust that He will always supply us with everything we need. The practical expression of this trust is when we pray to Him for what we need.
Our thoughts affect us; they fix for us the type of people we are and become. Therefore, by changing our thoughts, we change ourselves. However, for this to work, our thinking must be consistent.
For as much of our conscious day as we can, we need to plug into happy thoughts, connect to vibrant self-images. We need to train ourselves to hold positive ideas in our minds, until this becomes our habit. Thus, we speed up our self-growth.
Empower yourself, enjoy life!
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Indeed it is to resolve this great riddle that the verse writes, “Taste and see that the Lord is good.” Those who keep the Torah and Mitzvot correctly are the ones who taste the taste of life. They are the ones who see and testify that the Lord is good, as our sages say, that He created the worlds to do good to His creations, since it is the conduct of The Good to do good.
Yet, those who have not yet tasted the taste of life in observing Torah and Mitzvot cannot feel and understand that the Lord is good, as our sages say, that when the Creator created us His sole purpose was to benefit us. Hence, we have no other counsel but to keep the Torah and Mitzvot correctly.
If someone is very generous to you with a loan, tzedoka, salary, or any other favor they do for you, by giving their time or possessions to help you out, do not sing this person’s praise in front of their partner or spouse. This can cause the listener to become angry over their partner’s excessive generosity on their “Cheshbon”. It can also cause harm to the person who did you the favor by embroiling him in Machlokes. The Chofetz Chaim (Rechilus 8:2) says that by saying these nice words you are oveir on Avak Rechilus. Just say thanks and move onward and upward.
“Zachor Eis Asher Asa Hashem L’Miriam BaDerech B’Tzaischem MiMitzrayim”
The Ramban and other Rishonim count, among the Mitzvos Aseh Min HaTorah, the mitzva of remembering and saying with your mouth each day what Hashem did to Miriam when she spoke about her brother Moshe. The Chofetz Chaim in Shaar Tvunah Perek 12 says that being Mikayem this mitzva can save you from the aveira of Lashon Hara. More than just saying the pasuk, says the Chofetz Chaim, one must think about the incident in order for it to have its intended effect.
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“Concerning the words in the Scriptures: ‘He is thy psalm and He is thy G-d,’ Rabbi Pinhas said the following: ‘He is your psalm and He also is your G-d. The prayer a man says, the prayer, in itself, is G-d. It is not as if you were asking something of a friend. He is different and your words are different. It is not so in prayer, for prayer unites the principles.’” He added that when a man thinks of his prayer as something separate from G-d, he is like a beggar receiving alms from the king, but when a man knows that prayer is G-d, he is like a prince taking whatever he needs from his father’s storehouse.*
*Tales of the Hasidim: Early Masters, by Martin Buber, p. 125 (B)