Loving Kindness Day 148 With a Prayer

 

Loving Kindness – SEFER AHAVAS CHESED – 3rd Elul, 5769

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Loving Kindness

30 Av, 5769 / August 20, 2009

Day 148 – With a Prayer

SEFER AHAVAS CHESED — Part III Chapter III

      A person setting out to visit someone who is sick might wonder what he should bring him. The Chofetz Chaim answers conclusively: Bring a prayer. The essence of bikur cholim is praying to Hashem to grant a complete recovery to the patient, and without that element, the mitzvah is incomplete. One should not, however, make his prayers apparent to the patient, who may interpret the act as an indication of the severity of his illness. Rather, one should pause momentarily while in conversation or while performing some task for the patient, and speak quietly from the heart, saying: “Hashem, please heal him/her.”

      To pray with the correct intensity, it is important to perceive the patient’s real situation. One should allow him to express his pain and fear. In addition, halachah dictates that one should not visit during the first three hours or the last three hours of the day. This rule relates directly to the efficacy of one’s prayers. If a person visits in the early part of the day, he will usually see the patient at his best and may not take the situation seriously enough to pray with the necessary fervor. On the other hand, in the last part of the day the visitor will usually see the patient at his worst. This may cause him to give up hope for a cure, and he may not pray with the belief that his prayers can be answered. Nevertheless, if one has no choice but to visit during the first or last three hours of the day, he may do so.

      When praying at the bedside of the sick, one can pray in any language. Because the Divine Presence rests at the head of the sick person, the words of prayer are being received directly. When one prays in another location, one should pray in Hebrew. Although Hashem obviously understands every language, the holy language fuels the prayers’ ascent. Because the words are not being uttered directly before the Divine Presence, they are in most cases being conveyed by Hashem’s messengers to the Heavens, a task more efficiently fulfilled when the prayers are in Hebrew. In any case, the sincerity of the prayer is more important than the language. A hollow prayer in Hebrew will not ascend faster than a heartfelt prayer in one’s native tongue.

      Prayers for the sick should not focus exclusively on the patient one is visiting. Instead, one prays for the recovery of the specific person among all the sick people of Israel. This turns the private prayer into a petition for the benefit of the entire nation, and gives it a vastly greater impact. It harnesses the merit of all those who are ill in Jewish communities throughout the world, and casts their lot together, creating an infinitely more powerful draw upon Hashem’s stores of mercy.

      When one prays for the sick on Shabbos, the wording is different: “Shabbos prohibits us from crying out and may a recovery come speedily.” Shabbos itself is a curative force. A person once posed a question to the Skverer Rebbe debating this proposition. In this person’s experience, illnesses seemed to have always worsened on Shabbos. The Rebbe explained that Hashem brought out the peak of the illness on Shabbos precisely because Shabbos carries the power to contain it. The person who experiences his worst symptoms on Shabbos is in a certain way fortunate; at his moment of crisis, he is in the hands of the Supreme Source of healing.

Step by Step

Whenever I visit a sick person, I will find an opportunity to say a short prayer on his behalf.

Taken from “Chofetz Chaim: Loving Kindness – Daily Lessons in the Power of Giving,” a project of Mesorah Publications and the Chofetz Chaim Heritage Foundation

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Daily Wisdom Portion of Kabbalah 3rd Elul 5769

 

Daily Wisdom Portion of Kabbalah – 3rd Elul, 5769

The Wisdom of Kabbalah

Quotes of prominent Kabbalists

“Every basis for physical success is the measure of the unity of society, and the basis for the success of intelligence and knowledge, is the separation and disagreement among them.

It therefore turns out, that when mankind succeeds in the matter of success of the bodies, meaning by bringing them to the degree of complete love for the fellow man, all the bodies in the world will unite into a single body and a single heart. And only then will all the happiness intended for humanity will be revealed in all its glory.”

Baal HaSulam, in “The Freedom.”

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Shmiras Haloshon Yomi Day 90 Misconceptions

 

Shmiras Haloshon Yomi – Learning the Laws of Proper Speech – 3rd Elul, 5769

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Shmiras Haloshon Yomi

24 Av, 5769 / August 14, 2009

Day 90 – Misconceptions

SEFER CHOFETZ CHAIM – Laws of Rechilus 1:4-5

        Just as, by definition, loshon hora is derogatory or harmful information which is true, so, too, is rechilus true information which can cause ill will. If the information is false, the transgression is even more severe. The Chofetz Chaim cites a series of verses (Mishlei 6:16-19) which state that a person who causes bad feelings between friends through rechilus is deemed a rasha (wicked person) and is despicable in the eyes of Hashem.

        It is a serious mistake to think that speaking rechilus to someone who is already an enemy of the subject is not forbidden. It is. Though animosity was already present, it is forbidden to deliver a report which will deepen the rift.

        The Chofetz Chaim warns us concerning another misconception, that it is not a sin to reveal information when pressured to do so. Consider this scenario: Your friend the contractor has just finished renovating a kitchen for your friend the homeowner. The homeowner was not completely satisfied with the job and he told this to some friends. Now you meet the contractor, and he says, “Someone happened to mention that you were present when Levi talked about the work I did at his house. What did he have to say?” If you hesitate before responding, he might say, “What’s the matter? Is he unhappy about something?”

        At this point, you are in a difficult situation. If you say, “He’s not unhappy,” you’re implying that he isn’t particularly happy, either. If you refuse to discuss it, the implication is also negative. The best strategy, if you can anticipate this type of situation, is to prepare a quick, simple answer that will preempt further conversation about that topic. You should not relate what Levi actually said, despite the pressure to do so.

        The Chofetz Chaim concludes that even if one’s father or rebbi (Torah teacher) asks him, “What did so-and-so say about me?” it is forbidden to say anything negative. Responding negatively to, “Did they like my shiur (Torah lecture)?” also falls under the category of rechilus. Here, too, one must delicately and respectfully avoid an accurate response.

A daily lesson from the Chofetz Chaim: A Daily Companion/Mesorah Publications.
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Since 1989, the Chofetz Chaim Heritage Foundation has successfully launched innovative methods of promoting the Torah’s wisdom on human relations and personal development. The foundation utilizes a vast array of effective communication tools including books, tapes, video seminars, telephone classes and a newsletter, designed to heighten one’s awareness of such essential values as judging others favorably, speaking with restraint and integrity, and acting with sensitivity and respect. The Chofetz Chaim Heritage Foundation’s programs reassert the Torah’s timeless recipe for building a world of compassion and harmony. The following opportunities for learning and personal growth are available through their offices.

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Today 3rd Elul 5769 Little Mitzvos

 

Today 3rd Elul, 5769 – “Little Mitzvos

Little Mitzvos Org

You may think, how does one little Mitzvo help . . .

Our times are calling out to us to do Teshuva, but it’s too hard for us to change our lives. Even when we try, we end up reverting back to nothing, everything as was. We MUST show HaShem that we are seeing the signs and that it means something to us.

In this way, when HaShem asks what did we did, we can reply “I took this on…”

You must not consider this “Little Mitzvos” as a replacement for the Shulchan Oruch – you must continue learning Halochos via mainstream Seforim and with Shiurim.

Bein Adam LeChavero

Family

Try to do an extra Chessed for your family every day (something small).

Source: Little Mitzvos Org

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Halacha Tshuvos 3rd Elul 5769

 

Halacha – Tshuvos – 3rd Elul, 5769

RevachL'Neshama

Rav Vosner – Queen Of The Jews?

The Chinuch (Mitzva 697) brings the Drasha of the Sifri that says we can only appoint a Melech and not a Malka, a King and not a Queen. However this is not so simple. With regard to King whose mother is born Jewish but whose father is not, the Rambam says he can be king, while Tosfos (Sotah 41 ) says he cannot become king unless both parents are born Jewish. The Noda B’Yehuda (CM 1) says that everyone agrees that this requirement is only for the initial appointment, but if the prospective king is the son of the King then a single Jewish parent will suffice.

The Minchas Chinuch says that similarly the p’sul of a woman to be King is only if she is a new appointment. However if her father was king, then she may rule as Queen after her father’s death. Rav Vosner in Shevet HaLevi (5:Kuntras HaMitzvos 67) disagrees. He gives a number of reasons why a woman cannot become the King/Queen. One reason is because she is not Chayav in all the Mitzvos like a man. A second reason is because the King must carry a Sefer Torah with him at all times and learn from it. Since a woman does not have a mitzva of Talmud Torah the Torah is telling us that only a man can rule.

Important Note: We try to convey the Tshuva to the best of our ability. We admit that our understanding may not be accurate. One should learn the tshuva to verify the accuracy of our interpretation. Please also understand that this Tshuva may not be the final word on this topic. One should consult a Rav before drawing any conclusions.

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Daily Reminder 3rd Elul 5769

 

Daily Reminder – 3rd Elul, 5769

RevachL'Neshama

Zechiras Miriam

Stop Loshon Hora
Stop Loshon Hora

Hit Delete And Poof It’s Gone

If you speak Lashon Hara, you have let the cat out of the bag and you cannot know how far it will spread. Putting it back in, is not so easy. Given people’s enthusiasm to believe it and pass it on, it is usually not even possible.

Being Mikabel Lashon Hara on the other hand, does have an easier fix. Although listening to Lashon Hara is an aveira if done willingly, the aveira of Kabalas Lashon Hara is only if you believe it (See Chofetz Chaim, Hilchos Lashon Hara – Klal 6). Therefore, says the Chofetz Chaim, if you were Mikabel Lashon Hara and you regret your aveira, you should decide in your heart that it is not true and reject this story from your mind. That will reverse the bad deed that you have done.

“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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The Daily Shmiras Ainayim Chizuk 3rd Elul 5769

 

The Daily Shmiras Ainayim Chizuk – 3rd Elul, 5769


GuardUrEyes


GuardUrEyes


A website for Jews struggling to maintain their moral purity in today’s world

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Why is Sexual purity so important in Judaism? Our sages called Shmiras Habris “Yesod”, meaning “Foundation”. The foundation of a building is “underground” and no one sees it, yet it holds up the entire building! Shmiras Habris is the hidden part of a Jew, it’s the real you. If the foundation of a Jew is weak, his whole spiritual structure is fragile and in grave danger of collapse. At guardureyes.com we are finally joining together, for ourselves and for all future generations, to strengthen the foundations of our people!

There is a lot of material out there on the subject of guarding the eyes and the Bris, but sometimes “too much” is overwhelming.
A little bit each day is just right, to be able to read, digest and apply it to our lives.

The booklet “Windows of the Soul” by R’ Zvi Miller of the Salant foundation, is a MAN’S PRACTICAL GUIDE TO MASTERING HIS EYES. (Right click the link and choose “Save Target/Link As” to save the PDF booklet to your computer). To subscribe to eMussar, the daily lessons of the Salant Foundation, send email to salant@netvision.net.il

The Zohar compares this world to a churning ocean and the body of a man to a ship in the sea. Therefore, man requires knowledge in order to guide himself on a straight course, avoiding mishap and losing his way. The ocean of life roars fearfully and continuously. The winds of challenge blow and the negative impulse rips about like a tornado with unimaginable force. All of life comprises great and endless tests, which can easily capsize the ship and sink it into the murky, nethermost depths.

Yirat Shamayim and the study of Mussar will prevent the body from sinking into the miry depths of desire and corrupt character traits.
(Rabbi Yitzchak Blazer, Ohr Yisrael)

Today’s Shmiras Ainayim Chizuk

Only true

We discussed the day before yesterday how the Yetzer Hara’s main strength comes from “Dimyon – imagination” and how in reality it is all hot air. It follows then, that by using our minds to internalize this truth we could conquer the Yetzer Hara without needing to wage major battles in our hearts. This is indeed true. However, it is only true if we guard our eyes carefully. Why? Because once the eyes start to see, the heart begins to lust and the battle “switches over” from being in the mind to being a much more difficult battle of the heart.

Therefore, we must make boundaries for ourselves if we are to succeed. We need to learn from past slips and accept upon ourselves to stop behaviors that cause the heart to become aroused. For some examples; to install a strong filter, to stop watching movies (see this article), to stop flipping through non-Jewish magazines and newspapers, to trying hard to guard our eyes in the street, etc… In other words, we must make boundaries for ourselves if we are to make any progress. Otherwise, no matter how “smart” we think we are and no matter how much we are convinced of the folly of these desires in a “logical” way, the heart will continue to wage a merciless battle against our minds. Only when we succeed in guarding our eyes properly can the battle remain exclusively in the realm of the mind, and this makes it indeed much easier to win!

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