Today’s eMussar Lesson 30th Tishrei, 5771

Todays eMussar Lesson

eMussar – The Wisdom of Personal Growth
A daily inspirational, concise idea, with a suggested action.

A Heart of Love and Joy

THE AGADAH OF THE TALMUD

Rabbi Akiva said, “‘Love your friend as you love yourself’ – is the primary axiomatic principle of the Torah.” This ideal implies that there should be an equivalency between the love we have for others and the love we have for ourselves. Meaning, just as we want the best for ourselves, we should want the best for others.

If we don’t give with the complete love within our hearts, we are not quite fulfilling the principle. Therefore, we should give our friends everything in our capacity, without holding back any benefit that is within our power to give. For instance, we should share with them our wisdom, financial resources, time, and give them honor, etc.

Avraham Avinu was a master of loving others. Yet, if someone were to suggest to us that we should wait outside our house and find guests to invite for a meal, we would say, “I am not on that level.” However, if we fully accept the value system of the Torah, we will realize that there should be no bars on our hearts.

Conducting ourselves in the kind ways of Avraham is the true and ultimate pleasure. Meaning, when we open up all the chambers of love that reside within our hearts, we will discover our true selves. The pursuit of unbounded loving-kindness and good deeds will bring us true and lasting joy. By reaching out to others and giving them our “all,” we will experience a taste of the Garden of Eden.
[Based on Da’as Torah of Rav Yerucham]

TODAY: Allow yourself the joy of awakening the Avraham Avinu within you.

By Rabbi Zvi Miller.

New Blog Post: TESHUVAH: THE MOVIE IN MY MIND One Day of Teshuva for A Year of Aveiras

Daily eMussar

Salant Foundation’s eMussar(sm) gives you a piece of practical wisdom and perspective for your daily life…in just 3 or 4 minutes a day!

These practical character enhancement and personal growth tools stay impact your mind and your character….and you’ll likely have a chance to try out these inspiring insights and lessons almost every day.

Just so you know, “mussar” is the traditional name for the teaching of character development and personal growth. And Salant Foundation’s eMussar delivers this perspective to you every day via e-mail.

It’s FREE…so why not sign up now, please send email to salant@netvision.net.il or to salantorg@gmail.com

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Yedidah Cohen’s talks on Rabbi Ashlag’s Kabbalah, 30th Tishrei, 5771

Where I am and where I’d like to be

 
The body and the soul have three main channels to them,according to the way the Divine channels, the Sephirot, line up. These are the right hand line, the left hand line, and the middle line. Our consciousness also lines up similarly, the right hand line being the consciousness of wholeness and perfection, that all is just as it should be, and the left hand line being the consciousness of where I really am. Which consciousness should I focus on? Which one is more real?
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Today’s eMussar Lesson 29th Tishrei, 5771

Todays eMussar Lesson

eMussar – The Wisdom of Personal Growth
A daily inspirational, concise idea, with a suggested action.

The Ultimate Enterprise

THE PSALMS OF KING DAVID\8:2

“HaShem, our G-d, how mighty is Your Name over all the earth; You place Your glory upon the heavens.”

The royal ministers were traveling to the palace with the glorious crown that was commissioned for the coronation of the new king. The elegant crown sparkled with gold and diamonds. As they approached the city gates, the ministers came upon some peasants who were plowing a field.

The ministers showed the crown to the peasants, who were amazed by the beauty of the crown. Then one of the ministers asked the peasants if they would trade their plow for the crown.

“The crown is beautiful but if we traded away our plows we would be unable to farm the land,” claimed one of the peasants.

“You are not thinking clearly,” said the minister. “If you possessed this crown you could sell it for millions of dollars. You could buy these fields and hire your own workers!”
The crown in the story represents the invaluable Torah. It is worth it for us “to trade some of our time” during the day for the precious gift of Torah study. The holiness, light, and eternal benefit that we receive from the Torah is worth far more than all the gold and gems in the world.

Even the angels desire the Torah, and proclaim, “You place Your glory upon the heavens.” For the words of Torah are set like radiant diamonds on HaShem’s Crown. Through the words of Torah HaShem created heaven and earth. May we embrace the Torah and connect to LIFE, itself.
[Based on the parables of the Chofetz Chaim]

TODAY: Set aside some time each day to study the holy Torah — and enjoy the light.

By Rabbi Zvi Miller.

New Blog Post: TESHUVAH: THE MOVIE IN MY MIND One Day of Teshuva for A Year of Aveiras

Daily eMussar

Salant Foundation’s eMussar(sm) gives you a piece of practical wisdom and perspective for your daily life…in just 3 or 4 minutes a day!

These practical character enhancement and personal growth tools stay impact your mind and your character….and you’ll likely have a chance to try out these inspiring insights and lessons almost every day.

Just so you know, “mussar” is the traditional name for the teaching of character development and personal growth. And Salant Foundation’s eMussar delivers this perspective to you every day via e-mail.

It’s FREE…so why not sign up now, please send email to salant@netvision.net.il or to salantorg@gmail.com

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eMussar” Copyright © 2010 by Rabbi Zvi Miller
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Yedidah Cohen’s talks on Rabbi Ashlag’s Kabbalah, 29th Tishrei, 5771

Loving G-d talk 2:
Loving G-d as Noah did or as Abraham did

 
Noah walked with G-d; that is he needed G-d’s support in order to come to love the One. But Abraham walked on ahead, says the Bible, and was whole. Whole in love. What does it mean for us today to love G-d in the way that Noah, the father of humanity did, or as Abraham did?
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Today’s eMussar Lesson 28th Tishrei, 5771

Todays eMussar Lesson

eMussar – The Wisdom of Personal Growth
A daily inspirational, concise idea, with a suggested action.

Bring Light and Joy to Your Soul

PIRKEI AVOS\THE ETHICS OF OUR FATHERS 2:16

Rabbi Yehoshua said, A “bad” eye, the negative impulse, and hatred removes a person from the world.

Man stands at the gateway between the physical world and the spiritual world. The only creation composed of both a material element and a holy soul; he lives in both worlds simultaneously.

The purpose of man’s existence is to unite these two worlds. That is, to draw down holiness from the spiritual world into this world. We have the opportunity to sanctify this earthly realm, so that it becomes one with the holy world.

Since we are at the juncture we have the unique capability to access holiness. Yet, how do we bring down the sanctity from the higher worlds to the lower world?

When we perform Mitzvoth, we draw holiness, delight, and splendor upon our souls. The more Mitzvoth we perform, the more we elevate our lives. Ultimately, we reach a level of holiness in this world that is relatively equivalent to the holiness of Gan Eden!

However, if a person pursues negative thoughts and deeds, the holy light of Gan Eden does not shine on his soul. Therefore, he does not experience the sanctity of Gan Eden in this physical world.

May we pursue abundant Mitzvoth so that we fill our souls with holiness, light, beauty, and peace.
[Based on the commentary of Rav Nachman to Pirkei Avos]

TODAY: When you do a Mitzvah – heighten your awareness that you are drawing light and holiness upon your soul.

By Rabbi Zvi Miller.

New Blog Post: TESHUVAH: THE MOVIE IN MY MIND One Day of Teshuva for A Year of Aveiras

Daily eMussar

Salant Foundation’s eMussar(sm) gives you a piece of practical wisdom and perspective for your daily life…in just 3 or 4 minutes a day!

These practical character enhancement and personal growth tools stay impact your mind and your character….and you’ll likely have a chance to try out these inspiring insights and lessons almost every day.

Just so you know, “mussar” is the traditional name for the teaching of character development and personal growth. And Salant Foundation’s eMussar delivers this perspective to you every day via e-mail.

It’s FREE…so why not sign up now, please send email to salant@netvision.net.il or to salantorg@gmail.com

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eMussar” Copyright © 2010 by Rabbi Zvi Miller
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Yedidah Cohen’s talks on Rabbi Ashlag’s Kabbalah, 28th Tishrei, 5771

Loving G-d: the second root mitzvah

 
Is it at all possible? What does love mean? Can one command a feeling? These are questions we start to address as we learn the Zohar on the second commandment, that of loving G-d..
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Today’s eMussar Lesson 27th Tishrei, 5771

Todays eMussar Lesson

eMussar – The Wisdom of Personal Growth
A daily inspirational, concise idea, with a suggested action.

Focus on the Good

PARSHA INSIGHTS\THE SAGES OF MUSSAR

After being saved from the great flood, Noah, uncharacteristically, drank wine and became intoxicated. Due to his drunken state, he fell asleep when he was unclothed. His son, Cham, saw that his father was uncovered and disgraced Noah.

Shem and Yafes, Noah’s other sons, heard of Noah’s predicament, and attended to their father with great honor. Each son took the corner of a blanket and walked backwards, covering their father, with their eyes turned away from Noah’s nakedness.

This incident reveals the base nature of Cham, in contrast to the dignified nature of Shem and Yafes. Cham fell to one of the pitfalls of human nature, i.e., judging and censuring others for their flaws. When he noticed a blemish in his father, he dismissed all of his numerous good qualities and classified him as a “lowly drunkard.”

In contradistinction to Cham’s pitiful reaction, the sterling character of Shem and Yafes prompted them to act in a noble manner. Not only did they not belittle their father’s uncomplimentary behavior, they turned their face away to avoid looking upon Noah’s shame. Even more, they immediately took action to “cover up” his disgrace.

The exemplary conduct of Shem and Yafes illuminates the high path of interpersonal relationships. Specifically, they committed themselves to always seeing the good in others, NEVER giving credence to negative spots.

In addition, they made noble efforts to “cover over” the flaws of others – crowning their fellow with redemption, dignity, and peace. May we learn from their goodly ways to uplift ourselves and all of those with whom we are associated.

TODAY: Focus on seeing a full measure of GOOD – in yourself – and others.

By Rabbi Zvi Miller.

New Blog Post: TESHUVAH: THE MOVIE IN MY MIND One Day of Teshuva for A Year of Aveiras

Daily eMussar

Salant Foundation’s eMussar(sm) gives you a piece of practical wisdom and perspective for your daily life…in just 3 or 4 minutes a day!

These practical character enhancement and personal growth tools stay impact your mind and your character….and you’ll likely have a chance to try out these inspiring insights and lessons almost every day.

Just so you know, “mussar” is the traditional name for the teaching of character development and personal growth. And Salant Foundation’s eMussar delivers this perspective to you every day via e-mail.

It’s FREE…so why not sign up now, please send email to salant@netvision.net.il or to salantorg@gmail.com

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Todays eMussar Lesson 15th Tishrei, 5771

Todays eMussar Lesson

eMussar – The Wisdom of Personal Growth
A daily inspirational, concise idea, with a suggested action.

Special Succus Issue!

THE FESTIVALOF SUKKOS

The Festival of Sukkos celebrates the “Time of Our Rejoicing.” This rejoicing refers to the forty years that we dwelt in the desert surrounded – and protected – by the “Clouds of Glory.”

Through these “Clouds of Glory,” HaShem illuminated His light and holiness upon the People of Israel. HaShem dwelt among His nation and His splendorous Presence filled every soul with the highest spiritual delight, i.e., “The Time of Our Rejoicing.”

Each year, during the Festival of Sukkos, HaShem reveals the same holy illumination that shone upon us through the “Clouds of Glory.” As we sit in our Sukkah, the schach (the Sukkah covering,) recreates the Clouds of Glory. The Presence of HaShem dwells amongst us, just as he dwelt amongst the People of Israel in the desert.

May we rejoice in the splendor of HaShem that illuminates upon us in our Sukkah, just as we rejoiced in His presence that emanated from the “Clouds of Glory” when we dwelt in the desert!
[Based on Derech HaShem of the Ramchal]

TODAY: When you sit in the Sukkah rejoice – knowing that HaShem is shining His light upon your soul.

Chag Sameach to all our eMussar subscribers.

By Rabbi Zvi Miller.

New Blog Post: TESHUVAH: THE MOVIE IN MY MIND One Day of Teshuva for A Year of Aveiras

Daily eMussar

Salant Foundation’s eMussar(sm) gives you a piece of practical wisdom and perspective for your daily life…in just 3 or 4 minutes a day!

These practical character enhancement and personal growth tools stay impact your mind and your character….and you’ll likely have a chance to try out these inspiring insights and lessons almost every day.

Just so you know, “mussar” is the traditional name for the teaching of character development and personal growth. And Salant Foundation’s eMussar delivers this perspective to you every day via e-mail.

It’s FREE…so why not sign up now, please send email to salant@netvision.net.il or to salantorg@gmail.com

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Todays eMussar Lesson 14th Tishrei, 5771

Todays eMussar Lesson

eMussar – The Wisdom of Personal Growth
A daily inspirational, concise idea, with a suggested action.

A Song of Trust and Faith

THE FAITH AND TRUST OF PSALMS____31:24-25_

“Love HaShem, all his devoted ones; HaShem protects the faithful. Strengthen your faith and He will encourage you, all who trust in HaShem.”

When HaShem miraculously saved King David from the clutches of his enemy, he sang a song of thanks to HaShem. He concluded his praise with a call to the devoted servants of HaShem, “Love HaShem, all his devoted ones.” What is the relevancy of instructing others to love HaShem at the time of expressing gratitude to HaShem for his own deliverance?

King David’s profound gratitude and excitement at the time of redemption inspired him to increase the love of HaShem in the world, saying to the devoted servants of HaShem, Now that you have seen how HaShem has saved me; you will be inspired to love HaShem. Why? Because through my miraculous salvation, HaShem has revealed to all mankind that he protects the faithful – saving them from the hands of their arrogant adversaries.

No matter how dire the situation, those who trust in HaShem always can find inner peace and hope. They can rest at night, with full confidence knowing that come morning, HaShem will release them from their troubles. Even more, if they will make a small effort to strengthen their faith in HaShem, then, HaShem, Himself, will send them encouragement, confidence, and moral support, i.e., Strengthen your faith and He will encourage you, all who trust in HaShem.

Absolute faith – and the tranquility that it instills deep in the spirit- is the ultimate healing of the soul. King David illuminates the path to faith by proclaiming the great wonders that HaShem performed for him. When the “devoted ones” learn of HaShem’s kindness to David their faith in HaShem will be revitalized and the love of HaShem will fill their heart. May the awareness of the miracles that HaShem has performed for us awaken the love of HaShem within our hearts.
[Based on the commentary of the Radak to Tehillim]

TODAY: Reflect on the wonders that HaShem has performed for King David and feel completely confident in HaShem’s protection.

By Rabbi Zvi Miller.

New Blog Post: TESHUVAH: THE MOVIE IN MY MIND One Day of Teshuva for A Year of Aveiras

Daily eMussar

Salant Foundation’s eMussar(sm) gives you a piece of practical wisdom and perspective for your daily life…in just 3 or 4 minutes a day!

These practical character enhancement and personal growth tools stay impact your mind and your character….and you’ll likely have a chance to try out these inspiring insights and lessons almost every day.

Just so you know, “mussar” is the traditional name for the teaching of character development and personal growth. And Salant Foundation’s eMussar delivers this perspective to you every day via e-mail.

It’s FREE…so why not sign up now, please send email to salant@netvision.net.il or to salantorg@gmail.com

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Source: My Email Subscription

eMussar” Copyright © 2010 by Rabbi Zvi Miller
and the Salant Foundation

Day Thirty – SUMMATION – 12th Tishrei, 5771

Todays eMussar Lesson

eMussar – The Wisdom of Personal Growth
A daily inspirational, concise idea, with a suggested action.

DAY THIRTY:
“SUMMATION”

We have completed the path of preparation for repentance on Yom Kippur. Now we are ready to make a plan to study Mussar for the rest of the year.

The first task is to establish daily periods of Mussar study. These sessions should be about 15-20 minutes. It is helpful to connect them to an already existing habit. For instance, you may schedule your Mussar session before or after one of the daily prayer services or perhaps before or after one of your meals. Some people prefer to study Mussar as soon as they arise in the morning while others study it before they go to sleep at night. There is no standard time; rather every person must devise a plan that is most efficient for them.

A classic and successful method entails selecting a Mussar passage that relates to the aspect of growth that one wants to improve. The passage should be verbalized in order to arouse one’s emotions so that the Mussar will be internalized. Forming a group that meets on a regular basis to learn Mussar together is highly recommended. The synergy of the group helps to strengthen Mussar concepts among the group as well as in the individuals.

The incremental approach, a little bit each day, is the best way to successfully absorb Mussar and transform oneself. If you miss a day do not fret-just continue the next day. Eventually the study of Mussar will become a beloved routine, bringing you endless joy, inspiration, fulfillment, and holiness.

Select a Mussar book, such as: The Path of the Just, The Ways of the Righteous, Duties of the Heart, Tomer Devorah, and Ohr Yisrael. There are many other books and resources for you to choose from. For instance, The Salant Foundation publishes online, a daily, concise Mussar lesson, culled from a wide variety of sources.

To join the emussar list (free), or for any questions that you might have regarding Mussar, send an email to: miler23@netvision.net.il or call 786- 319 -4582.

May your daily study of Mussar evoke abundant Heavenly mercy for you and all Klal Yisrael. Together may we be inscribed in The Book of Life!

Implementation: Choose a Mussar book and make a daily schedule for study-and realize that by doing so you are giving Life to Your Soul.

In his conduct, he has injected his soul with a surefire remedy. Mussar is life itself! In light of this, HaShem will inscribe his name in The Book of Life!

Implementation: You are learning Mussar-and as you are learning–visualize your name being inscribed in The Book of Life.

By Rabbi Zvi Miller.

Daily eMussar

Salant Foundation’s eMussar(sm) gives you a piece of practical wisdom and perspective for your daily life…in just 3 or 4 minutes a day!

These practical character enhancement and personal growth tools stay impact your mind and your character….and you’ll likely have a chance to try out these inspiring insights and lessons almost every day.

Just so you know, “mussar” is the traditional name for the teaching of character development and personal growth. And Salant Foundation’s eMussar delivers this perspective to you every day via e-mail.

It’s FREE…so why not sign up now, please send email to salant@netvision.net.il or to salantorg@gmail.com

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eMussar” Copyright © 2010 by Rabbi Zvi Miller
and the Salant Foundation

Todays eMussar Lesson 12th Tishrei, 5771

Todays eMussar Lesson

eMussar – The Wisdom of Personal Growth
A daily inspirational, concise idea, with a suggested action.

True Love

THE AGADAH OF THE TALMUD

Rabbi Akiva taught that the verse, “Love your friend, like you love yourself,” is the primary axiomatic principle of the Torah. That is, love of others is the root of the Torah, from which all of its branches extend. Love of our fellow man is the core that powers every Mitzvah and its fulfillment.

The Alter of Kelm, Rabbi Simcha Zissel, offers a beautiful explanation of this verse. The verse tells us to “Love your friend, like you love yourself.” Therefore, in order to love others, you must love them in the same way that “you love yourself.”

A person naturally loves himself. He doesn’t need the Torah to command him to love himself. Just as we naturally love ourselves, the Torah instructs us to love others “naturally.” That is, he should not love them only because the Torah commands us to love them. No one wants to be “loved” by order of the Torah, because forced love is not sincere love.

Therefore, loving others is the one Mitzvah that should not be performed as “a Mitzvah.” Meaning we shouldn’t say, I love him because the Torah commands me to love him.” Rather, just as we automatically love ourselves, we should see the good in our friends and love them automatically – and naturally.

TODAY: Fulfill the axiomatic principle of the Torah by loving others – naturally.

By Rabbi Zvi Miller.

New Blog Post: TESHUVAH: THE MOVIE IN MY MIND One Day of Teshuva for A Year of Aveiras

Daily eMussar

Salant Foundation’s eMussar(sm) gives you a piece of practical wisdom and perspective for your daily life…in just 3 or 4 minutes a day!

These practical character enhancement and personal growth tools stay impact your mind and your character….and you’ll likely have a chance to try out these inspiring insights and lessons almost every day.

Just so you know, “mussar” is the traditional name for the teaching of character development and personal growth. And Salant Foundation’s eMussar delivers this perspective to you every day via e-mail.

It’s FREE…so why not sign up now, please send email to salant@netvision.net.il or to salantorg@gmail.com

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Source: My Email Subscription

eMussar” Copyright © 2010 by Rabbi Zvi Miller
and the Salant Foundation

Special Yom Kippur Issue 9th Tishrei, 5771

Todays eMussar Lesson

eMussar – The Wisdom of Personal Growth
A daily inspirational, concise idea, with a suggested action.

September 17, 2010

Teshuva: The Movie in My Mind

BY JUNE SILNY

The lights dim, there is no music, there is no sound. I stand as I watch the movie in front of me…. the movie in my mind. The sun rises and the day is new. The morning light comes shining through the colored glass windows. The cast is numerous. There are so many people standing around me, encircling me as if I am held captive by a tribe of natives in the jungle. I stand in the center and slowly turn- looking at them, one by one. Some are in the background that appear as a blur. But mostly, all I can see are the faces of those closest to me, close to my heart… the ones I love. At first glance, I see their precious smile. But, as I look closer, I catch a glimpse of hurt in their eyes. All I can think of is… what I did. Are they remembering those words that slipped out of my mouth before I could stop them? Did the advice of my heart turn to criticism- coming through in harsh words of judgment- ending up crushing their spirit? I can’t remember if I told them know how much I love them. I think I did, but I’m not really sure. I know I was busy and may have put them aside. Maybe I was too consumed with myself. Was I thinking only of “me” when I should have been thinking of them? As I look back, it all looks so different from here.

Suddenly, a cyclonic wind comes out of nowhere. My vision is blurred from the sand and dirt of the blowing wind. As I gain clarity, I can see the letters of the aleph beis flying wildly through the air. My arms are flailing like the wings of a baby bird taking its first flight as I try to grab them. The strangest feeling comes over me. It’s as if I can feel the letters coming from inside of me. The aleph beis- all the letters- the spiritual molecules of my soul.

Then, it came to me… I know what’s happening! I realized what caused this! I sinned with the words that came from my tongue! I spoke lashon hara. I sinned using those holy letters. All the letters are escaping, the very holiness of my Jewish soul. Then, it begins… I hear the steady beating sound of a drum. Then I realize, it’s the sound of my own fist beating my chest- slow and solid- I hear the percussion of the rhythm- Ashamnu, Bagadnu, Gazalnu, Dibarnu Dofi….

With each beat comes a letter of the aleph beis…
א- Ashamnu– I know that I have sinned, I now recognize my sin;
ב- Bagadnu– I have betrayed by being ungrateful. I didn’t repay The One who has given me so much;
ג- Gazalnu– I have stolen something that cannot be touched with the hand but only felt with the heart;
ד- Dibarnu Dofi– I have misused the precious gift of speech that was given to me for Torah and mitzvot.

Each letter- all of them, from א to ת- one by one, I am able to grasp them as they fly by; I have caused perversion, wickedness, extortion, false accusations, evil counsel, deceit, scorn, rebellion, provoked and I turned away. I have been perverse, deliberate and unprovoked, persecuted and been obstinate, wicked and corrupt. I have strayed from my holy path by letting the yetzer hara take me away from it. Saddest of all- I have misused the blessing of free will- the opportunity to be close to Hashem. How could I, when I had the chance to be close, and yet I chose to move away in the other direction?

I struggle to grasp each letter as it circles overhead. The thoughts of these sins can overwhelm me. I must navigate my way through so that I can stay on the holy path. I must keep my eyes up while my head is bowed down.

My heart is pounding in parallel beats to the sounds on my chest- the metronome of my heart- I close my eyes and listen. In an instant, four animals appear- a leopard, an eagle, a deer and a lion. They appear to tell me something, there is a message in their presence. They are the symbols of how I should be.
I carefully examine the traits of each one…
Bold as a leopard, light as an eagle, swift as a deer, strong as a lion.
Bold as a leopard
I must move myself forward with the boldness of a leopard; to have the will, the desire, motivation and excitement to allow me to take the leap.
Light as an eagle
Large, powerful, heavy and broad winged it flies through the air -light as a feather, carrying its heavy load as if it is weightless.
Swift as a deer
With its lithe, compact body and long, powerful legs it is able to swiftly jump over and through the most rugged terrain.
STRONG AS A LION
The strongest of all species, the ruler of the animal kingdom, symbol of the Holy City. I know there is a lion in me.

Thoughts of the animals get me through my sins; keeping me safe, far away from my evil inclination, focused and grounded as I continue to travel straight on the directed path.

The winds have subsided. A calm comes over me.
Slowly, I can feel myself coming together again. With each pound on my chest, I can feel the letters return to their home, right where they belong inside my soul. All the atoms and molecules coming together- making me whole and holy again.

In the background, I hear a new sound, a gentle chant. Listening closer, I can make out the words…..
she’ha-kol niheye bidvoro. The sounds are soothing and bring me peace. Again, I hear it…
she-ha-kol niheye bidvoroEverything that comes into the world is from the word of HaShem.
As long as I keep chanting these holy words, I know my sins will be forgiven. If I repeat these words every time I eat or drink, I know I will be able to free myself. I know HaShem wants me to come closer- I know He is there for me- with His endless kindness, compassion and mercy. If I know everything is from Him and remind myself of that daily-then, dovek (cleaving) I will be.

The day is drawing to a close. The afternoon light has changed direction. The colored glass from above is shining down, lighting the ground below. Standing tall and straight, empty of food and physical distractions, feeling like an angel- I look up and can feel the waters from Shemayim coming down washing over me…. HaShem is putting me in His mikveh. Even if I committed aveiras, I know HaShem will forgive me, rectify me and purify me now on this Holiest of Days. HASHEM IS MY MIKVEH!

The sun is setting. Night draws near.
HASHEM, HASHEM- Compassionate and Gracious,
Slow to Anger and Abundant in Kindness and Truth,
Preserver of kindness for thousands,
Forgiver of iniquity, willful sin and error
THE ONE WHO CLEANSES.

Next year in Jerusalem!

May we all be cleansed in HaShem’s mikveh with blessings for the new year!
May we be written and sealed in the Book of Life for a good year!
Wishing you a meaningful, easy fast.

* This was based on a class given by Rabbi Zvi Miller for the Stepping Stones Elul Course.

For further information about SF Vaads, courses and classes:

Rabbi Zvi Miller, Dean of the Salant Foundation
salantorg@gmail.com
T 786 427 3364

June Silny, International SF Vaad Chairman
mussarvaad@gmail.com
T 305 773 1724

Hassid bar

Daily eMussar

Salant Foundation’s eMussar(sm) gives you a piece of practical wisdom and perspective for your daily life…in just 3 or 4 minutes a day!

These practical character enhancement and personal growth tools stay impact your mind and your character….and you’ll likely have a chance to try out these inspiring insights and lessons almost every day.

Just so you know, “mussar” is the traditional name for the teaching of character development and personal growth. And Salant Foundation’s eMussar delivers this perspective to you every day via e-mail.

It’s FREE…so why not sign up now, please send email to salant@netvision.net.il or to salantorg@gmail.com

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eMussar” Copyright © 2010 by Rabbi Zvi Miller
and the Salant Foundation

Todays eMussar Lesson 9th Tishrei, 5771

Todays eMussar Lesson

eMussar – The Wisdom of Personal Growth
A daily inspirational, concise idea, with a suggested action.

Standing Before the King

THE WISDOM OF THE TALMUD (BRACHOS 32B)

Once, a pious Jewish man was praying by the side of the road. A non-Jewish royal minister passed and greeted the man. However, the man, who was immersed in prayer, did not respond to the minister. The minister waited for him to complete his prayer and then proclaimed, “You fool! Doesn’t it say in your Torah, “Just protect your soul…” How dare you not return my greeting! What is to stop me from cutting off your head?”

“Please give me a minute to explain,” said the Jewish man. “Imagine that you were speaking to the king. As you are standing before the king, your friend passes by and greets you. Tell me, would you respond?”

“Certainly not,” answered the minister. “And if you would respond what would happen?” asked the Jewish man. “They would behead me with a sword,” replied the minister.

“We can draw the following logical conclusion from your own words,” asserted the Jewish man. “If you conduct yourself in this manner when conversing with an earthly king, who is here today and gone tomorrow; how much more so is it correct for me not to respond to a greeting, when praying before the King of Kings, the Holy One, Who is everlasting.
The minister immediately accepted the import of the Jewish man’s words and sent him home in peace.

Throughout the ages, the belief in G-d, the Creator of Heaven and earth, has been the incontrovertible cornerstone of our faith. In the face of every conceivable threat, the people of Israel have loyally upheld their faith. Even more, our faith in HaShem endures despite the unspeakable persecutions that we have suffered throughout our exile.

What makes us so steadfast in our conviction? Our sages of Mussar reveal that our deep-seated faith issues from a “Prophetic spirit” that rests in the heart of every Jewish person. Meaning, HaShem, in His compassion, has bestowed upon us the most precious gift – He has indelibly etched pure and lasting faith into our souls.

May our phenomenal ‘gift of faith,’ awaken the merit for us to experience an immediate and miraculous redemption.

TODAY: When you pray, remember that you are standing in front of the Eternal One, the King of Kings.

By Rabbi Zvi Miller.

New Blog Post: TESHUVAH: THE MOVIE IN MY MIND One Day of Teshuva for A Year of Aveiras

Hassid bar

Daily eMussar

Salant Foundation’s eMussar(sm) gives you a piece of practical wisdom and perspective for your daily life…in just 3 or 4 minutes a day!

These practical character enhancement and personal growth tools stay impact your mind and your character….and you’ll likely have a chance to try out these inspiring insights and lessons almost every day.

Just so you know, “mussar” is the traditional name for the teaching of character development and personal growth. And Salant Foundation’s eMussar delivers this perspective to you every day via e-mail.

It’s FREE…so why not sign up now, please send email to salant@netvision.net.il or to salantorg@gmail.com

Salant Foundationbanner

Source: My Email Subscription

eMussar” Copyright © 2010 by Rabbi Zvi Miller
and the Salant Foundation

Day Twenty Nine – The Book of Life 8th Tishrei, 5771

Todays eMussar Lesson

eMussar – The Wisdom of Personal Growth
A daily inspirational, concise idea, with a suggested action.

DAY TWENTY-NINE:
“THE BOOK OF LIFE”

“If a person desires to merit a virtuous life, he must act in a fair and upright fashion, and amass mitzvos and good deeds in order to counterbalance his many transgressions.
Yet, what can a person do, when he must face life’s vagaries each and every day?

It requires just a simple skill which involves neither clarity of mind nor a lengthy commitment. Let him repeat the Mussar teachings of Chazal several times, until the hispailus (emotional arousal) is awakened in his soul. (And even if it does not initially stir him to improve his ways, he is still considered as being inscribed in the Book of Life!) Since he is alive with feeling [the desire to change], he fulfills the verse (Koheles 9:4): “For he who is attached to all the living has hope,” and he is numbered amongst those who repent.”
(Ohr Yisrael, Letter 30, page 336-337)

Why should the study of Mussar, in and of itself, grant merit for a person to be inscribed in The Book of Life, even if he did not improve his actions?

If one endeavors to improve his conduct and character by virtue of Mussar study, even if he does not change his ways-he has initiated a dependable healing process within his soul. His effort to inculcate Mussar-and the internal impressions that resonate within his subconscious-are fully acknowledged by Heaven. Although he may not yet see the difference, his nature is continuously changing and improving-with the same certainty that an impression is made when water continuously flows over rock.

Moreover, while the curative power of any other medicine is not absolute i.e. maybe it will heal, maybe it will not-the curative powers of Mussar are absolute and effective. What’s more, the healing power of Mussar not only heals the soul, it actually imparts life, as King Solomon declared (Mishlei 4:13): “Strengthen your grasp on Mussar, do not weaken your grip; protect it, for Mussar is your life.”

Therefore, if a person studies Mussar, whether or not there is an obvious change in his conduct, he has injected his soul with a surefire remedy. Mussar is life itself! In light of this, HaShem will inscribe his name in The Book of Life!

Implementation: You are learning Mussar-and as you are learning–visualize your name being inscribed in The Book of Life.

By Rabbi Zvi Miller.

Hassid bar

Daily eMussar

Salant Foundation’s eMussar(sm) gives you a piece of practical wisdom and perspective for your daily life…in just 3 or 4 minutes a day!

These practical character enhancement and personal growth tools stay impact your mind and your character….and you’ll likely have a chance to try out these inspiring insights and lessons almost every day.

Just so you know, “mussar” is the traditional name for the teaching of character development and personal growth. And Salant Foundation’s eMussar delivers this perspective to you every day via e-mail.

It’s FREE…so why not sign up now, please send email to salant@netvision.net.il or to salantorg@gmail.com

Salant Foundationbanner

Source: My Email Subscription

eMussar” Copyright © 2010 by Rabbi Zvi Miller
and the Salant Foundation

Todays eMussar Lesson 8th Tishrei, 5771

Todays eMussar Lesson

eMussar – The Wisdom of Personal Growth
A daily inspirational, concise idea, with a suggested action.

A Prescrption for Spiritual Survival

FAITH AND TRUST IN HASHEM

The prophet, Habakkuk, condensed the entire Torah into one principle, “The righteous live by virtue of their faith in HaShem.”

Yet, how can the entire Torah – the Chumash, Talmud, Midrash, etc. – be represented by one simple axiom?

Shimon was onboard a ship that was caught in a great storm. As powerful winds and crashing waves pounded the ship, Shimon was thrown overboard into the churning sea. As he fought for his life, he noticed a tree growing far away from him. Shimon swam with all of his strength towards the tree. Finally, he grasped a branch of the tree and held on for dear life.

The people of our generation are challenged by great spiritual tests and trials. “Winds” of unimaginable force and “tremendous waves” bombard us from every side. Yet, HaShem has sent us a lifesaving message, through Habakkuk, “The righteous live by the virtue of their faith in HaShem.”

The tree in the parable represents the Torah – the Tree of Life. Trust in HaShem is the very root of the Torah. Just as Shimon grasped the branch in order to survive, so too, if we grasp the branch of TRUST IN HASHEM we will survive the great tests of life.

When we grasp the branch of Trust in HaShem, we connect to HaShem and Torah – the true lifeline of our souls!
[Based on the writings of the Chofetz Chaim]

TODAY: Grasp the branch of trust in HaShem, and connect to eternal life!

By Rabbi Zvi Miller.

New Blog Post: SCALES OF JUSTICE

Hassid bar

Daily eMussar

Salant Foundation’s eMussar(sm) gives you a piece of practical wisdom and perspective for your daily life…in just 3 or 4 minutes a day!

These practical character enhancement and personal growth tools stay impact your mind and your character….and you’ll likely have a chance to try out these inspiring insights and lessons almost every day.

Just so you know, “mussar” is the traditional name for the teaching of character development and personal growth. And Salant Foundation’s eMussar delivers this perspective to you every day via e-mail.

It’s FREE…so why not sign up now, please send email to salant@netvision.net.il or to salantorg@gmail.com

Salant Foundationbanner

Source: My Email Subscription

eMussar” Copyright © 2010 by Rabbi Zvi Miller
and the Salant Foundation

Day Twenty Eight – Divine Assistance 7th Tishrei, 5771

Todays eMussar Lesson

eMussar – The Wisdom of Personal Growth
A daily inspirational, concise idea, with a suggested action.

DAY TWENTY-EIGHT:
“DIVINE ASSISTANCE”

“In turn, this will bring upon him the following blessing: “One who strives to purify himself is granted Divine assistance.” He will then ascend from level to level in fulfillment of Torah and mitzvos – even in the difficult aspects, which will benefit him-the “self”-in the World to Come.” (Ohr Yisrael, Letter Six, Page 187)

How will fulfillment of the easy aspects facilitate his eventual fulfillment of the difficult aspects?

Rav Yisrael concludes his masterful exposition of preparing for Yom Kippur through Mussar study with yet one more sparkling diamond. In a previous segment, Rav Yisrael presented two concepts concerning our fulfillment of Divine service. Both of these approaches to serving HaShem are “in our control”:

“The first one is that at all times; every person has the free will to be completely devoted to HaShem’s service. Also, during the Ten Days of Repentance, a person has the opportunity to entirely transform himself – to be a tzaddik, a man of peace in the upcoming year.

The second factor concerns improving the standing of one’s Divine service according to his current status – at all times, but particularly during the Ten Days of Repentance. Regarding this, the essential principle is to reflect and contemplate on one’s ways. Then, he should see to it that he at least observes the easier part of a precept – each person according to his situation and fear of Heaven. By following this procedure he will be delivered from transgressing the graver aspects of that particular sin.” (Ohr Yisrael, Letter Six, Page 177-178)

Since initially he actively rectifies the easy aspects which are “in his control,” Divine assistance will then help him master the difficult aspects. Again, Rav Yisrael is a source of encouragement, “One who strives to purify himself is granted Divine assistance”.. Thus, we see, that if one merits Divine assistance, through his efforts to fulfill easy injunctions, and the person uses this Divine assistance to fulfill the difficult injunctions, nevertheless, this is classified as “in his control.”

As Rav Yisrael postulated regarding our spiritual endeavors, both aspects of a Mitzvah, the easy and the difficult, are in one’s control. Therefore Rav Yisrael assures us, “Also, during the Ten Days of Repentance, a person has the opportunity to entirely transform himself – to be a tzaddik, a man of peace in the upcoming year”.

Implementation: Vocalize the axiom: “One who strives to purify himself is granted Divine assistance.”

By Rabbi Zvi Miller.

Hassid bar

Daily eMussar

Salant Foundation’s eMussar(sm) gives you a piece of practical wisdom and perspective for your daily life…in just 3 or 4 minutes a day!

These practical character enhancement and personal growth tools stay impact your mind and your character….and you’ll likely have a chance to try out these inspiring insights and lessons almost every day.

Just so you know, “mussar” is the traditional name for the teaching of character development and personal growth. And Salant Foundation’s eMussar delivers this perspective to you every day via e-mail.

It’s FREE…so why not sign up now, please send email to salant@netvision.net.il or to salantorg@gmail.com

Salant Foundationbanner

Source: My Email Subscription

eMussar” Copyright © 2010 by Rabbi Zvi Miller
and the Salant Foundation

Todays eMussar Lesson 7th Tishrei, 5771

Todays eMussar Lesson

eMussar – The Wisdom of Personal Growth
A daily inspirational, concise idea, with a suggested action.

A Precious Daimond

PIRKEI AVOS\THE ETHICS OF OUR FATHERS\5:26

“Ben Bagbag said: Turn it and turn it – for everything is dependent upon it.”

What is this great thing that everything, i.e., all success, depends upon it? It is the dedication to Torah study.

We understand Torah is important because it teaches us the path of goodness. However, why didn’t the text simply state “All success depends on Torah study?” Why is it that all success depends on “the dedication” to Torah study?

Every Jewish soul was present at Mount Sinai and experienced HaShem giving us the Torah. Therefore, our souls are naturally filled with love of Torah. Just as a spark ignites a fiery material into a flame, so too, the mere remembrance of our relationship to Torah sparks the holy flame within our soul.

Intuitively we grasp the greatness and goodness of Torah. Just as a parent’s love for their children instinctively inspires them to do everything for their children, so too, once we remind ourselves that the Torah is our very life, we will be inspired to dedicate ourselves to Torah and reap its precious fruits.

In this light the text said, Turn it and turn it because all success depends upon it.” That is, just as we look at a precious gem from every facet to gaze at each aspect of its beauty, so too, the more we reflect on our precious relationship to the holy Torah, the more we will be drawn and attracted to its incomparable and endless beauty.
[Based on the writings of the Vilna Gaon]

TODAY: Reflect on your opportunity to become one with the Torah – and ignite your soul.

By Rabbi Zvi Miller.

New Blog Post: SCALES OF JUSTICE

Hassid bar

Daily eMussar

Salant Foundation’s eMussar(sm) gives you a piece of practical wisdom and perspective for your daily life…in just 3 or 4 minutes a day!

These practical character enhancement and personal growth tools stay impact your mind and your character….and you’ll likely have a chance to try out these inspiring insights and lessons almost every day.

Just so you know, “mussar” is the traditional name for the teaching of character development and personal growth. And Salant Foundation’s eMussar delivers this perspective to you every day via e-mail.

It’s FREE…so why not sign up now, please send email to salant@netvision.net.il or to salantorg@gmail.com

Salant Foundationbanner

Source: My Email Subscription

eMussar” Copyright © 2010 by Rabbi Zvi Miller
and the Salant Foundation

Todays eMussar Lesson 5th Tishrei, 5771

Todays eMussar Lesson

eMussar – The Wisdom of Personal Growth
A daily inspirational, concise idea, with a suggested action.

A Joyous Yom Kippur

THE PATH OF REPENTANCE

The Talmud (Pesachim 86b) tells us that a guest should display good manners by eating whatever food his host offers him. However, there is one situation in which the Talmud tells us not to listen to the host. Specifically, if the host tells the guest to leave, the guest should not listen!

Why does the Torah tell us on one hand to courteously comply with the host’s requests and on the other hand to refuse his demand to leave his home?

The great Kabbalist, Rabbi Moshe Kordevaro, sheds light on the meaning of this curious statement. He explains that this passage is an allegory, in which the host represents HaShem and the guest represents a person. There are times when a person sincerely dedicates himself to perform repentance, yet all of his attempts seem to be rebuffed. It is as if Heaven is resisting his efforts. In this light, the person may translate the events as a message that HaShem is saying, “Leave my house. I do not accept your return to Me.”

In response to this situation, in which a person falls into despair, the Torah tells him, “Do not listen to the Host!” Meaning, do not interpret your difficulties in performing repentance as a sign that HaShem has rejected you. Rather, rest assured that HaShem is merciful and He always shows compassion and love to people who strive to come close to Him.

If your challenge is difficult, do not give up because HaShem NEVER gives up on you. This is especially so during the Ten Days of Repentance and Yom Kippur, as King David said, “Seek HaShem when He is present, pray to Him when He is close.”
[Rabbi Moshe Kordevaro]

TODAY: Rejoice in knowing that HaShem is Merciful and will always welcome you into His presence.

By Rabbi Zvi Miller.

New Blog Post: SCALES OF JUSTICE

Hassid bar

Daily eMussar

Salant Foundation’s eMussar(sm) gives you a piece of practical wisdom and perspective for your daily life…in just 3 or 4 minutes a day!

These practical character enhancement and personal growth tools stay impact your mind and your character….and you’ll likely have a chance to try out these inspiring insights and lessons almost every day.

Just so you know, “mussar” is the traditional name for the teaching of character development and personal growth. And Salant Foundation’s eMussar delivers this perspective to you every day via e-mail.

It’s FREE…so why not sign up now, please send email to salant@netvision.net.il or to salantorg@gmail.com

Salant Foundationbanner

Source: My Email Subscription

eMussar” Copyright © 2010 by Rabbi Zvi Miller
and the Salant Foundation

Todays Mussar Quote 21st Tishrei 5770

Todays_Mussar_Quote

TODAY:

Visualize the light of Torah emanating from your heart – and filling your soul with wisdom.

By Rabbi Zvi Miller.

Hassid bar

Daily eMussar

Salant Foundation’s eMussar(sm) gives you a piece of practical wisdom and perspective for your daily life…in just 3 or 4 minutes a day!

These practical character enhancement and personal growth tools stay impact your mind and your character….and you’ll likely have a chance to try out these inspiring insights and lessons almost every day.

Just so you know, “mussar” is the traditional name for the teaching of character development and personal growth. And Salant Foundation’s eMussar delivers this perspective to you every day via e-mail.

It’s FREE…so why not sign up now, please send email to salant@netvision.net.il

Support Salant

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Source: Salant Foundation.

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Infinite Kindness and Eternal Compassion – Todays eMussar Lesson 21st Tishrei 5770

Todays eMussar Lesson

eMussar – The Wisdom of Personal Growth
A daily inspirational, concise idea, with a suggested action.

FAITH AND TRUST

We can best begin to understand the infinite goodness of HaShem by contrasting the ways of HaShem to the ways of man. For instance, let’s assume a poor man approached a good hearted philanthropist for financial assistance. He cried and begged for help. The wealthy man had mercy on him and gave him a nice sum of money. However, if the poor man begs for more, it will be to no avail because the wealthy man has a limited amount of mercy.

Whereas the mercy of HaShem is unlimited. The more a person prays and pleads for mercy, the more mercy HaShem will grant him. Indeed, the mercy of HaShem has no end, i.e., “You are Good, for Your compassion never ends!”

Alternatively, there are people whose heart overflows with compassion and they desire to provide more assistance to those in need. However, they are unable to help because they lack the resources.

Whereas HaShem, the Source of all good, has infinite capabilities to bestow benefit upon His creations. Therefore, once HaShem’s mercy is awakened there is no limitation to how much good He can provide, i.e., “You are Compassionate, for Your kindness never finishes!”

How amazingly fortunate we are that HaShem is INFINITELY GOOD, COMPASSIONATE, and KIND! May we internalize these holy concepts and sincerely declare: “We have always trusted in You!”
[Based on Cochvei Ohr of Rebbe Yitzchak Blazer]

TODAY: Repeat and internalize: “You are Good, for Your compassion never ends, and You are Compassionate, for Your kindness never finishes – we have always trusted in You!”

By Rabbi Zvi Miller.

New Blog Post: A Time of Joy

Hassid bar

Daily eMussar

Salant Foundation’s eMussar(sm) gives you a piece of practical wisdom and perspective for your daily life…in just 3 or 4 minutes a day!

These practical character enhancement and personal growth tools stay impact your mind and your character….and you’ll likely have a chance to try out these inspiring insights and lessons almost every day.

Just so you know, “mussar” is the traditional name for the teaching of character development and personal growth. And Salant Foundation’s eMussar delivers this perspective to you every day via e-mail.

It’s FREE…so why not sign up now, please send email to salant@netvision.net.il

Support Salant

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Secure Donations With Any Credit Card, please click here.

Source: Salant Foundation.

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