Friday, November 2, 2012

The Mighty Mabul!

Today, 17th Day of Chesevan,  is the Day the Mabul ~ the Flood ~ Wiped out the World.   Today, Erev Shabbos is the sixth day of the week.  And, the following Tehilla was said in the Temple by the Levites.

"Rivers lift up, Ha'Shem .... Rivers lift up their voice.
Rivers lift up their Crashing Waves, their Depths
Mightier than the Noise of Many Waters
Than the Mighty Waves of the Sea is Ha'Shem on High"

It always Rains on 17th Chesevan ....... Ha'Shems reminder to Humankind! 

This too was the week which saw 'Sandy' hit the Eastern Shores of America.  And on 13th day of Chesevan when Sandy Struck,  this was the Temple Tehilla ...... 

"Save me, O Ha'Shem for the waters have reached until my soul!
I have sunk in muddy depths without foothold
 I have come into deep waters,  and the flood overwhelmeth me ....."

Who would Dare Deny that Ha'Shem is Speaking to the World???

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Ha'Shems Handmaid .....

A Song of Ascents.

To you enthroned in Shamayim I lift my eyes.
As the eyes of Slaves to the hand of their Masters,
As the eyes of a handmaid to the hand of her mistress,
So are mine eyes towards Ha'Shem, my G*d, awaiting his favour.

Show me Favour, O Ha'Shem, show me favour!

I have had more than enough of Contempt.
My Soul is fully Sated with the Scorn of those that are at ease,
With the  ridicule of the haughty.
The Contempt of Proud Oppressors .....

Thursday, October 11, 2012

A Sorrowful Sea ....

 ~ Be like the Ocean waves breaking against the Obstacles .....
 Seeking the Strength to Start again  ~
Happy is she whose transgression is forgiven, whose Sin is Pardoned.
Happy is she in whom Ha'Shem ascribes no iniquity and in whose spirit there is no trickery.
When I kept silence, my bones decayed through my groaning all the day long.
For day and night Your hand is heavy upon me .....

My freshness waned as in the droughts of summer.

I acknowledged my sin to You, and my guilt have I not hid, 

I said ..... 'I will make confession concerning my transgressions to Ha'Shem and You, 
You forgave the iniquity of my sin, forever.
For this let every pious person pray to You at the time that You may be found, 

Surely, when the great waters overflow, they will not reach her.
You are a shelter for me, You are my hiding-place, You will preserve me from distress, 

With songs of deliverance You will surround me.

'I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you shall go,

 I will give counsel, My eye is on you.'
Do not be like a horse, or like a mule, which have no understanding,

Whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, that they will not come near you.
Many are the sorrows of the wicked,  but she that trusts in Ha'Shem,  Mercy surrounds her.
Rejoice with Ha'Shem and exult, You righteous, and cause all those of upright hearts to Shout for joy,

All that are straight-hearted.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Sukkot in the Synagogue ....

“When a person comes to dwell in the shade of the Sukkah, which is the shade of Emuna, the Divine Presence spreads Her wings over him from above” ~  The Zohar~

This week we celebrate Sukkot ~ one of the three festivals on which we Jews were commanded to make pilgrimage to Ha'Shems Holy Temple in Y'rushalayim.   The Chag lasts seven days.   The Hebrew word SukkĊt is the plural of Sukkah, "booth or tabernacle",  really a kind of 'hut' which is a walled structure covered with Skhakh (plant material such as leafy tree overgrowth or palm leaves).  The Sukkah is intended as a reminiscence of the type of fragile dwellings in which our ancestors dwelt during their 40 years of travel in the desert following the Exodus from slavery in Egypt. Throughout the holiday, meals are eaten inside the Sukkah and it is a mitzvah to sleep there as well.

The first message of Sukkot is that nature and the outside world - the smells and sights and sounds of the universe - are as central to Judaism as anything that goes on inside our heads.  Ha'Shem, Master of the Universe has created it all for our succour & pleasure.  The second message tells us that possessions mean nothing.  The third message of Sukkot is that our Saftey ~ from the weather to wild animals ~  is in the hand of Ha'Shem and the presence in our lives of the Shekinah,  not in the absence of danger.  And finally the fourth message of Sukkot is that in addition to the natural world's centrality, and human being's ultimate vulnerability, Ha'shems  focal point for favour in our lives is the Land of Israel. His Homeland for His Precious People,  Israel.  Our Birthright. Our Gift as an everlasting possession.

"And Ha'Shem spoke to Moshe saying .... Speak to the Children of Israel and tell them, the 15th day of this seventh month shall be the Festival of Sukkot ~ seven days for Ha'Shem ... On the first day, it is a holy occasion,  you shall not perform any work of labour.  For seven days, you shall present a fire offering to Ha'Shem ... On the eighth day, it shall be a holy occasion for you, and you shall bring a fire offering to Ha'Shem. It is a day of]detention.  You shall not perform any work of labour. These are G-d's appointed holy days that you shall designate them as holy occasions, on which to offer up a fire offering to Ha'Shem, burnt offering and meal offering, sacrifice and libations, the requirement of each day on its day,  apart from Ha'Shems Shabbat, and apart from your gifts, and apart from all your vows, and apart from all your donations that you give to Ha'Shem.   On the first day, you shall take for yourself a fruit of the citron tree (etrog), a palm frond (lulav), myrtle branches (hadas) and willows (aravah). You shall rejoice before Ha'Shem,  your G-d for seven days.  During these seven days each year, you shall celebrate to G-d. It is an eternal law for all generations that you celebrate in the seventh month. During these seven days you must live in thatched huts. All Israelites must live in thatched huts. This is so that your future generations will know that I caused Israel to live in huts when I brought them out of Egypt. I am Ha'Shem your G-d.  And Moshe told B'nei Yisroel these laws of Ha'Shems appointed Holy days.   ~ Vayikra  23:33-44 ~

 Three times a year you shall appear before Ha'Shem, your G-d, in the place that He will choose, on the Festival of Matzah, the Festival of Shavuot and the Festival of Sukkot.  ~ Devarim 16:16 ~

And those who suffered shall increase their joy in Ha'Shem, and the impoverished people shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.   ~ Isaiah 29.19 ~ 

 And Sukkot leads to the Joyous festivals of Shemini Atzeret & Simchat Torah  which shall be celebrated following this Shabbat.    Sunday is Hoshanah Rabah then Shemini Atzeret which begins the davening for rain,  officially launching the Mediterranean rainy season.   And Simchat Torah is Simply our Joy in Torah.  And Torah Living.  The focal point of Simchat Torah is the hakafot procession, in which we march, sing and dance with the Torah scrolls around the Bimah in the Synagogue.  The hakafot are done twice, on the night and morning of Simchat Torah, and Everyone receives an aliyah on Simchat Torah, even the children, B"H!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

G'mar Chatimah Tova!!

It is Erev Yom Ha'Kippurim & time is advancing rapidly, so G'mar Chatimah Tovah Le Kulam!!

We shall ascribe holiness to this day.
For it is awesome and terrible.
Your kingship is exalted upon it.
Your throne is established in mercy.
You are enthroned upon it in truth.
In truth You are the judge,
The exhorter, the all ~ knowing,  the witness,
He who inscribes and seals,
Remembering all that is forgotten.
You open the book of remembrance
Which proclaims itself,
And the seal of each person is there.
The great shofar is sounded,
A still small voice is heard.
The angels are dismayed,
They are seized by fear and trembling
As they proclaim ...  Behold the Day of Judgment!

For all the hosts of heaven are brought for judgment.
They shall not be guiltless in Your eyes
And all creatures shall parade before You as a troop.
As a shepherd herds his flock,
Causing his sheep to pass beneath his staff,
So do You cause to pass, count, and record,
Visiting the souls of all living,
Decreeing the length of their days,
Inscribing their judgment.
On Rosh Ha'Shanah it is inscribed,
And on Yom Kippur it is sealed.

How many shall pass away and how many shall be born,
Who shall live and who shall die,
Who shall reach the end of his days and who shall not,
Who shall perish by water and who by fire,
Who by sword and who by wild beast,
Who by famine and who by thirst,
Who by earthquake and who by plague,
Who by strangulation and who by stoning,
Who shall have rest and who shall wander,
Who shall be at peace and who shall be pursued,
Who shall be at rest and who shall be tormented,
Who shall be exalted and who shall be brought low,
Who shall become rich and who shall be impoverished.
But T'shuva, Tzedaka,  Tefillos and Righteousness avert the severe decree.

"For on this day shall atonement be made for you, to cleanse you, from All your sins shall ye be clean before Ha'Shem"~ Vayikra 16:30 ~

Friday, August 17, 2012

Peridot ....

Return, O Israel, to Ha'Shem your G*d,
For you have fallen in your iniquity.
Take words with you
And return to Ha'Shem.
Say to Him
"Forgive all guilt
And accept what is good,
Instead of bulls we will pay
The offering of our lips.
Asshur shall not save us,
No more will we ride on steeds,
Nor ever again will we call
Our handiwork our g*d,
Since in You alone orphans find mercy!"

I will heal their affliction,
Generously will I take them back in love,
For My anger has turned away from them.

I will be to Israel like dew,
She shall blossom like the lily,
It shall strike it's root like the Lebanon.
It's boughs shall spread out far,
It's beauty shall be like the olive tree's.
It's fragrance like that of Lebanon.
They who sit in it's shade shall return,
They shall be revived like corn,
They shall blossom like the vine,
It's scent shall be like the wine of Lebanon.

Ephraim shall say ....
"What more have I do do with idols?
When I respond and look to Him,
I become like a verdant cypress"
From Me your fruit is found.

He who is wise will consider these words.
He who is prudent will take note of them,
Be discerning & know them.
For the paths of Ha'Shem are smooth,
And the righteous shall walk in them,
And the rebellious stumble on them.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Eikev .....

My lesson will drip like rain, my speech will distil as the dew,  like storm showers on vegetation and like raindrops on grass. 
~ D'varim 32:1 ~ 

So says Ha'Shem .... 
 On the day that I will have cleansed you from all your iniquities,  
I will cause the cities to be settled, and the ruins shall be built up. 
And the desolate land shall be worked, instead of its lying desolate in the sight of all that pass by. 

 And they shall say .....
 'This land that was desolate has become like Gan Edhen, 
and the cities that were destroyed and desolate and pulled down have become settled as fortified cities.' 

 And the nations that are left round about you shall know that I, Ha'Shem, 
have built up the ruined places and have planted the desolate ones,  
I, Ha'Shem, have spoken,  and I will perform it.
 ~ Yechezkel 36.33-36 ~

  For so says Ha'Shem .... 
"Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river, 
Prosperity like a stream, 
The wealth of nations like a wadi in flood, 
And you shall drink of it.

You shall be carried on shoulders , and on knees you shall be dandled.   
As a mother comforts her son So I will comfort you, 
You shall find comfort in Y'rushalayim. 

 And you shall see, and your heart shall rejoice, 
and your bones shall bloom like grass, 
The power of Ha'Shem shall be revealed In behalf of His servants, 
But He shall rage against His foes.
~ Yeshayahu 66.12-14~