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Sukkot 5779
Pesach Season Prayer For Dew
Reflections on Passover Morning 2017
Happy Chanukah Shabbat!
Just One Shabbat Can Change The World!


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Shabbos Chic Blog


Pesach Season Prayer For Dew

Give us dew to favor Your earth; sweeten the land in which we live with dew.
Strengthen us with plenty, with grain and wine: sheaves and vines sustained by dew.
Bring wholeness to the Holy City and to all who love her as flowers are renewed by dew.
You have said “I will be like dew to Israel;" may Your mercy well up in us like the dew.
Let the proud and beautiful fruits of our harvest be sustained and graced with dew.
Open our hearts; make us into open vessels to receive the spiritual gifts of dew.
May a light shine forth from darkness to draw us to You, as a root finds water from dew.
We are the people who followed You through the desert as sheep follow a trusted shepherd; favor us with dew.
You are our God, Who causes the wind to blow and the dew to fall.
For blessing and not for curse. Amen. For life and not for death. Amen. For plenty and not for lack. Amen.

Thanks to Rachel Barenblat for this translation and the following: "The Prayer for Dew is a special poem recited once a year during the afternoon service on the first day of Pesaḥ. Rabbi Rachel Barenblat first presented her d’var tefillah on Passover in 2009 and shared her prayer for dew in 2015 (cross-posted at her website here). In the Amidah, many Jewish liturgies replace the request for rain (recited during the traditional rainy season in the land of Israel) with a prayer for dew, beginning on this day. — Aharon Varady"

My Creator Is An Overflowing Source

An email from Praying With Passion ignited my enthusiasm today,just  after meeting on the web with a group of women talking about  spirituality.

Here is my favorite part of the email:

"Like this underground spring, G-d is a boundless, overflowing source of sustenance for us. Everything we rely upon draws its existence from Him. When we recite the words in the blessings, we trace our sustenance back to its Source and acknowledge that there would be nothing if G-d did not provide it."

There were several women in the group today who chose not to acknowledge the Creator of the Universe as the source of their spiritual experiences, or their very lives. I'm SO GLAD to be able to express gratitude to Hashem each day, knowing  who made me, who made this universe, and who knows why. 

Shabbos And The Power of Visualization

Rabbi Heshy Kleinman, author of Praying with Fire, posted the following insight on Jewish visualization and prayer: 

"The technique of visualization is so powerful that it can help a person overcome a great many obstacles...

"Visualization is a means through which a person can see himself as he wishes to be — as he can be. It’s not just wishful thinking, it’s purposeful thinking that helps a person establish high expectations for himself, and then fulfill them...

"... it is difficult for us to internalize the fact that we are standing before the Creator. To overcome this impediment, visualize a telephone conversation; although you cannot see the person to whom you are speaking, you know that he is listening. Summon this image to perceive the sense that Hashem listens to you when you pray.

The ultimate visualization takes place during prayer, in my opinion. It is the time we are consciously connected mentally, emotionally and spiritually with our Creator, and it is a good time to ask to see things the way Hashem sees them.

Actually, I often ask for this blessing. I say, "Father, I don't know what to do, so I need your help. Please help me see this situation as you see it, so I can behave in accordance with your will and your way."

But, I don't ask often enough. Rabbi Kleinman's words really inspired me today, and I am renewed with enthusiasm to remember to ask to see situations as Hashem sees them now, and I want to remember especially on Shabbos.

Eighth Night of Hanukkah 2013 - Our Highest Prayers


This inspirational message arrived by email just in time for our 8th night of Hanukkah tonight. May it inspire you and your final night of Hanukkah 2013 as well:

"The last night and day of Chanukah is called Zos Chanukah. It is a night where the gates of prayer are open for our heavenly requests. It is a time that encapsulates the power and holiness of all the preceding seven nights of Chanukah. Our Sages teach us that we still have one last opportunity for the judgment of Yom Kippur to be finalized which is the 8th day of Chanukah. One can accomplish on the 8th day of Chanukah requests that even great Tzadikim cannot accomplish during Neilah of Yom Kippur. Let us use this opportunity to strengthen our prayers Torah study mitzvos and tzedakah."

Rabbi Yisroel of theHineni Heritage Center

What is the essence of Rosh Hashana?

Although I was participating in the live Skype session as Dr Yedidah Cohen translated this section of Zohar  explained by Rabbi Yehudah  Lev Ashlag in the Perush HaSulam, it is very helpful to be able to listen to it again and again in her recording  posted as The Shofar: The Sound of Compassion.

"The twelve months of the year are the tikun of the Malchut, from its beginning to its end.

Since it is not completely finished until the Gemar HaTikun (the end of the Tikun) we need each year to come back and rectify it.

And therefore, on each Rosh Hashana we start the tikun of the Malchut again.

So, the word shanah, shin-nun-hey, is a cycle."

Yedidah's English translation of Rabbi Ashlag's explanation brought me around to understanding that the essence of Rosh Hashana is quite the opposite of harsh, critical judgment of my sins.

It is a day to relish the love and attention of my Creator's confident expectation in my process of perfection and the ultimate perfection of the world.

I am an intrinsic part of the cycle. My life and my teshuva are important and welcome; they are necessary and valuable.

I am not pitifully pleading for forgiveness, but acknowledging Hashem as my Beloved and crowning Hashem as King. I am doing my part.

This year I make teshuva with a new, improved attitude.  I am bringing the genuine love of my Beloved that is lavished upon me during this month of Elul to my Temple with me on Rosh Hashana in order to promote Tikun Olam. 

I am participating in the significant beginning of yet another year, yet another cycle in the rectification of the world.

And this year, with an expanded understanding of my own purpose and my relationship with my Beloved, I embrace the compassionate essence of Rosh Hashana  by joyfully participating in all three traditional expressions of  love and compassion:

Teshuva - it's our choice for personal bonding with God

Tefila - it's our job to pray for the tools to serve God

Tzedaka - it's our opportunity to give Charity or Justice

Join Rabbi Yossi Srugo, Rabbi Yakov Garfinkel and Rabbi Chai Amar in an eight-minute video reminder of these traditional Jewish observances of Rosh Hashana called Crowning the King.

Shana Tova & Happy Cycling!

Prayer for Elul, Shabbos and Always

I am touched by words in two inspiring emails today. The first quote is from Rabbi Yitzchak Schwartz on the topic of Prayer:

"Every word of prayer makes an impression and isn't wasted. Sometimes much later their effect is felt, sometimes in a very different way than was intended. The principle is that there is nothing ever lost. 

However , there are many levels of  impact. Just as each person's life outlook is different, as is reflected by the fact that no two faces look alike---so too , no two prayers impact are alike."

And the other quote is on the topic of Prayer, too.  It is from my weekly email, always so welcome as I prepare for Shabbos each week:

"In Jewish mysticism, there is a concept of two ways of relating to our Creator. One way is for our Creator to reach down to us with help or inspiration. Another way is for us to do our work here on the ground and to reach up to him to ask for help.

It's rare for our Creator to just make changes for us. However, according to mystical sources, when we do everything in our power to bring this redemption for ourselves in combination with asking our Creator for help, that's when the He will generally meet us in the middle. We reach up and He reaches down (metaphorically speaking.)"

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