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The Shofar is BlastingPosted by admin under Perspective, Poverty in Israel, Self Improvement, Social Justice, Solutions to Poverty, Torah, Tzedakah, What can “I” do | Edit
This morning we started blowing the Shofar. One of the central ideas of the shofar blast is awakening. This morning when I heard the Shofar for the first time I closed my eyes and allowed the sounds of the blast to penetrate my heart. To open my eyes to the things I must do to better my ways.
At one point I began to wonder what the connection is to Tzedakah, to personal actions. and what about what the shofar blast does to the heart of the poverty stricken, to the rich donor.
I have traveled abroad many many times since moving to Israel. I have yet to meet someone who does not have some story. Some major life event that was not so happy.
As such, I imagine that the thoughts that go through ones mind are perhaps to feel the pain of those events, perhaps to feel the hope of doing more good in the world, in the Jewish community, on behalf of Israel. Whether it be donating Tzedakah, Volunteering, or just giving an honest smile (and ear…) to someone in need, emotionally, physically, financially, whatever.
Shana Tova! Happy New Year
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This week is a double torah reading and features the two shortest readings in the entire torah which have 40 and 30 verses in each Parsha respectively.
The first of the two readings is Parshah Nitzavim, it is introduced as Moshe makes a covenant with the nation when entering the land, and the parshah continues with one of the main theme’s for the month of Ellul, ‘Teshuva’ (repentance), where Moshe promised that if the Jewish nation do Teshuva while in Exile, Hashem would redeem them, Hashem always listens to the sincere prayers of the Jewish people and one of the first steps in doing Teshuva is to have regret on the actions the person had previously made, there were countless individuals throughout the Tenach who did Teshuav including the first born of the twelve tribes, including, Reauven (after moving his fathers bed to his own mothers tent), the Jews after commiting the atrocity of the Golden Calf, Rachav after she commited years of Harlotry did teshuva and many other people throughout biblical history, there is even a concept of an individual who performs multiple transgressions and then has sincere regret in his prior actions, his original transgressions maybe transformed into mitzvahs.
The Parshah of Nitzavim is concluded as Moshe emphasizes that by keeping the Torah a person acquires eternal life.
The Parshah of Vayelech is introduced as Moshe comforts the Jews regarding his impending death, as he was about to die at the age of 120 years, Moshe called his successor, Yehoshua, and honored him in the presence of all the Jews and clothed him in royal attire, seated him on his own chair and placed the crown on his head and in turn all the Jews accepted Yehoshua as their new leader. Yehoshua deserved to become Moshe’s successor as he was Moshe’s star pupil; he was always by his side learning Torah and even waited for him on the foot of Mount Sinai for 40 days!! This alone earned him the respect of Klal Yisrael!
The Parshah continues with instructions of the ceremony of ‘Hakhail’ – this was where the national assembly gathered once every seven years to hear the King read the Torah, the king was required to read a number of passages from the book of Devarim. The aim of the mitzvah of ‘Hakhail’ was to strengthen the Jewish people in Torah and fear of G-d and it was a mitzvah observed by all the righteous kings. The righteous King Agrippa, always stood while reading the Torah, the sages gave him much praise for this act.
Moshe then petitioned to Hashem so that his death decree would be annulled, however it was to no avail as he was about to die. In fact it was on the 7th of Adar that Moshe would die, this was the same date that he was born. Several reasons are suggested why Moshe died, including, Moshe failed to sanctify Hashem’s name when he hit the rock instead of speaking to the rock to give forth water (as related in parshah Chukat) another popular reason is, is that Moshe had to die due to the ‘death decree,’ that G-d gave to all of man kind, after Adam ate from the tree as related in the first parshah in the Torah, Bereishit.
However in a way Moshe never really died, just like a righteous man is always considered as living, because his good deeds are still being filtered on to other people and generations. The actions one does in this world effect many people, one could be in the physical sense dead, however if people learned from his good actions and performed these good deeds, the ‘physically dead’ person will get credit for every good action that was learned from him and whenever another performs these good deeds.
Further on in Parshah Vayelech, Moshe warned the Jews to acknowledge G-d’s justice for when in future times they were to be punished for idol worship. In fact, the Jews behaved very well during the 28 tenure of Joshua’s leadership, however as they failed to eradicate the wicked idolatress presence of the Canaanim during these years, many of these wicked people encouraged idol worship across Israel, and many faltered later on as related in the books of Shoftim, Samuel and Melachim.
Vayelech concludes with the mitzvah for every Jewish man to write a sefer Torah for himself, however in this day and age many people buy sefarim (books of Torah literature) instead, and it is also customary to buy a share in a communal Sefer Torah and it is the practice for the men of the community to trace in the last words of the Sefer Torah, binding them together in a symbolic way comparable to the binding of the whole Jewish nation together during the sacred ceremony of ‘Hakhail.’.
The Haftorah for this week’s reading comes from three different prophets, Hosea, Micah and Joel, these three prophets make up a quarter of the total of the ’12 later prophets.’ This Dvar Torah is dedicated to Yair Ben sara who has health problems at the moment, please everyone include him in your prayers and thoughts when doing good deeds, may he be healthy and well!
Have a Fantastic and Incredible Shabbat. Shabbat Shalom
Do you inwardly cringe when you see the word “budget”? Does the sound of the word bring with it a sense of dread? I even have the nerve to put the word “discipline” into the post title. You may have thought of creating a budget for you or your family, but, never quite completed the job. There was not enough internal motivation or external push at the time, so the effort was relegated to the pile of started, but, unfinished tasks. Well, having a budget is a giant step toward building discipline into your spending.
So, Why Do I Need a Budget?
So, “Why do I need a budget?” you might ask. In the midst of a financial crisis, it’s even more important to know where your money is going. A budget is a spending plan. It allows you to see the various buckets of your income and spending grouped together in way that you can easily see if you are achieving your financial goals, or heading for trouble. Trouble hits when you are spending more than is coming in. You could be making a six-figure income, but, it’s not what you make, it’s what you are able to keep in your control that matters most. Using credit to make ends meet definitely does not help your financial stance.
Most folks know what being “broke” means…having little or no available cash, no savings, out of money, strapped, or down-and-out. The word “broke” has the connotation of being a temporary situation. That is, you’re only “broke” until your next paycheck clears the bank. If “broke” is where you are, you don’t need to stay there. Creating and sticking to a budget is a means to stop living paycheck to paycheck.
The question is: “Do you want to continue managing your money so that you are “broke” before each payday”? Or, do you want to develop a spending plan that allows you to give as the Lord instructs, to beat debt, to send your children to college, to build that retirement nest egg, or whatever goal the Lord has given you?
What Does a Budget Provide?
Here is what a budget provides:
- a sense of control over your spending;
- an organized view of income vs. expenses;
- a framework within which to operate;
- improved awareness of the flow of your money during the month; and a
- method for achieving your financial goals
My husband and I have been married for more than twenty years. I handle the household expenses. Before I started our family budget, I would experience great anticipation when I knew a payday was close at hand. Then, a few days afterward, I’d be wondering what in the world happened to our income. It was as if our dollars had evaporated. After being consistently frustrated month after month with not knowing where my family’s money was really going, I decided to change my thinking from “dread” concerning creating a workable spending plan, to avid interest and motivation. What I learned immediately was what a budget is NOT! From 10TalentWealth.com
I had the pleasure of attending a very beautiful wedding this evening. The guests were dressed in the finest. Both the bride’s ad the groom’s families were at their fines The smorgasbord was great, and the dinner even better.
THE ONLY THING that bothered me was that the father of the b=groom is someone who literally has to work 3 hours per meal served there to pay for the wedding. And that’s just for the c What about the clothes, the band, the photographer? To be honest, I do not know if this was one of those “the-bride’s-side-pays-for-the-wedding weddings, or if was a 50/50 deal. Whatever the case, I think there is something truly wrong when one side of the wedding is expected to foot such a large amount of money because the other wants a “fancy” affair.
In this particular case I personally know the family and know that he father of the groom worked untold extra hours to pay for his part. I TRULY BELIEVE that there has to be a new movement started on which weddings and other simcha expenses are kept to a realistic and more modest expenditure.. There are some chasidic groups who have started this and this is the way!
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