65 posts categorized "Prayer and Meditation"

Chanuka Hallel with Rav Shalom Arush

Weekday Chanuka prayers at the Chut Shel Chessed Yeshiva in Jerusalem are 3 hours long; Hallel itself takes an entire hour and a half. It's a joyous prayer with musical accompaniment and dancing, where we thank and praise Hashem profusely. Here's what Hallel looks like (this past Thursday morning) with Chut Shel Chessed's Rosh Yeshiva and my beloved rabbi and teacher Rav Shalom Arush shlit'a. Happy Chanuka!

Psalm 100: Song of Thanks

Tonight (Sunday, Dec. 6, 2015) is the first night of Chanuka. Rebbe Nachman of Breslev teaches us that Chanukah is a special time to express our gratitude to Hashem. With that in mind, let's take 60 seconds to say Psalm 100 together, here, in a most special place where I love to go for my solitary personal prayer sessions, on Israel's golden beach not far from my home in the south side of Ashdod:

Calling His Name

You don't need WiFi to connect to Hashem, nor do you need a smartphone. He's right there with you wherever you are - He not only understands your language, but He understands your accent and your local slang too. One of the biggest disappointments in the afterlife is when you find out how close you really were to Hashem and that you could have spoken to Him whenever you wanted to. Don't miss the opportunity while you're still here...

House of Worship

A Signed Check by Rebbe Eliezer the Great

We're all aware of the dangers that the people of Israel face. Rav Shalom Arush told us to turn to Hashem with more emuna and prayer, for there's no other solution than raising our voice to Heaven.

One of the greatest of our Tannaim (Mishnaic sages, 1st - 2nd Century CE) was Rebbe Eliezer the son of Horkonus, or Eliezer the Great. Rebbe Eliezer promises: "Anyone who engrosses himself in Pereq Shira every day - I bear witness that he is destined for the World-to-Come, and is delivered from calamity, and from the Evil Inclination, and from severe judgment, and from the Satan, and from all types of evil and destruction..." (introduction, Perek Shira).

What could be a better signed check than being delivered from all calamity, Evil Inclination, and destruction? Who can give you a better life and homeowner's policy for 10-12 minutes a day?

Emuna Outreach and the Beams are pleased to take away anybody's excuse that they don't have Perek Shira; here are our free downloads, which also include the Tikkun Klali:

Perek Shira in Hebrew

Perek Shira in English

May The Almighty grant you all your heart's wishes for the very best!

Tough Opposition on the Field

Spiritual Growth
Dear Rabbi Lazer,

I'm writing this to you for two reasons: first, you don't know me and I feel really embarassed talking about this to a rabbi that knows me; and second, since you too are a Baal Teshuva, I'm hoping you can understand a fellow BT that was born in the spiritual gutters far away from Torah. I became observant about five years ago, when I finished my masters degree. As a university student and a popular dude at that, I guess you can say that I did about everything and enjoyed it too. I won't go into the reasons that I made teshuva, but I became very disgusted with my lusty lifestyle. I began to learn Torah and was drawn especially to the teachings of the Zohar. I did an about face and made serious efforts in developing my personal holiness. With daily mikva, daily teshuva, and total immersion Torah, I became a new person. Two years ago, I was introduced to a young lady who after three dates became my fiance. We are blissfully married, in no small thanks to The Garden of Peace, which I live by.

So what's my problem? I thought I had deleted my naughty x-rated past from my brain. On Yom Kippur, the Yetzer gave me a triple whammy. During Kol Nidre, a really raunchy image flashed before my eyes which I won't describe, but it was something from the lowest part of my past. The same thing happened during Mussaf, and the same thing happened again in Neila. During the three highest points in the Yom Kippur prayers, I was watching myself in x-rated movies from my own past, the exact opposite of holiness. Why did Hashem shtup me with these terrible thoughts? What could I possibly have done wrong to be pushed away like this? I had such aspirations of clinging to Hashem with real devotion in this year's prayers, and I blew it. I feel devistated and dejected, as if I've been totally defeated. What can I do? Please help me. Thanks so very much, David from California

Dear David,

The Yetzer - the Evil Inclination - wants you to think that you're a loser. The exact opposite is true - this Yom Kippur, you have attained a lofty and admirable soul correction. You're the winner, my man; here's how:

Back in your university days, you thoroughly enjoyed doing the lewd things that so embarassingly popped into your head during this past Yom Kippur. Yet now, the forbidden acts that you once enjoyed are now a source of shame. Your shame during Yom Kippur is not only a sign of humility and holiness, but a soul correction for the past. Having done teshuva out of love (hear our CD on the subject), your past transgressions now become valuable merits to your credit. What's more, when you did those wrong things, you didn't know they were wrong. You can be proud of yourself, for Hashem is proud of the unbelievable growth that you've made in five short years. Don't ever forget that spiritual growth and serving Hashem are like football - you can't gain an inch without facing tough opposition; that's why the rewards are so great. Keep plugging away, slowly but surely, for you'll be a big winner. Remember also that as a BT, you're now playing in a championship league. Be happy, David - you're doing great. With blessings for joyous Chol Hamoed and a wonderful year, LB

Don't Waste the Wine

Hashem is a loving and compassionate Father in Heaven. He wants to give us every form of abundance, but he can't pour fine wine on the floor and waste it. We must prepare a suitable receptacle to receive Divine abundance. That receptacle is prayer.

One who erroneously believes that Hashem doesn't want to give him something is a heretic. Hashem's greatest pleasure is to give us abundance. But, we must be able to receive His abundance.

People complain that they lack things in life. Rebbe Natan said, "Wherever I see deficiency, I see lack of prayer." There are no instant remedies. There are no rabbit's-feet solutions for unemployment, a lack of a soulmate, childlessness or any other deficiency. The only solution is to turn to Hashem in prayer - the more the better. Many people don't like that answer, but it's the only true answer.

May Hashem answer all your prayers for the very best. Don't ever give up. Prayer is the best gift we have. And, Hashem always listens.