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Displaying items by tag: siddur Riverton Mussar - a wellspring for ethical change. Our vision is to build a physical and virtual community devoted to good character in relationships through the integration of Torah, Besorah(Gospels), and Jewish Tradition. http://rivertonmussar.org Sat, 24 Feb 2018 12:18:10 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb a platform of gratitude http://rivertonmussar.org/middot-character-traits/equanimity/item/758-a-platform-of-gratitude http://rivertonmussar.org/middot-character-traits/equanimity/item/758-a-platform-of-gratitude

art-morningsunSince I’m working on the middah of gratitude this week, I want to focus on the morning blessings, Birkot ha-shachar, in my daily prayers. These blessings all start with the foundational six words, Baruch atah Adonai Elohenu melech ha-olam, “Blessed are you, Lord our God, king of the universe,” and then go on to thank God for a specific gift—for opening our eyes, providing clothing, giving us a firm step, giving strength to the weary. By reciting these blessings—fourteen in the Koren Siddur that I use—I can build my day on a platform of gratitude.

This is a practice not just for this week, but for permanent application. As I’m focusing on it, however, I remember a verse in Hebrews: “It is beyond dispute that the inferior is blessed by the superior” (Heb. 7:7). The context is the meeting of Melchizedek and Abraham, when Melchizedek blessed Abraham, thereby, Hebrews claims, demonstrating his superiority over our patriarch. But if it’s true that the inferior is blessed by the superior, how can we say that we bless God, our ultimate superior, in the morning prayers?

I’ve heard some translations of the Siddur that get around this dilemma by translating the opening words of the blessings as “Praised be the Lord . . .” or “The Lord our God is to be thanked.” The Annotated Jewish New Testament takes a whole different tack, contradicting Hebrews. Commenting on the inferior is blessed by the superior, it says: “the reverse is frequent; Melchizedek himself blesses ‘God Most High’ (Gen. 14:20).” 

But I think there’s a better way of understanding this dilemma, which supports Hebrews 7:7 and sheds light on the middah of gratitude as well. Genesis says of Melchizedek, Vay’varechehu “And he blessed him [Abraham],” and then he said baruch Avram, “blessed is Avram.” Melchizedek added after that, “and blessed is God.” It’s as if Melchizedek first bestows blessing upon Abraham and as a result says he is blessed. In God’s case, however, the Torah doesn’t say that Melchizedek blessed him, but only that he said that God is blessed. Melchizedek bestows blessing on Abraham, and recognizes that God is blessed in himself, inherently blessed; as the Siddur says, he is ha-M’vorach, the Blessed One.

So there’s the reality of bestowing a blessing, as a superior does to an inferior, and the reality of recognizing a blessing that another already possesses. This distinction ties right into our definition of gratitude as hakarat ha-tov, recognizing the good. In the morning, when we recite the blessings, we’re not imparting a blessing upon God—as if we could!—but we’re recognizing that he is the Blessed One, who bestows upon us manifold gifts. We don’t want to take these gifts for granted, so we begin our day by affirming them as coming from the Blessed One. This affirmation sets us up to practice gratitude throughout the day, recognizing the good around us and expressing thanks to the One who is the source of it all. 

mesorah Mon, 03 Nov 2014 19:55:40 +0000
truth muscles http://rivertonmussar.org/middot-character-traits/equanimity/item/437-truth-muscles http://rivertonmussar.org/middot-character-traits/equanimity/item/437-truth-muscles

art-emet-truthThe Hebrew word for “true”, emet, occurs six times in the concluding portion of the Shema section of shacharit. In fact, it is the first word spoken after the third paragraph of the Shema (Numbers 15). The central placement of the word in the concluding portion of the Shema gives us a glimpse into our sages’ deepest values about our relationship with God. While there is no doubt that truth is embedded in all of the davening, the Shema itself is a very specific kind of statement about God and our relationship with him. The Truth expressed in the words of the Shema must be reiterated so as to embed its message into the mind and heart of the one davening.

What is so true about the message of the Shema? Here are a few answers:

  1. The absolute uniqueness and unity of God
  2. The uniqueness of God’s relationship with the Jewish people
  3. The ongoing validity of Torah for the Jewish people
  4. The covenantal terms between the Jewish people and God


This is all very theological, and seemingly esoteric. While it is true, it may not seem to have much practical implication for building our character. The reason it may not seem practical on the surface is because most of us are not accustomed to reflecting on the ways in which speech impacts our interactions. The human brain is a storehouse of information that is significantly impacted by every single thing we come in contact with. What we read, hear, and say impacts how we relate to the world. Some of the most damaging elements of abusive relationships are the words that are spoken to hurt and manipulate while the some of the most positive relationships develop with words of kindness.  What we say has an impact.

When we recite the Shema and follow with reciting the word emet over and over again, we are exercising our truth muscles. If we learn to recognize ultimate truth we are much more able to connect to truth in the moment. Our God is the True God. When we verbally connect to truth in our vertical relationship with God, this spills over into our horizontal relationships with others. So I encourage all us to really focus on the word emet in our davening, so that we can truly be the people of God.

mesorah Fri, 18 Mar 2011 20:10:00 +0000
using every opportunity http://rivertonmussar.org/middot-character-traits/equanimity/item/423-using-every-opportunity http://rivertonmussar.org/middot-character-traits/equanimity/item/423-using-every-opportunity

art-siddur4Fiddler on the Roof teaches us that there is a blessing for everything in Judaism (including the czar)! One can come to the same conclusion with careful analysis of a siddur or halachic work that discusses blessings.

The Koren Siddur, for example, actually lists some of the rarer blessings to be found in siddurim, including the blessings over: seeing a rainbow, hearing thunder, seeing lightning, coming to a place where a miracle has occurred, etc. We also discover that many of the morning blessings were initially intended (and many still do this) to be recited while performing certain actions, such as the blessing over the body after using the bathroom, the blessing over crowning Israel with glory when covering one’s head, and so on.



Part of the wisdom behind halachot of blessings is to instill in us an appreciation of our lives and teach us that there is a response required from us whenever we encounter even the most basic aspects of our existence. This is at the core of the middah of zerizut (diligence, enthusiasm). Nothing that comes into our lives should be ignored or avoided. We are required to encounter and, in that encounter, to respond. This principle applies to many spheres of our lives. In the sphere of the mitzvah of blessings, it shows up through the requirement to see God as worthy of blessing for nearly everything.

Granted, there is no blessing for showing up to work on time; showing up to work on time is a part of diligence. But there is a direct relationship between our diligence in blessing God and our diligence in daily responsibilities. Halachah, in general, removes the veil between the spiritual and physical, and reminds us that creation is good and that we are empowered to make it holy. Our daily lives do not become holy by us making them more “spiritual.” They become holy when we acknowledge God as Lord over them, in all their physicality and messiness. In this light, we can see that the more we are diligent to bless and thank God for the world around us, the more likely we are to engage the task at hand. May we all grow in our capacity to use every opportunity to bring holiness and goodness into the world around us!

mesorah Fri, 25 Feb 2011 21:31:37 +0000
praise as humility http://rivertonmussar.org/middot-character-traits/equanimity/item/412-praise-as-humility http://rivertonmussar.org/middot-character-traits/equanimity/item/412-praise-as-humility


“What are we? What are our lives? What is our loving-kindness? What is our righteousness… What shall we say before you, Lord our God?… Are not all the mighty like nothing before you?… Yet we are your people, the children of your covenant… Therefore it is our duty to thank you…” (The Koren Siddur, pg. 36)

This selection from the morning blessings section of shacharit serves to demonstrate three important points:

  1. The strength and righteousness of humanity are not worth our boasting; we are imperfect.
  2. The covenant God has made with his people is everlasting and firm in spite of our imperfection.
  3. Our responsibility is to praise and thank God for this wonderful gift.

These three points are crucial for balancing the middah of humility. On the one hand, we must be aware of our short-comings and willing to acknowledge our lowliness. On the other hand, we must be aware of the identity we have in the God who chose us, sustains us, teaches us how to be better, and loves us regardless of our failings. This awareness makes praising God a key piece of our response to a life fixed between two seemingly opposing poles. In praising God, we simultaneously acknowledge our insufficiency and proclaim his unconditional love. In this way praising God becomes one of the most humble things a person can do. Thankfully we are given many opportunities to do so!

The morning blessings are a preparation for the main portions of the shacharit service. Indeed, this section points to a proper way of understanding our relationship to personal holiness: it is through God’s great love and support that we can even approach holiness. Let us take time every morning to settle into these words, especially during a week centered on humility. May we face our limitations. May we face our God’s love. May we praise him at every moment with humble hearts for growing us into his image.

mesorah Sun, 06 Feb 2011 06:56:35 +0000
holy hands http://rivertonmussar.org/middot-character-traits/equanimity/item/410-holy-hands http://rivertonmussar.org/middot-character-traits/equanimity/item/410-holy-hands

art-washingOne of the first activities incumbent upon Jews as preparation for morning prayer and meals is the act of ritual hand washing. One of the more interesting features of this mitzvah is the language of the blessing one recites upon performance: 



Blessed are You, LORD, our God, ruler of the universe, who has imbued holiness with your commandments and has commanded us concerning the elevation of hands.

The term, “wash,” is never used! The primary mitzvah is that we elevate the sanctity of meals and prayer through the act of washing. This is connected to a vast stream of tradition beginning with the Torah itself, which focuses ever so much on the connection between cleanliness and holiness. We find this in mikvah and tevilot Yeshua also. In these cases, full-body washing symbolizes transition from one stage of life to another with the act of forsaking past sinful behavior. These are also acts of elevation.

Cleanliness has value at very obvious levels: hygiene, health, respect for others and oneself. The blessing over washing hands shows us a not-so-obvious value of cleanliness. Acts that promote and demonstrate cleanliness elevate creation when they are done for the purpose of honoring the Creator. When we honor the world and body God has given us in very explicit ways through cleanliness we bear witness that the world belongs to him, that we belong to him.

As we wash before davening and before our meals this week, may we be reminded of the middah of cleanliness and how it elevates creation and the Creator.

mesorah Sun, 30 Jan 2011 14:35:03 +0000
decide to encounter God http://rivertonmussar.org/middot-character-traits/equanimity/item/407-decide-to-encounter-god http://rivertonmussar.org/middot-character-traits/equanimity/item/407-decide-to-encounter-god

art-siddur4Decisiveness is a middah that really holds the amidah together. This shows up in a few particular ways.


First, decisiveness shows up in the shacharit service where there is supposed to be no break between the conclusion of the shema section and the beginning of the amidah. The various kaddishim are normally transition markers between sections and the kaddish is absent between the shema and amidah. In fact, it is not permissible even to respond with an “amen” at the close of the final blessing in the shema section. So … what gives? The Bavli (Babylonian Talmud) teaches us that there should be no break between redemption (the subject of the close of the shema section) and the amidah (B’rakhot, 4b). In other words, we must be swift and decisive in our encounter with God after praising him for redemption.

Second, the Mishnah teaches us that, even if a snake were to begin to wrap itself around one’s leg, it would be forbidden for one to interrupt his prayer (B’rakhot, 5:1)! The amidah is not to be interrupted for any reason. When we decide to encounter God in prayer it is the only thing that matters in the moment.

Third, if one finds that he or she has not prayed the first blessing with kavanah (intention), he or she is mandated by halakha to repeat it. In other words, without decisive intentionality, the act of prayer is not fulfilled.

Finally, the tractate of Megillah goes through a long list enumerating and describing the blessings over the amidah. At the end of the list our sages determine that the true end of the amidah is … silence (B.Megillah, Ch. 2). The halakha is that one should be still and silent before God before moving on to the next stage of davening. The decision to stop and be silent before God is one that the siddur cannot make for us. We have to be conscious and willing to decide to be still and silent before our King.

All of this is helpful regarding the amidah, but one might ask how this helps our decisiveness generally. I would suggest that decisively engaging our Creator and Redeemer impacts our ability to be decisive in other aspects of our lives. Why? Because God is Lord over everything that comes into our lives anyway! Any decision we are forced to make, however challenging, is something by which God wants to empower us. May we all be more decisive in our relationship with God, particularly in the amidah.  Clearer decision making in all areas is likely to follow.

mesorah Sun, 23 Jan 2011 17:02:25 +0000
the most natural order http://rivertonmussar.org/middot-character-traits/equanimity/item/404-the-most-natural-order http://rivertonmussar.org/middot-character-traits/equanimity/item/404-the-most-natural-order

art-siddur2Not surprisingly, the name for the collection of blessing and davening texts for the Jewish people is the siddur, which comes from the word, seder (order).

On the one hand, the siddur indicates the order by which services are to be recited. Much can be said about the dramatic/thematic arc of shacharit (the morning service) and birkat hamazon (grace after meals). However, a complete siddur contains more than just the main prayer services of the Jewish people. A full siddur contains blessings for various life-cycle events: weddings, circumcisions, birth of a daughter, redemption of the firstborn son, funerals, blessings upon witnessing beautiful sights, and much more. The asher yatzar blessing thanks God for his wisdom in creating the human body and is meant to be recited after every time one goes to the bathroom. All of this comes to indicate that the siddur is a guidebook to prayers and blessings that are meant to be internalized and even memorized at times.

The siddur presents the order to our mandated devotional lives as Jews and conforms to the natural order of our existence. The siddur turns that natural order into an opportunity to cleave to God in praise or supplication at every turn. This reveals one of the most beautiful aspects of the halakhic order of b’rachot (blessings): to view eating, sleeping, marrying, traveling, going to the bathroom, seeing a rainbow, hearing thunder, etc. as a part of the order of our avodah (service to God). There is no such thing as disembodied religious obligation. The obligation is to provide order to our lives by declaring every facet of life, holy.

In our pursuit of order, may we begin by acknowledging the holiness in all of the things in our lives that we so easily take for granted. When we start by ordering our everyday lives around blessing and encountering God, I believe (with perfect faith) that we will be empowered to live lives balanced in every aspect.

mesorah Fri, 14 Jan 2011 05:37:52 +0000
positive interruptions http://rivertonmussar.org/middot-character-traits/equanimity/item/396-positive-interruptions http://rivertonmussar.org/middot-character-traits/equanimity/item/396-positive-interruptions


Our patience is tested the most when we encounter life circumstances that alter our vision of how the world around us should look. These circumstances most often come in the form of interruption.

Some interruptions are minor and irritating (traffic jam, long line at the market, etc.). Some interruptions feel devastating (death of a loved one, serious illness, etc.). Patience does not let us off the hook. We still have to do our part to initiate change, but patience is crucial in those circumstances in which we have to deal with the hand we've been given. A key prayer in the Siddur utilizes moments of interruption as opportunities to connect with God and one another: kaddish.

There are various kaddishim, and they each find their home in points of transition in davening. On the one hand, kaddishim appear to be transition markers. On the other hand, they have the feeling of interrupting the flow of a given service (particularly Shacharit). This is why kaddishim are often done quite quickly and, unfortunately, even begrudgingly. Kaddishim are deliberate interruptions in the flow of davening to bring everyone  together in unified praise of God. Kaddish, in all its forms requires a minyan. Its role is as a quintessential reminder of unified praise. Even when we are on a roll in the motions of prayer, we are required to stop and praise God, extending our avodah (devotional service) by interrupting the flow of the service.

The best known kaddish is kaddish yatom (the mourner’s kaddish). This kaddish demands the bereaved to confront God in praise even in the midst of grief and pain. As am Yisrael, even in the greatest interruptions we experience in our lives, we are commanded to use these moments to praise God. This does not mean we do not wrestle with God or experience the pain deeply. It does mean that we take a moment to acknowledge that God’s love and goodness transcend and ultimately overcome pain and suffering.

The next time we gather in our minyanim, may we take hold of the opportunity to praise God in the midst of interruptions. Let us truly recite and respond to the kaddish with the awareness that the moment in which we are all sharing can teach us to use interruptions constructively. This practice can help us to build our patience and even see the unexpected difficulties in our lives as opportunities to praise God.

mesorah Tue, 28 Dec 2010 18:22:46 +0000
lens of the amidah http://rivertonmussar.org/middot-character-traits/equanimity/item/395-lens-of-the-amidah http://rivertonmussar.org/middot-character-traits/equanimity/item/395-lens-of-the-amidah

art-siddur1There is a common question regarding prayer: If God is perfect, and I am imperfect, why would I need to pray for anything?

God is all-powerful and knows better than I do about how things ought to be, so is it right for me to even ask for something to be different? On the one hand, there are kernels of truth under-girding such inquiry. There is every possibility that our own desires are limited and may not be connected with God’s overarching design. Nevertheless, the God whom we encounter in TaNaKh and B’rit Chadashah is directly impacted by prayer. This is so much so that the fate of the world has been, dare I say, “altered” by great prayers! For example, would there have been a Jewish people if Moses hadn’t interceded after the sin of the Golden Calf (maybe…maybe not)? Regardless, we can learn from this that prayer is something that God desires from us and is something that is crucial and transformative for us and Him.

What does this have to do with equanimity? We are so often thrown off by those life circumstances that challenge our perceptions of how things ought to be. When we experience a crisis, we are moved to want things to be different. Is this a sign of out-of-balance equanimity? Not necessarily. Prayer channels the impulse towards dissatisfaction in a positive way. The great prayer of the Jewish people called the Amidah (Shemonei Esrei, T’fillah) is one of the greatest events of our daily lives to bring balance to our middah of equanimity.

The language of the Amidah starts us off by reminding us who God is and who we are: “Blessed are you, LORD our God, and God of our ancestors.” This praise of God and recognition of who we are and who He is serves as the basis of all the b’rachot (blessings) that follow. Each b’racha (blessing) begins with a plea to God for more, less, or other than what already is: peace instead of strife; healing instead of illness; more knowledge, less wickedness; etc. At the same time, we end each b’racha with an assertion that God’s very nature is to do the thing for which we were moved to ask. The Amidah clarifies what we ought to be moved to change.

The Amidah is an opportunity to face our longing for a better world and a better life, and an opportunity to face the God who smiles upon the longing and is praiseworthy and trustworthy to answer. There is no future tense at the end of these b’rachot. They all end as specifications of who God IS.  What if we were to really pour out our longings to God with each b’racha and end with the steadiness of heart to say, “Blessed are you LORD, who heard my prayer and is faithful to answer”? We would be people deeply connected to the truth that our longings for something different are part and parcel of our identity in God and we can give them over to Him completely without reservation.

Equanimity is the middle road between the extremes of complacency and panic. The Amidah is the thrice daily prayer that can guide us to live in equanimity. We face our longings and fears, our identity, God’s identity, and end in praise of Him. May we all utilize our davening to set the tone for our daily lives where we are commanded to want nothing less than God’s Kingdom, and are connected enough to who He is to say that “everything’s gonna be all right.”

mesorah Tue, 28 Dec 2010 18:14:48 +0000
marked pages of the siddur http://rivertonmussar.org/middot-character-traits/equanimity/item/302-marked-pages-of-the-siddur http://rivertonmussar.org/middot-character-traits/equanimity/item/302-marked-pages-of-the-siddur

art-bridgeAs we consider our prayerbook, the siddur, as a crucial component of an ordered and prayerful life, remember that it is also the simple prayer of a contrite heart and the proper intention that Hashem desires as well. 

Prayer is the concept of binding these two things together. Maybe that’s the reason why the Baal Shem Tov, the founder of the Chassidic movement, loved to pray in the fields and the woods. He didn’t like confining walls; he liked to be out in the open where he could be bound to our ever-present Creator.

Consider this story of the Baal Shem Tov and Reb Yaacov:

And then there was the time that a simple Jewish man, called Reb Yakov, had a life-altering encounter with the Baal Shem Tov.

Reb Yaakov lived in a little village deep in the Carpathian Mountains. Although he was extremely poor and hardly a scholar, Yakov had strong faith in G·d and was happy with his lot in life.

One morning, Yakov was praying in the tiny synagogue of his village. The Minyan had already finished their prayers and had left for work. On this day, Reb Yaakov felt a warm glow fill his heart, as he slowly and softly recited the prayers in the Siddur.

Coincidently, just at that time, Rabbi Yisrael - the Holy Baal Shem Tov - happened to be walking in the countryside and passed the village. Being a mystic, the Baal Shem Tov saw a brilliant, G·dly light streaming out from the window of the tiny village synagogue.

"My L·rd, what is going on in there?" Rabbi Yisrael thought to himself.

He quickly walked over to the Shule and looked in the window. There, he saw what appeared to be a simple Jewish man holding a Siddur and praying. The man, of course, was wearing his Tallis and Tefillin. Rabbi Yisrael went in, sat down, and immersed himself in the study of a Holy Sefer, while he waited for the man to finish his prayers.

Hours passed. It was already early afternoon when Yakov was finally done and removed his Tallis and Tefillin.

"Shalom Aleichem, Aleichem Shalom," they greeted each other.

After speaking briefly, Rabbi Yisrael asked, "Tell me Reb Yakov, why were you praying so long?"

"Rabbi," he answered in a hushed tone. "I don't really know the meaning of the Hebrew words in the Siddur or even the right prayers to say. Usually I just start reading at the beginning of the Siddur and stop when the rest of the minyan finishes. But today, I felt particularly inspired so I didn't stop until I reached the end of the Siddur."

"Reb Yakov, my friend," said Rabbi Yisrael. "Would you like me to teach you which prayers to say, and when to say them?"

"Oh Rabbi! I can't tell you how much that would mean to me. I've always wanted to know which is the right prayer to say. But I don't want to be a bother to you," replied the unassuming Yakov.

"Oh Reb Yakov, it wouldn't be a bother at all," responded the Baal Shem Tov. "In fact, I would be honored to teach you the prayers."

And so the two of them sat together for several hours, while the Baal Shem Tov taught Yakov about the many prayers in the Siddur. They started with the morning blessings, the Shachris prayers and the prayers said before and after eating. Then the Baal Shem Tov showed Yakov the Minchah and Maariv prayers. They moved on to Shabbos and Yom Tov prayers. Rabbi Yisrael marked the separations between the prayers by placing small pieces of paper in the Siddur, with notes written on them to remind Yakov about each of the prayers.

When he completed explaining the entire Siddur, the Baal Shem Tov bid farewell and left. He walked at his usual fast pace down the road leading away from the little village.

Yakov was thrilled. He danced and danced around in circles while hugging his prayer book. Suddenly, he accidentally dropped the Siddur. The pieces of paper with the notes on them were scattered across the floor.

He stood, bewildered and dismayed. "What am I going to do?" he cried out. On one hand, he had always wanted to know the proper prayers and when to say them. On the other hand, he felt extremely embarrassed at the thought of asking Rabbi Yisrael to put the papers back in their proper places.

Finally, he decided. He gathered up the pieces of paper, and clutching his Siddur, started walking as fast as he could down the road after the Rabbi.

He could not see the Baal Shem Tov for quite some time. Then, Yakov reached the top of a hill from which he could just barely make out the Rabbi, far off in the distance. "Whew!" he sighed in relief and started walking even faster. Just then, the Baal Shem Tov disappeared into a forest.

Yakov followed him through the forest and suddenly found himself standing on a cliff, high above a wide, raging river. And there, by the side of the river stood the Baal Shem Tov. "Thank G·d," Yakov thought, "I've got him now."

Just as Yakov started walking down to the river, he saw the Baal Shem Tov remove his gartle (prayer belt wrapped around the waist). Then, the Baal Shem Tov stretched it out, and walked upon it across the raging river. As soon as he reached the other side, he put his gartle back on, and continued walking away without even a backwards glance.

When Yakov reached the edge of the river, he yelled out, "Rabbi! Rabbi!" But the roar of the river drowned out his voice. Without a second thought, Yakov took off his gartle, stretched it out, and walked upon it across the river. As soon as he reached the other side, he started running as fast as he could after the Baal Shem Tov.

"Rabbi! Rabbi! Wait for me!" he yelled.

The Baal Shem Tov turned around and was startled to see Yakov. "Reb Yakov, what are you doing here?"

Yakov held out the Siddur and the pieces of paper. "Rabbi, I'm so sorry. I dropped the Siddur and all the pieces of paper fell out."

"But what are you doing here?" asked the Baal Shem Tov.

"Rabbi, I've come to ask you to please put the pieces of paper back into the prayer book."

"But Reb Yakov, how did you get across the river?"

"Rabbi, I crossed on my gartle just as you did."

"You know," said the Baal Shem Tov, putting his arm around Reb Yakov, "you don't need my pieces of paper. The way that you've been praying is just fine."

And so it was.1


May you harmoniously balance order and intention in your moments of prayer and reach greater heights.

1. (original source) Freely adapted by Tzvi Meir HaCohane (Howard M. Cohn, Patent Attorney) from a story in SHIVCHEI HABESHT and translated in IN PRAISE OF THE BAAL SHEM TOV by Mintz and Ben Amos.

stories Sun, 17 Oct 2010 02:31:22 +0000