mesorah (4)

Friday, 17 June 2011 16:13

being truthful with God

Written by rabbi benjamin ehrenfeld

art-mask2Rabbi Nachman of Breslov taught his students to turn his teachings into prayers. Rabbi Natan (his foremost student) wrote down many prayers corresponding to the various lessons in Likutey MoHaRaN. The following is an excerpt from one of those prayers (based on lesson nine in the above mentioned volume):

“Help me to say my prayers with complete honesty and truthfulness, so that the light of the Truth will shine upon me, and I will be able to emerge from the…strange thoughts…that constantly surround me…Especially when I am praying, I feel surrounded on every side…My only hope of finding a way to escape is by talking to you truthfully…You are ‘close to all who call to you in truth.’”

-Likutey Tefilot, pgs. 187-188

Friday, 18 March 2011 12:10

truth muscles

Written by rabbi benjamin ehrenfeld

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.

Thursday, 16 December 2010 00:24


Written by rebbetzin malkah

art-networkingWho is a rachil?  One who peddles tidbits from one person to another, saying, "Mr. A said so and so; I heard so and so about Mrs. B." Even if it is true, it destroys the world. There is a more serious wrongdoing included in this prohibition: lashon hara (evil speech) – speaking disparagingly about others, even if speaking the truth.  —Maimonides, Mishneh Torah, Laws of Temperaments 7:2

Thursday, 16 December 2010 00:15

unnecessary information

Written by rebbetzin malkah

art-unnecessaryinfo2Our Rabbis taught: The gatherer was Zelophehad. And thus it is said, and while the Children of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man [gathering sticks, etc.]; whilst elsewhere it is said, our father died in the wilderness; just as there Zelophehad [is meant], so here too Zelophehad [is meant]: this is R. Akiba's view. Said R. Judah b. Bathyra to him, ‘Akiba! in either case you will have to give an account [for your statement]: if you are right, the Torah shielded him, while you reveal him; and if not, you cast a stigma upon a righteous man.’ --Talmud, Shabbat 96b

this week

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