Thursday, 13 January 2011 21:37

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).

Published in mesorah
Tuesday, 28 December 2010 10:22

positive interruptions

art-siddur3

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.

Published in mesorah
Tuesday, 28 December 2010 10:14

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?

Published in mesorah
Thursday, 10 February 2011 21:49

love your neighbor, love Hashem

art-prayer-gottleibPraying alone on Saturday nights or at the end of fast days, Rabbi Israel [Salanter] would defer his tefillah (prayer) till an hour or more after dark. When praying with the congregation, however, he would hurry to start immediately and not wait a minute beyond the earliest permissible time, so as not to hold back the congregation

So, too, he would take very long to recite the tefillah when alone. When he prayed with a congregation that would wait for him to finish, however, he would be among the first, "so as not to burden the public." Even in the month of Elul and the Ten Days of Penitence, when he would observe special stringencies, he would only take a little longer than usual to recite the first three berachot of the Shemoneh Esreh, but hurry through the rest as was his custom, and so finish together with the congregation.  --From The Mussar Movement, Volume 1, Part 2, pages 224 - 225.

Published in stories
Monday, 01 November 2010 09:23

FaceGod not FaceBook

art-jugglingDo you ever feel overwhelmed—like you just have too much on your plate and you cannot keep up? Here at First Fruits of Zion, we are always taking on more projects than we can handle, and we talk about having “too many balls in the air.” When a juggler has too many balls in the air, he’s going to drop a few, or eventually, he may end up dropping all of them.

Published in daily living
Saturday, 16 October 2010 18:31

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. 

Published in stories
Friday, 17 September 2010 11:27

steady maintenance

art-fixerIn my own pursuit of Mussar, I find myself returning to Order more than any other middah. I can think of three reasons for this.

Published in besorah
Monday, 13 September 2010 11:28

from the rising of the sun until its setting

art-treesunriseOn going to bed one says from ’Hear, oh Israel’ to ‘And it shall come to pass if you hearken diligently.’ Then he says: ‘’Blessed is He who causes the bands of sleep to fall upon my eyes and slumber on my eyelids, and gives light to the apple of the eye. May it be Your will, O L-rd, my G-d, to make me lie down in peace, and set my portion in Your law and accustom me to the performance of religious duties, but do not accustom me to transgression…’

When he wakes he says: ‘'My G-d, the soul which You have placed in me is pure. You have fashioned it in me, You did breathe it into me, and You preserve it within me and You will one day take it from me and restore it to me in the time to come. So long as the soul is within me I give thanks unto You, O L-rd, my G-d, and the G-d of my fathers, Sovereign of all worlds, L-rd of all souls. Blessed are You, O L-rd, who restores souls to dead corpses.' When he hears the cock crowing he should say: ‘'Blessed is He who has given to the cock understanding to distinguish between day and night.' When he opens his eyes he should say: '‘Blessed is He who opens the eyes of the blind. When he stretches himself and sits up he should say: ‘Blessed is He who looses the bound.' When he dresses he should say: '‘Blessed is He who clothes the naked.' When he draws himself up he should say: '‘Blessed is He who raises the bowed.' When he steps on to the ground he should say: '‘Blessed is He who spread the earth on the waters.' When he commences to walk he should say: 'Blessed is He who makes firm the steps of man.' When he ties his shoes he should say: '‘Blessed is He who has supplied all my wants.' When he fastens his girdle, he should say: ‘'Blessed is He who girds Israel with might.' When he spreads a kerchief over his head he should say: ‘'Blessed is He who crowns Israel with glory.' -- Talmud, Berachot 60b

Published in mesorah
2
Next
End
Page 2 of 2

this week


Moshe Rabbenu teaches loving-kindness
Here's a drash on loving-kindness adapted from my book Creation to Completion, wh . . .
chesed and truth
For the Torah was given through Moshe; chesed and truth came through Yeshua the M . . .
chesed and forgiveness
In his commentaries in both the Rosh HaShana and Yom Kippur Koren Machzorim Rabbi . . .
how the world stands
A woman died and left no money to pay for her funeral. She was an inhabitant of o . . .
His chesed is always there!
One of the high points of the Passover Seder every year, especially when our ki . . .
do a chesed
There was an older gentleman I used to to interact with fairly regularly at a Ra . . .
bottled up kindness
'The kindnesses of the Lord I shall sing forever; to generation after generation . . .
showering chesed
The Hebrew word for loving-kindness is chesed.    . . .

Member Login

Login to access podcasts, special content, discussion forums and user blogs.