The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 95:2;
98:1) halachically requires that you feel the following prior to commencing
your Shemone Esrei:
As if you were standing in the Beis HaMikdosh
As if the Shechina is directly in front of you
As if you are carefully speaking before an earthly king
For the weekday Shemone Esrei, the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 98:3)
adds that your tefillah should be in the form of supplication (“tachanunim”),
as a poor person stands at the door, pleading before one who can grant his
Remember, through the gift of tefillah,
Hashem places in our hands the key to the Heavenly Storehouse of Brocha, and
gives us the precise words that can release these treasures into our lives.
VISIT THE CHOCHOM
The Gemara in Bava Basra (116A) teaches that if someone has
a sick person in his home, he should go to a Chochom to plead for mercy, as
the posuk in Mishlei (
) states “The anger of the King, the Angels of Death, and a wise person
will bring forgiveness.” The Ramo brings this ruling in Hilchos
Bikur Cholim (Yoreh Deah 365:10). In fact, the Rabbeinu Chananel on
the Gemara adds the explanatory words: “…and he [the Chochom] will save
Also see the Maharasha on the Gemara there and the G’RA on
the posuk in Mishlei there.
Let us truly appreciate our Chachomim!
The non-Jewish world may investigate three
or even four topics in sixty minutes.Keren
Ner Tomid, a very special organization in Eretz Yisroel, gives us the
Torah’s view of sixty minutes.It
has instituted the “Shishim Dakos B’li Hafsaka” program.The simple rule of the program is that for sixty consecutive minutes
you engage in uninterrupted learning.No
cell phone, no phone calls, no drinks, no shmoozing, no witticisms -- just
you and the Torah that you are studying.All you need is two things:
Before you start, say “B’li neder, the next sixty
minutes I will be learning b’li hafsaka,” and
The G’RA (Peah 1:1) and the Chofetz
Chaim (Collected Writings) write
that one attains 200 mitzvos per minute for studying Torah.Multiply this by sixty minutes, and you have achieved 12,000
earning $12,000 for one hour of work -- and the difference between a mitzvah
and a dollar is, at the very least, infinite!
YOU KNOW WHERE YOU’RE GOING
We can only use a vivid imagination to
ponder how our ancestors entered Yerushalayim and the Har HaBayis -- in
their Shabbos finery, in their chasunah best.HaKodosh Boruch Hu, through the Navi Yechezkel, teaches us that in
our current state of churban, our Shuls and Batei Medrashim, yes, our shuls
and study halls, are today’s “Mikdash Me’at”.It becomes a bit wondrous, then, that some may choose to enter Mincha/Ma’ariv
in a baseball cap (even if the emblem depicts last year’s world champion),
or in Indian moccasins (even if the Indians are one of the Ten Lost
Tribes) or with “GAP” or “Old Navy” embossed across their shirt or
jacket (even if the brand owners give sizeable donations to tzedakah).At the very least, we should show Hashem Yisborach that we anxiously
await the return of the full Beis Hamikdash -- and will act properly upon
When making a brocha, is it “melechaolam” (what does
this mean?), or is it “Melech HaOlam”?
The difference, quite literally, is rulership over the
The Mechaber (Orach Chayim 47:1) poskens
“One must be very careful reciting Birchos HaTorah.”The Mishne Berurah (ibid., seif katan 1) writes that many Rishonim,
including the Ramban, Chinuch and Rashba, rule that Birchos HaTorah daily is
We present some suggestions to assist in
properly reciting the Birchos HaTorah:
When saying V’haarev Na, have in mind your
request that Torah study be sweet for you today.
When saying V’Tzeetzainu, picture your children
in your mind and ask that they be b’nei Torah and talmedei chachomim.
Allot ample time to make the Birchos HaTorah in a proper
manner—should such brochos be recited in pajamas, or while walking out
of the house, or while walking into shul?Shouldn’t such meaningful brochos be recited from a Siddur?How many brochos do you know that are mi’doraysa?
Let us treasure our daily, invaluable
The Gemara (Pesachim 87A)
teaches that the Navi Hoshea was severally punished because when Hashem told
him “Your people have sinned,” he responded with forthrightness that
sinners should be punished.How
should he have responded?The
Gemara says that he should have said, “Ribono Shel Olom, they are Your
children… the children of the Avos.Bring
Your mercy upon them.”Judgment
and the letter of the law is the easy answer.Pleading for mercy from the Source of all mercy is the effective
answer.(This is one of the
Thirteen Attributes of Hashem, see Shemos 34:6).
The Orchos Tzaddikim (Sha’ar HaZrizus) writes that we should be
especially careful in Shemone Esrei to plead for forgiveness for all of Klal
Yisroel when we ask for forgiveness in the brocha of S’lach Lonu Aveinu,
the sixth brocha, and beg that all of Klal Yisroel do Teshuvah in the brocha
of Hashiveinu, the fifth brocha.
Helpful Point:Think of a relative, friend, neighbor or coworker who is not yet
religious and daven for them in S’lach Lonu Aveinu and Hashiveinu.
Yes, you can do your part to bring mercy upon Klal
Recently, General Mills cereals have newly
advertised as being "whole grain".We have checked with competent Rabbinical authorities who have
studied the process utilized, and the brochos on all of these cereals remain
From One of Our Readers:
I found your email Bulletin on Simcha to be very
important.I would like to add
that the Chazon Ish, in his Collected Letters (II:93), writes explicitly
that the ikar performance of a mitzvah is the joy one feels in being zoche
The Mishne Berurah (Orach Chayim 669, seif katan
11) brings from the Arizal that all he attained in the openings of the Gates
of Wisdom and Ruach HaKodesh resulted from his boundless joy in performing
mitzvos.As the Pele Yoetz
(II-3:4) writes: “Every mitzvah which presents itself is a gift sent by
HaKodesh Boruch Hu...”
Helpful Point:The next time an unexpected mitzvah comes your way, try to feel the
same joy as if you had won a million dollars in the lottery.
The Kitzur Shulchan
Aruch (6:1) writes the following succinct halacha:
Before starting a
brocha, know how it will end, so that when you say the name of Hashem, which
is the main part of the brocha, you know what the brocha is referring to.
This is especially
relevant to the Birchos HaShachar where you are reciting a series of 15
consecutive short, important, but varied, brochos.
Look at the last words of the brocha before beginning.
As we together commence the meaningful forty-day
period from Rosh Chodesh Tammuz to the Tenth of Av, we provide the following
timely recommendation that is spreading through our community worldwide:
As you recite the fourteenth bracha of Shemone
Esrei, V’lirushalayim Ircha three times daily, spend just an extra few
seconds of time and effort to concentrate on the plain meaning of the words,
and on the nachas and simcha Hashem and Klal Yisroel would have with the
rebuilding of Yerushalayim and the Bais Hamikdash.
Some Helpful Points:
You may want to highlight the bracha in some way in
your siddur to remind yourself
A tear from time to time, if possible, is also
Try to keep a running record of the times you had
kavana (maximum three times per day!)
ALL WHO MOURN OVER YERUSHALAYIM WILL BE ZOCHE TO
SEE ITS FINAL CONSOLATION