Midnightrabbi on a mission to inspire Youth-At-Risk in Israel @world :)

Education with inspiration 🙂 Midnight Rabbi <- click here, for the important budget that you must help us with asap!!

shtar stars

Below and <:)<-click here , is a 1st draft of the Mission statement for our new project together thanks.

Please can we begin the process of making this a working project thanks .

What’s the next step ?

Bs’d A brief account / Mission statement from Eli Goldsmith aka The Midnight Rabbi!

Is currently working as a Consultant at a very famous successful charity, the Midnight Rabbi needs your support to renew his crucial commitment to the children of today, our future tomorrow!

The Midnight Rabbi wants the children of today to know that we are here for them. Many young people are not coping with the pace of today’s society, causing drug and alcohol dependancy and petty crime.

Midnight Rabbi is ready to be on the streets at all hours providing council and friendship.

Midnight Rabbi wants to train midnight students (with scholarship funding) to follow in his footsteps so we can have more people on call to do this important work together.

Midnight Rabbi provides an address to re-address all the burdens’ that nobody has got time for, send these needy teenagers to an <what does that mean>

Midnight Rabbi will provide a free agency for troubled young people, with the placement requiring a small payment from the professional centre. <what does that mean>

The Midnight Rabbi is in touch with today’s music and social media!

We are ready to provide a platform to provide live performances, keeping the price low for large attendances and quality performance.

The Midnight Rabbi has a large social network following, from The Midnight Rabbi inspirational blog, Facebook, Youtube channels and videos.

Group pages are updated daily with inspiration, and guidance. The Midnight Rabbi needs funding to expand the quality of the on-line sites, and be a pool for the many requests and a conduit for young people throughout the world.

The Midnight Rabbi, Inspires.

Help the young people lead successful lives and to be a role model of healthy family ideals, providing education, healthy living and religious inspiration.

Send your email to: umuse613@gmail.com

Youth-At-Risk in Israel

The intensity of living under the constant threat of terror attacks presents a challenge for all Israelis, but no group is more vulnerable to trauma than the nation’s youth-at-risk. Living in communities without resources, coming from families struggling to break the cycle of poverty, these children fall into patterns of underachievement and despair.

Who are Israel’s youth-at-risk? Of the 2.3 million children and youth growing up in Israel, an estimated 350,000 are considered to be “at risk,” with most coming from poor, immigrant families.

  • About 10,000 Israeli youths have been removed from their homes.
  • A report by Elem, a group that helps youth in distress, found that nearly half of youth who loiter late at night were new immigrants teens, almost a quarter of them Ethiopian.
  • According to the Israel Anti-Drug Authority, the typical drug-using Israeli teenager is male, a new immigrant, lives in a big city, drinks alcoholic beverages and suffers from anxiety and depression. In addition, his parents likely do not live together and the parent he lives with is likely to be unemployed.

Emotional and Physical Abuse
In Israel’s at-risk community, as in vulnerable populations all over the world, one risk factor often leads to another – for example, emotional, physical, and sexual abuse can lead to lifelong battles with self-esteem, which make it more difficult to thrive scholastically and socially.

  • About 8 percent of Israeli children suffer from abuse or neglect.
  • In 2008, Israeli child welfare officers investigated 8,716 cases of child abuse, a rise of 12 percent over the previous year.
  • 8.5 percent of Israeli children struggle with special needs. These children are at least five times more likely to experience violence or neglect than their peers.
  • According to a 2009 Ministry of Welfare and Social Services report, some 40,000 cases of child abuse are reported each year; child welfare officers follow up on roughly one-fourth of those reports.
  • Some 2,000 children were hospitalized due to domestic abuse during 2008.

Drug and Alcohol Addiction
With little appropriate supervision at home and no constructive community activities in which to participate, these children look to peer groups for nurturing. This often leads to drug and alcohol abuse.

  • A 2005 study showed that Israeli youth who were physically and psychologically exposed to terrorism consumed more alcohol than those who didn’t.
  • Israel has seen a 20 percent increase in drug-related crimes involving minors, as well as an increase in violent incidents in schools.
  • About 300,000 Israelis use drugs; 70,000 are between the ages of 12-18, representing about 11 percent of all youth in this age group.

High-school Dropouts
While investing in educational excellence is one way out of poverty and abuse, many youth-at-risk are unable to thrive in traditional educational institutions.

  • According to Ministry of Education statistics, 24,500 9th-12th graders drop out of school every year.
  • Seven percent of students in the Jewish sector and 17.5 percent in the Israeli-Arab sector do not complete high-school. The percentage of dropouts is highest among minorities, new immigrants, and the Ultra-Orthodox.

Teen homelessness
Youth-at-risk who do not get assistance in dealing with the extreme stress they encounter daily often find themselves in untenable home situations, which often leads to homelessness.

  • There was a 5 percent rise in 2007 in the number of youths either homeless or wandering the streets late at night.
  • More than 25 percent of homeless youth in 2007 were girls, compared to 15 percent in 2004. A huge percentage of homeless girls are drawn into the sex industry.
  • Thirty-seven percent homeless teens helped last year by Elem were under 16.

As the recession progresses, the number of youths-at-risk appears to be growing. The most dramatic rise has occurred in Israel’s periphery: the Negev and Galilee.

  • About 40 percent of Israeli children live below the poverty line.
  • One-fifth of Israeli families currently live below the poverty line.
  • According to statistics gathered by the Ethiopian National project, more than 70 percent of Ethiopian families in Israel live below the poverty line and some 40 percent of working-age families have no breadwinner.

How We’re Helping
Dealing effectively with the situation requires a multi-faceted approach: therapy and emotional support, remedial assistance, and incentives to combat communal and family poverty. The following are just a few of the many innovative programs:

  • Youth villages provide alternate living situations with remedial learning and counseling.
  • provide promote educational excellence among youth-at-risk.
  • Midnightrabbi would like to connect children-at-risk with mentors.
  • that brings therapy and health counseling to young women-at-risk.
  • offer hands-on assistance to parents and children in high-risk communities.
  •  are alternate safe spaces for urban youth.
Prevalence, Abuse & Exploitation of Street ChildrenIn the early years of the 21st Century  –  2000 to 2010                                   gvnet.com/streetchildren/Israel.htm

State of IsraelIsrael has a technologically advanced market economy with substantial, though diminishing, government participation. It depends on imports of crude oil, grains, raw materials, and military equipment. Despite limited natural resources, Israel has intensively developed its agricultural and industrial sectors over the past 20 years. Israel imports substantial quantities of grain but is largely self-sufficient in other agricultural products. Cut diamonds, high-technology equipment, and agricultural products (fruits and vegetables) are the leading exports.  [The WorldFactbook, U.S.C.I.A. 2009]
CAUTION:  The following links and accompanying text have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation inIsrael.  Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated or even false.  No attempt has been made to validate their authenticity or to verify their content.*** FEATURED ARTICLE ***Domestic violence on the riseMiri Hasson, Yedioth Internet-ynetnews.com, November 3, 2005


Dear reb Eliezer Goldsmith “the midnight rabbi” Shlita,

I don’t know if you heard about an article in a widely read Jewish newspaper in America. The article basically was trying to discredit neveh and other similar programs catering to kids coming to have a year in Israel. The author obviously was bent against neveh and had to mention ………. as the place where a boy ODed a few years back. Luckily she wasn’t totally ludicrous and actually quoted the ….., Rav …….., on some very crucial issues. He definitely saved face for the yeshiva. I wanted to let you know he mentioned you as being a vital player in the Yeshiva doing all that is possible to provide a safe and constructive environment for these kids at risk. I think you were the biggest part of saving face for the yeshiva. SEE BELOW

“Rabbi …….., rosh yeshiva of…….., outside Jerusalem, says that the troubled boys who come to his yeshiva sometimes do go to Crack Square, but usually under supervision.

“The dorm counselors usually hang out with them in town, so we usually know what’s going on.”
Rabbi ……………..’s yeshiva specializes in boys with known problems.

“We’re a yeshiva that takes boys that need motivation. Many were already off the derech. They need direction, incentives, inspiritation. Every student has a close relationship with a rebbe. We have a ‘midnight’ rebbe who stays with the boys allnight. . We’re constantly trying to get them to learn in the morning.”

“The boys that we’re working with, we feel they need the freedom to work things out, to take responsibility for their actions. We try not to impose things on them. We want them to motivate themselves.”
Usually, the rabbi says, the boys “were doing much worse in America than they’re doing here. Their parents know it doesn’t work to lock them up.”

Hashem should give you the strength to continue your Avoda of saving these Neshamos. I hope the Yeshiva will be able to keep you aboard. I know how much Rav Tzvi Meyer holds of what you do, he even spent TWENTY FIVE minutes on the phone with me to better understand the yeshiva and your role in it. For a normal person that would be like spending a month on the phone.

Hatloch UBracha

Bkavod Rav Ubahava rabah



I’m so happy you got a chance to meet D…. ( M….. brother). They still need a little help getting along, but they are getting there. Maybe you can speak to him and explain to him that his brother really loves him, but the way he is now- I’m also glad you had a good Chanukah with your family. I wanted to write sooner but I didn’t want disturb your festivities of Chanukah. I don’t know if you know this, but M mentioned that he introduced k to smoking cigarettes. This is not good for any one. M…. needs to be guided off of smoking- this is one the major areas we had difficulties with- we hate it, his brother fights with him bitterly on this and M…s bad Asthma. Is there anything that can be done to get him “unhooked?” Also if we can work on his overall appearance and stress the importance of first impressions. How people view others at first just on their appearance. He needs to look sharp, clean, and well kept. He needs his hair cut and styled, – and not wear a hat all the time- (if he does). Also explain to him that not everyone has to know that he doesn’t always eat kosher ( he mentioned that to my cousins- ) he should understand that they will only remember that part of the visit- ( they are not observant). I do hear that there are some changes- positive ones and I am grateful for those changes- but as you know there is still more work to be done. M…. also has to realize that he is an adult and will be held accountable for his actions- unlike when he was younger.

Thank you again,

Hatzlacha Rabba

Hi, sorry to bother you but you are the only one I trust. Please help me with D…. he is very upset about the whole situation- not to mention his best friend is leaving tomorrow because of everything that is going on. I did speak to Rabbi B……….  but I think you understand how to talk to these kids. If you can’t talk to D…. maybe you have a a friend in the school or near by that N… can be mentored by. Hope all is well with your family – thanks again

Hello Rabbi, how are you?

How is the family?

You have no idea how much I miss you and all the other rebbeim. I can’t wait to see all of you again in the holy land! im tentatively planning on coming back this summer, and maybe for the 1st semester of next year. I want you to know that the last friday nightthat I was in Israel that I spent with you stands out in my mind as one of the most spiritual and holy Layl Shabbosim that I can remember ever having. I can’t wait to get back to Israel so we can do it again. Anyway, how do you like the new program?

Keep in Touch,

M…. is still in the air. When he arrives I will have him email you. Yes you are correct about a lot of things about M…..  I made the return ticket when I did because I wasn’t sure of when he should go back. At this point , I can’t change the date, but with Hashem’s help this will be a good thing. We have to remember that Hashem does everything beautifully  and all is for the good . M….. knows that we are not very excited about him coming home because we too have changed just like M and we have to learn the how to get along with the “new” M…… Baruch Hashem M….. has us and you and of course Hashem on his his side – a real winning team.  And yes when M loves someone like you he gives his whole heart!!!! I’ll keep you posted. Just keep him in your prayers.

.i also want to thank the midnight rabbi cus he really brought most of the spirituality in my life i used to stay up last year talking to him for hours and he really affected my neshama and brought me a lot of ruchnius i was blown away when ever i spoke to him and he always encoureged me to do more.i disagrea with him on some things now but i consider him a tsadik who changed my life and would do any thing for another person.this year i moved on to other rabbis and i still learn with him every day But Boruch Hashem i have a packed learning schedule in n………..v and it is an amazing school and i’m growing so much i can’t even explain.

Dear Rabbi Eli

You are all welcome. It was an honor and our pleasure to share with your family. You and your family have made Y…. so happy that we hope we have done the same for yours. The only thing we ask of Mrs. Goldsmith is that she keeps our family in her prayers when she lights the shabbos candles. I know we pray for yours to be safe, see yiddish nachas from the children, and that the Midnight Rabbi continues to do his wonderful work kessed with  all of you by his side.

Keep in touch

Have a good Shabbos

Regards, from the entire l……. family especially “Mum”

Hello Rabbi Eli,
Sorry I did not respond sooner, but my computer is not working well and not having K…….. here to fix it complicates a little bit.

I am very thankful for your e-mail, you have no idea how good is for us  to hear such beautiful words about our son.
l………… always being a good kid, but like you sad the street culture of America was swallowing him, no matter how careful we parents are about who your kids are friends with, there is always a chance that they will fallow the wrong direction and you may find yourself lost.

I believe the best thing we did was to let him to go to Israel, believe me was not an easy decision financially and emotionally.
But we had faith that  Hashem would show him  the right path to fallow, and  Baruch Hashem he is finding himself and G-d, I can not ask for more then that.

Also I want to thank you very, very much for helping him, he always talk about you and he like you very much, the connection you and him have is not only special, but also is very important and is helping him a lot to see that when you have G-d with you, you have everything.

I agree with you also about k…….., she is one of the best things that happen to my son, she is a wonderful person and I believe that they complete each other.
Many times I found myself worry about what is l….. doing, if he is going to classes, if he is really taken advantage of this opportunity that he has being giving and you answer a lot off this question with your e-mail.
Again we want to thank you very much for everything, and hope we will continue to be in touch.


See a very positive comment about you below from a loving father….

Well done.



I know your nephew very well – he is a very special person and many of
the boys ( including h………) have a very good relationship with him.

Unfortunately drugs and drinking are a major problem for many boys on
their ‘year off’ and I know that 14 boys from a very well known program
have recently been arrested for drugs in another police undercover
operation .

It’s very difficult !!

Thanks for your support in the past – I know that your nephew has a very
large family and needs as much support as he can get. He is doing a
really good job with these boys.


This is an article about N……….  Is this the program we are
trustees of?

My nephew is the “midnight rebbe” referred to in the article.


Best wishes.


[accessed 2 June  2011]

Ilanit Barbi, the director of the newly-founded Adi Center for Girls, explained that “there are currently no appropriate frameworks for girls in the community, which can provide both an alternative for school and for home. As a result of this, more and more girls end up wandering the streets, and their situation consequently worsens.”

*** ARCHIVES ***

Runaways – Where To Turn For Help Before You Are Homeless

Rebeccas Community — This is for anyone aged up to 13 years old who is thinking about running away


[accessed 1 June 2011]

Here are the best phone numbers to call …They are Confidential – which means they won’t tell anyone about your call unless you want them to talk to somebody for you, or you are in danger. They are open 24 Hours – it doesn’t matter what time you call.  In Israel, call 1-800-654-111

Human Rights Reports » 2005 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 8, 2006


[accessed 14 February 2011]

SECTION 6 WORKER RIGHTS – [d] The minimum employment age is 15, and there are special conditions for employment between 15 and 18. The law prohibits minors from working at night, hard labor, and travel beyond their domicile. However, many underage children worked in family farms and shops, as street vendors, or in small manufacturing enterprises.

Domestic violence on the rise

Miri Hasson, Yedioth Internet-ynetnews.com, November 3, 2005


[accessed 2 June  2011]

Ilanit Barbi, the director of the newly-founded Adi Center for Girls, explained that “there are currently no appropriate frameworks for girls in the community, which can provide both an alternative for school and for home. As a result of this, more and more girls end up wandering the streets, and their situation consequently worsens.”

ELEM – Youth In Distress in Israel



[accessed 2 June  2011]

OUR PROGRAMS -OUTREACH VANS – The “Children of the Night” vans operate in city back streets where runaway youth congregate. The vans sweep through public parks, beaches, and entertainment centers, abandoned areas and prostitution haunts where poverty-stricken children loiter. Van personnel, professional and volunteers, offer immediate help to homeless and drifting youngsters.

Live & Learn – Rehabilitating Israeli Youth


[accessed 9 May 2012]

40% of Israeli youth live below the poverty line

More than 70,000 Israeli youth are regular drug users.

Israel has seen a 20% increase in drug-related crimes involving minors, as well as an increase in violent incidents in schools.

More than 25% of homeless youth in Israel are female, with many drawn into the sex industry as a means of survival.

Boyz in the ‘hood

Tali Heruti-Sover, Haaretz, 28.05.2009


[accessed 2 June  2011]

And manage they did. ‘The daily need to survive made you develop sharp instincts,’ recalls MosheKahlon. ‘From a very young age we were forced to cope with difficulties that most people never encounter.’   Making a living was the biggest hurdle. Each day, from the time he was 14, he headed to the sea at 3 A.M., to fish or mend nets. At 7:15, he says, he would board the transportation to school.   The local garbage dump was another source of income. Itzik Haddad, whose family moved in when he was 5 years old, and has lived on Hasharon Street ever since, recalls how children used to spend hours scavenging at the dump for lead or copper, which they would then sell to merchants who came by. No one asked whether that was permissible. The parents did not object.   ‘We were street children,’ recalls Rony Hizkiyahu. ?No one had the time or ability to invest what we, later, invested in our own children. They wanted us to grow up, to go to school and to the synagogue. As far as the parents were concerned, that was enough.’

‘The children who were in the street were not good pupils,’ Hizkiyahu says, ‘and there were no great expectations. The parents were too busy. As the teacher?s children, we had to excel, so as not to shame the family name, but it wasn’t that difficult, because the studies were, anyway, at a very low level. When we reached high school in Hadera, we had to close huge gaps.’

Since the homes had little to offer, the relations between the neighborhood children were strong and cohesive, and the open houses and family connections strengthened them: ‘There was no money, but there was friendship,’ Haddad recalls nostalgically. ‘We were all one family.’   ‘No one locked anything. Everybody knew everybody else,’ recalls neighbor Haim Guetta, who recently returned after years of living in Netanya, where he felt lonely. ‘I owned one book, ?Around the World in 80 Days,? but I used to go to Haddad?s father, who had a big library. If I was hungry, I could always go to one of the neighbors, who would set a table as if I were one of her own children. There wasn’t much, but there was a zest for life.’   Moshe Kahlon does not tend to wax nostalgic. ‘From an early age, every child sensed his parents’ pain,’ he says. ‘It was impossible not to do so. They were new immigrants, they lacked the language, they were not familiar with the establishment and they heavily depended on us. It was our luck that in the 1960s the state invested in the young generation. They build centers and clubs for extra-curricular activities, and did all they could, so that we wouldn’t roam the streets.’

All material used herein reproduced under the fair use exception of 17 USC § 107 for noncommercial, nonprofit, and educational use.  PLEASE RESPECT COPYRIGHTS OF COMPONENT ARTICLES.  Cite this webpage as: Patt, Prof. Martin, “Street Children – Israel”, http://gvnet.com/streetchildren/Israel.htm,

Another example of a program i would like to create Midnightrabbi style 🙂 (please be careful with viewing)

outreach vans

Outreach VansFaced with the growing population of transient youth, ELEM created a street outreach program – the only one operating in Israel today. The Children of the Night vans operate in areas where runaway youth congregate: back streets, public parks, beaches and entertainment centers, abandoned areas and prostitution haunts. Van personnel, both professional and volunteer, offer immediate help to homeless and drifting youngsters exposed to all the dangerous elements of a society ready to prey on the helpless.

Mobile units travel the streets late at night in 13 cities nationwide: Kiryat Shemona, Acco, Haifa, Netanya, Holon, Tel Aviv, Ramla, Rehovot, Jerusalem, Sderot, Bat Yam, Kiryat Gat and Beersheva. Last year they made over 30,000 contacts.

Latest class check it out -> http://soundcloud.com/midnightrabbi-musicmystic/midnightrabbi-music-mystic


9 thoughts on “Midnightrabbi on a mission to inspire Youth-At-Risk in Israel @world :)

  1. sorry to be shocking but things need to change , call me to see how u can help 0573175856 / 00972573175856 asap 🙂


  2. Recommend http://midnightabbi1eligoldsmith.wordpress.com/inspirations-for-today/

    And basic budget , feel free to comment on this THE MIDNIGHTRABBI INSPIRES Program! Bs’d!
    The Tasks and Budget which you need to help us with!
    1. Freelance, Midnightrabbi inspires the youth a few nights a week with other staff learning to follow in his footsteps. Going around the streets and programs night hours!
    Midnightrabbi hours needs to be financed!
    2. Consultant between youth, programs, parents, councillors, professionals and teachers! All provided with sponsorship!
    3. Training program for Madrichim, Dorm. Councillors and night workers for youth. With once a month formal class for public and teachers to wake up to the needs of today!
    4. an interactive internet site including website, blogs, youtube and facebook chat!
    5. 2 small concerts a year drawing from the talent of the youth with the best being included in a finale concert with famous new talent headlining the Unity concert!
    6. To create centres and vans for youth to develop their skills and relax to recuperate and go from strength to strength. The potential for these centres is unlimited!
    7. To provide a fund for scholarships to provide further education, job training and resources for funding of other programs to house the youth!
    Budget for each task!
    1. 21 hours / 3 nights a week at least! From 10pm to 5am. 80 shekels an hour. 1680 shekels per week. 6720 shekels per month. 80,640 shekels per year, 20,160$, 13440 sterling.
    2 more Midnightrabbi’s based on successful funding 3x 80,640 shekels per year = 241,920 shekels a year, 60480$, 40,320 sterling.
    2. 15 hours / 3 days a week at least! From 2pm to 7pm. 60 shekels an hour. 900 shekels per week. 3,600 shekels per month. 43,200 shekels per year, 10,800$ 7,200 sterling.
    2 more Afternoon rabbi’s staff 129,600 shekels, 32,400$, 21,600 sterling
    3. To provide on the job free of charge classes, while including free formal classes once a month, approx costs of hall hire and advertisement 4000 shekels, 1000$, 680 sterling per month 48,000 shekels per year, 12,000$, 8,000 sterling.
    4. A team of graphic designers and web designers to upgrade the standard and develop new more interactive sites. The amount of success will be based on the amount donated, as the content is good and engaging as the youth themselves will be asked to contribute! Estimated hours are from 9am to 1pm and 8pm to 9pm from the Midnightrabbi 60 shekels an hour, 25 hours / 5 days a week at least! 1,500 shekels per week, 6,000 shekels per month, 72,000 shekels per year. 18,000$ 12,000 sterling.
    2 more interactive rabbi staff at other hours than Midnightrabbi total 216,000 shekels 54,000$ 36,000 sterling.
    5. 2 small Unity concerts each one having basic costs, including –
    Hall/ Venue hire 5,000 shekels x 2 = 10,000 shekels
    Light/ Sound hire 2,000 shekels x 2 = 4,000 shekels
    General costs e.g. advertisement, security, transport, equipment hire 6,000 shekels x 2 = 12,000 shekels.
    Total = 26,000 shekels, 6,500$ , 4,400 sterling.
    Grand finale Unity concert with huge potential to grow beyond once a year in Israel!
    Hall/ Venue hire 10,000 shekels
    Light/ Sound hire 4,000 shekels
    General costs e.g. advertisement security, transport, equipment hire 12,000 shekels.
    Total = 26,000 shekels, 6,500$ , 4,400 sterling.
    Grand total = 52,000 shekels, 13,000$, 8700 sterling.
    Total for tasks 1.-5. basic Midnightrabbi / unity concert program!
    300,000 shekels, 75,000$, 50,000 sterling. (Midnightrabbi alone not inc. volunteers etc…)
    Total for full program including 2 extra staff at each point!
    900,000 shekels, 225,000$ 150,000 sterling.
    6. Centre/ s 120,000 shekels, (3 centres 360,000 shekels) 30,000$, 20,000 sterling per year. (90,000$, 60,000 sterling)
    Van / Mitzvah tank program, 400,000 shekels, 100,000$, 80,000 sterling per year!
    7. Scholarship fund for students and programs 400,000 shekels 100,000$, 80,000 sterling per year!
    Total for Centre/s, Van, and Scholarship fund 1,200,000 shekels, 300,000$, 20,000sterling.
    Grand total for full program including Centre/s, Van, and Scholarship fund
    2,100,000 shekels per year $525,000, 380,000 sterling.

    The potential is un-limited and please G-d will be blessed with endless funds to increasingly help the youth to live inspired.

  3. please excuse the names and stories in the letters posted , they are all changed not to fit the names of the people and places thanks 🙂

  4. […] Agreed  however we still need other people to help all of us have the courage to be yourself midnightrabbi-on-a-mission-to-inspire-youth-at-risk-in-israel-world! […]

  5. […] Midnightrabbi on a mission to inspire Youth-At-Risk in Israel @world 🙂 <- click here for original post thanks! […]

  6. Reblogged this on midnightrabbi inspires and commented:

    Education with inspiration 🙂 Midnight Rabbi <- click here, for the budget and then the blog!<- and donate now email umuse613@gmail.com thank!

  7. Meaningful Life, Not the Life of an Animal

    Once there was a man who made himself a list on Erev Rosh Hashana, a list of his needs for the coming year, in order not to forget what to ask for on Rosh Hashana, that H’ should fulfill his heart’s desires for the good. The list included parnassa, health, well-raised children who would do good, and other similar requests.

    Three days after Rosh Hashana the man died. He got every one of his wishes fulfilled, but he died. Health – he was not sick; parnassa – his family inherited; well-raised children who would do good, but would do so as orphans.

    How could such a thing happen?

    He asked for everything, but he forgot to ask for life itself! So he got everything he asked for but that.

    The first thing a person needs to ask for is life itself! Once he has life, he can ask for parnassa, health etc in order that his life is not full of burdens that prevent him from fulfilling his goals, but all that is only after he has life itself.

    That is indeed why we say on Rosh Hashana “Zochraynu L’chaim, Melech chofetz bachaim, v’chos-vaynu b’sefer hachaim l’maan’cha Elokim chaim.”

    But still we must pause and reflect: What do we mean by “chaim”? To live and not to die? Horses live, geese live. Does anyone want H’ to give him the life of a goose or a horse? “Inscribe us in the Book of Life together with all the geese!” . . . Nobody wants that. We want life – meaningful life.

    If so, when we say “Kos-vaynu b’sefer hachaim” and then on Yom Kippur “Chos-maynu”, we do not mean the life of animals and birds, we want the life of a human being.

    Where does this “inscribing” and “sealing” take place? Is there a big thick book somewhere up in heaven where the names of all creatures is written?

    Obviously there isn’t a pen nor parchment, nothing is written down in a physical sense. It’s simple to understand that we are talking about something spiritual.

    But the Maggid of Mezeritch used to say that the inscription and sealing take place on each person’s heart. That’s where a person’s life-force is. When the heart ceases to function, that is death. “Inscribe us for life” – we are asking H’ to write on the tablet of our heart.

    In order to understand the depth hidden in these words, let us contemplate the year that’s gone by and what we want for the upcoming year.

    Request for Chayim and for Chiyus

    Every thing needs chiyus, some kind of life-giving force. If it doesn’t have chiyus it disintegrates, doesn’t exist. Plants require irrigation, animals need food and water in order to live, and human beings too require a life-giving force in order to continue to exist.

    When we reflect on what is it that gives us life, we can divide the answer into two categories: there are things that give us our existence and there are things that give us pleasure. In order to exist, l’choyra it would be enough to have “bread with salt and measured amounts of water”. That will enable a person to live, not to die.

    A person who tries to actually do that, not gradually, for example: He is accustomed to eating three meals every day: three types of cheese for breakfast, four types of meat for lunch, and similar fare for supper. One day he attempts to change over at once to eating bread with salt and measured amounts of water. His body will undergo physical madness.

    Why? He is eating, after all.

    Because there are two kinds of things that give humans their life: things that enable us to subsist, basic food and the like; and things that give us pleasure. A person who has no points of pleasure in his life cannot really live. There is no such reality.

    But each person has the choice as to what kind of pleasure he needs. You have people who derives their pleasure from a certain type of food, others enjoy reading, then there are those who derive their pleasure from a captivating nigun, or someone of a higher madreiga who gets his enjoyment from Torah, mitzvos, and connection to the Borei olam.

    Every day a person has some kind of pleasure. Most people get their pleasure from delicious food, a bit of glory or compliments, maybe a few other external feelings from the material world – these are pleasures that give a person chiyus.

    But we are not street people. We are maaminim bnei maaminim that we must derive our pleasure from inside, not from the external world.

    But let us stop to think: A man arises in the morning, davens Shacharis, and goes to breakfast. Boruch H’ he doesn’t eat just bread and salt, he eats more. Now let’s just figure, with hand over heart: What did he really enjoy more – Shacharis or breakfast?

    After all, if he were potur from davening on account of ones – he’s busy with a mitzvah, his wife gave birth and he took her to the hospital and he needs to attend to her there. He is busy doing a mitzvah that no one else can, he’s not allowed to stop, he’s halachically potur from davening. Not due to forgetfulness and not chas v’shalom with malicious intent. He’s truly potur according to halacha.

    In such a situation he will actually not daven that day.

    On the other hand as far as breakfast is concerned, even if he is “halachically potur” from eating it, that exemption won’t do a thing. He must eat in order to exist!

    When we come to request life on Rosh Hashana, “Kos’vaynu L’chaim”, we are requesting both types of life: 1. Life in its simple meaning, that we should live a long life and not be written in the opposite book chas v’shalom, 2. That there will be chiyus in that chaim!

    There are people who live, but their life is a kind of death, yissurim, like Yona they “ask for their soul to die”. The fact that he is alive doesn’t mean that he has chiyus. He may be alive and still be devoid of any chiyus. A man can sit by the gemora an entire day, be ossek in toras chaim, yet he himself is dead. He learns because of all sorts of reasons and obligations: because he has no other choice, he needs the income he gets from the kollel, it would be more uncomfortable for him to leave than to stay, or he has no where else to go to, but the learning itself gives him no chiyus and no pleasure.

    If so, when we come on Rosh Hashana and ask H’ to give us life, the first request, most external and basic, is simply for life itself, that we should not die, and in this concern we are no different from animals and geese. The second request is – that we should have chiyus, pleasure in our life, and that this pleasure should come from learning Torah and keeping mitzvos.

    In truth, many times a person only asks for the external aspect, that H’ should give him life and he not die. He also asks for a variety of needs – parnassa, health, sholom bayis, children who are tzadikim and so on, a long list in all, each person according to his needs.

    All this is from the point of view of externalities, but where is the internal focus of the day?

    The Din on the Two Days of Rosh Hashana

    It’s known that there are two days of Rosh Hashana. The din on the first day is concerning neshama and the din on the second day is concerning the guf.

    Why should it make a difference to us when the neshama is judged and when the body? Whenever H’ wants, let Him judge, what purpose is there in us knowing this information?

    It’s clear that the din of the neshama on the first day relates to the internal life the person will have for the year. The person is being judged as to how much internal chiyus he will have, how much “neshama” he will have this year.

    It’s possible that person will receive life on the second day’s judgment. He is already 90 years old and they give him another year. And yet on the first day he was judged to die. What will be with him? He will not be eligible for the cemetery’s guest list that year, but he will have physical existence and no more, life with no content. He will sit in the house with no taste to his life, no chiyus.

    And that’s not only true with a 90-year-old. Even a young 20-year-old, he too can have no chiyus! How many days pass over us in a year that we feel have no chiyus. We daven, we do mitzvos, we may even be

    osek in Torah from morning till night, but the “vo-chai bohem” is missing, the man doesn’t feel any pleasure from an internal point of view.

    Even if a person contemplates the year just gone by and feels that he did receive life, let’s analyze that a bit: 24 hours in a day, normally you sleep between 6 and 8 of them, during which he certainly wasn’t feeling much chiyus. So there are 14-16 hours left.

    Now make a cheshbon on one day. Not what he did – that’s a cheshbon hanefesh that relates to the second day of Rosh Hashana, what he did, did he keep mitzvos or chalila did he do aveiros. He checks out his actions seeing how they fell short, or how they can be improved, he does teshuva sheleima including charata, viduy and kabala l’assid, just like the Rambam says.

    Certainly this kind of cheshbon must be done too, but the cheshbon hanefesh of the first day of Rosh Hashana is to figure how much time per day did we have chiyus. Before we even check out where the chiyus came from, first of all how much actual chiyus did we derive from that day?

    A man arises in the morning, runs to his day’s activities. He goes maybe to the mikveh, he goes to daven. Did he derive chiyus from his tefillah? Let him check it out. If he did, how much of the tefillah gave him chiyus? He finishes davening, each person according to his tirdos with his family, eats breakfast, goes to kollel, learns four hours. How much chiyus was there? Lunch break, continues on, each person according to his own seder hayom.

    We must make for ourselves a double cheshbon hanefesh: First stage, what we did, and that relates to the second day of Rosh Hashana; but a more internal stage is: how much chiyus did we have throughout the day?

    Of course, not all days are equal. Some days there is more chiyus and some days there is practically not at all. If a person will be honest with himself, he may find that the chiyus he had on a particular day was possibly the omelette he ate for breakfast or a certain nice smile that someone cast his way at a particular time of the day. And that’s it! Beyond that he was simply running all day long without feeling any internal chiyus.

    Then there are people who won’t understand what exactly we mean when we say “chiyus” – they’re not sad, not happy, just “alive”! What are you talking about here?

    But if a person knows himself just a little, he knows that when his wife gave birth – he was very, very happy. At that moment he understood very well what we mean by “chiyus”. So too when he ate a food that he really likes, he felt chiyus, each according to his own tastes and values. It’s not possible that he gets no chiyus from anything, let him just check and identify what he “lives” from. How much time out of the day did he have chiyus and from what did he derive it.

    If an average person finds more than ten minutes a day of chiyus – already that much is a lot! . . .

    To Feel that Torah Gives Chaim

    How many people are really zoche to learn Torah and every moment to feel the pleasure? Not just to finish the sugya and know it – that’s also essential of course, but to receive the chiyus that Torah gives to those who learn it?

    The Torah after all is Toras chaim, it gives a person chiyus. Like it says in Avos: “How great the Torah is that it gives chaim to those who do it in this world and in the next world, as it says “For they are chaim to those who find them and a salve for all flesh”, and it says “It can heal your flesh and nourish your bones”, and it says “For they will add on to your days and years of life, and peace and well-being”.

    It’s not sufficient just to know what is written in the seforim that Torah gives life and to realize that it’s true. If the Torah gives chaim, we need to be able to feel it

    A person who has a heart attack chas v’shalom, goes unconscious and they are trying to resuscitate him, the fact that resuscitation procedure works is not just something that is written in medical books, we see that it really works: one moment ago he was lying on the floor lifeless, then they got him to breathe, and gradually he regained consciousness.

    It is written in pesukim and explained in the words of Chazal that Torah gives life to those who learn it, mitzvos give life and so does tefillah. If that’s what’s written it must be true, the question is whether we feel it within our hearts too!

    That’s the depth of what the Magid of Mezeritch was saying, that the inscription and the seal take place on each person’s heart. It’s not only written in heaven, it is revealed also within me. When chaim is decreed for a man on Rosh Hashana – it is written on his heart, i.e. how much chiyus he will feel.

    This is not only some segula whose reward will be felt at some time in the distant future. The Torah gives life to those who do it and those who learn it right here in this world! If a person learns all his life long with no taste, only because he believes that in the distant future he will be rewarded – HKBH will go along of course and give him his due, but this is not the way true life was meant to be.

    Even a godol cannot learn 12 or 14 hours without taste! If he receives a taste – then he learns also when there is no taste, but to learn his entire life without taste, only because he wants to get a graduation certificate, or for all sorts of other reasons – that’s death, not life! He is fulfilling the mitzvah of Talmud Torah and will receive his due reward for it, but he is missing out on the real concept of life!

    Without Chiyus There is No Hatzlacha

    If we contemplate these things we will find, that a person can think he’s arrived all prepared for Rosh Hashana, when in reality he has already decreed upon himself to be judged on the second day and not on the first.

    How so?

    He made for himself a cheshbon hanefesh: what did I do this year, what aveiros. He knows that he failed at times in shmiras eynayim, in loshon hora, in embarrassing someone in public by saying something at the wrong time or place, he was nichshal in bitul Torah, tefillah at the wrong time, each person knows for himself.

    He made a cheshbon hanefesh, he is trying to rectify these areas for next year, and he feels, “Oh! Boruch H’, b’ezras H’ I will be matzliach.”

    It’s not a question of 70% chance that he will not succeed, not 80% and not 90%. It’s 100% for sure that he will not succeed!


    Have you ever seen a dead body that can get up on time for Shacharis? No. So too a person cannot fight for an entire year to get up on time, there is no such thing! We are not such big giborim that can fight every morning to get up on time. One day or two we can persevere, at very best a week or two, if he makes it all the way to Hoshana Rabba, he’s really accomplished something . . . but beyond that there is no chance!

    We all know very well: every year we make kaballos, 99% of them do not stand up to reality. Why? Is it that we don’t really want? We do want. We’re not serious? We are serious!

    What then is the problem?

    The answer is very clear: when a person judges what he does and what he doesn’t do, he is making a cheshbon hanefesh and organizing for himself what he will do in the upcoming year. By doing this he has already decreed his own gzar din for the first day and the second. He did real teshuva concerning his maasim, HKBH accepted his teshuva and will give him physical life on the second day. But as far as the neshama, the chiyus, he never even considered, he certainly didn’t do teshuva on it, and so how could he possibly receive chiyus for the upcoming year?!

    You know what it’s like? It’s like a man who comes to the king and asks him, Give me precious stones, give me a house. If he didn’t specifically request a car too he won’t get one.

    If a person comes on Rosh Hashana and asks for health, parnassa, a good memory for his learning, each person with his own peckel of requests, but he neglects to ask for chiyus – he will not receive chiyus. He wants to remember what he learned? He will be like a camera, a computer disc, remembering everything, but he won’t have chiyus.

    A computer, even the kind that has on it the entire Torah – it will never be considered a live entity. Even though it remembers better than anyone, there’s no one in the generation who can remember as well as it can, but sof kol sof it’s an inanimate object, not living. The fact that we remember things doesn’t change a person into a living being.

    When the Torah gives life to a person and he enjoys learning it – that’s when he goes beyond being a computer and becomes a person who knows the Torah. This is a simple and obvious difference, but when we get to daily life, many times we are occupied more with knowing and keeping and less with the chiyus these things can bestow.

    It’s impossible to keep Torah and mitzvos according to halacha when a person lacks the chiyus they give. A person cannot fight the whole year long such a battle. Ten days – somehow you can pull it off, but that too is a lot. Everyone understands that if we need to fight the entire year in order to change ourselves – there’s not a chance in the world that we’ll succeed!

    How then can we ever succeed?

    We’ve never seen a chosson whom they need to drag to the chuppa. If they need to drag him to the chuppa – better he shouldn’t get married, it’s 100% clear that in the end there will be a get.


    Because it’s not possible to build a life of 70 years on the basis of a forced marriage! If he understands that this lifestyle has pleasure in it and he is happy with the notion – sure there will be difficulties, life is full of challenges, but he has some chiyus out of it, some pleasure, and on the other hand – challenges, but the chiyus gives him the power to handle. This is a healthy world, a good world.

    A person who doesn’t feel a taste for davening, why would he have the koach to get up in the morning? Of course, he believes as his fathers did in the holy Torah, and that HKBH gave us a time to daven and a time to say Shma, and whoever doesn’t do it will go to Gehinnom, and because of the fear he wants with all his heart to get up on time, but a person is not capable the entire year to live on the basis of fears.

    For sure fear too is needed, absolutely, because it’s not okay to get up only when we feel like it, and not when we don’t feel like it, but it’s also impossible to get up an entire year only on the basis of fear.

    If a person has a taste for tefillah – even if at times he doesn’t have the cheishek, in such an instance fear comes into play and gets him up out of bed, but together with it he has to have some taam in the davening itself too.

    There are people who get up every morning on time, but it’s not because they have a taam for davening. It’s just that they have a nature that thrives on structure. If they would get up half an hour late – their head would already feel dizzy. L’havdil, there are also people who get up and 6:30 every morning to go to work and arrive at 7:00 on the dot. This has no connection to Torah and mitzvos, it’s just on account of their structured nature, but it’s still totally possible that they have no taam at all in their tefillah.

    When There is Internal Chiyus – There is Less Reason to Turn to Outside Chiyus

    Let’s stop and think a moment about a regular, simple day out of the year that has passed.

    Boruch H’ we all daven, put on tefillin and learn Torah. Certainly we always need to do more and more in every way, but before we get to that, let’s consider what we already do, how much chiyus is in it.

    We walk down the street, how many happy people do you meet? Very few. We go into the beis midrash, how many happy people do you see? Also, too few. Where is the logic? A person is zoche to learn Toras H’ seven or eight hours and he doesn’t have simcha? Where did it disappear to?

    If you look at it simply, we believe that the ikar of life is Talmud Torah that brings us to good deeds. That’s the purpose of life. If so, a person who was zoche to dedicate most of his day to learn Torah, why would he not be happy? It makes no sense!

    Because the problem isn’t a matter of making sense. The problem is not in the head, it’s in the heart, that desires other things! In his head, a person truly arrived at the very clear recognition: there is a Creator, He gave us Torah min hashamayim, the existence of the entire world depends on learning Torah, and this is what I must do. The recognition may be crystal clear, none of us have any doubt about it.

    The problem is that these conclusions are located in our brains, not in our hearts, and you can’t derive any chiyus from them, and a man after all needs some chiyus, he cannot live without chiyus, so mimeila he needs to receive it from other things. He may receive it from eating delicacies, from reading books, or from all manner of other external things, but it’s not possible to live without feeling chiyus. It’s just not reality. If a man doesn’t receive his chiyus from Torah, from mitzvos, from tefillah, from faith and his relationship with the Borei olam – he is forced to receive it from some other place.

    It can be that a man sits and learns, keeps all the mitzvos and davens, but he gets his chiyus from totally other things, just like a man of the street – not less and not more! He does 1000 times more than the man of the street does, but his chiyus he derives from outside, not from inside.

    When he finished davening he feels no chiyus. At the end of first seder he also doesn’t feel chiyus. He needs to go outside a bit during lunch break to derive chiyus from something else: a cup of coffee and a cigarette, gadgets or something. But he needs to get some chiyus.

    When a man eats physical food, he enjoys it, it feels very good inside, he doesn’t need explanations why. Children two years old run after sweets, even though nobody ever explained to them that sweets are tasty. They feel it for themselves.

    When a man enjoys his learning, at the end of first seder he feels good about himself. The Torah gave him life because he has a neshama within him and the neshama gets its nourishment from toiling over Torah. He was zoche to learn, to understand, to attach himself to the Torah in the depth of his soul, and he goes out with a very good feeling. Mimeila when he goes out to the street, he quite naturally does not need to satisfy his eyes by looking at other things because he has chiyus inside.

    A man who has what to live off of within himself – is less likely to turn to the outside, but a man who does not have as much to live off of within himself – quite naturally looks more to the outside.

    Correcting One’s Deeds – After He Has Food

    Throughout the year we need to handle many challenges, everyone knows the difficulties that he must face.

    Usually the solution does not involve kabalos. Certainly one needs also to make kabolos but they are not the solution itself.

    It’s like a man who doesn’t feel well.

    He goes to the doctor who examines him and prescribes three pills a day – morning noon and evening. Take these pills and you will get well.

    The man goes back home and stops eating and drinking. What’s wrong with that? Didn’t the doctor tell him all he has to do is take three pills a day, so then – why should he need to eat and drink too?…

    His family urges him: If you carry on like this, in a few days you will die!

    But I don’t understand, he complains, didn’t the doctor tell me just to take three pills every day?

    The answer is: You need to eat properly, drink properly, and in order to cure the illness you need to take the three pills daily, but you can’t survive on just three pills alone!

    We have problems, all kinds of illness and diseases, and we need our ‘pills’, prescriptions to heal body and soul, but before anything else we need to eat the bread of Torah and drink its water and its wine. Once we have a source of chiyus internally from the Torah and its mitzvos – it’s like we have a proper diet of food, and now when problems arise we can look for solutions like kabolos. But if we aren’t going to eat a constant and proper diet of food next year, how can we fix what needs to be fixed?!

    It’s clear to me that everyone has good intentions and deep desire to be better than last year, but desire alone will not help.

    For example, a man wants to be mezakeh horabim, he wants that every Jew throughout the world will say Tehillim. So he gets an idea, to publish 6 million sifrei Tehillim, for the zechus of the rabim. The problem is that each seifer Tehillim costs 10 shekel, meaning that he needs 60 million shekel that he does not have.

    His intention is very good, his desire is excellent, and he can pour out his heart before the Borei olam to be mezakeh him, but in the meantime he doesn’t have 60 million shekel at his disposal, so mimeila he cannot just yet approach a publisher and order 6 million sifrei Tehillim.

    We all desire to correct the coming year, but if we don’t have a source of chiyus, how will we do anything?!

    There are many problems, and people try to fix up all sorts of things: one works on tsnius, another on internet issues, a third on shmiras haloshon. They are all right. All these really are aveiros and we need to correct them. But what is the root of these issues? Why is it that people actually reach the point of having these problems in the first place?

    Sure it’s easy to say: Look, it’s the dor, it’s the street, the yeitzer hora rules!. . .

    True and good, but where is the root of the problem?

    The root of the problem is that when a person does not have life internally he has to look elsewhere. “Batalla leads to boredom”

    What is meant by “batalla? That a person doesn’t have what to do? No. A person can sit in beis midrash from morning till evening and learn, not be mevateil, and nonetheless he is like someone who sits botteil, as if he was asleep, because in his heart there is no chiyus. The brain is working, he understands, he exerts himself, but the heart is empty, then he goes outside to search for some kind of fulfillment. He looks at this, reads that, is drawn after whatever is available. Like the Rambam writes, “A person only thinks a lot about arayos if his heart is empty of chochma.”If the heart is filled with chochma – it would then be Toras chaim, and then he would have satisfaction from his avoda in ruchnius. A person who has satisfaction – is much less likely to look for things outside.

    For example: people who have problems in their house – look for fulfillment outside of it. A person who lives in a good house – quite naturally he has less things pulling him from outside.

    Someone who has in his heart a source of chiyus from a day of toiling in Torah and keeping mitzvos, davening, emuna and connection with the Borei olam, he comes out feeling alive – such a person isn’t going to be looking outside because he has something inside giving him life. A person looks outside only when inside is empty, inside is missing, and if that’s the situation he doesn’t have the keilim to handle the enticements that he sees. If he doesn’t have chiyus inside – he will search for it outside and he is liable to be drawn there.

    If so we should understand that before any kabolos, and before any corrective action on all sorts of things that need to be corrected – just in order that we be able to correct them we need a source of chiyus within ourselves.

    For sure it’s not possible to say a person shouldn’t daven for his needs, but like we said before, first he should understand that what’s lacking for him in life is chiyus from kedusha. It could be that he has very many maasim of kedusha yet very little chiyus within the kedusha.

    So the first thing he has to daven for on Rosh Hashana is “Zoch-raynu l’chaim,” that we should have chiyus in the life that we have! How many people live without chiyus, how much chiyus is there within each one of us. We need to request and to plead, every one according to his madreiga: Ribono shel olam, Give me more chiyus in my life, allow me to feel internal chiyus within myself.

    When he has chiyus inside, he can then ask for parnassa, health, whatever he needs, but the preparation for Rosh Hashana needs to begin with hisbonenus about how much chiyus he had in his life last year, and from what did he derive it. When a person contemplates this he will be astonished what he is really “living” off of.

    Once it’s clear to him what he’s living from, he comes and pleads honestly before the Borei olam: “Zoch-raynu l’chaim” – but which chaim? “L’maan’cha Elokim Chaim”, the kind of chaim that my chiyus will be in serving the Creator, chaim that when I learn Torah in first seder, I will leave at the end with an inner feeling in my heart of someone who feels “alive”. Chaim that when I finish Shacharis I will go out of shul with the inner feeling of chiyus that results from the connection and the speaking with the Borei olam. When tefillah is done with chiyus and the Torah is learned with chiyus – then it’s possible to correct all the rest too.

    What’s Left – Only Torah and Maasim Tovim

    In Olam Haba, there are no maasim. “La-meisim chof-shi” – free of mitzvos. When the neshama goes up to Gan Eden – there are no taryag mitzvos there to do. Not tallis, not succah, and not shofar.

    What then exactly is the life of Olam Haba?

    Life l’ossid lovo is made up of these points of chiyus that a person had here in olam hazeh. The chiyus that a person received from his learning Torah, the chiyus that he received from doing mitzvos, the chiyus that he received from tefillah, from emuna, from connection with the Borei olam – that is what remains for him on the day of death. “When a person is niftar nothing accompanies him – not money and not gold and not precious stones, only Torah and maasim tovim.”

    What is meant by “Torah and maasim tovim”? Does it mean that if he published a seifer they will put a copy together with him in his grave?

    No. The very same chiyus that he got when he was learning Torah and doing mitzvos – that’s what remains with him. The actual physical maasei hamitzvos will be long gone from the world. The succah that he used has already been disassembled; the esrog has dried up or rotted. What remains from the mitzvos is the impression on his heart, the chiyus that is in his heart.

    The Torah is Toras chaim and the mitzvos are mitzvos of chaim. What remains to a person after he has learned and after he has done the mitzvah?

    True, with learning you might say: What is meant by Torah remaining with me? It means that I will remember what I learned! But with mitzvos you can’t say that, nothing is left, the objects of the mitzvah are no longer in existence.

    And even with Torah, remembering is only the outer part of what remains for us from the Torah we learned. The internal part is the Toras chaim, the chiyus of kedusha that is within the Torah.

    A man goes through a day of learning Torah and doing mitzvos. At the end of the day he contemplates what he got from it. How much chiyus he had today – that’s what remains.

    A Huge Difference – Chiyus in Learning

    The words of the gemora are well-known: “Three seforim are opened on Rosh Hashana, one of resha’im gemurim, one of tzadikim gemurim, and one of beinonim. Tzadikim gemurim – are written and sealed immediately for life, resha’im gemurim – are written and sealed immediately for death, beinonim – are held in suspension from Rosh Hashana until Yom Kippur. If they are zoche – they are written for life, else – they are written for death.”

    Tosafos asks: Don’t we see each year many resha’im who continue living, and many tzaddikim who die during the year? Tosafos answers that “What here is called death for resha’im and life for tzadikim refers to the life of Olam haba.”

    What is that supposed to mean? If it means olam haba – let them judge him in the future, when the yom hadin hagadol v’hanora comes at which time they are going to judge every person whether he is zoche to olam haba. Why do they need to judge him now regarding olam haba?

    The answer is: In olam haba there is no outer life, only inner life. “A person is judged regarding olam haba” doesn’t mean that he is judged what will happen to him when olam haba comes, but how much chiyus – which is the stuff of olam haba – he will get now.

    It could be that on Rosh Hashana it’s decreed on a man on the one hand that he will live 356 days, and it’s also decreed that he will live 15 minutes. How can that be? He lives for an entire year, but only 15 minutes of chiyus will be contained within that year. He will have a few moments of hisromemus when he will feel some level of chiyus. Beyond that – until next Tishrei he’s dead, his chiyus for the year is over.

    That is to say: if you see a man who gets through a year, it’s not necessarily true that he “lived” the whole year!

    Here we are before Rosh Hashana of a new year, the first thing we need to ask for is that we should have chiyus in our lives.

    People naturally are accustomed to focusing on requests for more quantity, and that certainly is a positive thing, but in parallel with asking for more in quantity we need to ask for more in quality – inner quality in the nefesh, how much a person feels alive.

    Herein lies the difference between the big tzadikim and regular people. They may both sit by the gemora four hours without lifting their eyes from it even once, they may both invest their whole brain in understanding the sugya – and despite all that, the tzadik was “alive” for four hours and the person next to him – maybe a minute, maybe two or three. Why? Because they decreed the tzadik would get four hours of chiyus, and the other person was decreed that he would get four hours of just learning, without chiyus.

    This is a huge difference!

    We ask to be zoche to learn Torah, to know Torah, but we need to ask to be zoche that the Torah will be “ki heim chayeynu” Torah, that we will learn it with a feeling of life, that we will get out of it a source of nourishment.

    Who among us can say he’s had a happy year? A person says, How can I be happy, I had a medical problem with one of my children, hardly any parnassa, debts, etc – every one with his own explanations why not.

    This is not an answer. The answer is that he had no source of chiyus, just problems, mimeila he truly was not able to be happy. On the other hand if a person has a source of chiyus the whole day long – not to minimize problems, problems are indeed disturbing, but they haven’t got the power to uproot from him all the chiyus he gets from the Torah and the mitzvos. He “lives” in them and from there he gets his nourishment.

    Knowing the Reality, Not Just an Idea

    All we have said is not a shmuez of hisor’rus, a mussar idea. It’s simply reality!

    This past year is not an “concept” mentioned in some book. Each one of us lived it through our flesh. We are not little children who relate to life lightly. As adults we know what it means to go through a year in olam hazeh, with all its attendant difficulties.

    We understand also that next year is not just something that’s written on a calendar. The coming year is an entire masechta that each one of us will go through, and no one knows what lies hidden in it for him in the days ahead.

    This is reality. Now we have the choice which reality we will go through in the coming year.

    It the nature of this world that no one is given everything. Even the Avos, all the “seven shepherds” for that matter, if you contemplate their lives just a little we see that they lacked things, they did not have everything. Not on every one of them was the gzar din of Rosh Hashana one of abundant health, plenty of parnassa, great sholom bayis, good well-raised children – no!

    Avraham Avinu had no children for 100 years. Each Rosh Hashana during that time he undoubtedly davened for a child – and was not answered. Yitzchak and Rivka could not have children. Did they succeed in altering their decree on the very first Rosh Hashana? No. Yaakov too, he had nothing to eat. What did our Avos have? Chiyus in the heart! Even though they were barren, even though there was a lack of parnassa, even when Yosef was lost to Yaakov – they had what to live off of.

    Certainly it was hard for them. Yaakov Avinu was a father, his son disappeared for 22 years, and he mourned for him many years. But besides mourning, he still had a source of chiyus to provide him with life.

    There are people today rachmana litzlan who lost children, and there’s nobody there to talk with. Why? Because all they have is tragedy without any source of life. It’s not possible to deal with such a situation.

    If a person has chiyus – at the very moment that rachmana litzlan some tragedy comes upon him, it’s difficult, it’s very unpleasant, it needs strong faith, but he also has what to live off of.

    After all we don’t fool ourselves that really in the coming year no one will lack anything. From the day the world was created, ever since the cheit of Adam harishon, people have always lacked some things. Only when moshiach comes will there be abundance of everything for everybody.

    What we can hope for though, is that in this year we will derive chiyus throughout the year, that our neshama will be open and we’ll have what to live off of, and then we will have the koach to deal with all the things that happen to each one of us in our lives. H’ gives us koach to deal, we need only to ask for it, that we should have a source of life.

    May we all be zoche to understand that the main thing we’re missing is not “Kos-vaynu l’chaim” another year of life. We are looking for life that has within it chiyus.

    May we all be zoche to recognize that true life is the nourishment of the neshama which is connected to the Borei olam, and be zoche to uncover these kochos through H’ writing us in the seifer hachaim “lmaan’cha Elokim Chaim.”

  8. What a data of un-ambiguity and preserveness of
    valuable knowledge about unpredicted feelings.

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