#PesachSheni on the way to #LagBOmer #2015 with inspiration and kindness!

So happy to get ready for Lag B’Omer 2015 & Ari Lesser this year in top form 🙂  But before that The 14th day of Iyar – begins this week – this is known as Pesach Sheni. Last class of Session 4, 10th Habit!<- “Getting high, staying high with this Inner message of 2015” , the 10 habits towards 10 commandments getting ready for Session 5! Lag B’omer to Shavuot 2015!

The highest moment is within and the fire shines to all around.

It’s also the yahrtzeit of the holy Rebbe Meir baal Haness.

Rebbe Meir, a third-generation Mishnaic sage or Tanna, is affectionately known as Rebbe Meir “Baal HaNess”, or “master of the miracle”. He is one of the most quoted sages in the entire Talmud and one of the five (some say seven) latter pupils of Rebbe Akiva. His father, a righteous convert, was a descendant of the Emperor Nero.
The Gemara (tractate Avoda Zara, 18a-b) tells us that Rabbi Meir was married to Bruria, a brilliant woman and the daughter of the holy Rabbi Chanina ben Tardion, one of the ten martyrs whom the Romans persecuted. The tyrannical Roman occupiers sentenced Rabbi Chanina and his wife to be executed for teaching Torah publicly. They sentenced his daughter – Bruria’s sister – to be placed in a brothel. Image, above: Rebbe Meir’s holy gravesite in Tiberias
Bruria asked her husband to save her sister. Rabbi Meir took a bag of gold coins and said to himself, “If she has remained chaste, a miracle will occur for her, and if not, there won’t be a miracle.”
He then went to the brothel disguised as a Roman cavalryman, and asked her to sleep with him. She refused, claiming she was in the midst of her menstrual period. When he offered to wait until it was over, she said, “There are many other women here that are more beautiful than I.” He then realized that she used this tactic with everyone who sought her and concluded that she indeed maintained her chastity.
The disguised Rebbe Meir then he offered the gold coins as a bribe to the guard. The guard replied, “When my supervisor comes, he will notice one girl missing and he’ll kill me.”
Rabbi Meir answered, “Take half the money for yourself, and use the other half to bribe the officials.”
The guard argued, “And when there is no more money, and the supervisors come – then what will I do?”
Rabbi Meir answered, “Say, ‘elaka d’Meir, aneni – G-d of Meir – answer me!’ and you will be saved.”
The guard was not yet convinced: “How can I be sure that this will save me?”
Rabbi Meir replied, “Look – there are man-eating dogs over there. I will go to them and you will see for yourself.” Rabbi Meir walked over to the dogs, threw a clump of dirt at them, and they ran at him to tear him apart. He cried, “G-d of Meir – answer me!” and the dogs retreated. The guard was convinced, accepted the bribe and he gave Rebbe Meir Bruria’s sister.
The story’s not yet over: When the group of supervisors came, the guard bribed them with the money. Eventually, the money was used up, and it was publicized what had happened. They arrested the guard and sentenced him to death by hanging. They tied the rope around his neck and he said, “G-d of Meir – answer me!” The rope tore, much to everyone’s amazement. He confessed, so they put out a warrant for Rebbe Meir’s arrest. The guard was saved.
The Romans distributed an engraving with Rebbe Meir’s likeness on it and proclaimed that anyone seeing such a person resembling  should turn him in to the authorities. One day, some people spotted him and ran after him, so he fled and entered a harlot’s house. They barged into the house in pursuit. Eliyahu HaNavi – Elijah the Prophet – appeared to them as a harlot who embraced Rebbe Meir. “If this was Rebbe Meir,” they said to each other, “he certainly would not have acted like this!” Rebbe Meir escaped and fled to Babylon.
Ever since, there is a surefire tradition in Judaism that when a person is in peril, Heaven forbid, he should give charity, and dedicate it in the memory of Rabbi Meir Baal HaNess. He should then say “Elaka d’Meir aneni” – three times, which means, “G-d of Meir – answer me!”
Rebbe Meir’s yahrtzeit, the anniversary of his death, falls on Pesach Sheni, the 14th day of Iyar, which this year falls on Wednesday, April 24, 2013. This is a special day to give charity in the name of Rebbe Meir and to ask for all your heart’s wishes. Even better, try to visit Rebbe Meir’s holy gravesite in Tiberias, overlooking the Sea of Galilee. It’s a special place where thousands flock to, for many have seen miracles in their own lives after visiting there.
May Rebbe Meir’s holy memory intercede in our behalf, amen!
At the end of the year the boys get up and speak from the heart. One fellow echoed the sentiments of many of us when he said, “I thought I came to this school to give Hashem another chance, but at the end I realized that it was Hashem who had given me another chance.” In Torah.Org ,Rabbi Frand on Parshas Beha’aloscha brings that Tosfos in Tractate Kiddushin [37b] says that when the Torah describes Pesach Sheni [the “makeup” Paschal offering], it is actually implying an indictment of the Jewish people for not offering the Korban Pesach during the next 39 years. The fact is that during the next 39 years — after the offering of the Pesach sacrifice that year — they never again offered a Korban Pesach. This was the first and only time they brought a Paschal sacrifice during their 40 years of wandering in the wilderness. The Haftorah of the first day of Pesach [Yehoshua Chapter 5] describes the next time that they offered a Korban Pesach, after they had already entered the Land of Israel. The Chiddushei HaRim (1799-1866) questions Tosfos’ assertion that this was an indictment of the Jewish people. The reason why they did not offer the Pesach during the years in the wilderness was not because they did not care about the Korban Pesach. Rather, they did not offer the Korban Pesach for a technical reason. The Halacha requires that everyone who brings a Korban Pesach must be circumcised and all the male members of his family must be circumcised. During the 40 years in the wilderness, they were unable to perform circumcision as a result of the adverse conditions that existed in the desert. Such an operation would have presented a danger to the child. For forty years, their hands were tied. They were victims of circumstances beyond their control (anusim). This was a technicality. It was not due to callousness or a bad attitude on their part. So why, asks the Chiddushei HaRim, does Tosfos call this an indictment of the Jewish people? The Chiddushei HaRim answers that the indictment consists of the contrasting attitude, between the people who brought the makeup Pesach that year and all of the Jewish people for the next 39 years. In the book “City on Fire,” compiled by Sarah Shapiro, about the twin tower tragedy of September 11, they bring on p. 197, Rav Matisyahu Salomon who cites the Alter of Slabodka who explains the prophecy of Malachi like Rav Moshe and elaborates on this point. He says in part,
                        “If a Torah Jew, who represents Yiddishkeit [Judaism], walks down the street, mixes with people, and is obviously not a happy person, if he doesn’t show that his life has content, if he is not an example of refinement and fulfillment, then he is shouting to the world, ‘It isn’t worthwhile to serve Hashem.’
                          He is saying to everyone, ‘We didn’t make it, but you made it. You are happy people. You have your entertainment, your pleasures….and I go around with my long face.’ You are telling everyone, ‘What benefit do we have in keeping His mitzvos?…It isn’t pleasure. It isn’t life itself. It isn’t an achievement. I don’t feel fulfilled….’ Hashem seems to have pushed us away, and we seem to be affirming those who do what they want, who extract the pleasures of life and seem to get a better deal. And that’s an indictment of Torah observance.”
                       Rabbi Zelig Pliskin, in his sefer “Growth Through Torah,” p. 18-19, brings from Rav Yeruchem Levovitz that the very first verse in the Torah Genesis 1:1, makes us aware that Hashem is Creator and Ruler of the universe. This will make a major change in you for the rest of your life. You realize that there is a reason for everything. The world has meaning and purpose.
                          Rabbi Pliskin elaborates that without meaning in life even if one accomplishes a lot, has health and wealth, fame and fortune, there is a strong feeling that something is missing. It is. Without meaning, there is no real enjoyment and satisfaction. Yes, a person can have moments of excitement, joy, and even ecstasy. But they are short-lived. When the high feelings settle down, there is emptiness. Nothing seems to really matter.
                         Rabbi Pliskin (ibid.), continues to say that without meaning in life there is no real enjoyment, but once you internalize the awareness that there is a Creator of the universe, you see plan and purpose. There is an inner glow and a drive for spiritual growth. Those who lack this realization see only the external actions and behaviors of those who live with the reality of the Almighty. They are unaware of the rich inner life of such a person. The true believer in the Creator is a fortunate person. He sees divinity in every flower and tree and in every blade of grass. His life, regardless of how it unfolds, is full of purpose and meaning. While he appreciates this world as a gift of the Creator, he looks forward to an eternity of existence. This is the profound message of the first verse of the Torah.
                       Rabbi Pliskin concludes with a story of a certain well-known communal leader, who as a teenager saw Rabbi Moshe Feinstien for the first time. He remembered something that Rav Moshe said that made an indelible impression.
                        Rav Moshe was saying, “People destroy their children by always repeating [in Yiddish] ‘Es is shver tzu zein a Yid (It is hard to be a Jew).’ No, it is not hard to be a Jew. It is beautiful and joyous to be a Jew.”
                        Rav Moshe’s face glowed with pride and happiness when he said those simple words, and the young listener recalls that he too became suffused with pride in his Jewishness.
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One thought on “#PesachSheni on the way to #LagBOmer #2015 with inspiration and kindness!

  1. Reblogged this on The Guide for Husband Wifey happy! and commented:

    Learning from special people is the key to an #inspired relationship! 😀
    May the following words provide a spiritual elevation to the soul of a’m Shlomo ben Shimon Zelig hk’m.

    During the period between Pesach and Shavuos, we strive to improve our interpersonal relationships and in particular the commandment to “love your neighbour as yourself”.

    “Love your neighbour” is better translated as “love your friend”. But surely this seems misleading, implying that we are only commanded to love our close acquaintances?

    Furthermore, a literal translation of the commandment is actually “and you loved your neighbour” – in the past tense. In the Torah, the prefix “and” sometimes ‘switches around’ converting the past tense into the future tense.
    Therefore “and you loved your neighbour” (in the past tense) is actually read as a commandment to “love your neighbour” (in the present/future tense). Whilst this application of the concept is relatively common, in the case of “and love your neighbour”, it stands out as being unique. Why?

    Rabbi Yisroel Salanter was once on his way to Vilna. Next to him on the train sat a young man named Leib, who clearly did not recognise the famous Rabbi and subsequently treated him like he would any other passenger.

    When they finally arrived in Vilna, a great throng of Jews had come to greet the great Rabbi. When Leib discovered who his travelling companion had been, he was mortified. The next day he went to the Rabbi to request forgiveness, in case he had dishonoured him.

    When the Rabbi spotted Leib, he greeted him warmly, “Have you rested up from the trip?”
    Faced with such kindness and concern, Leib burst into tears and pleaded for the Rabbi’s forgiveness.
    “Don’t worry,” the Rabbi assured him, “everybody makes a mistake sometimes”.

    “What brings you to Vilna?” the Rabbi asked, swiftly changing the subject.
    Leib explained that he wanted to become a shochet (ritual slaughterer) and had come to Vilna to receive approval.
    The Rabbi began discussing some of the relevant laws with Leib, but it soon became apparent that Leib didn’t know them.
    “You must still be tired from the journey,” said the Rabbi, “come back in a few days and I will help you.”

    But several days passed and Leib didn’t show up.
    When the Rabbi finally managed to locate Leib, he asked him why he had not returned and Leib admitted that he was insufficiently prepared to be tested.
    “Oh, I am sure that you just need to refresh your memory,” said the Rabbi encouragingly, “I will have someone review the laws with you, and then I am sure you will receive approval”.

    The Rabbi sent a learning partner for Leib, but a short while later he returned reporting that Leib did not have sufficient knowledge and that it would take several months to prepare him for his test.
    The Rabbi knew that Leib was only planning to be in Vilna for a short period of time and immediately undertook to provide him with everything he needed for an extended stay in Vilna.

    Leib continued to study and after a while received his qualification. But not content with having assisted the young man up to this point, the Rabbi helped Leib find a suitable position in an established community.

    Before leaving Vilna to assume his new position, Leib came to take leave of the Rabbi. After thanking him profusely, Leib asked him “Rabbi, why did you do so much for me – a complete stranger, especially after I treated you disrespectfully on the train?”

    The Rabbi replied, “The nature of a person is that when he works hard to do a favour for a complete stranger, he comes to love him with all his heart”. [1]

    The commandment is to love every Jew – even a complete stranger [2]. Of course it is much harder to love a complete stranger than someone we know, especially if they don’t show us any love! Why then are we instructed to “love your friend” rather than to “love every Jew”? On the contrary “love your friend” seems to refer only to close acquaintances.

    Rather, we have been commanded to “love your friend” – i.e. to love every Jew so much, even a complete stranger, so that we finally become his friend.

    But what if we already have a good companionship with someone?
    There is always more to give, more to improve, more ways in which to “love your friend”. Even if someone is already a friend, there are endless opportunities to continually demonstrate our love for him, and increase our friendship.

    The Yehudi haKadosh used to say that everything can be tested to see if it is good or bad. And how does someone know if he is a good Jew? If the love he has for his fellow Jew is increasing daily.

    “And love your neighbour” can be interpreted to mean “love your neighbour and love your neighbour” [3]. “Love your neighbour” more and more each day.

    Perhaps this is the idea behind the prefix “and”, which switches “you loved your neighbour” from being a thing of the past into “love your neighbour” – be a constant friend to him.

    This also explains the otherwise superfluous words at the end of the verse “Love your neighbour as yourself I am G‑d”. G‑d’s name indicates that He was, is and always will be [4]. Furthermore, the word “kamocha” (“as yourself”) can also be read “k-mocha” meaning like the word ‘mocha’, which has the same numerical value as ‘was, is and always will be’. This is how we must emulate His ways and be a constant friend to our neighbour, always looking to improve our friendship.

    Have a more-ish Shabbos,

    Dan.

    Additional sources:
    [1] See also Derech Eretz Zuta 2
    [2] Rambam, Mishneh Torah, Deos 6:3
    [3] Medrash Rabba, Bereishis 66:3 (based on Bereishis 28:4) which the Chida applies to other similar verses.
    [4] Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 5:1

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