Saturday, May 26, 2007

Step 60 -When you Search

... For help ,Hashem will help you find what you need.
Hillel would always say -
If I am not for myself , who will be for me
& if not now , when ?
These two lessons in Avos 1:14
Were always on Hillels tongue.
We need to learn to motivate & encourage ourselves.
In english , we can say -
Part of being involved is to also get excited !!
This shows that you are thinking about the issues & that you are into it. Mesilas Yeshorim also teaches a secret - that you can decide to act excited & thus generate true excitement & enthusiasm.
The Talmud teaches that to make our Torah Study come alive we need to utilize our voice control when repeating the words of the Torah in an enthusiastic way.
Some points that are useful are :
To speak clearly
At a meaningful pace
Pause & emphasize
In a cheerful manner
With a gentleness.

The more you get into it ,
The more Hashem will help make it come alive.
As Pirkei Avos says repeatedly -
He used to SAY ...
Now may be a good time for a gem of Torah study.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Step 59 -anticipate the Future

We find two specific sources where our Sages instruct us in this system for success :

Who is wise ?

One who looks ahead.
Tamid 32b

What is the best path for success in life ?
One of 5 sages pinpoints this method of seeing that which may develop as the key to all forms of success.
Avos 2:13.
The ultimate preparation is for the greatest of all futures - the World to Come.
But there are other significant levels such as

- preparing for retirement
- for next year
- for the next 10 minutes
- for even 5 minutes.
It takes training & practice & as one does his part Hashem helps him progress.
One of the lessons that is linked to this is to learn that in many areas of life , PERSISTENCE pays off. To set goals & not to give up praying for them until you achieve it with Hashems help.
This lessons can be continuously be reinforced through looking ahead & seeing how things develop.
Now may be a good time for a gem of Torah study.

Step 58 -the Bar Mitzva connection

It so happens that verse 13:13 of Mishlei is very appropriate for a Bar Mitzva speech / message.

One who is disrespectful to a matter will be injured by it - this fits with the principle of on the path ... Hashem will cause it to trip him up measure for measure.
But one who develops a proper respect for a Mitzva will become complete.
The Gra explains this with the Gemara that every part of ones body corresponds to a Mitzva of the Torah. Thus when we strive to do them all properly we develop our wholeness & completeness.
Now may be a good time for a gem of Torah study.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Accepting more Torah

The more Torah one accepts the more Hashem helps him succeed. On the path one desires to go ...
Pirkei Avos (chap. 3 ) proclaims : all those who accept upon themselves the yoke of Torah they will remove from them the yoke of the govt & that of derech eretz.
We need to strive to take a step forward in the right direction.

Step 57.
Now may be a good time for a gem of Torah study.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Step 56 - Utilize the Negative

Why did Hillel teach this lesson with the negative -
What is hateful to you don't do to others- ?
He could have taught -
Love others as yourself.

One answer is when someone hurts us we feel it sharply - that can be utilized to change the world dramaticly.

We are here to emulate Hashem which includes to Love those whom He loves & to hate those who are committed to evil.
Hashem provides you with life , air , water , sun , wind , trees etc.
If you gave such gifts to a freind & he ignores you without even a heartfelt thanks , how would you react ?
Now may be a good time for a gem of Torah study.

Step 55 -On one Foot

How can a person accept the entire Torah while standing on one foot ?

The Talmud teaches the secret
To develop the desire to love others & eliminate hate. What you don't like don't do to others. When you seek to love Hashem will help you find it.
The way you act to others , Hashem will cause them to act towards you. You will get what you give.
The secret is not to wait for others to change or to wait for Moshiach to change the whole world , rather we have to grab ourselves by our mind & heart , & change ourselves one step at a time.
You can decide to begin to love others more. You can begin with ... & love him more right now. And keep working at it. As you expand your reach Hashem will assist you more & more !!
Now may be a good time for a gem of Torah study.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Step 54 - Always Avoid

Always avoid opening your mouth for the satan.
This quote is from Brochos 19 a , 6 lines up.
If a person says negative things about himself it is a form of accepting the possibility rather than praying to Hashem for help to avoid problems. A person should pray for Hashems assisstance to become righteous , repentant & healthy.
You can say , Hashem please help me feel well , please help me learn more , pray better & help others more.
Speak of what you want. Think positive & speak positive & Hashem can help it happen.
When we serve Hashem always with Joy , He can make it even better. Baruch Hashem
Now may be a good time for a gem of Torah study.

Step 53# Secret to Longevity

Honor your Parents so that you will live an extended life. The Torah teaches this twice in the 10 commandments. What is the logic ?
By showing that we appreciate those who helped provide us with life we deserve more of it. On the path ...
Also , when people honor their parents it enables them to live longer , thus measure for measure the children are rewarded with longevity.
Now may be a good time for a gem of Torah study.

Step 52 * Matching Principle

The principle we have been studying , on the path ... Has a matching one - With the measure one uses , that is how things will be measured to him : Midah kneged Midah. ( Megila 12 b ).
One who blesses others , Hashem will bless him in a similar manner.

If we go all out to avoid the sins the Torah instructs us to avoid , Hashem will help us succeed. One example are the laws of avoiding all forms of aroyos.
The root of the word is ayin reish which spells ra when turned around which means bad. The Torah teaches the purpose of marriage - it is not good to be alone- a person needs a helpmate. But the spouse must be suitable - not an ervah - one who is forbidden to him.

When we avoid forbidden relationships , Hashem will enhance our marriages to make them successfull in every way.
Now may be a good time for a gem of Torah study.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

New Book - One Minute at a Time

This book based on Mesilas Yeshorim was written by Rabbi G. & Raymond Saka.
It is available now , Baruch Hashem , if you send us a mailing address we can send you a copy.
Now may be a good time for a gem of Torah study.

Step 51. Avoiding the Negative

Part of choosing the right path is to choose to avoid the negative.
We have to Run to Mitzvos & Flee from sins (Avos 4:2 ).
Tehillim declares -
Those who love Hashem hate evil !
We must choose to love Hashem & wish that the entire world should recognize Him & serve Him. We hate the sins & wish the sinners would repent.
We all have to begin with eliminating our own sins & developing an intense love of Hashem & hatred of evil.
Hashem created us with the unique greatness of in His image & as His children with the power of freewill to choose to emulate Hashem in all of our actions & thoughts.
Now may be a good time for a gem of Torah study.

Improved Health - step 50

A happy heart will improve ones health - Mishlei 17:22.
There are two places in Shmone Esrei where we pray for completion.
In Bracha 5 - complete repentance
In Bracha 8 - complete healing.
What is the connection ?
Our body corresponds to our soul. When we strive for returning to Hashem , He is eager to help us to accomplish more. On the path one is ...
One of the purposes of illness is feedback to let us know what to focus on. This means that it can be turned around ... There are many stories of people who have been cured by Hashem when they changed themselves.
In a simple way we see that a person may get a cut & the body grows back together. This is Hashem demonstrating how He wants to help us fix things up.
Now may be a good time for a gem of Torah study.

Step 49 - you come first

If a person was in a situation where he only had one container of water , if he keeps it for himself he will live but someone else may not. If he shares it both of them may die.
The Talmud - Bava Metzia 62a - teaches 2 opinions :
- share it
- keep it to save your life first. The halacha follows the second view. We are obligated to love others as oneself , but yourself comes first.
What about giving it all away to the other person ?
That is forbidden because you have a Torah obligation to care for the jew called you first.
Since You own this container of water Hashem has provided it for you to utilize it first to save yourself.
Of course as you maintain your life you will also do your best to find more water with which to save others as well.
Thus we learn to keep our priorities straight , on the right path & Hashem will help ...
Now may be a good time for a gem of Torah study.

Step 48 - contradictions

What if someone keeps asking Hashem for help in Torah study but he never makes the time to sit down daily to study ?
Our actions must be in line with what we keep asking Hashem for in order to justify His following through to make it happen for us.
We need to open ourselves up for our expectations to be fulfilled.
Loving others
As yourself , the Torah teaches - so we need to consider :
Do I treat myself the way I would like others to treat me ?
If you behave in a disrespectful manner it is as a signal to others this is what I feel I deserve.
You are setting the tone.

Now may be a good time for a gem of Torah study.