Life does not tell stories. People do.
Life provides no more than raw materials. Raw enough for us to look back and construct at least two versions of our own biography: one a prison, the other a palace.
This is the greatest kindness the Master of Life has given us: He has placed His own pen in our hands, so that we may enjoy the dignity of a palace constructed by our own design."
— From the wisdom the Lubavitcher Rebbe, of righteous memory; words and condensation by Rabbi Tzvi Freeman (via longskirtclub)
Sefer Vayikra contains some of the most difficult subjects in the Torah. The concepts of karbonos (sacrifices) is one that is very foreign to this day and age. Nonetheless there are some important lessons to use in our Avodas Hashem.דַּבֵּר אֶל בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וְאָמַרְתָּ אֲלֵהֶם אָדָם כִּי יַקְרִיב מִכֶּם קָרְבָּן לַיהֹוָה מִן הַבְּהֵמָה מִן הַבָּקָר וּמִן הַצֹּאן תַּקְרִיבוּ אֶת קָרְבַּנְכֶם:
"Speak to the Children of Israel and say to them, when a man from you will offer up a sacrifice to G-d, from the animals, herds or flocks should the sacrifice be brought." (Vayikra 1:2)
The Midrash reads the posuk as "Speak to the Children of Israel and say to them, when a man will offer up a sacrifice from you, shall be an offering to Hashem….” Hashem wants us, not just our karbonos.
In fact, every korban had to be accompanied by genuine teshuva before it was accepted. The kohen was able to tell if the person was sincere in his feelings. If not, he would signal to the administering Levi’im to sing a soul stirring melody that would arouse the Yid bringing the korban to genuine teshuva. Only then could the korban become acceptable.
Only when one gives up something of himself, does he make a sacrifice that is pleasing to Hashem.
A related true story goes as follows.
The richest man in Krakow had just died and nobody wanted to attend to his funeral preparations. He had always lived as in exile in his own city. He never gave money to the poor. He had for years turned away every appeal for tzedakah that had come his way. He had consistently ignored his community for years. They called him Yossele the Kamtzan (miser). He had no children. Before his death he had called the Chevra Kadisha (Burial Society), but they refused to bury him unless he gave them a certain amount that they could give to the poor. He refused. So he died, and they just left his body alone in the house. Finally, after several days, a neighbor took pity on him and buried him at the edge of the beis hachayim.
Soon afterwards, the Ruv of the city, the Tosfos Yom Tov, R’ Yom Tov Lipman, started to see a lack in community funds. Numerous poor families began coming to him for help. When called by the head of the charity committee, he learned that an unprecedented number of families were looking for funds to meet Shabbos expenses.
R’ Yom Tov Lipman began to investigate. As he questioned each petitioner, a pattern emerged. The ‘envelope’! Each one had the same story. Every Friday morning there was an envelope that had been slipped underneath the front door, with just enough money inside to cover the week’s expenses. How long had this been going on? Each one again told the same story.
He had been to see Yossele the Kamtzan, who had interrogated him thoroughly as to his family size, needs etc., then had thrown him out of the house empty-handed with a violent warning never to dare beg from him again. Soon afterwards, the envelopes appeared.
R’ Yom Tov Lipman was gripped with an uncontrollable trembling as he realized the stark truth, that nobody had ever known. Yossele the Kamtzan had been supporting Krakow for years, secretly. not wanting to derive any benefit from his mitzvos. In order to do that, he gave up friends, community, anything that resembled normal life.
R’ Yom Tov Lipman called for all the residents of Krakow’s Jewry to assemble the next evening in the Central Synagogue. R’ Yom Tov Lipman began to wail, “Yossele, Yossele, Holy Yossele. How can we stand before your memory. how can we possibly beg your forgiveness?!
The Ruv revealed to all the real story of Yossele the Kamtzan. He requested in his last will and testament that he buried outside the beis hachayim, next to Yossele. And he also had the headstone changed. On the grave of the miser it is now inscribed “Yossele HaKamtzan HaKodesh.
(Matzeive of Yossele the Holy Miser)
Antwerp. December 2013
Atzeres Tefilah, Rosh Chodesh Adar II 5774 against Gezeiras Shmad by the Israeli government. About 800.000 Jews (as opposed to ‘300.000’ by the secular media) were present at the prayer gathering against the discriminatory laws by the Israeli government against religious Jews living in Eretz Yisroel.
All of the Gedolei Yisroel were there and said Tehilim, Slichos and Kabbolas Ol Malchus Shomayim together with everyone else. Sepharadim, Yemenites, Ashkenazim, Chassidim and Litvaks were present. The Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah (Agudas Yisroel), Degel HaTorah, Moetzes Chachmei HaTorah (Shas), and the Eidah Chareidis, everyone was present in this huge Maamad Kiddush Hashem to show the world that we -as Jews- stand united against any threat to the Holy Torah.
The Torah HaKedosha will prevail.
Hashem Hu Malkeinu.
(Hatzolah stands ready in case of any emergencies)
(Of course the media was also present)
(Let it begin…)
(Pitsburger Rebbe shlita)
(Boyaner Rebbe shlita (middle) & Gerrer Rebbe shlita (right).
(Rav Yitzchak Yosef shlita, Rav Meir Lau shlita, Rav Dovid Lau shlita)
(A police drone)
Sephardic children saying “We want to learn Torah like Rav Ovadia!”
The Torah Hakedosha will prevail.
Today (Sunday) will be a massive prayer gathering in Jerusalem against the gezeiros of the government. All of the Gedolei Yisroel (from Sefardish to Chasidish and Litvish) have called upon the tzibur to come and join. It will start around 4pm and busses will leave from all over the country to Jerusalem from 9am. About 6000 busses are to be expected to leave for Yerushalayim.
May our teffilos be heard and these harsh gezeiros be canceled.
Megillas Lester is the first 3D animated film made specifically for the Othodox Jewish community by what many call the 'Jewish Pixar'.
Megillas Lester is a full length animated feature film depicting the fictional story of Doniel Lesterovitch (“Lester”); a boy whose imagination turns the Purim story upside down.
Suddenly finding himself at the feast of King Achashverosh, Lester is ordered to summon queen Vashti to the party…and he inadvertently convinces her to go! With Vashti alive and well, Esther never needs to come to the palace - and that leaves nobody to save the Jews from evil Haman! Follow Lester’s hilarious and thrilling adventure as he tries to set his version of the Purim story back on track…
Get social for the chance to win free DVD’s or a spot at the live premier!
Kiddush cup for marriage, Breslau