July 2012 Archives


Revi's Reflections

Emunah Emet Tikum ©


By Rebbetzin Brachah Rivkah Belk

Emunah (faith) is an innate conviction, a perception of truth that transcends, rather than evades, reason. Emunah grows and deepens when you accustom yourself to see all the phenomena of life as manifestations of the Creator's Presence and Glory.

This was in last week's Reflections.

Emunah grows and deepens when you accustom yourself

to see

all the phenomena

of life

as manifestations of the

Creator's Presence and Glory


Kol De'avad Rachmana letav avad

All that HaShem Does He Does for good.

R. Huna said in the name of Rab citing R. Meir, and so it was taught in the name of R. Akiba: A man should always accustom himself to say Whatever the All-Merciful does is for good, [as exemplified in] the following incident. R. Akiba was once going along the road and he came to a certain town and looked for lodgings but was everywhere refused. He said Whatever the All-Merciful does is for good, and he went and spent the night in the open field. He had with him a cock, an ass and a lamp. A gust of wind came and blew out the lamp, a weasel came and ate the cock, a lion came and ate the ass. He said: Whatever the All-Merciful does is for good. The same night some brigands came and carried off the inhabitants of the town. He said to them: Did I not say to you, Whatever the All-Merciful does is for good. Talmud - Berachoth 60b

Rabbi Akiva said...

If the lamp had been lit, the army would have seen me; if the donkey would have brayed or the rooster would have called, the army would have come and captured me.

Isaac Luria is a renowned sixteenth century Kabbalist. He used the phrase tikkun olam, usually translated as repairing the world, to encapsulate the true role of humanity in the ongoing evolution and spiritualization of the cosmos. Luria taught that G-d Created the world by forming vessels of light to hold the Divine Light. But as G-d Poured the Light into the vessels, they catastrophically shattered, tumbling down toward the realm of matter. Thus, our world consists of countless shards of the original vessels entrapping sparks of the Divine Light. Humanity's great task involves helping G-d by freeing and reuniting the scattered Light, raising the sparks back to Divinity and restoring the broken world.

Kabbalah's purpose is often misunderstood. A popular misconception is that the study of kabbalah results in one's transformation into a psychic, or perhaps a clairvoyant capable of miraculous and otherworldly abilities. In truth, the purpose in the practice of kabbalah is to perfect the self. Kabbalah offers a means of becoming a more expanded transcendent individual, attuned to the essence of one's deepest self. Thirty-Two Gates of Wisdom page 7 Rabbi DovBer Pinson.

We entered this world with a pure soul. Our souls have been exposed to some things that have dulled our sensitivity to HaShem's Presence. When I don't get my glasses washed as well as I should they look a bit cloudy. That is the way our souls get when not cleaned on a regular basis.

This prayer is from the Shacharit morning prayers. This has always meant a great deal to me and I feel closer to the Creator every time I pray it. Try it - you will find that you will also feel a new awareness of HaShem's Presence if you focus on the words and there meaning.

אֱלֹהַי נְשָׁמָׁה שֶׁנָׁתַתָׁ בִּי טְהוֹרָׁה הִּיא

אַתָׁה בְרָׁאתָׁהּ אַתָׁה יְצַרְתָׁהּ אַ תה נְפַחְתָׁהּ בִּי וְאַתָׁה מְשַמְרָׁהּ בְקִּרְבִּי

וְאַתָׁה עָׁתִּיד לִּטְלָׁהּ מִּמֶׁנִּי וּלְהַחֲזִּירָׁהּ בִּי לֶׁעָׁתִּיד לָׁבוֹא

כָׁל זְמַן שֶׁהַנְשָׁמָׁה בְקִּרְבִּי מוֹדֶׁה אֲנִּי לְפָׁנֶׁיךָ יְ ה ה אֱלֹהַי וֵאלֹהֵי אֲבוֹתַי -

רִּבוֹן כָׁל הַמַעֲשִּים אֲדוֹן כָׁל הַנְשָׁמוֹת

בָׁרוּךְ אַתָׁה יְה וָׁה הַמַחֲזִּיר נְשָׁמוֹת לִּפְגָׁרִּים מֵתִּים

E-lo-hai ne-sha-mah she-na-ta-ta bi te-ho-rah hi.

G-d my soul which You place within me (is) pure,

A-tah ve-ra-tah A-tah ye-tzar-tah, A-tah ne-fach-tah bi,

You created it, You fashioned it, You breathed it, into me

ve-a-tah me-sham-rah be-kir-bi ve-a-tah a-tid li-te-lah

You SafeGuard it, within me and You will eventually take it

mi-me-ni u-le-ha-cha-zi-rah bi le-a-tid la-vo.

from me and restore it to me in the Time to Come.

Kol ze-man she-ha-ne-sha-mah be-kir-bi, mo-deha-ni

All time that the soul (is) within me I give thanks

le-fa-nei-cha , HaShem, E-lo-hai ve-lo-hei a-vo-tai, Ri-bon

before You HaShem, my G-d and G-d of my forefathers

kol ha-ma-a-sim , A-don kol ha-ne-sha-mot. Ba-ruch A-tah

Master of all the works L-rd of all the souls. Blessed (are) You

Adonai, ha-ma-cha-zir ne-sha-mot lif-ga-rim me-tim.

HaShem Who Restores souls to the bodies that are dead

My G-d, the soul You have Placed within me is pure. You Created it, You Fashioned it. You Breathed it into me, You SafeGuard it within me, and eventually You will Take it from me, and Restore it to me in Time to Come. As long as the soul is within me, I gratefully thank You, HaShem, my G-d and the G-d of my forefathers, Master of all works, L-rd of all souls. Blessed are You, HaShem , who restores souls to all.

Kavanah is a clearing - a high state of focused awareness - devoid of thought and emotion, from which a prayer, meditation, or other spiritual practice may be launched. Kavanah is the ideal state for performing Mitzvot. The Kabbalah Handbook Gabriella Samuel Page 157, Beauty 

Repent with joy

Have true remorse

Have certainty - to never choose to repeat this negative act

Face the opportunity for negativity again, and make a different choice.

Blessings, Beauty and Peace

Rebbetzin Revi


Revi's Reflections

Tishah B'Av Tikum

By Rebbetzin Brachah Rivkah Belk

Shalom, Shalom Everyone,


This week we are coming to Tishah B'Av - we need to check our middot to see if we can improve our relationships.

Even with those who may not be so kind to us.


The 2nd Temple was destroyed because we were not kind to each other.

Isn't that why we are trying to improve our middot?


Do we have a kind word for everyone we meet?

Do we try to help where we can?

Do we get frustrated and angry with our circumstances?


We need to take Tishah B'Av to heart this year.


Tishah B'Av Tikum

Tishah B'Av starts at sundown Saturday July 28th (5772) Lamenting the destruction of the Temple. 

Over these do I weep; my eye continuously runs with water because a comforter to restore my soul is far from me. My children have become forlorn, because the enemy has prevailed. Eichah (Lamentations) 1.16

 עַל־אֵלֶּה ׀ אֲנִי בוֹכִיָּה עֵינִי ׀ עֵינִי יֹרְדָה מַּיִם כִּי־רָחַק מִמֶּנִּי מְנַחֵם מֵשִׁיב נַפְשִׁי הָיוּ בָנַי שׁוֹמֵמִים כִּי גָבַר אוֹיֵב יז 

Al eleh ani bochiya; eini, eini yordah mayim Ki rachok mimeni menachem, meishiv nafshi

Because of all these things I'm crying; my eye, my eye is dripping with water Because the comforter who can restore my soul is far from me. 

At that time the Holy One, Blessed be He, Wept and Said, Woe is Me! What have I done? I caused My Shechinah to dwell below on earth for the sake of Israel; but now that they have sinned, I have returned to My former habitation. Heaven forfend that I become a laughter to the nations and a byword to human beings! At that time Metatron came, fell upon his face, and spake before the Holy One, Blessed be He: Sovereign of the Universe, let me weep, but do Thou not weep. He replied to him, If thou lettest Me not weep now, I will repair to a place which thou hast not permission to enter, and will weep there, as it is said, But if ye will not hear it, My soul shall weep in secret for pride, (Jer. XIII, 17). Midrash Rabbah Lamentations Page 42. 

How so [eicha in Hebrew] am I able to bear your contentiousness, your burdens and your quarrels... Devarim (Deuteronomy 1:12) 

The gravest sin, which led to Jerusalem's destruction, is strife within Israel, contentiousness, quarrelsomeness, the sin defined by our Sages as sinat hinam, causeless hatred. To this end, the prophet Isaiah calls out, Comfort you, comfort you, My people, speak upon the heart-Jerusalem and call out unto her; her period [of exile] has been completed, her iniquity has been forgiven, Yshayahu (Isaiah 40:1,2). 

Regarding Tishah B'Av many classic commentators have asserted that since the destruction resulted from sin'as chinam - baseless hatred -- hatred without cause, then the ultimate redemption will be brought about by love without cause. As one of the great Chassidic masters taught, G-d Loves the greatest sinner more than we love the greatest tzaddik. What we must do is to tolerate, help and love one another, helping the needy, fostering unity, and drawing the distant closer to Torah and service of G-d. (Artscroll Email) 

As we try to improve our middot, let us keep these thoughts in mind. 

Blessings, Beauty and Peace 

Rebbetzin Revi 




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