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Wednesday, 29th May 2013
Mother nature may be a metaphor, but when she's angry, it seems very real indeed. We forget many a time how awe inspiring, how great the power of nature on our planet is, thinking we've surpassed it. But the truth is, we're still tiny creatures living on a huge, living planet, and we should not forget it! See this beautiful video depicting the power of mother nature! Click the image below to watch this beautiful video depicting the power of mother nature!
Wednesday, 22nd May 2013
A little girl had been shopping with her Mom in Target.
She must have been 6 years old, this beautiful red haired, freckle faced image of innocence..
It was pouring outside. The kind of rain that gushes over the top of rain gutters, so much in a hurry to hit the earth it has no time to flow down the spout.
We all stood there under the awning and just inside the door of the Target.
We waited, some patiently, others irritated because nature messed up their hurried day.
I am always mesmerized by rainfall.
I got lost in the sound and sight of the heavens washing away the dirt and dust of the world.
Memories of running, splashing so carefree as a child came pouring in as a welcome reprieve from the worries of my day.
The little voice was so sweet as it broke the hypnotic trance we were all caught in 'Mom let's run through the rain,' she said.
'What?' Mom asked.
'Lets run through the rain!' She repeated
'No, honey. We'll wait until it slows down a bit,' Mom replied.
This young child waited about another minute and repeated: 'Mom, let's run through the rain,'
'We'll get soaked if we do,' Mom said.
'No, we won't, Mom. That's not what you said this morning,' the young girl said as she tugged at her Mom's arm.
'This morning? When did I say we could run through the rain and not get wet?'
'Don't you remember? When you were talking to Daddy about his cancer, you said, 'If God can get us through this, he can get us through anything!'
The entire crowd stopped dead silent. You couldn't hear anything but the rain. We all stood silently. No one came or left in the next few minutes.
Mom paused and thought for a moment about what she would say. Now some would laugh it off and scold her for being silly. Some might even ignore what was said. But this was a moment of affirmation in a young child's life. A time when innocent trust can be nurtured so that it will bloom into faith.
'Honey, you are absolutely right. Let's run through the rain. If GOD lets us get wet, well maybe we just needed washing,' Mom said.
Then off they ran. We all stood watching, smiling and laughing as they darted past the cars and yes, through the puddles. They held their shopping bags over their heads. They got soaked. But they were followed by a few who screamed and laughed like children all the way to their cars.
And yes, I did. I ran. I got wet. I needed washing.
Circumstances or people can take away your material possessions, they can take away your money, and they can take away your health. But no one can ever take away your precious memories.
So, don't forget to make time and take the opportunities to make memories every day.
To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven.
Monday, 13th May 2013
The following story was recounted by Chacham HaRav Ovadiah Yoseph Shlitah. He heard it from HaRav Ezra Attiyah Zatzal, Rosh Yeshiva Poret Yosef in Yerushalayim:
Rabbi Aharon, a G-d fearing man from Halab (Aleppo) Syria, held a daily in-depth learning schedule after Shacharis (morning prayers) in Sefer (the book of) Chok L'yisrael and afterwards would learn Shulchan Aruch in depth.
After his late morning pas shacharis (breakfast) he would bench (say Grace after meals), leave home and head to his jewelry store in the city. Rabbi Aharon dealt with a wide range of gemstones and his fame spread as a very trustworthy honest businessman. His wife would point out that he was getting to the office awfully late every day and questioned him as to where his parnassah (earnings) would come from with his limited time at the office. He firmly believed that Hashem (G-d) would make earning a livelihood easy in the merit of his Torah learning.
One day, as he was opening the office, an Arab from Chevron was sitting waiting by his office for him. When R' Aharon asked him what he was looking for, the arab replied: "please open your office and we'll talk there". After R' Aharon opened, the Arab entered, took off his extensive head gear and slowly removed one stunning masterpiece of a jewel to hear R' Aharon's opinion on the piece. R' Aharon, inspected it and remarked of the piece's unique value, probably worth more than $100,000 (todays value: $800,000). R' Aharon assured the arab that he'd inquire of the merchants to see if there was an interested buyer. The Arab replied: "Ok, I'll be in such-and-such an Inn" hoping that he'd hear back from the honest R' Aharon.
The next morning, after the R' Aharon completed his daily learning schedule, finished his breakfast and was on his way to the office, he noticed a commotion outside the hotel where the arab was staying. He inquired within and was told that an Arab from Palestine stayed in the hotel for 7 days, ate, drank, lodged, but never paid his due. Yesterday evening, he suddenly got a heart attack and died. The owner of the Inn filed a bill/lien at the police station against the arab and the Police were auctioning off his belongings in order to pay off the owner of the Inn.
R' Aharon waiting to see if Hashem would make him successful and stayed for the auctioning. When they announced the sale of the arab's head gear R' Aharon got up and bid 20, another bid shouted +15, R' Aharon: +18. Luckily there was no one else interested in the head gear. "Once, twice, SOLD [to R' Aharon]".
R' Aharon paid, took the headgear to the office, opened it up and sure enough found the incredible gem. He eventually sold the gem, and made a huge sum of money from the sale .... Hashem takes care of those who trust in Him and study and keep His holy Torah.
Thursday, 9th May 2013
Evyatar Borowsky’s life taken by a recently released terrorist, now successful murderer. Evyatar was blessed with the talent and love of acting, he shared this gift, and was in the middle of his training as a medical clown. However, the murderer approached from behind, and with the taking of Evyatar's life, insured that his dream would go no further. Click the image below for a glimpse into the world that Evyatar wished to become part of, and perhaps, an understanding of what this murderer has stolen from us.
Thursday, 11th April 2013
A Tribute to Margaret Thatcher - from Aish.com
When Margaret Thatcher passed away, the tributes began pouring in from all over the world. Mrs. Thatcher was Britain’s first female prime minister, serving for 11 years starting in 1979. Known as the Iron Lady, she was a strong Conservative who changed England’s perspective on its economic and political life.
Despite her many impressive accomplishments, including fighting the Soviet communist regime, Thatcher said that her proudest moment was when she saved a Jewish teenager from Austria during the Holocaust.
In 1938, Edith Muhlbauer, a 17-year-old Jewish girl, sent a letter to Muriel Roberts, Edith’s pen pal and the older sister of Margaret Thatcher, asking if the Roberts family could help her escape from Austria. The Nazis had started rounding up Jews from Vienna and Edith knew it was just a matter of time before she would be among them.
Alfred Roberts, the father of Muriel and Margaret, was a grocer in a small town. They lived in a cold water flat above the grocery with an outhouse; the Roberts did not have the time or the money to bring Edith to their home. So Margaret, then 12 and Muriel, 17, decided to try raising money and asking the local Rotary club to help. They succeeded in bringing Edith to England where she stayed with several Rotary families, including the Roberts for the next two years before joining relatives in South America.
Edith slept in Margaret’s room and Thatcher later wrote in her memoir: “She was tall, beautiful, evidently from a well to do family. But most important, she told us what it was like to live as a Jew under an anti-Semitic regime. One thing Edith reported particularly stuck in my mind. The Jews, she said, were being made to scrub the streets.”
In 1995, after Edith had been located in Brazil, she told audiences, “Never hesitate to do whatever you can for you may save a life.”
Edith is now a Jewish grandmother in Sao Paolo who says that she owes her life and the life of her children and grandchildren to Margaret Thatcher’s family. When Thatcher visited Yad Vashem during a historic, first visit to Israel by a British prime minister in 1986, she was visibly shaken as she stood in front of a photo of a German soldier shooting a Jewish mother and child. She exclaimed, “It is so terrible. Everyone should come and see it so that they never forget. I am not quite sure whether the new generation really knows what we are fighting against.”
Thatcher continued to be a loyal friend to the Jews as she fought the British support for the Arab boycott of Israel, protested on behalf of Jewish refuseniks in the Soviet Union and chose several Jewish leaders to be part of her cabinet. Thatcher admired the hard work and self-reliance of the British Jewish community and frequently turned to England’s late chief rabbi, Immanuel Jakobovits for spiritual back up. She even elevated Rabbi Jakobovits to the House of the Lords and he later became known as “Thatcher’s rabbi.”
Thatcher also made the following statement about Israel’s security: “Israel must never be expected to jeopardize her security; if she was ever foolish enough to do so and then suffered for it, the backlash against both honest brokers and Palestinians would be immense - ‘land for peace’ must also bring peace.”
Thatcher spoke up with such courage and strength because as she described herself, “This lady is not for turning.” When she believed in an ideal, whether it was transforming the British economy or saving a terrified Jew from Austria, she was not afraid to follow through, even if she had to stand up against popular opinions to do so.
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Four Famous Quotes
Thatcher’s integrity that inspired her to save Edith when she was just 12 years old shines through four of her most famous quotes that can teach us invaluable life lessons:
Let your actions speak louder than your words: “Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren’t.”
Stand up for what you believe in: “If you just set out to be liked, you would be prepared to compromise on anything at any time and you would achieve nothing.”
Don’t give up: “You might have to fight a battle more than once to win it.”
We can all be leaders: “People think that at the top there isn’t much room. They tend to think of it as an Everest. My message is that there is tons of room at the top.”
There were so many reasons why twelve year old Margaret and her sister could have thrown up their hands in despair and stuffed Edith’s letter into a drawer in their tiny, freezing apartment. They had no money, no power and no idea how they would be able to rescue this terrified girl that they had never met. But they believed that they could and should do everything that they can to help. They knew even then that there was room in the world for great leaders, even if they were only twelve years old and living above a small town grocery store with no hot water.
We pay tribute to Margaret Thatcher for her friendship and work with the Jewish people. For her wise words and inspiring courage. And for teaching us, that above all else, the greatest achievement in life is sometimes not one that earns you a trophy or money or even a powerful position. Sometimes it’s the quiet, determined accomplishments that no one hears about until years later.
Click the image below to read the tribute to Margaret Thatcher at Aish.com