The Young Israel of Forest Hills filled to capacity as community members gathered to hear words of wisdom from Rabbi Shalom Arush on Wednesday evening, October 20. Soulful Jewish music played on guitar, and drums created a joyful spiritual mood. The event was hosted by Chazaq. Rabbi Arush spoke in Hebrew with a translator present.

Rabbi Arush shared that so many people who are filled with anxiety and fears come to him for help. Rav Nachman of Breslov taught that faith and soul are one thing. “A person with faith has a healthy soul.” Rabbi Arush shared a mantra he teaches people, which cures them of anxiety and worries. You have to repeat, “Hashem blesses me. Hashem always loves me, and I will always have only good things.” He tells people to repeat these words five or six times. If a person believes that sentence, he won’t be afraid or have anxiety, and he will only have good things happen to him. He will have no worries or sadness. “When a person really believes that only good will happen to him, then only good will happen to him.” When a person has emunah, then he is always happy.

Rabbi Aursh taught that we have to thank Hashem for everything. A person saying thank you realizes that everything in the world belongs to Hashem, and he should thank Hashem for everything. “You’re not allowed to use something without saying thank you.”

He shared how a man came to him who had anxieties and couldn’t bear to live. His wife said she couldn’t stand life with him. This man learned one of Rabbi Arush’s books on gratitude, which teaches the five levels of saying thank you. He did this every day for three weeks and his anxieties left. Three months later, he was healthy and happy. “Gratitude is salvation for everything. So many people’s lives have been saved by saying thank you.”

When we have troubles, Hashem sends them to teach us to do t’shuvah. “When a person merits to say thank you, it means he lives with emunah, and he knows that everything is good.”

Rabbi Arush told the audience about his new book Wonder of Gratitude. He shared how people who said T’hilim perek 100 eight times, received salvation from Hashem. Rav Nachman of Breslov taught that if people thank Hashem for the good and the bad, then certainly all difficulties and exiles will be annulled. “When you say thank you and live with emunah, then you have Heaven on this earth.” The main reason for galus, he taught, is a lack of emunah.

If you lack happiness, then it means you lack emunah. We need to learn books about emunah and ask Hashem to give us emunah. “There is only one address for everything a person needs in this world, and that’s Hashem. We need to learn about emunah and pray for emunah.”

A person needs to instill it into his heart. The Vilna Gaon learned M’silas Y’sharim 100 times. He wanted to instill it into his heart.

Rabbi Arush shared how he was in Meron during the tragedy on Lag BaOmer. He shared that he stayed there alone crying. He spoke to Rav Shimon Bar Yochai, who, according to the Gemara, could revive the dead. “I prayed several hours. I asked why this happened to us?”

In my heart, I received an answer that it is because of sin’as chinam. Every day, all of us have to daven for am Yisrael. He keeps a list of people who agree to daven one half hour a day for am Yisrael every day. Thousands of people have accepted to do this. We have to pray for ahavas Yisrael. “There is no greater gift than ahavas Yisrael.”

By Susie Garber