The Midrash on Shir HaShirim (5:2) says: “The Holy One, blessed be He, said to Israel, “My sons, open for Me an opening of t’shuvah like the eye of a needle, and I will open for you openings big enough for wagons and carriages to pass through [or like the gates of the sanctuary].”

What this means is that for every bit of effort a person makes in an attempt to come closer to Hashem, Hashem responds with favor and assistance that is exponentially greater. As it says in the Gemara (Yoma 39a): “The one who sanctifies himself a little, Heaven helps to sanctify him a lot.”

However, the Michtav MeiEliyahu explains that there is one condition. Despite its minute size, this opening needs to be sincere and total, burst open from one end to the other. This opening should reflect an honest and stable wish to come close to Hashem and not just a whimsical, wishy-washy, hesitating, and half-hearted whim, lacking in commitment. The verse “Whoever wishes to purify himself deserves heavenly help” only applies if a man sincerely aspires to become pure.

Often, it’s that first small step, the choice to let go or to step back ever so slightly, that can set in motion further steps, openings, and clarity, resulting in an awesome upward journey. As Chazal say, “One mitzvah leads to another mitzvah… [for] the reward for a mitzvah [is the opportunity to do another] mitzvah” (Pirkei Avos 4:2).

(Material was previously published on


List of People Who Need a R’fuah Sh’leimah (a complete recovery) 

Please recite Psalms 20, 30, 88, 121, and 130.


Boris Baruch ben Frecha Frida

Chaim Avraham ben Shifrah Zisel

Shimshon Shimon ben Mazal

Aharon Mordechai ben Sharon

Yaakov Yisrael Pinchas ben Tovah

Yisachar Dov ben Chayah Brachah

Tinok ben Chanah

Azriel ShemTov ben Brachah Esther

Shmuel Aryeh ben Sarah Rachel

Ronny Tzalach ben Simchah

Shmuel Aryeh ben Sarah Rachel

Moshe ben Devorah

Yehoshua ben Miriam

Yosef ben Leah

Nisan ben Yael

Efrayim Gavriel ben Esther

Chaim Yehudah HaLevi ben Sarah

Refael Meir HaLevi ben Esther

Mordechai ben Evelyn

David Chaim ben Rivkah

Moshe Leib ben Chanah Breindel

Eynav ben Tziporah

Yair ben Sarah

Moshe ben Zlata

Yishai Shimon ben Sigal

Shmuel ben Nazima

Yaakov Yisrael Pinchas ben Tovah

Nissim ben Miriam

Evon bas Sally

Luna bas Rachel

Malkah bas Miriam

Tovah Yocheved bas Esther Bukas

Ruchamah Perel Malkah Leah

bas Chanah Serel

Esther Hadassah bas Devorah

Ronit bas Rivkah

Mahnaz bas Nosrat

Sylia bas Rachel

Karen bas Rachel

Shoshanah Shurah bas Zina

Sonia bas Raya Rachel

Tinok bas Chanah Moriyah

Brachah Chanah bas Sarah

Devorah bas Esther

Batya bas Moonavar

Sarah bas Alizah

Chavah bas Bayla

Bella Berta bas Raya Rachel

Taliah Tanya bas Nina Nekadam

Raya Rachel bas Esther

Alizah Sima bas Sheina Brachah

Rivkah bas Sarah

Rachel bas Yaffah

To add names of individuals who need a r’fuah sh’leimah to next week’s T’hilim column, please email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and complete the Google form.