Stories Of Greatness

The Mikvah

Among the many decrees that were issued by the evil Nazi government in the ghettos was the...

Read more: The Mikvah

On Rosh HaShanah, the Yom HaDin, when we daven, the key is for us to ask Hashem to shower us with all that we need: not for our good, not for our comfort, but because we wish to be able to serve Him better. Hashem wants us to reach out to Him, but we must remember to beg and beseech Him so that we can be more complete ovdei Hashem, using our every day to serve and bring honor to His name. There will be no greater z’chus.

Among the many decrees that were issued by the evil Nazi government in the ghettos was the prohibition for Jews to immerse in a mikvah. The mikvaos were sealed (by the Germans), and on the door was affixed a note stating that opening the mikvah or using it will be considered an act of sabotage with punishment ranging from ten years in jail to the death penalty.

When Rabbeinu Moshe ben Maimon zt”l moved to Fostat, Egypt, in 4925 (1165), his fame as a physician spread rapidly, and he soon became the court physician to Sultan Saladin, the famous Muslim military leader, and his son al-Afdal. He also continued his private practice and lectured before fellow physicians at the state hospital.

The Cities of Refuge are where one goes if he killed another by accident and he is protected there from the wrath of an avenger until the death of the Kohen Gadol. The pasuk is clear that there was no premeditated murder, and it only applies to one who “strikes his fellow unintentionally, whom he did not hate in times past.”

One of the first and most successful kiruv organizations in the US is Hineni, founded by the dynamic Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis a”h in the 1970s. The organization was an instant success and the Rebbetzin was asked to speak and engage with people at many events all over the world. She recalls one very special event that she was asked to speak at.

Hashem sends us blessings every day, but unless we make an effort to look out for them and “see” them as blessings, we may not even realize that we are being blessed! In fact, the greatest blessing we receive daily is life itself. Rav Avraham Pam zt”l would say that when we wake up in the morning and say Modeh Ani, we should look at our breakfast as a s’udas hodaah (thanksgiving feast). By employing a singular term, “R’ei!” (See!), the Torah reminds us that each individual should see his blessing as an individual, and not as part of the klal, because everyone looks at life through his own individual lens. Since people don’t always realize the brachah they receive daily, it often gets misused, and that same brachah can turn into a curse (klalah).