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OCTOBER 7-8, 2005 5 TISHREI 5766


"For Hashem your G-d - it is He Who goes with you, He will not loosen (His hold on) you, nor will He forsake you." (Debarim 31:6)

As we travel through the High Holiday season, we realize that we have an unusual occurrence. We read Parashat Vayelech on Shabbat Shubah instead of the usual Parashat Haazinu, and Haazinu will be read after Yom Kippur. In our perashah, Hashem gives the Jewish people words of encouragement. Hashem says He will never forsake us and he will never loosen His hold on us. He will always hold us close to Him like a father who always holds his baby close to him. In Parashat Haazinu, it says ??????????????????- "Is he not your father?" Hashem is described as our father.

Rabbi Reuven Melamed says: Let us study the behavior of a small baby, and from this we learn a great truth. The baby is very attached to his mother and father, so much so that if the parent walks away for just a minute, the baby begins to cry. This is the way we should be with Hashem, our Father. We should not, for a moment, take our minds off of Hashem. If we feel distant, we should feel we are missing something important. This is why Hashem created the baby with that type of behavior - to teach us how we should act towards Hashem, our Father.

During these important days, we should constantly work on being and feeling close to Hashem. After all, the verse says He will never loosen His grip on us. Let us try to take our focus off of the foolish things of this world, and focus more on our Father as He holds us tight. Tizku l'shanim rabot! Rabbi Reuven Semah

Among the most important prayers on Yom Kippur is the recitation of the Thirteen Attributes of Mercy - which we know as "Vaya'abor". We say it on Yom Kippur a total of 26 times, and there is a covenant that we will always be answered with this prayer

The Gemara tells us that Hashem showed Moshe Rabenu this prayer and told him when the Jewish people "do" this order of prayer they will be answered. The Rabbis point out that it doesn't say, "when the Jewish people will say this prayer," but rather will "do" this prayer. This means that for the "Vaya'abor" to be effective, we have to learn to emulate the thirteen attributes of mercy which Hashem is known for. When we say them on Yom Kippur, let us reflect for a moment on the words. "He is merciful," let us acquire this trait within ourselves. "He is slow to anger," so should we be. "He forgives sins," we must learn to forgive others, etc. By saying these traits and trying to learn from them, we will become better people and merit forgiveness from G-d! Tizku Leshanim Rabot. Rabbi Shmuel Choueka


"And Hashem said to Moshe, 'Your days approach that you must die." (Debarim 31:14)

The Midrash tells a story about the great sage, Rabbi Shimon ben Halafta, who went to a berit milah at which the father made an impressive feast. After serving a very old wine to the guests, the father proudly proclaimed that he would age a portion of this wine for the future joyful occasions of his son. Upon leaving the feast, the sage encountered the Angel of Death, who seemed to be in a "happy mood." He questioned the Angel as to the source of his merriment. The Angel responded that he was laughing at the foolishness of human beings. He explained that this man, who had promised to put away wine for the future, would actually be dead in less than thirty days. The sage then asked the Angel to show him his own time of death. The Angel responded, "I have no power of you or other righteous people like you. Hashem often desires your good deeds and He, therefore, adds days to your originally predetermined life-span," as it says in Mishlei 10:27, "the fear of Hashem adds days."

During the Days of Awe, our future is precarious. Our merit is meticulously scrutinized every day. The Mezritcher Maggid states that man is placed on this world to fulfill a purpose. When that mission has been completed, we should constantly undertake new spiritual endeavors, so that they may serve as a source of merit for our continued life. With this thought in mind, we might view opportunities for new spiritual tasks as a special gift from Hashem for prolonged life. (Peninim on the Torah)


This Week's Haftarah: Hoshe'a 14:2-10, Yoel 2:11-27, Micah 7:18-20.

This haftarah begins with the words "Shubah Yisrael - Return O Israel." This is the primary theme of this ten-day period between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. This Shabbat is known as Shabbat Shubah after the first word of this haftarah.

The theme of the haftarah is a call for Israel to repent and return to Hashem. He is always ready and waiting to accept our repentance and forgive us. "He will be merciful to us; He will suppress our iniquities, and cast into the depth of the sea all of their sins."

A quick tip to boost the power of your prayer. Hazal tell us (Masechet Baba Kama Daf 92A) that Hashem loves the tefilot of one Jew for another so much that anyone who prays on behalf of a fellow Jew with similar needs will have his prayer answered first. A special service has now begun to provide people with names of others who find themselves in a similar predicament. You can call with complete anonymity and get the name of someone to pray for and give the name of someone that needs our prayers. The name of the service is Kol Hamitpalel. Categories include: Marriage; Income; Health; To have children etc.

Call to 646-279-8712 or email (Privacy of email limited by the email address)

Please pass this message along. Tizku L'misvot.

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