R’ Chaim Vital’s Advice

When there is a plague, keep distant from all kinds of anger, worry, distress. On the contrary, be happy in any way you can. ~ Segulas Yisrael in the name of R’ Chaim Vital zt”l

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Powerful Segulah during this Coronavirus and Going Forward

When we wake up in the morning and daven, many people have gotten into the habit of skipping the entire section of Korbonos, and most importantly, the Pitum HaKetores.  This is very unfortunate as will be explained below.  There is literally no better time than now to add to this to your tefillos.  Although this post will be a little longer than usual, I think you will find it worthwhile.  The following are excerpts from R’ Elimelech Biderman’s Torah Wellsprings where he discusses the incredible segulah of saying korbonos and Pitum HaKetores each day:

The Zohar teaches that saying korbanos is mesugal for silencing the prosecuting malachim (angels). Saying Ketores is mesugal to stop the malach hamaves (angel of death) when he is on a rampage, in a time of a plague.

The Zohar (vol.1 100:) states, “Reb Pinchas tells, ‘Once, while traveling, I met Eliyahu HaNavi. I asked, ‘Tell me something that will help people.’  Eliyahu replied, ‘In heaven there are malachim whose mission is to tell the sins of the Jewish nation before Hashem’s throne. When Bnei Yisrael say the korbanos…with kavanah, those malachim must now say good about them.

“Furthermore, when there is a mageifah (plague), Hakadosh Baruch Hu makes a bris, (a pact) and it is announced in heaven that if Hashem’s children will enter the batei midrashim and the batei knesiyos and say the Ketores with kavanah, the mageifah (plague) will cease…” So we see that saying the korbanos is a segulah to silence the prosecuting malachim, and there’s an added benefit in saying the Ketores, for it stops plagues.

Ideally, we want to perform the mitzvos of Karbanos and Ketores in the Beis HaMikdash. When we don’t have a Beis HaMikdash, we earn their segulos by saying (and by studying) the Korbanos and Ketores.

The Gemara (Shabbos 89.) relates that when Moshe Rabbeinu was on Har Sinai, he convinced the malachim (angels) that it is proper that the Torah should be given to the Jewish nation, and not to the malachim in heaven.  The Gemara says, “All the malachim immediately became his friend and gave him presents… The malach hamaves (angel of death) also gave a present to Moshe…” The present was that he taught Moshe that the Ketores stops plagues.

The Zohar (Vayakhel p.218) elaborates on the specialness of the Ketores: “The Ketores breaks the yetzer hara (evil inclination) from all its sides… There is nothing that is more beloved before Hakadosh Baruch Hu than the Ketores… This is the bris (promise) that Hashem made: Whoever studies the sacrifice of Ketores each day, will be saved from all bad things…from all harm, from bad thoughts, from punishment, and from death. He won’t be harmed that entire day… Reb Shimon said, ‘If people knew how special the Ketores is before Hashem, they would take each word and pin it on their heads like a crown made of gold’ … If a person says the Ketores each day, he is a ben Olam HaBa (son of the world to come, meaning he has a portion in the next world). Death will be removed from him and from the world, and he will be saved from all troubles… The Ketores atones for the Yetzer hara, for avodah zarah… Someone who has din (punishments) chasing him needs the Ketores, and he needs to do teshuvah before his Creator, because then the dinim will leave him. Saying the Ketores in the morning and in the afternoon…gives existence to this world and to the world above.”

May we merit to say and study the Ketores with joy and concentration!

 

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Constant Awareness

One who lives with constant awareness of the Almighty will live a life of constant happiness. ~ Chazon Ish

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The Month of Geula

Rabbi Yehoshua says that just as we were redeemed from Egypt in the month of Nisan, so too will the final redemption through Moshiach be in the month of Nisan. ~ Rosh Hashana 11b

Today is Rosh Chodesh Nisan!  Now is the time, more than ever, to focus our prayers on bringing Moshiach!

 

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Let’s not be afraid!

Several sources state that excessive fear of a certain occurrence can cause it to happen.

It is written (Iyov 3:25), “I was afraid and it happened. The matter that I was worried about came to me.” The Gemara (Brachos 60) states that this pasuk tells us that when a person is afraid, this can cause what he is afraid of to happen. ~ R’ Elimelech Biderman, Shlita

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Excessive Anxiety

The most prevalent illness of our generation is excessive anxiety…Anxiety flourishes where there is a lack of emunah.  Emunah decreases anxiety: “The Almighty is my source of salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid.” (Isaiah 12:2) ~ Shalhevesya

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The Angel didn’t Lie

The Gemara (Bava Kama 60:) states that when there is an epidemic, one should go into hiding. The Ben Ish Chai (Ben Yehoyada) adds that when there is a virus spreading around, it is better to run away.  Leaving town is not applicable right now, but the idea is very relevant to us.  Why does he recommend leaving town? Because when there is an epidemic going around, the fear and panic that ensues, harms the person, and actually brings him to be ill.  Because a person who fears the disease, becomes vulnerable to the disease.

He explains this with the following mashal:

Once, there was an epidemic in a large town.  Before the virus spread, a man met with the angel that was appointed over this plague and he asked him, “How many people are you planning to kill?”

“Five thousand,” He said.  However, in the end, fifteen thousand people died.

The man returned to the angel and said, “You told me that you were taking only five thousand.  Why did you lie?”

He replied, “I didn’t lie. I only took five thousand. The rest harmed themselves because of their fear.”

The Ben Yehoyada concludes, “Therefore, it is best to run far away, so you won’t hear and you won’t see the disease that’s spreading among people, because if you become afraid, you are at risk of being harmed.”

The first thing to know is not to panic! Of course we need to do whatever is necessary, to protect ourselves from harm.  Protecting ourselves is a mitzvah in the Torah, and we must do so because we follow the Torah! But why the fear? You are with Hashem, why are you afraid? R’ Elimelech Biderman, Shlita

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