How can one discover the kindliness of Hashem’s world?

Look at the sun as if you are seeing it for the first time, and also at the wind, the rain, the clouds, the snow, the air, the trees, the grass, your limbs, your food, your home and all your utensils, the powers of your mind, your instincts, the workings of society, your relationships with your kin and fellowman, and all the phenomena of heaven and earth which your eyes see and which your mind knows. ~ R’ Avigdor Miller zt”l

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A Lesson From Anyone

Everyone has something to teach, even a thief: if he fails, he tries again, if he finds nothing of value, he takes what he finds. ~ Kotzker Rebbe zt”l

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Dangerous Places

The gemera in Shabbos 32a warns that we should be careful not to stand in a place where we are endangering our lives.

The Chazon Ish commented that this is true with with physical dangers, all the more so should we be careful not to place ourselves in a situation where our souls are in danger.  ~ Emuna Ubitachon

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Absolute Genius

“Blessed are You, Hashem, our God, King of the universe, Who formed man with wisdom and created within him many openings and many hollow spaces. It is obvious and known before Your Throne of Glory that if even one of them would be ruptured, or if even one of them would be blocked, it would be impossible to survive and to stand before You. Blessed are You, Hashem, Who heals all flesh and acts wondrously.”

The text of this blessing, Asher Yatzar, which we say after using the bathroom, contains incredible mussar.  It reminds us of Hashem’s great genius and compassion in constructing the human body.  It is truly a miracle and one we should consider every time we exit the bathroom and recite these words.

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A Paid Chesed?

People commonly make the mistake of thinking that chesed which is paid for may no longer be considered chesed.

For example, if you sell items that people need, even though you take money to earn a living, your supplying of necessary products is considered an act of chesed.  The fact that you gain financial profit from a transaction does not negate the fact that you are doing chesed.

What is important is that you should have the intention in mind to help others with your actions as well as earning money. ~ R’ Yeruchem Levovitz zt”l

What kind of business are you involved in?  If you are helping people, that is a huge mitzvah!!  Always keep that in mind!

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Something to Say at the Shabbos Table

Sfas Emes notes that parshas Vayeitzei is written in all Torahs without a single paragraph break, which represents Yakov’s unceasing labor, as well as the fact that throughout his exile, he didn’t allow his mind’s focus to be disrupted, maintaining the vision of his true home and place in the world.

If we try to do similarly, we can accomplish anything.

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New Understanding

There is great power in asking yourself two questions:

1.What were my previous thoughts on this subject?

2. What new understanding have I now gained?

The best way to appreciate a virtue is to evaluate how things are without that virtue.  As the Zohar comments: “we appreciate light most when we compare it with darkness.” ~ R’ Simcha Zissel of Ziv zt”l

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