One Pure Tefillah

The power of tefillah is so great that if a person were to daven one single prayer with perfect concentration and the purest intent, that single prayer would have the power to gather together all the other tefillos that he may have cast away and davened without proper thought throughout the year and bring them all up in front of the Heavenly throne. ~ Chasam Sofer

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When people want to free themselves from their humdrum workaday life, they go on vacation. They rent a cabin with half the rooms they have at home and sacrifice many of the conveniences they generally rely upon. They rough it.  And then they feel free.

As it turns out, everybody agrees: When you let go of those material things you have become attached to, then you can start to be free. ~ R’ Tzvi Freeman

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If only…

Only fools waste their present moments regretting what is over and done with.  They will constantly say, “If only I hadn’t gotten involved in this venture, I wouldn’t have suffered.”  If only I would have stayed an hour longer, this would not have happened.” We are not prophets and there is no possible way to know in advance exactly what will be. Try to protect yourself from harm, but realize we can never plan for every contingency. ~ Cheshbon Hanefesh

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Learning Experiences

It is easy to feel frustrated and miserable when you make mistakes.  But you can always learn from your mistakes and failures.  If you use them as learning experiences, you can view them as positive.  Although you would rather not have made those mistakes, you can now view them as stepping stones to growth.
When Rabbi Rephael of Bershid made a mistake in public, he felt very happy. He would view it as an opportunity to prevent him from becoming arrogant. During prayers in the synagogue, he once loudly read the wrong passage. Whereas most people would have felt very embarrassed, he viewed it as a fortunate occurrence. ~ Midrash Pinchas as quoted by R’ Zellig Pliskin
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President John Adams

I will insist the Hebrews have [contributed] more to civilize men than any other nation. If I was an atheist and believed in blind eternal fate, I should still believe that fate had ordained the Jews to be the most essential instrument for civilizing the nations … They are the most glorious nation that ever inhabited this Earth. The Romans and their empire were but a bubble in comparison to the Jews. They have given religion to three-quarters of the globe and have influenced the affairs of mankind more and more happily than any other nation, ancient or modern. ~ John Adams, Second President of the United States

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Don’t even Joke

Do not let a word of wickedness leave your mouth.  Do not say that you will commit a sin or be wicked even though you may be joking and have no intention of carrying out your words.  The words themselves can do great damage and later compel you to fulfill them.  This is true even if they are uttered only as a joke. ~ R’ Nachman of Breslov zt”l

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I agree. (Oy!)

If the person listening to lashon hara explicitly agrees to what was said, he is considered to have both heard and spoken lashon hara and his transgression is twofold. ~ Chafetz Chaim

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