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Shemoneh Esrei 61 – Sim Shalom: A Powerful Plea
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שים שלום טובה וברכה [חיים] חן וחסד…  –  Establish peace, goodness, blessing, [life], graciousness, kindness… We ended last week with the following quote from Rabbi Goldfinger: “In Sim Shalom, we proclaim that our primary goal in tefilah is not to receive, but to use the expression of our bakashos to draw Hashem closer to us as […]
Shemoneh Esrei 60 – Many Thanks…Tying It All Together
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שים שלום טובה וברכה  –  Establish peace, goodness, and blessing Before continuing with the rest of the brachah of Sim Shalom, we would like to present a beautiful overview of the last three brachos as a group, based on the sefer T’hilos Yisrael, authored by Rabbi Yisrael Shlomo Goldfinger. Rabbi Goldfinger addresses the question of R’tzei and Sim Shalom […]
Shemoneh Esrei 58 – Kohanim: Messengers of Hashem
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We now move on to Birkas Kohanim. According to some, receiving these brachos from the kohanim when they bentch us, is a mitzvah min haTorah. Some have the minhag to bentch their children on the eve of Shabbos with these p’sukim, and we all say these p’sukim every morning after Birkas HaTorah. Let us work on deepening our understanding […]
Shemoneh Esrei 57 – Growing Pains
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In Shemoneh Esrei 54 and 56, we wrote about amazing people who made the choice to live and continue serving Hashem while in the midst of living through life’s most difficult challenges. We present a story told by HaRav Eytan Feiner in his 5766 Shabbos HaGadol drashah. He heard the story from Reb Zalman Silber who heard it […]
Shemoneh Esrei 56 – Choose Life!
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Since the purpose of tefilah is to come closer to Hashem through recognizing that we are totally dependent on Him and to appreciate all the goodness He bestows upon us, and since Chazal teach us the primacy of the brachah of Modim and in general the primacy of properly recognizing and appreciating the goodness Hashem gives to us, let […]
Shemoneh Esrei 55 – True, Sincere Appreciation
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ויהללו את שמך באמת, הא-ל ישועתנו ועזרתנו סלה …and praise Your Name sincerely, O G-d of our salvation and help, Selah! Imagine eating at Shimon’s home on Shabbos. We are served a delicious and plentiful meal. We understand clearly that while we must thank the family member helping to serve, the bulk of our thanks and praise […]
Shemoneh Esrei 54 – It’s Our Choice
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וכל החיים יודוך סלה Everything alive will gratefully acknowledge you, Selah! HaRav Yehoshua Leib Diskin would periodically visit sick people in the hospital. One day, he visited an elderly woman who was suffering greatly. He asked her what brachah he could give her, and she responded with “arichas yamim” – to live a long life. Given her […]
Shemoneh Esrei 53 – More Than Meets the Eye
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ועל כלם יתברך ויתרומם שמך מלכנו תמיד לעולם ועד For all these, may Your Name be blessed and exalted, our King, continually forever and ever. Rav Yisrael Salanter once left his family and students to go to Paris to try to influence the assimilated Jews there to return to Torah Judaism. One day, he entered an elegant hotel […]
Shemoneh Esrei 52 – Boundless Chesed
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הטוב כי לא כלו רחמיך, והמרחם כי לא תמו חסדיך, מעולם קוינו לך The Beneficent One, for Your compassions were never exhausted, and the Compassionate One, for Your kindnesses never ended – always have we put our hope in You. Recently, the January 13, 2016, US Powerball drawing created the largest jackpot in world history. […]