To develop a meaningful relationship with a spouse, a child, a student or friend, you need to dedicate distracted and focused time for communication. If the relationship is important to you then active listening and thoughtful discussion is the key to strengthening your mutual bond. This concept is also relevant to developing a meaningful relationship with Hashem. Devoting a set time for open communication with Hashem where you can be your genuine raw and real self without fear of judgement or feelings of inadequacy.
If you listen closely you will hear Hashem calling out and waiting for you with loving anticipation.
Last night my 9 year old daughter wrote this on her own accord, with the pure hope and the sweet imagination of a child.
My Biggest Wish!
We sat down to have dinner...boy was I hungry. Everyone took some pasta, chicken and salad. Then Mummy received a text message that said, “Hi Goldman Family. All your wishes have come true. Moshiach is finally here. Pack your bags quickly. All of כלל ישראל is leaving in 1 hour. Thank you Hashem!”
Everyone ran to pack.
That would be my biggest wish…
Are you ready for her wish to come true?
I was once teaching a group of little children from not-yet religious backgrounds about how much Hashem loves us and is the dearest friend you could possibly have (Yedid Nefesh). Tzachi, a sweet Israeli boy with big brown eyes was absorbing every word I said. As we were leaving the classroom Tzachi walked out with his arm outstretched to the side. I called him over and asked, “Tzachi what happened to your arm?” He answered “I am walking with my friend.” Playing along with him I asked, “What’s your friend's name?” With a big smile Tzachi responded, “Hashem.”
Hashem please give us the words...
that uplift those who feel rejected.
that heals the hearts of those who are broken.
that encourages our youth to rise higher.
that injects hope into those who have lost it.
that brings joy to those who seldom experience it.
that offers meaning to a generation that craves it.
that unites those who are divided.
that contains guidance for those who lack direction.
that instils courage into those who face adversity.
that breathes life into those who are deflated.
that puts smiles on the faces of precious children.
that inspires our lost brothers and sisters to find their way home...to You.
Our bodies are vessels through which we do our holy work in this world. We need to make the appropriate hishtadlus to ensure that we keep our bodies at their optimum level. Before falling asleep ask Hashem that your mind and body receive the rest they require to keep you mentally focused and emotionally balanced. While exercising focus on increasing your strength and improving your health to be able to accomplish your tafkid. While eating a mouthful of food, meditate on elevating the spiritual energy contained within. With these simple kavanos (intentions) we infuse our actions with meaning and kedusha.
Yesterday I was inspired by a 7 year old boy who struggles to regulate his emotions and control his behaviour. His devoted parents and incredible teachers have worked to plant seeds of love and resilience in this little boy's mind and heart, to shift his mindset from failure and negativity to possibility and positivity. Yesterday, after an incident that could have resulted in a total meltdown, he came into my office took some deep breaths, absorbed my words of encouragement and returned to class with a sweet smile on his face. This beautiful child displayed a strength of character and revelation of potential that many adults can only hope for.
Hashem, all I want is to be the child that You hoped for. A beloved and cherished child who brings You infinite joy. All I want is to be One with you in my thoughts, my words and my actions. My neshomo yearns to do your ratzon (will) with childlike innocence, purity, enthusiasm and exhilaration...without any ulterior motives. Remove the barriers that separate us and allow the love to flow freely. And then you will see how with each and every neshima (breath) I will sing to You songs of gratitude for granting me the zechus to be Your precious child.
Mazel tov. Today my wife and I were zoiche to bring another child into the world. Thank you Hashem for this beautiful and healthy little girl. We daven for the strength to provide her with all she needs to thrive and reach her unique potential. Hashem please grant us the resources and wisdom to create the spiritual and physical space for her to grow into who she needs to become. We daven for the ability to love her unconditionally and the patience and siyata dishmaya to guide and nurture her along her life's journey.
Never ask for it, but when Hashem knows that you are ready the nisayon is sent to draw out a dormant part of your inner being. Your response determines the outcome and is the only thing that you are in control of. A wise and dear friend once taught me that artistic expression and creativity are born and nurtured in turmoil and pain. Very often we revert to our words, our music, our paintings to release the tension and confusion inside - and in so doing we grow wiser, more understanding and emerge from the nisayon as better and fuller human beings.
If you only knew how precious you are to Hashem.
If you only knew how awesome and beautiful your Neshomo is.
If you only knew what you are truly capable of.
If you only knew how much Hashem waits for you to reach out and connect.
If you only knew how much He cherishes every word and deed.
If you only knew that Hashem understands how fragile you are and how difficult the struggle sometimes is.
If you only knew how much He believes in you and loves you.
To live with this knowledge is to live as a Jew.