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The following are sayings and stories that helped me get through my difficulties. I have also included some of my personal stories. They still give me a tremendous amount of chizuk (strength).

 

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POURING OUT HIS HEART TO HASHEM
A couple that had been married for fifteen years without being
blessed by children, decided to divorce, despite their harmonious
marriage. Shortly after the get was completed, the woman discovered
that she was expecting a child. The joyous news had a very sad side, as
the husband was a Kohein and was forbidden to remarry his wife. Their
pain and heartbreak knew no bounds. The husband described his painful
situation to Rav Chaim Kanievesky, who told him that he couldn't see
any way that he could remarry, but suggested that the man consult with
his father in-law, Ha'gaon Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv. The man went
to R' Elyashiv and repeated his tale. R' Elyashiv told him with great pain
that it's definitely forbidden for a Kohein to remarry his former wife.
"The only thing I can tell you is that you should go to the Kosel
HaMaaravi, and daven to Hashem that he should save you." The Kohein
regarded R' Elyashiv's words as a direct instruction, and immediately
went straight to the Kosel. He approached the stones and poured out his
heart without restraint. After davening for a lengthy period of time, the
Kohein felt a hand on his back. He turned around and saw an avreich
talmid chacham, who inquired what had happened to him. The Kohein
repeated his story, and the stranger asked him, "Do you have a father?"
The Kohein didn't understand the point of the question, but he answered
that of course he had a father. His father was very old and was living in
a nursing home in America, and could barely communicate with those
around him. "In my opinion, you should fly to America, and tell your
father what has happened to you," said the man and he turned to leave. It
didn’t seem to matter that the father's condition made it almost
impossible to communicate with him at all, and the avreich still
recommended the trip. The Kohein reasoned that if Rav Elyashiv told
him to go to the Kosel to daven, and if this stranger approached him
while he was davening and advised him to fly to America, maybe it was
worthwhile for him to go to America, and decided to heed this man's
words. He arranged a flight, and a day and half later he was at his
father's side, in the nursing home. The medical staff had informed the
son when he first arrived that his father had not uttered a word for many
months, and that he shouldn't expect his father to speak to him. The
Kohein began telling his father the story, and his father didn't respond,
but seemed to be listening to what his son was saying. As the son
continued his story, he began crying uncontrollably. Then, unbelievably,
his father began speaking and said clearly, "You are not my biological
son, but you were adopted after the Holocaust. You do not have the
status of a Kohein, and there is no reason that you couldn't remarry your
former wife!"(Barchi Nafshi)

A LETTER FROM THE YETZER HARAH

 

this is a great thing to have in mind always, but especially during rough times.

  To my star pupil,


   I am writing this letter to let you know what I think of you. Up here in heaven things are not like they are down on Earth. Over there, people only know what they can see. If they see a person is "successful", they think that he is the greatest guy. When they see somebody struggling, they think he might be one of the weaker elements.


  Let me tell you something. Hashem gives every person certain abilities that nobody knows about down where you live. Some people are capable of tremendous things, while others were put there for much smaller purposes. Only Hashem in His infinite wisdom is able to give every person exactly what he needs, to reach his potential.


   I am very misunderstood. Most people hate me, and I don't really blame them. Most people think that my job is to make sure that they fail in all aspects of Mitzvos, and that I rejoice every time they sin. This is the furthest thing from the truth. Did you ever watch a boxing coach train his student? It is really a funny sight. The coach will put on gloves, and fight against his student. At first, he won't hit him so hard, or throw his best punches. But, as the student gets better and better, the coach will start to fight him harder and harder. He does this so that the student will improve his skills, and become the best boxer he can be. This is where it gets strange. Every time the coach knocks down the student, the student gets yelled at!! But finally, when the coach threw everything he has at his student, and not only does he withstand the beating, but he knocks the coach down, there is nobody in the world happier then the coach himself!


   This is exactly how I feel. If you fail right away, and don't even try to fight back, I see that there is not much talent to work with, and so I take it easy on you. But if you get back up swinging, I realize that I may have a real winner here, and so I start to intensify the beating. With every level that you go up, I increase the intensity of the fight. If you finally deal me a blow that knocks me out, I will get up and embrace you and rejoice with your success.


  Sometimes my job is very disappointing I see a person with a lot of potential and I start right in on him. He fights back for a while, but when the fight gets too tough, he quits and just remains on whatever level he was on. (And he usually ends up going down!) I feel like yelling at him, "Get up you fool! Do you have any idea how much more you could be accomplishing?!" But I am not allowed to do so. I just leave him alone, and go try to find another promising candidate.

   If I have chosen you to be the target of my more fierce battles, it was not for no reason! You have tremendous ability! You were born into a very special family, you have Rabbeim who really care about you, and parents who would help you grow in Torah and Mitzvos. You are a very respectful and kind person.


     I am writing to you now, because I have a very serious request to ask of you. Please don't step fighting! Don't give up! I have been beating too many people lately, and I am losing patience, Believe in yourself, because I would not be involved with you as much as I am if I didn't think you could beat me. Know what your strengths are! A great Rabbi once said: “Woe is to he who doesn't know his weaknesses. But, 'Oy Vavoy' to him who doesn't know his strengths - for he will not have anything with which to fight.”


    Always remember one thing: you have a secret weapon at your disposal. I shouldn't really be telling you - but I will anyway. Hashem himself is watching our "training" sessions very closely. I'm pleased to inform you that He's rooting for you! If things should ever get tough, almost too tough to bear, just callout to Him with a prayer, and He will immediately come to your aid. I wish you the best of luck, and I hope that after 120 years when your time is up in that world of falsehood, you will come up here to the world of truth, where I will be waiting for you with open arms, to congratulate you on your victory, and personally escort you to your place next to the Kisey HaKavod.

Sincerely, and with great admiration I remain,

Your Yetzer Hara

 

1.Good morning. I am Hashem, your father 

I love you very much.

I am handling all of your needs

And problems today.

I don't need your help

I know what I'm doing

Have a nice day!

2. One has to run to hashem

like a child runs to his father.

Just as a child keeps on saying please many times  so too we have to say to hashem please many times.(with feelings) 

3. One should pray for emunah pshuta

Shlema b'emes simple faith in Hashem,

Anyone who prays for this is muftach to get it.

(this was told to me by Harav Shimon Schwab zt''l).

 4. One who believes in Hashem's chesed (kindness) recieves Hashem's chesed. One has to have complete faith that Hashem is the source of unlimited kindness. 

5. There was once a person sitting in his house when a big flood came. He ran upstairs to the roof. All of a sudden a helicopter came and the people inside threw down a ladder.  They said, "grab on." he replied, "no.  Go away.  I trust that Hashem will save me." then a boat came and threw him a life saver.  The sailor said, "grab on."  he replied, "no. Go away.  I trust that hashem will save me." the water kept rising . He drowned and went up to shamayim (heaven).  He turned to Hashem and said, "Hashem, I trusted in you that you would save me." Hashem turned to him and said, "who do you think sent you the helicopter and the boat?"

6. This one helped me a lot. Its called footprints and the author is unknown:

There was once a person who died and went up to shamayim.  There he saw his whole life flash before him by the sea.  Whenever times were good, he saw two sets of footprints in the sand.  However, when times were rough, he only saw one set.  At the end  of the viewing, he turned to Hashem and asked, "Hashem, during my good times you were always with me, but when I needed you most, why did you leave me alone."  Hashem replied, "my beloved child, who I love more than anything, it was during those times that I was carrying you.

7. There was once a lady who had a lot of big problems. One day she went to a rav who happened to be in town. He offered her to exchange her pekeleh (package, meaning problems) with another. He took her to a room filled with pekelehs and told her to pick the one she wanted.  Most of the pekelehs were very big, but there was one in the corner that was much smaller.  She said to the rav, "that's the one i want." he turned to her and said, "that is yours, the one you already have." she left understanding that her problems were not as big as other people's.

8. Once when I woke up in the middle of the night, I was scared. All kinds of thoughts were going through my head. My friends had told me I can call them whenever i wanted. It was 1am. I knew that I would probably wake them up. They would feel for me and speak to me. Then what? So instead I turned to Hashem and said

"Hashem I believe in You and only You." I tried to feel that Hashem was holding me and carrying me.

(see footprints #6 above)

Then I laid back down and fell asleep.

This made me realize that by turning to Hashem in a time of need, no matter what, He is there. 

9. There was once a person that was lost in a forest.  Night came and it was too dark for him to move.  Then it started to rain.  There was thunder and lightning.  He was scared and lost.  He felt alone.  He noticed that every time there was a lightning bolt, he was able to see for a bit.  He pulled himself up, and each time lightning struck, he saw where to go and where to avoid; which path to choose.  Before long, he found his way home.  
The truth is that we are in that forest (olam hazeh), and every time we get lost we need chizuk, whether from an inspirational story, learning, or by praying harder. Those are the lightning bolts that Hashem sends to us to help us see the road home.

10. There was once a lady sittng by her dying child.  She was crying and pouring her heart out to Hashem.  She heard that a holy rav had come to town.  She asked her husband to go and get a bracha (blessing) from him.  The man got up and went to the rav.  After explaining his urgency to the gabbai (rav's attendant), he was told to sit and wait while the gabbai went into the rav to let him know.  The gabbai knocked and opened the door to the rav's study.  The rav immediately signaled him to leave.  The gabbai went back to the man and told him to wait.  An hour passed.  The man again pleaded with the gabbai, telling him, "my child can already be dead.  Please, please help me."  the gabbai went back to the rav's study and was again signaled to wait.  The gabbai returned to the man and told him again to wait.  In the meantime, back home, the mother was still pouring her heart out to hashem.  A short time later, the rav's study door flew opened.  The rav excitedly came out and told the man that everything is okay, the child is fine, and that he should go home.  The rabbi said, "your wife's simple tefilos just reached the heavenly throne (kisei hakavod). The man was so startled, he thanked the rav, and ran home.  The gabbai asked the rav to explain what just happened.  The rav told the gabbai , "I saw up in shamayim that the baby was destined to die and there was nothing to be done, but because of the mother's simple tefilah, the decree was changed.  Hashem desires our simple faith in him, to believe that he can do anything.  The lady said with sincerity, "please, hashem, look down at my baby.  See how much he is suffering.  Please help him.  That simple tefilah changed the decree. The child grew up and lived a long life with Hashem,torah and mitzvot. 

11. Yankel Am Ha'Aretz For the gates of heaven never close for tears
In a little town somewhere in Europe
Just about a hundred years ago
Lived a simple man his name was yankel
And this is how his story goes

Yankel couldn’t learn a blatt gemara
Why he barely knew to read and write
Deep in his heart he loved to do the mitzvos
But somehow he never seemed to get things right

He didn’t know his brachos couldn’t say shma by heart
Hed daven shmoneh esray with his feet spread wide apart
Everyone would laugh and snicker when he passed them by in shul
Here comes yankel am ha’aretz could there be a bigger fool

All the children would make fun of yankel
Teasing him as if he were a child
But he never ever lost his temper
On his face there was always a smile

Now the rebbi tried to learn with yankel
So the young man would know how to cope
In one ear but then out the other
The rabbi gave up there simply was no hope


His ivreh was atrocious the place hed always lose
Hed show up on yom kippur wearing shiny polished shoes
Everyone would laugh and snicker when he passed them by in shul
Here comes yankel am ha’aretz could there be a bigger fool

Stubborn yankel he just kept on trying
They all told him it’s a hopeless cause
But he kept saying one day ill know how to
Learn the torah and keep its laws

Now one night the rabbi fell asleep in shul
Only to wake up when he heard a sigh
It was yanke by the aron kodesh
There were teardrops running from his eyes

He was saying master of the world I know you hear my prayer
And I accept my fate in life your judgments always fair
Yet one thing I must ask you where else am I to turn
Could I not serve you so much more if I knew how to learn

The rabbi sent yankel to learn in yeshiva
They all thought hed lost his sanity
Hell be back in a week for certain
All the rabbi said was wait and see

Yankels now a famous scholar it just took a few short years
For the gates of heaven never close for tears
And everyone stands to shake his hand as he passes them in shul
Here comes yankel Talmud chacham how could we have been such fools

 12. Onkelos

 

During the period when the Jews suffered bitterly under the rule of the hated Emperor Hadrian who quelled the uprising of Bar Kochba, razed the great city of Bethar and murdered many Jews, among them Rabbi Akivah (approximately in the year 3880, 52 years after the destruction of the second Beth Hamikdosh), there arose a bright star that lights up the Jewish heavens even to this day. We are referring to the great Onkelos, who translated the Torah into Aramaic, a translation (which is also an interpretation) known as "Targum Onkelos." It is printed almost in every Chumash. "Targum Onkelos" is so holy that when one reviews the weekly portion (as one is supposed to do every week) it has to be reviewed twice in the Chumash and once in Targum.

Who was Onkelos? From whom did he descend? How did he become a religious convert? The answers to these questions are found in the Talmud and Midrash where we find enough material to put together the life story of this great giant in Jewish history.

Onkelos was a member of the Roman royal family. His mother was Hadrian's sister and his father was called Klonikas.

Onkelos was a very educated man and was well-versed in all the Roman and Greek cultures. He was blessed not only with a clear head and exceptional brain, but also with a golden and pure heart and a lofty soul. He soon realized that idolatry is foolish and that the Jewish religion is the real G-dly religion. On the quiet he began to serve G-d, the Creator of heaven and earth, and he waited for the opportunity of formally accepting the Jewish religion.

Once, Onkelos came to his uncle Hadrian and said: "For many years I. have been poring over books and manuscripts, studying until I have become familiar with all the languages and sciences. But what have I gained from it all? It is time for me to go out into the world and start doing business. You know that I am not familiar with worldly things, whereas you the great Roman emperor are well-versed in worldly affairs. I have therefore come to ask your advice as to what kind of material I should buy and sell?"

Hadrian was greatly flattered that his wise nephew should ask his advice and he said: "My kingly riches are at your disposal. Take as much money as you need for business. I would advise you to seek material that is extremely cheap due to the fact that people do not realize its worth; material that few people are seeking: You will be able to buy it cheaply and after explaining its real value to people you will be able to make a nice profit!"

Onkelos the Prince soon left the royal palace. He traveled from Rome and started out for Jerusalem, in the land of Judah. Once there, he took upon himself the religion of the persecuted Jews and converted. He became a disciple of Rabbi Eliezer ben Hirkanos and Rabbi Yehoshua ben Chananya, the great Tanaim who were disciples of Rabbi Jochanan ben Zakkai. He gave himself over entirely to the study of the Torah. His perseverance and dedication were so great that his teachers became concerned about his health, but Onkelos continued learning day and night until he became well-versed in all the secrets of the Torah.

Onkelos took very much to heart the fact that many Jews during the Babylonian Exile had forgotten their holy language, and had started speaking Babylonian, Ashdodic, Aramaic and different types of dialects.

When the Jews returned from the Babylonian Exile, Ezra the Scribe translated the Torah into Aramaic so that everybody should be able to understand it, but the translation was lost. Onkelos now decided to translate the Torah into Aramaic once more, according to the explanations handed down from generation to generation, through Ezra the Scribe and back to Moses. This translation that we have even today is "Targum Onkelos."

After a short time Hadrian found out that his nephew had accepted the Jewish religion and had become one of the foremost Jewish scholars. The emperor was beside himself with rage, and he sent a company of soldiers to arrest Onkelos and to bring him in chains to Rome.

'When the. Roman soldiers arrived, Onkelos greeted them in a friendly manner and he talked to them about religion and knowledge. His words impressed them so much that the soldiers threw themselves at his feet and begged him to convert them. to the Jewish religion, as he had done himself.

'When Hadrian saw that his soldiers did not return, he sent another company of brave warriors with instructions to bring Onkelos in chains.

This time he gave orders not to have any discussions with Onkelos, but to arrest him on the spot and bring him to Rome, because Hadrian had heard what had happened to his first messengers.

Onkelos again warmly received the royal messengers. "I know that the Emperor forbade you to have any discussions with me. You must obey the royal command; I also obeyed him; I will therefore ask you one question: you know very well what goes on in the Roman, imperial Court. The common soldier carries the torch for the officer; the officer carries it for the captain; the captain for the general and the general for the emperor. Tell me, for whom does the emperor carry the torch?"

"The emperor is not obliged to serve anyone," they answered him. "He is the highest authority in the country!"

"Take a look," Onkelos answered them. "The G-d of Israel, the Creator of heaven and earth, who delivered the Jews from Egypt, the G-d over everything, in spite of His greatness, still deemed it fit to lighten the way for His servants, the Jews, with a pillar of fire for forty complete years!"

These words made a great impression on the soldiers, and they immediately gave up their mission and became faithful disciples of Onkelos.

Once more, Hadrian sent a company of troops with high officers at the head, with the express orders not to say one word to Onkelos and not to answer any questions, but to arrest him immediately.

The messengers arrived and started to carry out the emperor's orders without delay. They led him out of his. house. At the door Onkelos stopped, and joyfully kissed the Mezuzah.

The messengers gazed at him in wonder, and could not restrain themselves from asking him:

"What does that thing on the door symbolize, and why are you so happy at being taken to Rome, where your uncle will surely have your head chopped off?"

"I laugh at foolish people. A king sits in his palace and has guards around him to protect him from danger. But the Jewish King, the L-rd of the world, allows his servants to sit quietly at home and He protects them from outside. That is the Mezuzah on our door!"

The royal messengers fell entirely under the influence of Onkelos's words and it did not take long before they also became his faithful disciples.

When Hadrian saw that he would not be able to bring his nephew by force, he decided that there must be some special reason for all this. He had a strong desire to see his nephew, so he swore that he would not harm him if he would come to visit him voluntarily.

Onkelos started out for Rome. When he presented himself to the Emperor, he was surprised to see that Onkelos had lost much weight. Onkelos assured him that he had gained much Torah and wisdom instead. Hadrian then asked him why he had left his home, and his religion and accepted the religion of a small nation that was persecuted and ill-treated by all the other nations of the world?

"I listened to your good advice," Onkelos answered him with a smile. "You advised me to buy a material for which there are few customers. I traveled throughout the world and I could not find anything that has fewer customers than the Jewish religion. I bought it and I found that I had made a bargain. The holy Jewish Prophets have promised that the poor persecuted Jewish nation will become a nation of princes; that the kings throughout the world will consider themselves honored to serve them; and the Torah, which is now down-trodden, will be recognized by all nations, and Jerusalem will be the lighthouse of the whole world.

13. A 4 year old writes a letter to G-D

This is an email I received a while back. I know it was Hashem who answered this little girl. As we know it is Hashem that orchestrates everything and nothing happens by itself. Please read this story and remember when you speak to Hashem keep it simple as this little girl did. If you need to write a letter to Hashem do it.

 


''This is one of the kindest things I've ever experienced'' writes the Mother. ''I have no way to know who sent it, but there is a kind soul working in the dead letter office of the US postal service''. 

 

Our 14-year-old dog, Abbey, died last month. The day after she died, my 4 year old daughter Meredith was crying and talking about how much she missed Abbey. She asked if we could write a letter to God so that when Abbey got to heaven, God would recognize her. I told her
that I thought we could so she dictated these words:

Dear God,
Will you please take care of my dog? She died yesterday and is with you in heaven. I miss her very much. I am happy that you let me have her as my dog even though she got sick.

I hope you will play with her. She likes to play with balls and to swim. I am sending a picture of her so when you see her, you will know that she is my dog. I really miss her.

Love Meredith

 

We put the letter in an envelope with a picture of Abbey and Meredith and addressed it to God/Heaven. We put our return address on it. Then Meredith pasted several stamps on the front of the envelope because she said it would take lots of stamps to get the letter all the way to heaven.

That afternoon she dropped it into the letter box at the post office. A few days later, she asked if God had gotten the letter yet. I told her that I thought he had.

Yesterday, there was a package wrapped in gold paper on our front porch addressed, "To Meredith," in an unfamiliar hand. Meredith opened it. Inside was a book by Mr. Rogers called, "When a Pet Dies." Taped to the inside front cover was the letter we had written to God in its opened envelope. On the opposite page was the picture of Abbey & Meredith and this note:

Dear Meredith,
Abbey arrived safely in heaven. Having the picture was a big help. I recognized Abbey right away. Abbey isn't sick anymore. Her spirit is here with me just like it stays in your heart. Abbey loved being your dog. Since we don't need our bodies in heaven, I don't have any pockets to keep your picture in, so I am sending it back to you in this little book for you to keep and have something to remember Abbey by.

Thank you for the beautiful letter and thank your mother for helping you write it and sending it to me. What a wonderful mother
you have. I picked her especially for you.

I send my blessings every day and remember that I love you
very much. By the way, I'm easy to find, I am wherever there is love.

Love,

God

 

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sent in:

A seminary class in England was trying to understand the concept of psukim in Tanach that refer to Hashem purifying the dross out of the silver as a metaphor for purifying Klal Yisrael.  One such pasuk can be found in Mishlei: 25:4 
"Take away the dross from the silver and there shall come forth a vessel for the finer."
The class decided to go on a field trip to a silversmith.
The silversmith held the silver in the hottest part of the fire, and one of the girls asked if he could just leave it there.  No, he said, it had to be watched meticulously because if it was left in too long, it would lose its structure.  How long should it be left in, how does he know when to take it out, another one of the girls asked.  He answered that when he saw his reflection in the metal, the process was done.
The girls, back in the classroom concluded, that Hashem when holding a person to the fire, is always watching meticulously because the point is to purify and transform, not to destroy.  His very holding is a sign of care.  When is the process done?  When the reflection of the Yud Gimmel Midos, the manifestation of Hashem's infinite kindness through the thirteen attributes is apparent in the person, and hence, in the world, too.

sent in:

(from Shma Yisroel Network/Jewish Observer article on Rabbi Miller zt"l)

In one of his tapes (#706), Rabbi Miller delineates ten steps to
greatness that should be practiced every day.

1) Say at least once (in private), "I love you Hashem."

2) Spend thirty seconds thinking about Olam Habba.

3) At least one time during the day, for example during meal times,
acknowledge that your actions are L'Shem Shamayim.

4) When saying the beracha of "Malbish Arumim – He clothes the naked,"
spend thirty seconds contemplating the great gift of garments, i.e.,
pockets, buttons, shoelaces, etc.

5) Spend one minute thinking over yesterday (cheshbon hanefesh).

6) When reciting the words, "If I forget you, Yerushalayim…," sit down
on the floor in privacy, for one second to think about the loss of
Yerushalayim.

(The following four relate specifically to bein adam le'chaveiro –
interpersonal relations.)

7) Do one act of kindness a day that no one, other than Hashem, knows about.

8) Encourage somebody – thereby imitating Hashem, Who lifts up the humble.

9) Once a day, when looking at another person, think, "I'm seeing a
tzellem Elokim."

10) Just like Hashem's image shines on us, SMILE!

* * *

He recommended doing the above exercises for thirty days. "If you feel
exhausted, take a break and come back slowly. To become great, you
have to be extreme."

15. “Hashem desires actions that come from the heart.

The Baal Shem Tov used to travel from town to town and

gather the people together in order to speak to them. He would

tell them stories from the Gemara, and tell them about how

much Hashem was pleased with the sincere prayers and

straightforward faith of ordinary Jews. One day, the Baal Shem

Tov arrived in a town called Tarnow and spoke to the people from

the center of the town, and he told a story of a wealthy man who

lived in the days when the Bais HaMikdash still stood in

Yerushalayim. The wealthy man was taking a fattened ox to the

Bais HaMikdash as a Korban, an Offering. As they were walking,

for no known reason, the ox decided that it would not walk

anymore, and because of its size, the wealthy man could not urge

the animal forward. No amount of pushing and prodding could

make the ox budge. A poor man who was on his way home,

happened to pass by this scene and saw what was happening. He

had in his hand a bunch of freshly picked greens. The poor man

walked over to the ox and held the greens in front of the animal.

When the animal began to nibble, he drew them away, and the ox

began to walk forward to try to get at the treat. The poor man

continued to do this until they reached the Bais HaMikdash. The

wealthy man was overjoyed and brought the large, fattened ox as

a Korban Olah, a Burnt Offering. He was so happy at being able

to offer such an animal that he also offered a sheep as a Korban

Shelamim, a Peace Offering, and made a huge feast for his family

and friends. He also distributed the proper gifts from his

sacrifices to the Kohanim. The poor man, happy that he was able

to help, went home empty handed, because he had ended up

feeding all the greens he was carrying to the ox. That night the

owner of the ox had a dream. In his dream he heard a voice which

called out, "The sacrifice of the poor man, who gave up the

bundle of greens he was bringing home to his impoverished

family, was a more desirable sacrifice than your fattened ox!"

The Baal Shem Tov explained, "The joy of the rich man was so

intense that he held back nothing. The poor man, on the other

hand, had only a bunch of greens to bring home for his family.

What were his few stalks compared to the fattened Korban of the

wealthy man? Nevertheless,” concluded the Baal Shem Tov,

“Hashem desires actions that come from the heart. Any mitzvah a

person may do, whether great or small, simple or difficult, is

judged by how it is performed. A mitzvah done for Hashem’s

sake, with great joy and purity of heart, is very precious to

Hahsem!" The Baal Shem Tov said, "Hashem cried out to the

angels, ‘Look at the mitzvah my child has done!’ Hashem saw

that although the wealthy man had offered much, the poor man

had offered much more, because his action was pure of heart.”