5 Shvat 5781 / Monday, January 18, 2021 | Torah Reading: Bo
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HomeFoundations of JudaismHitbodedut (Personal Prayer)No Fear!
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No Fear!    

No Fear!

When Rebbe Natan was only five years old, his father explained to him about death, gently telling him what happens to the body after the soul takes its leave...


This past month I lost my grandpa, found out my best friend from high school committed suicide and our close friend and neighbor nearly died from a disease he’s suffering from. (Tamir Michael Ma’aravi ben Oshra - please pray for a complete healing). Then there are bills, crying babies, and the constant fear of terrorism. How can a person cope without hitbodedut?


A few months ago I heard Rav Brody teach about Rabbi Natan, ob"m  as a child. When he was only five years old his father explained to him about death. Why? The fellow Jew who sat next to them in shul had passed away. With great sensitivity the father explained that the old man’s soul left his body and went up and returned to Hashem, where it came from. Rabbi Natan’s father continued, “They put the body into the ground.”  Little Natan with keen awareness then realized at his age how unimportant it was to spend his life chasing after the cravings of the body, for the end of the body was the ground. He understood at that moment the significance of Torah study and prayer, the effects of which are eternal. This cognizance led him to become Rabbi Nachman’s OBM  prime disciple.


A dear student of mine, Oren Atalli, told me the following story: Once, the Chofetz Chaim was visited by a rich man from America. The man was in total shock when he saw his tiny modest apartment.


The rich man said, “How can a great Torah sage like yourself live in such a simple place??- you should be living in luxury!” To this the Chofetz Chaiim asked in reply, “And what about you? Where are you now staying during your visit?” The rich man replied, “In a room at the hotel.” The Chofetz Chaiim said, “I’m just like you, I’m only here visiting (the Earth)… and one day I will return to my Creator. Just like you only need a simple room during your visit, I only need the basics down here.. because I’m just visiting as well.”


Sometimes our lives can be filled with anxiety and fear about what will be. To this I always recall what Rav Brody once said, that if you are 21, and you are a normal person who eats about three times a day, that means that Hashem has fed you for 7,665 days straight. Chances are there will be something to eat tomorrow… Don’t Fear!


But in addition I can’t strongly recommend it enough. Make an hour of hitbodedut (personal prayer) part of your daily life. Give thanks for your countless blessings (your healthy body, money, food, spouse and kids, plus your Rabbi), apologize for your mistakes or regrets, discuss your worries, and ask for both Emuna and Trust. When you let it all out before Hashem you have a clear conscious to move forward and start a new beginning. You’ll live with more peace. What’s more is that through your continued efforts day after day you stop fearing death. I noticed this myself a few days ago while buttoning my shirt. Another day was starting and I was getting dressed. Then it hit me. Just as my shirt was clothing my body, my body was covering my soul. Our souls are eternal and tiny parts of Hashem, our bodies won’t live forever. For the first time, I felt at peace with that.


Why? For what is there to fear if you are:


a) Trying your best to live according to Hashem’s will


b) Telling Hashem daily that you’re sorry for your mess ups and making an effort to improve and


c) Spreading Emuna!


Get Started


Stop suffering when you don’t have to! By investing 60 minutes a day uninterrupted with Hashem you’ll see miracles. You’ll have less problems, less fears and more trust in Hashem. You’ll be cleaning your slate daily! So the next time you’ll have an issue that’s difficult, you’ll be able to view it in the proper perspective. Don’t blame others, inquire with Hashem, and ask “Why am I suffering, what do I need to fix?”


When life seems to be crazy it just means that you are going through soul corrections. Just like the dirty clothes need to be laundered, a tarnished soul needs challenges to purify itself and come back to Hashem. Don’t give up, just open your mouth and follow the advice laid out by Rav Arush in his books “In Forest Fields” and “The Garden of Gratitude.” We all want an easy life but our problems bring us multiple times closer to Hashem than anything else. Try to be happy with this.


Listen to Rav Brody’s shiur “Life after Death.” May we all live out our days without fear of passing on, and instead smile, enjoy life and embrace it in its complete entirety.

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Jordan Perlow2/25/2016 6:14:17 PM

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