As soon as you begin to smile, you discover that the world is more beautiful and that people are nicer. Why? Because you reflect the light of positivity and it reflects back on you. Enjoy this 3-minute clip and have a lovely Shabbat!
A young man was once walking along the beach when he suddenly saw an old man trying to push one of a dozen or so errant dolphins back into the ocean. The dolphins had made a navigational mistake and ended up getting stuck on the shore, quivering between life and death. "Hey, Granddad, it doesn't matter how hard you try – you simply won't be able to save all those dolphins. It's impossible – you won't be able to make a difference."
With a deep breath and a huge effort, the old man managed to push one of the dolphins back into the ocean and back to life. The ocean water and the movement of the waves revived the dolphin and he began swimming. "You see that dolphin, young man? For him," the old man panted, "I certainly made a difference."
The young man smiled bashfully and began to help the old man. A third passerby joined them as well, and the three succeeded in saving all the dolphins.
What do we learn from this story? Sometimes we look around us and we see all the deficiency in the world. There's so much to do and so many people to help that our hearts become filled with a sense of futility. We ask ourselves, "How can I possibly deal with all of this. With my sorely limited assets, how can I possibly make a change in anything?"
As soon as we ask ourselves the above question, we must remember: we must do what we are capable of doing and leave the impossible to Hashem. Just like the old man who refused to surrender to the fear that he won't be able to make a difference, he did what he could with no hesitation, summoning up as much power as he could. Then suddenly, as if with a magic wand, others joined him and he saved an entire school of dolphins from imminent death.
We're just like the people in the above story. Passover is almost here; this is a wonderful opportunity to partner in our annual Emuna Outreach Kimcha D'Pischa Project. The heavy expenses of the holiday make it ever so difficult for many families to fulfill the mitzvoth of Passover, much less enjoy the holiday. It's difficult to think about replacing the children's torn and tight shoes with new ones when there's no food on the table and no matzoth or wine for Passover. These are families whose struggle for survival is daily. This very moment, they are wondering if there will be any food to put on the table during Passover…
Emuna Outreach's Kimcha D'Pischa Project enables hundreds of needy Jewish families in the Land of Israel to celebrate the Passover holiday with joy. Since we buy everything bulk and wholesale, a donation of $180 provides an entire family with wine, shmura matza, vegetables, eggs, meat and/or poultry and everything else needed for Seder night. This fulfills for you the two tremendous obligations of Kimcha D'Pischa, providing foodstuffs for the poor on Passover, and Kol Dichfin, opening up your home to the poor on Seder night. This is an easy way to fulfill Kol Dichfin, for when you sponsor a family's Seder night, it's the same as if you hosted them in your own home.
You can make your generous tax-deductable donation to Emuna Outreach's Kimcha D'Pischa Fund by clicking here. May Hashem bless you and yours with a truly happy and kosher Passover!
Remember: do what you can do and leave the rest up to Hashem. That way, we'll truly make a difference.
Once a year, during the Hebrew month of Nissan, we have the special mitzva of making a blessing over (at least two) blossoming fruit trees. According to Kabbala, this blessing is deeply significant, and helps correct the soul that is reincarnated within the tree. That soul is forever beholding to the person who makes the blessing, for he or she has done a great favor in helping that soul attain its tikkun, or correction.
You have from now until Friday, April 13, 2018 to fulfill this wonderful mitzva. All you need are two blossoming fruit trees within reasonable distance of one another (i.e. that you can see both at the time of making the blessing). Since some poskim say that the blessing shouldn't be made on grafted trees, it's a good idea to look for wild fruit trees or trees like olives, pomegranates or date palms here in Israel.
For your convenience, here is the blessing,
In English: Blessed are You, Hashem our God, King of the Universe, who let nothing lack in His universe and created within it good creatures and good trees in order to give pleasure to human beings.
In Transliteration: Baruch ata Adonoi, Eloheinu Melech ha-olam, she-lo chisar be-olamo klum v-vara vo beriyyot tovot ve-ilanot tovim lehanot bahem bnai Adam.
In Hebrew: ברוך אתה ה' אלהינו מלך העולם שלא חסר בעולמו כלום וברא בו בריות טובות ואילנות טובים להנות בהם בני אדם
May your Passover and upcoming summer be as fragrant as a citrus blossom! Now is the time for wonderful new beginnings. Every blessing, LB