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Words of Chizzuk - Reb Asher Freund Zt"l
cleaving to G-d

Words written by R' Asher, Menachem Av 5738

 The main thing is simple faith and stubbornness, so as not to be broken when one is depressed. With the same breath that G-d reveals Himself to you, you should live with Him in his distress of His children, who live with needless hatred and in all the different evil ways which disturb G-d's connection with us. Then G-d brings upon us an awakening of His pain, so that we can participate in His pain and so that there will be a place for Him in the world of asiyah, our world, from which the life force of all the worlds stems. When G-d does not have a part in this world below, we have no nurturing powers from above, and all the springs are stopped up. And as G-d has mercy on is creatures, He causes us to have pain and suffering, so that we will cry to Him and arouse His mercy on His nation, and redeem us soon.

 

Rather than crying out from the depth of our hearts that there should be an end to all our troubles and that we should remain silent about all our pain and suffering which is the pain of G-d's love, we cause ourselves to descend into depression and cling to the Evil Inclination which is the opposite of holiness.  The reason for this is because how little we are submissive, and we waste our lives without any soul searching and descend very low. Because of that we harden our hearts and waste away our souls and our length of days, and lose our worlds, this one and the next.

 

We therefore have to be constantly on guard and not to forget for even a single breath about our cleaving to the Creator wherever we are, and to cry out to Him until He takes pity on us and takes us out to the great light. Even from the deepest of the depths He hears our voice ("because You hear the prayer of every voice").

 

 

 


Humility leading to recognition of G-d - Part 1
     The purpose of man, created in the image of G-d, is to discover from within his very own self his personal mission in life. He has to come to the realization that in the root of his individual life lay various forces that are actually keeping him in existence and pumping life into him, and without these forces he would not be able to take even one breath on his own. From his experiences, temperament and nature alone it is nearly impossible for him to discover these forces. It is only through true humbleness and modesty, with an earnest desire to acknowledge and recognize the absolute truth that he will come to the realization that he is powerless, and is not capable of helping himself in the least. Only once he has recognized this fully, he will not be ashamed of it, because he understands that this is the way he was created, and this is the natural way of the world, for the universe was created in a state of nothingness, as it says, "and the land was in a state of nihility" and the main purpose of mankind is that he too reach this feeling of nothingness out of recognition of the many faults that he has. It is through this that he will recognize his Creator since he will realize that he has no control over his life, and it is only the will of his Creator that breathes life into him constantly as it says, " Every soul (with every breath we) shall praise G-d."
     
     He will only merit this through extreme humility, when he does not cast his eyes away from his many faults, is not ashamed of them and does not despair in spite of them. In fact, 'if the strength of the worker has failed him and danger awaits him in ambush, he should not fear!' "For there too, Your Hand shall guide me", because the belief was revealed to him that his very existence and every breath that he takes, comes from the One who merely commanded and with that, the world was created.  

     In this fashion, through much effort and toil, he will merit recognizing His Creator and cleaving to Him, and only then will he be spared from the natural haughtiness that lurks at every moment of success that one has. In addition, this will prevent him from giving up hope at a moment of failure and from casting blame upon himself and others, through the subsequent humility that he will attain at the realization of his lack of power thus not throwing fault on others at a time of setback.

Humility leading to recognition of G-d - Part 2
     The acclaimed man, who seeks to attain great heights and endeavors to climb the rungs to greatness, knows his faults well, and since they are many, a danger lies that fear can engulf him, causing himself much detriment and destruction. Yet if a person strengthens himself against his despair, a crystal-clear window becomes visible for him in the heavens and he is able to perceive that the life and sustenance that he is granted is channeled to him exclusively from the Source of Life; it is from there that he is constantly revived, life is pumped into him, his limbs are flexed and his senses sharpened but still he must remain in a state in which "My sins are in front of  me constantly"; he cannot let go of his fear lest he forget the reality of his powerlessness, and lose the source of his renewal of faith in the Creator as it says, "With each new morning your faith (in me) is great "

     It is primarily through his weaknesses and failures that man will discover the basic fundaments of life. This is the faith that the verse refers to, "and your faith in times of night", for He is a G-d who conceals Himself, and it is His supreme will that we recognize the truth without any shame. It is the nature of man that the realization and acknowledgement of this will be bitter and difficult for him and much self-sacrifice is required in order to merit this realization. But only then will he be fortunate enough to have acquired the trait of humility as it says, "And wisdom will be found in (the one who views himself as) nothingness."

Proper Repentance Feeling the Distress of the Shechinah

By Harav G. S.

While we were sitting at the se'udah shelishit, a little liquid spilled on the tablecloth. R' Asher cleaned the spill with paper until the area was dry. I said to him that I wished it was that easy to clean our garments which are filthy with sins. He said to me: "One does not need to cleanse the body of sins, because then you think that you are spotlessly clean and that you are a good Jew. What we must feel is the distress of the Shechinah caused by our sins. That is the proper repentance - to remain totally submissive and with a complete annulment of oneself."

R' Asher spoke about the fact that a true tzaddik prays from the depth of his heart, as it says (Tehillim 17:2), "Let my judgment come forth from Your presence." In general, a person is judged by the angels, and if he is wicked he is judged by the angels of destruction, who have no pity. They only see the fact that the person violated the word of the G d, the King of kings, the great, mighty, and revered G d, and therefore the sinner must be punished severely for his sins. Therefore a true tzaddik asks that G-d Himself, as it were, should judge him, because He is full of mercy, as King David said (II Samuel 24), "I am in great distress. Let us fall now into the hand of the L-rd, for His mercies are great." Then there is the possibility of mercy and of having one's sentence reduced.

R' Asher asked: "Which tzaddik is judged by G d Himself? In this, there are two types of tzaddikim. One is a person who keeps going up from one spiritual level to another. His judgment belongs to the angels who judge a person according to his needs and achievements. However there is a tzaddik who annuls himself totally and believes he is nothing. Such a tzaddik is totally holy because he is a nothing, having reached the level of being nothingness, and all he has in this world is the light of G d which shines upon us. Such a person is judged by G d Himself."

Words written by R' Asher, Menachem Av 5738


(Translated)


The main thing is simple faith and stubbornness, so as not to be broken when one is depressed. With the same breath that G-d reveals Himself to you, you should live with Him in his distress of His children, who live with needless hatred and in all the different evil ways which disturb G-d's connection with us. Then G-d brings upon us an awakening of His pain, so that we can participate in His pain and so that there will be a place for Him in the world of asiyah, our world, from which the life force of all the worlds stems. When G-d does not have a part in this world below, we have no nurturing powers from above, and all the springs are stopped up. And as G-d has mercy on is creatures, He causes us to have pain and suffering, so that we will cry to Him and arouse His mercy on His nation, and redeem us soon.

Rather than crying out from the depth of our hearts that there should be an end to all our troubles and that we should remain silent about all our pain and suffering which is the pain of G-d's love, we cause ourselves to descend into depression and cling to the Evil Inclination which is the opposite of holiness.  The reason for this is because how little we are submissive, and we waste our lives without any soul searching and descend very low. Because of that we harden our hearts and waste away our souls and our length of days, and lose our worlds, this one and the next.

We therefore have to be constantly on guard and not to forget for even a single breath about our cleaving to the Creator wherever we are, and to cry out to Him until He takes pity on us and takes us out to the great light. Even from the deepest of the depths He hears our voice ("because You hear the prayer of every voice").


Yad Ezrah News
Preparation for the Pesach food packages distribution

At this time of year, we, at "Yad Ezrah", feel a great responsibility resting on our shoulders, as we prepare for the major project of the year- the Pesach food packages distribution. We receive many anguished pleas from needy families, and we want to be able to tell them that they are on the "good green list" and will receive basic food necessities for Pesach. I stand before them and their children or elderly parents, and I so much want to merit bringing them happiness and not to disappoint them. I know they are not asking for extras, and are really lacking the bare minimum.

Hashem gave me the great zchut of knowing you, a true Ish Chessed, who hears the pain of others, and even hears the silent cry of the sick and disabled.  I daven and hope, and I feel that if Hashem put us in this position, it is our merit, and one of the greatest moments in our lives that gives meaning to our existence, and opens up for us various locked gates that we wish would open. Please, continue to be a loyal supporter in your generous way.

As you know, we at Yad Ezrah try to help and fill the needs of our destitute brothers from all spectrums of the Jewish community in Israel. There are thousands of needy families that we have to help this year. We are in contact with them throughout the year, and we want to continue to help them this Pesach as well. We are also in close contact with Jews in Sderot and Nitzan-Gush Katif evacuees, poor families of soldiers who would often rather stay on base when they have time off then go home where there is no food, as well as other cities and settlements throughout the country. In fact, I just received an email from Sderot asking for help in providing basic Pesach provisions.

We hope to help 6000 families at certain levels but of these, at least 1,200 families are in critical financial situation. These families will not be able to make Pesach without our help. We would like to provide them with a respectable Pesach package that includes everything they need for the Chag. Each family package costs about 800 NIS, and we are counting on you to help make this distribution a reality. You are one of a quality team of donors that we feel comfortable to turn to.  Your help is significant and your donation makes the difference to the poor families. I Thank you for keeping the flame of unity burning and reaching out to our brothers who are calling out and waiting for you to listen and heed their cry.

The Zchut of R’ Asher Ztz”l and your  true Chessed will stand for you and your family, that you will have  a Chag Sameach V’Kasher, Chag of shalom and family unity, nachat, serenity,  Bracha, gezunt, shefa  and peace,  and we should all merit a speedy and painless redemption, B’Midat Harachamim.

B'Yididut

Yours,

Zvi Waldman

http://www.yadezrah.org.il/

Tax-deductible donations can be made out to:

U.S. Friends of Yad Ezrah 12-A North Airmont Road, Suffern , NY 10901

To donate by credit card through PayPal:

http://www.yadezrah.org.il/donate.php


Zot Chanuka

The eighth day of Chanuka, what is known as “Zot Chanuka”, is a very special and powerful day.

The Rebbe of Ruzhin Zt”l wrote that this day is so powerful that what great Tzadikim can accomplish on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, the simple Jew can accomplish on Zot Chanuka.

R’ Chaim form Sanz and the Rebbe of Kubrin wrote that the day of Zot Chanuka is a day that can bring Health, Children and Parnassah, because on these days of Chanuka we can achieve a special light of Chessed shining from locked and hidden places.  

The Bnei Yissachar also writes that the last day of Chanuka is a segulah for the remembrance of barren women.

We, the chaverim, are now on our way up to Meron,  as was the minhag of Reb Asher zt”l on Zot Chanuka, to pray at the holy gravesite of Reb Shimon bar Yochai, who was the great light of Am Yisrael, to daven that he beseech on us and all Am Yisrael, and of course we will mention all of our friends and partners  in our tefillot for brachot and yeshuot, and we will pray that we all be redeemed on an individual and general level, bekarov.

 

 


Rosh Hashana Preparations

 

 

At this time of the year, as we prepare to stand humbly before Hashem on the Yom Hadin and beg for His mercy and kindness, we are reminded of the words of Rav Asher Freund zt'l, the founder of Yad Ezrah, that true humility is achieved, only when there is a sincere concern for the pain and suffering of our fellow Jews.

  Yad Ezrah has always identified with the distress of its fellow Jews, and has strived to effectively alleviate it, with dignity.  As the Yomin Noraim approach, our immediate challenge is to enable thousands of hungry families to celebrate the upcoming holidays, joyously and in tranquility. With your kindness, together we can make it happen.

In the merit of your generosity, may you and your family be blessed with nachas, good health and prosperity, and may all of your hearts' requests be fulfilled letova.

 

 

 


Lag B'omer preparations

 

Yad Ezrah is now preparing for its yearly Hachnassat Orchim at the Holy Gravesite of the great Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai.

Lag Ba'omer was very close to Reb Asher's heart, and he would often stress the importance of offering food and drinks to those who come up on Lag Baomer to pray at the holy tzion of Reb Shimon Bar Yochai. Reb Asher himself invested much energy into founding the enormous Hachnassat Orchim operation that Yad Ezrah continues each year in Meron and encouraged others to follow suit, emphasizing that one who toils on behalf of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai merits great salvation.

Furthermore, Reb Asher wrote in one of his letters, "…the masses who stream throughout the year to the gravesite of the saintly Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai zy"a, who is the foundation of our existence until the coming of Mashiach, speedily in our days…"

Close to one million people from all over the world arrive in Meron on Lag Ba'omer. Among the masses of people who arrive are people who do not have even bread to put on their table, people who are hurting and suffering – who have come to pour out their hearts to Hashem Yitbarach at the holy kever of Reb Shimon. For over thirty years now, Yad Ezrah extends itself to the needs of these people in a very tangible sense. Yad Ezrah provides hundreds of thousands of weary travelers with both cold and hot drinks, as well as with sandwiches, cakes, and pastries.


Yad Ezrah prepares for the Ma'ot Chitim operation

As Pesach fast approaches, we are in intense preparation for our annual Pesach distribution.

For Reb Asher zt"l, who founded Yad Ezrah, the Maot Chitim project was the apple of his eye. He taught us that giving basic food to hungry people – nourishing and reviving their souls both physically and emotionally, is the purest form of Hashem's revelation in the world that transforms the Midddat Hadin to Middat Harachamim.

Yad Ezrah is currently investing the maximum efforts all over the world to approach its friends and raise the large funds necessary for this Kimcha De'Pischa project. However, at the moment, we are in immediate need of the fundamental monies which will enable us to continue forth with the project.

Reb Asher zt"l bequeathed a brachah for a good and meaningful life to all those who assist in the Yad Ezrah effort of easing the burden of our struggling brethren.  

Please help us bring the Simcha of the Chag to our dear brothers and let them, as well, experience the feeling of Bnei Chorin together with their families.

 

 

 


Yad Ezrah prepares to distribute Matanot La'evyonim for Needy families

Yad Ezrah is hoping to provide many needy families with a special Purim endowment “Bo Bayom”, on Purim itself, but we need YOUR help to make this a reality.

As the Rambam says, the only way we can experience true Jewish happiness on Purim, is if we know that we brought happiness to sad people, who without our assistance, would not be able to feel the true happiness of Purim.

To quote:it is preferable for a person to elaborate in the mitzva of Matanot La'evyonim than to elaborate with his meal and with sending Mishloach Manot to his friends, for one who brings joy to the hearts of the poor... resembles the Shechina. (Rambam, Hilchot Megilla, Perek Bet, halacha 17)

Thousands of Jewish children and their families cannot rejoice on Purim as the other children delightfully wave their graggers in the air, for they are filled with hunger & pain. As the joyous day of Purim approaches, let us attempt to heed their silent cries, & fill their homes & hearts with joy. In this merit may Hashem heed each of our individual silent cries as well, for He knows our unspoken needs as well.

With your openhanded donation, you can bring the spirit of “Venahafoch Hu” into the home of a Jewish family, turning their darkness into light, & in the merit of your dedication, may we all soon rejoice in the ultimate “Venahafoch Hu”, as this long Galut comes to a close, & we embrace the Final Geulah.

 


Preparations are Underway for the distribution of Pesach Food Packages
Preparations are underway at Yad Ezrah for the purchase of thousands of Yom Tov food packages for needy families. These packages will include a rich variety of all the basic food products such as: Chicken, fish, oil, eggs, matzot, sugar, potato starch, canned goods, grape juice, coffee, tea, fruits and vegtetables and more. Yad Ezrah is in great need as the number of families who have turned to us for help has skyrocketed yet Yad Ezrah is lacking funds. Any and every help is a tremendous zchut and will bring you much bracha, as Reb Asher zt"l promised all those who help his lifetime effort continute. Please click the Donate Button and give generously to our struggling brethren in Israel.

Tefillot for our Donors at Kivrei Tzaddikim in Ukraine

In honor of the yahrzeit of the Volednicker Tzaddik who promised that whoever will merely touch his tzion will have great yeshuot, a minyan of Reb Asher zt"l's chaverim, lead by Rabbi Zvi Waldman, traveled to the kvarim of Reb Yisrael Baal Shem Tov, his Talmid Muvhak - the Maggid MiMezritch, Reb Zushe Me'annapoli, Reb Yisrael Dov ben Reb Yosef (the Volednicker - who was known as a poel Yeshuot in a manner above nature), the Baal Hatanya, Reb Nachman MiBreslov, REb Levi Yitzchak MiBarditchev, and more Kivrei Tzadikim.  The group also merited being at the original Beit Knesset of the Baal Shem Tov where he established the foundations of Chassidut and passed on his legacy to his close Talmidim. There is a tradition that the Baal Shem Tov declared that in this Beit Knesset is a shaar that leads straight to Gan Eden. 

May all the tefillot be answered letova!


From the Press - Mshpacha Magazine TIshrei 5770

The new Article About Yad Ezrah is now Avilable to Download

click here


September 02, 2009

Look out for a fascinating and enriching article about Yad Ezrah and Reb Asher Zt"l in the Mishpacha Family Weekly Magazine this week.


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