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WHAT ARE THE SECRET BLESSINGS?

Thursday, 4 December, 2014 - 12:26 pm

Izzy owned a small deli in Stamford Hill, London. One day, a tax inspector knocked on his door and questioned him about his recent tax return.

Izzy had reported a net profit of $250,000.00 for the year and he wanted to know all about it. "It’s like this," said Izzy. "I work like a maniac all year round and all of my family helps me out whenever they can. My deli is closed only five days a year. That’s how I made $250,000."

"It's not your income that bothers us," said the taxman. "It's the business travel deductions of $80,000.00 that worries us.
 
"You entered on the tax return that you and your wife made 28 business trips to Israel, Italy, Switzerland, France, the US, Hawaii, and the Caribbean Islands. What are all these business trips about?"
 
"Oh," said Izzy, smiling. "I forgot to tell you that we also deliver!"
 
Friends, we don’t only serve Jewish warmth at Chabad of Great Neck; we also “deliver”: 
 
On Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year, Jews from all backgrounds are united as one, to pray, to sing, to connect, and to beseech G-d for a brighter future. The gates of heaven are opened and the gates of the soul unlocked. Each of us will pray for our future.
 
We will pray for our children. But what is it what we praying for?
 
One of the most memorable moments of my childhood was moments before Yom Kippur would begin, as the sun would begin to set over the horizon, and we would all rush off to shul. My late father, dressed in his Kittel and Tallit, would take me to a corner of the house. He would look me in the eyes, place his hands on my head, and in a tear-choked voice he would shower me with blessings. I could not hear his words, but I saw his tears, and smelled his love. He would recite the same blessings Jewish parents have been giving their children for the past 3,300 years. They are known as the priestly blessings, the blessings the Kohanim have been blessing our people with for millennia.
 
"May G-d bless you and protect you.”
 
“May G-d shine His countenance upon you and give you grace.”
 
“May G-d lift you up you and grant you peace.”
 
Several years ago, I heard a survivor share the following story: It was the Yom Kippur eve of 1945, a few months after the war had ended. The Klausenberger Rebbe, Rabbi Halberstam, who lost a wife and 11 children in Auschwitz, was preparing himself for the holiest of all days in a German DP camp. All of a sudden, he heard a knock at the door. A young girl came in and said, "Rebbe, I do not have a father anymore. No one will be able to 'bless me' before Yom Kippur."
 
It is an ancient Jewish custom that every father blesses his children on Yom Kippur eve, right before "Kol Nidrei." It is one of the most moving and meaningful Jewish experiences: On the holiest night of the year a father puts his hands on the heads of his children and blesses them.
 
But that year, so many children were left without parents. So this girl came to the Rebbe saying, I have no father to bless me, and I want somebody to bless me.
 
The Rebbe put his hands on her holy head, and blessed her the way a father blesses his daughter on the eve of Yom Kippur.
 
With tears in his eyes he told her how precious she was, what a gift she was, how much he was praying for her bright future…
 
Five minutes later there was another knock on the door. It was another girl, again without a father, again with no one to bless her before Yom Kippur. Again the Rebbe went through the same routine.
 
He put his hands upon her head, and he blessed her the way a father blesses his daughter.
 
This repeated itself again and again. The orphans kept on coming and the Rebbe attended to each of them, as though he was their father. That Yom Kippur eve, the Rebbe blessed over eighty orphaned girls. He placed his hands on each of their heads and gave them the love, the undivided attention, the confidence children yearn for so deeply.
 
What is the secret behind these blessings? Why have Jewish parents been blessing their children for three millennia with these words?
 
The first blessing we give our children, and all children tonight, is:
 
"May G-d bless you and protect you.”
 
I bless you, my dear children, with all the blessings of health, affluence, success, and prosperity. G-d should bless you with all your needs to live a healthy and successful life, with wealth, mazal, prosperity and abundant health.
 
Yet we add one word: may He protect you. May He protect your blessings, so that they don’t turn into curses. May you not sell your soul and your true love for money and fame. In your search for affluence may you never neglect the most important priorities of life: your marriages, relationships, children, friendships, integrity and spirituality. May you always remember the value of money but also its limits.
 
Remember, my dear, that:
 
Money-
 
It can buy a house - But not a home 
It can buy a bed - But not rest 
It can buy a clock - But not time 
It can buy a book - But not wisdom 
It can buy a position - But not respect 
It can buy medicine - But not health 
It can buy blood - But not life 
It can buy acquaintances - But not love 
It can buy connections - But not intimacy 
It can buy fun - But not happiness 
It can buy possessions - But not meaning 
It can buy everything in the world - But not truth
 
Margaret Thatcher once remarked, "Today people want to 'be' something; once upon a time we wanted to 'do' something." 
 
My dear child, always remain true to yourself, to your higher self, to your better self, to your Jewish self.
 
“May G-d shine His face upon you and give you grace.”
 
May you always experience the grace, the subtle dignity, and noble serenity that comes from the knowledge that your identity is priceless, and that every moment of your life has meaning. You matter, your decisions matter, your thoughts, words and actions matter. May G-d allow you to experience the truth that at every moment of your life you are His ambassador to our planet, to spread love, light, hope, goodness and kindness.
 
“May G-d lift you up and grant you peace.”
 
In life, we all fall. We fail and we get hurt. We endure pain.
 
A little girl was running late to her Sunday Hebrew school class. As she ran, she prayed, "Dear G-d, please don't let me be late. Dear G-d, please don't let me be late." Then she fell.
 
She got up, dusted her-self off and saw that her dress was now dirty and had a little tear. She started running again, still praying, "Dear G-d, please don't let me be late." But this time she added, "But please don't push me, either!"
 
May you always experience the Divine light that can lift you up from the debris and give you the shalom, the peace and the wholesomeness, within the broken fragments of life, finding the courage and resolve to stand up and continue playing your indispensable music before the grand conductor.
 
You are not perfect, and I am not perfect. I love you for who you are, not for who I would like you to be. I love you unconditionally. I know you will fall. I know you will make mistakes. And that is fine. But I ask of you, don’t stay down!
 
Don’t give up on yourself. May you always feel the inner light of G-d empowering you to rise up and continue your blessed journey.
 
And now I want to ask every parent to bless your children.
 
Please place your hands on the heads of your holy children and grandchildren and bless them with these blessings.
 
As the Day of Atonement approaches, allow me the opportunity to wish you and your family a sweet New Year.
 
May you and your family be inscribed in the Book of Life for goodness, kindness, health & prosperity.
 
Shana Tova! Have a happy New Year! 

Rabbi Yoseph Geisinsky
Comments on: WHAT ARE THE SECRET BLESSINGS?
7/22/2017

XRumerTest wrote...

Hello. And Bye.