Issue No. 22 – September 29, 2006
A Shuvoo Update from Ashirah Yosefah
Shalom Shuvoo Subscribers!
This week is Shabbat Shuva … The Shabbat which occurs during the Ten Days of Repentance between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. “Shuva” means return … It has the same Hebrew root as does “Shuvoo.” “Return to Me and I will return to you,” says Hashem (Malachi 3:7). The slightest effort on our part to sincerely examine ourselves, mend our ways and turn back towards our Creator and G-d is met with an immediate arousal from On High. Our efforts towards repentance are more that reciprocated on the part of Hashem.
Each one of us has a “G-d-shaped” void within us that can only be truly satisfied when we are in a proper relationship with Hashem. Mankind is a spiritual being by virtue of Creation. We try to appease the yearning to be in right relationship with Hashem by pursuing many things … some good, some bad. A simple reflection on the myriads of books, courses and workshops on spirituality available in the world today is a clear indication that man desperately wants restoration and reconciliation with his Source … the only problem is that too many people have completely lost touch with the True Source. In addition, man loves to create “designer” forms of spirituality and religion that appease our wants, needs, likes and dislikes, but justify or ignore the clear principles of man’s relationship with his Creator that are set forth in the Torah.
The Haftorah for Shabbat Shuva is from the Book of Hoshea, Chapter 14, verses 1:10:
I will heal their backsliding: I will love
them freely; for My anger is turned away from him.
I will be as dew to Israel that he may flower like a lily, strike root
like the poplar and put our fresh shoots, that he may be as fair as the olive
and fragrant as Lebanon. They that dwell under his shadow shall return;
they shall revive as the corn and grow as a vine: the scent thereof shall
be as the wine of
Rabbi Moshe Braun in his book entitled “The Jewish Holy Days” brings down a teaching from the Rambam in his discussion on the opening statement … command … of Haftorah Shuva:
“It is written, ‘Return O
Repentance with such devotion, with disregard for personal gain, is the highest form, which will heal all of the Jewish nations when the Mashiach comes. And it is this selfsame repentance that is meant in the teachings of our sages, ‘The place where the repentants stand even the wholly righteous cannot stand.’ Why? Because the sinner has been on all the crooked paths, and he returns them all to G-d, and says, ‘No, thank You!’ He no longer wants the free will to roam the multitude of paths. And his new path is a place that a wholly righteous person has never been.
Let us therefore completely escape from under the influence of sin, corruption and the multitude of paths, and follow G-d all the way to the Throne of Honor.”
(R. Moshe Braun, “The Jewish Holy Days”, ”Shabbat Shuva”, pg. 52-53)
Where is the “Throne of Honor”? Rabbi Braun provides the answer:
“… as we move toward G-d, He moves toward us. And we meet between the heaven and the earth, between the physical and the spiritual worlds. We meet at the Throne of Honor, the source of all souls.”
The Prophet Hoshea also wrote, in this week’s Haftorah portion: “Come with your words ready, come back to G-d ... “ The Sages of Judaism teach us that our physical body is the scroll upon which G-d’s message is written … our soul is the letters that make up that message. Hashem breathed our soul, our message, our unique purpose (and everyone has one) into us. As a Jew says each morning upon arising, “The soul which your have placed within me is pure. You have created it, You have formed it, You have breathed it into me.”
Hashem is The Source of all life, can the soul which He gave us be anything but pure? We obscure it’s purity with our deeds, but the pure spark within remains undefiled. We can elevate it, lifting it up to G-d as a sweet savor, or we can treat this precious gift within us as a common thing … as our domain and not our Maker’s … and trample upon its innate holiness. Our Sages teach us that sin blocks the message of the soul. As a result, the body stumbles over the words of Hashem and makes its way along false paths. Repentance, that greatest gift of all, removes the obstacles … this is one aspect of what the Prophet Isaiah refers to in the verse, “Clear the path for the people! Build up, build up the highway, remove the rocks!” (Isaiah 62:10)
once declared, “Who shall enter the courts of Hashem? He who has clean hands and a pure heart!”
Sadly, the paths of life in the world today are rock-filled and
treacherous. We who would be Hashem’s people, His witnesses, His message
to the world, have a lot of clearing to do … beginning with ourselves.
The many prayers of Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot are filled with
Prophets tell us that one day
In keeping with the focus of Shabbat Shuva, we are pleased to post two new articles this week that will further enhance your understanding of this special time of year:
“MEETING DIN WITH JOY” - A PARSHA PONDERING ON “HA’AZINU” BY MIRIAM BEN YAAKOV OF NOAHIDE NATIONS: Just in from Miriam Ben-Yaakov! A sincere and heartfelt contemplation on this week’s Parsha “Ha’azinu”. “… Moshe proclaims that G-d is our Rock. This is a challenge to look deep inside ourselves to see our true view of G-d—not what we are “supposed to think”, but, rather, what we truly do think and feel about Him. …” Read the full article at http://www.shuvoo.com/articles/MBY-meeting-din-with-joy.php
A WONDERFUL REFLECTION ON THE MEANING OF ROSH HASHANAH AND THE YAMIM NORAIIM BY DR. EUGENE NARRETT: Dr. Eugene NarrEatt, author of Gathered Against Jerusalem, Israel Awakened and Israel and the End Times, has just released a new article entitled “HAPPY BIRTHDAY – A RELIGION OF MERCY” … A very timely piece for Shabbat Shuva. Read the full article at http://www.shuvoo.com/articles/EN-religion-of-mercy.php
OPPORTUNITIES NOT TO MISS: We encourage everyone to avail
themselves of the wonderful new learning opportunities offered by two of Shuvoo’s Directors: Rabbi Chaim Richman of The Temple
Institute and Rabbi Avraham Greenbaum of The Azamra
Institute. Rabbi Richman has a weekly Internet TV broadcast entitled
“Light to the Nations” which features programs by himself,
Their new website www.universaltorah.com also provides a link to Rabbi Greenbaum’s weekly internet radio class which is broadcast live each Sunday at 10am EST, resuming AFTER Sukkot. This weekly class can be accessed directly via the Azamra Institute website at http://azamra.org/study.shtml Rabbi Greenbaum’s classes are not presently archived. There is also limited space in the internet forum “class room”; it’s wise to check in early. The weekly programs of the Universal Torah Network website are archived, so they can be enjoyed at your convenience. Shuvoo has provided a link to The Universal Torah Network website in our Audio section: http://www.shuvoo.com/audio-teachings.php
ART WITH KEDUSHAH! Shuvoo’s co-founder and webmaster Pinchas David has an incredible gift … he is an amazing professional illustrator! View two samples of his work on The Shuvoo Store. He has produced top quality fine art prints, signed by the artist, that are now available for purchase by Shuvoo subscribers at a price now available in the other locations where his work is displayed and sold. Visit The Shuvoo Store at www.shuvoo.com
G’MAR CHATIMA TOVA FROM