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Tag Archives: Mama Rachel

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Be a Chasid!

November 4, 2014
Orit Esther Riter

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BS’D

Rachel Imeinu ztk’l certainly portrays the trait of mesirut nefesh (self-sacrifice).  Her unconditional willingness to do anything for the sake of alleviating her sisters pain and embarrassment is unparalleled.

Being that we are descendants of such righteous Matriarchs and Patriarchs we have it in us to do the same.  However, life is not about scoring it ‘high’ on the kindness chart.  It is about loving to and being enthused by the idea of doing chesed with others.  The emphasis is on how our heart responds when involved with acts of kindness.  We earn the title chasid by elevating our love of performing acts of chesed.

How do we do it?  Train the mind and body. Pledge to do one, two, three acts of kindness everyday. Search, seek and beg for it.  That measure of self-sacrifice will already instill within the unshakable need to be kind and immeasurable pleasure when having found it.  Mankind has a natural tendency to act with self-preservation, “Will I have enough?” “Am I cheating myself when I give to another?”  Therefore we need to enter ‘Chesed boot camp’ and break away from our anxiety that we are depriving ourselves when we give to others.

Let us remember an important point when working on any of our middot (character traits).  When we go beyond our nature, we bond closer to what is above, Hashem. Hashem ‘resides’ so to speak in our attributes. Thus when we emulate ‘G-dly traits’ we draw closer to Him.  The condition: do so unconditionally.  Be kind to others not because ‘they deserve it’ or you ‘feel for them’.  Be compassionate, kind and helpful beyond what you think or feel.  Do it just because you are a G-dly individual and want to reach high spiritual levels of giving and attach yourself to Hashem through it.

In the merit of Rachel Imeinu’s act of care and love for her sister, she was able to ‘convince’ Hashem to save the Jewish people when they went into exile.  She merited such closeness because her essence was one of unconditional compassion and love.

Rachel Imeinu ztk’l

November 3, 2014
Orit Esther Riter

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BS’D

Ahy, yahy, yahy… if we only could contemplate the self-sacrifice Mama Rochel made for her children, we would dance at the thought that we are from the same family and part of the same heritage!!!

When we read the Torah portion of Vayetzei we know the end to the story of Rachel, Leah and Ya’akov Avinu. It doesn’t seem to ‘tickle’ us as much as it should.  We know the end; Rachel did in fact earn the right to marry Ya’akov in addition to her sister Leah … but she didn’t know that. From her perspective she willingly switched her destiny with that of Leah. Leah cried endless tears in her youth since she knew through Divine inspiration that she was destined to marry the wicked Esav.  That life was now destined to be Rachel’s.  How many tears she shed…

Mama Rachel gave up this world and the next to console her sister’s pain.  She gave up this world assuming she would marry Esav and be the Mother of the future Esav generation, among them Hitler, may his name be erased.  She gave up the next world understanding that there is little reward, if any, for mothering such a nation.

Rachel Imeinu was willing to give up her title as Mother of the Jewish Nation.  Therefore measure for measure Hashem rewarded her with the name ‘Mama Rachel’, Mother Rachel.  “Karov ailecha hadavar miod b’ficha ubilvavecha la’asoto (Rather, the matter is very near to you, in your mouth and in your heart, to perform)”, parshat Nitzavim (30:14).  We are all made of the same ‘G-dly stuff’ and have it in us to live with such self-sacrifice and love for one another; most of us already do.

In the merit of Mama Rachel, today let us do one selfless act for a fellow Jew without telling a soul; just l’Shem Shamayim, to honor Hashem’s name and our Mother Rachel.

 

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