Saturday, August 23, 2008

Surprise! I'm already back again. It's late motzei Shabbat and I have a little more energy than I did yesterday before Shabbos started. After two days of running to the bathroom with the "d" word, and running a slight fever on and off, I feel much better. It might have helped that Miryam and Rachel showed up this afternoon and we played about 3 hours of mahj!

So there's a lot of excitement in the air in my neck of the woods. I can't really say what it is yet but suffice it to say that someone's son we know is about to propose to someone's daughter we know. Everyone knows it but the soon-to-be-kallah (bride). The soon-to-be chosson (groom) went to the girl's parents and actually asked their permission! As if everyone didn't already know that it was just a matter of time. So now two families that we're friends with are going to be related and everybody is happy (including Miryam who will have a new grandson-in-law). Okay, enough said. Or maybe too much.

Getting back to the topic at the end of yesterday's post - last week a family on the yishuv sponsored Rabbi Pinchas Winston to come speak. There were about 25 of us who went to hear him (this was the evening before the Bloggers Convention - we actually went out two nights in a row!). If you've never read any of Rav Winston's books or heard him speak, he's absolutely amazing. His new book Geulah B'Rachamim is a MUST READ for every Jew. It's published by Shaar Nun Publishers and it's a small but powerful paperback.

Rav Winston says that the time of geulah (redemption) is very close. He says the geulah can come b'rachamim (with compassion or mercy) or by a very terrible war called the war of Gog v'Magog where very many people will die. He said that no matter how many mitzvot we have accumulated, in the latter scenario they will not save us as individuals. But - we as the Jewish people have the power to bring the geulah b'rachamim! All it takes is a change of heart! There are many places in our teachings that tell us we have to yearn for redemption. We don't have to necessarily make aliyah. but we have to want the land more than we want our expensive and comfortable cars and homes and clothes and status. He says that the Jews in chutz l'aretz (outside the land of Israel) are sometimes so far away from Yiddishkeit that they don't even know they should be yearning! I know I'm not doing his talk justice - please buy this book and read it for yourselves. It's 60 lessons (one short page a day) for turning around what could be a terrible and frightening war for ALL OF US.

Okay, tomorrow is the start of a new week so I need to get to bed. Hopefully I'll be up to going to Curves tomorrow morning, and then get to work by 1 (tomorrow's my late night). Have a wonderful week!

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