Rabbi Avraham, Nechama and their daughters traveled to Irvine, California to celebrate the Bat Mitzvah of Meirah Schwartz, JGR camper. On Friday, she spoke and then invited all the women and girls to light Shabbos candles together. She spoke beautifully and inspired her family and friends to take ACTION.
Read her speech here:
I was born on Shabbos, on the 20th of Adar 5763. At Bat Mitzvah, I reach the time when I become responsible for my ACTIONS. Before age twelve, my parents were accountable, but now, it falls on me. Kabbalah says: A portion of the soul enters the body at birth. The completion of the soul occurs at Bat and Bar Mitzvah, when a girl turns twelve and a boy turns thirteen. Every birth and life is a miracle!
The seventh Lubavitcher Rebbe, Menachem Mendel Schneerson said, the very fact that you are here, in this place, at this time and with these opportunities available to you, means that there is something to be done something that only YOU can do, something of utmost importance to Hashem. This is why the Rebbe believed so strongly in the power of ACTION.
Action can be big or small. One of the small things the Rebbe would urge people to do each morning upon awakening is to take the first moment of the new day to acknowledge Hashem for giving us life and another day.
We say the prayer, “Modeh Ani Lifanecha, Melech Chai Vekayam, Shehecherzarta, Bi, Nishmasi, Chemlah, Rabah, emunisecha.” This means, “I offer thanks to You, living and eternal King, for You have mercifully restored my soul within me; Your faithfulness is great”. If these are the first conscious thoughts of the day, and the first words you speak, one’s life gains a new focus and energy.
The great Jewish Sage Maimonides, the Rambam, said more than 800 years ago: a single deed, a single word, even a single thought, has the power to tip the scales.
The Talmud tells a story about Rabbi Chanina ben Dosa, who saw people bringing up sacrifices to Yerushalayim. He felt terrible because he could not afford to donate an animal as a sacrifice. By profession, he was a stone cutter. He worked very hard chiseling stones from bedrock. One day, he suddenly noticed a beautiful huge stone and he thought, “If only I could bring this to the Beis Hamikdash. But the stone was too large to move and he wondered, “How will I ever get it up there to the Beis Hamikdash?” It would take 5 people to carry it. He tried stopping people. Excuse me, would you be able to help me bring this stone to Yerushalayim? How much would you pay us? One dinar he answered was all he could afford. They looked at him, that’s all? They walked away. He couldn’t find any people to help him.
Suddenly, he noticed a few people walking together and told them how much he would pay. They were really angels sent by Hashem. Yes, they told him. We will do it but we won’t do it alone! You also have to join our team and help us. As soon as he put his finger on the stone, the heavy stone felt as light as a feather. And he was able to reach Yerushalayim very quickly. He turned around to pay them, but they disappeared. We learn here that we must always try our hardest.
We must Take Action! We may find ourselves facing challenges. We may think…. How can I accomplish great things? We just have to ACT, and do our best. When we do, we will find ourselves succeeding beyond our wildest dreams. With the help from above, we are able to accomplish far more than we ever could by ourselves.
This Shabbos is, Shabbos Mevarchim, the Shabbos that blesses the new month. Tomorrow in Shul, a special prayer will be recited which names the coming month, identifies the day of its Rosh Chodesh ,“The Head Of the Month”, and asks Hashem to renew it for a life of peace and joy. According to Chasidic teachings, this blessing creates spiritual energy for the month. Each new moment is blessed by the moment before.
In the summer of 1935, the 6th Chabad Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneerson instructed his Chassidim to take full advantage of Shabbos Mevarchim. He instituted that the Chassidim should gather early in the morning to recite the entire book of Tehillim.
The Tzemach Tzedek, the 3rd Chabad Rebbe, said that if people knew the power of Tehillim, and the effect in the highest heavens, they would recite them constantly.
In honor of my Bas Mitzvah and Shabbos Mevarchim, I’m taking ACTION. I would like to encourage you all to be part of my Shabbas Mevorchim, monthly tehillim group please comment below. I would be honored to have you join me. Thank you again for celebrating with me.