Candlelighters

a place for women who cherish the Torah

The Four Guardians

by torahgirl

The “Unpaid Guardian” represents the individual who feels that he was only created to serve G-d. He sees his life and possessions as Divine “property” which has been placed in his trust, and he does not feel that G-d owes him anything in “compensation” for his efforts.

The “Borrower” benefits from what he borrows, and the owner enjoys no benefit. This represents an individual who seeks self-fulfillment alone. He does not feel that he owes anything for the use of life’s blessings, even though he may acknowledge who the ultimate owner is.

The “Renter” resembles the Borrower in that he prioritizes the fulfillment and enhancement of self, but nevertheless, he feels that he ought to earn this privilege by “also” serving his Creator.

The “Paid Guardian” is like the Unpaid Guardian in that he sees the fulfillment of G-d’s will as the ultimate purpose of life. He differs only in that he reserves for himself a small amount of self interest, feeling that he also deserves some independence in return for his work as a guardian of G-d’s property.

-the Gutnick Chumash commentary on the first few verses of Exodus 22, parasha Mishpatim {from Likutei Sichot}

Which one are you – an Unpaid Guardian, a Borrower, a Renter, or a Paid Guardian?

=)

Psalm 84: G-d’s Faithfulness

by battzion12

As I finished packing tonight (can you believe it–all done two days before I leave!), Julianna called to me from her computer, “Hey, you know, at least you were in the Land for 83 days.” 83 days is certainly longer than I’d ever expected to spend here in Israel.  What a blessing to be here for that amount of time!

“Wow,” I replied, then realized, “Does that count Tuesday when I leave?”

“Hmm…no it doesn’t,” Julianna answered, “I guess that makes it 84 days.”

84 days.  Wow.  Just like the 84th Psalm.  Let me tell you a story of God’s faithfulness.

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Mindful Jewish Living: Chapter 4

by torahgirl

Mindfulness requires that we pay attention, not only to huge earth-shattering events but also to tiny details like the way we respond to situations. Mindfulness depends on seeing clearly – seeing truth – without “vision clouded by habitual responses.” {p.79}

Rabbi Slater questions whether meditation is effective in helping us connect mindfully with others. He points out that meditation is very personal, focused on the person practicing, {usually} in an attempt to withdraw from the world. I agree! I like the idea of reflection instead… perhaps taking time at the end of a day to reflect on what transpired and look at our responses objectively.

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Death vs. Sin

by cndllighter

In a conversation I had, my attention was recently brought to the fact that we should hate sin more than anything – even the death of a loved one. I pondered this for a moment, taking it in. Death is very serious in the Jewish culture, and as you know, the death of a loved one is mourned every year, with the annual reminder of their yahrzeit. The point was clarified with the following quote by Thomas Watson:

We must grieve more for offending G-d than for the loss of dear relations. Sorrow for sin must exceed sorrow at the grave, and with good reason; for in the burial of the dead it is only a friend who departs, but in sin…G-d departs.

We must hate it, dread it, flee from it, and fear the places where it inhabits; for G-d is watching over all.

Mindful Jewish Living: Chapter 3b

by torahgirl

As I started to look at Chapter 4, the last page of the previous chapter caught my attention… so instead of moving on, I {mindfully} stepped back to re-examine the closing thoughts of Chapter 3. This post really inspired me and I hope it does the same for you!

I shall not die, but live.” That is a vain expression, a boast that will not stand, unless it is attached to the end of the verse: “and I will proclaim the works of Adonai.” {Psalm 118.17}
-p. 76

Mindfulness is realizing that the “works of Adonai” are in this moment, right now. If we can experience blessing in this moment, without worrying about pain or mortality in the future, we will live gratefully! “Every breath is a blessing, each moment a gift” because “This is the day Adonai has made, let us exult and rejoice in it.” {Psalm 118.24} We are alive and we live in G-d’s presence! For this reason, cherish your life. Seek to fill your moments with meaning. Do your best in every way. “And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of Yeshua HaMashiach, giving thanks to G-d the Father through Him.” {Colossians 3.17}
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One Nation or Two Houses

by torahgirl

Notes from yesterday’s analysis of the Two House position…

What were the promises given to Abraham?

  • great name, a blessing to ALL people {Genesis 12, 18, 28; Zechariah 8}
  • multiply exceedingly & father a multitude of nations {Genesis 17, 46, 48}
  • relationship with HaShem {Genesis 17}
  • the Land of Canaan {Genesis 17}

What are the tenets of Two House?

  1. the Northern tribes {known as “Ephraim”} were captured and did not return from Babylon – they never rejoined the Southern tribes {known as “Judah”}.
  2. the Southern tribes {“Judah”} are what we know as Jews today, while the Northern tribes {“Ephraim”} are still lost and have been entirely assimilated into modern-day Gentile kingdoms.
  3. the blessing given to Ephraim in Genesis 49 is fulfilled by the infiltration of Israel into all nations.
  4. when Christians start keeping Torah we assume they have a hidden Jewish soul inside, which is why they were ‘drawn’ to the Torah of Israel in the first place.
  5. Judah {the Southern tribes} and Ephraim {the Northern tribes} comprise completed Israel.

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It’s That Time of Year

by torahgirl

Peace amid chaos.

That’s what I keep coming back to this season. You know, I used to love the chaos. I used to revel in the “Christmas Spirit” of gifts and parties. I sense the difference in my heart this year, total indifference to what is happening in the world of commerce. Holiday spending is up 3% this year, I heard today… but that statistic doesn’t include me. Life continues peacefully {well… as peaceful as can be when one is getting married in 2 months} {grin} yet the world “outside” seems like it’s spinning out of control, with frantic last-minute shopping, holiday baking, travel, etc.

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