The Jewish Spirit Journal
A Journal of Jewish Mysticism and Spirituality
Vol. 1, No. 4 Dec. 1999


1) Stubbing Your Toe

The Rabbis say that a person doesn't stub his toe on earth unless it's been decreed above in heaven. They also say that each blade of grass has an angel in heaven (mazal) that strikes it and says, "Grow!" When we stub our toe, it is our mazal "striking" us so that we will grow ... but only if we are humble, like a blade of grass, and receive our suffering with love as a divine lesson.

2) With Uplifted Hands

The Torah says that when Moses held up his hands during the battle with Amalek, the Jews prevailed, but when his hands fell down from fatigue, Amalek prevailed (Exodus 17:11f.). Aaron and Hur then helped Moses, holding up his hands on each side. When one dances for joy with uplifted hands, rejoicing at one's connection to God, two angels hold up your hands to give you victory in the war with your yetzar ha-ra (evil inclination).

Rabbi Simha Bunim of Pshis'cha said: "When someone who prays for piety [spirituality] doesn't also pray for a livelihood, it's a sign that his prayer for piety is not truly from the heart, because you can't have this without that." (Pe'er Yisrael, p.293)

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Copyright 2004-2005, Yitzhak Buxbaum. All rights reserved.