BEYOND THE VERTICALS

To My Dearest One,

This letter was written straight from the heart in the fervent hope that it will enter your heart. It is meant to inspire, uplift, and make us AWARE ("L'orrer") of what is desired and requested of us in these very trying times.

THE BIRTH PANGS OF MASHIACH

There are so many people who need salvation. We live in a time described by our sages as "chevlei moshiach" - the birth pangs of the Messiah. The purpose of this booklet is to suggest how to be fully prepared for the salvation which will indeed come, and very quickly and unexpectedly. Although we may not calculate the actual time, we are surely required to hasten it through our good deeds.

OUR HEARTRENDING TEFILOS

We all pray, we all say Psalms fervently and give sizable amounts of charity, even in this time of financial difficulties. Yet, we still haven't been able to hasten the redemption. The following may shed some light on the situation.

Firstly, we have no way of knowing how much purpose is really coming from our prayers. There is no prayer that goes unanswered. Secondly, read the following to see how we can be merit to be answered immediately.

In a town lived many different people, each with his own problems. Some had difficulty earning a living. Some were sick, their bodies racked in constant pain. Others were plagued with even more heart-rending troubles.

One day, the town crier announced the King's imminent arrival. He advised the townsfolk to prepare themselves for His Royal Highness, promising that upon the King's arrival, their wishes would be granted. The townsfolk were overwhelmed with joy. "The King will grant our wishes and put an end to our miseries," they cried, and the vast majority of them set to work preparing for the arrival of His Royal Highness. Several days later, the town crier announced that the King was postponing his visit, until everyone in the town would fully comprehend the glorious stature of the King and prepare accordingly. What a disappointment for all the townsfolk! They were expecting an instant end to all their misery. Now, who knew when the King would appear!

Wouldn't it be in place for the townsfolk to remonstrate each other, each urging his friends and neighbors to engage in preparations for the King? Would that be considered mixing into his neighbors affairs? You be the judge.

Of course, we are all thankful for all the simchos we merit to, but that doesn't mitigate the tragedies that have befallen so many families - young and old. Our tears of anguish are being heard in the heavens. As a matter of fact, these incidents happen as a reminder to us all to pray, to CALL OUT. The Ribono Shel Olam is waiting, like the King in the parable, to descend upon us and grant our wishes. Most important of all, the Ribono Shel Olam is waiting to rest His Shechinah upon us after such a prolonged separation. However, there are conditions which have to be met.

TAINTED ENVIRONMENT

We all know that the coming of Mashiach necessitates a tremendous amount of Teshuvah, as the passuk says: U'vo Ltzion Go'el U'lshowvei Peska - and to zion will come the redeemer and those who repent from iniquity.

One might innocently ask, "What is wrong with me? I am really trying so hard. What more is wanted of me?"

Think of it from this perspective. Immediately after Purim, no one would be slighted if asked if he/she intended to clean for Pesach. This in no way insinuates that the home is not clean; rather Pesach requires an additional level of cleanliness. By the same token, in preparation for the redemption, we must make a thorough examination of our deeds.

We live in exile, among non-Jews, and it is inevitable that some of their ideals have discreetly seeped into our lifestyle. It has come to a point that we can no longer identify them as foreign. We say Tehillim from the depths of our hearts and we pray so many tefillos, but due to the poison of foreign ideals that have seeped into our thoughts and actions, we are tremendously inhibiting our complete healing of the soul and impending our very much wanted and needed geulah.

This can be more easily understood with the following parable: There was a patient who was very ill. A very benevolent nurse was cautiously administering very powerful medicine into the intravenous, but to no avail. The patient wasn't improving. This was due to the fact that a sinister nurse was putting drops of poison into the same intravenous. We all know that a drop of poison goes a long way. The non-Jewish ideals are POISON to the Yiddishe Neshama. The sole purpose of this project is to point out some of the more obvious poisons of this exile and to try to eradicate them from our midst. We will then be injecting LIFE - giving support into the community.

A GREAT ZECHUS FOR GEULAH: TZNIUS

In his explanation on the exodus from Egypt. Sfas Emes attributes the zechus for the exodus from Egypt and splitting of the red sea to guarding ones tongue and to a high level of morality. In the same way, these two tremendously important mitzvos can hasten our geulah.

Yes, we are constantly given mussar on these subjects, and some women find it difficult to hear anything about them anymore. Perhaps if we understood the fundamentals of these subjects, we would be able to fulfill them better.

The Ribono Shel Olam created a beautiful world. He put man into His world as an object for His constant benevolence and kindness. However, in order to receive that kindness, man must be a loyal servant of the creator and leader of the world. A loyal servant follows his Master's instructions implicitly, with great admiration for his Master.

In other words, to receive Hashem's chessed, man is required to subjugate his will to the Divine will. This is Tznius. Rachel Imainu was called modest because she gave up her desire to be married to a tzaddik for the benefit of her sister's honor. Thus, tznius applies to many more things than modesty in dress. But there, too, it is a matter of subjugating our will to the will of H-shem. So much is dependent upon it!

When H-shem created man, He granted him a priceless gift, the neshamah. In order for the neshama to function, Hashem placed it into the human body. The purpose of the body is to serve the needs of the neshamah. Placing emphasis on the body draws emphasis away from the neshama. The neshama can grow to incomprehensible heights, but it can also be damaged very easily. It is up to us to care for our neshamos properly. The following points are insights into the secrets of the neshamah. Some are heavy, some are lighter, but all are important. Let us take them all to heart...

SECRETS ABOUT YOUR NESHAMAH

YOUR YETZER HORA DOESN'T WANT YOU TO KNOW
  1. Each day of the year we say the tefillah of U'vo L'tzion. In it we say, L'maan lo nigah lorlle v'lo nailaid L'beholo "in order that we shall not have worked nor have been born for naught." Is it possible for a frum person to have worked all his years for naught? After all, he has put in a lifetime of mitzvos and good deeds. But if a person has sinned, he has inflicted very comprehensive damage to his neshamah. Since a broken vessel cannot hold much, somewhere along the way he has lost all his good deeds.

Two sources of severe damage to the neshama are a lack of tznius and speaking lashon hora. Imagine a woman who has spent her lifetime devoted to chessed. After 120 years she arrives in the Heavenly court and discovers that she was storing her good deeds in a very damaged vessel, and has nothing to show for all her efforts. Who knows if a person who was not dressed properly or has spoken lashon hora will even have a chance to bask in the divine light. These two seas are distance Hashem in This World and in line with fitting punishment, perhaps the soul will not be accepted by the divine presence when it arrives in the world to come.

Imagine this: A king knocks on someone's door and he answers, "Go away, you can't come in." What sort of welcome can that person expect when he knocks at the palace gates?

This is what Chazal mean when they say that four groups of people are not accepted before the Shechinah because they distance the divine presence in this world due to their evil speech. The group of people who lack tznius might Chas V'sholom be judged similarly, since they, too, are distance the divine presence in this world.

How sad! How heartbreaking! Isn't it better for us to find this out before we reach the heavenly court and the day of judgment.

2. A child wears a bib to protect his clothing. So too, tznius protects the neshamah. BIB stands for Beged Im Binah - clothing chosen with the understanding of what the neshamah needs. Certain clothing leaves the neshama stained, and these stains are hard to remove unless very abrasive methods are used.

3. The purpose of tznius'dik clothing is to make one appear pleasant in a quiet way. The sensitivity is a fine one. We were sent to galus to be a Model Nation, in every way. We must be careful to:

* Reject clothing which does not properly cover the elbow, knees and neckline in every position that a woman may be. Slits are FORBIDDEN. Hair must be fully covered.

* Avoid brightly colored or tight fitting clothing.

  • Choose makeup and jewelry with moderation and discretion.

These laws, guiding counsel of our Rabbanim, are meant to insure the modesty and dignity of a Bas Yisroel, as well as prevent the jealousy of others.

  1. S'uh Y'dachem Kosesh, "Lift your hands in holiness." (Tehillim)

Let us ask ourselves, do we always lift our hands in holiness - even when our sleeves just reach our elbows and we stretch out our arms to reach for something?

Is this how we will merit the third Bais Hamikdosh?

Holiness unlocks brachah. (Rabbi Matisyahu Salomon) We all need brachah. Let us all make an effort to "lift our hands in holiness!"

  1. We must bear a sense of responsibility towards our community, by subduing our appearance in public.

  1. When a woman is improperly dressed, how much damage is inflicted upon her neshomah? The Maharal says that sin does not blemish the neshamah itself but rather creates layers of impurity that separate one from his or her essence. The more layers of impurity, the more one distances himself from his essence, and the further he distances himself from the almighty. It is similar to cholesterol which, in a severe case, stops the flow of blood throughout the body, or sometimes proves fatal. So too, these layers of impurity inhibit the flow of holiness and feeling that is a natural result of one's mitzvos and good deeds. Thus we see that it is not the Hashem who has distanced himself from the Yid but rather the Yid through his sins has distanced himself from Hashem. A woman who can appear in public dressed immodestly, is attesting to the fact that she has many layers of impurity of the soul. The sensitive feel of holiness which is the hallmark of a Jewish daughter is no longer able to reach her soul. We hope that this can be corrected before it God forbid becomes FATAL. It is the removal of this impurity of the soul that has built up especially in this exile, that will enable us to have a speedy spiritual recovery & a physical recovery for all of klal yisroel. Therefore, paying close attention to our modesty is a giant step toward our redemption.

  1. When Yaakov Avinu wrestled with the sar shel Esav as the morning star arose, the angel would not let go until he hit Yaakov Avinu on his thigh. The galus is coming to an end, hopefully soon, and it is time for the dawn of a new era. At this time, the sar shel Esav hits where it is most fragile, the thigh that peeks through the slits in our skirts.

Halachos are there for all times, and may not be altered for the latest styles. Tzinius is a halachah like all others, and lack of it may even be more difficult to do teshuvah for, since it involves making others stumble.

It is one of the most heartbreaking sights in all the years of our trek in exile. Years ago and even today, when someone's slip was seen, you would go over and very discreetly mention that you are "slipping". The woman would then thank you and correct the situation. Now we are trying to stop her from "slipping spiritual levels." It's just unbelievable that she could have a large slit in her skirt and the slip is sticking out and she isn't ashamed. Is this not "slipping" in Heavenly fear? And what is even worse is the many times her thigh is revealed. Was she the one who on Yom Kippur banged on her heart for the sin of G'lui aryaos. That is exactly what it is: the revelation of the parts that a Jewish daughter must keep covered. When we see this sight, it brings tears to our eyes. Consider this letter as S.O.S. - Sew Our Slits. It will save many tragedies for Klal yisroel.. Today, we are thanking her for complying. There will be a day when she will thank us! She will be the ultimate benefactor of her efforts of infusing holiness in our midst.

  1. In times gone by, we know that the Jewish people were misled by false prophets. We cannot understand how this could happen. But we are likewise being misled by false prophets - the fashion designers who FORESEE the coming trends even though they cause destruction in Klal yisroel.

  1. Yaakov Avinu prayed that he be saved Mi'yad Uchi Miyad Eisav, "From my brother, from Esav." The commentators explain the double phraseology to be a prayer to be saved from the evils of Esav even when he acts kindly.

Today, we live in a time and in a country where the goyim treat us kindly, Baruch Hashem. No one forces us to dress or act in the way we do. Therefore, we must be especially careful not to dress like the non-Jews, because what excuse will we have to exonerate us?

We must not forget that we live among amalek; reverse the letters and you get am kal, a nation that takes things lightly. But we must be careful not to take any halachos lightly, especially the halachos of tznius.

  1. The halachos of tznius apply to those who sell clothing. How? The halachah is that if someone sells an article of clothing which is not completely in line with tznius, whether it has a slit, low neckline, or short sleeves, he is responsible to tell the buyer that they must have the article repaired. Would you sell a non-religious woman a piece of ham, reasoning that if you don't sell it to her, she will buy it anyway in the supermarket? In the same way, why must we sell clothing which is not completely tznius'dik, when we can have the manufacturers produce clothing for us that is acceptable!

  1. We must MEND our ways. Chazal state that if we open our hearts the size of a needle, Hashem will send us a salvation quickly. Let us mend our collars, lengthen our sleeves, sew up our slits etc. in order to merit the redemption.

When the redemption comes, imagine the embarrassment of those who are not dressed properly. Picture this scene. The music is playing and a father & mother lovingly escort their daughter to the chupah when she notices she is still wearing her model's coat. She has forgotten her white gown, the symbol of a kallah. Imagine her embarrassment. So, too, when we appear at the grand party for all the tzaddikim and tzidkaniyos from all the generations, we will appear as we are dressed as we are today. (It's a "Come as Who You Really Are" party.) Then we will realize that we forgot to put on the symbol of the Bas Yisrael - her tznius.

ANOTHER GREAT ZECHUS FOR GEULAH:

SHMIRAS HALASHON

This galus began because of baseless hatred, and it will end only when we rectify this with shmiras halation. We all work on this diligently, but perhaps with a few insights, we would be able to subdue our yetzer hora more effectively.

Chazal state that this galus is a replica of the galus Mitzraim. We are witnessing so many trying situations that can be described only as mitzrayim - "metzorim" - narrow straits.

  1. In Mitzraim we were under the despotism of pedroh - reverse the letters and you get peh-rah, namely lashon hora. There are so many people who are careful about every detail of each mitzvah, but when it comes to watching what they say, they are enslaved to their peh-rah evil tongue.

  1. We are all awaiting the arrival of Mashiach. Let us look closely at the word Mashiach, switch the shin to a sin, and read the word as Me-shiach from our speech. Imagine: the key to our future lies in our mouths. Again, let us reverse the letters of Moshiach, and we get Yismach; may we all merit this in the near future: but it is contingent upon our speech.

  1. Picture a father who tells his daughter that he expects her to dress and speak in a prescribed manner or he will be very disappointed. The girl disobeys her father, and acting as if nothing has happened, asks him for a considerable increase in her allowance. How can we say what we wish and dress as we like, and then acting as if we are totally innocent, ask Hashem to fulfill all our needs?

Umasbiah Z'chal chai Rotzon (Tehillim) "And He satisfies every living creature." It's a plea to Hashem to grant each person his wants and needs. Reverse the letters of rotzon, and you have nitzor, the first word in the passuk N'tzor L'shosncha marah, "Guard you tongue from speaking evil." Again, our requests are conditional, contingent upon guarded speech. Isn't it worth our while to please Hashem, so when we need something (which is every moment of our lives), Hashem will grant our request?

  1. Tehillim was written by David Hamelech with ruach hakodesh, and it is powerful, when we live the words. Just saying the pasukim, even with kavanah, without internalizing its message is insufficient. It can be likened to purchasing the prescribed medicine, shaking it three times daily without ingesting it, and expecting to recover. The medicine must be taken internally to be effective. (Tehillim) La'asos Rtzoncha….Chafatzty Y'soraschah B'soch May-ai.

Can we truly say that we can look the mitzvos of tznius and shmiras halashon squarely in the eye and not be ashamed? Oz lo aivosh B'habiti el kol mitevosecha (Tehillim 119) "I will not be ashamed when I look at Your mitzvos."

  1. If we would remember our CREATOR at every given moment in the day, we would realize our own inadequacies, and would not speak about others. Indeed, this is an outstanding point in the musaf of Rosh Hashanah. Lo hibit oven b'yaakov v'lo ro'oh omal b'yisroel "He does not look at the sins of Yaakov nor does He see the iniquity of Yisrael." If Hashem overlooks our shortcomings, surely we should overlook our friends' shortcomings. It is all a matter of perspective.

  1. Ani ma'amin be'emunah sh'laima b'u\vias hamoshiach v'af al pi sheyismamaya im kol zeh achake lo. "I believe with complete faith in the coming of Mashiach; even if he tarries, I shall still wait for him." Let us explain this fundamental of faith in a slightly different manner. V'af al pi, "because of my mouth" that is yis ma ma "that is always saying 'what, what' is new with everyone, everywhere, "I am forced to im kol zeh achake lo wait for the arrival of Mashiach."

If only we would control our mouths, and think before we speak, we would merit the redemption to come upon us in a flash, k'heref ayin.

  1. We say in our daily prayers - vayar es mitzrayim al s'fas, We can translate this as follows. The Bnei yisroel saw their mitzray-afflictions die on their lips. If we only understood the value of what wasn't said - how many tragedies can be avoided by silence, it would be a much better and happier world for all of klal yisroel.

WARNING: It is of utmost importance to realize that sometimes you must speak up especially when an injustice was done. In other cases a few words of chizuk will bring renewed life to a person. That is our task in life - to distinguish between when to speak and when to remain silent.

WE ARE HASHEM'S REPRESENTATIVES

We represent our Master in this world. We represent Torah and kedushah to all who see us. Our actions have to be impeccable. If we personify kedushah, everyone will imitate us, whether it is in tznius, shmiras halashon, or just plain ehrlichkeit. Torah learning has a medicinal effect on the neshamah, but not acting properly makes all the learning worthless.

The foundation of a Yid is his middos. A foundation of a building must be secure in order that each additional floor will be properly supported, otherwise, the building will collapse and all the work will have been for naught.

Rav Segal, ztl, always emphasized this concept. He would say: "A person can know the entire Torah, he can perform awesome righteous deeds for the sake of Heaven, and he can aspire to attain lofty height of spiritual achievement. He can attain all of this and still sink to the abyss of sin and self-destruction if he does not cleanse his soul of middos ra'os. A thirst for honor, lust, wealth, or any other negative yearning can destroy even the greatest of people. Even one negative trait is enough to destroy the vessel that holds all one's spiritual possessions. It can be compared to someone who invests in the stock market and is very, very successful. Then he invests all his earnings in one bad stock and is wiped out.

Z'kan aharov sheyoraid al pi midosav (Tehillim) Let us translate it as follows: "The beard of Aharon which reaches his mouth and his middos." A beard, or shaitel, only has value if it is connected to a pleasant speaking mouth and an abundance of beautiful middos, to a person who is a true mentch.

Invest in IBM - Ich Bin a Mentch. A mentch is someone whose actions Hashem is proud of; someone whose actions create a raiach ni'chdach, "a pleasant aroma." Our deeds should take the place of the k'tores which atoned for Klal yisroel yom kippur.

Someone who is not completely ehrlich ches u'sholom in his business transactions is taking a chance of running up a charge account in heaven, where interest rates are very high.

If you owe someone money, make a point of returning it. If you run short of cash in a store and borrow from a friend, do not let it slip your mind. Write it down. If you borrow something from a neighbor, make sure you return it.

MOST OF ALL - Be sure to be molhel one another. Y'hallelu Sh'mo B'molhol. One of the greatest admittance of a person's submission to his Master, the Hashe is to forgive another for the sake of bringing peace to His Kingdom. Let's not bear the slightest ill will to one another to merit to happiness. If we divide the word simcha- to erase from our hearts any grievances towards another Yid, there will always be simcha by Yidden and we will merit to the Kiyum of the posur mochis k'uv p'shaecho u'chonon chatosecha.

We are a generation that is known for chesed par excellence. It is sometimes overwhelming to see such acts of kindness. Can it be humans and not angels who perform chesed above and beyond our ability to comprehend and with such msiras nefesh? Every one of us is a precious soul who would do anything for another Yid. Today, one of the greatest chasodim that we can do for one another is to be dressed blicousha and not find fault with one another so that the soton can not be mekatreg on klal yisroel. We will be judged purely with midas horachamim.

Let us feel for one another. To be honest, no one can really feel the anguish and pain of one who has afflictions. Let us try our best never to hurt someone else's feelings. Many times, we just want to be cute or sometimes we are just plain nosey and we say or ask things that shouldn't be said or asked. We sometimes can hurt someone so badly that the hurt remains for a lifetime. We in turn, can't even imagine that we did anything wrong. We see in the words Tfilah t'fillin, the word pil tfilos must be said with - (feel) - feelings in order to be accepted. The basis of all our actions has to be with feeling bau odom lamokom and bain odom lachaveiro. This is the basis on which we should base all of our deeds to be very successful.

CONCLUSION

We have spent much time, effort, and resources on this project, and we hope you understand why. We want you to get this message quickly and thoroughly. We all are part of klal yisroel and we want all of merit to the final redemption klal yisroel.

In addition, since we are all part of one entity, all of our actions are judged collectively (and individually). However, there are certain individuals who are chosen to be guarantors for the nation. A slit exposing the leg weighs heavily on the heavenly scale. Who will pay for it? I don't want to, and I'm sure you don't either. Let us be cautious that our guarantors won't have to pay either.

In times gone by, when a person spoke lashon hora, he or his possessions were smitten with tzoraas, leprosy. Reverse the main letters of tzoraas, and you get tzaar, troubles, which, unfortunately, there is plenty of today.

When a talmid chacham has tzaar and afflictions it atores for the whole community in which he resides. Wouldn't it be better if we would practice atzar withholding ourselves from forbidden speech to remove all tzaar?

In Mitzraim, Hashem heard the cries of the Jewish people and redeemed them. What was it about their cries that prompted the geulah? It was the cries of the yidden who said, "We can no longer bear to see our brethren suffer," that brought about a speedy redemption.

We too, find ourselves b'aimek habocho, in the valley of tears. Let us cry out in unison to Hashem to take us back as His chosen nation. Let these insights pierce our hearts, and let us rectify anything which might not be perfect.

Again, we wrote this only to MEND, not to OFFEND anyone. Our greatest reward will be when we will all be together on that awesome day, on which yogon, agony, will change to nigun, song; negam, plague will change to oneg delight; pesha , sin will change to shefa, bounty; and machalo, illness, will change to chemlo, mercy.

May we all merit that by mending our ways, the coming year should bring everlasting brachah, and the word focus, exile will become v'sogel rejoicing.

Signed with tears,

hazorim bdimah b'rinah yiictzoro

"He who sows with tears, will reap with rejoicing."

The Committee of Concerned Citizens for Kedushas Yisrael

a/k/a Your Loving Sisters

P.urest S.incerity - We beg you from the depths of our hearts to follow the above implicitly, not deviating even slightly. Imagine if you bake a cake for a very special occasion, you would be cautious not to change even the slightest ingredient. So the next time you reach for your siddur or tehillim make sure you are always dressed bikoushah and your speech is under scrutiny. Then, you are GUARANTEED that the holy letters of our prayers, uttered with fervent kovonos, will reach the kisai hakovod and will be poel yeshvos for each and every Yid. Amen!


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