I really, really like cheesecake.
Unfortunately, as of lately, there's been a tragedy: certain bakeries have been making it waaaay too sweet. You barely even taste the cheese! There's an excessive amount of cream, sugar, crumbs, and fruits. What's up with that?!
Oreo double fudge cheesecake.
Pumpkin pecan cheesecake.
Chocolate marble fudge crumb cheesecake.
Coffee mocha cheesecake.
Lemon cream cheesecake.
Truly a cheesecake corruption.
I can make way better cheesecake on my own but ummm...you see, thing is...
I don't bake much. The reason is kind of pathetic. I'm waiting to get married, so that my husband can appreciate my cookies and cakes. If I bake them, I'm usually the only one who ends up eating them. EATING A BATCH OF 40 COOKIES = PROBLEM.
Kal Vachomer, a 5,000 calorie cheesecake.
So, no homemade cheesecake this year.
Too bad. My zivug is really missing out on some potentially-yummy-moderately sweetened-life-changing cake. TELL HIM TO HURRY UP!!
(yes, I know I'm a bit nutty. But who likes normal people, anyway?)
TEFILLAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. We love tefillah! Know what the proof is? Know that feeling of the yetzer hara trying to convince you to keep sleeping and not wake up to pray, but then you DON'T LISTEN TO HIM. You wake up on time and pray and then you feel sooo charged! So accomplished and spiritual. You feel like you can do anything and everything. Bring on the day! Right?? Right!
Baruch HaShem, I have really amazing tzadikot as friends. My amazing friends have taught me some super duper Tefillah concepts:
1. Sing your tefillot to HaShem (like to the tune of your favorite song)
2. Pray for healthy self-esteem and self-image
3. Pray to know how to pray well
4. Pray to be close to HaShem
5. Pray for your fellow Jews that you "don't like" to be healthy, have a good parnassah, find a shidduch, etc. -- it will encourage ahavat yisrael in your heart
6. Every morning, recite the tefilla composed by the Chafetz Chaim to help you keep shmirat halashon. (Found in the "lesson a day - shmirat halashon" books and many siddurim.)
7. Before you say shema & go to sleep at night, thank HaShem for 2 acts of chessed that He performed for you. (Ex: "HaShem, thank You so much for helping me make my train on time this morning!"
Quick & nice dvar Torah regarding the holy chag of Shavuot:
Many of us may be familiar with the following teaching from Chazal: Bnei Yisrael stood under the mountain, and G-d gave them a choice: either accept the mitzvot or the mountain will be over your heads.
So basically – mitzvot or immediate death. What kind of choice is that??? Wouldn’t most people choose mitzvoth, simply because they don’t want to die? How is that bechira?
A Holy Rav who wrote a mussar book explains that Torah isn’t just a lifestyle. Torah is life! A Jew can’t really live without Torah. Sure, he’s breathing, but where’s the sustenance? The only way a neshama can truly be alive and happy is if it is connected to HaShem. How can one connect to HaShem? Through keeping the Torah and mitzvot!
During matan Torah, it was so clear to Bnei Yisrael that Torah was the right way to go. Chazal isn’t telling us that they didn’t have bechira, rather – it was that the choice was SIMPLE. Life with meaning? Or death?
That form of bechira can be compared to a person choosing to come up for air while swimming. Of course you’re going to come up for air! Is there bechira in that scenario? Sure. But it’s just so clear and obvious to a person, and so, he doesn’t even think twice to do so.
AHHHH...how awesome clarity is. How difficult it is when a person can't make decisions. A Jew must never give up!! Keep praying to HaShem to find your answers and meaning. To find your connection to Him. And b"H you will receive all of the answers -- simply because you sought them. Clarity is the biggest bracha.
May we all be zochim to receive such clarity in Torah/life this Shavuot!
Chag sameach! :)