Blog

Last minute RH thought and Last Chance for Rebbe Nachman in UMAN erev RH!

Rosh Hashanah is so close!  I always worry that I didn’t do the work I needed to do. Life is just soo busy!  But I remember one thing my late husband Gershon zt”l used to say to keep in mind for Rosh Hashanah.  Rosh Hashanah is about crowning Hashem King. But what does that mean?  Do I envision some great leader on a throne with a crown on his head and me bowing in servitude towards him?  Is this really the work that’s going to give me a better din on Rosh Hashanah?  Seems so childish.  Here I remember Gershon zt”l relaying the story of Akeidat Yitzhak as Rabbi Shimon Green used to tell it.

Sacrificing one’s son is an almost insurmountable test for anyone – let’s face it.  But do we really understand what it meant for Avraham?  Avraham was the pillar of chesed.  The one who knew he was chosen to bring the world back to truth, acts of loving kindness, and justice.  Who expected that his son Yitzchak would be the head of the great Jewish people through which all of mankind would achieve perfection.  He was famous throughout the world.  He was Mr. Kiruv himself!  Everything he did brought people closer.  He stood for G-d and goodness.

What would be of his reputation?
What would be of his role in the world?  His whole life was devoted to showing people the goodness of G-d so that they would also serve G-d.
Now, he was not only sacrificing Yitzchak, but everything he had stood for amongst the masses.  The next day the world would think he was a mad man and that his G-d a tyrant, chas v’shalom.  It would turn everyone away.

And still, he did it – at the expense of his kiruv and life efforts – because G-d said so.

So we blow the shofar, the ram’s horn, on Rosh Hashanah, who was sacrificed in Yitzchak’s place.

This is what it means to crown Hashem King. We all follow Hashem in some ways.  Some mitzvot are easy – how hard is it to smile at an old lady or take her hand to cross the street?  But what about the mitzvot that are hard for us?  What about the mitzvot that run counter to our beings or offend us in some ways?  What about the mitzvot that just get in the way of our parnassa or what we want?  We all have places that are our own potential akeidat Yitzhak.  And it is davka in those places, that we are asked to truly crown Hashem King.

Here we need help, and pray “Hashem, please let Your will be my will”.

This Rosh Hashanah, pick one mitzva that is hard for you and do it anyway, just because G-d said so.  There you will be crowning Hashem King where he was not King over you before.  There you will G-d-willing earn a better din.

And if you need a little more zchuyot for this year (who doesn’t) and haven’t already done so, this is your last chance to send your prayer request for Tikun Haklali prayers at Rebbe Nachman’s kever in Uman on Erev Rosh Hashanah.

Hashem should bless you that your prayers will be answered and that all of Am Yisroel merit a good, sweet year of health, fulfillment, and success in ruchniut and gashmiut.

Erev Rosh Hashanah at Rebbe Nachman’s kever in UMAN for You! Are you prepared for Yom HaDin?

It’s almost Rosh Hashanah – Yom HaDin, da dum.
There’s shopping, and cooking and outfits to pick.
There are meals to plan and shuls to pick.  There are relatives to remember.

And then there’s…. our future to consider.  Who we are. What we want.
Now is the time to put forth that last stretch effort of tzedaka, teshuva and prayer.  Here we can help put you over the top b’ezrat Hashem.

We are sending a few of our Jerusalem learners to Rebbe Nachman’s tomb in Uman, Ukraine to say the special Tikun HaKlali prayer (10 specific psalms said in a certain order) specifically for each prayer request on Erev Rosh Hashanah.

Rebbe Nachman was known to have said that he will help whoever comes to his tomb and says the tikun, and that on Erev Rosh Hashanah he has the ability to do extra tikkunim unavailable during the rest of the year. What once was a strictly Breslev tradition has spread to much of the Jewish world because of the great inspiration experienced there.

So take this opportunity to add to your zchuyot before the din!

Pray for me in Uman! 
(Under “Prayer Option” at the bottom of the page, choose “($36) Uman – Erev Rosh Hashanah Tikun Haklali”)

You and all of Am Yisroel should be signed and sealed for a sweet, fulfilling, peaceful, healthy and plentiful new year!

Batya

Last Chance to Get Your Prayers In! Who Will Live. and Who Will Die… Who Will be Wealthy and Who Will be Poor…

Each year on Rosh Hashanah, “all inhabitants of the world pass before G‑d like a flock of sheep,” and it is decreed in the heavenly court “who shall live, and who shall die … who shall be impoverished, and who shall be enriched; who shall fall and who shall rise.

Since this is something serious, G-d gave us the entire month of Elul to reflect on the year gone by and prepare.  We are supposed to see where we went wrong and try to transform, to spend more time learning Torah, praying and giving charity.  To make it easier to judge us favorably, G-d illuminates His Thirteen Attributes of Mercy for us this month.

We pride ourselves on the fact that our 40-days project supports Torah scholars in Eretz Yisroel, increases prayer – at the holiest place on earth – and contributes tzedakka to the poor of Jerusalem.  It is the perfect blend of all 3 mitzvot we should be focusing on in Elul.  We also hope that it will truly help you in your goals to come close to the Almighty and to your life’s greatest potential.  Hashem wants you to succeed – and so do we!

If you haven’t already done so, this is your last chance to get your prayers to the Kotel for 40 days from Rosh Chodesh Elul through Yom Kippur.

May you be blessed with a sweet and happy New Year and may the world merit to see the destruction of evil and the prevalence of peace and morality once and for all,

Batya Burd

Amazing 40-Days Story, and the Most Important 40 Days of the Year!

Having run this project for over a decade now, I often get told personal stories of people doing 40-days themselves (and am frequently answering halachic questions on the particulars of doing the 40-days).

The other day a friend told me a beautiful story.  She has never been married and has been dating for over 20 years.  Her sister was also unmarried and dating for what seemed to be an eternity. Thinking only of her sister, my friend decided to do the 40-days for her.  Now, if you have ever done the 40-days, you know that it is a massive commitment and overhaul of your life. If it is not your first priority, you will more than likely miss a day and have to start all over again.  You also must plan 5-6 Shabbosim near the Old City and cannot be away from Jerusalem for more than a day the entire time.  You also cannot miss sundown and should keep a chart to be sure.

In short, this is no easy or simple task!

Day in and day out, she did this.  Climbing and descending those Kotel stairs.  “Hashem, please bring my sister her husband!”  After 40 days, she waited and watched together with her sister.  Nothing happened.

She continued to feel the pain of her sister’s loneliness.

She resolved to do the 40-day prayer segula again.  5-6 Shabbosim near the Old City.  No leaving Jerusalem for over a month.  Never missing sundown at the Kotel for 40 days. All over again. “Please Hashem let my sister marry her soul-mate!”   Baruch Hashem she was successful – all 40 were done in a row!  When she was finished, again she watched and waited.  Still nothing.

She remained steadfast and determined. If 80 days wasn’t enough, she thought, I’ll do 120.  If 120 isn’t enough – I’ll do 160.

She booked another 40 days out of her life to be close to the Kotel and faithfully checked off her chart as she poured out her heart at the Kotel daily for her sister to get married.  On day 40 at the Kotel, while she was davening, she actually experienced a beautiful presence come over her and felt that her prayers had been accepted.

Low and behold, she was right.  Shortly after, her sister became engaged and married a wonderful man.

Kol hakavod is all I can say!  Always accept your judgement as being for the best, but never take no for answer when it comes to hishtadlut in prayer!

We certainly won’t!

Pray for me for the 40 days from Rosh Chodesh Elul through Yom Kippur!  (It just might change your year!) 

With blessings and love from Jerusalem,

Batya Burd and Your Western Wall Prayers Family

It’s Almost Elul!!!

We hope you are having a wonderful summer and getting some time to enjoy the little things.

Having just gone through the incredibly cathartic experience of Tisha B’Av, we hope you are de-processing, defusing and getting ready for the next step…

The year is coming to an end.

Was it what you wanted?
Did you come closer to your goals? Fall a little?

If so, it’s not too late to climb back up.

The regrets of the past are yours to erase, the future is yours to create.

Now is the time to take stock and strategize for how you will get the best out of your upcoming year.

What do you want?

How will you get there?

Over here we are incredibly excited for this magical 40-days from Rosh Chodesh Elul through Yom Kippur – when we more tangibly feel the closeness, love and acceptance of our Creator and father.

You can bet that we will be at the Kotel in droves, morning to night, giving tzedaka and praying our hearts out that Am Yisroel, and hopefully you, be granted a beautiful year of plenty and simcha.

We hope you will be with us, with your dreams for yourself and loved ones…

Reserve your prayer agent now!

With love and blessings from Jerusalem,

Batya Burd and Your Western Wall Prayers Family

Pray for me for the 40 days from Rosh Chodesh Elul to Yom Kippur!

Complimentary Prayers for All of Our Friends!

Shalom,

We wanted to let you know that once again, some volunteers will be davening at the kevarim of the Shlah, Rashbi (Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai) and Amuka (famous for marriage prayers) high up in the hills of Safed, on Erev Rosh Chodesh Sivan, June 6th.

As you may already know, Erev Rosh Chodesh Sivan is a powerful time to pray to bear good children who are successful in their Torah education and in life, but you can pray for anything and pass this gift onto your friends as well. But, because of the volume involved, we can receive up to 2 requests. Just click here to submit.

Also, something very exciting – Judaica Press has published a book about “The Secret Life of Gershon Burd”, and it is available in your local book store as of June 7. I pray it will inspire many to up their avodas Hashem. My late husband did not come from a long rabbinical dynasty, he was a regular nice guy who played high school football – but he had a dream – to do the right thing and come closer to G-d….

We will be accepting requests for your prayer gift until Friday, June 3rd.

With blessings for happiness, health, and abundance in ruchniyut and gashmiyut,

Batya

Middot or Torah-learning? Rebbe Shimon on Lag B’Omer!

We hope you had a meaningful Pesach! Right now, we are counting the Omer.  Why?  Because we are building up, one brick at a time, to be fitting vessels to receive the true light of Torah on Shavuot. Pesach cleansed us of our arrogance, which prevents us from building good middot, and now, we can use that cleansed person to actually develop the good middot that we need so that Torah will stick to us in the right way.

What do I mean?

A person who is haughty, but learns Torah, may filter that Torah through their arrogant lenses (I’m better and more learned than others so I can look down at them).

A person who is angry, but learns Torah, may filter that Torah through his anger (I have the right to get mad at others because they are doing aveirot and deserve it).

Only a person who has worked on his middot and developed lofty character traits can truly use the Torah in the way that G-d intended – in a way that reflects the harmony and perfection of Hashem.
That is what this time is for – to make sure that we are people that use and see the Torah in a way that reflects G-d-liness.

Of course, learning in itself helps a person develop their middot and connect to the Divine Will. We also know that the greatest mitzva is to learn Torah.  The point here is that middot work and Torah-learning go hand-in-hand.  A person can’t escape working on their middot by learning Torah.  Without the first, a person cannot reach perfection.

One such example is Rebbe Shimon Bar Yochai.  The Rebbe had reached some of the highest levels of perfection while learning secluded for 12 years in a cave with his son and Eliyahu Hanavi. But still, the Rebbe continued to learn for another 12 years until his lofty spiritual soul could co-exist harmoniously in a world of people who were not as spiritually attuned as he.

Rebbe Shimon’s yarhzeit is on the 33rd day of Lag B’Omer (in just 10 days!).

We will be sending some brave shlichim to Mt. Meron that night to contend with the tens of thousands of other Jews vying for a place at the kever.  Tzaddikim have long been known to send shlichim to pray on their behalf at the kever of Rebbe Shimon Bar Yochai when they needed healing or other help.  How much more so is the power of prayer at the kever greater on the day of his yarzheit – the day when the Jewish world over celebrates the spiritual light he brought into the world through lighting bonfires.

Be there with us!
* A donation of $18 is requested for a personally composed prayer along with a perek of Tehillim.
* A donation of $36 is requested for a personally composed prayer as well as the special prayer at the kever of Rebbe Shimon .

With love and blessings from Jerusalem,

Batya

Last chance for Purim prayers! And is the war of Gog & Magog and Mashiach coming?

How are you?

We’re so happy to be connected to you through this amazing 40-day prayer partnership.

I have to admit something now.  I am enamored with the concept of Mashiach coming and the war of Gog and Magog.  So, whenever I have some extra time, I research the newest revelations about our time period and how close it is to the grand finale – what’s going to happen, when and what do I do to prepare for it.

I decided I would share some of what I found with you.

Now many of us know that Mashiach has been predicted in many periods throughout history.  From false prophecies to actual false self-proclaimed Mashiachs.  So, whenever I speak of what people say, it is always in context with the fact that it really doesn’t matter – we have a mitzva to believe that Mashiach is coming tomorrow and we know with absolute certainty that he will eventually come.  That’s it. With that in mind, here are some recent revelations.

October and November of this year were a peak period for revelations of our day.

Rav Kanievsky of B’nei Brak was recently quoted as telling an Argentinian Jew to immigrate his family to Israel now because soon there won’t be room on the planes. The Rav also told Rabbi Chizkiyahu Mishkovsky that “we are in one of the most critical hours for the nation of Israel. We are on the threshold of the Messiah, and the Messiah is standing just outside the door, and the only way to be saved is through learning Torah, and through acts of loving-kindness.” Another Rav was told to go from town to town to yell that Mashiach is on the doorstep.

Rav Shlomo Amar, one of the chief Rabbis of Jerusalem, in mid November attended a Chabad farbrengen after a gathering of Chabad shlichim.  One of the Rabbis reminded him that 25 years prior, the Lubavitcher Rebbe asked Rav Amar to issue a psak din about Mashiach.  In that moment, 25 years later, Rav Amar decided that it was time.  He held the hands of the 2 closest to him and issued a psak din that G-d was to speedily reveal Mashiach now and hasten the end.

A 15 year old secular Jew named Natan had a near-death experience in Israel after Succot and came back to tell the world about all that he saw (there are many of his videos online).  He saw that Gog and Magog started around Rosh Hashanah this year and that if we don’t improve our ways, it will culminate in a show-down in Jerusalem and the only way to be saved is through learning Torah and acts of loving-kindness wherever in the world you are.

A holy Rabbi in Ashdod had a vision in Oct/Nov that Gog and Magog had started and Mashiach was on the way.  He was told to tell everyone to do teshuva for the things that they do that no one knows. To increase kibud av, to let go of pride and to learn Torah with vigor.

Rabbi Sholom Berger, the Mishkolitz Rebbe, had a sweeter interpretation.  He said just after Simchas Torah that Gog and Magog was currently happening in Syria.  He said that G-d sweetened the judgment to move the war from Jerusalem to Damascus as shown from the pasuk:

“Behold, Damascus will cease to be a city and will become a heap of ruins. The cities of Aroer are deserted; they will be for flocks, which will lie down, and none will make them afraid. The fortress will disappear from Ephraim, and the kingdom from Damascus; and the remnant of Syria will be like the glory of the children of Israel, declares the Lord of hosts.” (Isaiah 17:1-14)

There are many others, including the political non-Jewish leaders of the world whispering the possibility of World War III stemming from Syria.

So what can we get from all of this? Panic? Confusion? Joy?  Depends where we are holding.  Definitely, it is a kick in the pants.  Wake up everyone!  Now is the time to focus your efforts away from shopping and towards being real – about who you are and where you want to be, and putting one foot in front of the other in the direction that you want to go spiritually. That’s it. Just one foot at a time.

We are here to help!!! After all, we are right beside the Kotel and G-d’s giant ‘ears’ on this planet.

Pray for me for the special days of tefila through Purim and Pesach!!
(If you have not yet signed up…)

The Drama of Life, and Purim Prayers are Here!

I’m happy to be writing you from a relatively quiet Old City today. Every day that I see this city becoming more and more built up with Torah and Jews serving Hashem, I become more grateful to be a part of it. And of course, I really appreciate enabling you to be a part of its building, through getting prayers at the Kotel and providing the Torah community with jobs that help them continue to learn here, and you to thrive abroad. In the ancient spirit of Zevulun and Yissachar (where one working tribe supported the other learning tribe and both shared in its merits in the next world) we continue this partnership in a more creative modern way.

Rav Sonnenfeld zt”l, the great Torah sage of yester-year said that every Jew in the Diaspora will be accountable for what they did to build up Eretz Yisroel. You and I can do our part here. :-)

Right now we are trying hard to enjoy the spirit of Adar amidst the plethora of shiva calls and prayers for healing for so many. A particularly amazing quality of Am Yisroel is the ability to live, build and laugh, while also crying, empathizing and feeling pain for ourselves and for others. Have you ever gone to a wedding right after a funeral? Sad for the deceased and the family but then have to put your face together to be happy for the chatan and kallah? That’s a Jew and that’s something to celebrate.

That’s life!  Happiness and pain. That also makes a great drama.
Can you imagine going to a performance that was just …….fine? Hum drum. Nothing bad or problematic happens. No crescendo. No suspense.

You would wonder – no struggle? No tears? Some show! No thanks.

G-d is the ultimate Director.

Action. Suspense. Terror. Excitement. Good. Bad.

And, the best part is that we are ALL the leading characters. Fighting evil within ourselves and outside to come out of it our best. And, when we succeed, we transform all that is around us.

Purim is just around the corner. The masks we wear are there to help us remember that we are just playing a character in this drama called Life. Don’t take what happens so seriously!! It’s just a test. It’s just the scenery.

Do your job. Be kind. Give the benefit of the doubt – to others and to G-d. Do what the Torah says. And let go…. The rest is not up to you. It’s up to the Director. Trust Him. He knows what He is doing…

We are here to daven for you at the Kotel for the very powerful 40 days from the Fast of Esther through Pesach to help with whatever you need.

This is also your chance to do your part in building the Torah community of Eretz Yisroel and specifically Jerusalem.

Pray for Me!

These people got their prayers answered! Help others! Share this video!

With blessings and gratitude,

Batya

Tu Bi’shvat Segula and Life in the Holiest City

Happy post-Chanukah pre-Purim time!

As I write this email, a few beautiful souls are partaking in a community melava malka, just outside the Old City gates, exactly where knife-wielding terrorists killed 2 Jews and severely injured 1 more less than 3 weeks ago. Only Am Yisroel, victims of constant onslaught from all sides, still perseveres to make light where there is darkness.  How could Hashem not have nachat from us?

It is said that in the times before Mashiach, Hashem will shake a rope, and it will be up to each of us to grab onto that rope as it swings, if we want to make it.  We grab onto this rope with Emunah.

So too with our personal tests.  The first step is to know that it is a test tailor-made for us and not just random suffering.  If we want to pass, we should focus on first accepting our circumstances.  Then we beg Hashem to help us, knowing that it was brought in order to bring out untapped inner strength and beauty.  Then comes patience.  We have to be patient with Hashem, but impatient with ourselves.  To look inside and see in what way we can grow from the hardship, while at the same time pray and pray for help.  If we do it right, at some point we may not even perceive that we have the hardship anymore.

And on a lighter note, we have a gift for you.  You may remember that there is a Shidduch Segula to hang your name around an almond tree for the whole of Tu Bi’shvat.  After Tu Bi’shvat, the name is taken down and kept by the person at all times (either under their pillow or in their purse/wallet).  Hamodia wrote about this Segula a few years ago here.

If you’d like us to do this for you or a friend in the Holy Land, it would be our pleasure. This year, rather than mailing an envelope, you can just fill in your details and prepay the postage online and we’ll mail you the almond-tree wrapped paper directly.  Tu Bi’shvat falls on January 25th  this year.  Just click here to sign up and feel free to post/send to friends.

With blessings that we all tap into our potential and grab onto the Geula rope,

Batya

To Top