Another Tu Bi’shvat Segula? Yes this one is on us!

For the first time ever, I am writing to you from the ‘occupied territory’ of the Old City of Jerusalem. Now, I don’t like to get political here, so instead I will get spiritual….
Ever notice how things sometimes get worse before they get better?
You have a serious pain in your stomach and for some reason the Dr. sends you to inflict more pain by operating? You were trying to get rid of your pain, not have to go through more!! Silly… you know that at the end of the operation, not only will the pain of the surgery subside, but also the stomach ache. The extra pain was just the way back to complete health and a lack of any pain. It was an ANSWER to your prayers for less pain, not a worsening of the pain! You have to trust in the process….
So too with the Geula.. if we truly want to ‘own’ this land, we may have to go through a process of being pained that we don’t truly have it first.
So what about our prayers – for marriage, for success? What if we just don’t see them coming to fruition right away? What if things are even getting harder or more confusing?
That’s when it is up to us to remember the secret – trust – in the process and in G-d. No prayer is ever wasted. Each of your prayers is being counted and safeguarded – building up a storage house for you to be released when the right time comes and for the right thing. We don’t know how many prayers a specific request needs, all we know is that we have to keep trying and doing more and letting go and trust in the process until it happens. Everything else is in G-d’s hands.
Speaking of adding to your prayer storehouses, I wanted to give you a Tu Bi’shvat present. Remember the segula to hang the name of someone who needs a shidduch around an almond tree for the whole of Tu Bi’shvat? After Tu Bi’shvat, we take the name down and send it to you so that you can keep it with you at all times (under your pillow or in your purse). Hamodia wrote about this Segula a few years ago here.
If you’d like us to do this for you, it would be our pleasure in appreciation for your ongoing support. 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 February 11 – in just over 2 weeks. Just click here to sign up and feel free to post/send to friends.
Remember that even though we do segulas, we don’t take them too seriously – they are to give us added help from Above. Ultimately we know that our prayers are answered by Hashem alone and He put these segulas into the world to help us, help ourselves.
With blessings for good news and enough prayers to put you over the top for all of your hopes and dreams!

Some Amazing Stories and Last Chance for Chanukah Prayers!!!

Isn’t it interesting how tragedy often brings us together and how elections pull us apart?  We are so connected to what we value and who we look up to.  The good side is that we all look up to and point our prayers to the same place – Har HaBayit in Jerusalem. And, no matter who you wanted to vote for to rule the US, we all cast our vote for the same ruling Creator of the world.  So our prayers for you here can truly re-unify us now G-d-willing.

I had to share some of your recent thank you feedback – besides for the usual girl meets boy stories, there are so many of you that just needed a little help from Above in normal life.  Of course we have to ask Hashem for help in EVERYTHING!

Irina came to us because her son Ahron was having some developmental issues when she signed up for 40 days with us. Through the weeks of prayers she was thrilled to see him improve in every area – his teacher even sent home a beautiful note saying that in the last *4-6* weeks he had a huge improvement, and the speech therapist said that he made a great leap just after the prayers started.  Not everyone’s prayers are answered so quickly and so obviously but for Irina this was a clear wink from Above that her prayer agent made a big difference.  We are so happy for them both!

Shelly wrote us when she was having a really tough time in her marriage.  She had gone to several different marriage counselors and had gotten prayer agents before, but life at home was still a rough ride.  After giving the 40-days one more try, somehow this time the prayers took hold.  She said that what was interesting is that she could feel it getting better, like a beautiful sort of energy traveling all the way to California, and that things had been well ever since.  “Thank G-d” is all we can say!  Good for her for continuing to try and persevere until she got to the place she wanted.

Just like you, we are just doing our hishtadlut (putting in our maximum required effort) with prayer at the Kotel and charity, and hoping G-d will do the rest.
And we are not just helping you, you are also helping us.

Your donations to support this project are literally helping to build the holiest place in the world by filling it with talmidei chachamim (Torah scholars) and Torah-learning.  You are a partner in helping Torah to thrive in the King’s Palace.  So thank you also – fellow mitzva-partner!

Now to Zos Chanukah!  What some circles refer to as the 3rd Neilah of the year is almost here! If you haven’t already done so this is your last chance to get your prayers in before the closing of the gates (although we know that the gates of tears are never closed!).  With what could you use a little help from Above?

Pray for me through Zos Chanukah!

With blessings that all of your dreams are soon realized and that all the bumpy roads on the path of your life are soon smoothed out,


How Barry met Dali and Your Chance to Catch the Third Neilah!

I was so happy to hear from an old friend ‘Dali’ after Rosh Hashanah.  Dali was a superstar over-achiever frum girl trudging away in the shidduch scene for double-digit years already.  At what point do people give up trying to set up these singles?  I hope never, but it wasn’t simple to find someone on her spiritual, emotional and life level. Anyways, she had incredible news to share.  She was engaged to a similarly over-achieving long-time single ‘Barry’ – heavily involved in the world of chesed.  Both were thrilled over the moon.  “Check your database,” she says to me. “Why?” I wondered.  “Because I just finished getting a minyan to daven for me at the Wall.  He proposed right after, and I really saw him being impacted during this 40 days.  I tried many segulas and even had people at the Wall for me before, but this was the first time I had gotten a minyan. I really felt it working.”

Mazel tov, Mazel tov! May we only hear more simchas!

Now back to work….

We all know about the neilah of Yom Kippur – the moment your judgment for the year is sealed. We also know about the second neilah – Hoshanah Rabba. Hashem gives us a second chance.

But what about the rest of us? What if we did not merit the judgment we wanted on Yom Kippur or on Hoshanah Rabba? Certain circles refer to a third and final neilah – Zos Chanukah. Although we know that the gates of tears are never closed, Zos Chanukah is our opportunity to be sealed for life and blessing this year.

The Ner Yisroel says that on Zos Chanukah, a Jew can accomplish for himself and his friend what a Tzaddik can accomplish on Yom Kippur!

So let’s use this time to remind Hashem where you want to go this year and to knock hard enough until the door to it G-d-willing opens.

If you didn’t already do so, seize the opportunity now to get your prayers to the Wall before the final Neilah.

Pray for me for 40 days through the 8th day of Chanukah!

With blessings that we only hear good news from you soon!

Light versus Darkness and Your Chance for Zos Chanukah!

Happy Chodesh Cheshvan!

What a month!  It is the only month in the Jewish calendar with no holidays.  But it will be the month in which the 3rd Beit HaMikdash will be inaugurated – may it be soon!  And when it is, I hope we can merit to be the ones bringing your offerings to it. :-)

So the days are now getting shorter and the nights getting longer.  The winter clothes are coming out and the sneezing is starting.  Did you know that before the flood of Noah, there was perfect weather all year round?  After the flood, Hashem made 4 seasons so that we would appreciate good weather when we have it.

It is the time of the year when darkness increases.  At the same time, spiritual light has the potential of shining the brightest.  At the creation of the world, there were 36 hours of the most powerful spiritual light in the Universe.  It was then hidden away as a result of the sin and only comes back to the world now through 2 things: 1) the 36 hidden tzaddikim in every generation (by the way it was just my late husband Gershon zt”l’s 3rd yahrzeit) 2) the light of Chanukah (36 candles not including the shamash).

So, in just over 40 days we will be able to access this light in our own homes.

It all culminates on Zos Chanukah (the 8th day of Chanukah).  On this day you can find every major kever in Israel filled to the brim with people praying for salvations of every kind.  The potential of this day for teshuva and answered prayers is so powerful that it is written about in many sefarim.

The 40 days leading up to Zos Chanukah starts in just 3 weeks (Nov 23)!  You can bet we will be at the Kotel in droves taking advantage of this precious time to beseech Hashem for the right marriage partners, for health, for success and everything else we need!

You can be there with us!

Daven for me for 40 days through the 8th day of Chanukah!

With blessings from Jerusalem that the light of miracles be revealed in your life now and always through answered prayers,


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!


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

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