Last week's lecture rocked me to my core: Rabbi Wallerstein spoke about the fact that since Pesach SIXTY young people have died because of drug overdose or suicide (as of yesterday, that number is 75!!!). (Listen to the lecture )
If a sniper, terrorist or even an illness took the lives of SEVENTY-FIVE young people in two months, we would be up in arms, yet they quietly exit and where are the headlines? Where are the outcries? More importantly, what is Hashem trying to tell us by taking back so MANY precious neshamas?
Along with the horror comes a feeling of frustration and futility. What can I do? How can I make a difference?
On Shabbos I spoke about this at my Tehillim group, and the women all were enthusiastic about my suggestion that we take on something to make a difference.
What I suggested is that we do a simple but not well known mitzvah: stating or thinking before we do a mitzvah that we are "fulfilling the mitzvah of _____ as Hashem commanded." This simple statement is so important because it conveys to us the zechar/merit for the mitzvohs we do. Without saying or thinking it, at most we get credit b'd'eved. (For more on this sefer please see the write-up on the LINKS page.)
The women responded enthusiastically to do this as a zechus to help stop this tragedy with our children! One said she would do it when she puts on stockings or long-sleeve shirts in this warm weather to fulfill the mitzvah of tznius. (An amazing post script to this: just a week after she started doing this, an out of control car hit two yeshiva boys in Monsey, killing one. This woman's son was standing right next to them, but didn't get a scratch!)
What can you do? Anything you like, just do it with the intention that it is to help bring rachamim for our precious children. And if you remember to think or say "I am doing ____ to fulfill the mitzvah of __________ as Hashem commanded" it's even better! You can even think it to fulfill the mitzvah of kavanah (iyun tefillah) when you are using your Kavanah Kard and to bring others closer to Hashem when you share Kavanah Kards with others. :)
The author of the sefer has created a handy magnetic chart to help people remember the intention phrase. I am BE"H getting a supply to distribute to the ladies in my Tehillim group. The PDF's of the chart and Overview and more about his sefer are on the LINKS page. If you need assistance, please email or call me. (My contact info is on GET THEM )
May our united efforts be blessed and help bring rachamim for Klal Yisroel!