Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Hi everyone

I hope everyone is doing well and that you purim hachanos are well underway both preparing for the physical mitzvot of the day, and well as the proper mental preparations that must be made.

Reb Shlomo Carlebach tells an amazing story about Rabbi Yisrael of Ruzhin, that I would like to share . Known as Der Heiliger Ruzhiner , he was known to conduct his court with a real sense of Malchus to it. This amongst his great wisdom and torah insight, attracted thousands of Chasidim, making Ruzhin the largest and most influential dynasty in the southwest.This did not sit well with Tsar Nicolas I of Russia, who was said to be jealous of the Rebbe's wealth and influence. He particularly did not like it when word got back to him, that when the Rebbi came to town all the Jewish people would come out and greet the Rebbi with candles, song and dance. Turning each visit into huge spectacle and celebration. Therefore having felt very threatened by the power of the Rebbi he imprisoned him for nearly two years. In the end the chassidim were able to get the Rebbi out of jail and he fled to Austria.

Anyway, says Rav Shlomo, when the Rebbi was in jail on Purim he said the following amazing words, and cried out this amazing heartfelt teffillah from the depths of his soul. He said "Rebbono Shel Olam, I so badly want to give you mishloach manos, I want to give mishloach manos to every Jew. But there are no Jews around me. Therefore the only one I can give mishloach manos to, is you Hashem. But what do I have to give you. Hear I am alone in a jail cell with nothing. Therefore Hashem all I can offer you as mishloach manos are my tears, and all the tears of every Jew, as mishloach manos this year. But Hashem ,now you have to give me mishloach manos in return. And I pray to you, that we make a trade. I will give you all the tears from down hear, from all your children down here on earth, and in return you give me and all of klal yisroel, all the simcha in the world from above. And the Rebbi ends his tefillah with the words " WE HAD ENOUGH TEARS HASHEM, PLEASE GIVE US SIMCHA FROM ABOVE".

My sweetest friends, we all know that this has been a challenging year for for many of us. Each of us, has had to deal with challenges that have have pushed us, drained us, and really effected us in ways we may not have been challenged before. Each of us, in our own personal way. But more then that. It has been what seems like a tough year for klal yisroel as a whole. Unfortunately many situations have come up in our personal and communal lives that have forced us to reevaluate where we stand on many positions, and take a good hard look at our lives and ask , what are our priorities. Where are we focusing our energies and strengths, and what are we trying to achieve in this world.

As Purim is quickly approaching, and we are preparing our mishloach manos, getting ready to celebrate a holiday filled with complete joy and bliss, lets try together, to just stop for one second if we can. Lets stop, reflect, and use the teffilah of the Heliger Ruzhiner. Lets look back at all that has been going on in our own lives and in the greater world around us and say Hashem lets make a trade. Hashem being that Purim is the holiday of vinahapochu, where things can be flipped in a second, from bad to good, from sadness to joy, from darkness to light, lets trade. From Now on we give you our tears. From now on, we pour out of hearts to you, all the pain, all the tears, all the sadness, because we know we have no one else to rely on for salvation but you. Because we know that you bring the ultimate salvation. And in return, we ask for happiness. We ask for redemption. In return we ask for revach ,vihatzalah, refuah, yeshua, love, sweetness, and happiness, for all of klal yisroel.

We have a rule "Whoever stretches out their hand on Purim should be given tzedakah" (Talmud Yerushalmi, Megilah 1,4). The Baal Shem Tov says one should get up early Purim morning and say many prayers and entreaties before Hashem for anything he or his relatives need, because the day is a very special time and all the “worlds” are happy and biratzon, and whoever sticks out his hand we give”. This refers to those collecting money, though here it refers to us sticking our hand out to Hashem asking for His help. Remember my friends, Emunah is not just a saying or a feeling, Its a way of life.

May Hashem bless us that we should be able to live a life filled with it. Wishing you and all of klal yisroel nothing but happiness this amazing day, and hope to share some sweet torah's, niggunim, and yom tov joy with with all of you.

Chaim Yissachar

Monday, February 27, 2012

Amen event for women!

Women!!! Please join us for a special Amen Event given by Rebbetzin Yaffa Jungreis in zechus for a refuah shleima for Chaim Yissachar ben Chaya Mushkit and all other cholim. Rebbetzin Jungreis will lead us in Birchos Hashachar, Tehillim, and many other brachos in order to give us many opportunities to answer amen.

This Sunday March 4th, 10:00a.m. at Ohr Hatorah (36 Rector Court, Teaneck, NJ)

{Please RSVP to so we can plan accordingly. A reservation is not necessary but helpful}

Yaffa Jungreis is currently a teacher at TAG high school and is well known around Long Island for giving many inspirational shiurim and chaburas.

May all the brachos that are said strengthen our connection with Hashem and bring a quick and complete recovery to Chaim Yissachar and all cholei yisrael.

Many stories have been told about amazing things that have occurred to people after they made a sincere effort to say amen to a bracha. Think about the powerful connection we make with Hashem when we recite amen properly: we are listening to someone praise Hashem for His infinite kindness, we reflect upon the truth of this praise and we then actively affirm our belief in that truth! All the more reason for us to say brachos out loud in the presence of others who will say amen, and to concentrate and answer amen when others recite brachos out loud.
An Amen party/event is a beautiful way for people to get together to say brachos and amens in a festive environment filled with fun, friendship and spiritual growth.


Hey everyone

Hope you are all doing well and that you had a great shabbos. Baruch Hashem we are all good. I was able to be home for shabbos with Talia and the kids, and was joined by my Holy parents for lunch , so that was really nice. As I say every week, there are fewer things that bring me greater joy, then being home with the family for shabbos. So Hashem thank you so much for that. Also just wanted to say thanks for all the positive feedback we have been getting from the blog. I really feel people are starting to open up and express their feelings in regard to Emunah and avodos Hashem and that is really something we are striving for and hoping to accomplish, so thank you and lets please keep it going. We are open to all suggestions as to how we can better things and spread the good word , so please dont be shy. Also thanks to all of you who have been writing in with words of chizuk, bracha, and tefilah. It means so much to us, we cant thank you enough.

In regard to the medical stuff that is going on ,Baruch Hashem we made it through week one of chemo and other treatments. I got more on tap this week, but as my Holy Drs say, "Chaim lets take it one day at a time", and so that's what we will do. We know we have to do our part, but at the same time its all from Hashem. Our ultimate and loving father is always with us and always guiding us, so we just keep on going. I am starting to feel the chemos a bit, so thats not so much fun, but hey for refuah, we do what we got to do.

As master jewish poet and baal tefilah in our times Matisyahu expresses so well in his song Jerusalem " Aint no one gonna break my stride, Aint no one gonna pull me down ,Oh no, I got to keep on moving". And thats our goal. Nothing will pull us down, we will just keep on moving. ALL OF US TOGETHER. and put our trust in the one above.

(And yes yes a small little fun fact about me i am a big Matisyahu fan). Thanks to all of you for being there for us. Hope to hear from you all soon.

With much love.


Chaim Yissachar


Thursday, February 23, 2012

Dvar Torah- Terumah

Hey everyone,

Sorry for so many posts this week, but I guess I just got a lot to say. Hope everyone is doing well, and getting ready for what I am sure will be a sweet shabbos.

In this weeks Parsha, parshas Terumah, the torah states " Speak to the children of Israel, and have them take to ME a portion, from every person, who's heart will motivate him.... 25:2).

In the sefer Amud Haemes a collection of teachings from the Kotzker Rebbi, Reb Menachum Mendel of Kotzk, it brings down two very beautiful approaches as to how to understand this pasuk.

But first a brief history. Menachem Mendel Morgensztern of Kotzk, better known as the Kotzker Rebbe was a chassidic leader. He is considered to be the spiritual founder, upon which the Ger dynasty is based. He was well known for his incisive philosophies, and sharp-witted sayings.But most importantly in Kotzk it was all about the truth. Nothing was as important as the truth. However The Kotzker, had a best friend, another giant in the chassidic world and his name was Rav Yitzchak Kalish of Vorka. In Vorka Reb Yitzack was famous for his loving kindness , his compassion, and caring for every Jew. These two approaches were very different ,however never prevented them from having such a strong friendship.

Each one interprets this pasuk based on their approach to yidishkeit, however lets start with the Kotzker.The Kotzker starts by explaining, that if we look at the passuk, the passuk is teaching us that if a person wants to make himself Terumah, a portion/person dedicated towards Hashem, then the best way to do so is by separating himself from others. Even others who may be dedicated and " whos heart motivates him" to the same lofty goals of committing themselves to Hashem, the best way to focus on your relationship with Hashem is to separate yourself and focus on yourself.

However the Vorker takes the direct opposite approach. He says that if a person wants to make himself Terumah, a portion/ person dedicated towards Hashem, then the best way to do it is by looking at someone else " whos heart motivates him" , and saying what can I learn from that person. By looking at someone who is motivated and dedicated to living a life that is geared towards service of Hashem, and saying what can I learn from that person, that is how someone will come closer to Hashem. That says the holy Vorker is what the passuk is teaching us.

Each one of us is so unique in our own special way. So many times we fail to recognize and acknowledge how special we and those around us are. We dont see ourselves or others strengths, rather we focus on weaknesses. We must all know that Hashem has blessed us all, with our own special talents. Each one of us is capable of something, that no one else is capable of. Each one of us posses certain skills and ability's that make us great. That makes us unique, that makes us unlike anyone else in the world. We just have to start viewing ourselves in that light. We must look at ourselves and at every single Jew and realize how truly special we are, and how we are capable of achieving anything,because with Hashem by our side nothing is impossible NOTHING. We are all capable of greatness, but we have to start believing in ourselves. Each one of us can do anything we set our minds to, because each one of us is a child of the ultimate and loving King. I hope and pray for all of us that we see how truly special and talented we are, each of us in our own unique way.May we learn from both of the interpretations of the passuk, and may Hashem help use whichever approach speaks to our heart more, in coming closer to Him.


Chaim Yissachar


Some Adar humor..

Hey sweetest Friends

I hope everyone is doing well. A good friend of mine sent this joke my way, and I mamish could not stop laughing, i just found it to be very funny. Skoyach to the one who sent me the joke, and in honor of Rosh Chodesh Adar, I thought it would be a good idea to share. Hope you find it as funny as i did.

Shaindy gets on a bus with her baby. As she goes to pay her fare, the bus driver says to her, "I've seen a lot of babies in my time but that's the ugliest one I've ever seen in my life."

Shaindy is shocked and very angry at this insensitive remark. She sits down and starts to cry. The man next to her asks her what's the matter.

Shaindy replies, "The bus driver just insulted me."

The man replies. "I wouldn't let him get away with it. You go give him a piece of your mind. Go on - I'll hold your monkey for you."


Chaim Yissachar

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Rosh Chodesh Adar

Hey everyone,

I hope everyone is having a good week. We are entering a very exciting time of the Jewish calender, and I am sure you can all feel the excitement in the air.

I saw a very nice idea by Rabbi Chaim Kramer in his book Crossing the Narrow Bridge, that I would like to share. He writes that Reb Nosson of Breslov once attended the funeral of someone he hardly knew. When asked why he attended, he said, “A person should always cry out before God. Therefore whenever an opportunity presents itself, I make the most of it” (Siach Sarfei Kodesh1-635). Says Rabbi Kramer,we must do the same when it comes to happiness, and seize every opportunity and make the most of it.

Rabbainu, Rebbe Nachman of Breslov said that we must take advantage of days such as Shabbat and the Festivals by making an even greater effort to be happy and joyous on these days. As we celebrate Rosh Chodesh Adar, a month filled with revach, simcha, and hatzala for the Jewish people, may we head the message of Rebbi Nachman, and try to make a greater effort to fill our homes, hearts ,families and lives with simcha and joy in these upcoming days. May we try and smile a little more, laugh a little more, sing a little more ,and dance a little more. And may Hashem bless us that this happiness carry over into all areas of our lives, for the rest of our lives.

Wishing everyone a Gutten Chodesh and a Gut Purim

With much love,
Chaim Yissachar

Monday, February 20, 2012

Two shiurim coming up!

Shiur this Wednesday @ 8:15 pm
at the home of Kenny and Meredith Yager 65 Lee Place Bergenfield NJ .

This shiur will be the second of a weekly shiur that will given by rotating speakers on the topic of
 'Deepening our Connection with Shabbos'. This week R' Moshe Tzvi  (Matt) Weinberg will be speaking.
The shiur is open to men and women.

For those that can't make it, there will be a call in number:
Call in number 1-610-214-0000
Participant access code 450754#
Host access code 450754*

*Please remember to mute your phone when calling in*

Shiur for women!
Tues night Feb 28th @ 8:15 pm
on the topic of Purim given by Charlie Harary
The shiur will take place in Queens at the Spitz home
70-15 170th Street
Hillcrest NY 11365

May these gatherings of learning torah b'rabim, bring Chaim Yissachar ben Chaya Mushkit a refuah shelaima bkarov!

Saturday, February 18, 2012


Hey Everyone,

Hope you all had a good shabbos. As i say every week , there is nothing better then being home with one's family for shabbos. Thank you Hashem for Blessing me with that.

Anyway I just wanted to let you all know, that with Hashem's help and blessing I will be starting my chemo treatments on Monday. We are not sure of the full schedule yet, but we know we start Monday and we will take it one day at a time.What the effects will be and when they will hit me only Hashem knows, but we will do what we have to do and take whatever comes our way. No matter what it is, we know its all from Hashem, it all for the best, and all for a purpose. We hope and we pray that the chemo will work the way we would like it to, and Hashem should bless me and all cholei yisroel with nothing but a full refuah bikarov. Thank you all for your constant love and support. I will try to keep you up to date.

With much love
Chaim Yissachar

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Magnet Update

Hey everyone,

I hope everyone is doing well, and all set for what i am sure will be a beautiful shabbos. Anyway i just wanted to let you all know that baruch hashem we are almost completely out of the first order of emunah magnets. There are currently no more available for pickup, however please have no fear. Earlier this week, thanks to three anonymous donors we were able to place a much larger order this time, and hopefully by next week we should have plenty more to distribute. Baruch Hashem there were many people who contacted us about sponsoring more magnets but i think for now we will have enough. I cant thank these 3 donors enough for helping us spread the great name of hashem to the world, as well as spreading the call for all of us to strengthen our Emunah. Hashem should bless them and all of klal yisroel with nothing but bracha, simcha,shalom,love and sweetness. Thank you all so much for helping us spread Emunah and spreading the name of Hashem. May we be blessed to run out of this shipment of magnets as well, and have to order more soon.

Gut shabbos Gut Purim

Chaim Yissachar.

Little note..

Hey Everyone,

Today in the hospital, someone gave me such a beautiful compliment I just had to share.

She said " Marc, you have a really beautiful heart".

Granted she was doing an echo- cardiogram on me, but i appreciated it none the less.

Gut Shabbos Gut Purim
Chaim Yissachar
(Marc Steven)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Chaim's Dvar Torah- Mishpatim

Hey everyone,

I hope that everyone is having a good week. Its been a bit of a long week, but Baruch Hashem we are all doing great. I just wanted to share a quick teaching on this weeks Parsha.

The Torah says " You shall worship Hashem, your G-d, and he shall bless your bread and your water, and I shall remove illness from your midst." (23:25). There are many lessons that Chazal learn out from this passuk ,but I would like to focus on an idea i saw from Rav Zalamn Sorotzkin. Explains Rav Sorotzkin that with these few and simple words of " And he shall bless your bread and your water" the Torah is teaching us a tremendous and fundamental life lesson.

Hashem was telling Binai Yisroel, that at that point in time they had received everything they needed directly from Him. Their food came from Heaven, their water from a rock that traveled along side them on their journey, and alll of their physical needs were being provided to them by Hashem. However that was all about to change. When the jewish people were to enter into Eretz Yisroel there would be a transformation. Says the pasuk you will start to eat "your bread" and "drink your water", out of dough that you bake and wells that you dig. When that happens its all to easy to lose focus on who is really providing for us. When we view our gains, possessions and accomplishments as "ours", and not as gifts from Hashem then we have strayed from the truth. The Torah is reminding us that there is nothing more in the world that Hashem wants to do, then give us blessings. And he will bless us, however we cant forget where the blessing is coming from. Hashem is saying to Binai Yisroel, that even when you enter into Eretz Yisroel and the physical reality changes so that now your bread, becomes "your bread" , bread that you worked for, I will continue to bless you. But you must always remember where your bread really comes from. You must always remember that I am the ultimate and only provider.

Sometimes I find that we lose the proper perspective. Unfortunately, we view our accomplishments as "our accomplishments" and fail to recognize the true source of our success. I am not in any way saying, that we should not be proud of the goals we achieve, and not strive to reach greater heights. What I am suggesting, is that when we reach our goals, and achieve what it is that we have set out to do, we must recognize that all our successes comes from Hashem. This recognition of Its all From Hashem (ayin Emunah Magnets) will not only provide us with Blessing from Hashem, but it will allow us to reach heights and achieve goals we never dreamed possible.

Dear Friends this is something we can all do, in our own way. It can be done by thanking Hashem for something big or something small. It can be stopping for one minute during our busy work day and recognizing that Hashem is our provider and everything that happens to me is because of Him. Or at the end of the day, we can just close our eyes in a quiet room, open up our hearts and say "Hashem Thank You". Thank you for everything, because i know it all comes from you.

With much love
Chaim Yissachar

Shiur tonight!

Sorry for the late notice...

TONIGHT!! Wednesday Feb 15!

Shiur for a zechus for a refuah shelaima for Chaim- Chaim Yissachar ben Chaya Mushkit

at the home of Kenny and Meredith Yager 65 Lee Place Bergenfield NJ at 8:15 pm.

Tonight is the first of a weekly shiur that will given by rotating speakers on the topic of 'Deepening our Connection with Shabbos'. Tonight Rav Yaakov Neuberger , Rav of Beth Abraham, will be speaking.

The shiur is open to men and women.

For those that can't make it, there will be a call in number:

Call in number 1-610-214-0000

Participant access code 450754#

Host access code 450754*

Thank you tizku l'mitzvot!

Monday, February 13, 2012

My latest project

Hey everyone,

I hope you all had a good shabbos. Baruch Hashem we are all doing good. I can think of few things that are sweeter then spending shabbos at home with my family. Thank you Hashem.

Anyway,as many of you know over the past year and and a half I really haven't gotten out much. The only time I really was allowed to go anywhere was to the hospital. Over the course of one of my many trips to Sloan, I realized that cars all over the road had these magnets stuck to the back. They were usually supporting a cause like a school, sports team, or summer camp. I even saw some that professed love for pets and some that really made my KinderSmile. But it got me thinking. If all these people are willing to show their support for these different organizations and causes, which are all great, then why not support the greatest cause of all. The spreading of Emunah and the belief that everything is from Hashem. Baruch Hashem i have been blessed with a wife, who puts up with my craziness and some times even encourages it. And so Emunah magnets were born. Thanks to Talia for all her help and support with this project. These would not have been made without her help. Also i have to thank the designer of these magnets, Reb Josh Weinberg. All the credit for these magnets, belongs to them. Due to the cold weather and bad growing conditions this winter, my money tree has not grown in this season so supplies are somewhat limited. We hope to just give them out, free of cost until we run out. If the money tree starts to grow, we will order more if there is a demand. We are still trying to figure out the best way to distribute them, but please know they are available for those who want them. Also, please feel free to create your own Emunah gear. Lets spread the good word chevrah. Lets take the message, and not only put it on our cars, but make it our way of life. ITS ALL FROM HASHEM, ITS ALL FOR THE BEST, AND ITS ALL FOR A PURPOSE.

Hope to see one on your car soon.

With much love,
Chaim Yissachar

For anyone that is local, the magnets can be picked up at 19 Sunrise Terrace in Bergenfield. They will be in a box outside-please take. For anyone that can not make it here to pick up, please be in touch and we will figure out how to get it to you. Thanks!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Dvar torah from Chaim

Hi everyone,

Thanks for all of the support and chizuk that has been coming our way these past couple of days. It truly is remarkable and very inspirational seeing how much people care. You have no idea how much it means to Talia and myself, so thank you for that. We are really blessed to have such caring friends and family.

I saw an idea tonight that even though i had heard it before, this time it really got me thinking. The parsha starts off by saying" That Moshes father in law, Yisro the priest of Midian, heard about all that God had done for Moshe and for His people Israel, when God took Israel out of Egypt". So many of our great and holy sages ask the question, was Yisro the only one that heard? No one else heard about the amazing miracles preformed for the Jewish people? Only Yisro was privy to this information? The answer is obviously not. The entire world heard and knew about everything that Hashem had done for the Jewish people, but Yisro was different. Says Rabbainu Rebbi Nachmun of Breslev ,

" Everyone heard, but only Yisro heeded the message "(Likutey Moharan 1,134). Only Yisro allowed the message to enter his heart and that allowed him to change. Yisro teaches us that hearing, is not just about hearing sounds. Rather real hearing is about internalizing, what it is we hear.

This has been a week filled with us hearing many different things. Personally, I have heard some disappointing and heartbreaking news, but at the same time i have heard so many inspirational ideas and words of chizzuk. I have heard people cry and get upset, and i have heard my kids laugh uncontrollably, like only holy sweet children can. I have heard stories that have brought me to tears of sadness, and i have heard stories that have brought me to tears of joy and yearning. But the common theme between everything thing that i have heard this week, is that i now must ask myself, what did i really hear ? Has anything that i have heard this week entered into my heart and have I internalized any of it. Because that is what real hearing is all about. Its about opening our ears in order to open our hearts. This is a challenge we are all faced with everyday. From moment we are blessed to wake up in the morning, to the moment we go to sleep we hear so much. Some times the sounds are loud, and some times they are small. We hear things from our spouses, children, friends and of course Hashem, and we must ask ourselves. Do we really hear what they are saying, or are we just hearing sounds. Are we paying attention to what it is they are really saying and trying to internalize the messages Hashem is sending our way, Because in reality everything that comes our way is Hashem calling out to us, I am right here with you and I love you. We just have to open our ears and our hearts so we truly hear and feel his call in everything we do. This is what the torah is teaching us when it says "Yisro heard". The lesson of how to truly hear. Lets all try this week, if only one time a day, to truly hear something or someone. Lets try and internalize what we can do with all that we hear, and how we can gear it towards strengthening our avodas Hashem and strengthening our relationships with others. I KNOW WE CAN DO IT.

Thanks for letting me share, and please let me know what you think. Its always great to hear from you. (Feel free to comment below).

From the bottom of my heart thanks again to everyone and remember,
 Tracht Gut Vet Zein Gut- Think Good, and it will be Good.

With much love and thanks

Chaim Yissachar

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Letter from Chaim

Dear Friends and Family

Let me start by saying thank you, to all of you for your constant love and support. We could not be where we are today without your help.Bh I have been feeling good and continue to feel good after my transplant. As much as it pains me to share this news with you, unfortunately late last week we found out that my leukemia has returned. My doctors are working on a plan as to how we will proceed, and what the best course of action will be. I know the natural tendency in a situation like this may be, to be upset and down, however I beg of you not to let that be the case. Please let us all take this current bump in the road and transform it into a golden opportunity. An opportunity to show and prove to Hashem that even when things do not go the way we would like them to, we will not lose our faith in him, and we know he will take care of us. Let us show HIM, how we know it is all for the best and will continue to call out to him for salvation. Trust me, I know this is not easy, as it is something that I am currently struggling with, However I know that together, we will get through this. You have all done so much for me already, and I know i am asking a lot, but please lets not stop now. We have come so far, and now we must continue to push forward. Everything is from Hashem and everything is for the best. Our approach to this current setback is no different then the approach we have taken all along. We have to continue to daven, strengthen our emunah, and know that Hashem will take care of us. I KNOW WE WILL DO THIS. Thank you again for everything, and I will try to keep you more up to date this time then in the past. Please continue to daven for me ( Chaim Yissachar ben Chaya Mushkit) and for all of klal yisroel, and let us only get stronger together.

With overflowing amounts of love,
Chaim Yissachar