Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

11 Elul 5765 - September 15, 2005 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly










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Home and Family

Music to Soothe the Last-Minute Dash

Once again, tears welled up in my eyes as I lit my Shabbos candles just minutes before sunset. No matter how hard I tried to finish my preparations early, something always came in the way to disrupt my good intentions. I humbly called a few friends to get some advice and chizuk, and was sadly surprised to hear them admit that they, too, slide in at the last minute.

It's been many months that I've been struggling with this inadequacy, and praying to Hashem to please help me get out of this terrible rut. And yet, the same pattern of failure met me again, lighting my candles with the last sunbeams waving to me. I had really tried my utmost. I shopped on Wednesday, cooked up a storm on Thursday, didn't dare to step out of the house on Friday, and did all my cleaning. At this point I literally gave up and resigned myself to failure in this important mitzvah. There was just no more hope for me. Only Hashem Himself could help me.

Three weeks ago, Rafael and Henny Wallace, my old neighbors, came knocking on my door. They were into an important project concerning Shabbos, and enlisted my help to write it up for them in English. What you are about to read is the article:

TZOFER SHABBOS — The Shabbos Music-Siren

Every Friday as the clock struck noon, Mrs. Yehudis Cheshin, ob'm (Henny's mother), would sit down at her dining room table dressed in her Shabbos finest, completely prepared for Shabbos, blech and all, and begin chanting from her Tehillim, Shir Hashirim and parshah. She lovingly sat and waited to welcome the Shabbos Queen in all her royalty.

Being ready early runs deep in the blood of the Wallaces. Years ago, their zaida used to walk around town and actually blow the horn, urging everyone to be aware that Shabbos was about to arrive. The actual horn is still in possession of a man to whom their grandfather gave it and who still blows on it every erev Shabbos in memory of Yehudis bas R' Meir Yechiel Michel. Her children continued in her ways to welcome Shabbos early, and their new project is to institute an additional, novel Tzofer Shabbos — a Shabbos siren. Fifteen minutes before the blowing of the usual horn, beautiful Shabbos zemiros and melodies are played, so as to create a joyous soothing welcome.

It didn't take too long before other nearby neighborhoods begged for it to be extended to theirs as well. Rafael and Henny went ahead and ordered a powerful, streamlined public address system, and within two weeks the music flowed throughout.

Many great segulahs accompany this mitvah of welcoming Shabbos early, and getting others to do so as well. One family who had no children agreed to have the microphone installed on their rooftop. A year later a child was born to them. The Chofetz Chaim says in Mishnah Berurah, chapter 256, "All those who take part in the mitzvah of zerizus l'Shabbos will be zocheh to have great children in Yisroel."

The Eida Hachareidis of Yerushalaim has approved this venture, including :

Hagoen Harav Yaakov Mendel Yurowitz, shlita

Hagoen Harav Meir Sirota, shlita

Hagoen Harav Dovid Schvimmer, shlita

The purchase and installation of the new P.A. system was in the range of twelve thousand dollars. Your participation in this great mitzvah would be most appreciated. KINDLY SEND YOUR CONTRIBUTION TO:


C/O RAFAEL AND HENNY WALLACE P.O. 57453 Jerusalem, E. Israel

For further info call: 057-310-6070

Last Friday came again as usual. The music started playing, and guess what? Much to my surprise, I found myself dressed and ready to bentch licht! I couldn't believe it! What happened? What had I done differently? Remember, I had given up!

With tears of joy and gratitude, I lit my candles. By writing this letter, I helped encourage others to finish early, and then I became the "others"! Hashem sure has His ways of helping me. I am most grateful.



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