The Ben Ish Chai

Today is the 110th yahrzeit of the Ben Ish Chai, Rabbi Yosef Chaim of Baghdad – a kabbalist, posek, commentator, a community leader – one of the most influential people in the Jewish world in recent generations. Here is just one short, encouraging idea of his prolific writings, for the month of Elul. Thus he wrote in his book, Etz HaChaim (the Tree of Life) about the idea of repentance: “‘Know where you came from’ – that is to say, where did your soul come from? It was carved out of a holy place, and her coming down to this lowly world will not harm her, because a precious stone – even if it is buried in dirt for many years – her glamour is not damaged, and her importance remains intact.”

Even a diamond buried in garbage remains a diamond, and that diamond is us.

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סיון רהב-מאיר

Sivan Rahav-Meir is a media personality and lecturer. Married to Yedidya, the mother of five. Lives in Jerusalem. She works for Israel TV news, writes a column for Yediot Aharonot newspaper, and hosts a weekly radio show on Galei Zahal (Army Radio). Her lectures on the weekly Torah portion are attended by hundreds and the live broadcast attracts thousands more listeners throughout the world.
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