Even for those of us who are generally optimistic, it is so easy to focus on all the “wreckage” in our lives (e.g., all the bad decisions we’ve made, all the times we’ve fallen, all the good resolutions that were never kept, all the places where we feel like we have no control). Positive change seems so far away, and we have fully convinced ourselves that there is no point in hoping that we can do any better.

The urge to just give up, give in, or disconnect can be overwhelmingly powerful; as the saying goes, we’re our own worst enemies. But the things that are holding us back, preventing us from having the health, happiness, and inner peace we all crave, are really just an illusion. And it’s an illusion that can be broken, one small piece at a time.

The very first step in that process is believing that change is possible in the first place – even if only remotely possible – and that Hashem is always open to assist and reward even the slightest desire to choose good and pursue a path of truth.

As it says in T’hilim, “Hashem supports all the falling, and straightens all that are bent” (T’hilim 145:14). Rav Dessler explains: ...[E]ven one who is in the depths of defilement and still falling will find that G-d, in His mercy, will support him. If he has even one [genuine] spark of a good thought, Hashem will heal him from his dire disease and loosen all the cords with which his evil inclination has bound him, until he is able to stand on his own with hope for the future. (Strive for Truth, Volume 3, page 115)

Without this emunah in his ability to change and Hashem’s willingness to help him on his journey, it is impossible to break free. As long as we are alive, holiness has not completely left us; we are not spiritually dead. The Chanukah candles and the light they reflect are an expression of Hashem’s love for each and every member of the Jewish People, His Children. As far away as we may be, He won’t completely abandon us. He is always there waiting for us to let Him in…to make just a little opening…just a small step forward.

(Material was previously published on www.ShiratMiriam.com.)


List of People Who Need a R’fuah Sh’leimah
(a complete recovery)

Please recite Psalms 20, 30, 88, 121, and 130.

Boris Baruch ben Frecha Frida

Chaim Avraham ben Shifrah Zisel

Shimshon Shimon ben Mazal

Aharon Mordechai ben Sharon

Yaakov Yisrael Pinchas ben Tovah

Yisachar Dov ben Chayah Brachah

Tinok ben Chanah

Azriel ShemTov ben Brachah Esther

Shmuel Aryeh ben Sarah Rachel

Ronny Tzalach ben Simchah

Shmuel Aryeh ben Sarah Rachel

Moshe ben Devorah

Yehoshua ben Miriam

Yosef ben Leah

Nisan ben Yael

Efrayim Gavriel ben Esther

Chaim Yehudah HaLevi ben Sarah

Refael Meir HaLevi ben Esther

Mordechai ben Evelyn

David Chaim ben Rivkah

Moshe Leib ben Chanah Breindel

Eynav ben Tziporah

Yair ben Sarah

Moshe ben Zlata

Yishai Shimon ben Sigal

Shmuel ben Nazima

Yaakov Yisrael Pinchas ben Tovah

Nissim ben Miriam

Levi ben Malkah

Yigal ben Nina

Arthur Avraham ben Bella Berta

Evon bas Sally

Luna bas Rachel

Malkah bas Miriam

Tovah Yocheved bas Esther Bukas

Ruchamah Perel Malkah Leah bas Chanah Serel

Esther Hadassah bas Devorah

Ronit bas Rivkah

Mahnaz bas Nosrat

Sylia bas Rachel

Karen bas Rachel

Shoshanah Shurah bas Zin

Sonia bas Raya Rachel

Tinok bas Chanah Moriyah

Brachah Chanah bas Sarah

Devorah bas Esther

Batya bas Moonavar

Sarah bas Alizah

Chavah bas Bayla

Bella Berta bas Raya Rachel

Taliah Tanya bas Nina Nekadam

Raya Rachel bas Esther

Alizah Sima bas Sheina Brachah

Rivkah bas Sarah

Rachel bas Yaffah

Mehrnaz bas Malkah Molouk

To add names of individuals who need a r’fuah sh’leimah to next week’s T’hilim column, please email to  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and complete the Google form.