Why do I think we can succeed? Rav Yissachar Frand in his Chafetz Chaim Heritage Foundation Tisha B’AV drasha in 5771 gives an extremely powerful and impactful explanation. He points out that throughout Tanach, the phrase “hineini” which means “Here I am… At your service” appears 14 times. 13 out of these 14 times, it is an expression of the loyal servant responding to the command of his Master. When Hashem calls out to Avraham Avinu, Avraham obediently answers: “Hineini”. When Hashem calls out to Moshe Rabbeinu, Moshe obediently answers: “Hineinu”. “I am here… I am at your service.” There is only one time in all of Tanach whereby the roles are reversed. In the Haftorah that we read on Yom Kippur (Isaiah 58:9), the verse reads: “Then you will call and Hashem will respond, you will cry out and He will say, ‘Here I am!’

Rav Frand asks the obvious question: what is it that we could ever possibly do to evoke such an incredible response from Hashem? The Haftorah is teaching us that Hashem is, so to speak, saying to us: “when you do that, then " Hineini,” -- “I, Hashem, am at your service.” And with Hashem “at your service”, your prayers can be answered, your aspirations can be reached, your dreams can be actualized. So what is that? The Gemara in Yevamos (62) provides us with an answer:

“upon him it is written: you will call and Hashem will respond, you will cry out and He will say, ‘Here I am!’

What does it mean to be “m’karev et k’rovav”? So the simple interpretation is to make the effort to draw closer to one’s relatives, neighbors, etc., and the Gemara gives numerous examples that qualify as “m’karev et karovav”. But what does it mean in our language, in our times to be “m’karev karovim”… to draw closer the “close ones”? What is the “kiruv” that Hashem desires? David HaMelech provides us with the answer: (Tehillim 73:28) “ואני קרבת אלוקים לי טוב” “But as for me, the nearness of G-d is my good.” And the Ramchal in the Path of the Just finishes David HaMelech’s thought: “For this alone is the true good.” In other words, drawing ourselves and others closer to Hashem is what elicits an outpouring of blessing from the Almighty.

How does this manifest itself in our lives? It means that whenever I hear an inspiring piece of Torah, or I hear about an important shiur, or I read something that changes my life, then I learn it, internalize it, and then I share it with my family and close friends. When we engage together as a community of women in this holy endeavor of “m’karev karovim” - we gain access to incredible power and we receive the endorsement of Hashem, who says in response to our efforts: “Hineini… I am at your service.

Please help me to build this community by making full use of the resources provided on this site. Learn; internalize; and, share. It’s my sincere belief that every time you forward these links to someone, you are tapping into the awesome energy of :
". המקרב את קרוביו ... עליו הכתוב אומר: (ישעיהו נ"ח) "אז תקרא וה' יענה תשוע ויאמר הנני

IY”H, Hashem should help us draw closer to one another and strengthen each other in our emunah and bitachon. In so doing, Hashem will respond with a resounding “Hineini,” and activate the siyata d’shmaya that will bring us all to gather together in a re-built Yerushalayim very, very soon in our days!

With love,
Devorah Yaffa Singer
Ma’ale Amos, Gush Etzion, Israel