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The New Month of Menachem Av - Is Something Troubling You?

Greetings & Blessings!
Can you imagine what it would be like to be homeless?

Today is Rosh Chodesh Menachem-Av. This month brings with it a deep sadness for our broken world and the things we lack – especially our Holy Temple, the Bais Hamikdash, that is G-d's home in this world. 

Imagine - the Master of the Universe, Who is everything, and has everything, is homeless in our world! Do you know why G-d even created this world? To build a home here – and now it's smashed in ruins!

Have you ever wondered why the chassan, (groom) smashes the glass at the end of the Jewish wedding ceremony? As our holy sages teach us, even in the midst of our greatest joy, the beginning of a new Jewish family life, we remember our greatest sadness, the destruction of the Bais Hamikdash, our Holy Temple.

The spiritual energy of this time is just the reverse. Our job is to remember our joy of being able to serve G-d, even in the midst of our mourning the destruction of our Holy Temple - not once, but twice! But, even while we mourn the loss of G-d's revealed presence in our world, we actively work to build a new home for G-d, right here, next to us in our very own world.

At this time, it is easy for us to feel deserted, lost and alone, yet we are taught that G-d is there to comfort and console us. Even in the midst of our troubles, we need to access our joy. So, we add the word Menachem to the month of Av to remind us of all of the good times that are coming.

The month of Menachem-Av is like a journey from the deepest sadness to the greatest joy, a journey from challenge to celebration. 
I'd like to invite you to take this journey with me.

It's not easy, but I have some calligraphy Artnotes, relaxing coloring pages, and creative Soul Adventures to share with you to make the journey sweeter.

I'll have an exciting announcement soon. 

G-d willing, I'm going to be opening up my Joyfully Jewish online school very soon with a beautiful 30 day course that you will really enjoy. I can't wait to tell you more about it!

But first, I'd like to tell you a little about my personal journey. 
You see, I didn't always have a positive outlook.

In fact, I didn't even know it was possible to be Jewish AND happy. And besides, I thought happiness was just empty frivolity.

Look down below in the P.S. to
My Blessing To You,

May we merit to experience the ultimate and true redemption, when all the days of our troubles will be turned into days of joy, and we will celebrate once again,together with Moshiach, in our Holy Temple in Jerusalem!
May you be blessed with success and only good things!

Rae Shagalov
Author, Master Calligrapher & Chief Doodler

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P.S.  G-d willing, over the next few emails, I'm going to share with you my story of how a mixed-up Jewish mother (that's me!) doodled her way to happily serve G-d. I hope my story will help YOU create an inspired Joyfully Jewish life, too. 
P.PS I have always been a seeker of truth, have you?  I always felt that there is a spiritual solution to every problem – if only I knew how to find it! In the next few emails, I'm going to show you how I lost the most valuable thing I owned – and how I found it again. Comment below and say, "Yes!" if you are a truth-seeker, too.

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