Wednesday, October 29, 2014

New Articles

On this weeks parsha, here.

Ksubos 10a - neemanus ha-baal li-hafsid ksubasa, here.

Ksubos 12b - Bari and Shema, here.

We Never Forgot You

ובכל זאת שמך לא שכחנו!!!

Don't Worry Be Happy

לזכות ר' יהושע מאיר בן רחל

Reb Dovid'l of Tolna was once מקרב a fellow who had committed the horrible sin of having relations with a married woman [what made it worse was that she wasn't married to him]. A certain Rov noticed this and asked him why he is being so nice to this rasha. Reb Dovid'l answered that this person is a HAPPY PERSON. That being the case, one day his yetzer tov will grab him and he will do teshuva. He is better than an unhappy person who hasn't committed such a sin. An unhappy person thinks he is a frum person. He thinks that he is serving Hashem and he is really not.
The pasuk in tehilllim says עצביהם כסף וזהב מעשה ידי אדם. The simple meaning is that avoda zara of gold and silver is made by man. But Reb Dovid'l explained עצביהם - Do you know why people are sad [בעצבות]? Because כסף וזהב מעשה ידי אדם  people think that the money belongs to them and they are NERVOUS! But it's not!! It's all Hashem's. So there is nothing to be sad about.

Don't worry about money!!!:-)

זכות הצדיקים יעזור ויגן ויושיע!!

Less Expensive Than Therapy - But Often More Effective

From the world wide web....

Exercise has been touted to be a cure for nearly everything in life, from depression, to memory loss, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s and more.
What triggers happiness in our brain when we exercise?

Most of us are aware of what happens to the body when we exercise. We build more muscle or more stamina. We feel how daily activities like climbing stairs becomes easier if we exercise regularly. When it comes to our brain and mood though, the connection isn’t so clear.

The line around our “endorphins are released” is more something I throw around to sound smart, without really knowing what it means. Here is what actually happens:

If you start exercising, your brain recognizes this as a moment of stress. As your heart pressure increases, the brain thinks you are either fighting the enemy or fleeing from it. To protect yourself and your brain from stress, you release a protein called BDNF (Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor). This BDNF has a protective and also reparative element to your memory neurons and acts as a reset switch. That’s why we often feel so at ease and things are clear after exercising and eventually happy.
At the same time, endorphins, another chemical to fight stress, is released in your brain. Your endorphins main purpose is this writes researcher McGovern:
These endorphins tend to minimize the discomfort of exercise, block the feeling of pain and are even associated with a feeling of euphoria.
Overall, there is a lot going on inside our brain and it is in fact oftentimes a lot more active than when we are just sitting down or actually concentrating mentally:

So, BDNF and endorphins are the reasons exercise makes us feel so good. The somewhat scary part is that they have a very similar and addictive behavior like morphine, heroine or nicotine. The only difference? Well, it’s actually good for us.

Now here is where it all gets interesting. We know the basic foundations of why exercising makes us happy and what happens inside our brain cells. The most important part to uncover now, is of course how we can trigger this in an optimal and longer lasting way.

A recent study from Penn State university shed some light on the matter and the results are more than surprising. They found that to be more productive and happier on a given work day, it doesn’t matter so much, if you work-out regularly, if you haven’t worked out on that particular day:
“Those who had exercised during the preceding month but not on the day of testing generally did better on the memory test than those who had been sedentary, but did not perform nearly as well as those who had worked out that morning.”
New York Times best-selling author Gretchen Reynolds has written a whole book about the subject matter titled “The first 20 minutes”. To get the highest level of happiness and benefits for health, the key is not to become a professional athlete. On the contrary, a much smaller amount is needed to reach the level where happiness and productivity in every day life peaks:
“The first 20 minutes of moving around, if someone has been really sedentary, provide most of the health benefits. You get prolonged life, reduced disease risk — all of those things come in in the first 20 minutes of being active.”
So really, you can relax and don’t have to be on the look-out for the next killer work-out. All you have to do is get some focused 20 minutes in to get the full happiness boost every day:
“On exercise days, people’s mood significantly improved after exercising. Mood stayed about the same on days they didn’t, with the exception of people’s sense of calm which deteriorated.” (University of Bristol)

Now, that’s all nice to hear you might say, starting to exercise regularly or even daily is still easier written than done. At end of the day, there is quite a lot of focus required to help you get into the habit of exercising daily. The most important part to note first, is that exercise is a “keystone” habit according to Charles Duhigg, New York Times bestselling author of The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business. This means that daily exercise can pave the way not only for happiness, but also growth in all other areas of your life.

In a recent post from Joel, he wrote about the power of daily exercise for his everyday life. Coincidentally, he follows the above rules very accurately and exercises daily before doing anything else. He writes:
By 9:30am, I’ve done an hour of coding on the most important task I have right now on Buffer, I’ve been to the gym and had a great session, and I’ve done 30 minutes of emails. It’s only 9:30am and I’ve already succeeded, and I feel fantastic.

Think about starting small and then start even smaller: Here is a little secret. When I first started exercising, I did it with five minutes per day, three times a week. Can you imagine that? Five minutes of timed exercise, three times a week? That’s nothing, you might be thinking. And you are right, because the task is so easy and anyone can succeed with it, you can really start to make a habit out of it. Try no more than five or 10 minutes if you are getting started.

You get the highest level of happiness with exercise if you are just starting out
As a quick last fact, exercise, the increase of the BDNF proteins in your brain acts as a mood enhancer. The effects are similar to drug addiction one study found. So when you start exercising, the feeling of euphoria is the highest:
“The release of endorphins has an addictive effect, and more exercise is needed to achieve the same level of euphoria over time.” (McGovern)
So this means that if you have never exercised before or not for a long time, your happiness gains will be the highest if you start now.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014


Shiur this Wednesday night imy"H at Glueck after the 10pm maariv.

Be Original

What do our sources say about "chiddush", novel ideas?

On the surface, how can one be "mechadesh" anything? If it is true then it is already written and/or passed down while if it is not written and/or passed down then it is not part of our tradition and one may not say it?! Many Torah scholars strive to be creative but this seems to fly in the face of our tradition. Christianity was "original". There is not one G-d but three [עפ"ל]. Islam was "original". G-d rejected the Jews and chose Mohammed as His prophet [עפ"ל]. These two religions may be original [the truth is that Christianity is rooted in pagan beliefs and maybe Islam is too but that is besides the point...] but they are also false and one must die before accepting the belief system of either one.

The sifrei kabbala emphasize the great importance of chiddush. One must not only learn but come up with new orignal insights [see Nefesh Hachaim Shaar Dalet for some sources and there are many others]. In Hebrew, the word for "original" is מקורי. The root of that word is מקור - source. The same word apparently means two contradictory things. Original means that it has no source? So how can the same word denote two opposites?

The greatest and most true originality is finiding original fresh insights in the source. It is not about inventing new ideas but revealing the new in the old. One is מקורי when he shows how this unheard of idea fits beautifully into the מקור. That is what we strive to do whenever we open up an ancient text. Read the words, absorb the ideas and try to uncover countless layers of hidden meaning.

The Soldier Who Couldn't Stand Religious Jews

Not normal.