Thursday, March 25, 2010

Big Party!


At the seder we say "kol dichfeen yasai vayaychol" - ALL those who are hungry should come and eat. What happens if people actually come?? How are we going to feed everyone?

Answer: We don't worry about it, we just invite!

So next Thursday night at about 8:00pm at Netiv Aryeh I am making a bar-mitzvah for my son and I wanted to invite THE WHOLE WORLD!! I asked the caterer to make 6 billion portions but I was told that this would be quite impossible. But who cares about the food - the ikker is the SIMCHA!!

May I confide in you?



I can barely contain my excitement. So I share with all of you a bracha that you should have many beautiful children and that you should make many bar/bat mitzvahs.

Love and blessings!!!


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Doctor's Orders

A woman accompanied her husband to the doctor's office. Following her husband’s checkup, the doctor called the wife into his office to speak with her privately. He said, "Your husband is suffering from a very severe stress disorder. If you don't do the following, your husband will surely deteriorate and die."“Each morning," instructed the doctor, "fix him a healthy breakfast. Be pleasant at all times. For lunch make him a nutritious meal. For dinner prepare an especially nice meal for him. Have the dinner waiting for him on the table, hot, as he arrives home from work. Don't burden him with chores. Don't discuss your problems with him; it will only make his stress worse. No nagging is allowed. You must also compliment him at least five-six times a day, telling him how brilliant and talented he is. And most importantly, never disagree with him.” "If you can do this for the next 10 months to a year," the doctor said, "I think your husband will regain his health completely. On the way home, the husband asked his wife, "What did the doctor say?"

"He said you're going to die," she replied.

Sweetest friends - we probably won't kill those close to us with our behavior. But one thing is for sure - we can give them LIFE. Simcha is life. But sometimes it requires sacrifice.

We must be willing.

Love and blessings!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

A Vort From The Valley Of Death

Rabbi Yehuda Amital related the following story: When I was a young man during the holocaust in Aushwitz, one time we had a secret shaleshudos which, of course, had nothing more than zmiros. After we sang Mizmor Lidovid one of the Chassidim said the following explanation in the name of his Rebbe. "Gam ki alaich bigai tzalmoves lo ira" - "Even though I go in the valley of the shadow of death I will not fear", because who am I? But "RA ki atah imadi" - "It is evil that you are with me." You the Holy Divine Presence are also suffering. THAT is terrible!
[The simple meaning is - Even though I go in the valley of the shadow of death I will not fear evil because you are with me].

But, added the Chossid, since You are with me I am sure that I will be redeemed because You will surely not allow you Shechinah to remain in darkness.

Today, added Rav Amital, after the Six Day War and our return to Yerushalayim we know that from all evil, good emerges.


Tzvi Moshe On Revealing Your True Self

There is a fascinating Gemara in Masseches Shabbos 147b. The Gemara explains that there was this type of wine that superior to all wines. It was the tastiest. It was the most potent and it was the most addictive, and it was only available in the north. R’ Elazar the son of Arach decided to go up north to try it out. He drank it and forgot all of his learning but returned to the Beis HaMidrash. When he got there he started reading Psukim with his new (drunken) perspective of Torah. The Gemara records one Passuk that he approached. “HaChodesh HaZaeh Lacehm.” Our Passuk! This month shall be for you. How did he read it? He changed a few letters around. (The Daled became a Resh, the Zayin became a Yud and the Chuf became a Beis.) He read the Passuk to say “Cheresh Haya Libam: There hearts were deaf.

This does seem like a far out understanding, but we can systematically break it down. We need to analyze what is a ‘deaf’ and what is ‘heart.’ If we understand the interplay then we will understand what “There hearts were deaf” mean. If we really pick it apart maybe we can come away with a really beautiful, new understanding. I’m excited and you should be too.

What does it mean to be deaf? If I’m deaf it means that I’m cut off from sound (Chas V’Shalom). The deaf person is cut off from the voice of other people. Okay. Then what is a voice? A voice is thought that starts inside your head and air starting inside your lungs. The beginnings of voice are totally internal. Speaking is a revelation of this previously covered up potential. Thus deaf really means that the deaf person is cut off from the expression of internals; he is cut off from the things giving off sound to him. He is not privy to the revelation of the inner forces of the projector. Next - what is a heart? A heart is also internal. A heart is the inner driving force of my whole body. My heart in the central station of all of my interior workings.

So what does it mean that their hearts were deaf? It means that their internals were cut off from the internals of others. When my insides are deaf it means that that my internals don’t relate to the internals of others. The deaf heart means that the essence of the receiver and perceiver (his heart…) is not responsive to the revelation of interiors of those around it (it’s deaf).

So why past tense? Perhaps the answer is as follows. Cheresh Haya Libam - their hearts were deaf - is when the Jews are in Galus. When the power of the Chiddush (in our way of understanding it) is taken away, the Jews perceive the world through Cheresh Haya Libam. In exile, the power to see the inner unrevealed potentials it taken away. The hearts are deaf. That’s the way it used to be. But when the transition is made into Geula then the switch that comes with it is moving into the perspective of HaChodesh - or should we say - HaChiddush HaZheh Lachem. I can look at the moon and see that even though it is the same moon, it brings with it a new month, it reveals new potentials and therefore it is totally, completely new.

Going into Galus means that I’m shut down to seeing inner potential. Things are the way they are and if they were to change it would have to come with a near-impossible overhaul. Geula means that I see the inner force contained within, and having the inner strength to draw that out and become totally new based on my discovery of what is really at heart.

Everyone wants to be bigger than themselves. Everyone wants to transform into a being of utmost maximization of potential. They are just afraid to grow the way that they should because they fear that they can’t. “I’d have to be someone totally different to accomplish all the those things. Someone better. Someone more powerful…” NO! There is beast-version, version 2.0, colossal version of you waiting inside of you just waiting to be revealed. Waiting to transform you, refresh, empower and most importantly RENEW your entire life. And if you can; just for a few moments, move out of the Galus mind-state and progress into Geula, into Chiddush then your life will begin being totally new.

Tzvi Moshe On The Meaning Of Renewal

The goal of this essay is to analyze one aspect of what it means to enter into redemption by means of the moon. It can be read in two parts:

The first Mitzva that we receive as a nation upon our redemption is Kiddush HaChodesh. This Mitzva consists of looking up at the moon, seeing that it is no longer visible, and marking that point as Rosh Chodesh, the first day of the new month. The Passuk says HaChodesh HaZeh Lachem. This month shall be for you. The Sages of our generations gave us a timeless interpretation of the Passuk. Instead of HaChodesh - This month, read the first word HaChiddush - This Renewal shall be for you.

The first Mitzvah of redemption, the commandment that thus encapsulates Geula is marking the new month, seeing a new moon, the power of renewal.

It would therefore make sense that the other side of the coin. The way that we go into exile is when this power of renewal is taken away from us. When the Goyim become empowered with Chiddush that means that they have the upper hand. How do we see this? At the very start of the Galus, when the exile beings the Passuk says VaYakam Melech Chadash Al Mitzrayim, A new king rose up over Egypt. The Egyptians took the power of newness, and with that they enslaved us.

So it looks like everything lines up cleanly. Exile beings with the nations take the power of Chiddush and we go into redemption when we take it back with HaChiddush HaZeh Lachem
But this is problematic on both fronts of our model. The “Melech Chadash” was not a new king at all. Chazal tell us that it was really the same king just that he revealed a more empowered side of himself, but really it was the same guy. And the moon as well is not new. It’s the same exact moon as it was just a day before when we could see it. So how does the moon become the axiomatic example of new, if it’s never really new?

Comes the Sfas Emes and redefines ‘new.’ New doesn’t mean something that has never been before. New means revealing something that was always there, just that it was covered up until now. This is the Melech Chadash, it was the same guy. But he revealed a new aspect of himself, a new facet that was so powerful that he was a totally new person. This applies to the moon as well. Now that it has reappeared, it can bring in with it a new month, and with that a totally new identity.

Two examples to make the idea more clear: We know that Hashem told Moshe every piece of Torah while he was at Har Sinai. Everything. Every future conversation, every book, and every logical twist - everything. So then how can one ever come along and claim to have a Chiddush, an original thought in Torah? It’s not original, it was already said over to Moshe! The answer is that, while it is true that the idea was given to Moshe, you have uncovered it. And because you have revealed this previously covered facet of Torah, it is your Chiddush.

A second example: An archeologist who uncovers a massive dinosaur attributes the find to himself and his team. When the skeleton arrives at the museum it has the archeologist’s name on the plaque outside the case. It is his. But this is not really true is it? After all, the fossil was really there the whole time. But now we see how to understand this. Based on our definition when the archeologist makes this discovery he revealed something that had been previously stored away in the recesses of the earth. Thereby, by all counts, his find is totally new.

Let’s take this a small step deeper. The Passuk in Koheles says Ein Chadash Tachas HaShemesh. There is nothing new under the sun. Thus when do we deem the moon ‘new’? When in the sky it is no longer visible. When the light of the sun no longer influences the moon it can now be considered ‘new’ again. What is the deeper meaning of this? The light of the sun is the apparent reality. Everything that the sun shines on is the definition of the world that I live in. Only when something escapes that influence of the physical reality – the expectations of the world around it can it become empowered to refresh itself and become new.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Mevakesh Lev And The Chimpanzee

Since I told a dating story in a previous post I will tell another. I will leave it up to you to determine if it actually happened or not and if I married the girl.

So we are strolling in the Jerusalem Zoo and we stop to look at the chimpanzees. I say to the girl "You see the chimpanzee over there?" "Yes" she replies. "Do you see me?" "Yes." "Well that chimpanzee can learn a daf gemara [here I pause for effect] better than I can."

She looks at me with momentary disbelief and then starts to giggle. THAT one she has never heard before.

End of story.

But when I ponder what I said [if I actually said it] there is a lot of truth to it. There is only ONE thing that makes me more intelligent than a chimpanzee [if you think I am:)]. G-d. Hashem granted ME intelligence and didn't grant it to a chimpanzee. But if He wanted a chimp could be Einstein compared to me. "Atah chonen liADAM Daas". To a person and not an animal. But You could have decided otherwise. [Something to thing about next shmoneh esrei.]

This notion humbles me. I am 000000000000000000000000000000 [MANY zeros] and EVERYTHING I have is a gift from Above.

So thank you Hashem. You are good to me. I will try to be good back to You.

When The Sechel Goes Off Duty

Recently I quoted Emerson who said "It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them."

I was reminded of a story that happened with me. Sixteen years ago Chol Hamoed Pesach I went out with my [future] wife for the first time. I was and am a socially awkward person. Shy and introverted as well. :). Anyway [and this part is true] I said something on the date that was one of the DUMBEST things to say to a girl. [Sorry sweetest friends - I can't tell you what. Why humiliate myself.] If today a girl would tell me that a boy said to her on a date what I had said I would probably advise her to never go out with him again or at least to be very wary. SO DUMB!!

Well, she gave me a chance - and lo and behold she agreed to marry me as well. She doesn't regret it [to the best of my knowledge].

And since then - I have said countless other dumb things!!

Moral: Give people a chance. We are all only human.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

One For The Friend

A Jew goes to the bar EVERY night and he orders a 2 Jack Daniels [Hey, Ehrman! How do you know what a "Jack Daniels" is? Easy! He was a chavrusa of mine in Yeshiva. Then he went into business and was very successful. R' Yankev I used to call him.]

Every night for years, 2 drinks.

One night the bartender asks him why he always orders specifically 2? He explained that he was in the war in Vietnam and he had a very close friend who was killed by the enemy. So he drinks one for himself and one for his friend.

Years pass and he continued with this custom. One night he comes to the bar and orders only one Jack Daniels. "Voos epes" asked the bartender. "Why only one?"

"I quit drinking", was the reply.

The moral: When you really love someone you identify with him. The Yid had quit drinking but his friend HADN'T so he still had one for his friend.

We should all be zoche to feel our friends pains and joys.


Fight Back!!

Recently something happened that caused a slight spiritual descent in my life. I decided to take REVENGE! I changed two things I do and - lo and behold - those changes have improved the quality of my spiritual life! :)

So I learned a lesson I wanted to share. If the Forces Of Evil win a small battle, send some spiritual artillery their way and you will ultimately emerge victorious.

Here is the weekly shiur for ladies if you couldn't make it [approximately 3 BILLION [!!] ladies didn't. Another 3 billion guys didn't either. Myself excluded. Am I weird?].

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Chazal say that the Jews were told in Egypt "Take the Korban Pesach and get rid of your idols". So now we, too, can do the same this Pesach.

What is the Avoda Zara of our day and age? Money and education. And people think education is so important is only because it is a means to earning money.

So it comes down to money. People LIVE for money. It is MUCH more important than G-d. They might not admit it but they live their lives that way. I have witnessed people sacrificing G-d for money on countless occasions.

Sweetest friends!!! I know a few VERY wealthy people who miraculously don't seem to care about money. Every time I talk to them all they seem interested in is the Nesivos Shalom or the Tanya or doing chesed.

I LOVE people like that. They are true iconoclasts.


Monday, March 15, 2010

What Is Tefilla?

Li'ilui Nishmas Esther Bas Shmuel my sweet great-grandmother.

Something I heard.

Why is our tefilla so weak? [I will speak for myself. Why is MY tefilla so weak?]

Because we make back up plans. "G-d, please give me x,y and z but if you don't - I will figure out a way to manage".


That is not tefilla. Tefilla is "G-d, PLEASE!! I need you and you can do it for me." No foreign thoughts. No: "We will figure out a way to manage even if you don't come through for me".

Tefilla is realizing that you can't live without Hashem's mercy. AFTERWARDS, if it doesn't work out as you planned [she dumped you, you were turned down for the job, the doctor said you need that medicine], then you realize that this is absolutely the BEST thing for you. But when you are davening - you know that Hashem can and absolutely wants to help you because he loves you.

I daven for moshiach and my thoughts must be "Ribbono Shel Olam - We NEED moshiach!!! Please, redeem us as quickly as possible. We can't take this bitter galus anymore".

Tefilla, says the Maharal, is knowing that you are "chaser" [not chasing as in "chase that car", but with a hard chof]. You have NOTHING without G-d, no eyes, ears mouth, lungs, liver, blood, brain, LIFE.

OYYYYY - Sweetest friends. Already 1500 years ago the gemara said that people don't daven properly. Today - so maaaaaaany cellphones going off, foreign thoughts, talking, rushing ["Nu nu - start chazaras hashatz already" meaning "Let's get out of shul already. It's such a pain"] and other distractions.

Let's make the tikkun.


Happy And Sad

"My grandmother started walking five miles a day when she was sixty. She's ninety-seven now, and we don't know where on earth she is."

"My grandmother was a Jewish juggler: she used to worry about six things at once."

"We've accumulated a lot of things over the years and many things from our grandmother. Hopefully it'll be all right. I really don't want to cry, but I can't help it."

Sweetest friends! Today is Rosh Chodesh Nissan, traditionally a VERY happy day [see Shabbos 87]. Among other things it was the day the Mishkan was built.

But for me it will always be a bittersweet day. On this day 21 years ago my beloved Great-Grandmother passed away. So please learn a mishna or say a perek tehillim for Ester Bas Shmuel. Here is a shiur on a sugya in Maseches Sanhedrin given lilui nishmasa.

May we have tchiyas hamaysim VERY SOON and see all of the tzadikim and tzidkaniyos once again!!:)

The Blessing Of A Good Friend

"It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them."

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sweetest friends! Isn't great to have a friend who accepts and even embraces you with all of your flaws?! You can be that friend to others!!!

A point to ponder:)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

This Thursday at 8:15 there is a concert with R' Eitan Katz at the Rambam H.S. 25 Frost Lane, Lawrence NY which is in order to raise money for Bentzy Gottleib, the sick little boy for whom we have tried to raise money.

R' Eitan is AWESOME [I wanted him to play at my son's Bar-Mitzvah but alas he will be in America] and the cause is more than worthy, so even if you can't make it - spread the word.

We have been talking about Talmid-Rebbe relationships recently. Here is a shiur on the topic from a talmid of Rov Soloveitchik's after the latters passing. My FAVORITE part is at about the 40 minute mark.

Here is a recent shiur on mentioning Yetzias Mitzraim at night that has a lot of pepper ["pilpul"] and a little bit of soul as well. This was prepared late this past Friday with a chaburah of VERY important bochrim - Moshe Gavriel ben Yehudis, Tzvi Moshe ben Eitan Avraham Halevi and Pinchos Something Ben Somebody Somebody.

Letting Him In

The famous story is told that the Chasidim were sitting with the Holy Angel Of G-d Rav Menachem Mendel Morgenstern known as "The Kotzker" and he asked them where Hashem is found. "EVERYWHERE!!" was the answer.

"No," said the Rebbe, "only where you let him in."

My sweet friend and Rebbe Rav Moshe Tzvi Weinberg Shlita is trying to bring Hashem to America. You can attend his many shiurim in the New York/ New Jersey area and listen to them on line. It will ONLY inspire you to greater heights in Avodas Hashem.

Love and Blessings!

[This post was sponsored by the Rav Moshe Tzvi fan club of which I am founder.:)]

Honesty And Its Adversary

"Each man takes care that his neighbor shall not cheat him. But a day comes when he begins to care that he does not cheat his neighbor. Then all goes well -- he has changed his market-cart into a chariot of the sun."

Ralph Waldo Emerson

"I would prefer even to fail with honor than win by cheating."


I went to a Yeshiva High School. Cheating was rampant. I even remember one test where the teacher left and had an eleventh grader serve as proctor. He then proceeded to pass around an already completed test to help the students. EVERYBODY with a working conscience agrees that it is morally wrong to cheat, yet it is still commonplace, even amongst those who should really know better. So here are a few points:

1] It is halachically forbidden! There is literature on the topic [Rav Moshe Feinstein in the Igros Moshe Choshen Mishpat 2/30 and others].

2] If one cheats on tests he will eventually cheat in business, on his wife and on Hashem. It corrupts the soul.

3] If one studies he might learn something, if he cheats - he won't. Knowledge is a good thing!

4] It is a mammoth chillul Hashem when caught and eventually people get caught. And then the media gets wind of it. OUCH!

5] Add you own.....

Thanks to my friend C.A.F. who after seeing this contemptible phenomenom asked me to write about it. I gladly obliged. It must be uprooted from our midst.


Saturday, March 13, 2010

False Accusations


The Gemara at the beginning of the fifth perek of brachos says something very interesting. If someone falsely suspects his friend of wrongdoing, he must do two things to make amends for this evil. 1] He must ask the person for forgiveness and appease him. 2] He must give the person a bracha. [This is derived from Eli who falsely suspected Chana of wrongdoing and took these two steps.]

I understand the need to appease the person but why the bracha??

Explains Rav Kook Ztz"l in Ayn Ayah [PIL'EI PLA'OS!]: Two types of harm are caused when one falsely suspects his friend of wrongdoing. 1] The person is insulted. It is insulting when someone thinks badly of you. 2] It affects the avodas Hashem of the accused. People tend to live up to people's expectations of them. If people think highly of you, it is likely that you will try to fulfill their expectations. It is a boost to your self esteem! [Mr. Mevakesh adds - So tell people if you think highly of them!!! But leave the Ba'al Hamevakesh out of it. He has been receiving far too many accolades recently. It is casuing him nausea. Tell your wife/husband/mother/father/friend/sibling etc.] But if people think badly of you it will make you feel negatively about yourself and proportionally there will be a descent in your avodas Hashem. "I am rotten", you will feel about yourself [CHAS VI'SHALOM!!!] - even though you know that the accusation is rooted in misinformation. This will result in actions that reflect your low feeling about yourself.

AHHHH! So now we understand why both appeasement and a bracha are necessary. Appeasement because of the insult and the aspersions cast on the character of the accused. A bracha that if fulfilled will make up for the loss of passion and excitement in his avodas Hashem that occurred as a result of the accusation. He felt badly about himself and didn't serve Hashem as well as he could have and this must be compensated for with a bracha.

Remember sweetest friends - It is wrong to judge somebody unless first speaking to the person. All too often people jump to rash conclusions and spread the word resulting in character assasination. This is NOT a praiseworthy Jewish value. Even after speaking to the person one should keep in mind that before judging objectively one must KNOW the other person. It is rare that we truly know another human being. And if you ever want to know the unadulterated truth about an individual - ask the person's spouse, he/she truly knows. We outsiders don't.

Hevei dan es KOL ha'odom likaf zchus [Pirkei Avos] - Judge the TOTALITY of the person. If you do - very often the judgement will be favorable.


PS - Recently the spirit came over me and bs"d I have given a series of shiurim on Geirus [maybe due to my desire to convert from being a regular not so wonderful Yid - to the REAL THING]. The shiurim can be found on by searching my name with the word "geirut".

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Thursday Night's Shiur

This weeks offering which relates to some of what we have been discussing in Mevakesh


PS - I thank EVERYBODY who both verbally and "emailly" responded to some of the previous posts, especially D.G.

Tzvi Moshe Helps Us Build The Mishkan In Our Hearts

In this week’s Parsha, we take all the planning of the Mishkan and bring it into action. The donations are given, the artisans are chosen and the construction gets underway. Let’s try to focus on the way the Jews donated to the cause and see what we can take from their behavior as a lesson in how we invest in our relationship with HaKadosh Baruch Hu.

In the opening Psukim, donations begin to flood in. There is a common theme – or as we will soon discover – almost an obsession with one concept. Let’s look at a short series of Psukim and see what emerges. In 35:5 Hashem says that Kol Nidiv Libo - all who have giving hearts should give generously to the cause. In 35:21 we see that every person Asher Nisa’o Libo, whose heart inspired them, came and donated. Then again the Torah describes in 35:22 that the men and women, Kol Nidiv Lev - everyone with generous hearts came and gave. In 35:26 the Torah singles out the women Asher Nasa Liban, who had inspired hearts came and gave. Lastly, in 35:29 the Perek comes to a close by repeating once more that every man and woman Asher Nadav Libam, whose hearts were open, generously donated to the construction of the Mishkan.
Things are becoming very clear that when the Jews rushed forward to donate the Psukim repeat again and again, with stark emphasis that the Jews gave with their hearts.

Let’s analyze an anomaly in the first Passuk we mentioned above. In 35:5 Hashem commands the Jews, “Kichu Me’Itchem Terumah LaHashem.” The Passuk is classically translated as ‘Take for yourselves a donation for Hashem.’ But this is problematic in that is dodges the literal meaning of the word Me’Itchem. The word Me’Itchem, which we translated as ‘for yourselves’ really means ‘from yourselves’! Why does the Passuk say that the donation comes from the donator on the personal level – Take from yourselves – there is no mention of the physical property, rather only donations from the person. Why is this?

Based on what we are saying the answer should be obvious. We have demonstrated that the donations were coming from the heart – they really meant it. Thus when the Jews contributed to the physical donation ‘things’ - no matter what the things were, the physical item was subordinate to the fact the donation came from the gut. Yes, they were donating physical property, but they did it in a way that reflected a real, deep, internal relationship with what they were giving to. They weren’t merely giving ‘things’ - they were giving of themselves - Me’Itchem.

Maybe we can address another linguistic point of interest in the Passuk. When collecting taxes for the government, is it called taking taxes? No. It’s an act of giving. Donating from one’s resources to a common cause is surely not an act of taking, but rather an act of giving. If this is the case, why does the Passuk say K’chu Me’Itchem Terumah La’Hashem, Take from yourselves a donation for Hashem? Surely the Passuk should read, T’nu Me’Itchem, Give from yourselves a donation. Why does the Passuk say ‘Take’?

In a book called The Road Less Traveled, the author describes relationship building as a self-expanding experience. Why? At birth, an infant feels at one with the universe. There is no difference between it and its mother. It feels hungry and mommy naturally shows up. It doesn’t have enough of a self-identity to realize that when it moves its arm, the whole universe is not moving its arm along with it; in the brain of an infant, it and the world are one entity. As the brain begins to develop, the baby finds limits in itself. Mommy does not always show up when there's a problem. It can’t simply will things to be. This begins the process of coming into its own identity, that there are separations between it and everything else that is ‘out there.’ It is thereby separated from the universe and begins to exist alone.

Relationships are what change that. When I invest myself into another person, when I invest the spiritual me - my time, my effort, and my worry into another being, consequently my being extends into theirs. I have taken from me and put into another. Thus it is relationships that promote growth. I come to exist on a greater plane than just the corporeal. I expand past my physical, bodily limitations. Due to what I give to others, I now exist in ‘them.’

This being said, it would be logical to extend this idea by suggesting that if investment of me into another is an advancement of my entity, then it would be reasonable to say that the biggest evolution of ‘me’, meaning the greatest self-expanding experience I can have is when I invest in the greatest, most universal thing.

So when I give of myself to Hashem, who is above space, who is the source of all power, the Creator of all things, I am opening myself up toward the Infinite. Giving of myself to build a relationship with Hashem is the single healthiest thing I can do. I gain on the deal way more that Hashem does. Giving of myself to HaKadosh Baruch Hu is really an act of taking because of how much I get out of it.

Now we can understand the Passuk with a whole new insight. Hashem is giving instructions for the generations on how to build a relationship, how to build a Mishkan within ourselves. K’chu Me’Itchem Terumah La’Hashem, Kol Nidiv Libo Yivi'eha Eis Trumas Hashem.
‘Take from yourselves’: This is an act of taking – it’s in your best interest; invest your gut, really give. ‘A contribution for Hashem’: Take your ‘self’ and open it up toward the infinite.
‘Every person whose heart drives him to give should bring to God.’: Are you among those who want to take their essence and become something bigger than themselves? Then take your drives, your hopes, fears… take your heart, and give it to Hashem.

The building of the Mishkan is a lesson in relationship-building with the divine. The Mishkan represents the concretization of the Jew’s relationship with HaKadosh Baruch Hu. What they did is a blueprint for what we have to do. In the construction of our personal Mishkan, ie how we forge our relationship with Hashem, we see that the Torah shows us that in order to build a Mishkan, the process needs to start with heart. You need to really mean it. And from there the ability to grow is infinite.

What does the Mishkan represent? Unlike the Beis HaMikdash, the Mishkan travels. Throughout all of the troubles of the desert, the Mishkan remains. In this way, the Mishkan represents my carrying my relationship with HaKadosh Baruch Hu everywhere I go, and no matter what situation I'm in.

With this let’s take a look at the famous Jewish line, “Bilvavi Mishkan Evneh” In my heart I will build a Mishkan for Hashem. The word Bilvavi means ‘In my heart.’ But the Eved Sameach explains that the word Bilvavi can also be translated as With my heart. “Bilvavi Mishkan Evneh” means that 'With my heart I will build a sanctuary for Hashem.' My heart is the tool that I will use to build a Mishkan! It is only when I invest my deepest essence in my relationship with Hashem that I build a Mishkan, that I attain the solidification of a real sanctuary of holiness that becomes the way I perceive my entire life.

B’Ezras Hashem we should be Zoche to this. That through a real investment of self we can attain clear, elevating relationships with Hashem. To really breath that relationship. And to know that through this I attach myself to something infinitely bigger than myself. This is the whole goal of our lives. If we can do this there is no doubt that we will live lives of meaning, lives of fulfillment, moving closer to the Creator and ultimately the redemption!

Rebbe Continued

Sweetest friends! With regard to the last post, I received a communication from one of my Rabbeim who read it and said that I set the bar too high. Who has ALL of those qualities - and some I didn't even list?! Very few!! So the answer is to find someone who has a many as possible [much like we have a list of qualities we look for in a spouse and realize that he/she will not have all of them, so we try to find someone with as many as possible].

Also, one can have numerous Rabbeim. One for Halachic questions, one for advice, one for hashkafic questions etc. Also, some are not so accessible so the wider base we have, the more likely we are to find an answer to our spiritual dilemmas.

Another point. Having a Rebbe doesn't absolve a person of the obligation to think for himself. One doesn't ask the Rebbe EVERYTHING or even most things, so we still much use the intellect that Hashem gave us on a daily, minute to minute basis. Also, the Rebbe can't daven instead of us, or learn the Tosphos on our behalf etc. Furthermore, we must use our sechel in choosing the right Rebbe in the first place. This is not an easy choice.

I also received an email from somebody who claimed that I am his Rebbe. This was clearly a case of mistaken identity [TWICE IN ONE MONTH!]. But I do thank him for his VERY kind heartwarming words. Y.D.B.D. Hakohen - I love you too!! HAMEVARECH ES AMO YISRAEL - BI-A-H-A-V-A!!!!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


He LOVES you, sometimes more than you love yourself.

He guides you through the perplexities of life.

He knows your name and your mother's name so that he can daven for you.

He loses sleep over you, thinking about your problems or talking to you.

Your joy is his joy, your sadness is his sadness.

He thinks ONLY about your own good and tries to erase his own personal self interest.

He has a very small ego and is constantly diminishing it.

He knows his strengths and believes he can help and guide.

He is honest about his faults and doesn't try to put on a show in order to impress others.

He is disinterested in money and realizes its dangers and pitfalls. He also appreciates that in order to live we need some of it.

His physical needs are minimal but understands that yours may be greater and is sensitive to that.

He is HIGHLY uncritical and accepts you for who you are.

He tries to mold you into the person YOU need to become and doesn't try to make you into a carbon-copy of himself.

He is also able to correct your faults - in a loving caring and sensitive manner. He will "call you out" on things because he knows that this is in your best interests.

He will primarily point out your strong points and positive qualities because he realizes that your knowledge of those aspects are the building blocks to greatness.

He is deeply steeped in Torah and Yiras Shomayim and is constantly growing.

He teaches Torah in a clear and effective manner and is a gifted orater. He also knows how to close his mouth and listen to others with rapt attention.

He loves you - very much. Like his own child.

And again - he loves you. And you feel it. [I am aware of the fact that I have mentioned this three times already.]


ANSWER: YOUR REBBE [note: you may not have found him yet].

He could be the Rov of your shul, a Maggid shiur in Yeshiva, a high school Rebbe or even a doctor or businessman. But he must meet the aforementioned requirements.

If you found one - fortunate are you in this world and in the next. If you have not yet found one - keep looking because they exist. And in their merit the WORLD exists.

The need for a Rebbe crosses gender lines. Women need to get close to Hashem, too. It is not a time bound commandment from which woman are exempt. The difference between men and women is that between the Rebbe and the talmidah there must be lines - physical, emotional and verbal - that may not be crossed. Otherwise, Chas Vi'shalom, tragedy strikes. With men there are also lines that may not be crossed but the distance need not be as great.

In order for one to have a Rebbe he/she must be a talmid/a. This also has requirements [maybe for another post]. It takes two to tango. Some people are qualified and looking to lead but can't find talmidim. Some people are looking for guidance and Light but can't find a Rebbe who suits their needs. One needs to daven a lot to find the right Rebbe for his/her shoresh neshama [a kabbalastic term that I don't have the time to explain at 4:20am with a lot of work to do:)].

Sweetest friends - if you don't have a Rebbe, find one!!

Parents also play a very important role in ones development but there are just some things that a Rebbe can accomplish that a parent cannot.

Love and blessings!

PS - I really want to close the post here and let people ponder what I wrote. But I fear that people will think I am view myself as one of those prized Rebbeim. So I will be clear that I am not. I am called "Rebbe" or "Rav" or "Rabbi" by some but I assure you that when I give a shiur almost nobody comes, so it is by name only that I am called "Rebbe". Also, I don't have many of the requirements I deem necessary - particularly the "deeply steeped in Torah and Yiras Shomayim and is constantly growing" one - in addition to numerous others. But I do aspire to be one at some time in the future and hope I can find solid talmidim/talmiddos. Together we will work to change the world! But in the meantime - I have loads of work to do on myself and hope and pray that my own kesher with a tzaddik will elevate me in order to help elevate others.

Normally, I don't ask for feedback, I am just happy that you seven people [2 yu guys, 3 stern girls, a cousin from Queens and, acharona acharona chaviva, my mother] read the blog but this time I would appreciate hearing from people who have had positive experiences with Rabbeim. It would enrich me and others.

How To Build The Mishkan

How the Mishkan was built and the ramifications for our life in a shiur on this weeks parsha for the ladies, here.

If you think heart is a common theme for me - it is!! The goal is the heart. "Rachmana leeba ba'ee" - Hashem desires the heart. :):)

Love and Blessings!!

Mevakesh Goes "Long Away" To L.A.

Shalom Sweetest Friends!! You probably were not in LA on Motzaei Shabbos and could not attend this high and holy melave malke - so open your heart, sit back and enjoy the niggunim and Torah!!!:)

Love and Blessings!!

A Shkoyach GADOL to my Rebbe and friend R' Shimon Dovid Klein Shlita for sending me the video!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

A Success Story

A great story I heard from my beloved friend Rav Zvi Shiloni that he learned in the course of his research of the experiences of children of holocaust survivors.

A young man who later went on to win a Nobel Prize in something like nuclear biology was much more interested in athletics than academics as a child. But his parents were survivors and they wanted their child to get ahead in life. So they sent him to the famous Stuyvesant High School in New York in the hope that he would excel in his studies. He probably did but he was also the starting center for the basketball team.

One time his team was playing against Power Memorial High who had a towering, black 7 foot center. The first time the Jewish boy got the ball, the opposing center put his LARGE hand in the boys face and snarled "What are you going to do now, EINSTEIN?"

Well, that night he didn't do much. He scored 2 points. Power Memorial's center scored 54 points and went on to a storied career at U.C.L.A and later with the L.A. Lakers. His name was Lew Alcindor and he later changed his name to Kareem Abdul Jabaar. Our friend who won the Nobel Prize really ended up being a little Einstein.

Moral: Always listen to what others say - even if their hand is in your face and their intentions are less than pure.:):)

Love and Blessings!!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Words From The Wise

Awe of Hashem:

“Awe is an intuition for the dignity of all things, a realization that things not only are what they are but also stand, however remotely, for something supreme. Awe is a sense for transcendence, for the reference everywhere to mystery beyond all things. It enables us to perceive in the world intimations of the divine. … to sense the ultimate in the common and the simple: to feel in the rush of the passing the stillness of the eternal. What we cannot comprehend by analysis, we become aware of in awe.”

Hashem as a logical supposition:

“God is not a hypothesis derived from logical assumptions, but an immediate insight, self-evident as light. He is not something to be sought in the darkness with the light of reason. He is the light."



"The focus of prayer is not the self…. It is the momentary disregard of our personal concerns, the absence of self-centered thoughts, which constitute the art of prayer…. Thus, in beseeching Him for bread, there is one instant, at least, in which our mind is directed neither to our hunger nor to food, but to His mercy. This instant is prayer. We start with a personal concern and live to feel the utmost.”


Live Eternity:

"The greatest problem is not how to continue but how to exalt our existence. The call for a life beyond the grave is presumptuous, if there is no cry for eternal life prior for our descending to the grave. Eternity is not perpetual future but perpetual presence. He has planted in us the seed of eternal life. The world to come is not ONLY a hereafter but also a herenow.”

The sins of man:

“Man is a messenger who forgot the message.”

“Man’s sin is in his failure to live what he is. Being the master of the earth, man forgets that he is the servant of God.”

OPEN YOUR HEARTS SWEETEST FRIENDS - THROW AWAY ALL IDOLS [tv, dvd, radio, today's paper, Sports Illustrated, your cellphone] AND LET THE WORDS PENETRATE THE CORE OF YOUR SOUL!!

Love and blessings:):)!!

The latest in Torah from my VERY good friend Ally Ehrman, here.

Tzvi Moshe With Golden Words On The Golden Calf

"I did it my way"

Ol' Blue Eyes

In this week’s Parsha, on the backdrop of the completion of the plans for the Mishkan, the giving of Shabbos Kodesh, and the giving of the Luchos Rishonos, the first tablets - the Cheit HaEigel, the sin of the Golden Calf, dramatically alters the scene as a central tragedy in the relationship between the Jewish people and Hashem. In a total misdirection of an internal drive to serve HaKadosh Baruch Hu, the Jews earn themselves a death sentence that is only removed at the last second. After the nation is forgiven, the Parshios continue with the actual construction of the Mishkan based on the plans that we read about before. As we will see, the Eigel HaZahav, the Golden Calf, is built into the very fabric of the Mishkan, and we will also discover what this means for our Avodas Hashem.

Just to list a few important facts: The Machatzis HaShekel, the sum of money given by every person in the camp, is defined in the Passuk as a “ransom for your lives.” How is this so? The Midrash Tanchuma says that the Machatzis HaShekel serves as money-in-the-bank, as protection for the sin of the Eigel HaZahav. But the sin happened after the donation! Why did Hashem give us the protective shield before we sinned? Clearly, Hashem was constructing a system around the impending Cheit HaEigel.

Furthermore: When we inaugurated the Kohanim in last week’s Parsha we did so with a young bull. Rashi explains there that this parallels the Eigel HaZahav as well. But our previous question remains – the sin did not happen yet! How can the parallel to the sin be created before the sin itself occurred?

And how did the Kohanim get the right to do the services in the Mishkan in the first place? We know that they replaced the first-borns who were originally supposed to be the priests. How did the first-borns lose the position? Their rights to Avodah in the Mishkan was taken away due to the Cheit HaEigel, and the Leviim and Kohanim picked up the mantle in their stead. But this is odd in that the Torah has been discussing Kohanim, out of the tribe of Levi, as the service-bearers of the Mishkan for as long as the plans for the Mishkan itself has been discussed. How did they pick up the ball that the first-borns dropped before they even dropped the ball?

Clearly Hashem was pulling strings around the upcoming Cheit HaEigel for the entirety of the planning of the Mishkan, and thus some suggest that the Eigel is an intrinsic lesson in how service should not be performed. The Mishkan may even be the necessary replacement for the Eigel HaZahav.

Let’s explain where the Jews went wrong.

The Midrash in Shemos Rabbah says that when HaKadosh Baruch Hu says Anochi in the first commandment, He rips open the seven heavens and comes charging down to earth in His Merkavah - His Ethereal Chariot. The Midrash continues saying that as this happens the Jews stare intently at the Merkavah. Among the few pieces of imagery on Hashem’s Chariot, one is an icon of… an Eigel. This is of central importance, as we will explain now.

The Nesivos Shalom puts things in perspective. The generation in the desert was the greatest generation in Jewish history. They were so infused with a desire to serve God that it penetrated every aspect of their thoughts and drives. But the greater the person is, the more his Yetzer HaRa is empowered. The Jews were dependent on Moshe to receive the will of God. When they were overwhelmed by the contact with the Divine, the Jews sent Moshe up the mountain. He was the source of their connection, and the second they thought he was gone – they panicked.

They were on such a high level that when the Yetzer HaRa to perform idolatry attacked, it came with such an overwhelming power, in combination with the panic, that they lost all common sense. The experiences of leaving Egypt and of speaking to God directly were little more than vague, distant memories, and not nearly enough to prevent them from sin.

So what did they do? They returned to basics. They relied on their instincts. They saw a problem, and without consulting God on the subject, they made a bad call. They said to themselves, “Remember when Hashem came down? There was a calf on that Chariot right? Let’s make that! That’ll connect us back to Hashem!” It mammash came from the best place. They had such good intentions. But at the end of the day, that’s not what matters.

The Rambam explains that the reason that Hashem commanded us to bring Korbanos, offerings, was to fill the basic human desire to connect to and serve something greater, and to steer that desire clear away from Avodah Zarah. We as Jews have the inborn desire to do an Avodah, we enjoy religion, it’s a beautiful thing. It’s only that things become dangerous when they become subjective.

Hashem makes a very clear statement with all of the allusions to the Eigel. Hashem is saying, “What you guys did was a display of a very powerful, important, beautiful, yet severely misdirected desire.” That the desire to serve is central, but the fact that He directs those references into a strict framework is coming to show us that our relationship with G-d is not up to us to define. Let’s go a step deeper.

When HaKadosh Baruch Hu designates the artisans who will carry out the craftsmanship of the Mishkan, He says that “U’v’Lev Kol Chacham-Lev Nasati Chochmah,” ‘I endowed the hearts of all the wise-hearted with wisdom.’ Hold on - if the hearts that Hashem is endowing are wise hearts, then why is He endowing those very same hearts with wisdom? They already have it!
This Passuk is reminiscent of a Gemara in Brachos 55a which says that Hashem only gives wisdom to those who are wise. We encounter the same problem. If they are wise, why is HaKadosh Baruch Hu giving them wisdom?

The Imrei Emes gives a beautiful answer, and with it we will understand our issue with greater insight. He says that the answer is contained in the Passuk from Tehilim 111:10 that we start off our day with. “Reishis Chochmah Yiras Hashem” ‘The start of all wisdom is fear of Heaven.’ He goes on to explain that based on this we can say that the wisdom that is the key to all other wisdoms is Yiras Shamayim.

This is what the Passuk means when it says “U’v’Lev Kol Chacham-Lev Nasati Chochmah,” ‘I endowed the hearts of all the wise-hearted with wisdom.’ Hashem instills the wisdom of craftsmanship, in essence, the wisdom of how to carry out His beautiful Ratzon, how to connect to Him, only within those who approach the job with Yiras Hashem, only to those who constantly ask “What does Hashem (not me) want my Avodas Hashem to be?” Not those who are concerned with what their gut says, not those who carry out Judaism based on what feels good – no. Only to those who approach Binyan HaMishkan, those who seek to transform their whole life through the lens of “Exactly what does Hashem want from me now?”

With this statement of “U’v’Lev Kol Chacham-Lev Nasati Chochmah,” Hashem is giving us the response to the Cheit HaEigel. Serving Hashem is a wonderful experience, but it’s a recipe for an empty and dangerous experience if it is devoid of really asking how He wants it done.

Do we know what the essence of a person is? Do we know the essence of a pig? Do we know what the cosmic interplay between them is and their damaging spiritual effect when a Jew consumes a pig? No. But Hashem does, and if we want to connect to Him we have to do it His way. We need to realize that there is no intrinsic value to ‘feeling close’ or having a ‘good heart’ unless it’s being done the way Hashem says. If not? It’s a recipe for living a life of the Cheit HaEigel and not a life of the Mishkan.

B’Ezras Hashem we should be Zoche to see this in our own lives; to come in contact with real Ratzon Hashem, and not to get caught up in gut feelings that can all too often pull us astray. If we can do this there is no doubt that we will live lives of meaning and fulfillment, moving closer to the Creator and ultimately the redemption!

In One Thought

"A religious man is a person who holds God and man in one thought at one time, at all times, who suffers harm done to others, whose greatest passion is compassion, whose greatest strength is love and defiance of despair.”

Moshe received two tablets - one with laws of man and G-d, the other governing interpersonal relationships. The complete Jew is equally careful about both. Rav Hutner pointed out that the Chofetz Chaim wrote two classic works - one the Mishna Brura, about laws between man and G-d, the other Shmiras Haloshon about laws between man and man.

May we all excel in both areas!:)

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Previous Post Continued

Another reason that you shouldn't worry what others think of you - they aren't thinking of you!! You think about yourself all day long [what am I going to eat for lunch, I haven't davened mincha yet, I have to call mom, is there traffic on the GW, etc. etc.] and so too others think about themselves. They are much too busy to give you much thought. Maybe if you marry his daughter he will think about you a little more but still it will be minimal.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Public Opinion

"People who want the most approval get the least and people who need approval the least get the most."

Don't look for approval from others, for a number of reasons.

1] They probably don't really care very much about you, certainly not as much as you care about yourself. So why worry about the opinion of people to whom you don't matter that much. People are far more concerned about themselves then they are about you.

2] No matter what, there are always going to be people for whom your decisions are unpopular. So you can't please everyone anyway, so why try?!

3] People only see you through the prism of their own existence, but chances are they don't really understand you. So why care about what someone thinks if they don't "get" you?! Their whole perspective is skewed.

4] You are going to be with Hashem for the rest of eternity so you don't have to worry what others think - only Him.

5] You want to be happy. You will be happy if you fulfill your own deeper needs. Trying to please others will only throw you off your true destiny.

6] Ultimately, people will respect you for doing what you think is right and for not trying to play for public approval. [See opening quote]

OF COURSE, we must add that the whole Torah was given to bring peace and pleasantness to the world [see Rambam at the end of Hilchos Chanukah] so what I wrote does not mean that one should not be sensitive to the needs of others. We are here to help make others happy. But when you have a decision to make in life, remember, the ultimate factor in one's decision should be one thing. What is RIGHT! Not what people will say.

Love, Blessings and a gut voch to all!!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

A Challenge

"Death is a challenge. It tells us not to waste time... It tells us to tell each other right now that we love each other. "

Imagine today was your last day on earth [G-d forbid!]. What would you do? I know what you wouldn't do - waste time! Well, our Holy Rabbis tell us to live every day as if it were our last. First of all, you never know. Secondly - imagine how much more we would accomplish and how little time we would have for nonsense.

Love and Blessings!


"We need to give each other the space to grow, to be ourselves, to exercise our diversity. We need to give each other space so that we may both give and receive such beautiful things as ideas, openness, dignity, joy, healing, and inclusion."

"The easiest thing to be in the world is you. The most difficult thing to be is what other people want you to be. Don't let them put you in that position. "

There is an interesting halacha I recently saw in the Rambam. If two people come before the court and testify about an event that they both say occurred and use the EXACT same words - we suspect that they are lying. It CAN'T be that two people would express themselves in an identical fashion. EVERYBODY is different. People might seem similar in certain ways but in fact every person is a world unto himself.

This is critical! It means that when dealing with someone else we must be very accepting and open to the person's "otherness". NOBODY is going to be exactly like me and if I accept this at the outset it will be easier for me to accept someone else. Then my heart will open and I will begin to appreciate the other peoples uniqueness. It is so important for us to let other people be themselves. That is who they are and how G-d made them - for a reason.

I often watch people's individuality being quashed. It is sad. The world loses out on that person and the person loses out on himself.

B'emet sad! So parents, siblings, friends, children - encourage others to be themselves and everyone will benefit!

Love and Blessings!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A Shiur I Enjoyed

For the more lomdus minded, a recent shiur on eidus, lo bashomayim he and related topics, here.

Big Day!

This story happened some years ago. My wife was expecting a baby, but - not good news. She was lacking amniotic fluid which endangers the fetus. Hashem in his great kindness made amniotic fluid to enable the fetus to remain healthy but our fetus was short of this liquid. I was "bugging out" as the young people say. I went to the grocery store to get some - but they didn't have! I went to the local pharmacy - same story!! NOW WHAT? At the time I did not yet know the Rebbi Shlita so I didn't know anyone who could miraculously create some for me. I was in dire straits.

Then my wife had to be hospitalized. Oy vey. I wasn't ready for this. A very short time after her hospitalization I was staying in Har Nof in my in-laws building. At about 1:30 am my mother in- law comes into my room and wakes me "ALLAN [she calls me Allan], Nechi is giving birth. You have to go the hospital". OH NO! It's not time yet. The instructions say "9 months in-utero". So I jumped out of bed [I wish I would always jump out of bed like that] and called a cab. On the way to the hospital I was so nervous and asked Hashem to PLEASE give me a healthy baby.

SWEETEST FRIENDS - HE DID!! Shmuli [officially Shmuel Alexander] was born - delicious and cuddly. Small, but some spinach would take care of that.

Tomorrow morning at sunrise my "baby" is going to be putting on his tefillin at the Kotel for the very first time. When we put the tefillin straps around our finger we say "viairasteech li liolam..." - We are marrying Hashem and the straps are like the ring on the kallah's finger. So I want to take this opportunity to publicly thank Hashem for giving me the privilege of having a beautiful child who will be forever married to Him. He lives opposite the Kodesh Hakodashim, spends his days immersed in Toras Hashem, speaks the Holy Tongue and gives me boundless nachas [bli ayin hara].

May Hashem give all of my sweetest friends beautiful children who will light up the world and may I be included in the bracha and have more [I have been waiting over seven years since the last one and hope that all of my tefillos and yours will produce more - Elchanan ben Henna Miriam]. Hitler yemach shemo killed one and a half million and every one we have is another victory. Jewish children are pure, holy and the entire world exists in the merit of their Torah [as the gemara says]. KEYN YIRBOO!!!!

Love, Blessings and Mazel Tov to all!!!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

We Continue

The Gemara in Megilla says that the Jews didn't want Purim to be a day on which it is forbidden to do labor. The Gemara doesn't explain why. It would be great - a day off from work!

Explains Rav Hutner ztz"l that if labor would be forbidden we would have to say havdala at the end of the day. WE DON'T WANT TO MAKE A HAVDALA [separation] BETWEEN PURIM AND THE REST OF THE YEAR!! THE SIMCHA MUST CONTINUE!!!

My sweet friend Tzvi Moshe Kantor added that for this reason we say the pasuk from Megillas Esther - "layihudim hayisa orah visimcha visason vikar" [the Jews had light, happiness, joy and glory] every havdala on Saturday night: We are ending Shabbos but Purim continues!

Love and Blessings:):):)!

Monday, March 1, 2010

The key is not to prioritize what's on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.

Stephen Covey

I say this often but it is worth saying again. There is no such thing as "too busy". A Torah Jew never misses a tefillah - because it is important. A person never misses his or her wedding - because it is important. A person never misses a life-saving surgery - because it is too important. So "I am too busy" is merely another way of saying "It is just not important enough to me", or, to use the language of our opening quote, "Not enough of a priority". [This is a general statement. There are exceptions to this rule.]

This is important to remember in order to understand yourself and others. You tell me what a person's priorities are and I will tell you who that person is.

Love and Blessings:)!

What Every Jew Deserves

Ahhhh - Sweetest Friends!! I hope your Purim was as uplifting as mine. It was WOWWWW!!! And that was only thanks to all of the sweet Yidden who came to visit. I was dead drunk!! Not on alcohol - on Yidden! I was reminded of a story [I like it so much I will italicize it!]:

The Heilige Rebbe of Vizhnitz known as the Ohev Yisrael [aptly named] was once surrounded by a a large group of Chassidim who wanted to get close to this Man Of G-d. Suddenly, a mentally imbalanced man who, besides being obese and unkempt, also didn't really believe in that great human pleasure called "bathing". One need not be a chemist to know that if one abstains from bathing for an extended period of time, the smell that emanates from him will be EXTREMELY unpleasant. When the Chassidim smelled the man trying to get close to the Rebbe they parted like the Yam Suf. It was repulsive for them to be near this man.

So he approaches the Rebbe and everybody watches to see what will happen. The Rebbe came close and gave him a kiss on the cheek. He then exclaimed "A Shtik Yid" [A Piece of a Jew]. Then he made his way to the other side of this large man and planted another kiss on his second cheek. "Noch a Shtik Yid" [Another piece of a Jew].

The smell and filth accompanying this man did not deter the Ohev Yisrael, precisely because he was such a great Ohev Yisrael.

That is the way I felt today. Every Jew deserves a kiss [I actually gave out quite a few, myself].

Imagine someone was almost killed and was saved. What does his family do? They kiss and hug him. On Purim we were almost killed - we all deserve lots of affection.

But now, unfortunately, Purim is over. But the Mitzva of loving Jews is not!! The alcohol helped many break down barriers and show others their love. Now we can try it sans [FANCY WORD! - it means in the absence of. From Old French. I bet Rashi heard of it] alcohol.

PS Please daven for Shulamit Bas Esther, an elderly lady who fell and broke her neck today and might need surgery. Tizku Lmitzvos.