Wednesday, December 1, 2021

For Parents


Bolts Of Chanukah Light - Part 3: Controlling The Enemy

“The biggest enemies of willpower: temptation, self-criticism, and stress. (...) these three skills —self-awareness, self-care, and remembering what matter most— are the foundation for self-control.”

― Kelly McGonigal, The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do to Get More of It


Why did Yosef merit to rule over Egypt? The story we read in the Chumash about the dream interpretation was the surface reason. But what was the deeper spiritual reason that Hashem gave Yosef the right to rule?

Chazal say that Yosef ruled over himself. He was given an almost impossible test. A single boy who had been mistreated by his brothers and sold as a slave. Now he has an opportunity to do what comes most naturally, with a woman who is begging him [a dream for most men] and if he agrees - it will certainly help him in his "professional" life. Nothing like having the boss's wife as your biggest fan and supporter!

It all made sense. And who will know what he did?? It is not like today when everything is recorded on video.

Also - he was alone. Far from his family. It would be so emotionally empowering to be so close with someone. It is not good for man to be alone.

But he didn't succumb. He withstood the incredible temptation.

Ahhhhh - you control yourself Yosef? You are ready to control Egypt!!!

A man brought his son to a grocery store...

A man brought his son to a grocery store, but as soon as they walked in the store the young child began to throw a temper tantrum. While they went down each aisle the child would yell, throw items in and out of the cart, and overall just be an annoyance.

Despite the scene his son was causing, the father was cool and collected, slowly and calmly saying, "Don't worry, Donald. It'll be alright, Donald, we'll be home soon."

A nearby mother was very impressed with the father's self control, and wanted to express her gratitude for such calm parenting. "Sir, I'm amazed that you are able to be so calm! It's not every day I see such patient and gracious parenting. Now little guy, what seems to be the problem, Donald?"

"Oh no, ma'am, you're mistaken!" The father interjected, "This is my son, Max. I'm Donald!"

In Al Hanisim we thank Hashem for giving the Reshaim into the hands of the Tzadikim. In what merit? Maybe b/c first the Tzadikim were able to control that little Rasha that dwells within us all. If we can control the internal Rasha then we can control the external ones as well.

Ner Chanuka is placed next to the doorway on the left. The doorway symbolizes the doorway/opening to our heart where the yetzer hara waits to ambush us [Brachos 61a]. לפתח חטאת רובץ [Breishis 4-7] - sins crouches at the opening. We shine a bright, holy light on the left [i.e. dark] side. This light expels the darkness.

SWEETEST FRIENDSSSSSS!!!! I would like to introduce you to your GREATEST enemy. The person who is the source of most of your problems in your life. Also - the ONLY person who can solve your problems.


OK - grab a mirror. Look at it.

THERE S/HE ISSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yes, fans. YOU!!! You with your bad habits, negative, repetitious and toxic thinking and overeating, with your resentment, fears, anxiety etc. etc. are the source of most of your problems. [The rest we can blame, if you'd like, on DeBlasio, Cuomo, Biden and Fauci].

You are also the only one who can solve these problems. Others can HELP you but ultimately the work is yours to do. Hashem will certainly help you but not if you don't help yourself. וברכך בכל אשר תעשה [See Devarim 15-18]. G-d helps those who .....

Once we can overcome our internal demons - the outside ones will be a relative cinch.

May you keep growing EVERY day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


The Uniqueness Of Hadlakas Ner Chanukah In Contrast To All Other Mitzvos - Part 2


Dennis Is Convinced That He Will Be FIIIINNNNEEEEEEE - I Am Not

Dennis Prager is one of the most visible and followed Jews alive. He has millions and millions of people who listen to his radio show and youtube videos and read his columns and books. 

He seems like a nice enough fellow but he presents himself as a religious Jew while he is a Mechalel Shabbos Bi-farhesia and a Kofer BiTorah Shebial Peh etc. etc. ["I am religious but not Orthodox". Oh - so Reform Judaism is an authentic expression of Jewish tradition?? So INTERESTING!!]

I saw a "drasha" he gave in a church רח"ל. [Odd that they fawned over him since their religion teaches that he is a horrible sinner doomed for eternity but that is another topic worthy of a different post].  Among other chochmos he said that he is not afraid to die b/c either there is nothing after death [so he has nothing to fear] or there is a Kind Benevolent G-d so he has nothing to fear. 

There is another possibility he missed out on. There is indeed a Kind Benevolent G-d but there is also reward and punishment and we have to pay for doing wrong. That is the traditional Jewish belief. And if one has on his record so many aveiros bi-meizid [he was raised frum] - he has of what to be afraid. But he created a false narrative that he can decide to do whatever he wants and everything will be FIIIIINEEEEE. 

Rav Yochanan ben Zakkai was a much better Jew that Dennis and was TERRIFIED.  

 וּכְשֶׁחָלָה רַבִּי יוֹחָנָן בֶּן זַכַּאי נִכְנְסוּ תַּלְמִידָיו לְבַקְּרוֹ. כֵּיוָן שֶׁרָאָה אוֹתָם הִתְחִיל לִבְכּוֹת. אָמְרוּ לוֹ תַּלְמִידָיו: ״נֵר יִשְׂרָאֵל, עַמּוּד הַיְּמִינִי, פַּטִּישׁ הֶחָזָק״, מִפְּנֵי מָה אַתָּה בּוֹכֶה? 

A similar story is told about Rabbi Eliezer’s mentor, Rabban Yoḥanan ben Zakkai: When Rabbi Yoḥanan ben Zakkai fell ill his students entered to visit him. When he saw them, he began to cry. His students said to him: Lamp of Israel, the right pillar, the mighty hammer, the man whose life’s work is the foundation of the future of the Jewish people, for what reason are you crying? With a life as complete as yours, what is upsetting you?


 Here. 🔥🔥

Shaleshudes Drasha Of The Rav ztz"l Mikeitz 1929 - Yehuda Vs. Yosef And The Ultimate Denouement


The Uniqueness Of Hadlakas Ner Chanukah In Contrast To All Other Mitzvos