Thursday, November 28, 2013

The power for each one, from the observance of Chanukah.

A Jewish holiday is not just a day off from work, or a day to be inspired and learn a lesson from a past historical event. In its truest sense, a Holy Day is a day that is inherently different than the days before or afterwards. A Holy Day is by its very nature an energy that is unique to this holy day, when compared to any of the other holydays, or even when compared to the same holyday as it was experienced the last year, or the year to come.

By the practices and observances of a holy day that were instituted by the Bible, and or by our great sages, we get a small glimpse and a feel for the amazing opportunities and strengths afforded by the holiday.

For example, when someone tells you to handle an item with extreme care and sensitivity, to wear gloves so you don’t cut yourself, and to keep the item away from frozen substances that might melt. Although, you’re still left in the dark regarding the exact description of what it is you are holding, you begin to get an idea, what it is you are holding and what it may be able to be used for.

When the Chanukah lights are lit, we are instructed to sit by the lights for at least a half an hour. Great mystics tell us, it’s to hear and listen to the tale each candle has to communicate with us every night. There is something very powerful being transmitted, for those who kindle and watch these special lights.

The code of Jewish law tells us, “the candle of Chanukah must be placed, at the door towards the outside… and if one lives on an upper level, they must place it by a window, towards the public domain.”

A candle is made with physical ingredients. We are fulfilling a G-dly deed, generating a charged energy, but it is accomplished not just through our minds and heart, with imperceptible elements. The ultimate goal, is taking and using the physical materialistic components all around us, as an ingredient and a main element in serving G-d, to create spirituality.

Chanukah comes from the root word of dedication and education. Education and dedication are essentially the same accomplishment. Both actions begin and start off something new.

The rule on Chanukah is that we must add a new candle every night. No matter what was accomplished up until now, a new day means a brand new chance to learn more, to do more, and dedicate ourselves every day to a fresh new start, notwithstanding how much was accomplished up until now.

Setting something down, is giving it a place to settle. We are not allowed to light the candle and then move it from one place to the other. Where we light the candle is where it must remain.

Our routine in life can’t be on a shaky unsure platform where things shift from one moment to the next according to the whims of society.  Life and its routines needs to be permanent and on solid ground.

This realization of the above must be at the door towards the outside. Our obligation to ,”love our friend like ourselves” means, sharing this great lesson with as many people as possible outside your home, out in the public.

And if someone feels he lives on an upper level, and it is not befitting, or his time is too valuable to help others, he too must find the window to reach someone on the outside in the public domain.

The Talmud says, “I have learnt a lot from my teachers, and from my colleagues, but I have learnt most from my students. ‘ When a person dedicates himself to help others, he is helped first and more than even the people he is attempting to help.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The G-dly Man & a Humans weaknesses.

Between the years 1745 to 1812 lived a very G-dly person, Rabbi Shnuer Zalman from the town of Liadi, in what was then imperial Russia. While the majority of people have a “per-owned” soul, in other words, it was once before, here in this world, and is now in your body to complete its mission, this Rabbi, had a brand new soul.

Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov - master of the good name, summoned the parents of this Rabbi ahead of his birth, so they could prepare themselves accordingly. The Baal Shem Tov also gave very specific instructions how to rear the child from the moment of birth.

He displayed extraordinary talent. By the time he was 8 years old he wrote an all-inclusive commentary on the Bible, and at his Bar Mitzvah celebration he delivered a discourse concerning the complicated laws of astronomy, to which the people of the town granted him the title "Grand Rabbi.”

Rabbi Shnuer Zalman was falsely accused of subversive activities - on charges of supporting the Ottoman Empire, since he advocated sending charity to support Jews living in the Ottoman territory of Palestine.

In 1798 he was arrested on suspicion of treason and brought to St. Petersburg, at which time he was subjected to an examination by a secret commission.

The day he was taken to prison from his home, in the infamous “Black Chariot” was a Friday. The Rabbi asked the wagon driver to stop for the Sabbath. The driver ignored his request and was forced to stop, when the axle of the wagon broke. The axle was repaired and one of the horses suddenly died. In the end, the driver asked permission from the Rabbi to proceed to the edge of the road for the 25 hours of the Sabbath.

Ultimately he was released by order of Paul I of Russia who personally came to visit the Rabbi in his cell disguised as a regular officer, but the Rabbi nonetheless identified and sensed the Czars presence.

Rabbi Shnuer Zalman established the Chabad way of serving G-d. “Mind by its very nature has control over the emotions”. The Rabbi authored many teachings, guiding his students with knowledge, tools and techniques to apply this rule in practice in order to make a person, a more refined G-dly individual.

Once, a student came to Rabbi Shnuer Zalman for advice regarding a libel against him. Rabbi Shnuer Zalman advised him to buy at the market, the best horses and the best chariot and that he should ride around the palace of Czar. He should refuse to sell the horses at any price. However if anyone asks to purchase the horses on behalf of the Czar, he should offer the horses for free, as a gift to the Czar.

So it happened, and the Czar was incredibly impressed with the free gift. The Czar looked into this person and discovered the libel was false and freed him from the accusations.

Rabbi Shnuer Zalman explained. Everything the Bible tells us to do, or not to do, is because otherwise without these rules as humans, G-d knowing our nature, we would have a tendency to hurt ourselves.

G-d tells us once a week to rest, because otherwise we would never know when to stop working. The Bible says not to steal, because people have a tendency to sometimes take what’s not theirs. The Bible says to pray every day, because people might forget where their blessings really come from, and, they might not connect with their inner resources of strength.

The Bible says, a King should not amass a great number of horses. Said Rabbi Shnuer Zalman, from this I deduced, that people in power lust for horses, and “it’s with this fact of awareness, I derived the plan, “how to”, enter the czars’ weak spot to help this individual.”

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The case made, for the inequality of the man and the woman

So, I’m listening to this professor of biology and director of a very prestigious genome institute. The discussion was all about men and women. Are they equal or are they not? This professor thinks they are not, and scientists got it wrong.

Well, as we discussed last week, it won’t be the first time. Science is always in the process of discovery. Nothing in science can be absolute. As the machines change and people discover new things, different conclusions are reached. The word in the Bible on the other hand is the product of an infinite G-d, who foresaw all that would happen and included in His wisdom, everything that will forever be necessary for mankind. G-ds signature is truth and everything in the Bible is truth. Truth doesn’t change.

That is why Maimonides writes, “this Torah – Bible, will never change.” Anybody who thinks the Bible is antiquated and lacking, denies what the words inside the Bible say, and which has been transmitted throughout the generations, “And G-d spoke to the Israelites… before each single one of the nation..’

There are over 10 trillion cells in a person’s body.  The nucleus of each cell carries 23 pairs of chromosomes which carry the DNA, hereditary info, and execute all the necessary functions. All 22 pairs of the chromosomes in both men and women are identical except for one chromosome pair in the male which is an XY pair and in the female it is an XX pair.

Most scientists and biologists believe that this one difference between men and women is restricted to the reproductive tract and apart from this area in the body everything else is equivalent. Men are identical to each other 99.9% in their genome, and the equivalence between men and women is 98.5 %.

The question is. If men and women are so similar to each other, how come for every man with rheumatoid arthritis 2 to 3 women will be affected? How come for every girl with autism spectrum disorder, 5 boys will be affected? How come for every man with lupus, 6 women will have the same disorder?

Another example.  Men will die younger than women with dilated cardiomyopathy.

This professor asked his colleagues for an explanation and most give him the answer, “ I don’t know.” When pushed further they will say, perhaps it’s the fault of the XY chromosome or hormones.

His “theory”, is that the difference between men and women is not just limited to the reproduction tract, but on a fundamental level within each cell and all over the body, Men are different than women.


Thousands of years ago the Bible already describes to us the difference between men and women. G-d created people “in the form and image of G-d.” Humans are a reflection of the spiritual, manifestations of G-d Himself.  “From my flesh I perceive G-d”  says the Bible.

A spiritual person will know all that is in humans, because G-d attests to the fact that He created humans in His Image. And a more corporeal person gets a hint of what’s up with G-dliness, by studying the form and functionality of the human existence.

“G-d did not create even one small creation for naught.” Although there appears to be so many similarities between men and women, mysticism tell us they are fundamentally different. Men think differently than women, and women experience life emotionally, very different than men.

Men are designed to be more of a thinker and aloof, and women are designed to be more nurturing and supportive of each other. Men are physically stronger and naturally attracted to the beauty of women, and women are physically weaker and attracted to the ability of the man to provide.

It’s all in the Torah, and I ran out of my allowance for words.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

How to be REALLY happy.


This past week I was listening to an interview with this world renowned psychiatrist. He is the author of many self-help books that have sold in the millions. He runs a special clinic, and many have been helped by his unique treatment. The premise of his cure is to treat mind disorders, like that of depression without medications, using cognitive therapy.

In this interview he speaks of the importance to identify the grossly exaggerated and distorted negative thoughts, recognizing and isolating this self-inflicting damaging energy and containing its detrimental effects.

All this makes lots of sense in the eyes of the Torah as well. The evil inclination, the inner soul put there to test and challenge us, only has its power through lies. G-d is truth, and his Bible is truth. Dealing and living with truth, means living and dealing with the way things really are, and in the long run will always be helpful to a person.

Through the power of forgetfulness which temporarily makes us forget the truth, and through the power of lies and exaggerations, the evil in the world is brought to life and flourishes. That is why when we speak of the future times, the Bible says, the spirit of impurity will be lifted from the world and all will see and recognize “the truth”. The opposite of truth, light and joy, is the sprit if impurity, darkness and depression.

This psychiatrist is saying in this interview, that after decades of practice, he has come to discover the power of motivation, which may be even stronger than, identifying the dark and destructive thoughts.

So years have passed and now he realizes that there may be another approach which brings even better results. HELLO?

The Bible emphasizes again and again the greater strength there is, in faith, trust, and optimism.  More than anything else, the greatest positive blessing in a person’s life, the channel that opens everything that is good, is a focus on what’s good and uplifting, as opposed to getting involved deeper in the dark thoughts that bring a person down.

The expression repeated again and again, is that it’s easier to get rid of darkness by putting on the light, than it is to chase the darkness out. “A little light dispels much darkness.”

Another speaker, a Health psychologist was saying in a speech, she has “a decade of demonizing stress to redeem.” Something she had been teaching for the last ten years may be in truth more harmful than good, in light of “her” recent scientific discoveries.

She had been teaching all those years that stress is harmful to our lives. 43% of the people who thought stress can kill actually died, while those who didn’t think so, where no more likely to die than anyone else, all things being equal. The “new” science of stress teaches, that how you think about stress matters.

If we decide to see stress, not as harmful, but a sign for our bodies to respond to a situation with greater attention, if we see stress as being the trigger to activate positive results, we can actually gain from stress rather than be hurted by it.

HELLO? Once again.

The Bible teaches us that there is nothing in the world that happens by itself. It’s not possible for anything to happen without G-ds intervention. And since G-d is the source of all that is good and kind, “all that G-d does is, for the good.” Or the other expression is, “this too is for the good.”

Everything that appears stressful and worrisome is merely a test. It is up to the individual to interpret the stressful occurrence in the positive, and then the outcome is a greater individual than before the stressful event.