People have the tendency of ridiculing others who don't look or act like they do, without realizing that anyone who makes fun of another human being is the one who deserve to be ridiculed, as we'll learn in today's lesson. Enjoy, and Happy Chanukah!
People work on themselves for years but still commit transgressions; their daily self-assessment devastates them to the point where they don't want to live anymore. This is the type of "truth" that we have no use for…
As we're about to learn, there are times when we tell the truth to take a walk, especially when it's malicious. Enjoy, and Happy Chanuka!
The world of Torah came to a standstill this morning with the bitter news of the loss of one of our most learned, holy and righteous spiritual leaders who was like a father to all of us.
We tearfully mourn the passing of the Torah giant of our generation, Rabbi Aaron Leib Shteinman, of saintly and blessed memory, who left the physical world this morning at age 104. His funeral is now taking place in Bnei Brak. We all feel like orphans. Despite his prodigious Torah scholarship and righteousness, was Rabbi Shteinman was an utterly humble individual who lived in utter simplicity.
Born in 1913 in Brest, Lithuania, Rabbi Shteinman was a student of Rabbi Yitzchak Zev Soloveitchik osb"m, the holy Brisker Rov. He fled the Nazis and spent World War II in Switzerland, after which he came to Eretz Yisrael. The Rov became very close with the Ponovitcher Rov, Rabbi Yosef Kahanman, and with the Chazon Ish, both of saintly and blessed memory.
Probably more than anyone in this generation, Rabbi Shteinman was instrumental in opening new kollelim and helping more young men learn Torah.
Everyone loved him, for he gentle and moderate, yet uncompromising when it came to Torah values. Although he headed the "Lithuanian" sector, he was non-partisan and he loved every Jew. He had an especially close relationship with the Gerrer Rebbe shlit'a.
He May his sacred memory intercede in our behalf, amen.
And my son's gan (preschool) is actually a nightclub!
What a crazy day I had yesterday. I'm so pheclemped.
I think I did about 50 runs in the car around town. That's so weird. What does it mean to do runs in the car? Should I say I did drives in the car? How about drive-by's? YO, I did 50 drive-by's today. G-D FORBID!! HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR!!!
Of course on the same day that the preschools have their Chanukah parties, my kids' elementary school has its private parent-teacher meetings. I ended up having to go to hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
OMG I just dozed off. You know, usually I can't get to writing these posts until way after the kids have gone to sleep, and I'm totally finished by then. So bear with me. Please pardon the inconvenience and thank you for your patience. rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
Now I'm getting annoyed. I hope this cup o' ground beef in tomato sauce that I'm eating will wake me up. I had like seven parent-teacher meetings at all different times, plus two gan holiday parties in two different gans. Did I already mention that?
This was Natan's (a.k.a. my little boyfriend) party. It was as cute as it could be for three-year-olds. Watching them stand around in the middle of the stage, half of them standing there with blank-looking stares on their faces, not knowing what they're supposed to dffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff
But the best part was my other son's party. In the middle of the second song, they suddenly broke out in a break dance. I'm not kidding. The kids were literally on the floor, doing that leg twirl thing where you make circles on the floor.
Speaking of on the floor, my friend Tzippy sent me some rare footage of what it's like to get stuck in your car in the middle of a protest. This old guy actually walked in front of her car on crutches, looked at her through the glass, then threw the crutches to a younger guy and lay down on the floor!!
She sent me the video and I had her edit in a background song, which made it absolutely hysterical!!!
I have no idea what that had to do with anything...
Driving. Break dancing. Donuts. Protests.
What do all these things have in common?
Seriously, can you believe Chanukah is already here? What happened to the year? Has it ever gone by this fast before? It's a little scary, isn't it?
Okay, it's a lot scary. But you know what's scarier?
Can you believe such a thing?? I don't know what's worse - the fact that I let my son wear these to school or the fact that I posted this picture. Have I no shame??
Actually, I didn't know his shoes were so mutilated until two days ago. I'm totally horrified. And exhausted. I have to get to sleep already!
You know what? After my morning coffee and Jack I'll put up a post that actually makes sense. What's Jack, you ask?
Here, let me show you.
Relax!! I'm just kidding! I save the Jack for night, when my nerves are frazzled from dealing with my beloved children for the previous 8 hours plus everything else I did during the day.
You know what they say... Every mom needs a little Jack in her life. RIGHT, TZIPPY??
Check back here in about 12 hours, and G-d willing I will have put up a decent post by then. Something about miracles and donuts.
O,M to the G!!! I just had the best marketing idea! I could develop my own line of "Miracle Donuts" that don't make you gain weight. And, they're filled with a honey-flavored whiskey jelly!
This is the week of Parshat Miketz, when Chanuka begins.
Miketz in Hebrew means "at the end of" - in the case of Joseph as the Torah tells us this week, and as an eternal template for all of us, we're talking about salvation and the end of what ever suffering you are currently enduring.
Nobody said that life in this world is fun and games. We came down here to do a task, and a difficult one at that. Each one of us has a soul correction to perform, which is much more intricate than open-heart surgery and oftentimes more perilous. What's more, our sages said that it's much easier to learn the entire Gemara than it is to rectify one negative character trait. As such, when we can't do the job alone, Hashem intervenes and facilitates our task. He also helps us find our mission on earth when we're straying along the wrong path. This often entails painful tribulations and tests of faith.
Rebbe Nachman teaches that the true difficulty of the tribulation is not the tribulation itself, but our spiritual awareness that leaves us during times of tribulation, when fear, worry and anxiety overcome our emuna. The solution therefore is to rekindle our spiritual awareness and strengthen our emuna. Easier said than done? Not really. See my commentary on this week's Torah portion, Help's On the Way, because it just might save your day.
That's not all - we've been busy this week. My feature article on Chanukah, Tiny but Tremendous, reveals the key to understanding everything about Israel: the Land of Israel, the People of Israel, the Torah of Israel, the Holy Temple and the holidays of Israel, particularly Chanukah. Once we fully understand this principle, we can make the type of decisions that assure our individual and national success. Check it out, you'll find it a good resource to have in the back of your mind.
Also featured this week on our Miketz/Chanukah Eve edition of Breslev Israel web magazine:
Today's Garden of Wisdom lesson focuses on the main contrast between the sorely-limited Simple One and the highly talented Clever One; how did the Simple One attain perfect inner peace while the Clever One suffered from constant inner turmoil? Let's see:
"They have eyes but they don't see" (Psalm 115:5). Although King David was speaking about idols, the same applies to the mainstream media groups - right and left oriented, in Israel and abroad - especially in their coverage of President Trump's formal recognition of Jerusalem and his intent to move the USA Embassy in Israel there from Tel Aviv.
The left-oriented media continues in its habit of condemning President Trump at every opportunity, having a field day with its doomsday scenarios of what might be, blaming President Trump for the world's ills in general and increased Middle East tensions in particular.
The right-oriented media is sparing no words in its praise of President Trump, crediting him with changing the course of history and other such superlatives.
What is it that the media doesn't see?
They don't see Hashem. As the Rambam teaches us in our first principle of emuna, He alone did, does and will do every deed.
Do you realize what that means? It's not President Trump who recognizes Jerusalem, it's Hashem. The President is only the loudspeaker; Hashem wrote the speech.
That's great news despite the fact that a new intifada seems to be brewing with riots going on now in East Jerusalem and bomb sirens, which we haven't heard for months, thank G-d, now in Ashkelon and Sderot. Why? As our beloved teacher Rav Shalom Arush teaches in the Garden of Emuna, Hashem does everything for the best.
Have no doubt - this unexpected move that was seemingly done on President Trump's own initiative is totally for our ultimate good because Hashem did it. Sure, there are many "good and logical" reasons that we could have given President Trump to discourage this decision, before it was made. But, once it was made, we cast logic aside in favor of emuna, because this is what Hashem decided and it's definitely for the best. This is just one more piece in the puzzle of the Geula, the full redemption of our people. Hashem has his timetable, and it looks like - in line with the prophecies of Isaiah, Ezkiel, Zechariah and Daniel - it is surely coming soon. Shabbat Shalom!
Rav Shalom Arush explains that we all must be guarantors for each other, and especially for our children. The best way to guarantee our children's success is to pray for them, nonstop, as we see in his 4-minute message, which I added English subtitles to so that everyone can hear and enjoy the Rav. Don't forget to bless your children as is our custom every Friday night when we come home from the synagogue. Shabbat Shalom!
Rav Shalom Arush compares a person's mission in life to a railroad track; a person who is doing the right thing is on the right track. But when he doesn't, he "jumps track" and that could be dangerous. Here's how to find your right track: