Every person has positive traits, qualities, and patterns, and every person has faults, deficiencies, and negative patterns. When someone identifies with his imperfections, he will feel worse about himself. Someone who focuses mainly on his shortcomings will have a lower self-image, which prevents him from being at his best. Help people identify with their positive patterns. When someone's main focus is on what he has done right already, he will continue to keep developing his good points.
Kahane on the Parsha Rabbi Binyamin Kahane- Parshat Pinchas KILL FOR PEACE
The true definition of "peace" has been so badly distorted in this generation that the word itself has come to represent a particular political point of view. So much so that even when the Right speaks of peace, it does so within the confines of the Left's view and twisted definition of the word.
Though it is not an easy task, it behooves us to uncover the Torah's understanding of peace. By doing so, we will be able to map out basic policy guidelines for a Jewish peace that, with G-d's help, will eventually be used by the government in the Land of Israel.
The first place to look to discover the Torah's understanding of peace is Pinchas. Why Pinchas? Because he is the man whom G-d Himself chose to give the covenant of peace. (Such a covenant was not even given to his grandfather, Aaron, who was famous as a "lover and pursuer of peace.") The question that begs asking is: Why? Why of all things was Pinchas given the covenant of peace? Would it not have been more appropriate to give him the covenant of zealousness? Wasn't Pinchas's recourse to violence the very opposite of what peace represent?
It is these very questions, however, which illustrate the confusion inherent in every contemporary discussion of peace. After all, what has peace come to mean today? It means shaking hands with evil -- and the more evil, the grander the peace, for "only with enemies do you make peace." You proclaim, "Peace," get photographed on the White House lawn, and hope that your enemy stops killing you. In other words, peace means that one comes to terms, or makes peace with, evil. Obviously, for any thinking person, this definition does not go down smoothly. After all, normal instincts tell us that no good can come of giving into evil and making peace with it. Nonetheless, many people get dragged along this distorted interpretation because they know no alternative.
What, then, is true peace? According to the Torah, peace is a RESULT -- a consequence of making the world a better place. And the first step in bettering the world is uprooting evil and evildoers from it. "Sur me'ra" -- turn from, or remove, evil. Making peace with evil or -- even worse -- giving into it is the very OPPOSIT of what one should do if one wants to achieve true peace.
Peace is NOT the mixing of good and evil, as we have been trained to think. The very opposite. There can be NO coexistence between good and evil, nor can there be a partnership between good people and evil people. The Master of the Universe expects the righteous to expunge evil from the world. "And you shall burn (vi'arta) the evil from thy midst," the Torah commands us in numerous places. ONLY THEN will peace reign in the world.
Indeed, the Rabbis compare killing the wicked to offering sacrifices on the altar, which is a symbol of peace -- "to teach you that when the blood of the wicked is spilled it is as if a sacrifice was offered" (Tanchuma, Pinchas 1). For there are two sides to peace -- removing evil and doing good, sur me'ra va'asei tov. One cannot exist without the other.
That is why Pinchas received the covenant of peace. For when all the Jewish people's leaders, including Moses and Aaron, cried in paralysis as Zimri sinned with Kozbi (see Numbers 25:6), the younger Pinchas took action and eradicated the evil before him. True, his grandfather, Aaron, was a symbol of the love and pursuit of peace, but evidently he was weak in the area of uprooting evil. And since there is no peace without the purging of evil, it was his grandson, Pinchas -- who understood both sides of the equation -- who received the covenant of peace. Darka shel Torah, 1995
Self-confidence is one of the most beneficial qualities that one can have. People with self-confidence feel good about themselves. They feel good about their knowledge, their talents, and their abilities. They feel confident that things will work out well for them. They know that they can learn the knowledge and skills that they need and want.
Some young children naturally develop this quality. Some people have thoughts and feelings of self-confidence because they have role models with self-confidence that they have emulated. Some people have had parents and teachers and other friends and relatives who have given them plenty of positive feedback. This positive feedback helped them see themselves in a positive light.
Confidence and self-confidence are learnable skills. So even if someone doesn't yet have the confidence and self-confidence that he would like to have, he can build it alone or with the help of others. How do you continue to build your self-confidence? When you see that you already know something, that you learned something, or that you can do something, comment to yourself, "I see I know this," or "I just learned this. Now I know it," or "I see that I know how to do this." Every time? Of course not. Just as many times as you feel is best for you.
Confidence means that you feel certain that you know something or that you can do something. We all start off in life not knowing anything and not being able to do anything. Those who are confident tell themselves that they know the things about which they are confident.
Being confident does not mean that you should speak in a tone of voice that sounds contrived, forced, pompous, arrogant, or like a show off. Rather, you can speak in your regular tone of voice and have an attitude of knowing things.
Being confident means knowing that you know some things and that you can learn many things that you presently don't know. You can ask others for the information you need. You can ask others to show you how to do things that you can't yet do. You can read books, pamphlets, or reports that give instructions about how to do things.
Being confident also means knowing that you can find people who will be able assist you when you can't do something yourself. In many instances, a kind stranger will be glad to give you assistance. As long as you know how to ask, you can consider yourself confident that you can find ways to get things done.
If you would like to build your self-confidence, tell yourself, "I keep building my self-confidence all the time. I know much more now than when I started off in life. As I keep learning more things and have more experience, my self-confidence gets stronger and stronger."
You don't need to wait until you feel 100% self-confident. At any given moment, you can say to yourself, "I will speak and act like a person with balanced self-confidence." Just speak and act like that right away. You will find that when you speak and act with self- confidence, other people tend to treat you with more respect.
Those who realize the value of every human being will always treat you and others with great respect. But even those who have not yet reached the level will begin to treat you with greater respect when you have greater respect for yourself. Self-respect is a birth-right. You don't need anyone else's permission to have self-respect. Claim it. It's yours.
Love Yehuda Lave
Russia Building Hypersonic Aircraft Capable of Dropping Nuclear Bomb on US from Space
Psalm 126 — ShirHaMa'alot — presents a vivid description of the redemption of the Jewish people as they return to their homeland:
"A Song of Ascents. When God brings about the return to Zion, we were like dreamers. Then our mouths will be filled with laughter, and our tongues with joyous song." (126:1-2)
The verb tense, however, is confusing. Presumably, this is a vision of the future redemption, when "our mouths will be filled with laughter." Yet the psalmist also speaks of the past — היינו כחולמים — "we were like dreamers." Is this taking place in the past or the future?
Dreams of Redemption
We need to understand the importance of these dreams, and how they are connected to our national redemption.
We know of historical incidents when dreams served as a vehicle to redemption. Joseph became viceroy of Egypt and saved his family from famine through Pharaoh's dreams. Daniel attained his position of importance through the dreams of Nebuchadnezzar. What is the function of dreams in the world?
Every soul has certain segulot — hidden talents or qualities. The greater the segulah, the more it will struggle to be realized. One way in which these inner qualities express themselves is through dreams.
The nation of Israel also has special segulot — a unique potential for spiritual greatness. As the Torah promises, "You will be a segulah among the nations" (Ex. 19:5). When the Jewish people are exiled and downtrodden, this segulah quality seeks ways to be expressed. This drive for national self-fulfillment — that is the source for our dreams of redemption.
After death, the Sages taught, the soul is questioned by the heavenly tribunal: "Did you anticipate the redemption?" (Shabbat 31a). The fact that we are judged on this matter is a clear sign that it is important to anticipate the redemption. The Rabbis also spoke of the obligation to pray for our national return to the Land of Israel.
Yet the logic of this approach is not obvious. Why yearn for that which is beyond our control? The redemption is either dependent upon the actions of the entire Jewish people, or will take place at a time that God ordained!
To understand the significance of our dreams and prayers, it is instructive to recall the Talmudic saying, "Do not belittle any blessing, even that of an ordinary person" (Megillah 15a). Why should we take note of the simple wishes of a neighbor or friend? The Sages, however, imparted an important lesson: do not underestimate the power of a few words of encouragement. They may awaken and help realize our hidden potential.
This true for the individual — and for the entire nation as well. Secreted in the national soul of Israel is a potential for greatness. By remembering and anticipating this national destiny, we strengthen it and prime it to be realized. The value of anticipating redemption lies in its power to help bring it to fruition.
This is not a mystical belief, but a plain historical fact. Without a doubt, the unprecedented return of the Jewish people to their homeland after centuries of stateless exile could not have occurred without their continual yearnings and prayers over the centuries. The Zionist movement could not have convinced millions of Jews to uproot themselves if not for the people's deep-rooted longings for the Land of Israel. It is our faith and anticipation of redemption that enables the realization of Israel's national segulah.
Now we can understand why the verse says that "we were like dreamers" — in the past tense. The psalmist is referring to our dreams of redemption during the long years of exile. He is not describing a state of euphoria during the hour of redemption, but the means which enabled this redemption to take place.
בשוב ה' את שיבת ציון — "God will bring about the return to Zion" — because, throughout the ages, היינו כחולמים — "we were like dreamers." Our dreams and faith in God's promised redemption enabled our return to the Land of Israel.
Just as our personal dreams are an expression of our inner talents, inspiring us to develop them, so too, our national dreams, even in the darkest hours, facilitate the return to Zion and will enable the future fulfillment of our complete redemption.
the illusionist is Dynamo = Steve Frayne --magic that you have never seen
17th of Tammuz: History, Laws and Customs
The fast of the 17th of the Hebrew month of Tammuz, known as Shivah Asar B'Tammuz, is the start of a three-week mourning period for the destruction of Jerusalem and the two Holy Temples.
The fast actually commemorates five tragic events that occurred on this date:
Moses broke the tablets when he saw the Jewish people worshipping the Golden Calf.
During the Babylonian siege of Jerusalem, the Jews were forced to cease offering the daily sacrifices due to the lack of sheep.
Apostomos burned the holy Torah.1
An idol was placed in the Holy Temple.2
The walls of Jerusalem were breached by the Romans, in 69 CE, after a lengthy siege. (Three weeks later, after the Jews put up a valiant struggle, the Romans destroyed the second Holy Temple on the 9th of Av.) The Jerusalem Talmud maintains that this is also the date when the Babylonians breached the walls of Jerusalem on their way to destroying the first Temple.
Before you evaluate a situation as negative, ask yourself, "How can I be certain that it will really be negative in the long run?"
The Ethics of the Fathers teach (part of our oral tradition) that one who is wise is someone who can see the consequences of his actions. The trouble is it is sometimes hard to see or understand our long consequences to our actions.
Love Yehuda Lave
Hallel Jaffe and her Mom
This is the video of Hallal Jaffe dancing if the above video box doesn't work
Taken over 100 years ago, these fascinating photographs reveal life in Israel in the decade between 1890 and 1900.
Although the images were originally taken in black and white, they've been restored to full color with the help of Photochrom technology – allowing an incredible insight into the lives of the people living in Israel over a century ago.
Many of the images are set to a stunning backdrop, still largely untouched by civilization and certainly far from modernity.
The images offer a fascinating perspective on a region that has changed dramatically in some ways but with its distinctive climate and unique architecture, in some destinations, looks surprisingly familiar.
On 7/7/16 I went to a class on finding your soul mate. When I worked with Rabbli Plizkin we used to tell people to accept what G-d gives you but it is still nice to have a wish list for the person you will spend your days with.
The person should hopefully be:
1) a mensch
2) Is this a person I want to share my problems with
3) Is this a person I want to work through my problems with
4) Can you envision cultivating intamacy together
5) Can you envision cultivating vulnarabilty with this person
6) Do you respect and honor this person
7) Can you see the person as they are not as you would like them to be
8) Is there space for both of you in this relationship
9) Could you see them as the father or mother of your chlidren (even if you are too old to have them)
10) Can you imagine growing old with this person
I was very fortunate I did have many of these things (you usually can't get them all in one person) with my ex wife and we shared love that grew over time.. I hope I can do as well the third time around.
Love Yehuda Lave
Four worms in a bottle
A preacher decided that a visual demonstration would add emphasis to his Sunday sermon. Four worms were placed into four separate jars. The first worm was put into a container of alcohol. The second worm was put into a container of cigarette smoke. The third worm was put into a container of chocolate syrup. The fourth worm was put into a container of good clean soil. At the conclusion of the sermon, the Minister reported the following results:
The first worm in alcohol . . . . . .. Dead.
The second worm in cigarette smoke . . Dead!
Third worm in chocolate syrup . . . Dead!.
Fourth worm in good clean soil . .
The Minister asked the congregation, "So, my friends? What did you learn from this demonstration?"
Maxine, sitting in the back, quickly raised her hand and said . . .
"As long as you drink, smoke and eat chocolate, you won't have worms!" That pretty much ended the service!
Today is International Disturbed People's Day.
KAHANE ON THE PARSHARabbi Binyamin Kahane LAND FOR PEACE
KAHANE ON THE PARSHARabbi Binyamin Kahane LAND FOR PEACE The modern buzz phrase, "occupied territories," rears its ugly head in our parsha and haftarah (Judges 11:1-33). In Parshat Chukat we read of Og, king of Bashan, and Sichon, king of Ammon, trying to prevent the Jewish people from passing through their borders to reach the Land of Israel. Both kings decide to wage war against the chosen people and both kings lose. The Children of Israel conquer their lands and inhabit them.
Interestingly enough, no one at the time thought of suggesting that the Jewish people return the land they had just conquered to the nations that tried to annihilate them. But what if such a proposal had been raised? What would the Jewish response have been?
To answer this question we move the clock ahead 300 years. In the era of the Judges, the king of Ammon brazenly demands that the Jews return his terrotiries and threatens war if they refuse. The king recounts some well-known history: "Israel took away my land when they came out of Egypt, from Arnon as far as the Yabok and the Jordan" (Judges 11:13).
Compared to the claims of today's Arabs, this demand is quite "moderate." The king of Ammon, unlike the PLO, does not call for the total destruction of the Jewish state. He only wants what was taken from his people. In words that echo in the UN and Washington, the king concludes his demand in the following manner: "Now, therefore, restore these lands peacefully" (ibid.).
Peace. That magic word. What normal Jewish leader can refuse such an offer? After all, the king of Ammon's claim is not unreasonable; the lands were, indeed, taken from his nation. Ammon, unlike the PLO, once had a sovereign empire with a capital and an army on these lands. And most importantly, here is a genuine opportunity for peace. No more war, no more bloodshed.
The answer, however, that Yiftach - the Jewish people's leader - gives the king of Ammon is very different than the answer Rabin and Peres gave Arafat. Yiftach recounts all the past history, and then concludes: "So now the L-rd of Israel has driven out the Amorites from before His people, Israel, and you should possess the land?!?! Will you not posses what your god, Kemosh, gives you to possess??? We will possess all that the L-rd, our G-d, has dispossessed before us" (ibid. 11:23-24).
THIS is the reaction of a true Jewish leader. A reaction based on FAITH in the word of G-d. The land is ours not because of any historical claim or because we defeated the former inhabitants in battle. Rather, the land is OURS because G-d GAVE IT TO US AND WE HAVE NO RIGHT TO GIVE IT UP!!!
If we TRULY BELIEVE in our G-d-given right to the land and act with faith in the Almighty, we will achieve the same results that Yiftach did: "And Ammon was subdued before the Children of Israel" (ibid. 11:33). Darka Shel Torah, 1992
5776 is a powerful time to do Mitzvot
Here's another bit of very powerful information that is so important to understand and to do (the pun is intended)! This word לעשות is written in regard to many מצות specifically as well to חוקים and מצבות generally. Now understand! When we permeutate the letters of this word לעשות, we get ל-תשעו. This is a divine special message from Hashem in regard to this very year! Since the giving of the Torah, there has been only a total of four opportunities that applied and apply to the power of the connection to Hashem that is achievable, the added amount of Shefa that could fill this world, and the Tikun that can be made. This is because this number of year תשעו happened in the years from 2,776, 3,776, 4,776, and this year now 5,776. These special years were and are, supernal windows of time that Hashem created for us to accomplish much to rectify this world and strengthen our connection to Hashem, that would be extremely hard to do otherwise. You can think about this as that we are in the time now of "Super Bonus Time". We must all plug in to this Kavava and use this as special motivation to increase in the amount of מצות that we do, as well as the kavana of doing them because we want real devakut with Hashem that will be truly experienced on an individual level, but also seen and felt on the collective level for all of עם ישראל! This opportunity is now still present before us, let us all do it! Please tell as many Yehudim about this and spread this knowledge; we only have a few more months left before this widow closes for all the rest of history.
Ben Zoma would say: Who is wise? One who learns from every man. As it is written: "From all my teachers I have grown wise, for Your testimonials ("eidosecha") are my meditation."
- Ethics of the Fathers, 4:1
* * *
It would seem that a wiser person is also a more critical person, since he has the insight to see his fellow for what he truly is. So why does Ben Zoma say ``Who is wise - One who learns from every man''? Perhaps to become wise, a person should learn from everyone; but the wiser he becomes, would he not find less value in those inferior to himself?
One possible answer is that the wise man gleans positive knowledge and instruction also from negative traits and deeds. Thus, Rabbi Zusya of Anipoli learned seven things from a thief: a) What he does, he keeps to himself. b) He is ready to take risks in order to achieve his goal. c) The smallest detail is of great importance to him. d) He invests great effort and toil in what he does. e) He is swift. f) He is confident and optimistic. g) If at first he fails, he is back time and again for another try.
Another, deeper perception of every man as one's teacher is to be found in the verse from Psalm 119 quoted by Ben Zoma: "From all my teachers I have grown wise, for Your testimonials ("eidosecha") are my meditation." At first glance, only the first half of the verse pertains to our mishnah's point. What does the fact that "Your testimonials (i.e. the mitzvos) are my meditation" have to do with learning from every man?
Indeed, the Hebrew word "eidosecha", "Your testimonials," from the root "eid", "witness" or "testifier," usually refers to the Divine commandments, whose observance attests to G-d's sovereignty over the universe and His relationship with us. But there is also another significance to the term - that it refers to each and every one of us. "`You are My attesters ("eidy"),' says G-d" - every single individual, with the very fact of his or her being, bears testimony to the greatness of their Creator.
It is in this context that Ben Zoma quotes the entire verse. "From all my teachers I have grown wise," says King David, expressing the elementary lesson that to grow wise one must learn from every man. Furthermore, the wiser he became, the more teachers David had. Why? Because "Your testimonials are my meditation."
True, wisdom enables one to see past the veneer of conduct and grasp the inner motives and desires of men. But the truly wise individual looks even deeper, beyond personality and character, to perceive the quintessence of humanity: man as a testimonial to G-d, Who created him in His image.
Every human being expresses another of the infinite faces of the Creator, and thus serves as unique and unduplicated insight into the all-embracing, all-pervading source of all wisdom. It takes a truly wise man to look at his every fellow, including the externally corrupt and despicable individual, and perceive the testimony he bears about his Creator.
Do the rich pay more than their fair share of tax?