Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Palestinian Authority: Israel stole our snake and Macy's Parade balloons come to Jerusalem On December 3

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Yehuda Lave, Spiritual Advisor and Counselor

One who flatters another person in order to win favor will ultimately suffer disgrace (Avos De R' Nosson 29:4).

The insatiable need to receive praise from others can be one of the most powerful, albeit destructive, motivating forces in human behavior. People who have the need for praise generally suffer from such low self-esteem that they need constant assurance that they are really worthy. Since this low self-esteem has no place in reality, measures such as praise or other affirmation can never counteract it. The pit of low self-esteem is bottomless; nothing ever fills it.

Desperately trying to receive external affirmation, people flatter and fawn to please others, so that they may react positively toward them. While giving false compliments may appear innocent, the attempts to win favor may snare this flatterer in relationships and obligations that are likely to backfire, so that they suffer embarrassment, not the expected admiration.

A healthy self-awareness would obviate the need for such tactics, and a devotion to honesty would prevent indulging in the falsehoods that initially bring about the desired response, but eventually result in further loss of both one's self-respect and the respect of others.

Today I shall ...
... avoid fawning and flattering. Instead, I will try to achieve a self-esteem which will render these unnecessary.

Love Yehuda Lave

Venomous snake

Palestinian Authority: Israel stole our snake


Israel's decision to choose national snake draws ire from Palestinian Authority, which claims Israel 'stole' Palestine viper.


Last Thursday, Israel's Society for the Protection of Nature and the Israel Nature and Parks Authority named the Palestine viper as Israel's national snake.

The Palestine viper, or daboia palaestinae, was selected based on an online vote.

Found across the Levant, from the northern Negev and western Jordan in the south to northern Lebanon and central Syria in the north, the snake is common throughout most of Israel, and in Hebrew is referred to as the 'common viper', or 'common Land of Israel viper'.

The Palestinian Authority protested the move, calling it an act of 'theft' which ignored what they called the viper's Palestinian heritage.

Imad al-Atrash, the Executive Director of the Palestine Wildlife Society, denounced Thursday's announcement regarding the viper, adding that the struggle over the snake's national identity was part of the larger battle by the PA to preserve 'Palestinian identity'.

Al-Atrash called on outside organizations to join the struggle to recognize the snake as the 'Palestine viper', rather than as the 'Land of Israel viper'.

Macy's Parade balloons come to Jerusalem

The Macy's Thanksgiving Parade is traveling from the streets of Manhattan to Jerusalem; 'Together—walking with world Jewry' will be a show of unity between Jews in Israel and Jews in the Diaspora.

Millions gather on the streets of Manhattan every November in the cold weather to see Macy's Thanksgiving Parade, and millions more watch it on TV. On December 3, the first night of Hanukkah, the parade is coming to Jerusalem for the first time as show of unity between Israel's Jews and Jews in the Diaspora.


The parade in Jerusalem is an initiative of the Diaspora Affairs Ministry and is meant to bring Jews in Israel and abroad together in the wake of recent grave anti-Semitic incidents around the world, culminating in the recent Pittsburgh Synagogue massacre that claimed the lives of 11 people. The ministry is looking into bringing a delegation from the Pittsburgh Jewish community to the parade in Jerusalem.


"Together—Walking with World Jewry" is the name chosen for the parade, which will feature street orchestras, youth movements, giant displays from Midburn Festival artists (the Israeli version of Burning Man), a convoy of classic cars, players from the Hapoel Jerusalem basketball team, and more. Musicical performances will include rappers Nechi Nech and Matisyahu.


Of course, the famous balloon displays from Macy's Thanksgiving Parade will be on show, including characters from comic books and children's movies, like Spider-Man, Kung Fu Panda, Anna and Elsa from "Frozen," Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck, Pokemons, and others.


The marchers will be accompanying the massive floats carrying the displays. The Sultan's Pool venue will host various events, including an exhibition about world Jewry, created in cooperation with Beit Hatfutsot-the Museum of the Jewish People.


The Jewish-American rapper Matisyahu, who will preform at Sultan's Pool, has a long relationship with Israel and with the city of Jerusalem. Several years ago, he had to contend with BDS activists trying to have his show in Spain cancelled. He ended up performing in front of a crowd carrying Palestinian flags, and sang "Im Eshkachech Yerushalayim" ("If I Forget Thee, Jerusalem"), a Jewish liturgical poem.


The parade is planned to be one of the biggest and most impressive events that the capital has known. It will go through several central Jerusalem streets and will end at the Sultan's Pool.


Reincarnation From Aish Ask the Rabbi

I was astonished by your explanation of suffering in little children as being due to their souls being "old" and having experienced past lives. I have always understood this notion as being a component of Buddhism and as being central to Hinduism. I have never heard of this in connection with Judaism. What is the scriptural basis for such a belief?

I am also puzzled by the reasoning. The child would presumably have no recollection of its past life. So how can it make the connection between its past misdeeds and present sufferings? And if all this is supposed to happen at some other undetectable, subliminal "soul" level, then why involve a body at all?

The Aish Rabbi Replies:


There are many Jewish sources dealing with what is popularly called "reincarnation." In Hebrew, it is called "gilgul ha'neshamot," literally the recycling or transmigration of souls.

This concept can be compared to a flame of one candle lighting another candle. While the essence of the second flame comes from the first one, the second flame is an independent entity. Still, the new flame contains imperfections inherited from the initial flame, and it is these imperfections that are to be corrected.

Most of the written material on this topic is very esoteric. Some of the prominent works dealing with this subject are the "Zohar" (1st century) and the Arizal's "Shaar HaGilgulim" (16th century). In the Bible itself, this idea is intimated in Deut. 25:5-10, 33:6 and Isaiah 22:14, 65:6.

Many sources say that a soul has a maximum of three chances in this world. One example given is that the great Talmudic sage Hillel was a reincarnation of the biblical figure Aaron.

The soul only comes into this world in the first place to make a spiritual repair. If that is not fulfilled by the end of one's lifetime, then the soul will be sent down again. The return trip may only be needed for a short time or in a limited way. This in part explains why people are born with handicaps or may live a brief life.

In order for the correction to take place, it is not necessary that there be a conscious awareness. Conscious awareness is only one level of understanding.

This idea is explored in an interesting book called "Psychic Phenomena," by Dorothy Bemar Bradley, M.D., and Robert A. Bradley M.D.: "Mentally retarded children have been known to burst out with unexpected abilities under altered awareness, manifesting the contents of the undamaged and theoretically undamageable unconscious mind."

In other words, there are levels of understanding that transcend the conscious level, even in children.

Re: your second question. Why does this have to involve the body in the first place?

Truly, some "corrections" do not have to take place through the body, but rather take place in the soul world, in the afterlife.

However, sometimes the correction must occur in the physical world. For example, it may involve a certain challenge of choosing the "right thing" over choosing the "comfortable thing." Or other people may have to be involved. And the soul cannot interact with the physical world in any other way expect through a body.

The bottom line is that a person's life situation provides everything necessary to achieve ideal growth. Our task is to employ our free will -- i.e. to properly and effectively use the opportunities that we have.

All the best to you in this and future lives.



Best Jewish Personalities on Meet the Press

Meet the Press, billed as "America's first televised, spontaneous press conference" made its television debut 71 years ago today. Meet the Press was the creation of Jewish producer and moderator, Lawrence "Larry" Spivak. Today the news program is hosted by Jewish news anchor Chuck Todd, and is viewed by approximately 3 million people per week. Many Jewish personalities were interview on the show such as David Ben-Gurion and Benjamin Netanyahu. In a continuing series here are 5 notable Jewish Figures that have been on the show…




The Hospitals of the Old City Jerusalem Part 2

On 10/31/18 we tour the old city of Jerusalem with a focus on how the Christians and Jews fought over who would give care to the sick and needy. Naturally, the Christians wanted to convert the Jews.

See you tomorrow

Love Yehuda Lave

Rabbi Yehuda Lave

2850 Womble Road, Suite 100-619, San Diego
United States


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Monday, November 19, 2018

Tips for Portion control--something I never learned as a child or adult

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Yehuda Lave, Spiritual Advisor and Counselor

Forgiving People

 If someone has wronged you and then shows sincere regret and asks for forgiveness, what should you do?

Go out of your way to do positive things for him that will express your love and concern for him. In this way, you are encouraging him for realizing his mistake and doing the right thing to correct it.

Love Yehuda Lave

Tips to Control Food Portion Sizes


  • Divide your plate. This means a standard dinner plate, not one of the monsters you get at a restaurant. Half the plate should contain fruits and/or vegetables. The other half of the plate should be equal portions lean protein and starch.
  • Portion out large packages of food. If you purchase large bags of snacks such as popcorn, crackers or cheese, take the time to divide the packages into single servings. That way, when hunger strikes, you can open the cabinet and refrigerator and grab one portion and aren't at risk of downing the entire container. You can also serve your snack in a small bowl to help keep you from eating more than one portion.
  • Remember that serving size and portion size aren't exactly the same thing. A serving size is clearly listed on the package. That's the amount of food you should portion out to keep things under control. Go ahead and use measuring tools, if you need to, until you can eyeball what a properly sized portion should look like.
  • Avoid family style dining. Having all that food right in front of you on the table means you're more likely to refill your plate after eating a portion.
  • Buy smaller dishes. This makes it natural to serve yourself proper portions instead of overloading without realizing it. If the plate is huge, you may unwittingly put more than a portion on it even if you think you're serving up the right amount. Trade your dishes in for smaller versions and controlling your portions will be much easier.

Katherine the greatest mind in the world

On Steve Harvey show, Katherine is able to memorize all 52 card order when looking at them for just a few seconds.




Katherine does another memory exhibit

Not Just Haredim: Moshe Lion's Votes Came From Across The Spectrum

Debunking the myth that Moshe Leon [otherwise spelled Lion] won Jerusalem's mayoral runoff due to Haredi votes, MyNetJerusalem reported on election results per neighborhood, as follows:
Kiryat Moshe - generally staunch national religious: 

Moshe Leon 5,722
Ofer Berkovitch 1,290
Givat Mordechai - generally national religious/traditional: Moshe Leon won by 300 votes
Kiryat Yovel - a stronghold of the Berkovitch "Hitorerut" party - largely secular, with a small Haredi population: Leon managed to scrape 3574 votes, compared to Berkowitz's 6,343. 
That is to say, even in neighborhoods Berkovitch was expected to sweep, Leon still came out with thousands of votes.
In conclusion, it wasn't "just the Haredim," rather, Leon appealed to a wide swath of Jerusalemites.

Shufersal Wants To Go Cashier-Free

Shufersal Ltd., Israel's biggest supermarket chain, has partnered with Tel Aviv-based shopping

automation startup Trigo Vision Ltd. to offer a no-checkout shopping experience within the chain's 272 stores, the companies announced Tuesday.


Founded in 2017, Trigo Vision uses in-store ceiling-mounted cameras to identify items picked up by customers, automatically charging them as they leave the store. The cost of implementing Trigo Vision's system is estimated at NIS 50,000 (approximately $13,500) per store, according to a person familiar with the deal who spoke with Calcalist on condition of anonymity.

Full Story (Calcalist - CTech)

How married men grocery shop--a true story from my sister

The first time I asked Howard to go the grocery store, something strange happened.
It took him two hours to do a simple trip, at least, simple to me.
He came back flushed and upset.
I was worried that he was in an accident.   The second time this occurred, I had to stop what I was doing, and, address the issue.
Howard, I said, when you applied for this job, you told me you were the head of your household. You did all the manly things. You told me you and your wife went shopping together.   Exactly what do you do when you go shopping?
*********************************   Well, Howard hemmed and hawed.
We go on Saturday morning after breakfast. I drive. My wife sits next to me. I drop her off in front of the market and, then park my car in a shady spot. I read a book. About an hour later, my wife comes out with a grocery cart full of bags of groceries.   I jump up out of the car, Howard continued.
My wife sits down in her seat and, I take the bags out of the grocery cart and, put them into the trunk. I close the trunk, I bring back the grocery cart, and, then we go home for lunch.   You mean that you have never been INSIDE of a grocery store, I asked incredulously.
Nope, he said, not until today.   Gosh, those places are big

Why Howard never went into the grocery store in 30 years

Howard is not unusual. This is how most married men shop, which is why they are so dependent on their wives if the wife dies or they get divorced. The reason for this is quite simple. When a man shops, the wife or girlfriend is never pleased with what they buy. The wife, who works with food since she was a child, likes the lettuce to be perfect, this can of beans to be so-so, and a hundred other details that a man doesn't' even notice or care about. When he brings his hard work home, the wife complains about this and that, and the poor husband, who was just trying to please his wife in the first place, feels frustrated and upset.

Any husband in his right mind, soon figures out that this is a losing battle and just gives the wife the money and lets her do it her way. This is how Howard stayed happily married until he met my sister.


See you tomorrow (bli-neder)

Love Yehuda Lave

Rabbi Yehuda Lave

2850 Womble Road, Suite 100-619, San Diego
United States


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Sunday, November 18, 2018

What Does Oy Gevalt Mean? and thanksgiving update and places to eat and enjoy in Israel for Thursday the 22nd, 2018

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Yehuda Lave, Spiritual Advisor and Counselor

Feel Gratitude In Proportion

 Normally when a person searches for something and finds it, he's happy. But if he does not find it, he's sad.

A person who seeks good deeds should react differently. Regardless of whether or not he is successful, he should feel joy at trying, even if for some reason things did not work out as he had planned.

And of course Thusdayis Thanksgiving, so have plenty to feel gratitute for. Even if you don't get a Turkey, but I have some Turkey choices for you below. If someone wants to come with me, I am thinking of going to Tel Aviv for Thanksgiving.

Love Yehuda Lave

A Guide To Thanksgiving 2018 In Jerusalem Zev Stub

Thanksgiving this year is Thursday, November 22. 

I consider myself fully Israeli, but Thanksgiving turkey is an old-country tradition that my family takes very seriously. And as a Jew, I'm always happy to have a reminder to be grateful. Here's a short guide to celebrating Thanksgiving in Jerusalem. ShoppingMost butchers can get you a whole turkey if you order it in advance. Rami Levy, Super-Sol, and Co-Op are usually happy to take your orders. Ask at your meat counter about a week before Thanksgiving to see if you can get one. 
If you're stuck last minute, some of the American-style grocery stores might have turkeys in stock on Thanksgiving. Places to try include Super Deal on Derech Chevron, Super HaMoshava on Emek Refaim,  Har Nof Butcher on Chai Taib, and many others. These places probably also carry other Thanksgiving staples like canned pumpkin, cranberries, etc. EventsThere are a few Thanksgiving events going on around Jerusalem.

OU Israel Thanksgiving Dinner: Evening of Torah and Inspiration

Mike's Annual Thanksgiving Dinner

Beit Hillel Thanksgiving Dinner for Hebrew University students

On Monday, Nov 19, check out NBN's Thanksgiving Themed Volunteering

Check out Tel Aviv events at Secret Tel Aviv

Other resourcesEnglish Hebrew Thanksgiving Vocabulary wordsAn old discussion thread on Buying a Thanksgiving Turkey

Thanksgiving Apple Pies for sale
Happy Thanksgiving!


I'm thinking of going to a Tel Aviv Thanksgiving Nefesh dinner on Thanksgiving mself, because my wife who is not American, doesn't get Thanksgiving and doesn't want to go, so let me know if someone wants to go with me _Yehuda Lave

Jaffa wandering with Dr Shakshouka

On 10/23/18 we wander through Jaffe and south Tel Aviv and eat ourselves silly at Dr. Shakshouka

9 Ways to Talk Like a Jew By Rosally Saltsman

One of the merits that the Jews had to be freed from slavery in Egypt was that they kept their own customs, including their own language. While on the surface that means they spoke Hebrew (as it was spoken then), a broader understanding could be that they spoke the way a Jew is supposed to speak, with the ethical and halachic rules and nuances as well.

Here are 9 examples of "Jewspeak," as dictated by the Torah.

1. Mentioning G‑d.

When someone is asked how they are, they invariably answer: Thank G‑d. Jews habitually thank G‑d for the good in our lives (even if we sometimes say it accompanied by a sigh). When we speak of the future, we say, im yirtze Hashem ("G‑d willing") because we know that the future is also dependent on Him.

2. Not taking an oath.

Taking an oath is a very serious thing; in a civil court of law, we affirm our remarks but do not swear by them. While we have to be very careful not to swear, this also involves not making promises. We can't be sure that we will in fact be able to fulfill our plans, so a priori we avoid making promises that we may not be able to keep.

3. Not gossiping.

Any kind of speech that can in any way cause damage to another person—slander, bad-mouthing and bad publicity are all forbidden. The damage that can be done can spiral out of control and cause a loss of health, money, reputation, career, spouse and even life. There are more than 30 separate commandments governing evil speech, emphasizing that we must be exceedingly careful with our words at all times.

4. Purifying our speech.

Swearing or using any kind of profane language is forbidden in Judaism. G‑d gave us (humans) the gift of speech, and we are not to sully the tools we use to communicate, with vulgarity or offensive words.

5. Keeping our speech positive.

Compliments, gratitude and words of praise are all the language of the Jew. Long before life coaches were espousing the good energy created by affirmations and positive talk, the Jewish people were called "Yehudim" from the word yehudi, which literally means "one who gives thanks."

6. Keeping far from falsehood.

It isn't enough not to lie. One must be impeccable in their speech so that it isn't even close to being a lie.

7. Not causing anyone pain.

We may not remind people of their past misdeeds, insult someone, tease them, bully them, threaten them or in any way use words to cause them pain or anguish. Even hinting at something that might cause them pain is not allowed. This is especially true when speaking to someone vulnerable, like a widow or an orphan (and the rest of us are pretty vulnerable as well). One must not cause pain even with words that would otherwise seem innocuous.

8. Speaking respectfully.

There is a special mitzvah to respect elders, parents, rabbis and teachers in speech as well as in deed; addressing them by their title and speaking patiently, with respect and with humility.

9. Praying and studying Torah.

Jews are always communing with G‑d. There is a midrash that a person's words are numbered with the exception of the ones they use to pray and study Torah. There are so many elevated, spiritual ideas to discuss that we are not meant to waste words on mundane things. When we use our speech for holy pursuits, it can never diminish us or get us into trouble.

And that's really saying something.

By Rosally Saltsman Rosally Saltsman is a freelance writer originally from Montreal living in Israel. Click here for free inspiring e-books by Rosally Saltsman and Robin Meyerson. More from Rosally Saltsman  |  RSS © Copyright, all rights reserved. If you enjoyed this article, we encourage you to distribute it further, provided that you comply with Chabad.org's copyright policy.

Please watch / share

This, my first music video will be on YouTube 2 years towards the end of December.I need 147 views to reach 5000.  Also need all of you to subscribe to my YouTube channel (it's FREE -- and it will help me).  Please share this, and all of MY songswith like everyone you know.  
Also, if you live in Modi'in, please arrange to stop by my place and purchase a limitededition music CD of MY songs.  And tell your friends, who've heard MY songs at various venues in Modi'in, to do so.  I'm selling them "for a song" and you'd be helpinga struggling artist who's entertained you throughout the years.  
Thanks, in advance. 
Peace out.

10 Inspiring Orphans Who Significantly Impacted Judaism By Menachem Posner

Orphans take a special place in Judaism. The Torah exhorts us numerous times to be particularly careful to treat orphans (and widows) with kindness and sensitivity. The sages of the Talmud set up numerous safeguards to ensure that their possessions and best interests are looked after until they are able to care for themselves.

Meet 10 Jewish leaders who were orphaned at a young age and went on to lead righteous and fulfilling lives that add richness and beauty to Jewish life until this very day.

1. Joseph the Righteous Illustration by Sefira Ross.

Joseph, the eldest son of Rachel and favorite son of Jacob, was born after years of waiting, praying, and hoping. When Rachel passed away shortly after birthing her second son, Benjamin, Joseph's special bond with his father intensified. Joseph's half-brothers resented him dearly and sold him into slavery. Living in Egypt, he overcame temptation (and a prison stint) to become the viceroy to Pharaoh himself. Joseph is eternalized in Jewish teachings as Yosef Hatzadik, "Joseph the Righteous."

Read the Full Story of Joseph

2. The Daughters of Zelophehad

Zelophehad was among the Jews who left Egypt but died before reaching the Promised Land, leaving five daughters but no sons. His wise and brave daughters approached Moses and asked to be given his portion of the land (which would generally have been given to a son, had he left one). Moses presented their request to G‑d, and G‑d agreed with them. Due to their sincere desire to own a portion of the Holy Land, they were given their father's inheritance, and our tradition is that much richer.

Discover the Daughters of Zelophehad

3. Evyatar the Priest

As a child, Evyatar (known in English as Abiathar) survived King Saul's vengeful massacre of Nob, the city of priests where men, women, and even infants were all executed. Evyatar became a faithful member of David's retinue, and during Absalom's rebellion he was part of a vital spying operation that thwarted the rebels' plans and appraised David of enemy movement. During David's reign, he served as the High Priest.

4. King Josiah

Josiah (or Yoshiyahu) inherited the throne of Judah at the tender age of eight, after the assassination of his father, King Amon. The young king presided over a spiritual awakening of historic significance. During the renovation of the Holy Temple that he commissioned, the Torah scroll written by Moses was discovered. This inspired the king and the people to renew their commitment to G‑d and rid themselves of idols.

Read the Story of King Josiah

5. Queen Esther

A descendant of King Saul with neither father nor mother, Esther was taken in by her cousin Mordechai, the leader of the Jewish community in Persia. Beautiful Esther was taken to the palace of Ahasuerus to become his queen. She hid her Judaism until the vicious Haman convinced Ahasuerus to have all the Jews in his kingdom executed. With great courage, Esther exposed Haman's plot and, in a dramatic turn of events, saved her people.

Read the Book of Esther

6. Rabbi Yochanan

Rabbi Yochanan was born in the Land of Israel after the destruction of the Second Temple. His father died before he was born, and his mother died in childbirth, so Yochanan was raised by his grandfather. When Rabbi Judah the Prince noticed the promising young orphan, he recruited him into his yeshivah, where he was greatly impressed by Yochanan's refined manner of speech.

Rabbi Yochanan, who lived a long and fruitful life as a Torah teacher and leader of the Jews in the Holy Land, was wont to remark that he was grateful to G‑d for having made him an orphan: since he never interacted with his parents, he could be certain that he had never treated them with disrespect.

Learn More About Rabbi Yochanan

7. Abaye

Abaye, too, was born a double orphan. He was taken in by his aunt and uncle, Rabbah Bar Nachmeni and his wife, to whom he appears to have been quite close. He quotes wise remedies and adages in the Talmud as things he heard from "Mother." The very name Abaye—apparently not the name he received at birth—is a reflection of his orphanhood. It is an acronym for the word of the prophet Hosea: אֲשֶׁר־בְּךָ֖ יְרֻחַ֥ם יָתֽוֹם ("for in You the orphan is granted mercy").1 As head of the yeshivah in Pumpeditah, his teachings are found (often alongside those of his colleague, Ravah) throughout the Babylonian Talmud.

Read: The Orphan Sage

8. The Holy Ari Resting place of the Ari in the ancient Jewish cemetery in Safed.

Rabbi Isaac Halevi Luria was one of the most influential Kabbalah scholars of all time. Known as the Ari ("lion"), he led the legendary Safed Kabbalists in the 16th Century. He was orphaned from his father at a young age and taken in by his maternal uncle, the wealthy and learned Mordechai Frances of Cairo.

Despite living just 38 years, the Ari left an indelible mark on the Jewish people, opening up the wellsprings of Kabbalah in an unprecedented manner.

Learn More About the Arizal

9. Rabbi Yisrael Baal Shem Tov © Zalman Kleinman

By the age of five, young Yisrael was left orphaned from both his father and mother, Eliezer and Sarah. Before his death, Eliezer called his son to his bedside and advised him, "Fear no one but G‑d. Love every Jew with all your heart and soul, no matter who he is."

These two directives would serve as the basis for Yisrael's service of G‑d and future teachings. A scholar and mystic who passionately loved all of G‑d's creations, Rabbi Yisrael Baal Shem Tov forged a new path of Divine service, known as Hassidism. His influence on Jewish life is felt strongly until this very day.

Learn More About the Baal Shem Tov

10. The Tzemach Tzedek

Young Menachem Mendel was the grandson of the founder of Chabad, Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi. His parents were Rabbi Shalom Shachna and Rebbetzin Devorah Leah. Sensing that a Divine decree threatened the future of the Chassidic movement, Rebbetzin Devorah Leah asked G‑d to take her life instead, absorbing the harsh decree upon herself. Her wish was fulfilled, and her son, who had just turned three, grew up on the knee of his illustrious grandfather.

Under his leadership, Chabad in Russia attained its peak, both in terms of numbers of adherents and in the scope of its influence. A prolific writer of mystical teachings as well as a revered halachic authority, Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Lubavitch, known as the Tzemach Tzedek, was a bold and insightful leader of 19th century Jewry. Among his many endeavors, were his efforts on behalf of the Jewish Cantonists, who were kidnapped and forcibly inducted into the Czar's army for 25 years.

Read: The Story of Devorah Leah

Footnotes 1.

Hosea 14:4.

By Menachem Posner Rabbi Menachem Posner serves as staff editor at Chabad.org, the world's largest Jewish informational website. He has been writing, researching, and editing for Chabad.org since 2006, when he received his rabbinic degree from Central Yeshiva Tomchei Temimin Lubavitch. He resides in Chicago, Ill., with his family. More from Menachem Posner  |  RSS © Copyright, all rights reserved. If you enjoyed this article, we encourage you to distribute it further, provided that you comply with Chabad.org's copyright policy.

What Does Oy Gevalt Mean?

Oy is the Yiddish equivalent of "oh" and gevalt means "violence" or "force." Thus, oy gevalt ("oh violence") would be a cry for help in an emergency.

It has further been expanded to be an expression of wonder at anything disastrous. It is perfectly normal to say, "Oy gevalt, my cake flopped again!" even though there is no violence and not much of an emergency. "Oy gevalt, my cake flopped again!"

Note: While most English-speakers are familiar with gevalt, the more common Yiddish form of this word is gevald. Pronounce it: OY Geh-VALD

Taking things one step further, just like gevalt is a response to something awful, it can also be used to marvel at something awesome. "Did you enjoy that Talmud class?" "Yes, it was gevaldig!" Pronounce it: Geh-VALD-ig or Geh-VALD-ik

Just for bragging rights, here are some other forms of this word to add oomph to your Yiddish:

Gevaldinkes: The added suffixes make this expression of alarm so much juicer, but the intent is pretty much the same. Pronounce it: Geh-VALD-in-kess

Gevaldeve: Gevaldeve is a verb. So when your roommate is crying bloody murderer over the Orioles' losing season, you can ask them not to gavaldeve so that you can get some sleep. Pronounce it: Geh-VALD-eh-veh

Gevald Geshrien: Means "shouted gevald" and is the rough Yiddish equivalent of "Oh, for crying out loud!" in which you shout about shouting. Pronounce it: Geh-VALD Geh-SHREE-in

The Gevald of the Chassidic Masters

Chassidic literature and lore is rife with gevalds accentuating and emphasizing the passionate words of the Chassidic masters. Here are some classic examples.

The Alter Rebbe: The final chapter of Tanya includes a letter penned by the Alter Rebbe (Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi, author of Tanya) exhorting Chassidic communities to pray in an orderly and unhurried fashion. Although the letter is written in Rabbinic Hebrew, the Alter Rebbe added the words "gevald, gevald" for emphasis,1 before writing, "How long will this be an obstacle for us? Haven't enough reproofs and troubles overtaken us?"2

The Grandfather of Shpole: In a beautiful melody he composed with lyrics in Hebrew, Yiddish, and Russian, the Grandfather of Shpole (Shpoler Zayde in Yiddish) describes a father seeking his children who have wandered into the forest, a parable for G‑d and His beloved nation of Israel. The song begins with the words, "Ah geshray, ah gevald…" ("a scream, a gevald…").

Rabbi Nachman of Breslov: Despite being plagued with ongoing troubles and tragedy, Rabbi Nachman was known for encouraging all to remain hopeful, faithful, and cheerful. Regarding those who may be inclined to see their Divine service as less than perfect, he shouted, "Gevald, don't you give up!"3

Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak of Lubavitch: Our world is a world of action. The era of Moshiach will be one of spiritual delight, but we will no longer be able to accomplish as we can now. Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak would say that in the era of Moshiach we will tell ourselves: "Gevald, back in the time of exile there was so much that we could have accomplished!"4

Footnotes 1.

Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak of Lubavitch explained that he chose to write these words in Yiddish since that language is a fitting vehicle to express something especially personal (quoted in Igrot Kodesh IV, letter # 829).


Kuntres Acharon 9.


This is often quoted as being found in Likutei Moharan II 78. However, the exact line גיוואלד זייט אייך נישט מייאש does not appear there.


Quoted by a the Rebbe in Igrot Kodesh III, letter #680

Beltani: How I Made Peace With My Imperfect Life By Chanee Eliezrie


Walking home after being invited out for a Friday-night dinner, I was feeling a little disheartened. It had not been the easiest year for me and my husband. It was a year filled with the usual disappointments, upsets and failures, along with a mixed bag of extra challenges that stretched us to dig deep in places we didn't know we could. And that particular night, I was feeling it.

I was walking home alone that night, down myI needed to change my focus usual route, thinking about life and hoping the year to come would be a positive one. My mind kept returning to the meal I had just come from. I couldn't help comparing myself to others who seemed to have more going for them, a view that only reinforced the unfairness of it it all.

Halfway through my walk, I stopped myself. Yes, it had been a challenging year, I rationalized. Yes, I had a right to feel down about it, but would it help? I decided I needed to change my focus. Instead of dwelling on what was lacking in our lives, I needed to center on what was thriving instead.

As I thought about this, I passed a stately apartment building. Set back from the street and covered in greenery, it was quiet and unassuming in its elegance. In bold gold lettering, it announced its name on the front: Beltani.

Perhaps it was the building's name, which had a ring to it I knew I could commit to memory, or perhaps because it contained the Hebrew word ani in it, meaning "I." I decided then and there my change of focus would be called "Beltani," and the translation would be: I am enough.

I walked the rest of the way home somewhat reassured that things would be OK the way they are, of life being OK exactly as it was, and of me being OK the way I am—flaws, blemishes and all.

I thought about this concept the rest of the week, turning it over in my mind like a dice, flipping over the sides and examining it closer. Beltani became a code word for me, reinforced by the physical landmark I passed daily—a reminder that life, however complicated, was OK, and that I was, quite simply, enough.

Positive thinking as a way to improve my outlook is something I have struggled with. Often, it feels as if my mind is a train with a preordained route and set of tracks. But that night, I knew that if I could change my attitude towards life for that 10-minute walk home, I would be able to do it again when I needed to.

Positive thinking is rooted in many Chassidic teachings, including the Tanya. Simple in its truth, the concepts are based on the human psyche. If a change is sparked in our thought patterns, it can tilt over a series of carefully placed dominos and even alter the tracks to my personal train. The belief that things can result in a positive outcome is sometimes all it takes to manifest change on a much larger scale. In the daily grind of life, it can feel almost impossible to break free from thought patterns that keep us stuck, going through the same motions on repeat, never breaking out of the cycle. Sometimes, a boost in attitude is all it takes to tip the scales and to help us see the good in our lives, and be satisfied with things as they are.

I think the concept of being "enough" is oneAs women, we have incredible demands placed upon us many Jewish women find challenging. As women, we have incredible demands placed upon us, and a significant number of people in our lives who rely on us to be strong, to hold things together for them. There is often an invisible pressure that is not seen but felt—to be the perfect version of ourselves, to never let anyone see that things are not, in fact, as perfect as we try to project out to the world. This unspoken belief only adds to the pressure we put on ourselves to perform.

So many of us hold up walls around ourselves that we build to mimic the perfection we want to achieve. But perfection is impossible. Although daunting, it can be freeing to let the world see that there are cracks in our walls and our facade. Sometimes, we need to remind ourselves (and each other) that it is acceptable to let some things go undone, unfinished. To just be.

Ultimately, we are all enough, exactly as we are, right here and right now, in this moment in time, with all our challenges and our joy. We don't lack a thing because, with or without knowing it, what we need we already have. Beltani: We are enough.

By Chanee Eliezrie Chanee Eliezrie is a freelance writer and artist living in Melbourne, Australia. More from Chanee Eliezrie  |  RSS © Copyright, all rights reserved. If you enjoyed this article, we encourage you to distribute it further, provided that you comply with Chabad.org's copyright policy.

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