Accentuate The Positive
Consciously make an effort to fill your mind with positive thoughts. Practice focusing on the hundreds of positive aspects of your life. Be aware of your ability to see, talk, walk, etc.
Thoughts always keep racing through your mind, so gently keep your focus on all the positive details of your life. Realize that you are the one who chooses what thoughts to dwell on. Choose those thoughts which enhance your life.
Love Yehuda Lave
ROBBERY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The gov contributed nothing and took our savings!!!!!
Just a reminder, Better pass this around, it's the clearest presentation
I have seen in quite some time.
Social Security check
Here we go.
ALERT EVERYONE YOU KNOW.
THIS AFFECTS ALL OF US.*
SOCIAL SECURITY becomes FEDERAL BENEFIT CHECK
Have you noticed, the Social Security check is now referred to as a
"Federal Benefit Payment"?
I'll be part of the one percent to forward this. I am forwarding it because
it Touches a nerve in me, and I hope it will in you.
Please keep passing it on until everyone in our country has read it.
The government is now referring to our Social Security checks as
A Federal Benefit Payment.
This isn't a benefit. It Is earned income! Not only did we all contribute
to Social Security but our employers did too.
It totaled 15% of our income before taxes .
If you averaged $30K per year over your working life, that's close to
$180,000 Invested in Social Security.
If you calculate the future value of your monthly investment in social
security( $375/month, including both your and your employers contributions)
at a meager 1% Interest rate
compounded monthly, after 40 years of working you'd have
more than $1.3+ million dollars saved!
This is your personal investment .
Upon retirement, if you took out only 3% per year , you'd receive $39,318
per year, or $3,277 per month.
That's almost three times more than today's average Social Security benefit
of $1,230 per month, according to the Social Security Administration
(Google it - its a fact).
And your retirement fund would last more than 33 years (until you're 98 if
you retire at age 65)! I can only imagine how much better most
average-income people could live in retirement if our government had just
invested our money in low-risk interest-earning accounts .
Instead, the folks in Washington pulled off a bigger ponzi scheme than
Bernie Madoff ever did.
They took our money and used it elsewhere.
They forgot (Knew) that it was OUR money they were taking.
They didn't have a referendum to ask us if we wanted to lend the money to
And they didn't pay interest on the debt they assumed .
And recently, they've told us that the money won't support us for very much
But is it our fault they misused our investments?
And now, to add insult to injury, they're calling it a benefit , as if we
never worked to earn every penny of it.
Just because they borrowed (STOLE) the money,
doesn't mean that our investments were a charity!
Let's take a stand.
We have earned our right to Social Security and Medicare.
Demand that our legislators bring some sense into our government .
Find a way to keep Social Security and Medicare going,
for the sake of that 92% of our population who need it.
*Then call it what it is:
Our Earned Retirement Income.
by Shraga Simmons
ABCs of SukkotGuidelines for the joyous Jewish outdoor festival of Sukkot.
The 8-day holiday of Sukkot begins Wednesday evening, October 8, 2014.
Following on the heels of the High Holidays is Sukkot, a seven-day festival (8 days in the Diaspora) characterized by the outdoor Sukkah-huts that we sit in, and the "Four Species" of plants waved together each day.
Sukkot is a holiday of immense joy, where we express our complete trust in God, and celebrate our confidence in having received a "good judgment" for the coming year.
Throughout the week of Sukkot, we eat, sleep and socialize in a Sukkah, reminding us that:
The Four Species
On Sukkot, we are commanded to wave the Four Species, each noted for its special beauty:
We bind all the branches together: two willows on the left, one palm branch in the center, and three myrtles on the right. Say the following blessing, then lift them together with the Esrog and shake it in all directions, as a symbol of God's mastery over all Creation.
The Four Species are waved each day (except for Shabbat) in the synagogue, during the recitation of the Hallel prayers of praise. Hallel is followed by Hoshanot, where everyone circles a Torah scroll held on the Bima.
It is a special tradition to "beautify" this mitzvah by getting the nicest species available. At the very least, there are specific requirements to be valid for the mitzvah. Since the details are many and technical, it is not recommended to search through the forest on your own for these species! (Particularly the Esrog, which can easily be confused with a lemon.) Purchase a complete set from a reliable distributor; your local Jewish bookstore should have a "Four Species Set" with a rabbinical seal certifying their validity.
After the holiday, some have the custom to recycle the esrog as a "spice box" for use at Havdalah. In this way, the esrog goes "from one mitzvah to another." Here's how to do it: Buy a package of whole (not ground) cloves. Use an awl to make the holes, then place the cloves painstakingly into each hole. (Yes, this is a great way to keep kids occupied for hours on end.) Keep the cloved esrog in a box, to preserve the beautiful scent of the pungent citrusy etsrog mixing with the sweet 'n spicy cloves. (A plastic container carries a higher risk of mildew.)
The Sukkah Hut
Building your own Sukkah is a great activity to share with your family and friends. The Sukkah must be at least 27x27 inches square. It can be built in a yard, apartment balcony, or even on the back of an elephant.
Your Sukkah needs at least three walls. The walls can be of any material, as long as they are sturdy enough to withstand a normal wind. The walls should be at least 38 inches high (96 cm), but not higher than 30 feet (9.6 m).
You don't have to build walls especially for the Sukkah; you can use the side of a building, or even a hedge of bushes. And if you can find an area that is already enclosed by 2 or 3 walls, then your job will be that much easier!
The roof material (S'chach) must be made from material that grows from the ground, i.e. branches or leaves (but not metal). If you're using unfinished boards, they should preferably not be wider than 5 cm. Also, the material must be presently detached from the ground. This means that nothing can be overhanging your Sukkah – not a tree, a gutter, air-conditioning unit, etc.
The roof must be sufficiently covered so that it gives more shade than sun during the daytime, yet it should be sufficiently open so that the stars are visible through the roof at night. The roof material can only be added after the requisite number of walls are in place.
Since the Sukkah is designated as your "home" for the next seven days, it is customary to decorate it nicely. Many people hang fruits and flowers from the ceiling, and tape posters of Jerusalem and other Jewish themes on the walls.
It is also traditional to "welcome" the seven great leaders of Israel (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moshe, Aaron, Joseph and David) as guests (ushpizin) into one's Sukkah throughout the festival.
More Sukkot Traditions
It is a special mitzvah to rejoice on Sukkot. To this end, the intermediate days of Sukkot are marked by celebrations called Simchat Beit HaSho'eva, commemorating the water libations that were offered during Sukkot in the Holy Temple.
Sukkot is closely connected to "water," as it is the day of universal judgment with regard to the blessings of rain and irrigation for the coming year.
Sukkot is also a time of universal blessing for all peoples; symbolized by the 70 additional offerings brought in the Temple, corresponding to the 70 nations of the world.
The Book of Ecclesiastes, written by King Solomon, is read on Shabbat during Sukkot. The theme of Ecclesiastes is the folly of pursuing temporal pleasures of this world, as opposed to more eternal spiritual pursuits. Indeed, the Sukkah's flimsy construction reminds us that material possessions are transient.
The seventh day of Sukkot is called Hoshana Rabba, which features seven circuits around the bima, with the Four Species in hand. The procession culminates with the beating of the willow branch. Hoshana Rabba is known as the day of the final sealing of judgment which began on Rosh Hashanah. On Hoshana Rabba, some have the custom to read the Book of Deuteronomy and stay up all night studying Torah.
Shmini Atzeret and Simchat Torah
Immediately following Sukkot is one more holiday called Shmini Atzeret, literally the "Eighth Day of Assembly." This is a time to cease the busy activity of the holiday season and simply savor the special relationship with the Almighty before heading out into the long winter season. It is a separate holiday from Sukkot, meaning that the She'hecheyanu blessing is recited, and the obligation to sit in the Sukkah does not apply.
On Shmini Atzeret, Yizkor is recited in the synagogue.
The next day is Simchat Torah, which celebrates the completion and new beginning of the annual Torah reading cycle. In the synagogue, all the Torah scrolls are taken out of the Ark, and the congregation dances "seven circuits" amidst great joy and song. Click here for the text and audio recordings of the most popular Simchat Torah melodies.
In Israel, Simchat Torah is held the same day as Shmini Atzeret.
Wishing you a joyful Sukkot!