Sunday, July 24, 2016

Bubby's Tattoo and the Fast of Tammuz today

Rabbi Yehuda Lave

Keep Building Your Self-Confidence

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

Rav Kook- we were like dreamers

Psalm 126 — Shir HaMa'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.


Anticipating 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.

(Adapted from Midbar Shur, pp. 226-227)

bubby's Tattoo-very moving

A soldiers gift--an amazing true story

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:

  1. Moses broke the tablets when he saw the Jewish people worshipping the Golden Calf.
  2. During the Babylonian siege of Jerusalem, the Jews were forced to cease offering the daily sacrifices due to the lack of sheep.
  3. Apostomos burned the holy Torah.1
  4. An idol was placed in the Holy Temple.2
  5. 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.