What Do You Say to Yourself After Someone Criticizes You?
Imagine that someone criticizes you. Then imagine yourself feeling joyful about this wonderful opportunity to learn something positive from the criticism. Imagine that you love to hear feedback about what you've said and done or didn't say and do. Positive feedback means that you are on track. Critical feedback means that you can now improve and develop yourself.
Imagine that your self-talk sounds like, "I appreciate and am grateful for this wonderful opportunity to become better. I am grateful to this person for telling me something that will be beneficial for me."
If you actually respond to criticism this way, congratulations! It shows that you have integrated one of the elevated qualities listed in the 48 factors to acquire Torah.
If you are like most people, however, you don't think of critical feedback as one of your greatest pleasures in life. But if you have the inner strength, courage, and honesty to be open to hearing criticism, you will grow more in life.
So what can you say to yourself if you have not yet mastered the ability to love criticism?
One possibility is: "My goal is to constantly grow and develop myself. I love positive feedback. But I can grow from critical feedback. So I will increase my inner strength, courage, and honesty to be open to hear what people say, and to weigh what they say objectively."
You don't have to feel bad about yourself because someone gave you critical feedback. Your value as a person is inherent, because you are a child of the Creator and are created in His image. You have many positive qualities and have done many positive things. Your value and worth are infinite. Integrating this attitude will ensure that your sense of self-worth will remain consistently high.
Love Yehuda Lave and Happy Chanakuh
Dear World =a letter to the world
The Rationalist view of Sequlah's
In the past, I have written about how I am fairly tolerant of superstitions - one person's segulah is another person's fundamental religious belief. How much more inherently irrational are segulos than, say, tefillas haderech (which I am extremely makpid about)? Furthermore, they can be psychologically helpful.
However, I am gradually becoming less and less sympathetic to them. First of all, I have seen how major organizations capitalize on segulos in order to take advantage of people. Second, the entire anti-scientific mindset is clearly very harmful - just look at the measles outbreak, which seems to be caused by the anti-scientific anti-vaccination movement.
It's a pity that people can't make use of more traditional segulos. I would like to once again share the following list of segulos, sourced in Chazal and the Rishonim, and compiled by my late neighbor Rabbi Dovid Landesman ztz"l:
1. Segulah for recovery from illness – go to a doctor [Berachot 60a, Bava Kamma 46b) 2. Segulah for longevity – lead a healthy lifestyle (Rambam, De'ot 4:20) 3. Segulah for marriage – look for a suitable wife (Kiddushin 2b) 4. Segulah for shalom bayit – love and forbearance (Sanhedrin 7a, Bava Metzia 59a) 5. Segulah for children – prayer to Hashem (Shmuel I 1) 6. Segulah for yir'at Shamayim – learning (Avot 2:5) 7. Segulah for spirituality – learning and mitzvah observance (Megillah 6b) 8. Segulah for kavanna in prayer – take it seriously (Berachot 5:1) 9. Segulah for parnasa – learn a profession (Kiddushin 30a) 10. Segulah for pure faith – don't believe in segulot (Devarim 18:13)
This Makes Up for Everything: Happy Hanukkah! Chag Sameach from the White House!
He did not mention that, had the Maccabees redeemed the Holy Temple today, they would surely have been condemned by the UN Security Council, with the US abstaining, because said Holy Temple stood in 'Occupied East Jerusalem.'
President Barack Obama issued a Hanukkah greeting 2 weeks ago – one day ahead of the start of the Jewish holiday, and at about the same time his UN envoy abstained at a Security Council, throwing the Jewish State to the dogs for the first time since his spiritual predecessor President Jimmy Carter had done in it 1980. Obama explained that "the meaning of this holiday has inspired an American tradition of religious freedom."
Hanukkah commemorates the rededication of the Holy Temple in 165 BC by the Maccabees after it had been desecrated by Helenized Jews and their imperial patrons in Damascus. Obama, who hosted more than 1,000 people during two Hanukkah receptions at the White House last week, on Friday afternoon addressed how the values of the holiday apply to everyone, regardless of their faith.
He did not mention that, had the Maccabees redeemed the Holy Temple today, they would surely have been condemned by the UN Security Council, with the US abstaining, because said Holy Temple stood in "Occupied East Jerusalem."
"For more than two millennia, the story of Hanukkah has reminded the world of the Jewish people's perseverance and the persistence of faith, even against daunting odds," the president said. "For more than two centuries, the meaning of this holiday has inspired an American tradition of religious freedom – one codified in the Bill of Rights and chronicled in the enduring promise President George Washington made in his letter to the Jews of Newport, Rhode Island: that the United States 'gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance.'
"May the flicker of each flame in every Menorah remind us all of the profound miracles in our own lives. And may the light of hope we shed continue to drive out darkness and brighten the futures we build for our families, our neighbors, our communities, and our world.
"On behalf of Michelle and my family, Chanukah Sameach. Happy Hanukkah!"
It can be safely said, to paraphrase the late Winston Churchill, a man who never pretended to like Jews but nevertheless sacrificed tens of thousands of his countrymen's lives to end their mass murder, Never has a smaller man said so much and meant so little.
About the Author:JNi.Media provides editors and publishers with high quality Jewish-focused content for their publications.
Full Text of UN Security Council Condemnation of Israel, Resolution 2334
The full text of the 2016 UN resolution demanding Israel give up any territory won in defensive wars since 1967. By: Hana Levi JulianPublished: December 24th, 2016
JewishPress.com is providing the full text of Resolution 2334(2016) for readers who are wondering about the precise language in America's betrayal of Israel on Friday, and that of others who voted unanimously for the UN Security Council resolution condemnation of the Jewish State.
The full text of resolution 2334 (2016) reads as follows:
"The Security Council,
"Reaffirming its relevant resolutions, including resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973), 446 (1979), 452 (1979), 465 (1980), 476 (1980), 478 (1980), 1397 (2002), 1515 (2003), and 1850 (2008),
"Guided by the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, and reaffirming, inter alia, the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force,
"Reaffirming the obligation of Israel, the occupying Power, to abide scrupulously by its legal obligations and responsibilities under the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, and recalling the advisory opinion rendered on 9 July 2004 by the International Court of Justice,
"Condemning all measures aimed at altering the demographic composition, character and status of the Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, including, inter alia, the construction and expansion of settlements, transfer of Israeli settlers, confiscation of land, demolition of homes and displacement of Palestinian civilians, in violation of international humanitarian law and relevant resolutions,
"Expressing grave concern that continuing Israeli settlement activities are dangerously imperilling the viability of the two-State solution based on the 1967 lines,
"Recalling the obligation under the Quartet Roadmap, endorsed by its resolution 1515 (2003), for a freeze by Israel of all settlement activity, including "natural growth", and the dismantlement of all settlement outposts erected since March 2001,
"Recalling also the obligation under the Quartet roadmap for the Palestinian Authority Security Forces to maintain effective operations aimed at confronting all those engaged in terror and dismantling terrorist capabilities, including the confiscation of illegal weapons,
"Condemning all acts of violence against civilians, including acts of terror, as well as all acts of provocation, incitement and destruction,
"Reiterating its vision of a region where two democratic States, Israel and Palestine, live side by side in peace within secure and recognized borders,
"Stressing that the status quo is not sustainable and that significant steps, consistent with the transition contemplated by prior agreements, are urgently needed in order to (i) stabilize the situation and to reverse negative trends on the ground, which are steadily eroding the two-State solution and entrenching a one-State reality, and (ii) to create the conditions for successful final status negotiations and for advancing the two-State solution through those negotiations and on the ground,
"1. Reaffirms that the establishment by Israel of settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, has no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the achievement of the two-State solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace;
"2. Reiterates its demand that Israel immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, and that it fully respect all of its legal obligations in this regard;
"3. Underlines that it will not recognize any changes to the 4 June 1967 lines, including with regard to Jerusalem, other than those agreed by the parties through negotiations;
"4. Stresses that the cessation of all Israeli settlement activities is essential for salvaging the two-State solution, and calls for affirmative steps to be taken immediately to reverse the negative trends on the ground that are imperilling the two-State solution;
"5. Calls upon all States, bearing in mind paragraph 1 of this resolution, to distinguish, in their relevant dealings, between the territory of the State of Israel and the territories occupied since 1967;
"6. Calls for immediate steps to prevent all acts of violence against civilians, including acts of terror, as well as all acts of provocation and destruction, calls for accountability in this regard, and calls for compliance with obligations under international law for the strengthening of ongoing efforts to combat terrorism, including through existing security coordination, and to clearly condemn all acts of terrorism;
"7. Calls upon both parties to act on the basis of international law, including international humanitarian law, and their previous agreements and obligations, to observe calm and restraint, and to refrain from provocative actions, incitement and inflammatory rhetoric, with the aim, inter alia, of de-escalating the situation on the ground, rebuilding trust and confidence, demonstrating through policies and actions a genuine commitment to the two-State solution, and creating the conditions necessary for promoting peace;
"8. Calls upon all parties to continue, in the interest of the promotion of peace and security, to exert collective efforts to launch credible negotiations on all final status issues in the Middle East peace process and within the time frame specified by the Quartet in its statement of 21 September 2010;
"9. Urges in this regard the intensification and acceleration of international and regional diplomatic efforts and support aimed at achieving, without delay a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East on the basis of the relevant United Nations resolutions, the Madrid terms of reference, including the principle of land for peace, the Arab Peace Initiative and the Quartet Roadmap and an end to the Israeli occupation that began in 1967; and underscores in this regard the importance of the ongoing efforts to advance the Arab Peace Initiative, the initiative of France for the convening of an international peace conference, the recent efforts of the Quartet, as well as the efforts of Egypt and the Russian Federation;
"10. Confirms its determination to support the parties throughout the negotiations and in the implementation of an agreement;
"11. Reaffirms its determination to examine practical ways and means to secure the full implementation of its relevant resolutions;
"12. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the Council every three months on the implementation of the provisions of the present resolution;
"13. Decides to remain seized of the matter."
Hana Levi Julian
About the Author:Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.
Four novice nuns were about to take their vows.
Four novice nuns were about to take their vows.
Dressed in their white gowns, they entered the chapel for their symbolic marriage to Jesus, making them "Brides of Christ."
Just as the ceremony was about to begin, four Hasidic Jews came in and sat in the front row.
The Mother Superior said, "I am so honored you want to share this experience with us. May I ask why you came?"
"We're from the groom's family."
See you Sunday and happy Chanukah and Shabbat Shalom
Even when you are on the receiving end of someone else's kindness, you can do something to increase kindness in the world. How? Express gratitude for the kindness in a way that this person will build up a greater appreciation for doing even more acts of kindness for others!
Love Yehuda Lave and Happy Chanukah
Netanyahu, in Defiance of UN, Lights Chanukah Candles in Old City of Jerusalem
Demonstrating that Israel will not abide by the UN resolution denying Jewish historical and legal rights to Jerusalem, Netanyahu lit Chanukah candles in the Old City, celebrating the Maccabean victory in 164 BCE – long before the arrival of the Palestinians.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did not originally plan on lighting the second Chanukah candle in the Old City of Jerusalem, but in light of the anti-Israel US Security Council resolution that passed on Friday, claiming that Jewish communities in the Holy City of Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria were illegitimate, he was inspired to go.
Following is the text of his statement upon lighting the Chanukah candles on Sunday evening:
"I did not plan to be here this evening, but in light of the UN resolution, I thought that there was no better place to light the second Chanukah candle than the Western Wall.
"According to the UN resolution, the Maccabees did not liberate Jerusalem, they occupied Palestinian territory. According to the UN resolution, the villages that they started out from in the Modi'in area, those villages and that area were "occupied Palestinian territory."
'We Do Not Accept this Resolution'
"Of course. the Palestinians arrived much later. We were in these places. We will return to these places, and I ask those same countries that wish us a Happy Chanukah how they could vote for a UN resolution which says that this place, in which we are now celebrating Chanukah, is occupied territory.
"The Western Wall is not occupied. The Jewish Quarter is not occupied. The other places are not occupied either. Therefore, we do not accept, nor can we accept, this resolution. We are certain of our future just as we are certain of our past. And here I would like to light Chanukah candles on behalf of the Glory of Israel. Happy Chanukah."
Courtesy: Israel Government Press Office
Robert Frost reads his poem Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening - From a 1958 film shot at Frost's farmhouse in Vermont.
A Dual Vision By Rabbi Joshua Hoffman
Yosef, a shepherd with his brothers, has two dreams, both of which he relates to his brothers. In the first dream, his brothers and he are binding sheaves in the field, and their sheaves bow down to his. In the second dream, the sun, moon and the eleven stars bowed down to him. His brothers responded antagonistically to the two dreams, whereas his father, while openly voicing skepticism, after hearing the second dream "waited for the matter" (Bereishis 37:11). Rashi explains this to mean that Ya'akov was looking for it to happen. Why did he take this view?
My teacher, Rav Aharon Soloveichik, zt"l, explained that Yosef's two dreams were an expansion of his own dream which he had after leaving Charan. There he dreamt a ladder standing on earth who's top reached the heavens, with heavenly angels going up and down its rungs. The message was that he would live in this world, meet its material challenges, and use them to bring down spiritually. Yosef's dreams split this message into two, one dealing with his leadership of the family in the material realm, and the other in the spiritual realm. Ya'akov with his close relationship with Yosef, viewed him as his successor, and looked forward to his fulfillment of his mission. Yosef, for his part, also viewed his dreams as prophetic visions, and made efforts to bring about their fulfillment.
We noted last week that Ya'akov's approach to the material aspects of life was a utilitarian one, not seeking pleasure, but as a task to live properly in this word, having one's basic needs, and then elevating their means to lead to spirituality. This was how he educated Yosef, and this is what Yosef ultimately achieved in Egypt.
This approach helps us understand a midrash cited by Rashi in explaining how Yosef overcame the incitements of Potiphar's wife. Yosef almost succumbed to his enticer, when the visage of his father appeared to him, and deterred him. How did Ya'akov's visage relate to Yosef's predicament? Perhaps we can relate it to another Rashi, in parshas Vayeitzei. After working seven years for Rachel, Ya'akov says to Lavan, "Give me my wife, that I may come upon her." Ostensibly, this is not the kind of talk we would expect to hear from Ya'akov. Rashi explains that Ya'akov's intention was to create the twelve tribes to build up the Jewish people. Otherwise, says Rashi, would even the קל שבקלים, "most light-headed person" speak this way? The super-commentary to Rashi, Be'er Yitzchok, by Rabbi Yitzchok Horowitz, says that Ya'akov viewed his marital relations as something holy, to serve a spiritual purpose, and, so, while a קל שבקלים would not speak this way, a קדש קדשים, as Ya'akov was, would do so. This approach to this area of life was the message of Ya'akov's appearing to Yosef.
Tom Ward with his Old Broken Guitar
George Soros is the sugar daddy of the radical left movement.
OUR LIVES DEPEND ON UNITY
OUR LIVES DEPEND ON UNITY The subject matter of this week's Torah portion and the holiday of Chanukah coincide.
Vayeishev is the Torah portion of exile; Chanukah is the holiday of exile.
The reading begins in darkness: "Joseph dreamt a dream which he told to his brothers and they hated him …." It ends in exile.
This is the darkest season. Chanukah is the only Yom Tov during which the moon is waning. Then it disappears and the darkness is complete. These are the longest nights. The trees are bare. Winter is like death, and Chanukah is the Yom Tov of winter.
I heard a fascinating explanation from Rabbi Eliyahu Schneider, the beloved posaik of Yeshiva Sh'or Yoshuv. We know that Jacob was worried he had lost merit in contrast with Esau because he was absent from his parents' home for so many years. But Jacob's parents commanded him to leave! They sent him to the House of Lavan! Why should he be considered deficient in honoring his parents when he was following his parents' instructions?
According to Rabbeinu Bachya, the problem was not that Jacob was physically separated from his parents, but rather that he became subservient to Lavan. Jacob agreed to serve Lavan for fourteen years for Rachel and Leah, and six more years for the sheep! If his parents had asked him to return, he would have been unable to comply because he had indentured himself.
This is a sign for future generations, "ma'ase avos siman l'banim." The essential danger of exile is not physical but spiritual. When we subordinate ourselves to the host culture, when we adopt their worldview and their values, then we really do become slaves. The most insidious degree of slavery is when one doesn't realize he is a slave.
Because Torah is rooted in eternity, it is eternal. All other cultures are temporal and temporary. If a Jew attaches himself to a culture other than his own, he will disappear along with that culture when it ceases to exist.
It is appropriate here to recall the famous words of the non-Jew, Mark Twain: "If the statistics are right, the Jews constitute but one percent of the human race. It suggests a nebulous dim puff of stardust lost in the blaze of the Milky Way. Properly the Jew ought hardly to be heard of; but he is heard of, has always been heard of. He is as prominent on the planet as any other people. He has made a marvelous fight in this world, in all the ages; and he has done it with hands tied behind him… The Egyptian, the Babylonian, and the Persian rose, filled the planet with sound and splendor, then faded to dreamstuff and passed away; the Greek and the Roman followed, and made a vast noise, and they are gone; other peoples have sprung up and held their torch high for a time, but it burned out, and they sit in twilight now, or have vanished. The Jew saw them all, beat them all, and is now what he always was, exhibiting no decadence, no infirmities of age, no weakening of his parts, no slowing of his energies, no dulling of his alert and aggressive mind. All things are mortal but the Jew; all other forces pass, but he remains. What is the secret of his immortality?" (Harper's Magazine, 1879)
Indeed, what is our secret? Our secret is being conscious of G-d, which only happens when we are united. At Mount Sinai, we received the Torah because we were "K'ish echad b'lev echad… like one man with one heart" (Rashi on Exodus 19:2).
We went into the Egyptian exile because of internal strife. The brothers "hated" Joseph, and became distant from each other. This is darkness. There are many explanations of what happened in this Torah reading, but the essence is that the brothers fought.
My friends, we really must take this to heart. Two Jews can pass each other on the street. One wants to say "Shalom aleichem," but the other is looking away. Why is he looking away? Because he doesn't want to say "Shalom aleichem." This is darkness; this is exile.
Why do we hurt ourselves for no reason? What are we afraid of?
My parents, of blessed memory, were not from observant families, but both were raised in a culture of ethics. They would never have considered performing an act which would hurt another person. Their every action implied consideration and refinement. They wouldn't leave a mess for another person to clean up. They covered their mouth when they yawned. They were honest to the penny. My father "loved" to pay taxes! Why? Because he was grateful that he lived in a benevolent culture and felt it was his obligation to support the stable government under which he lived.
Because of my parents, I became observant. "Derech eretz kadma l'Torah." Their values led me naturally to search for the Master of the Universe, Who administers the entire universe with perfect fairness and benevolence.
The sons of Jacob were on a level of righteousness beyond our understanding, yet clearly they made mistakes. Whatever the explanation, hatred among them was to cause repercussions to this very day, with tragic and terrible consequences. All our troubles are rooted in baseless hatred, and the brothers' strife led straight into the Egyptian exile. Our only path to redemption is to return, as our ancestors returned at Mount Sinai, to the unity which enabled us to receive the Torah. I believe it is not an exaggeration to say that one smile to another Jew can tip the scale. We have to repair the terrible breach of baseless hatred!
Do not feel any less self-esteem or become upset if other people speak or act condescendingly to you. The Sages have said that the honored person is the one who honors others. The converse applies: Who is a lowly person? One who tries to lower others.
Being an honored person is dependent on your behavior towards others and not on other people's behavior toward you. Why feel any lack of self-worth just because someone acts disrespectfully to you? Keep focused on your behavior toward others. When someone does not treat you with respect, it is his problem - not yours
Love Yehuda Lave and Happy Chanakah as we reach the mid point of the holiday
Israel tries to take the sting out of typing in Hebrew
Standards Institution grapples with confusing locations of punctuation keys n an attempt to solve the finger-befuddling differences between English and Hebrew keyboard layouts, the Standards Institution of Israel on Tuesday proposed an alternative arrangement for some of the Hebrew keys.
The suggested layout hopes to prevent the typos and confusion caused because some of the punctuation keys stray around the keyboard when typists switch between English and Hebrew on QWERTY layouts.
As a solution, the SII proposed that when functioning in Hebrew, all of the punctuation keys are placed on one side of the keyboard, and there is no double use for any of the letter keys in either English or Hebrew, as is the current standard.
"The purpose of the regulation is to simplify the use of an English-Hebrew keyboard by making it intuitive and direct," explained Israel Standards Institute Director Pinhas Shahar.
A schematic for a new Hebrew-language keyboard layout proposed by the Standards Institution of Israel, December 13, 2016. (screen capture from the Standards Institution of Israel)
The Hebrew alphabet has just 22 letters — but no capitals — although five of them take a different form when used at end of the word. When compared to the English alphabet of 26 individual letters, fitting all of the symbols on the same keyboard becomes tricky.
In addition to reorganizing the punctuation, the SII also advised some Hebrew letters — the final "nun," the final "pey" and the "tuf" should also be shifted up and to the left from their present positions, moving them away from any confusion.
A technical panel including, among others, representatives from the Israel Internet Association, Microsoft, IBM, the Israel Consumer Council, and the Israel Chamber of Information Systems Analysts put together the new keyboard.
The new layout is still only a proposal and following the publication of the design the public will be able to give feedback until December 27. Based on responses a final decision will be made on introducing a new standard for a Hebrew language keyboard.
Truly fascinating article about heart disease and its causes...(not conventional wisdom, but fascinating nonetheless).