Every person has moments of suffering and unpleasantness in his life. If you master the skill of living in the present, you will keep these moments limited to the actual negative experiences. Both before and after a painful experience you will focus on what is at that moment, freeing you from much unnecessary pain in your life.
Very young children have this skill naturally, and that is why they enjoy life unless they are presently in pain. As we grow older, our ability to use our minds and think about the past and future increases. This ability can be utilized in very beneficial ways, but it can also be detrimental. We can transform our lives into suffering and torture by keeping in mind all our unpleasant experiences of the past.
Forgetting those experiences is the positive aspect of forgetfulness.
Love Yehuda Lave
See a Doctor Immediately if You Experience these 6 Signs
Your digestive system consists of your esophagus, stomach, colon, pancreas and liver. Consequently, it's no wonder that symptoms of GI problems occur. But when they do show up in ways that you don't expect, you might not realize that a visit to the gastroenterologist is in order. If you experience any one of these symptoms, be sure to book that appointment
1) If you are having trouble swallowing food, get it checked - especially if the feeling gets more intense over time. In some cases, even water can become hard to swallow. And when pain with drinking water occurs it can be a sign of a serious GI problem. Your doctor will likely also want to know if your swallowing problems come with a side of coughing, hoarseness, hiccups, or feeling full after just a few bites of food. These could indicate esophageal cancer.
2. Your gas clears the room
While flatulence is normal - the average person passes almost 2 liters of gas each day - if it's paired with unpleasant side effects, this is a cause of concern. Be on the look out for abdominal discomfort, change in bowel habits or unexplained weight loss. Unusually foul-smelling gas could be a signal that a parasite called giardia is infecting your intestines.
3. Your pants are suddenly too tight
If you're have a harder time zipping your jeans than you did a few days ago, it may be due to bloating - a common problem that can be a result of overeating or swallowing too much air. But if sudden bloating occurs for no obvious reason and is accompanied by symptoms like pain or blood in the stool, it is best speak to a GI doctor. It could be due to a dairy digestion problem, or it could indicate gastroesophageal reflux disease, irritable bowel syndrome, gallstones, constipation or celiac disease.
4. Your pants are suddenly too loose
Unexplained weight loss can be a symptom of many health problems. Seeing to your digestive system is a great place to start. The first things to exclude are cancers of the colon, pancreas and stomach. Other reasons you might be dropping pounds could include conditions like celiac disease or Crohn's disease, which interfere with your body's ability to absorb nutrients.
5. Bleeding is never normal
With regards to the rectum, bleeding is never normal. Bright red bleeding you see on toilet paper may be from hemorrhoids - swollen blood vessels on your bottom that can itch or hurt. While hemorrhoids can be managed, if bleeding is ongoing or not linked to this, it is essential that you see a GI doctor.
6. You've stopped pumping iron in your blood
Iron helps red blood cells deliver oxygen to the body's tissues. When you're running low on your iron, your whole body will feel it. You may feel very tired, experience headaches, have yellowish skin, brittle nails, hair loss and general overall weakness. Your iron levels can be checked with a simple blood test. Though if you turn out to be anemic, you may need to see your GI specialist. Iron deficiency caused by anemia, can be due to chronic, unseen blood loss in the GI tract from things like colon cancer, stomach cancer, ulcers, inflammatory bowel disease or superficial blood vessels called angiodysplasia.
Time for Some Fun! Purim is here
Purim, celebrated on the 14th of Adar, (Sunday for most of the world and Monday in Jerusalem) is the most fun-filled, action-packed day of the Jewish year. It commemorates our nation's miraculous salvation more than two millennia ago.
The Purim Story in a Nutshell
The Persian empire of the 4th century BCE extended over 127 lands, and all the Jews were its subjects. When King Ahasuerus had his wife, Queen Vashti, executed for failing to follow his orders, he orchestrated a beauty pageant to find a new queen. A Jewish girl, Esther, found favor in his eyes and became the new queen—though she refused to divulge the identity of her nationality.
Meanwhile, the antisemitic Haman was appointed prime minister of the empire. Mordechai, the leader of the Jews (and Esther's cousin), defied the king's orders and refused to bow to Haman. Haman was incensed, and convinced the king to issue a decree ordering the extermination of all the Jews on the 13th of Adar—a date chosen by a lottery Haman made (hence the name Purim, "lots").
Mordechai galvanized all the Jews, convincing them to repent, fast and pray to G‑d. Meanwhile, Esther asked the king and Haman to join her for a feast. At the feast, Esther revealed to the king her Jewish identity. Haman was hanged, Mordechai was appointed prime minister in his stead, and a new decree was issued granting the Jews the right to defend themselves against their enemies.
On the 13th of Adar the Jews mobilized and killed many of their enemies. On the 14th of Adar they rested and celebrated.
How We Celebrate
Though we dress up in holiday finery, Purim doesn't feature holiday work restrictions. Nonetheless, all the better if you can take the day off from work and focus on the holiday and its four special mitzvahs:
(Note: If you are spending Purim in Jerusalem, the laws vary.Click herefor details.)
1. Hear the Megillah
Head to your synagogue to hear the whole Megillah. The Megillah, a.k.a. "The Book of Esther," is the scroll that tells the Purim story. Listen to the public reading twice: once on Purim night, and again on Purim day. This year, that's Saturday night, March 11 and Sunday day, March 12, 2017. Pay attention—it is crucial to hear every word.
When Haman's name is mentioned (Chabad custom is that this is only when it is accompanied with an honorific title), you can twirl graggers (noisemakers) or stamp your feet to eradicate his evil name. Tell your kids that Purim is the only time when it's a mitzvah to make noise!
The Megillah is read from a handwritten parchment scroll, using an age-old tune. Contact your local Chabad rabbi if for any reason you can't make it to your synagogue for the Megillah reading. He'll do his best to send a Megillah reader to your home or office.
2. Give to the Needy (Matanot LaEvyonim)
One of Purim's primary themes is Jewish unity. Haman tried to kill us all, we were all in danger together, so we celebrate together too. Hence, on Purim day we place special emphasis on caring for the less fortunate.
Give money or food to at least two needy people during the daylight hours of Purim, March 12. In case you can't find any needy people, your synagogue will likely be collecting money for this purpose. At least, place two coins in a charity box earmarked for the poor.
On Purim, we give a donation to whoever asks; we don't verify his or her bank balance first.
As with the other mitzvahs of Purim, even small children should fulfill this mitzvah.
3. Send Food Gifts to Friends (Mishloach Manot)
On Purim we emphasize the importance of friendship and community by sending gifts of food to friends.
On Purim day, March 12, send a package containing at least two different ready-to-eat food items and/or beverages (e.g., pastry, fruit, beverage) to at least one Jewish acquaintance during the daylight hours of Purim. Men send to men, and women to women.
It is preferable that the gifts be delivered via a third party. Children, in addition to sending their own gifts of food to their friends, make enthusiastic messengers.
During the course of Purim day, March 12, gather your family, maybe invite a guest or two, and celebrate with a festive Purim meal. Traditionally, this meal begins before sundown and lasts well into the evening.
The table should be festively bedecked with a nice tablecloth and candles. Wash for bread or challah, and enjoy a meal featuring meat, wine and plenty of Jewish songs, words of Torah and joyous Purim spirit. Sing, drink, laugh, have fun together.
Note: When Purim falls on a Friday, out of deference to the approaching Shabbat, we start the meal earlier, ideally before midday.
On Purim, we include the brief V'al Hanissim section in all the day's prayers, as well as in the day's Grace after Meals. This prayer describes the Purim story and thanks G‑d for the "miracles, redemptions, mighty deeds, saving acts and wonders" that He wrought for our ancestors on this day many years ago.
In the morning service there is a special Torah reading (Exodus 17:8–16), describing the battle Joshua waged against Amalek—Haman's ancestral nation—almost one thousand years before the Purim events unfolded.
On Purim, children—and some adventurous adults too—traditionally dress in costumes, an allusion to G‑d's hand in the Purim miracle, which was disguised by natural events. Make sure your children masquerade as good, cheerful characters, such as Mordechai and Esther.
Dress up your kids before taking them to the synagogue for the Megillah reading. Many synagogues have a masquerade party, along with prizes for the children, during or after the Megillah reading.
Pre- and Post-Purim ObservancesTorah Reading of Zachor
On the Shabbat before Purim (this year, March 11), a special reading is held in the synagogue. We read the Torah section called Zachor ("Remember"), in which we are enjoined to remember the deeds of (the nation of) Amalek (Haman's ancestor), who sought to destroy the Jewish people.
The "Half Coins" (Machatzit HaShekel)
It is a tradition to give three coins in "half" denominations—e.g., three half-dollar coins—to charity, to commemorate the half-shekel that each Jew contributed as his share in the communal offerings in the time of the Holy Temple. This custom, usually performed in the synagogue, is done on the afternoon of the "Fast of Esther," or before the reading of the Megillah.
In certain ancient walled cities—Jerusalem is the primary example—Purim is observed not on the 14th of Adar (the date of its observance everywhere else), but on the 15th of Adar. This is to commemorate that fact that in the ancient walled city of Shushan, where the battles between the Jews and their enemies extended for an additional day, the original Purim celebration was held on the 15th of Adar.
The 15th of Adar is thus called "Shushan Purim," and is a day of joy and celebration also in those places where it is not observed as the actual Purim.
But It Is MY Ox! January 19, 1990 - 22 Teveth 5750
[An appropriate article for today's happenings. President Trump whom I voted for surprised me when he nicely suggested to P.M. Netanyahu, that right now it is a good idea to stop building settlements and perhaps it will bring peace. He said this in-spite of the fact that P.M. Netanyahu said that settlements are not the problem. So, I ask "why does President Trump not want to allow Muslims refugees from Muslim countries enter America? He wants strong vetting of all that enter. Of course, I agree with him, as he wants to stop all terrorist attacks and terrorists will come in with the refugees. So, I ask, why not allow all Muslims in and try to bring peace with the terrorists by "peace talks", giving them their own towns, cities and more as Israel has foolishly done. The answer: America is President Trump's OX! Terrorist attacks in many countries upset the world; Israel is attacked because of settlements. Israel is not their OX!
Once upon a time, there was a man who owned several beautiful oxen. They were strong and well-mannered and just a delight. He had a neighbor, however, who was a bad man and very jealous of the beautiful oxen, because the bad man's oxen were ugly and ill-tempered. And the jealousy of the bad man gave him no rest, so that one day he deliberately let his ill-tempered oxen into the field where the beautiful oxen were grazing and they gored one of them, killing it. The owner of the dead ox was angry at this terrible and deliberate outrage that, in the middle of the night, he entered the field where the ill-tempered oxen were and killed one of them.
The neighboring villagers and cattle people were very moral and ethical people and they were aghast at the man who had taken revenge on the ill-tempered ox and its bad owner. Their leader, Mr. Morality, was especially indignant. "What you did was very immoral," he told the poor man. "You cannot sink to his level. And you cannot enter someone else's field even if there is a dangerous ox there. You cannot take the law into your own hands."
In vain did the poor fellow protest that someone had to teach the bad fellow a lesson and that unless that were done, he would do it again. Nothing helped. Mr. Morality was adamantly ethical: "You do not take the law into your own hands; you do not enter other people's property; you do not sink to his level." And with that, Mr. Morality and his merry band of ethical cattlemen walked off, heads high and breasts filled with a sweet sense of righteousness.
The poor man was so beaten that he could not bear the thought of continuing as before. He was so depressed that he decided to sell the rest of his beautiful oxen to anyone who would buy them. To be sure, there was no lack of buyers and, in the end; it was Mr. Morality himself who offered the highest price. Beaming, he took possession of the beautiful, quiet, well-mannered and delightful oxen.
But the change in ownership had not changed the way the bad man felt. Every time he would see the beautiful oxen, he was blinded by jealousy and envy. And so, one night, when he could no longer contain his jealousy, he sent his ugly and ill-tempered oxen into the field of Mr. Morality and they again killed one of the beautiful oxen.
When Mr. Morality heard of what had happened, his anger knew no bounds. And without a second thought, he took a number of his merry ethical friends, entered the field of the bad man and killed not one, but two of his oxen.
When the original owner of the oxen heard of this, he hurried over to Mr. Morality. "I do not understand. What did you do? When I did the same thing, you told me that one does not take the law into one's own hands; one does not enter other people's fields and one does not sink to their level. What happened now?"
Mr. Morality looked with pity on the poor, uncomprehending man. "I see that you really don't understand, poor fellow. Let me explain. There is a difference between your going into his field and my going into his field. In your case, you really should not have done such a thing. In this case, it was my ox…"
I wallow in glee over events in Panama and Romania. O, Panama! O, Romania! I watch as the United States troops go into someone else's field, invade a foreign country with 25,000 troops, shoot up its capital city, kill some 70 Panamanians, and install their own government.
And then I remember Israel's invasion of Lebanon after years of attacks on Jewish towns from that country; after scores of Jews were murdered by attacks launched from that land; after life was made a living hell for the Jews of Kiryat Shmona, one third of whom fled the city. And I remember Israeli troops reaching Beirut and installing their Lebanese as President in order to put an end to murder and attacks upon Jews.
And I remember Messrs. Morality! ALL of them! President Reagan, Vice-President Bush, the State Department, the Defense Department and all the merry, ethical Americans (and British and French and, and, and, ad infinitum. Ad nauseum). How they condemned and how they railed and how they moralized and how they ethicalized! Merrily. "You do not sink to the level of the PLO. You do not enter someone else's field (land). You do not take the law into your own hands." Messrs. Morality, Post Office Box One Million, Washington, DC.
And so now there is Panama. And should any simple-minded type ask President Morality, High-minded Bush of morality, why he did everything he told Israel it should not do – he would give a sympathetic nod to the poor simpleton who really does not understand, and the answer would be: But it is my ox…
I remember Israeli troops entering the field of Lebanon to capture a Moslem Sheikh who was leader of a group of Moslem Shiite thugs holding Israelis as hostages; and President Morality and his merry ethical State Department cattlemen with their shouts of condemnation! And now I see the same moralists invading the field of Panama to try and catch a thug named Noriega because he deals in drugs that harm Americans and because he tweaks America's nose. And I finally understand the difference and can even hear President Morality say it: But it is my ox…
And I remember the outcry by all the democrats and anti-racist equality types demanding that William Nakash be extradited from Israel to France and rising up in righteous indignation over the thought that just because someone is a Jew, he should not be extradited. After all, all human beings are equal and being Jewish is no reason to refuse to hand him over to strangers. And what would the world say to any such tribalism! And then I read that under Panamanian, law, a Panamanian cannot be extradited to a foreign county and I understand the difference: But it is my ox…
I watch as, in Romania, the dictator is captured and he and his wife are shot in secret trial, with summary justice dealt out within less than two days and no appeal allowed. And I know that Israel did not give the death penalty to any murdering terrorists and goes through elaborate procedures of "justice" in order that terrorists sit and eat and drink at our expense until they are exchanged for hostages. And I know what the outcry from Romania and other ethical nations would be if Israel would do to murdering terrorists what Romania did to its former President. But I have already learned the difference; THIS IS MY OX…
And having said all that, I do not – as so many professors and intellectual doers on the right – merely weep, complain and wring my soul. I have no intention of wasting a precious few moments of my finite life in the House of Eternal Kvetching, in which so many of the right-wing spend their lives. The lesson for me in this morality lesson of Whose Ox is gored? Is not that there are hypocrites in this world. Boker Tov! Good morning! There are hypocrites in the world! Surprise…
For me, the only lesson here is that there is, indeed, a difference. Not the one that the moralists of hypocrisy give, but the objective and eternally true one of divine Torah Law. There is a difference, the one that cannot be grasped unless one has knowledge and sense. In the words of the rabbis, "Im ein da'at havdala minayin?" "If one has no knowledge, how can he differentiate?"
The lesson is that there is objective good and objective evil, objective truth and objective falsehood, and the same action taken against the one is good while the same act done against the other is wrong and evil. Yes, it is good and right and a mitzvah to go into Panama to eliminate the slime named Noriega and yes, how much more so was it right and a mitzvah to enter Lebanon and eliminate the PLO and other Moslem terrorist swine. And yes, it was wrong and evil for the Russians to do exactly the same in Afghanistan and for the Chinese to invade Tibet. Yes, the German bombing of Coventry and London is not the same as the Allied bombing of German cities and yes, the hanging of evil criminals is good and that of decent people, bad, and anyone who does not understand this havdala, differentiation, needs a good grounding in knowledge. Divine knowledge. Torah knowledge.
Until then, at the very least, let the Jew learn the simple message of normal gentiles who – when their basic interests are threatened – do not hesitate to enter strange fields and to kill evil oxen. It is time the Jew learned there is nothing for which to apologize or retreat when his people are killed and his interest threatened. It is time that he learned to tell President Morality and any other merry ethical type: "But it is my ox and no one touches it; understand?"
Conversations with Heroes – Rabbi Nachman Kahana on Family and Israel.