Low self-image usually forms at an early age. A person might have had excessively critical parents or teachers, failed to get along well with other children, or received low marks in school.
Though this attitude was formed long ago, the only reason it lasts in the present is because a person now keeps repeating it to himself. Yet he has the ability to tell himself, "In the past I may have judged myself to be inferior, but I will now think for myself and appreciate my true value."
Being aware of the source of poor self-image makes it easier to challenge the assumptions upon which it is based. It is possible that while you had certain faults in the past, you presently are learning to overcome them.
Or, perhaps the people who judge you unfavorably were using a yardstick that you do not presently accept. For example, in school a student is usually judged by the marks he receives on tests. Some students with low grades worked hard to understand, and more importantly may have internalized the concepts and practiced them to a greater degree than others who received higher grades. As a child, the diligent student with poor grades might have felt inferior, but as an adult he has the ability to appreciate how he may have really accomplished more.
Love Yehuda Lave
Shavuot tonight and for two days out of Israel
What is Shavuot?
Shavuot (Feast of Weeks) commemorates the revelation of the Torah on Mt. Sinai to the Jewish people, and occurs on the 50th day after the 49 days of counting the Omer. Shavuot is one of the three biblically based pilgrimage holidays known as the shalosh regalim. It is associated with the grain harvest in the Torah.
How is Shavuot celebrated?
Shavuot is observed by abstaining from work and attending synagogue services. A few special readings are recited: a liturgical poem called Akdamut, which emphasizes the greatness of God; the Book of Ruth, because the story highlights one woman's choice to join the Jewish people and accept the Torah; and the Ten Commandments, in honor of the revelation of the Torah. It is also customary to study Torah all night; this practice is called Tikkun Leil Shavuot.
What kinds of foods are eaten on Shavuot?
Traditional holiday meals on Shavuot center around dairy foods. Milk is considered to be a symbol of the Torah, which nourishes the people directly, as milk does for a baby. Popular Shavuot foods include cheesecake, blintzes, and kugels. Some Sephardic Jews make a seven-layered bread called siete cielos (seven heavens), which is supposed to represent Mt. Sinai.
What is the proper greeting for Shavuot?
The greeting for Shavuot is simply "Chag Sameach!" (Happy Holiday).
When is Shavuot?
Shavuot is observed on the 6th in Israel and the 6th and 7th of the month of Sivan out of Israel
Trump makes history as first US president to visit Western Wall US president prays at Church of Holy Sepulchre before visiting Jewish holy site, slipping a prayer note into its stones
The Deep Meaning of Creation
Rabbi Yedidya Noiman Rosh Kollel, Montreal
The Deep Meaning of Creation
The Gemara in Sanhedrin (97b) teaches us the special importance of the reception of the Torah (Matan Torah). 'Tana DeVei Eliyahu: The world will exist 6000 years- two thousand of chaos, two thousand of Torah and two thousand of Mashiach'. It seems that in this statement Chazal revealed an important idea about the Torah.
One could see the Torah as an external addition to our world. We all have our natural and good lives and then comes the Torah and limits us with rules and restrictions. This kind of Torah will cause a very bad feeling. Nobody wants to feel pressured or forced into a penalty box concept. There is no reason for one to willingly shrink himself into a system that only burdens him.
That is why the Gemara above can revolutionize the way we understand our life and our connection to the Torah. The Gemara teaches us that the Torah isn't an additional application to an already perfect world that we are supposed to embrace. The opposite is correct - without the Torah the world is in chaos. Only after we receive the Torah can the world become balanced and secure. The Torah is the true and inner purpose of the world and only after receiving it can we start to walk on that natural path. Now we can relate to the Torah on a different note. The Torah is the deep tempo and power of the world. By connecting to it we connect to our simple and natural existence which is usually hidden within the chaos of our minds.
The Maharal said that the Torah is 'Seder Haolam', the order of the world. The Torah is what connects and organizes all the different components of the creation into one defined harmony. The Torah is what gathers everything to one holistic unity and without it the whole world will split apart to a big chaotic mess.
If we take one step further we can say that Matan Torah is the moment our relationship with Hashem and his Torah changed forever. From that moment on the world can finally learn about and understand the purpose of the creation. By learning and practicing the Torah and the mitzvot we can get a better understanding and even become partners in the tremendous mission of the world.
Fulfilling Hashem's will in the world is now possible, since we have something that expresses his will perfectly - the Torah. That might be the deep explanation to a very interesting Midrash in our Parasha. Chazal said that interprets the word 'אנכי' from the first commandment as an acronym in Aramaic meaning 'אנא נפשי כתבית יהבית' meaning: I, G-d have written my soul and gave it to you.
When dealing with the Torah we are dealing with pure Godliness and this attitude should reflect on the way we approach it. The term 'Torah Lishma' comes from that understanding; that one should deal with the Torah only from a free-interest approach. No intrigues can be involved and when learning one should focus only on the sake of revealing Hashem's name in this world and fulfilling His will.
This is the essence of Shavuot - understanding the critical turning point of Matan Torah. Now that we received the Torah we can finally relate and connect to Hashem, and therefore we shall treat the Torah in that manner by seeking to connect to Hashem's will whenever we learn or practice it.
US Senator Ted Cruz Calls for Recognition of Jerusalem as Eternal, Undivided Capital of Israel [video]
"In 2006, at the age of 92, Stanley Goldfoot passed away. Stanley Goldfoot was born in Johannesburg, South Africa. In 1932, at the age of 18, he headed for Palestine where he joined a HaShomer HaTzair kibbutz. After the rebirth of the Jewish State of Israel his main goal, which he eventually realized, was to establish a Zionist English newspaper, "The Times of Israel." In the first issue of "The Times of Israel", in 1969, Goldfoot wrote his famous "Letter to the World from Jerusalem." The article is still remarkably relevant, so I thought I'd share it with you. It's the thoughts of only one man but, as I read it, it occurred to me that, in many ways, it represents the pleas of an entire nation – a people with one small desire: "to be a free people in our land".
Here is the Full Text: Stanley Goldfoot
"I am not a creature from another planet, as you seem to believe. I am >> a Jerusalemite-like yourselves, a man of flesh and blood. I am a citizen of my city, an integral part of my people. I have a few things to get off my chest. Because I am not a diplomat, I do not have to mince words. I do not have to please you or even persuade you.
I owe you nothing. You did not build this city, you did not live in it, you did not defend it when they came to destroy it. And we will be damned if we will let you take it away. There was a Jerusalem before there was a New York . When Berlin , Moscow , London , and Paris were miasmal forest and swamp, there was a thriving Jewish community here. It gave something to the world which you nations have rejected ever since you established yourselves- a humane moral code.
Here the prophets walked, their words flashing like forked lightning. Here a people who wanted nothing more than to be left alone, fought off waves of heathen would-be conquerors, bled and died on the battlements, hurled themselves into the flames of their burning Temple rather than surrender, and when finally overwhelmed by sheer numbers and led away into captivity, swore that before they forgot Jerusalem, they would see their tongues cleave to their palates, their right arms whither.
For two pain-filled millennia, while we were your unwelcome guests, we prayed daily to return to this city. Three times a day we petitioned the Almighty: "Gather us from the four corners of the world, bring us upright to our land, return in mercy to Jerusalem, Thy city, and swell in it as Thou promised." On every Yom Kippur and Passover, we fervently voiced the hope that next year would find us in Jerusalem.
Your inquisitions, pogroms, expulsions, the ghettos into which you jammed us, your forced baptisms, your quota systems, your genteel anti-Semitism, and the final unspeakable horror, the holocaust (and worse, your terrifying disinterest in it)- all these have not broken us. They may have sapped what little moral strength you still possessed, but they forged us into steel. Do you think that you can break us now after all we have been through? Do you really believe that after Dachau and Auschwitz we are frightened by your threats of blockades and sanctions? We have been to Hell and back- a Hell of your making. What more could you possibly have in your arsenal that could scare us?
I have watched this city bombarded twice by nations calling themselves civilized. In 1948, while you looked on apathetically, I saw women and children blown to smithereens, after we agreed to your request to internationalize the city. It was a deadly combination that did the job- British officers, Arab gunners, and American-made cannon. And then the savage sacking of the Old City-the willful slaughter, the wanton destruction of every synagogue and religious school, the desecration of Jewish cemeteries, the sale by a ghoulish government of tombstones for building materials, for poultry runs, army camps, even latrines.
And you never said a word.
You never breathed the slightest protest when the Jordanians shut off the holiest of our places, the Western Wall, in violation of the pledges they had made after the war- a war they waged, incidentally, against the decision of the UN. Not a murmur came from you whenever the legionnaires in their spiked helmets casually opened fire upon our citizens from behind the walls.
Your hearts bled when Berlin came under siege. You rushed your airlift 'to save the gallant Berliners'. But you did not send one ounce of food when Jews starved in besieged Jerusalem . You thundered against the wall which the East Germans ran through the middle of the German capital- but not one peep out of you about that other wall, the one that tore through the heart of Jerusalem . And when that same thing happened 20 years later, and the Arabs unleashed a savage, unprovoked bombardment of the Holy City again, did any of you do anything?
The only time you came to life was when the city was at last reunited. Then you wrung your hands and spoke loftily of 'justice' and need for the 'Christian' quality of turning the other cheek.
The truth- and you know it deep inside your gut – you would prefer the city to be destroyed rather than have it governed by Jews. No matter how diplomatically you phrase it, the age old prejudices seep out of every word.
If our return to the city has tied your theology in knots, perhaps you had better reexamine your catechisms. After what we have been through, we are not passively going to accommodate ourselves to the twisted idea that we are to suffer eternal homelessness until we accept your savior.
For the first time since the year 70, there is now complete religious freedom for all in Jerusalem. For the first time since the Romans put a torch to the Temple, everyone has equal rights (You prefer to have some more equal than others.) We loathe the sword- but it was you who forced us to take it up. We crave peace, but we are not going back to the peace of 1948 as you would like us to.
We are home. It has a lovely sound for a nation you have willed to wander over the face of the globe. We are not leaving. We are redeeming the pledge made by our forefathers: Jerusalem is being rebuilt. 'Next year' and the year after, and after, and after, until the end of time- 'in Jerusalem '!"