Rabbi Yitzchok Blauser's daughter once went to the cupboard, and all the glasses, cups and dishes fell and broke. He did not get angry at her, and he did not even ask her why she wasn't more careful.
Rather, his only concern was that she should not be upset or frightened. He said to her, "Don't worry. There's not need to get upset. It's all right."
Each person that you are with in life, either as a mate or as a friend, teaches you something. The talmud teaches that while your first love is something very special, love when you are not so young is also special. In fact the Talmud teaches that you should have children when you are young and children when you are old, becasue you never know which children will be the ones that will give you the most joy. Our father Jacob in the bible delighting in his sons Joseph and Benjamin as they brought a light to his life.
G-d has seen fit to send me a new soul mate to share my life with and while it is not easy to not let your emotions get the better of you, I will do my best to remember that your sister is for arguing with, not your lover. The operative words in a marriage are: "yes dear" and move on.
Many People would be surprised to learn that the Mikvah is more important than the synagogue. This may not be obvious, since in many communities, synagogues have expensive imposing buildings, while the Mikvah is small and poorly maintained. Yet, the Mikvah is more important. Jewish Law maintains that a congregation that does not have its own Mikvah does not even have the status of a community.
This is not mere theory. In Israel, where religious authorities are particularly meticulous, the Mikvah is the first religious facility that is built in a new community. It is of primary importance. Synagogue services can be held in an apartment or a store. The synagogue building is erected later, when the community is better organized and established.
My new Callah is in many ways opposite of me. While I am public and outgoing in sharing my personal life, she prefers privacy for hers. For that reason, like the mikvah, we are marrying next Tuesday (a week from today at 4:30), but we don't have all the details all down yet except for the Chuppah (in this case like the mikvah). Like the Synagogue building, parties and details will be held later. Some people will be able to come to the Chuppah and others not because of the lateness of the announcement or other conflicts. When we have an additional party, it will be will plenty of announcement.
We are doing the Chuppah at 4:30 in Bloomfield Garden on time (not Jewish time) as we want to make it to be on Yom Shelsie (Tuesday) April 10, 2018. Nisson 25, 5788)
The entrance to the park is right on King David Street across form the King Salomon hotel.
There is an entrance that says water closet (bathrooms) and a large outdoor fountain right next to the street. There is also a parking lot right under the area by entering the parking lot on the top for Yemin Moshie and then just walk up a few stairs.
We will be in the grass just next to the fountain looking over a vista of the walls of the out city.
I hope all my friends can make it.
Love Yehuda Lave
Acquire for yourself a friend (Ethics of the Fathers 1:6).
What is so important about "acquiring" a friend? Don't friendships occur spontaneously?
Many people think they have friends, and some people think they have many friends. However, let's reflect: "Is there anyone with whom I am so close and whom I would trust so completely that I would confide in him or her and tell everything and anything that is on my mind?" Many of us would find that such friends are few in number, and some of us may totally lack this type of relationship.
In his work on Ethics of the Fathers, Rabbeinu Yonah states that if a person tries to achieve perfection in all character traits at one time, he or she is likely to achieve nothing, but if the effort is concentrated upon improving one trait, success in that one area will facilitate improving many other traits. Similarly, trying to achieve a great number of friendships at once will likely create superficial friends. However, if a person will cultivate one friendship and so achieve the desired intimacy and trust, he or she may thereafter find it much easier to develop more profound and meaningful relationships with many people.
The teaching of the above Talmudical passage is now evident. Acquire "a" friend, i.e. try to develop a single relationship that grows beyond a superficial skin-deep level. Not only is that friendship important in its own right, but it will also enhance the quality of all the other relationships.
Today I shall ...
try to cultivate a single friendship into one of complete trust and intimacy.
STUDY HAS FOUND
THAT WOMEN WHO
CARRY A LITTLE EXTRA
LIVE LONGER THAN
THE MEN WHO MENTION IT
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"To match couples together is as difficult as the splitting of the sea," states the Talmud.1
What is the meaning behind these words? True, the process of finding and maintaining a life partner may be challenging and difficult, nothing short of a miracle. But why, of all miracles described in the Bible, does the Talmud choose specifically the miracle of the splitting of the sea to capture the process of marriage?
A Map of the Subconscious
What is the difference between the land and the sea? Both are vibrant and action-filled enviroments populated by a myriad of creatures and a great variety of minerals and vegetation. Yet the universe of dry land is exposed and out in the open for all to see and appreciate, while the world of the sea is hidden beneath a blanket of water.
In Jewish mysticism (Kabbalah and Chassidic spirituality), these two physical planes reflect the conscious and unconscious dimensions of the human psyche.2 Both parts of the self are extremely vibrant and dynamic. The difference between them is that while our conscious self is displayed and exhibited for ourselves and others to feel and experience, our subconscious self remains hidden, not only from other people but even from ourselves. Most of us know very little of what is going on in the sub-cellars of our psyche.
If you were given a glimpse into your own "sea" and discovered the universe of personality hidden beneath your conscious brain, what do you think you would find? Shame, fear, guilt, pain, insecurity, an urge to destroy, to survive, to dominate, a cry for love? Would you discover Freud's Libido, Jung's collective unconscious, Adler's search for power and control, Frankl's quest for meaning?
Where Freud diagnosed the libido as a craving for a parent, and Jung saw it as a longing etched in our collective unconscious, the Kabbalah understood it as a quest for union with G‑d In Kabbalah, at the core of the human condition is a yearning for oneness. Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi (1745-1812), founder of the Chabad school of Kabbalah, was one of the greatest soul-experts in the history of Judaism, has written on the subject more then any other Jewish sage. In 1796, a hundred years before Freud, he published a book, the Tanya, in which he presented his "map of the subconscious," based on the Talmudic and Kabbalistic tradition. Rabbi Schnuer Zalman offers a facinating parable for the inner life of the soul: quoteing the biblical verse, "The soul of man is a divine flame" (Proverbs 20:27), he explains that just as the flame is always swaying, dancing, licking the air, seeking to tear free of the wick and rise heavenward, so too the soul in man is always aspiring to leave its shell and experience oneness with the divine.
The Secret of Intimacy
This quest for a relationship with the divine is manifested in our search for relationships with our twin flame here below. Where Freud diagnosed the libido as a craving for union with a parent, and Jung saw it as a longing for the opposite gender etched in our collective unconscious, the Kabbalah understood it as a quest for union with G‑d. Our desire for intimacy is one of the profoundest expressions of our existential craving for Truth, for Oneness, for G‑d.
As the Book of Genesis states, "G‑d created Man in His image, in the image of G‑d He created him; male and female He created them." Clearly, it was in the union and oneness of the genders that the first Adam, the first human being, reflected the image of G‑d.
This view of relationships and intimacy is expressed in the very Hebrew names for man and woman given by Adam in Genesis. The Hebrew words for man and woman — Ish and Isah — both contain the Hebrew word for fire, Eish. They also each contain one more letter—a yud and a hei respectively—which when combined makes up G‑d's name. The significance of this is profound. Man without woman, and woman without man, lack the fullness of G‑d's name. When they unite, the two-half images of the divine within them also unite. The fire and passion drawing them to each other is their yearning to recreate the full name of G‑d between them.
At a Jewish wedding ceremony, this blessing is recited: Blessed are You, G‑d, King of the Universe, Who created the human being in His image... Why is this blessing said at a wedding ceremony? Wouldn't it be more appropriate to say such a blessing when a child is born? The answer is that it is through the uniting of man and woman that the image of G‑d is most closely reflected.
Our desire for intimacy is one of the profoundest expressions of our existential craving for TruthThe ramifications of this idea are important. It means that marriage is not a suspension of one's natural individual self for the sake of uniting with a stranger. Rather, through marriage man and woman return to their true natural state, a single being reflecting G‑d, each in his and her own unique way. Marriage allows wife and husband to discover their full and complete self, a self made up of masculine and feminine energy.
We may travel through life unaware of this dimension of self, seeking oneness with the divine. Throughout our years on this planet we may behave as though this element of self does not exist. Though its symptoms reverberate through our consciousness — most often in the feelings of emptiness and lack of contentment when our spiritual self is un-satiated — we are prone to dismiss it or deny it. After all, at least in the short term, it is far easier to accept that we are nothing more than intelligent beasts craving self-gratification than spiritual souls craving for G‑d.
When we view the surface self, selfishness is easier than selflessness; isolation more natural than relationship; solitariness more innate than love and commitment. Only when we "split our sea," when we discover the depth of our souls, the subtle vibrations of our subconscious, do we discover that oneness satisfies our deepest core; that love is the most natural expression of our most profound selves.
"To match couples together is as difficult as the splitting of the sea," the Talmud states. The challenge in creating and maintaining a meaningful and powerful relationship is the need to split our own seas each day, to learn how in the depth of our spirits we yearn to love and share our lives with another human being and with our creator.3
Footnotes 1.Talmud, Sotah 2a. The Talmud is discussing second marriages, however, in many Jewish works, this quote is applied to all marriage (see for example Akeidas Yitzchak Parshas Vayeishev). 2.This notion of viewing the macrocosm as a metaphor for the microcosm is central to all Jewish writings. "Man is a miniature universe," our sages have declared (Midrash Tanchumah Pekudei 3), a microcosm of the entire created existence. The human being thus includes the elements of the land as well as the elements of the sea — man has both a terrestrial and an aquatic aspect to his life. In Kabbalah terminology, the sea is defined as alma d'eiskasya, the "hidden world," while land is described as alma d'eitgalya, the "revealed world" (Torah Or Parshas Beshalach). 3.This essay is based on a discourse by the second Chabad-Lubavitch Rebbe, Rabbi DovBer (1773-1827), known as the Miteler Rebbe. (Published in Maamarei Admur Haemtzaei, Kuntrasim, Derushei Chasunah.)
Lauder spoke at the conference on Antisemitism
WJC President Lauder criticizes Israeli policies, says Palestinian leaders ready to talk peaceThe demise of a two-state solution and the Orthodox monopoly on key issues in Israel are the two main threats that Israel is facing, World Jewish Congress President Ronald Lauder wrote in a New York Times op-ed critical of the incumbent Israeli government.Mar 19, 2018, 6:00PMBecca Noy
World Jewish Congress President Ronald Lauder criticized the current Israeli government's policies in a New York Times op-ed published Monday.
According to Lauder, Israel is facing two threats that "could endanger its very existence." The first is the demise of a two-state solution. Lauder explained that while he is a Likud supporter and a Republican, not even he can ignore the fact that almost half of the millions of people who live in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza are Palestinian.
"If current trends continue, Israel will face a stark choice: Grant Palestinians full rights and cease being a Jewish state or rescind their rights and cease being a democracy," he wrote. "To avoid these unacceptable outcomes, the only path forward is the two-state solution."
Lauder appeared to scold Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the piece when he claimed that Palestinian leaders are prepared to begin peace talks with Israel. "[US] President [Donald] Trump and his team are wholly committed to Middle East peace," Lauder explained. "Contrary to news media reports, senior Palestinian leaders are, they have personally told me, ready to begin direct negotiations immediately."
The "grave" second threat is the Orthodox control over various issues in Israel, including marriage and prayer at the Western Wall, and the "growing disaffection of the Jewish diaspora."
"By submitting to the pressures exerted by a minority in Israel, the Jewish state is alienating a large segment of the Jewish people," Lauder wrote. "The crisis is especially pronounced among the younger generation, which is predominantly secular."
"We are at a crossroads," Lauder wrote at the end of his op-ed. "The choices that Israel makes in the coming years will determine the destiny of our one and only Jewish state — and the continued unity of our cherished people