Yehuda Lave is an author, journalist, psychologist, rabbi, spiritual teacher and coach, with degrees in business, psychology and Jewish Law. He works with people from all walks of life and helps them in their search for greater happiness, meaning, business advice on saving money, and spiritual engagement
The World is a Constant Gift
The Torah viewpoint is that the Almighty constantly creates the entire world and everything in it for each individual. This concept has the potential to give a person immense pleasure.
Think about it for a moment. The Almighty -- Creator and Sustainer of the universe -- is constantly creating for you the sun, the moon, and all the other worldly phenomena. He is constantly bestowing upon you life, and every single second He supplies you with your needs.
Love Yehuda Lave
Film director Larry Frisch from his youth, the Journey to the Promised land
Reminiscences of film director Larry Frisch from his youth in Indiana and his attendance at CEJWIN camp in New Jersey, through his successful career both in the US and in Israel. Includes historical footage of both productions he worked on including Amud HaEsh and Maaseh B'monit as well as general footage.
Larry is a good friend of mine and is alive and kicking with all of his marbles here in Jerusalem. He can be seen at all the interesting Jerusalem events.
What works better than just prayers for making a living
Tomorrow on Tuesday of the parsha of Beshalach (the parsha of the Mun and the splitting of the red sea, I am going to have a special prayer for making a living. In advance, today, I am sharing a site about what is better than prayer.
Segulos (special prayers) for Parnassah (making a living and health
A person should always do the following to merit abundant livelihood: learn Torah and daven for parnassah; never lie or cheat in earning his livelihood; and have bitachon in Hashem (Segulos Yisrael, Ma'arechesMem, 18).
A segulah for parnassah is not to run after parnassah, for when one does so, parnassah runs away from him (Imrei Pinchas of Koritz, Erech Parshiyos, 209).
Showing hakaras hatov to Hashem is a segulah for parnassah to come easily and quickly.
Possessing yiras Hashem and holding firm to this middah is a segulah for parnassah.
Receiving a berachah from a gadol hador is a segulah for wealth.
In the merit of keeping Shabbos, parnassah is granted in abundance.
It is a segulah for parnassah to busy oneself with Torah learning, according to one's ability. (One can even fulfill this by saying a perek of Tehillim, if that is what he is able to learn at his level.)
Learning Torah every day before one goes out to work is an amazing segulah for parnassah.
גמרא has the same gematria as פת (bread), so that learning Torah is a segulah for פרנסה (heard in the name of Ha'Admor Hakaddosh MiBelz, in the name of Rabbi Uri MiStrelisk).
פרנסה has the same numerical value as the Hebrew word משנה; learning one perek of mishnayos every day is a segulah for parnassah (told to Harav Rafael MiVarshid in the name of Harav Pinchas of Koritz).
A segulah for livelihood is to daven for parnassah on Rosh Hashanah (Imrei Pinchas, Erech Parshiyos, 484 and 485).
A good practice for one who wishes to see success in parnassah is not to engage in business until after davening. As our rabbis say, "It is forbidden for a person to be busy with his possessions (i.e., his livelihood) until after he davens" (Berachos 14a).
It is a segulah to learn Gemara on a regular, consistent basis (Segulos HaBa'al Shem Tov V'Talmidav).
It is a segulah for parnassah to establish for oneself a designated time every day to learn Torah (Sod Yesharim, Tinyana Likkutim, page 483).
If one doesn't have parnassah, he should learn Torah and then afterward daven for parnassah.
One merits riches through honoring the Torah.
A person should learn Zohar every day, and in that zechus he will merit parnassah (Harav Pinchas of Koritz).
In order to ask for parnassah, a person must first act with humbleness (Tanna D'vei Eliyahu 85:14).
Even if someone is very busy with his business matters, he is still obligated to learn Torah. Even when he is on his way to work and he is pre-occupied with work-related matters, he should learn something. One who does this every day will be amply rewarded (Ma'alos HaTorah).
When a person recites the words from Ashrei: "Posei'ach es yadecha u'masbia l'chol chai ratzon," he should have kavannah that his livelihood truly comes from Hashem and not through his own efforts at all (Ben Ish Chai, Ben Yehoyada).
One who recites Birkas Hamazon with kavannah is not subject to Hashem's wrath, and he thus merits abundant livelihood throughout his life (Be'er Heiteiv, Hilchos Birkas Hamazon).
One should have specific kavannah during the following tefillos as a zechus for parnassah (Pele Yo'etz, Parnassah; Sefer Hachinuch, mitzvah 430):
When reciting Shomei'a Tefillah in Shemoneh Esrei.
When reciting birkas ha'nehenin; specifically during Birkas Hamazon, one should say every letter and word with care and invest a great deal of kavannah when saying the words, "Posei'ach es yadecha u'masbia l'chol chai ratzon."
According to the Chazon Ish, Yom Kippur is a time when it is particularly appropriate to ask Hashem for parnassah, just as the Kohen Gadol did in the Kodesh Hakaddashim, on behalf of every Jew (heard from Harav Moshe Sternbuch).
A chassid once came to the Ruzhiner Rebbe and complained, "For years I have been having special kavannah during Kedushah of the Yamim Noraim, as this is said to be a segulah for wealth, but I am still as poor as ever."
The Ruzhiner Rebbe answered the man, "This segulah is for one who has this kavannah only during Kedushah, while during the rest of the tefillah he doesn't think about money. But you – the only thing you think about during the entire davening is money, money, money!"
When one says the words Posei'ach es yadecha u'masbia l'chol chai ratzon during Shacharis and Minchah, he should open his hands as if to bring down and accept the blessing from Above (Ben Ish Chai, Torah Lishmah, 31).
It is a segulah for parnassah to say Parshas HaMan and then pray for parnassah and to believe that Hashem will surely fulfill one's request (Harav Pinchas of Koritz).
It is a segulah for parnassah to recite Birkas Hamazon out loud and with much joy (Nitzutzei Oros L'HaChida II, page 218).
One should be very vigilant not to harm another by stealing or extorting from him in any way; through this, he will merit to see blessing in all his possessions (ChafetzChaim, Shemiras Halashon: Cheilek Beis, parshas Bereishis).
The Apter Rebbe says that it is a segulah for parnassah to learn Sha'ar Habitachon from Sefer Chovos Halevavos (Divrei Yechezkel Hachaddash).
Harav Moshe Sternbuch writes that in the zechus of having emunah in our gedolim, even when one doesn't understand their words, one merits receiving parnassah even in ways that cannot be understood (Ta'am V'da'as, parshas Beshalach, s.v. lechem min hashamayim).
Honoring one's wife brings blessing from Above. When there is peace between a husband and wife, the Shechinah dwells between them, and blessing comes from the Shechinah. This blessing comes specifically because of the wife (Chida, PesachEinayim).
Reciting Perek Shirah brings down abundant blessing and livelihood (Rav Chayim Vital; Sha'ar Hamitzvos, parshas Va'eschanan).
One merits wealth through supporting talmidei chachamim. We see that Shevet Zevulun merited wealth because they supported Shevet Yissachar, who were immersed in the study of Torah (Medrash Rabbah; Zohar Hakaddosh).
Through performing the mitzvah of giving ma'aser, a person is blessed with wealth, as it says (Devarim 14:22): "Aseir t'aseir" – you shall surely tithe. The doubled terminology in the passuk can be explained to mean, "Aseir bishvil she'tisasheir" – tithe, so that you shall become wealthy.
Reciting the 13 Principles of Faith daily is a segulah for parnassah (Medrash Pinchas).
Reading the Iggeres Haramban (the famous letter of the Ramban to his son) is a segulah for parnassah, as he writes there that "on the day that you read this letter, you will be answered from Heaven for whatever you ask" (ibid).
It is a segulah for parnassah to daven copiously for one's livelihood (ibid).
It is a segulah for parnassah not to engage in any dishonesty in one's work (ibid).
The Lesson of the Moon We read in Parashat Bo the first Mitsva given to Beneh Yisrael as a nation – the Misva of "Ha'hodesh Ha'zeh Lachem Rosh Hodashim" (12:2).
This Mitsva requires us to establish the Jewish calendar according to the lunar cycle, meaning, the revolution of the moon around the earth, which occurs approximately every 28.5 days.
The Jewish year is defined by twelve lunar cycles, as opposed to most other nations, which base their calendar upon the 365-day revolution of the earth around the sun.
Before Beneh Yisrael left Egypt, G-d commanded that they should declare new months based upon the sighting of the new moon, and this is the basis upon which the Jewish calendar is arranged. This command is followed by a series of laws relevant to the Korban Pesah, the paschal offering which Beneh Yisrael brought on the night they left Egypt. These include the requirements to undergo Berit Mila before performing the sacrifice, to slaughter a sheep, to place the blood on the doorpost, and to partake of the meat inside the home without leaving the home throughout the night. It also included a prohibition against sharing the sacrifice with non-Jews. One might wonder, what is the connection between these laws and the Misva of the Jewish calendar? Why does G-d introduce the laws of the Korban Pesah with the command to establish a lunar-based calendar?
Rav Shemuel Salant (Jerusalem, 1816-1909), in his Be'er Yosef, explains that the lunar calendar system conveys a vital lesson for Beneh Yisrael. The moon becomes visible only when it is at a distance from the sun. During the daytime, when the moon is near the sun in the sky, it is overwhelmed by the light of the sun and cannot be seen. It is only when the sun sets and the moon is separate from the sun that it retains its identity and can be identified by people here on Earth.
The same is true with the Jewish people. Just as the moon is minuscule in relation to the sun, we constitute but a tiny percentage of the world population. And just as the moon loses its identity when it comes close to the sun, we become absorbed by the rest of mankind when we draw too close to the non-Jewish world. Although we engage in the general world, we must ensure to remain separate and apart in order that we retain our unique identity and our loyalty to our special mission.
If we become too much a part of general society, we cannot be "seen"; we just blend in and are no longer discernible as Jews. The laws of the Korban Pesah were intended, at least in part, to separate Beneh Yisrael from the Egyptian society in which they lived. As our Sages teach, Beneh Yisrael became entrenched in Egyptian culture and worshipped idols. They were therefore commanded to publicly slaughter the sheep, the Egyptian deity, and place its blood on their doorposts as a symbol of their firm repudiation of this pagan belief. And they were commanded to undergo Berit Mila, so they would be physically different from the people of Egypt, and to remain indoors throughout the night without including any Egyptians in their feast.
All this was meant to establish our nation's separate and distinct status, to draw the "moon" away from the "sun," so-to-speak, so the Jewish nation could come into existence and step onto the stage of history. This is the connection between the lunar calendar and the Korban Pesah, as both relate to this theme of separation and retaining our national identity. Together, these laws remind us of the importance of remaining separate, that even as we involve ourselves in general society, we must not draw so close that we lose our uniqueness and distinct status.
Trivia: The Famous Edison Test
Today's tech company are infamous for asking all kinds of weird questions during interviews, How should I know how I would move Mount Everest?? But as bad as applicants think today's companies are, they are small potatoes when compared to the challenging test Thomas Edison had for his future employees. In 1921, the questions were leaked and it became the talk of the country! We've selected some of the most salient questions, let's see if YOU would have gotten hired by old Edison!
Rachel, which means "ewe," is the name of Jacob's second (and most beloved) wife. There is also the Yiddish male name Shepsl, which literally means "lamb," but may very well be a diminutive form of Shabtai, which means "[born on] Shabbat" and has nothing do with sheep.
2. Lion (M)
When Jacob blessed his sons, he compared several of them to animals. Judah is likened to a lion. For this reason, Yehudah (Judah) is commonly paired with Aryeh (Hebrew for lion) and Leib (Yiddish for lion). Another common combination is David Aryeh Leib since King David was a descendant of Judah and the first of a long line of Judean kings. This name also appears as Leon (yes, back in the middle ages Leon was a Jewish name) and Leibel, the diminutive form of Leib.
3. Gazelle/Deer (F/M)
Jacob blessed his son Naphtali to be like the ayalah sheluchah, the swift gazelle, also called a tzvi. Naphtali Tzvi is often followed by Hirsh (or Hersh or Hertz, depending on dialect), which is Yiddish for "deer." Although not technically accurate, this reflects the historical use of the word tzvi, which slowly drifted from meaning gazelle to deer among European Jews who were familiar with deer but never saw gazelles. The diminutive form is Hershel.
Hinda is Yiddish for "female deer" and also appears in the diminutive form of Hindel (or Hindy in English).
4. Wolf (M)
Jacob compares his youngest son, Benjamin, to a hungry wolf. Ze'ev is Hebrew for wolf, and volf is Yiddish. Put it all together and you get Binyamin Ze'ev Volf, or Velvel (or Volva) in the diminutive.
5. Fish (M)
Unique among Jacob's grandchildren were Joseph's sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, upon whom Jacob conferred the status of sons. In his blessing to the duo, he expressed his wish that they "multiply like fish." Thus, we have the name Ephraim Fishel (Yiddish for "little fish"), but not Manasseh Fishel. (It's also interesting to note that Joshua, a scion of the tribe of Ephraim, is identified as the son of Nun, which is Aramaic for "fish.") Another somewhat common pairing is Yerucham Fishel. Fishel is a reference to Joseph, whose sons were compared to fish. Joseph was an orphan, and Yerucham means "is granted mercy." The names can therefore be seen as a reflection of the verse "in You the orphan is granted mercy."
6. Bear (M)
The bear's place in Jewish tradition is somewhat less than glorious. In Hosea 13:8, G‑d says that He will punish those who forgot Him "like a bereaving bear," and two bears were the agents through which the 42 youths who tormented Elisha met their end. In interpreting a mystical vision, "And behold a second beast, similar to a bear" (Daniel 7:5), Rav Yosef taught: These are Persians, who eat and drink like a bear, and are corpulent like a bear, and grow hair like a bear, and have no rest like a bear." Yet, the Rebbe sees something positive in this name, which signifies the ability to refine and focus the brute force of the bear for positive, holy purposes. The Hebrew name is Dov and the Yiddish translation is Ber. The two are often contracted into a single word, Duber, and common Yiddish diminutive forms are Berel, Berish or Berkeh.
7. Bird (F)
Tzipporah was the wife of Moses. Her name means "bird." The commentaries explain that just as the blood of a bird purifies a home that is covered in leprosy, Tzipporah cleansed her father's home from idols. Alternatively, just as a bird is admired for its beauty, so was Tzipporah admired for her loveliness. This name is often shortened to Tzipah (in Yiddish) and Tzippy (in English and Modern Hebrew). There is also the name Feigel or Feigeleh, which is Yiddish for "bird."
8. Dog (M)
Among the 12 scouts Moses dispatched to the Holy Land, Caleb and Joshua were the only two who remained faithful and refused to speak harshly of the land that G‑d promised their ancestors. Although pronounced differently, it is striking that Caleb is spelled exactly the same as kelev, Hebrew for "dog."
9. Bee (F)
Deborah is Hebrew for "bee." It's also the name of two great women mentioned in the Torah. The first was the nursemaid of our matriarch Rebecca. The more famous Deborah, however, was Deborah the Prophetess, who judged and taught the Jewish nation for 40 years and bravely led them in battle against their Canaanite oppressors.
10. Ibex (F)
The victory that Deborah predicted over the Cananites came about through the wise and cunning actions of Yael (Jael), who invited the enemy general Sisera into her home and then killed him with a tent peg while he slept. Yael means "ibex."
11. Dove (F/M)
Yonah is Hebrew for "dove" and is the name of the (male) Biblical prophet who chose to flee and hide rather than follow G‑d's instruction to chastise the wayward people of Ninveh. Since this name is feminine in structure (it ends with a "hay"), it is given to both boys and girls. Its Yiddish counterparts, Taibel or Toba, however, are only given to females.
12. Names That Never Made It
Jacob also blesses Issachar to be like a pack donkey, and Dan to be like a snake who lies in wait on the roadside. For reasons that may be somewhat obvious, Issachar Chamor (donkey) and Dan Nachash (snake) never became popular Jewish names. It is fascinating that Chamor and Nachash do feature in the Bible as enemy kings—Chamor of Shechem (Genesis 34) and Nachash of Ammon (I Samuel 11).
On the subject of nasty animals that never made it, there is a fascinating scene described in II Kings 21 in which an ancient Torah scroll was found in the Temple by King Josiah. Three of the people in the episode are named for rodents. The prophetess Hulda ("weasel"), Akhbor ("mouse") and Shaphan ("rock hyrax"). None of these names have made it into common Jewish nomenclature.
It is also noteworthy that Falk ("falcon") and Fuks ("fox") are both extinct Yiddish first names, which still live on as relatively common last names.
"And I shall see the blood and I shall skip over you and there shall be no plague upon you" (12:13) Why was anything necessary to protect the Israelites from a plague that was sent upon their oppressors?
But there is a rule: "When permission is given to the Destroyer, he no longer distinguishes between the righteous and the wicked" (Baba Kama 60A). Hashem's preference for the righteous is not permitted by Him to interfere with this principle of His. Unless the righteous take shelter in houses which are distinguished by a mark of Hashem's service. The Destroyer, then, 'passes over' the loyal. The significance of this symbolism is one of the miracles of history: the eternity of Israel as a nation in this world. The Destroyer eventually brings destruction to every nation, one after the other. No nation has survived this inexorable fate of eventual downfall. Egypt (today Egypt is merely a name, but the people and the culture of Egypt's original greatness have vanished entirely), Assyria, Babylon, Persia, Greece, Rome have disappeared from the face of the earth. But Israel, that accepted G-d's service forever, is 'passed over' by the Destroyer and they shall continue as a nation forever. By 'closing/locking their doors, they demonstrated shutting the culture of the Egyptians/Goyim out of their lives.
The Destroyer who went through the doors of the Egyptians to kill their firstborn, Passed-Over ours upon seeing that we are not involved with the culture of the goyim, which is the actual cause of destruction. Those of Israel that are disloyal shall also go lost forever.
Not only in this life is Israel's existence forever, but also those that pass into the Afterlife are also forever. "All Israel has a share in the World to Come". Adapted from "A Nation is Born" by Rabbi Miller ZT'L
You Will Love These 4 Irresistible Smoked Salmon Dishes
No one should sleep on smoked salmon, in my opinion. Not only is it packed with proteins and healthy Omega-3 fats, but it is also absolutely delicious. Of course, you could just throw it on a piece of bread along with some avocado, and have a healthy and yummy lunch in no time. But don't think of smoked salmon as merely a sandwich ingredient because it can be so much more than that. The 4 recipes we selected highlight how multifunctional smoked salmon can be: one is a one-pot pasta, another one is a quick soup, the third one is a yummy quiche and the last one the ultimate spread. All of these recipes are easy, versatile, healthy and use ingredients you already have in your kitchen. LikeSmoked Salmon One-pot Pasta
The best thing about this pasta recipe is that it is a full-fledged healthy evening meal that you can whip up in less than an hour, and you'll have only one pot to clean afterward. Cooking time: 25-30 minutes Servings: 4 servings Difficulty: easy
A bunch of asparagus, trimmed, cut into 2.5 cm pieces (about 450 g)
280 g of frozen peas
1 tbsp. grated lemon zest
3 tbsp. lemon juice
1 cup fresh basil
Salt and pepper to taste
Preparation Step 1. Prepare the pasta in a pot of salted water, as usual, but 2 minutes before it's ready, add the asparagus and continue cooking. 1 minute later, add the peas as well and proceed cooking for another minute. Step 2. Drain the vegetables and pasta, make sure to reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water. Step 3. Place your pasta and vegetables into a bowl, and then add the butter, half of the sour cream, as well as the lemon juice and zest. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Mix well, gradually adding the pasta liquid that you reserved earlier until the sauce is not too thick and coats the pasta evenly. Step 4. Now it's already time to plate up your pasta. Split the pasta into 4 servings, top it up with the smoked salmon strips and the leftover sour cream. Garnish with basil and black pepper to your liking. Et voila, your delicious evening meal is ready! Easy Smoked Salmon Dip
I'm sure that I'm not the only one who loves a good cream-cheese and smoked salmon sandwich but hates the way the salmon slice often slides off the toast. This 10-minute spread recipe will help you enjoy your salmon toast without making a mess. Also, this spread doubles up as a delicious dip idea for a dinner party if you serve it with crackers on the side.
Preparation Step 1. In a food processor, mix the butter, cream cheese (or creme fraiche) and shallots so that they form a smooth mixture. Now you can add the salmon, pulsing for a few more seconds, until it is coarsely chopped. Step 2. Move the mixture into a bowl, slowly adding in the chives, the lemon juice, and zest, and finally seasoning to your taste. Garnish with finely-chopped greens and dig in!
Healthy Smoked Salmon Quiche
This savory dish is great for breakfast, lunch or dinner, plus it's probably one of the healthiest quiches you can make. It is packed with healthy oils from the salmon and sesame seeds, plus an essential daily dose of greens. Though it requires a little bit more time and technique, this meal is still a no-brainer, you must try it.
¼ cup kale, de-stemmed and cut into bite-size pieces (can be replaced with broccoli or spinach)
Salt and pepper to taste
Fresh basil (about ½ cup)
Equipment A 20 cm quiche tin (but honestly, in desperate measures, a pie tin will do just as well).
Preparation Step 1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
The Sesame Crust
Step 2. To prepare the sesame seeds, toast them on a dry frying pan until golden. Then, to prevent them from burning, immediately transfer them on a plate or small bowl and let them cool down. Step 3. Use a little olive oil or butter to grease your 20-cm quiche tin. Step 4. Now that the sesame seeds have cooled down, you can put together all the ingredients for the crust in a food processor and keep combining them until they form dampish crumbs. Use your hands to form the dough into a ball. Step 5. It is time to roll out the dough. Prepare your work surface by sprinkling flour on it to prevent the dough from sticking to the surface. Use a rolling pin to gradually spread out and flatten your dough into a circle that is slightly bigger than the quiche tin, around 8 ⅔ inches large and fairly thin (think as thick as a nickel). Step 6. Reach for your quiche tin and very gently place the dough in the tin, carefully pressing on the sides of the pan so that the dough adheres to every nook and cranny. Use a sharp knife to trim off any excess dough from the tin's rim. TIP: If there are any holes in the dough, you can use these trimmings to seal them. Step 7. Cover the dough with baking paper, load the tin with a bagful of baking beans, and bake for 20 minutes.
Step 8. While your crust is in the oven, you can prepare the filling. First, saute the onion in the butter or olive oil until soft and fragrant. Step 9. In a large bowl, whisk the yogurts (or the yogurt and the creme fraiche) together with the eggs, until smooth. Add the kale (spinach, or broccoli) to the mixture and season to taste.
Assembling Your Quiche
Step 10. Take out the beans and baking paper from the tin and let your crust sit in the oven for a couple more minutes, until golden brown. Step 11. When the crust is ready, pour in the filling and top it up with the salmon slices. Bake until the salmon browns up a bit and the egg mixture sets, around 35 minutes. Step 12. Let your quiche cool down a bit, remove it from the tin and garnish with basil. Enjoy warm or cold.
Quick Salmon ChowderChowders can take hours to prepare, but this refined, mouthwatering meal is actually ready quite fast. The next time you have to react fast and have a meal ready in less than an hour, surprise your family or guests with this exquisite warming meal.Cooking time: 10 minutes Servings: 8 servings Difficulty: easyLikeIngredients
225 g smoked salmon, sliced into bite-size pieces
2 cups vegetable broth
2 cups milk
½ cup heavy cream
2 tbsp tomato paste
3 medium leeks, sliced (white and light green parts only)
1 large peeled potato, cut into cubes
1 stalk celery, chopped
2 tbsp chives, chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped or minced
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Step 1. Saute the leeks and garlic in the olive oil for 2 minutes. Step 2. Add the celery and the potato, season with salt and pepper and cook while stirring constantly on medium heat for a few minutes. Step 3. Add the vegetable broth and cook until the potato softens (15 minutes or so). Step 4. Add the milk, tomato paste, and salmon, and simmer for a few more minutes while slowly stirring in the cream. Note: Don't let the chowder boil at this point, otherwise the milk may separate. Step 5. Serve, garnish with the chives, and savor this scrumptious meal.H/T: epicurious.com
See you tomorrow on special day for prayers for making a living and health
Love Yehuda Lave
Rabbi Yehuda Lave
2850 Womble Road, Suite 100-619, San Diego United States