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
G-d is not a Liar
In the story of the Exodus of Egypt, the Almighty commands Moshe to request a 3 day retreat to the desert for the Jewish people, though the intent was to leave Egypt permanently. The Almighty is not a trickster nor a liar. Why was it done in this manner?
The Vilna Gaon comments that there are two other times where the Almighty used deception -- Jacob's dealings with his father-in-law, Lavan, and during the Purim story. The Almighty enabled Jacob to use deception to receive his fair wages. The flocks produced offspring with the coloring -- that according to Jacob's agreement with Lavan -- would belong to Jacob. In the Purim story, the Midrash tell us that the Almighty sent angels dressed as servants to malign Haman so that Achashverosh would not cool off from his anger at Haman for wanting to kill Esther and her people.
The Almighty is always sending us messages for us to recognize our mistakes and be able to correct them. With regards to Pharaoh, Lavan and Haman -- each one used deception. Pharaoh enslaved the Jews by having a "National Work Day" where the Jews volunteered their labor -- and then he kept them as slaves. Lavan substituted Leah for Rachel thus deceiving Jacob. Haman deceived Achashverosh about the people he wished to exterminate. Thus, the Almighty returned measure for measure so that each could learn his lesson.
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Q & A: WHAT IS SEPHIRAT HA-OMER?
On the second day of Pesach (which was Saturday night this year), the Omer offering from the new barley crop was brought in the Temple in Jerusalem. It began a period of counting and preparation for Shavuot, the anniversary of the giving of the Torah and the yearly celebration of re-accepting the Torah upon ourselves. This period is called Sephirat HaOmer, the counting of the Omer.
Forty-nine days are counted and on the fiftieth day is Shavuot, the Yom Tov celebrating the giving of the Torah. There is actually a mitzvah to count each specific day which is done at the completion of Ma'ariv, the evening service.
This is a period of national semi-mourning (no weddings or even haircuts). It was during this period that Rabbi Akiva's 24,000 students died for not showing sufficient respect for each other. It is a time for us to reflect how we look upon and treat our fellow Jews as well as the tragedies that have befallen us because of unfounded (self-justified) hatred. It is a wonderful time to undertake to do an extra act of kindness; this will help bring perfection to the world and unity amongst Jews.
There are two customs for observing the semi-mourning period. The first is to observe it from the end of Pesach until the 33rd day of the Omer, this year Thursday, May 23. Many people get married on the 33rd day of the Omer for this reason. The second custom is to observe it from Rosh Chodesh Iyar (the beginning of the month of the Hebrew month of Iyar, Monday, May 6) until Shavuot (starting Saturday evening, June 8th). Unusual for our heritage, one can choose each year which custom to follow!
These 50 days also correspond to the seven weeks after the Exodus from Egypt when the Jewish people prepared themselves to receive the Torah at Mt. Sinai. When we left Egypt we were on the 49th level of Tuma, spiritual degradation. Each day we climbed one step higher in spirituality and holiness. Many people study one of the "48 Ways to Wisdom" (Ethics of the Fathers, 6:6) each day as a means to personal and spiritual growth. Rabbi Noah Weinberg, the great educator and founder of Aish HaTorah, has his flagship series of lectures of the 48 Ways to Growth.
A Look Inside a Real Matzah Bakery and my visit to a real one at Kfar Chabad
How Shmurah Matzah Is Made: An inside look of an authentic matzah bakery
My trip to Kfar Chabad to watch them bake the Matzas
The OU takes a trip to Kfar Chabad on 041619 which happens to be the Rabbi's birthday-Nisson 11. A very spiritual time. We watch the activity as the Matzot are baked. I tried to give a sense of the action with my blurred pictures
April 16th, the Rebbi's birthday, was the day of my visit
President Trump Proclaims 'Education Day' for Rebbe's Date of Birth Proclamation emphasizes connection between 'knowledge, character and freedom' April 16, 2019 4:18 PM President Donald J. Trump
The White House released a proclamation designating April 16, 2019, as "Education and Sharing Day, U.S.A," in honor of the 117th anniversary of the birth of the Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory. The proclamation, signed by U.S. President Donald J. Trump, states that it is a day to recognize and reaffirm the Rebbe's teaching that "education is not only about the transmission of knowledge, but that it is also integral to the formation of character."
It is the 41st year since the Rebbe's date of birth was first designated as a time to reflect upon the state of education in society, a bipartisan tradition that began in 1978 with President Jimmy Carter and has been carried out by every subsequent president since.
"In the face of unspeakable tragedy, Rabbi Schneerson championed the teaching of principles of scholarship, justice, charity, and unity," reads the proclamation. The Rebbe "sought to expand freedom in education while finding common ground with those of differing beliefs and backgrounds. His unfailing example offered those around him an opportunity to deepen their understanding of the inherent connections between knowledge, character and freedom."
In reacting to the very first designation of "Education Day," the Rebbe expressed that while the timing of the day was a tribute to the Chabad-Lubavitch movement "which sees in education the cornerstone not only of Jewish life, but of humanity at large, and has been dedicated to this vital cause ever since its inception more than 200 years ago—it is a fitting and timely tribute to the cause of education in general, focusing attention on what is surely one of the nation's top priorities."
The Rebbe spoke often about education as the bedrock of society, underscoring that it should not be limited to preparation for a career or even the acquisition of knowledge but, as he wrote to Carter, "education in a broader and deeper sense—not merely as a process of imparting knowledge and training for a 'better living,' but for a 'better life,' with due emphasis on character building and moral and ethical values."
In President Ronald Reagan's 1984 Education Day proclamation he echoed the Rebbe's teachings when he noted that "throughout our history ... our educational system has always done far more than simply train people for a given job or profession; it has equipped generation upon generation of young men and women for lives of responsible citizenship, by helping to teach them the basic ethical values and principles that are both our heritage as a free people and the foundation of civilized life."
The Rebbe spoke about his hope that 'Education Day' would become a permanent institution, one which due to the universal nature of education would lend further significance to other days, such as Father's Day and Mother's Day.
"It is fitting indeed that the U.S.A. has shown, through a forceful example to the world, that it places education among its foremost priorities ... ," the Rebbe said. "The proclamation of 'Education Day USA' is of extraordinary significance in impressing upon citizens the importance of education, both in their own lives as well as, and even more so, for the young generation in the formative years—particularly, in the present day and age."
See you tomorrow--Enjoy Chul Hamoed
Love Yehuda Lave
Rabbi Yehuda Lave
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