You are unique. You are the only person in the world who is exactly who you are. The Almighty has not made anyone else like you. Only you have your unique genetic makeup and your unique life circumstances. No one alive now, and no one who ever lived before, and no one who will ever live in the future was, is, or will be just like you. You are the only person in the world with your unique positive qualities and challenges. You are the only person in the world who has your particular life mission.
You, like everyone else alive right now, are a work in progress. You have a multitude of positive choices you can make throughout each and every day. Choose life! Choose positive thoughts, words, and actions. With every positive choice you make, you build yourself. Keep making positive choices.
Love Yehuda Lave
Charlie Hebdo: All Is Forgiven?
Forgiving those who actively continue to seek your death is just another form of suicide.by Rabbi Benjamin Blech
The brutal terrorists in Paris who murdered 12 of the staff of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo didn't succeed in shutting it down.
See the full article by clicking on Rabbi Blech above.
"I am a medical student currently doing a rotation in toxicology at the poison control centre in Brisbane . Today, this woman called in very upset because she caught her little daughter eating ants. I quickly reassured her that the ants are not harmful and there would be no need to bring her daughter into the hospital. She calmed down and , at the end of the conversation, happened to mention that she had given her daughter some ant poison to eat in order to kill the ants. I told her that she better bring her daughter into the emergency room right away".
Some Boeing employees on the airfield in Sydney decided to steal a life raft from one of the 747s. They were successful in getting it out of the plane and home. Shortly after they took it for a float on the river, they noticed a Westpac Rescue Helicopter coming towards them. It turned out that the chopper was homing in on the emergency locator beacon that activated when the raft was inflated. They are no longer employed at Boeing.
A man, wanting to rob a Bank of Queensland, walked into the Branch and wrote 'Put all ya muny in this beeg.' While standing in line, waiting to give his note to the teller, he began to worry that someone had seen him write the note and might call the police before he reached the teller's window. So he left the Bank and crossed the street to the NAB Bank. After waiting a few minutes in line, he handed his note to the teller. She read it and, surmising from his spelling errors that he wasn't the brightest light in the Harbour, told him that she could not accept his stickup note because it was written on a Bank of Queensland deposit slip and that he would either have to fill out a NAB deposit slip or go back to Bank of Queensland. Looking somewhat defeated, the man said, 'OK' and left.
He was arrested a few minutes later, as he was waiting in line back at the Bank of Queensland.
Happened in Brisbane ....
A guy walked into a little corner store in Cairns with a shotgun and demanded all of the cash from the cash drawer. After the cashier put the cash in a bag, the robber saw a bottle of Scotch that he wanted behind the counter on the shelf. He told the cashier to put it in the bag as well, but the cashier refused and said, 'Because I don't believe you are over 21.'
The robber said he was, but the clerk still refused to give it to him because she didn't believe him. At this point, the robber took his driver's licence out of his wallet and gave it to the clerk.
The clerk looked it over and agreed that the man was in fact over 21 and she put the Scotch in the bag.. The robber then ran from the store with his loot.
The cashier promptly called the police and gave the name and address of the robber that she got off the licence. They arrested the robber two hours later.
A pair of robbers entered a record shop nervously waving revolvers. The first one shouted, 'Nobody move!' When his partner moved, the startled first bandit shot him.
Happened in Adelaide
Did you know that trees not only have anniversaries, they have their own New Year? Wednesday, February 4th is Tu B'Shevat (the 15th of the Hebrew month of Shevat) and the New Year for trees!
The 15th of Shevat is the New Year for trees. In the times of the Temple in Jerusalem, it was used for calculating the tithing year for the fruits of trees. The Talmud tells us that trees stop absorbing water from the ground and instead draw nourishment from their sap on this date. Calculating the age of the tree for Orlah (Lev. 19:23) --where fruit is allowed to be eaten from trees that are at least four years old -- is from Rosh Hashana.
How do we celebrate Tu B'Shevat? We eat fruit -- especially the fruits for which the Torah praises the Land of Israel: "A land of wheat and barley and vines (grapes) and fig trees and pomegranates; a land of olive trees and honey ... and you shall eat and be satisfied, and bless the Lord your God for the good land which He has given you" (Deut. 8:8-10). The Jewish people rejoice in the fruits, in the Land and in the Almighty Who has given us life.
Many people celebrate Tu B'Shevat in Israel by planting trees -- but not this year which is the Shmita year (the Sabbatical year where no planting is done). This is an old Jewish consciousness. The Talmud (Ta'anis 23b) tells the story of the great sage Choni HaMa'agel who came across a 70 year old man planting a carob tree. He asked the man if he thought he would live to benefit from the tree. The man replied that just as others have planted for us, we plant for those who will come after us. For a beautiful insight into life, read Rabbi Yehuda Prero, Choni Carob.
The Kabbalists in Safed created a Tu B'Shevat Seder (similar to the Passover Seder) to delve into the inner meaning of the day. There are explanations and meditations on the inner dimensions of fruits, along with blessings, songs and deep discussion. You can find it at http://www.aish.com/tubshvat
In our home we put out a whole fruit display -- especially those mentioned above for which the land of Israel is praised. It is a time of appreciation for what the Almighty has given us and which we might take for granted. Let your attitude be gratitude!
Man is compared to a tree (Deut. 20:19). In Pirke Avot (Ethics of the Fathers) found in the back of most Siddurim, Jewish prayer books,it is written: "A person whose wisdom exceeds his good deeds is likened to a tree whose branches are numerous, but whose roots are few. The wind comes and uproots it and turns it upside down. But a person whose good deeds exceed his wisdom is likened to a tree whose branches are few but whose roots are numerous. Even if all the winds of the world were to come and blow against it, they could not budge it from its place" (Avot 3:22).
Like a tree, our roots are the source of nourishment for our life. A Jew's nourishment is the Torah -- the knowledge and the means for us to make a spiritual connection to the Almighty. The Maharal teaches that just like the tree grows branches, flowers and fruits to fulfill its purpose, a man must work to produce moral, intellectual and spiritual accomplishments to fulfill his purpose. These are the fruits of our existence!
Just as a tree needs soil, water, air and sunlight, so does a person need to be spiritually rooted and connected with a source of nourishment. Water to a tree, Torah wisdom for us -- as Moses proclaims: "May my teaching drop like the rain" (Deut. 32:2). Air for the tree, spirituality for us -- as the Torah states that "God breathed life into the form of Man (Genesis 2:7)." Sunlight for a tree, the warmth of friendship and community for a person. Rabbi Shraga Simmons wrote a beautiful article, "Man is a Tree," expanding on this theme. You will also enjoy "Fruit and the Essence of Mankind" by Rabbi Nosson Slifkin -- available at http://www.aish.com/tubshvat.