Thursday, July 21, 2016

Four worms in a bottle

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Rabbi Yehuda Lave

10 things to hope for in the person you marry

On 7/7/16 I went to a class on finding your soul mate. When I worked with Rabbli Plizkin we used to tell people to accept what G-d gives you but it is still nice to have a wish list for the person you will spend your days with.
The person should hopefully be:
1) a mensch
2) Is this a person I want to share my problems with
3) Is this a person I want to work through my problems with
4) Can you envision cultivating intamacy together
5) Can you envision cultivating vulnarabilty with this person
6) Do you respect and honor this person
7) Can you see the person as they are not as you would like them to be
8) Is there space for both of you in this relationship
9) Could you see them as the father or mother of your chlidren (even if you are too old to have them)
10) Can you imagine growing old with this person
I was very fortunate I did have many of these things (you usually can't get them all in one person) with my ex wife and we shared love that grew over time.. I hope I can do as well the third time around.
Love Yehuda Lave

Four worms in a bottle

 A preacher decided that a visual demonstration would add emphasis to his Sunday sermon.
Four worms were placed into four separate jars. 
The first worm was put into a container of alcohol. 
The second worm was put into a container of cigarette smoke. 
The third worm was put into a container of chocolate syrup. 
The fourth worm was put into a container of good clean soil. 
At the conclusion of the sermon, the Minister reported the following results:

The first worm in alcohol . . . . . ..  Dead.

The  second worm in cigarette smoke . . Dead!

Third worm in chocolate syrup . . . Dead!.

Fourth worm in good clean soil . .


The Minister asked the congregation, 
"So, my friends? What did you learn from this demonstration?"

Maxine, sitting in the back, quickly raised her hand and said . . .

"As long as you drink, smoke and eat chocolate, you won't have worms!"
That pretty much ended the service!

Today is International Disturbed People's Day.


KAHANE ON THE PARSHARabbi Binyamin Kahane
The modern buzz phrase, "occupied territories," rears its ugly head in our parsha and haftarah (Judges 11:1-33). In Parshat Chukat we read of Og, king of Bashan, and Sichon, king of Ammon, trying to prevent the Jewish people from passing through their borders to reach the Land of Israel. Both kings decide to wage war against the chosen people and both kings lose. The Children of Israel conquer their lands and inhabit them.

Interestingly enough, no one at the time thought of suggesting that the Jewish people return the land they had just conquered to the nations that tried to annihilate them. But what if such a proposal had been raised? What would the Jewish response have been?

To answer this question we move the clock ahead 300 years. In the era of the Judges, the king of Ammon brazenly demands that the Jews return his terrotiries and threatens war if they refuse. The king recounts some well-known history: "Israel took away my land when they came out of Egypt, from Arnon as far as the Yabok and the Jordan" (Judges 11:13).

Compared to the claims of today's Arabs, this demand is quite "moderate." The king of Ammon, unlike the PLO, does not call for the total destruction of the Jewish state. He only wants what was taken from his people. In words that echo in the UN and Washington, the king concludes his demand in the following manner: "Now, therefore, restore these lands peacefully" (ibid.).

Peace. That magic word. What normal Jewish leader can refuse such an offer? After all, the king of Ammon's claim is not unreasonable; the lands were, indeed, taken from his nation. Ammon, unlike the PLO, once had a sovereign empire with a capital and an army on these lands. And most importantly, here is a genuine opportunity for peace. No more war, no more bloodshed.

The answer, however, that Yiftach - the Jewish people's leader - gives the king of Ammon is very different than the answer Rabin and Peres gave Arafat. Yiftach recounts all the past history, and then concludes: "So now the L-rd of Israel has driven out the Amorites from before His people, Israel, and you should possess the land?!?! Will you not posses what your god, Kemosh, gives you to possess??? We will possess all that the L-rd, our G-d, has dispossessed before us" (ibid. 11:23-24).

THIS is the reaction of a true Jewish leader. A reaction based on FAITH in the word of G-d. The land is ours not because of any historical claim or because we defeated the former inhabitants in battle. Rather, the land is OURS because G-d GAVE IT TO US AND WE HAVE NO RIGHT TO GIVE IT UP!!!

If we TRULY BELIEVE in our G-d-given right to the land and act with faith in the Almighty, we will achieve the same results that Yiftach did: "And Ammon was subdued before the Children of Israel" (ibid. 11:33).
Darka Shel Torah, 1992

5776 is a powerful time to do Mitzvot

Here's another  bit of very powerful information that is  so important to understand and to do (the pun is intended)!
This word לעשות is written in regard to many מצות specifically as well to חוקים and מצבות generally.
Now understand! When we permeutate the letters of this word לעשות, we get ל-תשעו. This is a divine special message from Hashem in regard to this very year! Since the giving of the Torah, there has been only a total of four opportunities that applied and apply to the power of the connection to Hashem that is achievable, the added amount of Shefa that could fill this world, and the Tikun that can be made. This is because this number of year תשעו happened in the years from 2,776, 3,776, 4,776, and this year now 5,776. These special years were and are, supernal windows of time that Hashem created for us to accomplish much to rectify this world and strengthen our connection to Hashem, that would be extremely hard to do otherwise. You can think about this as that we are in the time now of "Super Bonus Time".
We must all plug in to this Kavava and use this as special motivation to increase in the amount of מצות that we do, as well as the kavana of doing them because we want real devakut with Hashem that will be truly experienced on an individual level, but also seen and felt on the collective level for all of עם ישראל!
This opportunity is now still present before us, let us all do it!
Please tell as many Yehudim about this and spread this knowledge; we only have a few more months left before this widow closes for all the rest of history.

Tina Turner struts her stuff from old video

Aretha Franklin: Oh Happy Day

Who is wise?

Ben Zoma would say:  Who is wise?  One who learns from every man. As it is written:  "From all my teachers I have grown wise, for Your testimonials ("eidosecha") are my meditation."

 - Ethics of the Fathers, 4:1

                         *       *       *

It would seem that a wiser person is also a more critical person, since he has the insight to see his fellow for what he truly is. So why does Ben Zoma say ``Who is wise - One who learns from every man''? Perhaps to become wise, a person should learn from everyone; but the wiser he becomes, would he not find less value in those inferior to himself?

One possible answer is that the wise man gleans positive knowledge and instruction also from negative traits and deeds. Thus, Rabbi Zusya of Anipoli learned seven things from a thief: a) What he does, he keeps to himself. b) He is ready to take risks in order to achieve his goal. c) The smallest detail is of great importance to him.  d) He invests great effort and toil in what he does.  e) He is swift.  f) He is confident and optimistic.  g) If at first he fails, he is back time and again for another try.

Another, deeper perception of every man as one's teacher is to be found in the verse from Psalm 119 quoted by Ben Zoma: "From all my teachers I have grown wise, for Your testimonials ("eidosecha") are my meditation." At first glance, only the first half of the verse pertains to our mishnah's point. What does the fact that "Your testimonials (i.e. the mitzvos) are my meditation" have to do with learning from every man?

Indeed, the Hebrew word "eidosecha", "Your testimonials," from the root "eid", "witness" or "testifier," usually refers to the Divine commandments, whose observance attests to G-d's sovereignty over the universe and His relationship with us. But there is also another significance to the term - that it refers to each and every one of us.  "`You are My attesters ("eidy"),' says G-d"  - every single individual, with the very fact of his or her being, bears testimony to the greatness of their Creator.

It is in this context that Ben Zoma quotes the entire verse. "From all my teachers I have grown wise," says King David, expressing the elementary lesson that to grow wise one must learn from every man. Furthermore, the wiser he became, the more teachers David had.  Why? Because "Your testimonials are my meditation."

True, wisdom enables one to see past the veneer of conduct and grasp the inner motives and desires of men.  But the truly wise individual looks even deeper, beyond personality and character, to perceive the quintessence of humanity: man as a testimonial to G-d, Who created him in His image.

Every human being expresses another of the infinite faces of the Creator, and thus serves as unique and unduplicated insight into the all-embracing, all-pervading source of all wisdom. It takes a truly wise man to look at his every fellow, including the externally corrupt and despicable individual, and perceive the testimony he bears about his Creator.

Do the rich pay more than their fair share of tax?

Rare color footage of the first Submarine Voyage at Disneyland in 1959. ps. Spot Richard Nixon there at the end!

Hungarian Rhapsody'' by Victor Borge and Arzruni

Rare color footage of the first Submarine Voyage at Disneyland in 1959.
ps. Spot Richard Nixon there at the end!

Bob Hope and James Cagney doing the old soft shoe

Rabbi Yehuda Lave
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