Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Consider your options before you act

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Rabbi Yehuda Lave

Consider Your Actions

There are two key steps to gaining self-awareness. First, objectively determine which actions are positive and which are negative.

Second, focus on your own actions to see whether they fall into the category of positive or negative. Before doing any action, ask yourself, "Is this a proper thing for me to do or not?"

Even when you are not in the midst of any particular activity that would call for such inner questioning, think over your previous actions. Become aware of your negative behavior in order to avoid it in the future. Think carefully about strategies that will help you refrain from negative behavior. And of course, be aware of your positive behavior in order to increase it.

What positive behavior do you wish to increase? Today, think about actions you can take to increase that specific aspect of your behavior.

Love Yehuda Lave and Happy Chanukah

The next sunrise in Barrow, Alaska isn't until January 22, 2017

BARROW, ALASKA - In Barrow, Alaska, the northernmost town in the United States, the sun will never rise again.

True story. Every year around this time, Barrow goes without a sunrise for two straight months, a phenomenon called, "Polar Night". They have the exact opposite problem in the summer when the sun never sets for three straight months, known as "Polar Day". 

The next sunrise in Barrow, Alaska isn't until January 22, 2017

On December 1, Barrow will cease to exist. The town is changing their name back to the original Inupiat Eskimo name of Utqiaġvik. Utqiaġvik means a "place for gathering roots."

On October 4 of this year, city voters met to decide if they should change their name back to their old name.  After a very narrow vote,  Utqiaġvik won with 381 votes versus 375 votes against, and just like that, the town is going back to its roots. Pun intended.

The current town of Barrow has a population of around 4,200 people. Due to permafrost, they do not pave their roads. Even with global warming, two-thirds of the year, the temperature is below freezing.

If you knew barrow, Alaska at all, it may have been from the movie, "Big Miracle", starring John Krasinski and Drew Barrymore. The movie was based on a true story of when three California gray whales were trapped in the ice offshore of Barrow and the US and the Russians teamed up to try and get them free.  

Sheery Baby --Franki Vali

The Next Time Someone Tries to Convince You That Obama is Pro-Israel, Show Them This. If it had not been for Trump the UN would have thrown us out of Judea and Sameria

  Trump calls on Obama to veto UN resolution on Israeli settlements President-elect says Egyptian-drafted proposal, set for vote Thursday, 'extremely unfair' to Israelis; report says Kerry told Palestinians there would be no US veto

Hello Dolly--Louis Armstrong

Parshat Vayeishev "Slander Candor" Rabbi Yehoshua Schechter


"These are the chronicles of Yaakov, Yosef…" Genesis 37:2

This week's Parsha is like a film-script for the entire future history of the Jewish People, says the Chofetz Chaim. Yosef (the Jewish people), the most beloved son of his father (Hashem), is compelled to leave his father and his land (the exile of the Jewish People throughout the world). He is sent to another land, under the control of a decadent nation. And they try, by all methods, to wipe him out. However, this has the reverse effect, and he rises to the pinnacle of society and success.

He becomes the provider, the archetypal entrepreneur, sustaining the nations through times of famine, and eventually his brothers come and bow down in front of him, for they have caused him so much pain and affliction. Thus it will be in the future - in the final scene - when Hashem is revealed to the whole world, all will see that it was precisely, the trials of the Jewish People that has propelled their ascent.

And what brought about the trials of the Jewish People? What particular trait of Yosef was responsible for thousands of years of spiritual and physical hardship for the Jewish nation? Perhaps we can draw a conclusion from the end of aforementioned verse 37:2, "and Yosef would bring evil reports about them to their father".

Yosef spoke Loshon Hora, (slander) about his brothers. He was the precursor, however, examples of slander among the Jewish People, occurred again and again, throughout the five books of the Torah and the Prophets. Sinat Chinam (baseless hatred) reared its ugly head a bit later on in our history, as the Talmud relates to us in a myriad of situations in tractates Yoma and Gittin.

Baseless hatred, destroyed the second temple and Jerusalem, and together with slander, has been, is ever-present today, and is without question, the biggest cause of suffering for the Jewish People.

The repercussions of the mitzvah of proper speech, and the transgression of speaking evil of another, are so intense, that they have literally shaped the destiny of our people. The Jewish People have been in exile for 2,000 years, only because of words that come out of our mouths. Can our nation fashion the scourge of our millennia – our everlasting cause of misery, into a benefit - an ascent? May it be Hashem's will that we replace slander with candor, and baseless hatred with baseless love.


Genius way to clean your microwave

See you tomorow my friends

Rabbi Yehuda Lave

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