Monday, July 24, 2017

When is the proper time to pray the afternoon prayer?

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Yehuda Lave, Spiritual Advisor and Counselor

If you have trust issues, there is a great deal that you can do to build trust, first in yourself and then, hopefully, in trustworthy others.

1. Be abstinent to a degree. Many people with trust issues are addicted to various substances, such as sugar or cigarettes, or activities, such as internet, because substances, unlike people, are always available and can be relied on to provide a bit of relief. This does not mean these things are bad. It means you have to be able to control them in moderation.

2. Keep a schedule. By sticking to a schedule, you gain a sense of yourself as a person who is reliable and trustworthy.

3. Pick a person to give charity to on a regular basis, such as the first of the month, even if it is only a small amount. This helps you see yourself as a person who can be relied on to be there for someone else.

4. Notice your decisions. Start small, like noticing that you chose one type of shampoo or toothpaste over another. Then notice your "victories," such as drinking water instead of a sweet soda or eating salad instead of potato chips.

5. Forgive people for not satisfying your expectations.

Love Yehuda Lave

The Proper Time to Pray Mincha


Question: Until what time may one pray Mincha?


Answer: In order to properly understand the answer, we must preface this discussion by saying that anytime we use the word "sunset", this refers to the time of sunset as printed in all halachic calendars worldwide.


The Gemara (Berachot 29b) states: "Rabbi Yochanan said: It is a Mitzvah to pray with the rising and setting of the sun, as the verse states, 'They shall fear you with the sun'-which refers to the Shacharit prayer, 'And before the moon for all generations'-which refers to the Mincha prayer." This means that according to Rabbi Yochanan, it is especially preferable to pray Mincha as the sun sets. The Gemara then proceeds, "The sages of the Land of Israel spoke derogatorily of one who prayed [Mincha] as the sun set" lest a situation arise as a result of which one will miss out on praying Mincha entirely.


It seems, therefore, that one should make sure to pray Mincha well before sunset, as opposed to waiting until just before sunset to pray. This would stand in contrast with the prevalent custom among many synagogues which customarily pray Mincha right before sunset and pray Arvit immediately afterwards. Similarly, many righteous women pray Mincha right before sunset, as well.


Indeed, the saintly Ari z"l would likewise pray Mincha slightly before sunset and he would then pray Arvit right afterwards. It would seem that the Ari's custom is also in contrast of the comment of the Sages of the Land of Israel quoted above. Hagaon Rabbeinu Yosef Haim zt"l writes in his Ben Ish Hai (Parashat Ki-Tissa) that the reason why the Ari z"l was not concerned with the opinion of the Sages of the Land of Israel is because the whole reason they said not to pray too close to sunset is because something may happen and one may miss the time for prayer; regarding the Ari z"l, on the other hand, who had a designatedMinyan who prayed with him every day and would wait specifically wait for this time, there was no concern that he (or his Minyan) would neglect the Mincha prayer in any way.


Thus, according to the Ben Ish Hai, one should not pray too close to sunset and one should make sure to pray Mincha somewhat earlier. Only the Ari z"l, who had a special Minyan that prayed specifically at this time, could pray close to the time of sunset.


On the other hand, Maran Rabbeinu Ovadia Yosef zt"l points out in his Halichot Olam (Volume 1, page 248) that it seems from the words of the Gemara that there is no distinction between different people regarding this Halacha and it seems that the law of not praying the Mincha prayer too late applies to all people at all times.


Maran Ha'Bet Yosef (beginning of Chapter 232) quotes in the name of the Hagahot Maimoni that when the Gemara states the Sages of the Land of Israel said that one should pray Mincha as the sun set, this refers to one who prays at the time the sun is already setting. However, if one prays before sunset, even if it is only several minutes before, there is nothing wrong with such behavior. Maran Rabbeinu Ovadia Yosef zt"l proves that the great Ari would likewise pray Mincha close to sunset but not as the sun actually set, for the saintly Ari would pray Mincha with his Tefillin (according to the Shimusha Rabba's opinion) on and he was always careful to remove his Tefillin before sunset. Thus, the custom of the Ari to pray Mincha later does not mean he prayed along with sunset; rather, he would pray slightly before sunset.


Thus, when the Sages of the Land of Israel said not to pray Mincha too late, this refers to praying at the actual time of sunset. Thus, the custom observed by many synagogues, as was the practice of the great Ari z"l, to pray Mincha late refers to praying several minutes before sunset and there is no concern in this regard at all.


Halachically speaking, it is permissible to pray Mincha slightly before sunset, as is the practice in many synagogues and that of many righteous women. However, one should not postpone praying Mincha until past sunset, lest something happen and one will miss the time for prayer entirely.


Nevertheless, if the time of sunset passes, one may pray Mincha until thirteen-and-a-half seasonal minutes after sunset (which ranges between ten and twenty minutes after sunset).

Breakthrough cancer cure on horizon - first patients due for NEW UK treatment in 2018

These Bad Habits Are Damaging Your Brain

The only organ in our body that thinks is often the one we think the least about. Our brain is the single most important organ in our body, controlling everything we do, including breathing, walking, eating, and sleeping. It's the central processor for all our bodily functions, the part that interprets what we see and hear, smell and taste, and it's even the place where the chemical reaction associated with love occurs. With all this in mind, we should avoid the following 7 common bad habits that damage our brain.

10 Herbs to Alleviate Symptoms of Arthritis

50 million adults and approximately 300,000 children have been diagnosed with some form of arthritis in the United States, which is a disease characterized by inflamed joints. It's especially common in women or obese people, as opposed to men of a healthy weight. But the elderly or those genetically predisposed to arthritis are at a greater risk of developing the disease. One other risk factor to bear in mind is whether you have had a joint injury in the past. 

What are the symptoms? People with arthritis often experience the following symptoms:
 •    Inflammation
•    Stiffness
•    Swelling
•    Redness
•    Pain  
 Arthritis may also cause you to feel fatigued and weak and can negatively impact your range of motion and your ability to perform everyday tasks. 
What treatments are available?

While no treatment is available to cure arthritis, treatments are usually aimed at mitigating damage and reducing pain. Herbs and the food that you eat, can greatly affect arthritis. The 10 following herbs can be added to your tea, they can be used to season your food, or used in topical preparations.

  1. Turmeric

This is the number one spice to go to when dealing with arthritis. Also known as curcumin, turmeric has been at the forefront of a number of clinical studies, all of which have proven that this spice has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. To reap the benefits of turmeric, use it as a mild and flavorful kitchen spice, which you can add to a wide variety of dishes. Turmeric may also be purchased in capsule format and used as a supplement. It's generally advisable to take 400 to 600mg of turmeric three times a day. 

2. Licorice

Licorice extract has been shown to be quite effective in both the prevention and treatment of chronic, acute inflammatory conditions such as arthritis. It has been shown to reduce the inflammation and damage caused by free radicals in the body. You can add it to your tea by steeping a teaspoon of dried licorice root powder in a mug of boiled water for 10 minutes. You can also take it in capsule form. However, it is advised that you speak to a healthcare professional before taking it in a concentrated form, as it's not suitable for those who have low potassium levels, diabetes, kidney disease, heart disease and/or hypertension.

 3. Stinging Nettle

This surprisingly beneficial herb is good for your overall health and is especially effective in treating arthritis. It's packed with anti-inflammatory properties and delivers a remarkable dose of minerals such as magnesium, calcium and potassium all of which help make your bones stronger and ease your pain. Purchase nettle in its dried herb form, in tea-bags, or take it as a supplement. 

4. Cinnamon

This flavorful and popular spice contains valuable antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. According to studies, cinnamon extract is very useful in reducing redness, swelling and stiffness in the joints. Cinnamon can be added to your everyday diet in its natural form - you can sprinkle some on toast, in oatmeal or in baked goods. You may also add a teaspoon to a cup of warm tea first thing in the morning alongside a tablespoon of honey. Drink the mix daily on an empty stomach to reap the benefits

5. White Willow Bark

This old fashioned remedy contains a chemical known as salicin - a natural analgesic. Originally, aspirin was sourced from white willow bark. Ingesting this herb in the form of tea, or taking it as a supplement can help relieve the pain of osteoarthritis. It has been found to be especially beneficial for pain in the back, neck, hips and knees. - Advertisement - 

6. Garlic

Here's a herb you likely use in your everyday cooking. Garlic contains powerful anti-inflammatory properties that have been shown to be helpful in combating the pain and swelling that arthritis causes. To get its beneficial effects, garlic is best eaten raw - aim to eat two to three raw cloves of garlic a day on an empty stomach. Chew them up a bit first, breaking each clove open in order to release their beneficial properties and enabling you to swallow them whole. Alternatively, you can purchase garlic capsules or garlic oil which can be applied topically to painful areas.

 7. Boswellia

While this herb may not be as well known as others on the list, it has been clinically proven to be very effective in treating inflammatory disease. Aside from reducing inflammation, boswellia acts as a mild natural pain reliever. It does so by increasing the circulation to your joints. Studies have also indicated that it may prevent cartilage loss. Take this herb in the form of a supplement though be sure to speak to a healthcare professional before you do.

 8. Green Tea

This incredible health tonic has long shown success in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Green tea's health benefits can be found in the polyphenols that it contains - it has very powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, suppressing the immune response and preventing the immune system from attacking the lining of your joints. This popular beverage is widely available in the form of teabags.

 9. Cat's Claw

Available in supplement form, cat's claw has been found to be very effective in relieving the pain of rheumatoid arthritis. It also has positive effects on swelling and inflammation. Aim to take between 250 to 350mg of Cat's Claw per day. May also interest you:

10. Ginger

This well known aromatic and flavorful herb is very good for easing arthritis pain. It also helps to reduce swelling and inflammation. Ginger can easily be added into your diet and can be used as a fresh ingredient. It can also be purchased dry and used in tea. Ginger oil may also be applied topically to painful areas for relief of swelling and inflammation. To reap its benefits further, after applying the oil, warm the area with a heated compress. 

10 Smart Gadgets that Exist

It's incredible what inventors think of these days. They come up with devices that can make our life easier and those that will save us a lot of time. Here are some new inventions you must check out:  

1. A sonogram belt for pregnant women


This electronic device with a flexible screen is attached to a baby bump with the help of a soft bandage. It allows you to watch your baby inside of you. You can watch the baby grow, sleep, move and react to various sounds in real time. 

2. A projecting bracelet

Source The Cicret company created this unique bracelet that acts as a mini-projector and has sensors. The smartphone's screen is projected right onto your arm. You can scroll and perform other actions on your skin too.

 3. A flat iron that lightens hair 

Source This electronic device makes it easier to become blonde. It straightens and lightens your hair in just a couple of minutes. It's also safer to use than hair dyes. 4. Touch-Hear tactile dictionarySourceThis device consists of 2 parts: a small sensor which is attached to your finger pads and a speaker attached to your ear. When you touch a word printed in a book with the scanner, you will hear its meaning.

 5. A brain activity stimulator

Source This ingenious device uses electrical impulses to help you relieve stress and relax after a hard day. It has various modes which you can use like 'motivation', 'deep sleep' and 'bliss'.- Advertisement

6. An extractor pump kit

Source If you were bitten by a snake but cannot go to the hospital immediately, this gadget will help save your life. It can also be used after a bee, wasp, mosquito, or spider bite. The pump works to remove at least part of a poison and will decrease the possibility of serious poisoning. 

7. Neutrogena Light Therapy mask

Source Spare yourself the time and hassle of applying different masks to your face. The mask has LED lights that serve different purposes. The blue LED lights fight bacteria, while the red reduce inflammation. The mask should be worn everyday for a month for 10 minutes each time.

 8. Stop Insomnia mask

Source If you toss and turn most of the night and find it difficult to fall asleep, try this mask. The LEDs in the mask give the glowing light that will resemble sunset rays when going to sleep, and a soft blue glow when waking up

9. A tile you can call


If you've ever lost the keys to your car, this idea probably crossed your mind. This device allows you to call your keys from your smartphone and it can be attached to anything, including a dog collar, backpack or TV remote.

10. A smart bra that diagnoses breast cancer in the early stages

Source The person behind this innovative device did so after being inspired by his own mother, who almost lost her life due to an incorrect diagnosis. The bra is equipped with sensors that monitor the temperature and weight of the breasts. Changes in these parameters indicate that a large amount of blood is flowing to the breasts, which means that the vessels 'nourish' something else - possibly, a cancer cell. The collected data is then transferred to a special app, which can be downloaded to a smartphone or PC. 

Guide: Websites You Should Know About

How much time do you spend looking for the best deals, or trying to figure something out? These websites will make your life a whole lot easier: 

 1. Clever Layover


Need a good deal on a flight? Search for multiple flights on non-partner airlines to find the best deal. SeatGuru is another good sight to bear in mind when traveling. This site will help you find the best seat on the plane, which will give you important info like USB charging availability and whether or not the place is equipped with personal TVs.

2. 10 Minute Mail


Got too many emails in your inbox? 10 Minute Mail will allow you to get confirmation of your email and then self-destruct in just 10-minutes. 

3. Camel Camel Camel


Looking for a good deal? This site shows you the price history of anything on your Amazon wish list directly. 

4. Old Version


Need to update your software only to find out that it no longer works the way you wanted it to? Don't let your frustrations get the best of you. Get old versions of popular software through this site. 

5. Mathway


Now it's easy to solve any kind of math problem from basic math, to chemical equations, with this site. Just the tool you need to help your kids or grandkids solve a mathematical problem (just make sure that they don't discover this site, to cheat their way through their homework). 

-6. Online Etymology Dictionary


This handy site gives you the history and derivation of any word. A great way to pass the time! 

7. Account Killer


Have too many social media accounts active and open? This site shows you how to close any social media account forever (not just disable them). 

8. Lucyphone


Had enough of waiting on hold for customer service? This fantastic website does it for you. Lucy will queue in line for you and the company will call you back with a representative on the other line.


9. Down for Everyone or Just Me?


The title of this website says it all. If you are experiencing problems with one website, find out whether it's just you, or if the whole site is down.

10. TwoFoods


Compare calories and other nutritional information between two foods, quickly and easily. 


10 Important Mantras for Aging Gracefully

Many people feel unhappy, health-wise and security-wise, after 60 years of age, believing a diminishing importance is given to them and their opinions. But, it need not be so, if only we understand the basic principles of life and follow them.

Here are ten mantras to help you age gracefully, to make life after retirement more pleasant, to enjoy and treasure the elder years of wisdom and intelligence.

 1. Never say 'I am too old

'There are three ages, chronological, biological, and psychological. The first is calculated based on our date of birth; the second is determined by health conditions, and the third is how old you feel you are. While we don't have control over the first, we can take care of our health with good diet, exercise and a cheerful attitude. A positive attitude and optimistic way of thinking can reverse the third age

.2. Health is wealth

If you really love your kids and kin, taking care of yourself and your health should be your priority. Thus, you will not be a burden to them. Have an annual health check-up and take the prescribed medicines regularly. Take out health care insurance coverage.

3. Money is important

 Money is essential for meeting the basic necessities of life, keeping good health and earning family respect and security. Don't spend beyond your means, even for your children. You have lived for them throughout, and it is time you enjoyed a harmonious life with your spouse. If your children are grateful they should take care of you. But never take that for granted

.4. Relaxation and recreation 

The most relaxing and refreshing forces are a healthy and religious attitude, good sleep, music and laughter. Have faith in your religion, learn to sleep well, love good music, and see the fun side of life.- 

5. Time is precious

It's almost like holding a horse's reins. When they are in your hands, you can control them. Imagine that every day you are born again. Yesterday is a paid check. Tomorrow is a promissory note. "Today is ready cash; use it profitably. Live this moment"

.6. Change is the only permanent thing 

We should accept change; it is inevitable. The only way to make sense out of change is to join the dance. Change has brought about many pleasant things. We should be happy that our children are blessed.

7. Enlightened selfishness

 We are all basically self-interested. Whatever we do, we naturally expect something in return. We should definitely be grateful to those who stood by us. But our focus should be on the internal satisfaction and happiness we derive by doing good for others, without expecting anything in return but the warm glow we get, which in the end, is what we really want.

8. Forgive, then Forget

Don't be bothered too much by others' mistakes. It is certainly hard in the heat of the moment to turn the other cheek, but, for the sake of our own health and happiness, let us forgive and forget as soon as we can. Otherwise, we will only be increasing our blood pressure.

9. Everything has a reason; a purpose 

Take life as it comes. Accept yourself as you are, and also accept others for what they are. Everybody is unique and right in their own way

.10. Overcome the fear of death

 We all know that one day we have to leave this world. Still, we are afraid of death. We think that our spouse and children will be unable to withstand our loss. But the truth is that no one is able to to die for you; though they may painfully mourn for some time. Time heals everything and they will carry on. Remember, no one leaves this world alive.

See you tomorrow

Love Yehuda Lave

Rabbi Yehuda Lave

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