Sunday, September 17, 2017

4 things Einstein said to cheer up his sad friend

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Yehuda Lave, Spiritual Advisor and Counselor

Setting limits on your time

The good thing about learning to set limits is that it's freeing to face reality, i.e., that you are not perfect and cannot be all things to all people. You will also feel less stressed and overwhelmed, not allowing the needs of others to dictate your behavior.

Love Yehuda Lave

4 things Einstein said to cheer up his sad friend

Letters up for auction shed a light on a touching friendship Einstein shared with his colleague.

by Benyamin Cohen  |  Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Albert Einstein was many things – Nobel Prize-winning physicist, inspiration for artistsan unwieldy sailorand much more. But to his network of colleagues at Princeton University, he was also a dear friend.

That aspect of Einstein's personality is on full display in a cache of letters he wrote to fellow physicist David Bohm. And the letters can be yours – they're currently being auctioned by Winner's Auction & Exhibitions in Israel. The auction will take place on June 20, but bids are already being accepted online.

Screenshots of some of the letters that are for sale next week. (Photo: Winner's Auctions)

Bohm left his post at Princeton and moved to Sao Paulo, Brazil, for a teaching position. The only problem? He was miserable in South America and almost immediately regretted his decision. He wrote letters to Einstein seeking advice and counsel, both of which Einstein was willing to dole out in these typed and handwrittenletters to be auctioned.

Below, we look at four pieces of advice Einstein gave the depressed Bohm in these letters, on everything from relativistic field theory to kitchen help.

Be happy

Einstein was an affable person, often seen with a smile on his face. (Photo: Courtesy of the Albert Einstein Archives)

The first thing Einstein did was encourage his friend to cheer up. "Although I fully understand your feeling of frustration," Einstein wrote, "I feel that patience, combined with an attempt to enjoy your life there as well as possible, seems to me the best you can do for the moment."

Hire a cook

Some of Einstein's favorite foods include scrambled eggs, lentil soup, asparagus and porcini mushrooms. (Photo: Shurkin_Son/Shutterstock)

Bohm complained about many things in Brazil, including the local cuisine. Einstein empathized with his friend. "What impressed me most was the instability of your belly, a matter where I have myself extended experience," Einstein wrote before suggesting that Bohm hire a "reliable cook." (For more genius food advice, check out the book "What Einstein Told His Cook.")

Stay put

Einstein, who was one of the founders of Hebrew University in Jerusalem, told Bohm that Israel is 'intellectually alive.' (Photo: Elena Dijour/Shutterstock)

Bohm asked Einstein if he should bail on his Brazilian adventure and seek employment in another country. Einstein wrote back the pros and cons of many places, saying "Israel is intellectually alive and interesting" and that he shouldn't move to Ireland. Einstein added that "in spite of this, you should, in my opinion, hold out until you have acquired Brazilian citizenship." (Bohm would eventually move to Israel, where he met his wife.)

Put things in perspective

Earth is big, and it's also a mystery. (Photo: Triff/Shutterstock)

Between worrying about meals and moving, Bohm was also desperately trying to solve a scientific equation, but was feeling discouraged. So Einstein wrote back: "You should not be depressed by the enormity of the problem. If God has created the world, his primary worry was certainly not to make its understanding easy for us."'

Einstein bequeathed his papers to Hebrew University in Jerusalem, which is home to the official Albert Einstein archives. But items that were sent to others, like the letters being auctioned off next week, are often sold to collectors. "I screamed 'Wow!' when I first saw it," Gal Wiener, who will be auctioning off these letters, told From the Grapevine from his office in Jerusalem. "I was very enthusiastic. It's not something you see that often."

As expected, word of the auction of Einstein memorabilia has interested people all across the globe. Wiener told us that he was just contacted by an American man who says his mom was friendly with Einstein's wife Elsa. He has some items he might want to auction off. So stay tuned – perhaps there's some Einstein advice about love in that stash.

The contribution of India in the liberation of Jerusalem

Welcome Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and thank you for the sacrifices made by your country's soldiers who saved the Jews of the Land of Israel 100 years ago and eventually led to the Jewish state's creation.

 This cemetery, which I visited for the first time last week, is the burial site for 79 Indian soldiers who died here fighting for the liberation of Jerusalem in 1917. Another cemetery for the Indian soldiers is in Haifa.
Cemetery in the Talpiot neighborhood of Jerusalem for fallen Indian soldiers 
More than one million Indian troops fought with the British Army in WWI, at the Western front in Europe, in Africa, Mesopotamia, and the Middle East. On the Sinai-Palestine front, 95,000 Indian combatants served; approximately 10 percent were killed. In the 1914-1918 period, they fought the Turkish-German armies at Gallipoli, the Suez Canal, through the Sinai and Palestine and finally Damascus, with crucial battles in Gaza, Jerusalem, Jaffa, Haifa, Nablus and Megiddo.

The Indian soldiers joined other troops in the Sinai-Palestine campaign from Australia, New Zealand, the West Indies, as well as the Jewish Legion. These auxiliary forces relieved British troops badly needed on the Western front in Europe.

The Indian troops served in the cavalry, camel corps, infantry and logistics units. A large number were Muslims, and the Turks attempted to weaken their resolve with religious appeals. Except for a few cases, the Turkish propaganda failed. The importance of Muslim soldiers was understood by the British commander Edmund Allenby. After capturing Jerusalem, he cabled to London, "The Mosque of Omar and the area round it has been placed under Moslem control, and a Military cordon, composed of Indian Mahomedan officers and soldiers, has been established round the Mosque. Guards have been established at Bethlehem and on Rachel's Tomb. The Tomb of Hebron has been placed under exclusive Moslem control."

Allenby's respect for the Indian soldiers can be seen in his receiving their salute as they marched past him outside of Jaffa Gate in Jerusalem on December 11, 1917, when Allenby entered the city.
General Allenby on his horse saluting the Indian troops outside of Jerusalem's Jaffa Gate on December 11, 1917 (Library of Congress)The war ended in 1918, but British and Indian troops remained to police the British Mandate and put down Arab disturbances. Their photographs can be found in the Library of Congress' American Colony collection, the British Imperial War Museum and other archives.
Muslim Indian soldiers (on the right) guarding the Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount. On the left is believed to be a contingent of Algerian soldiers from the French army. (Library of Congress, 1917)After capturing Jerusalem and Gaza, the British Army, supported by Indian and ANZAC troops, advanced to the north, eventually taking Damascus on October 1, 1928. A key battle was at Megiddo in September 1918, in what may have been the last great cavalry charge in military history.
Indian lancers charging Turkish lines in the Megiddo Valley, September 20, 1918. Painting by ThomasCantrell Dugwell. (UK Imperial War Museums)Later this year, a large Australian delegation will visit Israel to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the gallant ANZAC capture of Beersheba, which opened the way for the liberation of Jerusalem weeks later.
The author is a former Israeli diplomat.  He is author of American Interests in the Holy Land Viewed in Early Photographs and the forthcoming World War I in the Holy Land Viewed in Early Photographs. 

Astute Observations by Sports Greats

Don Meredith, Dallas Cowboys Quarterback once said: "Coach Tom Landry is such a perfectionist that if he was married to Raquel Welch, he would expect her to cook."


Harry Neale, professional hockey coach: "Last year we couldn't win at home and we were losing on the road.  My failure as a coach was that I couldn't think of anyplace else to play."


Reggie Jackson commenting on Tom Seaver: "Blind people come to the ballpark just to listen to him pitch."


Doug Sanders, professional golfer:  "I'm working as hard as I can to get my life and my cash to run out at the same time.  If I can just die after lunch Tuesday, everything will be perfect."


Tommy LaSorda , L A Dodgers manager: "I found out that it's not good to talk about my troubles.  Eighty percent of the people who hear them don't care and the other twenty percent are glad I'm having them."


E.J. Holub, Kansas City Chiefs linebacker regarding his 12 knee operations: "My knees look like they lost a knife fight with a midget."


Vic Braden, tennis instructor: "My theory is that if you buy an ice-cream cone and make it hit your mouth, you can learn to play tennis.  If you stick it on your forehead, your chances aren't as good."


Paul Horning, Green Bay Packers running back on why his marriage ceremony was before noon:  "Because if it didn't work out, I didn't want to blow the whole day."


Bill Walton, Portland Trail Blazers:  "I learned a long time ago that 'minor surgery' is when they do the operation on someone else, not you."


Rick Venturi, Northwestern football coach: "The only difference between me and General Custer is that I have to watch the films on Sunday."

Dangerous Advice Your Rabbi Might Give You Before Rosh Hashanah

 How to search through your past without falling into it By Tzvi Freeman

Proceed With Caution

There's a lot of bad advice going around this time of year. Dangerous advice. The Internet is full of it. So is your synagogue. Maybe even your favorite rabbi.

Look, they mean well. But they're often completely unaware of the hazards involved. Which makes their advice an even greater threat to your mental and spiritual health.

"Days of Judgment are upon us," they tell you. "Rosh Hashanah. Yom Kippur. It's time to take an account of all you've done wrong in the past year and resolve never to return to your wayward deeds."

Absolutely true. Absolutely crucial. And equally dangerous.

SuchWithout serious precautions, this inventory-taking can be downright toxic. advice works wonders for the spiritually advanced. But for the rest of us, without serious precautions, this inventory-taking can be downright toxic. Here's why:

  1. Dwelling on the moral misdemeanors of your past and the brute instincts from which they emerged is guaranteed to lead to depression. Now get this, and get it straight and clear: There's sin, there's evil, there's hell, and then there's depression. At least hell gets you somewhere.
  2. Contemplating how and why you chose to act out those urges, you will re-experience the thrill and pleasure you drew from them. Which just makes it all the more likely that you'll do more of the same.
  3. Worse yet: You might take this life-review to heart. Then you'll say, "Boy, was I rotten! Boy, was I nasty! I guess I'm just a real rotten, nasty guy and always will be"

That last one is the real killer. Because it defeats your original purpose in engaging in this self-review in the first place. If you're making this review, it's because you already regret your past and want to leave it behind. You want the coming year to be a year of growth and blossoming of all your spiritual potential.

Just by starting that journey, you're forgiven already. He's a forgiving G‑d. All it takes is a moment of regret to be forgiven.

But you're looking for more than forgiveness. The point of this review is not the past, not the present, but the future. You need to grow out of your past. You need to change. Inner change.

And here you're sabotaging all of that. Because the key to inner change is to change who you think you are. But if you think you're a louse, you will be a louse.

If you think you're a louse, you will say, "Why would a great, perfect G‑d pay attention to the prayers of a louse like me? Why would He want my mitzvahs? Why would He want anything to do with me?"

"Serve G‑d with joy."1 It's not going to work otherwise.2 Yes, there was a time when people could handle a good portion of bitter herbs and still stay joyful. But, as the Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson of righteous memory put it,Today, we just don't have the strength to deal with bitterness. today, we just don't have the strength to deal with bitterness. We need inspiration, motivation and celebration. Bitterness still has its place, but only once you've fully revved up the engine of joy.3

In short, your yearly inventory is likely to be not only counterproductive, but a plan for disaster. Unless…

Daniel Burka on Unsplash Search and Rescue

Unless you know what you are looking for. And what you are looking for is definitely not your sins. You'll find those—like you'll find clots of hairy muck while clearing clogged pipes. But they're not the object of your search. You'll only find those so you can chuck them out—immediately.

You are looking for yourself. Your true self. And you can only find that by looking back there, taking a road trip though all the inner places where your true self was lost.

InCall it a cognitive reframing of your past self, so that you can move forward. the lingo of psychology, you're doing a cognitive reframing of your past self, so that you can move forward.

"And you will search for G‑d, your G‑d, from there, and you will find Him, because you will seek Him with all your heart and all your soul."4

That's the first mention of teshuvah in the Torah. Teshuvah is too often translated as repentance. That's wrong. Repentance means you're bad and now you've resolved to be good. Teshuvah means returning. Returning to the true, pure self that never changes. Because it is a breath of G‑d who does not change.

Search back there, through the mud and the murk of your past. Search past the deeds and the words. Those are but symptoms. You don't heal by treating symptoms.

Search back there, through the blood-boiled chambers of your heart, past the callous egotism that allowed those things, past the fool who allowed himself to believe he was G‑d and therefore could do whatever he pleased and trample over whoever got in the way, past the hard rock walls of a heart that just didn't care.

Search there with all the faith of your heart and soul, saying, "Deep inside here, I know I will find a pure soul. I know that when I did those things, when I acted the way I did, that pure soul was screaming bloody murder. I heard its voice, but I didn't listen. Instead, I heard the voice of a beast, and I let myself believe that was me."

"But I am not a beast. I am not a louse. I am an innocent child. I am a spark of the divine. And I will find that pure soul there within that darkness and I will rescue it from there."

Chris B on Unsplash Faith In Yourself

Only once you have faith in yourself can you see yourself objectively. You can admit to your faults, because they are not you.

Only once you have faith in who you really are can you understand why these things don't suit you. Like poor choices from a wild shopping spree, shoes that hurt your feet, pants that never fit, gaudy jewelry and cheap accessories, they just have to be chucked so you can move on in life.

Searching for yourself is a journey that takes far more faith than any pilgrimage. Just as you have faith in a G‑d you cannot see, so you must have faith in your own soul whose voice you cannot hear.

Because G‑d has faith in that soul. G‑d has faith in you. Faith you cannot fathom.

David, sweet singer of Israel, sang to G‑d: "On Your behalf, my heart says to me, 'Seek my innermost!' G‑d, I seek Your innermost."5 For an entire month before Rosh Hashanah and until Hoshana Rabbah, we repeat those words twice a day in our prayers.

BecauseAt this time of year, the innermost of your heart is calling, saying, "Check me out. I am who you really are." that's what your heart is doing during those days. It's beckoning to you, "Check me out. Check me out deeply. Beneath all the schmutz, I am dark but beautiful. I am who you really are, and can truly be."

Search there, rescue yourself from there, and you will be that.

And you will be surprised. Because there you will find that G‑d Himself was always breathing within you.

—Maamar Ani L'Dodi 5729.
Annie Spratt on Unsplash Footnotes 1.Psalms 100:2. 2.See Tanya, Chapter 26. 3.Maamar Margala B'fuma D'Rava 5746. See also Hitvaduyot 5719, page 235. Maamar Ani L'Dodi 5729. Sefer HaSichot 5748, Matot-Massei. Sefer HaSichot 5750, page 93. 4.Deuteronomy 4:29. 5.Psalms 27:8. By Tzvi Freeman Rabbi Tzvi Freeman, a senior editor at, also heads our Ask The Rabbi team. He is the author of Bringing Heaven Down to Earth. To subscribe to regular updates of Rabbi Freeman's writing, visit Freeman Files subscription. FaceBook @RabbiTzviFreeman Periscope @Tzvi_Freeman .
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