Friday, March 30, 2018

March Asscent to the Temple Mount and Happy Passover

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Yehuda Lave, Spiritual Advisor and Counselor

Man/woman has a difficult task here on earth. Our bodies by their very physical nature require a certain amount of selfishness in order to survive. Yet man/woman is tasked with going beyond that selfishness and raising herself to a level of spirituality which overcomes our pure selfish behavior and replaces it with giving our lives to the service of Hashem and to the benefit of all Mankind. Man/woman is constantly faced with this balancing act between his/her needs and the will of Hashem. We must all strive to accomplish this perfect balance. With our lives devoted to Torah and Torah Values we can accomplish this balance.

As Pesach is tonight, we get a reset in our Judaism which is what Pesach is all about. I will be with friends and hope to have the best Pesach ever. I wish the same for you


Love Yehuda Lave

The memory of a righteous person is a blessing (Proverbs 10:7).


At a family therapy session, one family member said something totally uncalled for, provocative, and insulting to another person. The remark was extremely irritating to me, even as an observer, and I anticipated an explosive outburst of outrage from the recipient. To my great surprise, the latter remained quiet and merely gestured to indicate that he was dismissing the comment as being unworthy of a response.

After the session, I complimented the man on his self-restraint. He explained, "A friend of mine once had a very angry outburst. During his rage he suffered a stroke from which he never regained consciousness.

"I am not afraid that if I become angry I would also suffer a stroke. However, what I and everyone else remember of my friend are the last words of his life, which were full of bitterness and hostility. That is not the way I wish to be remembered. Since no person can know exactly when one's time is up, I made up my mind never to act in such a manner, so that if what I was doing was to be my last action on earth, I would not be remembered that way."

The Talmud tells us that when Rabbi Eliezer told his disciples that a person should do teshuvah one day before his death, they asked, "How is a person to know when one will die?" Rabbi Eliezer answered, "Precisely! Therefore one should do teshuvah every day, since tomorrow may be one's last day."

The verse cited above may be explained in the same way. People should behave in a way that they would wish others to remember them, for that can indeed be a blessing.

Today I shall ...

behave as though this day is the one by which I shall be remembered.

A Spring Time Ascent to the Temple Mount

On a beautiful spring day, I take the short walk from my home over the Kotel to the Temple Mount and I pray to my hearts content.

My Grandfather would have given his left arm to be near the Temple Mount for a moment and I walk on it at nearly any time I want (subject to our Government's self imposed restrictions). As today is almost (the 30th)  the last day of March and the Seder is tonight I share my trek to the Temple mount earlier this Month




As Pesach is tonight , we would like to share with you a few insights associated with this holiday.


This time we would like to talk about the four sons. 


The Four Sons


One of the famous sections in the Haggadah is the "Four Sons" - ארבעה בנים - "Arba'ah Banim", in which we are introduced to a wise son, a wicked son, a simple son and a son who cannot formulate a question.


In the Torah it is mentioned: "One wise - חכם,
one wicked - רשע, one simple - תם AND one who does not know how to ask a question ושאינו יודע לשאול."




The Khida in his commentary on the Haggadah, explains that there are three ways one can fulfill the commandment of telling about People of Israel going out of Egypt.


  • Ideally, the story should be told in the form of question and answer. 


The Talmud derives this from the Torah's description of Matza as "Lechem Oni" – לחם עוני the bread over which a person answers.




Please note that the common way to view the expression  לחם עוני is to relate to the word עוני as having the meaning poverty, implying that people of Israel were eating bread of poverty (affliction) in Egypt.




However in this commentary the word עוני is interpreted as being derived from the word לענות - to answer.


Thus the expression לחם עוני becomes -  bread over which a person answers.




  • The second level is to tell the story even if no one  asks. This is derived from the verse "and you shall tell your son on that day..."

You should tell him, meaning - even if he doesn't' ask.

It means that the procedure of question and answer is preferable, but not absolutely necessary. 


  • The third level is this: Even if a person is alone, he must speak about the going out of Egypt.

Then the Khida adds: When introducing the fourth son The Haggadah uses the word "and."


...AND one who does not know how to ask a question...


  • This teaches us that there is a fourth level  - even if someone has children that fit into the first three categories, he should also pay attention to the one who does not even know how to ask.

This is very important not to ignore the youngest or the least knowledgeable son, for those who are inclined to use the Haggadah as an intellectual presentation during the Seder.




It could just go over his head, leaving him with no opportunity to get the proper knowledge.  


Pesach is a family unifying and inclusive holiday.


The Haggadah gives us a wonderful opportunity to include and address each family member with no exception, based on one's individual views, needs and approaches.  



And now: 


The Hebrew Corner


Let's learn a few words and roots, addressed in this newsletter:


לַעֲנוֹת – to answer, to torture (v)


לְהֵיעָנוּת  - to respond (v, passive)


עִינּוּי  - torture (n)

עוֹנִי - poverty


מַעֲנֶה  - response, answer (n)


A more common word for "answer": תְּשׁוּבָה


מָשׁוֹב -  feedback (n)


לִשְׁאוֹל – to ask (v)

שְׁאֵלָה - question (n)

מִשְׁאָלָה - wish (n)




Wishing you and your loved ones a very happy Pesach.







Shabbat Shalom Ve'Chag Sameach,

שבת שלום וחג פסח שמח

10 Beautiful Flowers

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Alzheimer's is a debilitating neurodegenerative disease that affects some 44 million people around the world. In addition to its debilitating effects, Alzheimer's is also associated with a lot of stigma, so your family members or friends might be inclined to hide the truth from you. Watch this informative video to learn about 10 signs that someone is suffering from Alzheimer's:

I have one more chromosome than you. So what? | Karen Gaffney | TEDxPortland

Published on Jul 1, 2015

Karen Gaffney left the Rose City and the World in awe with a captivating talk that explored the history, current state and progress of Down Syndrome. Her idea? Inclusion. Further, we must refine our vocabulary and eradicate "the R word" as the word "retard" has no place in our daily language.

Karen is the President of a non-profit organization dedicated to championing the journey to full inclusion in families, schools, the workplace, and the community for people with developmental disabilities. She graduated from St. Mary's Academy in Portland, Oregon, and earned a two-year Associate of Science degree from Portland Community College. Karen has also been awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from the University of Portland on May 5th, 2013, for her work in raising awareness regarding the abilities of people who have Down syndrome. She is a fearless open-water swimmer having successfully swam the English Channel, escaped Alcatraz (16 times) and conquered Lake Tahoe in 59-degree water. Karen swims to raise funds and awareness of what people with Down syndrome can do.

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at

See you Sunday--Shabbat Shalom and Pesach Samach

Tonight is both Shabbat and Pesach. We testify in the Kiddush tonight that G-d took us out of Mitzraim and created the world. It is the only kiddush that we do both

Love Yehuda Lave

Rabbi Yehuda Lave

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