I have had the privlege of working with Rabbi Zelig Plizkin as one of my mentors and teachers. Rabbi Plizkin is the author of over 30 books on Torah motivation, which is what I attempt my blog to be in my own way. G-d wants indviduals not robots, which is why he made at this time over 7.2 billion of us. Each of us his own message. While Rabbi Plizkin is a great influence on me, he comes from a different Haraidi world than what I live in, yet we are able to converse and discuss and learn from each other, becasue we have learned to communicate. Communication and respect allows one to both learn and teach from each other.
Here are a few of the notes and thoughts I am working on that I have learned from him:
Laughter is contagious. So is Pessimism. One has a Torah obligation to be positive. Surround yourself with joy to be joyful, sorrow to be sorry.
Victor Frankel toaught the principal that with a reason to live, one can overcome almost anything.
Don't think about what you don't want, thinhk about what you do want.
Everything that happens from our childhood, infulences us as adults.
Calm Thoughts, Words, Feelings and Actions make us calm.
Upgrade your thoughts. No matter what message is in your brain you can upgrade it.
People can be Flexible and Coachable or any combination of the above. A Flexible person without being coachable changes but is not directable. A coachable person without being flexible undersands the coaching but doesn't change becasue he/she is not flexible.
Old patters stay with us unless we force the change.
This too will develop my character.
I am going to grow from this challenge.
Remember your postive states so that you can access them when you need them. See what you saw, hear what you heard, feel what you felt.
Rabbi Plizkin's nemonic for this is MIND M-Memory
N-Now (choose positive thoughts/actions)
D-Decide and Determine
Love Yehuda Lave
First sight of dawn of the universe, 13.6 billion years ago
Israeli, US scientists detect signs of dark matter in glimpse of earliest starsEarly universe after Big Bang apparently twice as cold as previously thought -- possibly because of dark matter interacting with hydrogen, says Tel Aviv University astrophysicist By Seth Borenstein 28 February 2018, 9:42 pm
This image provided by the National Science Foundation shows a rendering of how the first stars in the universe might have looked. Scientists have detected a signal from 180 million years after the Big Bang when the earliest stars began glowing. The findings were published on February 28, 2018 in the journal Nature. (N.R.Fuller/National Science Foundation via AP)
WASHINGTON (AP) — For the first time, astronomers have glimpsed the dawn of the universe 13.6 billion years ago when the earliest stars were just beginning to glow after the Big Bang. And if that's not enough, they may have detected mysterious dark matter at work, too.
The glimpse consisted of a faint radio signal from deep space, picked up by an antenna that is slightly bigger than a refrigerator and costs less than $5 million but in certain ways can go back much farther in time and distance than the celebrated, multi-billion-dollar Hubble Space Telescope.
Judd Bowman of Arizona State University, lead author of a study in Wednesday's journal Nature, said the signal came from the very first objects in the universe as it was emerging out of darkness 180 million years after the Big Bang.
Seeing the universe just lighting up, even though it was only a faint signal, is even more important than the Big Bang because "we are made of star stuff and so we are glimpsing at our origin," said astronomer Richard Ellis, who was not involved in the project.
The signal showed unexpectedly cold temperatures and an unusually pronounced wave. When astronomers tried to figure out why, the best explanation was that elusive dark matter may have been at work.
If verified, that would be the first confirmation of its kind of dark matter, which is a substantial part of the universe that scientists have been searching for over decades.
This image provided by the National Science Foundation shows a timeline of the universe. Scientists have detected a signal from 180 million years after the Big Bang when the earliest stars began glowing. The findings were published on February 28, 2018, in the journal Nature. (N.R. Fuller/National Science Foundation via AP)
"If confirmed, this discovery deserves two Nobel Prizes" for both capturing the signal of the first stars and potential dark matter confirmation, said Harvard astronomer Avi Loeb, who wasn't part of the research team. Cautioning that "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence," he said independent tests are needed to verify the findings.
Bowman agreed independent tests are needed even though his team spent two years double- and triple-checking their work.
"It's a time of the universe we really don't know anything about," Bowman said. He said the discovery is "like the first sentence" in an early chapter of the history of the cosmos.
This is nothing that astronomers could actually see. In fact, it's all indirect, based on changes in the wavelengths produced by radio signals.
The early universe was black and cold, filled with just hydrogen and helium. Once stars formed, they emitted ultraviolet light into the dark areas between them. That ultraviolet light changes the energy signature of hydrogen atoms, Bowman said.
Astronomers looked at a specific wavelength. If there were stars and ultraviolet light, they would see one signature. If there were no stars, they would see another. They saw a clear but faint signal showing there were stars, probably many of them, Bowman said.
Finding that trace signal wasn't easy because the Milky Way galaxy alone booms with radio wave noise 10,000 times louder, said Peter Kurczynski, advanced program technology director for the National Science Foundation, which helped fund the research.
"Finding the impact of the first stars in that cacophony would be like trying to hear the flap of a hummingbird's wing from inside a hurricane," Kurczynski said in an NSF video.
Because the high end of the frequency they were looking in is the same as FM radio, the astronomers had to go to the Australian desert to escape interference. That was where they installed their antennas.
They then labored to confirm what they found, in part by testing it against dummy signals in the lab, and it all showed that what they spotted was the existence of the first stars, Bowman said.
So far, the scientists know little about these early stars. They were probably hotter and simpler than modern stars, Ellis and Bowman said. But now that astronomers know where and how to look, others will confirm this and learn more, Bowman said.
Artist's rendition of the Big Bang (Photo credit: NASA)
The research does not establish exactly when these stars turned on, except that at 180 million years after the Big Bang, they were on. Scientists had come up with many different time periods for when the first stars switched on, and 180 million years fits with current theory, said Ellis, a professor at University College London.
Rennan Barkana (Tel Aviv University)
When this signal was found and examined, it showed that the hydrogen between stars was "even colder than the coldest we thought possible," said Rennan Barkana, a Tel Aviv University astrophysicist who wrote a companion study on the dark matter implications of the discovery. The researchers expected temperatures to be 10 degrees above absolute zero, but they were 5 degrees above absolute zero (minus 451 degrees Fahrenheit, or minus 268 degrees Celsius).
"The only thing we know from this signal is that something very weird is going on," Barkana said.
What seems likely is dark matter — which scientists have never seen interacting with anything — may be cooling that hydrogen, he said. Dark matter makes up about 27 percent of the universe, but scientists little about it except that it's not made of normal matter particles called baryons.
Scientists have known dark matter exists, indirectly, through measurements based on gravity. If this interpretation of the data is correct, it would be the first confirmation of dark matter outside of gravity calculations, Barkana said.
It also potentially reveals something new about the nature of dark matter.
"If the result is correct it constitutes an indirect detection of dark matter and, moreover suggests something of fundamental importance (its interaction with baryons)," Johns Hopkins University astrophysicist Marc Kamionkowski, who wasn't part of the study, said in an email. "This therefore is about as important as you can get in cosmology
The walls of the room where I work hold many tears, so I've long kept a full box of tissues ready on my desk.
A client came to me yesterday and started to cry. She is about to start a fertility treatment, and like every woman that I speak with about this, she's confused. There are so many mixed emotions—fear,
I see a fraction of tension drop from her face frustration, rejection, hope. There is so much confusion. "Do I really want to go through with this? Why does this have to be so difficult?" She's scared to do it and scared not to.
She cries and says, "I don't know why I'm crying. Why am I so upset? I tell myself, 'Come on, it's no big deal.' "
"But it is a big deal," I tell her.
I see a fraction of tension drop from her face, and her eyes flow with more tears—tears of relief.
"Accept your emotions instead of fighting them or ignoring them. Instead of trying to dismiss the challenge, nurture yourself, treat yourself and get help as you go through the process. Do whatever you can to make it easier, but don't deny the difficulty or the challenge."
She nodded as more tears streamed down, but she wound up leaving with more energy to carry on.
I say this to a lot of women in very different situations.
A young woman with an eating disorder came to speak with me recently. She's in the process of getting healthier and stronger. She describes how physically and emotionally uncomfortable she feels when she eats. The sensation of feeling "full" terrifies her. She, too, questions: "Why am I so upset? Why can't I just eat and not think about it? Why do I have to make it such a big deal?"
I told her it is a big deal. It's difficult. I told her that instead of berating herself, she should acknowledge that it's hard, and that in spite of this, she still chooses life and eating what her nutritionist advises. I tell her not to belittle her situation. She should tell herself, "I have the courage to eat, even though I don't want to. I have the courage to try, even with ambivalence and mixed emotions. I have the courage to do, even though doing is so incredibly scary."
One step in front of the other. One meal at a time. It's a relief just to accept and not be judgmental of your own self.
I can't tell you how many times throughout the day I catch myself being annoyed with myself. I might be doing something as "simple" as cleaning up after a long day, and I want to yell, "What's the big deal? Why is this so hard?" But it is hard, especially when you are tired and just want to go to sleep. Yet you still make an effort; you tidy up your home to make it beautiful for your family, who may or may not appreciate it. In those moments, I tell myself, "Wow you're tired and still putting in effort, that's great!" It actually gives me more strength to do it.
The phone rings someone needs my help. Sometimes, I don't want to listen. I've got too much going on. I've learned not to tell myself, "Just pick up and listen to her, it's no big deal." Instead, I tell myself, "It's so hard to listen when you have so many other things you want to do, and yet you still are willing to answer, good for you!" And really, this makes me feel spiritual satisfaction and happiness. It enables me to follow through, to pick up that phone.
We have a month in the Jewish calendar known for being one of simcha, of happiness—the month of Adar. Smack-dab in the middle of this month is the joyous holiday of Purim that celebrates our Divine salvation from a tyrant who wanted to obliterate the Jewish people.
Who is the heroine of this story and why?
Queen Esther. What did she do, and what do her actions teach us? G‑d put Esther in the position to be queen, married to the very man whose No. 1 minister plotted to destroy the Jewish people. Mordechai, a close relative, sent a messenger to tell her to go plead on the nation's behalf before the king. She responded with fear. How could she approach the king without permission? This could mean certain death. Mordechai responded that her purpose for being queen was to save her people, but if she didn't go, G‑d would find a different savior.
Esther had a choice. She could have ignored Mordechai. She could have said: "OK, let it be someone else." This was truly an immense personal test. She chose to go forward and meet with the king because she realized that yes, this was her mission, and she needed to do it. Before doing so, what did she tell Mordechai?
"Go, assemble all the Jews who are present in Shushan
How could she approach the king without permission? and fast on my behalf, and neither eat nor drink for three days, day and night; also I and my maidens will fast in a like manner; then I will go to the king contrary to the law, and if I perish, I perish." (Megillat Esther 4:13)
Esther didn't say to him, "Why am I afraid anyway? I'll go."
She told him that she realizes it might not work; she might even be executed. She told him: "This is such a difficult situation that I am in, and I need your help and the support of the nation."
She didn't deny the greatness of what she was prepared to do. She accepted it, and she did it. She appreciated the enormity of it, and that's why she prayed so hard and fasted.
When we understand the greatness of what we are doing, we empower ourselves and begin to realize how much G‑d loves us and cheers us on. When we focus our tasks as being part of a holy mission, we elevate everything to a higher level—no matter how small or seemingly simple (all the more so when doing something "big" or "complicated"). It creates happiness and satisfaction, instead of anger and frustration.
You make choices, amazing ones, and they are big! Don't belittle them or brush them under the rug. Embrace the challenge.
By Elana MizrahiMore by this author Originally from northern California and a Stanford University graduate, Elana Mizrahi now lives in Jerusalem with her husband and children. She is a doula, massage therapist, writer, and author of Dancing Through Life, a book for Jewish women. She also teaches Jewish marriage classes for brides.