Friday, April 20, 2018

Our Magical Wedding in the park..Pictures to share

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Yehuda Lave, Spiritual Advisor and Counselor

Turn Criticism into a Blessing

The biggest blessing for a person is when someone points out to him not only his strengths and virtues, but also his weaknesses and shortcomings.

We see this in the Torah when Yaakov blessed his children before he died. Yet we see that he reprimanded some sons for having faults such as impulsiveness and acting in anger. But that itself was the blessing! When Yaakov told Revuen that he acted impulsively and Shimon and Levi that they acted in anger, he was helping them to focus on the traits they needed to improve. This is the way to self-completion and it is the best blessing possible!

Today, think of a weakness that someone pointed out to you that you need to overcome. Think about how you can improve in this area and turn this criticism into a blessing!

Love Yehuda Lave

Pictures taken by my friend Stu

Pictures taken by my friend Simon

Pictures taken by my Friend Yochan



Who says a border wall won't work? 

The Chinese built one over 2,000 years ago and they still don't have any Mexicans.


November 29, 1947: The Story of a Vote

Toldot Yisrael ( ) presents the story of the November 29th, 1947 UN vote for the Partition of Palestine. A vote that lasted a mere three minutes changed the course of Jewish History and brought 20 centuries of Jewish homelessness to an end. This movie is the second episode in the "Eyewitness 1948" short film series produced by Toldot Yisrael and the History Channel. It is the centerpiece of an educational pilot program developed with The iCenter and made possible through the generous support of the Jim Joseph Foundation and others. Producer Eric Halivni (Weisberg) Director and Editor Tal Ella Production and Research Peleg Levy Cinematography Natasha Dudinski Joshua Faudem Peleg Levy Promo Films Narrator Troy De Lowe   Editor Nahum Grinberg    Original Score and Sound Editor Uri Kalian

A suspect tried to blend in with 60,000 concertgoers. China's facial-recognition cameras caught him. from The Washington Post

Rationalist Judaism: The Real Reasons For Charedi Practice

The Real Reasons For Charedi Practice


When people from the charedi community give reasons and explanations for various aspects of charedi society, these are very often not the real reasons. It's not that these people are necessarily lying. Rather, it's that there are two "levels" of explanations. There are the explanations that are given for kiruv or PR or even internal purposes, and that are believed by many Anglo charedi wannabees, and sometimes even by some real McCoy Israeli charedim. And then there are the real explanations, which are well understood by astute observers of the charedi world, as well as many people within the charedi world.

For example, why do charedim wear black fedoras, white shirts, and dark suits? The explanation often given, such as by Nosson Slifkin (my cousin's cousin) in a book called Second Focus, is that it is because a Ben Torah should dress respectably. However, that's not the real reason. The real reason is for social identification. Thus, in charedi circles it is not acceptable to dress very respectably in a light suit and colored shirt and tie, but it is acceptable to dress with an ill-fitting jacket and battered hat and no tie.

Another example is with the mass avoidance of army service. Often, spokesmen for the charedi community will claim that the reason is that the Torah study of all the yeshivah students provides a vital part of Israel's protection. But as I have written about on numerous occasions, aside from this having no basis in classical Judaism, nobody in the charedi world seriously believes it anyway. The real reason why charedim don't go to the army, as Rav Aharon Feldman once stated, is that army service is extremely threatening to the charedi way of life.

A third example is with charedim not participating in Yom HaShoah. Explanations such as "the siren is chukas hagoy," or "we don't mourn during Nissan," or "we don't see the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising as being the correct event to base it around," have a lesser or greater degree of merit, but none of them are the real, underlying reason why charedim do not participate in Yom HaShoah. Even if Yom HaShoah was in Teves, and was commemorated by everyone simultaneously saying Yizkor, charedim still wouldn't participate. The real reason is that Yom HaShoah is an event created by and for the nation of the State of Israel as a whole, and charedim do not want to identify as part of that wider community. It's as simple as that

A person should do everything in an orderly manner (Rabbi Yisrael of Salant).

A person should do everything in an orderly manner (Rabbi Yisrael of Salant).


Rabbi Yisrael of Salant founded the mussar movement, a formal and programmed study of ethics. All his writings deal with ways to achieve spirituality. How can orderliness and organization be a method to achieve spirituality?

People on vacation use their time haphazardly. They arise at any time of the day and let their whim determine their activities. They feel no accountability and no purpose in what they are doing.

The essence of Judaism is the concept that each person has a mission on this earth. There are no "after-work" hours, and one is never really on vacation from working toward an ultimate goal. While judicious rest and relaxation are necessary for optimum health, they are in fact part of the "workday." One cannot do things according to whim. Within reasonable parameters, a person's life should be orderly and scheduled.

Employees are held accountable for time while they are on the job. Schedules allow for lunch and for coffee breaks, but they are not free to do whatever they wish, whenever they wish.

A person should know that we are on earth "on a job," and since we are accountable for every minute, it is essential that we have order in our lives.

Today I shall ...

try to bring greater order into my life, knowing that I am here for a specific mission.

See you Sunday

Shabbat shalom

Love Yehuda Lave

Rabbi Yehuda Lave

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