The Chafetz Chaim wrote that a major reason some people live beyond their means is to gain approval. They feel the need to spend large amounts of money on things that will gain them status, even though they are unable to afford them.
This is the opposite of a Torah way of life.
Love Yehuda Lave
Enjoy the first day of the Succout intermediate days called Chol Ha moed
In 1948, the State of Israel declared its independence, in a ceremony led by David Ben-Gurion in Tel Aviv. The first act of the new government was to remove British restrictions on Jewish immigration. The Declaration of Independence granted full civil rights to Arab citizens of Israel, and called for peace and cooperation with neighboring Arab countries. The following day, the armies of five Arab nations attacked Israel. Despite decades of hardship, terror and wars, Israel has become a world leader in research and agriculture -- and most of all, the center of spiritual inspiration for the Jewish world.
Why G-d had to Give us Israel
In 1881, a wave of pogroms swept 166 towns in southern Russia, after Jews were blamed for the assassination of Czar Alexander II. In these pogroms, thousands of Jewish homes were destroyed, and hundreds of Jews were killed and injured. The new czar, Alexander III, blamed the Jews for the riots and issued a series of harsh restrictions against the Jewish community. In the wake of these pogroms, some 2 million Jews fled Russia, many settling in the United States.
Sukkot Dancing at Aish HaTorah Jerusalem - Simchas Beis HaShoeva
Pessimism is a luxury that a Jew can never allow himself. Golda Meir, Teacher, kibbutznik, stateswoman, politician and the fourth Prime Minister of Israel
Intellectuals solve problems; Geniuses prevent them. Albert Einstein, Physicist
I don't want to become immortal through my work. I want to become immortal through not dying. Woody Allen, Film Mogul
Imagination is more important than knowledge. Sign hanging in Einstein's office at Princeton .
We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein
How Do We Make Society Better? Left vs. Right #5
How do you want to improve America? By focusing on improving and refining yourself? Or by transforming society? The answer to that question will reveal whether you're on the Left or the Right.
I have placed before you life and death, blessing and curse, and you should choose life (Deuteronomy 30:19).
Some people who commit improper acts defend themselves by insisting that the temptation was too intense to resist. They are wrong.
A law of human behavior states that when given two options, people can choose only that which they perceive as being the lesser distress. However, individual choice decides which distress is greater and which is lesser. For example, when a hungry baby cries in the middle of the night, the parents will get up. They naturally choose to forego the greater distress - staying in bed and listening to their baby - for the lesser - getting up and feeding the baby. Extreme cases come from martyrs who choose death rather than violate principles which are sacred to them. Here, death hurts less than compromised life.
People can evaluate for themselves what is good and what is evil. Everyone is responsible for his or her own evaluations, and so submitting to the temptation to do a forbidden or improper act indicates failure to evaluate properly.
Today I shall ... ... program myself with correct evaluations of what is right and wrong so that I may make the correct choices.
Who is a Zionist?
I try to keep up on Israeli politics and I will sometimes see a reference to "non-Zionist Orthodox parties." I don't understand how people who live in Israel can be "non-Zionists." What is the definition of Zionism, anyway?
The Aish Rabbi Replies:
Zionism is the belief that the Jewish people should have a homeland in Israel.
It's impossible to say that Orthodox Jews are opposed to the concept of Zionism, because the very idea for Zionism comes from the Bible. God made a covenant with Abraham, promising him and his descendents the Land of Israel (Genesis 15:18).
Torah Jews believe that the Jewish community in Israel is part of the Divine plan for Jewish redemption. One of the great wonders of Jewish history is how the Bible foretells the Jews' return to the Land. As a first phase of redemption, God promised to in-gather all the exiles. (see for example Deuteronomy 30:1-5, Jeremiah 16:14-15, Jeremiah 31:6-7, and Isaiah 27:12)
The question, however, regards the second part of God's covenant with the Jewish people, which mandates that Jewish existence in Israel is predicated on observing the commandments. The Torah makes this clear in many places, for example Leviticus 18:28 and Deut. 11:17.
Modern Israeli society is based largely on Western ideals, even when they conflict with those of the Torah. For example, the Jewish system of jurisprudence is the basis for every great legal system in the world. The Romans derived their judicial system from the Torah, as did the Magna Carta and the U.S. Constitution. But instead the modern Israeli legal system originally adopted Ottoman law! The state has at times even made tactical decisions that devalued fundamental principles of Jewish life.
Hundreds of thousands of Israelis are now living in the Diaspora because if the goal of life is Western ideals and material success, then there's a better version available in Los Angeles!
This in no way minimizes the great things that Israel has achieved. Indeed, the first 60 years of the modern state have been miraculous. Israel has succeeded in making the desert bloom, and in building the finest hospitals, roads, schools and industry – even amidst hardship, terror and wars. For Jews around the world, Israel has been the spark for renewed Jewish identity.
My own organization, Aish HaTorah, believes that the State of Israel is a Divine gift. Aish celebrates Israel Independence Day and Jerusalem Day, and proudly flies the flag of Israel 365 days a year above its World Center at the Western Wall. And we pray daily for the protection of Israeli soldiers who put their lives on the line for the Jewish people.
And yet, Orthodox Jews would favor an Israeli society that recognizes God and Torah as the primary driving force of the nation. This means basing the laws of the State on Judaism (e.g. observance of Shabbat and Kashrut in public) – though of course non-coercive for private individuals. And the schools would place more emphasis on Torah learning.
It has been said that the Land of Israel is the "body" which hosts the Jewish nation, while Torah is the "soul." A body without a soul is empty. We yearn for a restoration of timeless Jewish values and wisdom, to fully complete the modern Jewish renaissance in Israel.
Ushpizin - Sukkot Prayer Scene
Ushpizin (Hebrew אושפיזין) (lit. "Sukkot guests", from Aramaic uspizin אושפיזין 'guests') is a 2005 Israeli film directed by Gidi Dar and written by Shuli Rand. It starred Rand, and his wife, Michal, who had never acted before. Moshe and Mali Bellanga are an impoverished, childless, Hasidic baal teshuva ("returnees to Judaism") couple in the Breslov community in Jerusalem. After Moshe is passed over for a stipend he expected, they cannot pay their bills, much less prepare for the upcoming Jewish holiday of Sukkot. Moshe admires a particularly beautiful etrog, or citron, one of the four species required for the holiday observance. They console themselves by recalling a saying of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov that difficult times are a test of faith. After some anguished prayer, they receive an unexpected monetary gift on the eve of the holiday...
See you tomorrow
Love Yehuda Lave
Enjoy the Chol Ha moed
Rabbi Yehuda Lave
2850 Womble Road, Suite 100-619, San Diego United States