Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Why didn't somebody do something? A child asks on visiting Yad Vashem, and Dr. Suess style  rules of the Sukkah

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Yehuda Lave, Spiritual Advisor and Counselor

Realize that nothing will take away the awful ache in your heart, that empty place where your children or grandchildren "should" be. But the following will help:

  1. Stop fighting to connect. Pressure tactics create resentment, rebelliousness and resistance.
  2. Keep the lines of communication open so that your children know they are always welcome in your heart and home. And if a child reconnects, smile and act happy!.
  3. Get active! You have time on your hands. Put your energy into projects where your love and concern will be appreciated. Be interested and involved in the world.
  4. Take care of yourself. Make sure you exercise daily and eat right. Become a person your children would be proud to connect to—if they decide to do so.
  5. Turn it around. Give yourself whatever you're not getting from others—Forgiveness keeps your heart open, in case they return.Strengthen the other relationships in your life
  6. Examine your relationship with G‑d. To love G‑d is to love whatever reality He gives us from moment to moment.
  7. Strengthen the other relationships in your life. Your children may have blocked you out, but you can focus on other family members and friends. Knowing that you can still give and receive love will strengthen your own sense of self.
  8. Love Yehuda Lave

Natural Disasters

I have watched the horror of hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes, plus hundreds of thousands of people wiped out in a tsunami. What is the spiritual reason behind all this?

The Aish Rabbi Replies:


Thank you for your thoughtful question. It is really a formulation of the classic: "Why do bad things happen to good people?" Let me try to explain:

The story is told of the king who commissioned a tapestry to be woven. In the middle of the work, someone came upon the weaver and saw a mish-mash of different colored threads, loose threads and, in general, a very messy piece of work. A complaint was issued to the king who then confronted the artist. The artist pleaded with the king for a few days to prepare his defense. After those few days he came before the king with a wrapped package and told the king, "Here is my defense." Inside the package was the completed tapestry.

The moral is that we cannot judge the work until it is completed. Moses asked to see God's face. That request was denied, but he was allowed to "see" God's "back." It is explained that Moses wanted to understand how God runs the world. The response was that it is beyond human comprehension until you see the "back." That is, until we can see the whole picture; then in hindsight it will all make sense.

While this answer may seem a "cop-out," it prevents us from trying to understand God's actions from our very limited perspective. In order for us to be able to "judge God," we need to consider God's "ground rules" for existence. Using this premise, it becomes very difficult to judge God. Why? Because we are stuck in a finite perspective of time and space, and we can therefore never be sure which rules God is employing at any given moment.

In order to begin to make sense of this, one thing we must understand is that God is in control, and there are no accidents. There has to be intrinsic meaning in our lives; otherwise we are just a random collection of molecules whizzing through space, with no real direction or purpose.

We are living in a very complex world, and in such a world, God doesn't only deal with individuals, he also deals with nations.

As we in Sukkot, we thought we would share this highly educational and humorous info-graphic explaining the rules of the sukkah (with footnotes from the Mishnah Torah) in an entertaining Dr Seuss-style rhyme.You can finds the full text and footnotes at http://www.sukkahworld.com/rules-of-the-sukkah.asp and for more Sukkos related resources visit http://www.sukkahworld.com/resources.asp.

Why didn't somebody do something?"

Gov. Mike Huckabee tells a story about one of his visits to Yad Vashem

Accustom your tongue to say "I do not know" (Berachos 4a).


While no human being can know everything, some people cannot admit any ignorance about anything. For them, any admission of lack of knowledge threatens their fragile egos. Although they try to impress others with their omniscience, they accomplish the reverse, because the more they try to conceal their ignorance, the more prominent it becomes.

Furthermore, the only way we can acquire knowledge is by accepting that we do not have it. People who claim to know everything cannot learn. Therefore, many opportunities to learn pass them by, and their denying their ignorance actually increases their ignorance.

We do not have to know everything, and no one expects us to. Today, more than ever, with the unprecedented amount of information available, no one can be a universal genius. The simple statement, "I don't know," is actually highly respected.

We should also open ourselves to acquiring knowledge from every source. Learning from someone whom we consider to be inferior to ourselves should not be demeaning. As the Psalmist says, "I became wise by learning from all my teachers" (Psalms 119:99). A willingness to learn from everyone is a sign of greatness, while affecting omniscience actually betrays ignorance.

Today I shall ...

admit that there are many things that I do not know. Instead, I will become willing to learn from anyone and everyone.

Opening the skies - the King is in the field in the month of Elul

From the Kotel

Now we are in the period of the greatest joy of the Jewish Year. A time for enjoyment and family and love.

Love Yehuda Lave

Rabbi Yehuda Lave

2850 Womble Road, Suite 100-619, San Diego
United States


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