Sunday, November 11, 2018

Accept truth from whoever speaks it (Maimonides, Kiddush HaChodesh 17:24).

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Yehuda Lave, Spiritual Advisor and Counselor

And you shall inscribe them on the doorposts of your home and gates (Deuteronomy 6:9).

Some people seem to have two personalities. Some are very gentle, polite, and accommodating during the workday to clients and customers, but when they come home they become demanding and unyielding tyrants. On the other hand, others are loving, considerate, and patient at home, but in business affairs are ruthless, letting nothing stand in the way of gaining profit.

Neither behavior pattern is acceptable. Our lives must be governed by principles that apply everywhere, and we must practice them in all our affairs. For the Jew, these principles are found in the Torah, which includes not only the Scriptures, but also the Talmud and the various works compiled by Torah scholars throughout the ages.

In the portion of the Torah inscribed on the mezuzah, we read that one should converse in Torah while in the home, on the road, when one arises, and when one retires. This message is to be inscribed on the doorposts of our homes. In other words, from awakening until bedtime, both within the home and outside the home, the words of the Torah are to direct us in our actions. There can be no dichotomy.

The mezuzah is affixed to the doorpost so that it should be noticed both when we leave the house to enter the world of commerce and when we return home after the workday. While it is a beautiful custom to kiss the mezuzah as a sign of endearment, this gesture should not be perfunctory. The words of the mezuzah should influence our behavior everywhere.

Today I shall ...
... observe the mezuzah as I enter and leave my house, and remember what it is meant to teach me.

Love Yehuda Lave

Accept truth from whomever speaks it (Maimonides, Kiddush HaChodesh 17:24).


Some extremely choosy people will accept guidance or teaching only from an acknowledged authority, because they consider accepting anything from anyone of lesser stature a demeaning affront to their ego.

 I have observed this phenomenon when a patient requests consultation. Those doctors who have self-esteem and know that they are competent have no problem accepting consultation, but those who are less self-confident may interpret the request for consultation as an insinuation that they are inadequate. They may be insulted by this request, and if they do comply with it, they will accept as a consultant only the chief of the department at a university medical school or some other renowned personage. Any other consultant constitutes a threat to their ego, an admission that "he may know more than I do."

Physicians are not the only guilty party; professionals and artisans of all types can also show a lack of self-confidence by displaying this intellectual snobbery.

The Talmud states that truly wise people can learn from everyone, even from people who may be far beneath them. Limiting ourselves to learning only from outstanding experts is not only vain, but it also severely restricts our education. Humility is essential for learning, and we should accept the truth because it is the truth, regardless of who speaks it.

Today I shall ...

try to learn from everyone, even from someone whom I may consider inferior to me in knowledge.

More of Masada and the Dead Sea

On a beautiful fall Day, the new family takes a drive on one of the greatest drives in the world, down to the Dead Sea and Masada

Visiting the Sick

I work near a hospital and on my lunch hour I have been volunteering to visit the Jewish patients. Are there any specific Jewish traditions regarding visiting the sick?

The Aish Rabbi Replies:


You are engaging in the mitzvah of "Bikur Cholim" (literally: "Visiting the Sick") which is a Jewish tradition dating back thousands of years.

The Talmud (Sotah 14a) relates that when God came to Abraham in Genesis 18:1, Abraham was recovering from the painful surgery of circumcision at age 99. We find that God does many things in the Torah through angels, but when it came to visiting the sick, no messenger would suffice. The Talmud explains: Just as God visits the sick, so too is it incumbent upon us to imitate God and visit the sick. (Maimonides - Avel 14:4-6; Shulchan Aruch - Y.D. 335)

Many Jewish communities have a Bikur Cholim Society, which insures that sick people are visited regularly, and that all their needs are attended to - e.g. food in the house, rides to the doctor, plus cheering up and companionship. Indeed, a person's psychological state in large part determines their recovery and state of health.

When a person is sick, they want compassion. They want people to be sensitive to their needs, and to help alleviate the discomfort - both physical and emotional. Just by being there, much good will be accomplished. You can spare someone from loneliness, or be there to listen to them take a burden off their chest. Or just chatting with them distracts them from their condition and lifts their spirit. The Talmud (Baba Metzia 30b) says that "He who visits a sick person takes away one-sixtieth of their illness." The idea is that your visit helps reduce/mitigate/lighten the sick person's suffering.

At times, visiting the sick may even be a matter of life and death. By visiting a person who is ill, you might be able to advise him about a doctor he should consult, or obtain medication for him.

Part and parcel of this mitzvah is to pray for the sick person's recovery. When one visits the sick, one should pray that God should heal him (using the person's Hebrew name and mother's name), along with all the sick people (Code of Jewish Law - YD 335:5-6). It may only take the inspiration and heartfelt prayer of a close friend to tip the scales in favor of a speedy recovery. We should never underestimate the power of prayer.

It is also customary to say Psalm 121.

According to the Talmud, visits should not be made very early or late in the day, and one should not stay too long.

Can a person fulfill this mitzvah via telephone? According to most opinions, a phone call only suffices if there is no other option. However, if a person has the chance to pay a live visit, they may not discharge their obligation via telephone, since visiting allows one to help the patient in more practical ways and has inherent concrete value. (Igrot Moshe Y.D. 1:223; Yechaveh Da'at 3:83)

Even if one finds the patient asleep, the visitor is still in fulfillment of the mitzvah, as the patient will be informed about the visit after awakening, which will give them encouragement. (Derech Sichah, p. 66.)

Further, Rabbi Yisrael P. Feinhandler (Avnei Yashpe 1:230) observes that even if the patient is a baby and not aware of anything, the parents are aware, and certainly benefit tremendously from the support; thus the idea of bringing comfort is applicable, even if not directly to patient.

Unfortunately, many people reason that it's better not to visit the sick, because "maybe I will say something that will unintentionally hurt them, or make them feel bad just by the fact that I am healthy," and many other similar evasions. These justifications are poor excuses, perhaps because we prefer to live comfortably without confronting these issues. That may be one reason why God gave us this mitzvah - to help get us out of ourselves and feel the needs of others.


For the past few years, I have been eating meat only once a week. God made it possible for us to use animals, and I understand the essential use for leather shoes and vitamin B12 found in meat. But I do not believe we should use other creatures just for our pleasure. What does Judaism say about being a vegetarian, and is there any time that the Torah says we must eat meat?

The Aish Rabbi Replies:


Judaism permits the eating of meat, provided that proper intent and mindfulness are present: to elevate the Divine energy contained in meat to a higher human level; to use energy derived from eating to discharge spiritual and moral responsibilities; and to serve God through the pleasures of His world.

In Jewish consciousness, the highest level an animal can achieve is to be consumed by a human and used in the service of God. A chicken on a Shabbos table is a very lucky chicken! (see "Tanya" ch. 7)

Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook (purportedly a vegetarian) writes that man was granted dominion over animals in order to underscore our spiritual superiority and heightened moral obligations. Were man to accord animals the same rights as humans, then just as we don't expect high moral standards from animals, we would, tragically, lower our expectations of humans as well.

In the Temple times, it was necessary for the Kohanim (priests) and the owners of an offering to eat from its meat. For example, at the Passover Seder, each would Jew would eat a piece of roasted lamb (Korbon Pesach).

Nowadays, there is no commandment to eat meat. On Shabbat and Yom Tov, one should eat meat ("Code of Jewish Law" O.C. 250:2). However, if a person does not enjoy meat, he does not have to eat it even on Shabbat (O.C. 288:2).

Now for a little humor to make you appreciate a laugh

ight Words with two Meanings

 Accurate communication is needed.  Poor communication is the start of many problems and the cause of most divorces. Subject:   Eight  Words with two Meanings 1. THINGY (thing-ee) n.  
Female...... Any part under a car's hood.
Male..... The strap fastener on a woman's bra.
2. VULNERABLE (vul-ne-ra-bel) adj.  
Female.... Fully opening up one's self emotionally to another.
Male..... Playing football without a cup.
3. COMMUNICATION (ko-myoo-ni-kay-shon) n.
Female... The open sharing of thoughts and feelings with one's partner.
Male... Leaving a note before taking off on a fishing trip with the boys.
4. COMMITMENT (ko- mit-ment) n.
Female.... A desire to get married and raise a family.
Male..... Trying not to hit on other women while out with this one.
5. ENTERTAINMENT (en-ter-tayn-ment) n.  
Female.... A good movie, concert, play or book.
Male...... Anything that can be done while drinking beer.
6. FLATULENCE (flach-u-lens) n.  
Female.... An embarrassing by-product of indigestion.
Male...... A source of entertainment, self-expression, male bonding.
7 MAKING LOVE (may-king luv) n.
Female...... The greatest expression of intimacy a couple can achieve.
Male..... Call it whatever you want, just as long as we do it.
8. REMOTE CONTROL (ri-moht kon-trohl) n.  
Female.... A device for changing from one TV channel to another.
Male... A device for scanning through all 375 channels in 5 minutes

He said..... Shall we try swapping positions tonight?  
She said... That's a good idea - you stand by the ironing board while I sit on the sofa and fart!

He said..... What have you been doing with all the grocery money I gave you?
She said ....Turn sideways and look in the mirror!

He said..... Why are married women heavier than single   women?
She said..... Single women come home, see what's in the fridge and go to bed.

Married women come home, see what's in bed and go to the fridge.



See you tomorrow

Love Yehuda Lave

Rabbi Yehuda Lave

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


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