Yehuda Lave is an author, journalist, psychologist, rabbi, spiritual teacher and coach, with degrees in business, psychology and Jewish Law. He works with people from all walks of life and helps them in their search for greater happiness, meaning, business advice on saving money, and spiritual engagement
Choose a Worthy Goal and Go For It
When you have a goal in mind, keep your focus on reaching it, and do not allow yourself to be sidetracked by anything else.
All people who have accomplished in life have set goals for themselves. Think of one goal that would make a major difference in your life. Today, make a commitment to reach that goal.
Love Yehuda Lave
Quotes from my sister
Gratitude is riches. Complaint is poverty. Doris Day, Actress, singer, and animal welfare activist
He who avoids complaint invites happiness. Abu Bakr, Trusted advisor to Muhammad
If they don't give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair. Shirley Chisholm, Politician, educator, and author
Fame itself... doesn't really afford you anything more than a good seat in a restaurant. David Bowie, Singer-songwriter and actor.
I grew up with a front row seat to the American dream. Mike Pence, Vice-President under Trump
I'm not running for anything but my own seat. Maxine Waters, U.S. Representative for California's 43rd congressional district ..
With horns and a full rhythm section, the drums always looked like the best seat in the house. Levon Helm, Musician and actor
Is Your Optimism Grounded in Reality? By Hanna Perlberger
After delivering a lecture on optimism to a large tech company, Shawn Achor, one of the gurus of Positive Psychology, was being driven to the airport by the CEO. Ignoring the persistent and annoying dinging of the alarm for not using his seat belt, the CEO smiled at Shawn and explained that he was just being "optimistic."
"Optimism is good for a lot of things," thought Shawn, "but it will not prevent this CEO from getting into a car accident, nor will it prevent him flying through the windshield." This is not optimism; rather, it's a form of insanity, otherwise known as "irrational optimism."
In the Torah portion Beshalach, after the Jewish people left Egypt, Pharaoh sent his army of charioteers after them, cornering the Jewish people with Egypt at their back, the vast desert on both sides and the sea in front of them. Short of a new miracle, the Jewish people were facing imminent slaughter.
The Splitting of the Sea
According to Midrashic commentary, some people wanted to surrender and go back to Egypt. Some were ready to commit suicide. Some were willing to fight the Egyptians. And another group started to pray. Moses cried out to G‑d, and G‑d replied (in essence): "Stop praying and journey forth. Do something!" It was at that point that the famous Nachshon ben Aminadav moved into the sea, and when the water reached his nostrils, the sea began to part. Was he an optimist or insane? Irrational or grounded?
In his book, Learned Optimism, Martin Seligman, the father of Positive Psychology explains that there are two ways of looking at life: as an optimist and as a pessimist. And he gives an example. A young couple has their first baby. The father looks at her in her crib and he calls out her name. Although the baby is awake, she doesn't respond. Dad picks up a toy with a bell and shakes it. No response. His heart starts to beat rapidly, and he summons his wife. The mother was also unable to get the baby's attention with loud sounds. "My G‑d, she's deaf," concludes the father.
Mom consults a baby book for advice, reading how there is no reason for alarm since it takes time for the startle and sound reflex to kick in. Mom is reassured. Nevertheless, she leaves a voice message with the pediatrician's office to schedule an appointment, and she goes about her weekend as usual. Dad, on the other hand, remains a worried mess, ruminating that he has a "bad feeling about this."
On Monday, the pediatrician administers a neurological exam and finds the baby perfectly healthy. The father does not believe the test results, and still remains depressed and worried. A week later, when the baby startled at the noise of a backfiring car, the father began to recover his spirits and was able to enjoy his child once again.
These are the two basic outlooks on life. The pessimist "awful-izes" events, viewing harmful situations as long-lasting, if not permanent, and allowing the upset to permeate all areas of life, taking it personally. The optimist, on the other hand, doesn't anticipate defeat but when it happens, sees defeat as a challenge to be surmounted, limits it to this pertinent situation, and sees the cause as something external.
OK, now it's a little chutzpadik, but I think there is another explanatory style, which I am calling "Jewish optimism," and since I'm coining the phrase, I get to define it. "Jewish optimism" takes the best aspects of optimism, such as looking at events in their most favorable light and rising to the challenge with an "I can" or an "it can be done" attitude.
But when it comes to causality, "Jewish optimism" would not regard events as external and impersonal. Just the opposite. In "Jewish optimism," everything is "about me" (for my spiritual growth, that is). And this brings in the quality of faith—believing that the universe is not out to "get me," but to "teach me."
Getting back to the scene at theIn "Jewish optimism," everything is "about me" banks of the Sea of Reeds, in facing Pharaoh's army, the same G‑d that liberated the Jewish people through His Divine intervention was now telling them to go, to "do something." And so Nachshon, the Jewish optimist, walked calmly into the sea, and in so doing, he also paved the way for the Jewish expression of faith.
And this sets Judaism apart because Judaism calls for belief-driven behavior, and the expression of faith through deliberate action. Judaism teaches that the garments of the soul are for us to actualize our potential. The trick is knowing when the focus needs to be our thought, when it is about speech and when it must manifest through action.
So the next time you face a challenge, decide first whether grounded optimism is appropriate, and if so, try adding a little faith. Know that whatever test you are undergoing is the test you were meant to have—that you can pass it, and that you will emerge emotionally stronger, intellectually wiser and spiritually higher. Become a Jewish optimist, and there is no telling how many seas you will be able to part in your life.
Internalize & Actualize:
Are you more prone to being an optimist or a pessimist? Write down five situations when your gut reaction was either positive or negative before you even knew what the actual outcome would be.
Based on the above, was your gut reaction accurate? Did the situation unfold as you thought it would? If you were an optimist and it didn't turn out as expected, how did you feel when the result was not positive? If you were a pessimist and the situation came out positively, did you regret the negativity and stress you felt for no reason?
Think about a situation, right now, that you are facing where you still don't know the outcome. What do you think will happen? Is that an optimistic response or a pessimistic one? If an optimistic one, are you being an "irrational optimist" or is your optimism grounded? Why? If a pessimistic response, rewrite below an optimistic view you can have of the situation. After you write that, write how this new thought makes you feel.
Blind singer sings Sounds of silence on Israel who's got Talent
Sometimes you just have to stop everything and listen to the voice of serenity 🙏 who are the contestants who are saved from the vote and who will fight To watch the full episode click bit.ly/2ANHpAi
Did you hear that?
A student at Boston University enrolled in a course on Philosophy. One day, the Professor stood at his podium ready to start. But nothing happened. Minutes ticked by, and the Professor wasn't saying a word! 🤫
Everyone looked at each other confused, thinking he'd lost his mind. Finally, after much squirming and uncomfortable silence, the Professor opened his mouth: "Do you hear that?" Now they were certain. This poor guy must have a screw loose somewhere. No one had said a word and there was definitely nothing to "hear"! After a few more minutes of silence, the Professor asked again: "Do any of you hear that?" Again, no one could understand. 🤔
Finally this student spoke up: "Come to think of it, I never heard the humming of the fan in this room before." "Excellent," said the Professor. "It was always there, but when all of you were so busy talking, you never noticed it. You never heard it." 🧘♂️
Try to take at least 1 moment every day to silence the outer noise (work/school, phone) & your inner noise (stress, anxiety) and just let your soul be, in the moment. You may discover a powerful part of yourself that was always there, longing to be noticed & felt, never heard. Connect to your inner truth & the outside forces will lose their sway over your heart & mind
"DON'T CRY TO ME, GO FORWARD!!!"
Kahane on the Parsha
"DON'T CRY TO ME, GO FORWARD!!!"
When the Gulf war broke out and Scud missiles started landing in Israel- the week of Parshat Beshalach- it became quite popular to quote the verse "The L-rd will fight for you and you shall remain silent" (Exodus 14:14). Many religious Jews found this verse symbolic of the Gulf War. After all, here were Israeli cities getting bombarded by Iraqi missiles and the official government policy was one of "self-restraint," or "havlaga." "Everything will be okay," people proclaimed, "G-d will fight for us." (That is, America and its president, George Bush, will take out those Scud launchers and all will be fine.)
However, a closer look at this verse reveals that those who interpreted it in the aforementioned manner took it entirely out of context and, by so doing, completely distorted the awesome lesson to be learned from the splitting of the Red Sea.
First, let us see what the Torah says. Immediately following the verse "The L-rd will fight for you and you shall remain silent," the Torah states, "And the L-rd said unto Moses. Why do you cry unto Me? Speak to the Children of Israel that they should go forward!" (ibid. 14:15). Already- without even consulting any of the classic commentators- we see that the Torah's message is not one of passivity. Moses does NOT say that G-d will fight for the people while they relax and take it easy. What he says is that the L-rd will fight for them IF they prove that they truly believe in His omnipotence. Therefore, instead of crying to G-d, the Jews should simply obey His command and "go forward" into the stormy sea.
The Ibn Ezra writes that "you shall remain silent" corresponds to "and the Children of Israel cried to G-d." The Be'er Yitzchak explains the Ibn Ezra's words: "'You shall remain silent' does NOT correspond to 'the L-rd will fight for you,' which would imply that the Jews shouldn't fight, but rather to 'and the Children of Israel cried to G-d.'" In other words, the exact opposite of the oft-repeated, distorted interpretation that "you shall remain silent" means self-restraint and inaction. The Ibn Ezra teaches us that "you shall remain silent" means "stop crying to G-d." What should the people do instead? Act!- with trust in G-d.
This, in essence, is what Rashi writes: "This teaches us that Moses was standing and praying. Hashem said, 'Now, when Israel is in distress, it is not the time to prolong in prayer'." The same message is found in the Talmud as well (Sotah 37a): "Moses was praying at length, so Hashem said, 'My beloved ones are drowning in the sea, and you're praying at length?' Moses said to G-d, 'L-rd of the Universe, what can I do?' He replied, 'Speak unto the Children of Israel that they should go forward. And you raise your rod and stretch out your hand...'"
The Rabbis tell us that the Children of Israel stood trembling by the shores of the Red Sea until G-d commanded them to "go forward." They remained paralyzed with fear and did not move. Only Nachshon did not hesitate to carry out G-d's command. He sprang forward into the raging waters. Nothing happened, but Nachshon was not concerned. He descended deeper into the water--up to his ankles, knees, stomach--and still nothing happened. Nachshon continued until the water reached his neck, and then cried to G-d, "Oh G-d, save me because the water has come unto my soul. I sink deep in mire where there is no standing..."--whereupon the miracle of the splitting of the Red Sea occurred (ibid.).
The lesson is CRYSTAL CLEAR. When one's faith is tested, G-d demands, together with prayer, maximal effort through actual deeds. Was Nachshon's faith put to the test when he recited Psalms on the seashore? No. Even jumping into the stormy waters was not sufficient since he could still back out. Only by fulfilling G-d's will to the point of no return did he prove his faith. Nachshon understood that saying "I believe" and then waiting for salvation is NOT AUTHENTIC FAITH. G-d demands that we prove our faith with action, not just words. Only by being willing to fulfill difficult, even seemingly "dangerous," mitzvot do we prove that our faith is genuine.
Israel's policy of self-restraint during the Gulf crisis was the antithesis of the true meaning of "you shall remain silent." He who saw the chosen people scurrying like roaches into their sealed-off closets while the modern day Goliath blasphemed G-d and His people for 40 days (with 40-1 missiles) and viewed it as a positive thing, self-righteously proclaiming that "G-d will help", does not even begin to grasp the Jewish meaning of faith.
Not only did we lost our dignity and deterrence factor during the Gulf War, but we also demonstrated lack of faith. It is this same lack of faith that has prevented us from expelling the Arabs and annexing the territories. And it is only lack of faith that has brought us to the pathetic and desperate situation we find ourselves in today, in 2016.
Rabbi Binyamin Kahane
See you tomorrow
Love Yehuda Lave
Rabbi Yehuda Lave
2850 Womble Road, Suite 100-619, San Diego United States