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
What does the phrase "kindly and truly" come to teach us?
"And the days of Israel (Jacob) drew near to die; and he called his son, Joseph, and said to him: If now I have found favor in your eyes, please ... deal with me kindly and truly; bury me not in Egypt." (Genesis 47:29).
What does the phrase "kindly and truly" come to teach us?
Rashi enlightens us as to the meaning of "kindly and truly." Kindness which is shown to the dead is true kindness, for one who does chesed (kindness) for a dead person certainly does not look forward to any payment. When someone does something for another person so that the person will in turn do him favors, the action cannot be considered true kindness. Rather, it is a form of bartering in which the merchandise is not objects, but favors.
When Rabbi Moshe of Kobrin was seven years old, there was a severe famine in Lithuania. Poor people wandered from village to village in search of food. Many of them flocked to the home of Rav Moshe's mother, who readily cooked and baked for them. Once a very large number of the poor came to her home and she had to cook for them in shifts.
When some individuals grew impatient and insulted her, she began to cry, since she felt that she was doing her utmost for them. Her young son, the future Rabbi of Kobrin, said to her, "Why should their insults trouble you? Don't their insults help you perform the mitzvah with sincerity? If they had praised you, your merit would be less, since you might be doing the kindness to gain their praise, rather than to fulfill the Almighty's command."
Love Yehuda Lave
Tension on Temple Mount today
Islamic Waqf Issues Directive to Faithful: No One Enters Temple Mount for Prayers This Friday
The Islamic Waqf Authority in Jerusalem made a dramatic announcement on Monday after restraining orders were delivered by Jerusalem Police to senior Waqf officials, distancing them from the Temple Mount.
No one is to enter the Temple Mount for Friday prayers in order to protest the actions of the Jerusalem Police, the Islamic Waqf ordered.
The intention of the call is to gather the faithful to pray together with the Waqf leaders who were distanced, outside the gates of the Temple Mount instead, rather than inside the compound without them.
The same message was sent out by the Waqf Authority after metal detectors were placed at the entrance to the holy site by Israeli security personnel last summer following a terrorist attack that left two police officers dead in the compound.
Increased tensions are expected at the site as a result of the call that was issued by the Waqf.
Quotes on Success from my Sister
Children are the world's most valuable resource and its best hope for the future. - John F. Kennedy John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy, commonly referred to by his initials JFK, was an American politician and journalist who served as the 35th president of the United States from January 1961 until his assassination in November 1963.
You can succeed if nobody else believes it, but you will never succeed if you don't believe in yourself. - William J. H. Boetcker William John Henry Boetcker was a religious leader and influential public speaker.
Cuteness in children is totally an adult perspective. The children themselves are unaware that the quality exists, let alone its desirability, until the reactions of grown-ups inform them. - Leontine Young Leontine Young was considered one of the country's foremost authorities on unmarried mothers
A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval. - Mark Twain Samuel Langhorne Clemens, known by his pen name Mark Twain, was a writer, humorist, entrepreneur, publisher, and lecturer
He who seeks for applause only from without has all his happiness in another's keeping. - Oliver Goldsmith Oliver Goldsmith was a novelist, playwright and poet.
If you must love your neighbor as yourself, it is at least as fair to love yourself as your neighbor. - Nicolas de Chamfort writer
You are unique, and if that is not fulfilled then something has been lost. - Martha Graham Martha Graham was a modern dancer and choreographer
Every single one of us can do things that no one else can do-can love things that no one else can love. We are like violins. We can be used for doorstops, or we can make music. - Barbara Sher Barbara Sher is a speaker, career/lifestyle coach, and author.
You have to deal with the fact that your life is your life. - Alex Haley author
A man should not strive to eliminate his complexes but to get into accord with them, for they are legitimately what directs his conduct in the world. - Sigmund Freud A man who escaped persecution from the Nazis and changed the world of psychology forever.
How many tortured and lost souls could have shaped our world? A man can stand a lot as long as he can stand himself. - Axel Munthe psychiatrist
Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections. - Saint Francis de Sales Francis de Sales was a Bishop of Geneva and is honored as a saint in the Catholic Church
No man can climb out beyond the limitations of his own character. - John Morley statesman, writer and newspaper editor.
There is a proper balance between not asking enough of oneself and asking or expecting too much. - May Sarton poet and writer
You grow up the day you have your first real laugh at yourself. - Ethel Barrymore Actress
If I am not for myself, who is for me? And if I am only for myself, what am I? And if not now, when? - Hillel
A Jewish Mantra How an ancient 12-word Jewish prayer changed my life.
About one year ago, I began the daily practice of saying Modeh Ani,1 the short prayer said aloud upon awakening. Who knew that 12 words would have such an enormous impact on my life?
Here I was a late 20-something and I was experiencing anxiety attacks and depression that left me feeling alone, isolated and disconnected. My problems seemed unsurmountable and I was struggling to make my way out of this rough patch.
I had tried everything from "focusing on the breath" to Buddhist meditation classes on compassion to transcendental meditation. While it relaxed me in the moment, none of it stuck. I still found myself going back to the same old comfortable routines that confined me.
Then I started reciting Modeh Ani. I was skeptical, to say the least. But sometimes when we are down on our knees we're willing to give something new a chance, and watching my father receive treatment after treatment for the cancer that was slowly taking his life brought me to my knees.
The following three insights arose from my own daily recitation of Modeh Ani. Like a rose, each petal, each word, began to blossom and unfold.
1. Your faithfulness is great
There were many mornings when I just didn't want to wake up. It seemed easier to stay under the covers than to face the growing demands and responsibilities of being an adult. I didn't have dreams of being truly happy and free. My life seemed stagnant in hues of grey, consisting of going to an unfulfilling job, to a diminishing social circle to weight-management or lack thereof. In the back of my mind I wondered how I could change my life for the better. How could I climb my mountain?
I started with a baby step – saying Modeh Ani. Every day, I would focus in on the words, "Your faithfulness is great." God, a higher power, believed in me. Not a little, not somewhat, but greatly! Whatever word you choose to use, an all-encompassing being, believed in ME and believes in YOU.
I started to allow the words to penetrate and supersede the negative beliefs I had about myself. I began taking on greater responsibilities as a team-leader at a local soup kitchen. Whereas, I used to be shy and avoid social gatherings with new faces, I began going to social events and developing richer relationships with a variety of people. I no longer saw myself as a victim. If a friend was in need, I pitched in to help.
If God believes that I have everything I need within me in order to fulfill my day, my mission, then who am I to disagree?
2. You... restored my soul within me
As miserable as I felt at times, I had another day. You... restored my soul within me. The verbalization of those words elicited the realization that we don't wake up by accident. I didn't coincidentally wake up; another day was gifted to me with intention. Whether that day felt like a blessing or a curse, I was still 6 feet above ground.
Did I overeat the night before? Would it be nice to meet my soul mate? Was the weather crummy, cold, and snowing? Yes, this was a New York winter!
There are so many ways to be pulled down in this life. But call me crazy, I started to literally stop and smell the roses for sale at the local bodega. I laughed a little harder with my friends at work. I began appreciating the one thing nearly all of us take for granted: life.
Each day, we can choose to take one moment to receive some pleasure from our environment, no matter what the circumstance may be. That is pretty awesome.
3. I give thanks before You
When you're miserable, the last thing you want to do is give appreciation. For what? What did I have to be truly deeply grateful for? I was spending many hours watching my father go in for chemotherapy, for radiation, for brain surgery. He grew thin, bald, and sickly. It pained me to visit him in his last days. He couldn't breathe, and I felt the same way. From where was I to gain the strength to be happy, as I knew my father wanted for me?
I read studies showing the positive impact of being grateful, about the power of starting a gratitude journal and listing three new things a day that you're grateful for. (Check out Shawn Achor's TED talks on happiness and positive psychology.) Lo and behold, identifying things that you appreciate in your life works to increase your happiness.
So I grabbed a pen and paper and began a gratitude journal. Did I hear a kind word from a friend? Hug and kiss a child? Do a generous deed to help another? Feel the sun on my skin? Make my morning train just in time? When you place your attention on the "small" pleasures of life, that becomes your reality.
And isn't that the essence of Modeh Ani?
The Modeh Ani prayer transformed the way I view life. I've learned to let go and tap into the power of appreciation, self-esteem, self-confidence, self-acceptance. I'm living one day at a time knowing God believes in me and seeing the good that surrounds me. I can't think of a better way to start your day.
In memory of my father Chaim Meir Ben Feiga Yetta
1. Here is the full text of the prayer: "Modeh Ani lefanecha melech chai vekayam, she-che-zarta bee nishmatee b'chemla raba emunatecha." I offer thanks before you, living and eternal King, for You have mercifully restored my soul within me; Your faithfulness is great.
Wondering why Jerusalem is reaching record-breaking levels of visitors? This new video shows what Jerusalem really is and why it's so vastly different than what the media display...
InDepthOp-Eds No, Rabbi Kahane Was Not A Racist By Rabbi Yehuda L Oppenheimer
I have learned that writing about "political" matters is a thankless and usually purposeless task. People are so entrenched in their biases and opinions that they are almost never willing to hear what the other side has to say.
Nevertheless, I would like to comment briefly on the current brouhaha surrounding the Otzma Yehudit party, and the nearly universal strident condemnation of Prime Minister Netanyahu for helping broker a deal that will likely result in that party receiving one or two seats in the upcoming election, which will help Likud form a coalition.
According to media reports, the "American Jewish Community" deems Otzma Yehudit racist, fascist, and other lovely terms. In Israel, too, many have used the same epithets, with one prominent leftist rabbi – Benny Lau – going so far as to say that to vote for Otzma Yehudit is to vote for Nazism.
I find it amazing how much people distort the views of Rabbi Meir Kahane, Hy"d. It is my experience that the vast majority of those who find Rabbi Kahane's beliefs abhorrent have 1) never actually read his books; 2) tend to be liberal in their outlook to the extent that they are uncomfortable with Torah concepts that conflict with western liberal values; and 3) are afraid of the political power Kahane represents.
This short article is not the place to argue the merits of Rav Kahane's ideas. Personally, I agreed with at least 90 percent of what he had to say, although I believe some of his statements – particularly toward the end of his too-short life – were too extreme and the tone in which he said them was too harsh. I ascribe this tone and extremism to the bitterness he felt in being unfairly undercut and destroyed by his political enemies who were afraid of his growing popularity.
I would encourage any fair-minded person to actually read his books – the two most important of which, in my opinion, are Never Again and Why Be Jewish?. I promise it's worth your time. Even if you end up disagreeing with him, you will at least come away impressed by the power of his arguments.
Those who oppose Rabbi Kahane remind me of the mindless, absolute rejection of President Trump by virtually the same groups that are vilifying Otzma Yehudit. In both cases, haters pick up on half-truths, which they distort and twist in order to vilify and politically murder their political opponent. Truth is irrelevant for them.
For example, both Rav Kahane and President Trump have been accused of being racist. In the case of Rabbi Kahane, critics point to his calls to drive the Arabs out of Israel. As for the president, critics point to his statement that there were good people on both sides of the Charlottesville debacle and his strong stance against illegal aliens.
Both these "proofs," however, are bogus. Rabbi Kahane did not hate Arabs nor did he wish them to be treated with anything less than full civility as long as they left Israel. He argued that no self-respecting Arab would ever sing Hatikvah and salute the Israeli flag with full hearted loyalty to Israel.
He argued that Arabs genuinely believe we stole their land and far too many of them would like to push us into the sea, or at the very least, use their growing birthrate to democratically vote the State of Israel out of existence. Living where I do – in the 70-percent-and-growing Arab Galilee – I can testify that the issue is real.
The crucial bottom line, however, is that Rabbi Kahane's argument is based on practicality and history, not racism or animus. To refuse to deal with the issues he raised – and that Otzma Yehudit champions – is to refuse to deal with uncomfortable questions. (Another Kahane classic, incidentally – obviously unread by most Jews – is Uncomfortable Questions for Comfortable Jews.)
In the case of President Trump, he is not against immigrants; he's against illegal immigration. He does not consider illegal aliens "animals." He used that term only to describe the murderers and rapists gang members of MS-13.
He also did not say that Nazis marching in Charlottesville were good people; he said exactly the opposite and condemned them severely. In his "good people" comment, Trump was arguing that many of the Confederate-statue-loving protesters were simply opposed to rewriting the history of the Confederacy.
It is too bad that – both in Israel and the U.S. – political discourse has been replaced by lies, smears, and innuendo. Let's hope that less shrillness and more sanity returns to political discussion, and that people start listening to – rather than vilifying – each other
See you Sunday--shabbat Shalom
Love Yehuda Lave
Rabbi Yehuda Lave
2850 Womble Road, Suite 100-619, San Diego United States