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
GOOD MORNING! What is the greatest pleasure in your life?
Love of your spouse?
Love of your kids?
How about Love of God?
Could there be a greater pleasure than that? Would you believe that we are commanded to have this pleasure? "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your possessions" (Deut. 6:5). It must be possible. God doesn't command us to do the impossible!
Loving God is also one of the Six Constant Commandments -- commandments that are upon us at all times and in all places! (The other 5 Constant Mitzvot : 1) Know there is a God 2) Don't believe in any other god 3) Know that He is One 4) Fear God 5) Don't follow after your desires. (for more information, go to: aish.com and search on "6 Constant Mitzvot").
First, the definitions: What is "Love" -- the pleasure one has in focusing on the good in something or someone. As Maimonides writes: "A person can only love according to the degree he knows the object of his love. If he knows a little, he can love a little. And if he knows a lot, he can love a lot." (Laws of Teshuva 10:6) A parent may have a drug-using, lazy dropout and still love him. If you ask the parent why s/he loves him, s/he will tell you, "Because he has a good heart, he's a good kid." What about the drugs, laziness, dropping out of school? The parent replies, "He was in with a bad group, I should have helped him more" -- or some other reason to not focus on the negative. One can only love by focusing on the positive.
What is "God"? The Creator, Sustainer and Supervisor. The One who made the whole universe and everything in it, keeps it going and Who has a relationship with everyone and everything in it.
What is Love of God? It is the pleasure in focusing on the good that He has given us in our lives and in the world.
We all have difficulties and challenges in our lives. As hard as they may be, a person who believes in a loving God understands that they are meaningful and beneficial, though the challenge may seem insurmountable, God never gives us a challenge that we cannot handle.
For example, pain is something we all wish to avoid. However, the pain reflex helps preserve us from great harm. Imagine if you didn't feel pain and only found that your hand was resting on a hot burner when someone pointed out the flames. Pain can also be a wake up call to look into our deeds so that we will correct them as well as serve as an atonement for past mistakes.
Difficulties in life should be looked upon as meaningful. We should ask ourselves "Why me?" -- but not with an accusatory tone. The Torah teaches that the Almighty loves each and every creation and has an individual relationship with each of us. He wants only for our good. He only gives us what is good for us.
Perhaps the most important lesson we owe our children is to teach them that the Almighty loves them -- just as they need to know that their parents love them. A child may eventually get over the feeling or the fact that a parent doesn't love him. However, if one is taught that God is against him and hates him, it creates a very bitter life.
There are two ways to love God. The first is to look at His Creation -- the beauty and the intricacy of everything from the micro to the macro. Maimonides writes: "What is the path to love (and awe) of God? When one ponders God's great and wonderful acts of creation, and sees in them a genius that has no comparison, then automatically a person will love, praise, glorify -- and deeply desire to know the greatness of God." (Foundations of Torah 2:2)
Second, read His words -- The Torah. When people say they love an author, it is because they read his book and were moved by the book. To know God and to Love God, it certainly helps to read His Book. Torah study is the way to discover the path of meaning. The Torah is called Torat Chaim -- literally the book of "Instructions for Living" -- is God's communication to the world. It is the ultimate repository for wisdom on how to succeed at marriage, parenting, community building, and fixing the world.
The mitzvah to love God is to be constantly preoccupied with the pursuit of closeness to God. God is always there. If one does not feel the closeness of God, it is not God Who moved. It is up to us to choose to deepen the relationship. For as the Kotzker Rebbe once said: "Where is God? Wherever you let Him in."
Love Yehuda Lave
Purim in Israel. March 20-21, and 21-22 2019
Purim is one of the most widely celebrated festivals in Israel. Purim in Israel is embraced by the whole country, from religious Jews in Jerusalem to secular Tel Avivians, it is a time of festivity and celebrated far beyond its original religious roots. Purim parties take place across Israel, with Purim street parties with carnival atmospheres taking place in almost every city, town, and village in the country.
Purim is also one of the biggest nights of the year at clubs up and down the country. With so much going on, and so much color in the amazing costumes that can be seen, Purim in Israel is a fascinating time to be in the country.
In 2019, the festival of Purim will take place from the evening of March 20 until the evening of March 21. In Jerusalem the following day March 22, 2019
Purim is the festival that celebrates the Jewish people in the Persian Empire's survival in the face of destruction in the wake of a plot by Haman. The festival is widely celebrated but is not a day when people do not work, and businesses are open pretty well as usual. The main symbols of Purim are masquerading, and from kids to adults, this tradition is widely embraced, and festive drinking, which many interpret as 'getting drunk' among all elements of society. Special foods, including Hamantaschen (Oznei Haman) – sweet pastry filled with, typically, a sweet poppy seed filling, are eaten, and bakeries across the country will be baking these in the run-up to the festival.
Adloyada Holon is one of the biggest Purim events in Israel, a massive carnival that will take place in 2019 for the 28th time in the city of Holon, just south of Tel Aviv. Read more about Adloyada Holon.
Another annual event, the Tel Aviv Purim Zombie walk features, well, zombies, walking through the streets of Tel Aviv. In 2019, the event is expected to return, seeing thousands of locals dressed as zombies, invading nighttime Tel Aviv. Gathering at 21:30 at the corner of Ben-Zion Boulevard and King George (Near the Dizengoff Center). The Zombie Walk takes place on the closest Saturday Eve of Purim each year.
The fourteenth and fifteenth of Adar are celebrated as Purim. The specific day on which Purim is celebrated depends on the location; in places where Purim is celebrated on the fourteenth, it is not celebrated on the fifteenth, and vice versa.
The original observance of Purim as a festival was established by the sages and the prophets, who decreed that it be observed in every generation, as we read in the Megillah: "To establish these days of Purim at their appropriate times" (9:31). The Talmud (Megillah 2b) explains: "these days . . . at their appropriate times—i.e., the time appropriate for one [city] is not appropriate for the other [city]."
Why were different days established as Purim in different cities? Why wasn't one day chosen as Purim in all cities, just as other festivals are celebrated on the same day in every city?
We find that even in the times of Mordechai and Esther, Purim was celebrated on a different day in Shushan than in the other cities. In all other cities, the battle against the enemies of the Jews took place on the thirteenth of Adar, and the people rested and celebrated on the fourteenth of Adar. In Shushan, however, the battle took place on the thirteenth and fourteenth of Adar, and the people rested and celebrated only on the fifteenth.
In principle, then, only the city of Shushan should celebrate on the fifteenth of Adar, for it was only there that Purim was celebrated on that day. The sages of that era, however, wished to accord honor to Jerusalem and to the Land of Israel which was desolate at the time.
They therefore issued the following ruling: Shushan, where the miracle occurred, has an importance of its own and celebrates Purim on the fifteenth, even though it was not settled and thus did not have a surrounding wall at the time when Yehoshua (Joshua) bin Nun conquered the Land of Israel. Other cities which were settled and had walls at the time of Yehoshua bin Nun, even if they are in a state of ruin and are no longer surrounded by walls, are considered to be important, and their present state of destruction (when the sages established the holiday of Purim) is considered to be temporary. They are therefore accorded the status of Shushan and celebrate Purim on the fifteenth. Cities which did not have surrounding walls at the time of Yehoshua bin Nun, even if they have walls surrounding them today, are to celebrate Purim on the fourteenth of Adar.
All of the above applies to cities both in the Land of Israel and outside it.
Hence, the Purim which is celebrated on the fourteenth of Adar is referred to as Purim of the "open" [i.e., unwalled, or less important] cities, whereas the Purim which is celebrated on the fifteenth is referred to as Purim of the "walled," major, cities.
Today, the only city in which Purim is celebrated on the fifteenth of Adar (besides Shushan) is Jerusalem. Although the Megillah is also read on the fifteenth of Adar in a number of other cities in the Land of Israel, including Acre, Jaffa, and Tiberias, this is only a custom based on the possibility that they may have been surrounded by walls at the time of Joshua. In these places, the Megillah reading on the fifteenth is done without reciting the blessings. For all other purposes, these cities celebrate Purim on the fourteenth.
Last week, JTA reported that Major League Baseball star Ryan Braun is poised to become to Jewish player with the most home runs in history. Next season, The 35-year-old Milwaukee Brewer needs just 10 homers to break the Hang Greenberg's total of 331. As the article notes, many Jews aren't so excited about this. Braun, whose mother is not Jewish, has had his career tainted by steroid usage, and has generally distanced himself from his Jewish roots. Greenberg, on the other hand, is a name that still inspires pride and awe in many Jewish households. Hammering Hank was a class act and a great player that continues to inspire Jews everywhere. He chased Babe Ruth's record by hitting 58 home runs in 1938, and sat out a game on Yom Kippur some 30 years before Sandy Koufax did. His career would have been even more impressive had he not left the game at the hight of his career to go fight the Nazis in 1941, right after winning his second MVP award. You can learn more about Hang Greenberg in the video below.
When Are We to Schedule The Purim Festive Meal?
Since this year Shushan Purim falls on Erev Shabbat (Friday), the question arises as to when we are to schedule the Purim festive meal. There are actually three different opinions given; some more acceptable than others.
1. The RAMA- Rabbi Moshe Issereles (O"C 695 S' 5) writes in his commentary that the Seuda should be conducted, or at least started, before Noon in order that the feast does not take away one's appetite for the Shabbat meal. This opinion is accepted by many.
2. Some allow one to begin the festive meal even in the afternoon on Friday, as long as it begins 3 hours before sunset and finishes with the onset of Shabbat (Sunset).
3. A final interesting custom which is unique but challenging in a logistical way, is to combine both the festive Purim meal with the Shabbat meal. The Talmud (Pesachim) coins this method "Poreis Mapa UMekadesh" ("Place the Tablecloth and Make Kiddush").
The major points of the method are as follows:
One davens Mincha first Friday afternoon. The Festive Purim Meal is then enjoyed while still daylight. Candle lighting (17:14) for Shabbat is the next stage. However, a necessary condition needs to be made which is to not welcome in Shabbat upon candle lighting in order to allow continued eating even before Kiddush. Kabbalat Shabbat is the next step. After services, one then returns to the table with 2 Challot and begins with Kiddush. It is preferable that someone who did not drink wine at the earlier part of the meal make the Kiddush. After eating at least an egg-sized portion of bread at night and singing Shabbat zmirot, the meal is completed with Birchat Hamazon.
RABBI SCHWARTZ'S CLOTHING JOKES OF THE WEEK
Bernie called all his staff together at the garment manufacturing plant that he had and announced that his son-in-law was joining the business."My friends, he is to have no special privileges and you are to treat him just like anyone else who is due to take over your business in 2 years!"
Ira was at his shmatta plant and his supplier called him."Hello Silverman? When are you going to pay me for those linings?"Silverman snapped back angrily "how should I know? I'm a dress manufacturer not a fortune teller?!"A week later he got a letter from the textile company that said"we cannot ship your order until full payment has been made on your last order"Silverman sent a letter a reply. it said"please cancel my order I can't wait that long."
Yankel walked into the fancy clothing store on 5th avenue and picked out a tie. The clerk wrapped it up and handed back to him.Yankel then said "I'm sorry I changed my mind, I"ll have this pair of socks instead. ""Ok" said the clerk and began to wrap them up. He handed them to Yankel who then proceeded to walk out of the store."Hey! Wait"the clerk shouted "you didn't pay for that!"Yankel turned to him slightly hurt "What are you talking about? I just exchanged the tie for the socks?""Yes" said the clerk "but you never paid for the tie!""Of course not" said Yankel "Did I keep it?"
Cohen made it big in the shmatta business. He took a nothing business and in a few years made it into a world class top of the line clothing company. As the years passed and he was nearing his end he called his lawyer to help him prepare his will. He said"Sol, I want a stipulation that everyone of my employees who has worked for me for 25 years of more is to get a special bequest of $25,000 dollars each."The attorney looked at him strangely "Sam, you only went into business 15 years ago…""I know" gasped Cohen "but think how nice it will look in the papers!************
Cat's Reaction Watching a Alfred Hitchcock's Horror Flick ... "Psycho."
Turn up sound & click below:Watch to the end
New Zealand Community Cancels Shabbat Services in Wake of Mosque Shootings By JNS News Service
New Zealand's Jewish community decided to cancel Shabbat services throughout the country in response to mass shootings at two mosques in the city of Christchurch on Friday that killed at least 49 people and injured dozens, including children, in what the country's prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, said marked "one of New Zealand's darkest days."
A message sent to Auckland Hebrew Congregation members said that law enforcement was "unable to guarantee us protection this evening as they mobilize to support Christchurch, as well as protect mosques throughout New Zealand. It is therefore with deep regret that the AHC BOM takes this unprecedented step in cancelling organised service this Shabbat, as we are concerned about the security of our community."
"The New Zealand Jewish Council has no adequate words to describe how sickened and devastated we are by the coordinated attacks on Christchurch mosques today," Stephen Goodman, the president of the New Zealand Jewish Council, told the Jewish Chronicle.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Twitter that Israel "mourns the wanton murder of innocent worshipers in Christchurch and condemns the brazen act of terror in New Zealand."
"We are devastated by the news that our fellow citizens can be attacked in a place of worship and peace," said the Holocaust Centre of New Zealand in a statement. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families and the wider Muslim community."
"We say to all New Zealanders that acts of hate have no place in our society and to stand in solidarity against people who believe they do," they added. "It is our responsibility to care for, respect and protect everyone, and we all have the right to feel as safe in a place of worship as we do in our own homes."
Our statement on the shooting in Christchurch this afternoon.
"Absolutely devastated by the horrific attack on two mosques in New Zealand. This kind of grotesque assault on houses of worship has no place in society. Sending sympathy to the families, strength to the entire Muslim community and prayers for all," tweeted Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt.
Chairman Arthur Stark and executive vice chairman and CEO Malcolm Hoenlein of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations issued the following statement: "We are outraged by the horrific attacks in the mosques in New Zealand. We extend our condolences to those who have lost loved ones and wish a speedy recovery to those who were wounded. Such outrages cannot be tolerated in any civil society. We hope that those who are responsible, and those who aided and abetted them, will be brought to justice."
As of 2013, as many as 7,000 Jews in New Zealand.
See you tomorrow when I will have more on Purim
Love Yehuda Lave
Rabbi Yehuda Lave
2850 Womble Road, Suite 100-619, San Diego United States