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
AS HEARD FROM RABBI AVIGDOR MILLER Z'TL
"Derech eretz precedes the acquisition of Torah" We traditionally study the Mishnayot of Perke Abot, The Ethics of the Fathers, during the weeks between Pesach and Shavuot. These Mishnayot are especially selected because of the instruction/mussar of our great Sages through which we can perfect our character in order to be prepared to accept Hashem's Torah. This is one way to understand why Sefer Beresheet, which includes only 3 Mitzvot, proceeds Sefer Shemot, which includes the giving of the Torah. Sefer Beresheet is known as Sefer Derech Eretz.
Through the many episodes which Hashem relates to us, we can see clear examples of Good & Evil, Kindliness, Honesty, Loyalty, Respect, Reward & Punishment, Power of Prayer,Prophesy, Inspiration, Family, Plan & Purpose, Hashem, Self Control…
Beresheet is filled with models of good character in order for us to follow them to be prepared to be able to accept the Torah.
The Gaon of Vilna, in 'Even Shelema', opens his sefer with this great principle. "All Hashem's service is dependent upon the improvement of one's character. Character traits are fundamental to the performance of Mitzvot and to Torah principles".
The Rambam devotes a whole chapter in his 'Yad Hachazaka' to the subject of perfecting our character traits. He titles it 'Hilchot De'ot', The Laws of Opinions. When we study this chapter we do not find any ideas regarding 'opinions'. It contains detailed instructions regarding correcting and perfecting our character traits. So, why did Rambam name his chapter 'De'ot' and not 'Midot'?
In order to teach us the real sources of both 'Opinions' & 'Character Traits'. "Opinions (good or bad ideas) are what shape our Character. And Character (healthy or otherwise) will determine our opinions".
This Friday: The Sovev Jerusalem Bike Race Zev Stub
This Friday, the Sovev Jerusalem bike race will fill that Capitol's streets with bikers, and block traffic ateries. Four different bike routes traverse the city's main attractions, nature and scenery include a 50K for experienced cyclists age 16 and up, a 40K for experienced cyclists age 16 and up, a 23K for serious bikers and families and 8K for beginners over age 12. Bikers aged 12-16 must be accompanied by parents.
An earthquake was felt in central Israel, including Jerusalem, Wednesday night.
No injuries or damage has been reported in the wake of the 4.6 magnitude quake.
The Geophysical Institute reported that the epicenter of the earthquake was at sea, between Hadera and Haifa, about 200 kilometers (125 miles) from the Israeli coast. The quake struck Israel at 7:53 PM.
David Bulka, a resident of Mevasseret Zion, told Arutz Sheva: "Our porch shook. I felt dizzy for ten seconds. It was very strong and surprising."
The last time there was an earthquake in Israel was in January of this year. At that time, a 3.6 magnitude tremor was felt in the north of the country.
The Ravs last words I heard on Shabbat Shiur. After finishing speaking for his regular 1 hour. He always ended with Good Shabbos. But this week he did something very unusual.
He said "I want you to know something Very Important! Don't think you are coming back to this world again. This is this only/best opportunity you will ever get. Utilize it.
Make something out of yourself.״ He passed into Olam Haba that Thurs night. Quoted from "A Kingdom of Cohanim" by Rabbi Avigdor Miller ZT'L Last week, Thursday 27 Nissan was the 18th Yahrtzeit of the Gaon and Gadol Rabbi Avigdor Miller ZT"L. Rabbi Miller passed away on 27 Nissan 5761, April 20, 2001.. Rabbi Miller was the Rabbi of Klal Yisrael. Through his small Shul on Ocean Parkway in Brooklyn, Rabbi Miller disseminated Torah to the whole entire world.
Born in Baltimore in 1908 Rabbi Avigdor Miller was inspired to go learn Torah in Famous Slobodka Yeshiva in Europe and remained there for 6 years. Rabbi Miller was an innovator in recorded Shiurim.
There are over 2000 recorded lectures in the current massive library, with thousands of more being digitized. Rabbi Miller wrote many books in English so his priceless words of wisdom can reach the masses. From Rabbi Miller's recorded lectures many books have been transcribed and written with many more constantly hitting the store shelves.
Rabbi Miller's schedule was something not to be believed, the Rabbi delivered 40 classes every single week on all Torah topics in addition to his own grueling learning schedule of finishing Shas every year, of which Rabbi Miller completed Shas over 60 times in his lifetime.
Rebbetzin Miller testified that her husband never open the refrigerator in their home, what ever she served him, is what he ate, nothing more.
For most of his life Rabbi Miller slept on a wood board, not a comfortable bed. Tens of thousands of people paid their final respected to the Great Tzaddik of the generation upon his passing.
Several years before the passing of Rabbi Avigdor Miller, the Rabbi had a leaking heart valve. The Rebbetzin was very worried and concerned for her husband. She was also afraid that the Rabbi could fall down the stairs if the situation deteriorated. The doctors advised the Rabbi that he needed heart surgery for a valve replacement. Within a few days Rabbi Miller decided to go through with the surgery.
After the passing of Rabbi Avigdor Miller, his oldest son Rabbi Eliezer Miller said that his father told him, "I never did need the surgery, because I had it under control with my Mind. The only reason I did the surgery, was to put your concerned mother at ease."
Rabbi Eliezer Miller also said that a year prior to his father's passing, Rabbi Avigdor Miller was diagnosed with prostate cancer and the doctor said Rabbi Miller has only 18 months left to live.
On one of the return visits Rabbi Miller was given a clean bill of health. Rabbi Eliezer Miller noticed that the doctor had written 'Miracle' on his father's file. Rabbi Avigdor Miller's prostate cancer had mysteriously disappeared and the doctors deemed it as a "great miracle". After walking out of the doctor's office with his father, Rabbi Eliezer Miller asked his father, "Nu?" Rabbi Avigdor Miller answered, "I willed it away." Rabbi Eliezer Miller never knew what his Great father meant by that statement.
On a recorded Rabbi Avigdor Miller lecture, the Rabbi talks about Eliezer the servant of Avraham Avinu. 'Moshel al kol bo'. Eliezer was a master of all of Avraham Avinu's fortune as well as in total control of all of his limbs and organs. Rabbi Avigdor Miller then said, "It's possible, even we can do it." When R' Miller was asked by a grandchild to reminisce upon his youth, the Rabbi responded. "Talking about the olden days is a waste of time.
However, in the context of 'you shall remember' (see above), it is a Mitzvah." On one Erev Shabbat, the Rav told me 4 personal stories with the lessons of remembering the kindnesses done by Hashem. - "When I was about 3-4 years old in Baltimore, I was walking & tripped on a wooden board which had a nail protruding from it. The nail struck me in the head above my brow (the Rav pointed to the spot). I was taken to the hospital for stitches. If the nail had struck a bit lower in my eye, maybe there wouldn't have been a Rabbi Miller! But…Baruch Hashem, I am still here! -
When I was in school it was a very cold day & there was a chubby fellow playing & sweating in the yard. When he returned to the school he drank cold water. He caught pneumonia & fell sick & did not return. But…Baruch Hashem, I am still here! - I knew a young man of 20 years old; he did not make it to 21. But…Baruch Hashem, I am still here! - I was learning in Slobodka Yeshiva, 1932-1938. The Nazis Y"S killed all my chaverim (friends) (the Rav sobbed when he recalled this). But…Baruch Hashem, I am still here!"
I was told that the Rav always reviewed the thousands of kindnesses that he kept recorded in his mind. He wrote this Pasuk, 'To remember all the journeys in your life', in his instructions given to his family before he passed away. This is what he held as a Purpose of life. Hakarat Hatov!
I went to visit Rebbetzin Miller a"h in the Lakewood hospital. She had recently fallen into a coma. I asked her grandchildren if I could go in to see her & read this divre Torah. When I read this she opened her eyes and seemed to wake up. The grandchildren immediately called Rbtzn Brog. She asked me "what did you read to my mother"? I told her the Pasuk. She said "no wonder!
This is what the Rav wrote to us in his last instructions". A grandchild Rabbi Avigdor Miller ZL came to visit his grandfather before he got married and said, "Zeidy, I have a few questions to ask." Rabbi Miller listened to the questions and then after a few minutes said, "I need a few minutes." The grandson was shocked Rabbi Avigdor Miller was well known to know everything. The family was very well aware of this, as well as all of Klal Yisrael. Rabbi Avigdor Miller was always asked questions and answered them on the spot. At the end of Rabbi Avigdor Miller's famous Thursday night class he allowed the audience to ask any question on any topic they wished. Right away and on the spot, Rabbi Avigdor Miller fired his answers with his amazing insight and deep wisdom answering the questions with precious words of wisdom and sound advice. Incidentally a portion of these questions have been compiled and so far there are already three volumes available, filled with these treasures under the title "Q&A Thursday Nights With Rabbi Avigdor Miller."
Rabbi Avigdor Miller then offered his grandson insight as to why he said that he needs a few minutes, "I was thinking I needed a few minutes to think of the kindness of Hashem, the Chesed of Hashem of having a grandchild getting married." Rabbi Avigdor Miller appreciated that moment and offered his appreciation and thanks to Hashem for reaching the milestone and great kindness of having a grandchild getting married.
At the Rav's last Shabbat shiur of his life, he had seemingly finished the lecture. But now unusually, the Rav started to speak again. "I want you to know something very important. Don't think you are ever coming back to this world again. This life is the best opportunity you will ever have (to improve). Make something out of yourself". This was the Rav's final mussar to us. Tihye Zichrono Baruch.
On Tuesday night I was able to sit in on a panel discussion on BRCA gene mutations with experts moderated by my sister in law Jill Harris. It was so informative. I learned that anyone who is 25 and over and has at least one Ashkenazi jewish grandparent can get tested at no charge through a generous grant. The registration process can be done at https://www.bforstudy.com/ Although there are an estimated 14 million Jews around the world, there are 22 million people with a Jewish grandparent (which shows us how intermarriage is doing as good a job as our worst enemies). Anyone with an Ashkenazi Jewish grandparent has a 1/40 chance of having a BRCA1 or BRCA 2 gene mutation, as compared to one out of every 800 members of the general population, according to the Centers for Disease Control. WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO GET TESTED? In particular, there are three mutations (two in BRCA1 and one in BRCA2) that account for the majority of the BRCA mutations seen in persons of Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry. Women with a mutated BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene have a lifetime risk of between 36 percent and 85 percent of developing breast cancer by age 70. The average woman in the United States has about a 12 percent risk of developing breast cancer over a 90-year life span. Women with a BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation have a lifetime risk of 15 to 40 percent for developing ovarian cancer. By comparison, women who do not have a BRCA mutation have a 1.8 percent risk of developing ovarian cancer. MEN TOO Men who inherit an abnormal BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene have approximately a 6 percent risk for developing breast cancer during their lifetime. That risk is 80 percent greater than the lifetime risk of men without an abnormal BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene. Men carrying abnormal versions of these genes may also be three to seven times more likely than average to develop prostate cancer. Other cancer risks, such as cancer of the skin or digestive tract, may also be somewhat higher among men with BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations. WHY ASHKENAZI JEWS? According to a 2014 study conducted at Columbia University and published in the journal Nature Communications, today's worldwide population of roughly 10 million Ashkenazi Jews is descended from a core group of about 350 people 25 to 32 generations ago, or roughly 600 to 800 years back. This small original group is referred to as a population "bottleneck" and the subsequent generations passed on their same genes, putting them at higher risk for certain genetic disorders. The genetic variations this group carried not only predisposes modern members of the ethnic group to breast and ovarian cancer, but 17 other diseases including Tay-Sachs disease, the study found. KNOWLEDGE HELPS Understanding a person's cancer risk and being proactive about one's health may help you lower one's risk for getting breast or ovarian cancer at a young age, or find it at an early stage when treatment works best. THIS TEST IS LITTERALY SAVING LIVES Don't ignore this. Ignorance is not bliss! Again, anyone who is 25 and over and has at least one Ashkenazi jewish grandparent can get tested at no charge through a generous grant. The registration process can be done at https://www.bforstudy.com/
See you tomorrow
Love Yehuda Lave
Rabbi Yehuda Lave
2850 Womble Road, Suite 100-619, San Diego United States