Sunday, October 27, 2019

What’s Better than a Bottle of Wine? and marriage and new Sefer Torah at the Four Sephardi Synagogues and Mt. Eval - Joshua's altar next Sunday

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Yehuda Lave, Spiritual Advisor and Counselor

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


Write a list of ways that you have benefited from being married to your spouse. Then write a list of your spouse's positive patterns and qualities. Keep adding to the lists and reread them frequently.

Worry is when you choose from millions of possible thoughts, only the few which deal with a potential misfortune or problem. Once you accept your worrying as the act of choosing specific thoughts, you can consciously make an effort to avoid those thoughts that cause you needless pain and choose more constructive, positive thoughts.

Love Yehuda Lave

What's Better than a Bottle of Wine?

A Metaphorical Journey Into Pleasure and Acceptance By Gitty Stolik

No one has to convince us to pursue pleasurable experiences. If anything, we have to exercise restraint to desist at some point. What would motivate anyone to pursue "pleasureless" joys? In this armchair tour, we explore two genres of joy metaphorically captured in the wine and water libations on Sukkot in the Holy Temple.

A little background is needed about this fascinating ritual.

Generally, wine accompanied specific sacrifices. To a parched soul, water can feel sublime sacrifices. The kohanim ("priests") would pour wine libations into an aperture in the altar to accompany these sacrifices. On Sukkot, they would pour an additional water libation into a specially designated aperture on the altar, used only during this festival.1 The pouring of the water was accompanied by singing and dancing, and was a very joyous celebration that was called Simchat Beis Hashoeva—the joy of the water-drawing ceremony.

Compare wine and water. Wine is a pleasure to the palate and warms up our insides, while water is tasteless (we don't hear anyone raving about its wonderful bouquet). On the other hand, to a parched soul, water can feel sublime in a way that the best wine will not. Sometimes, what we crave is refreshing, restorative water to slake our thirst ... like a Jew's soul thirsts to reconnect to its G‑dly source.

These beverages, besides being functional and flavorful, also have an import on a soul level. Wine and water are metaphors for two paths to serve G‑d. We can serve G‑d the "wine way" or the "water way."

Wine naturally leads to joy. We usher in the joy of Shabbat and holidays with a cup of wine. It has a ta'am—a real "flavor," as we say in Hebrew and Yiddish. The word ta'am has a double meaning: both "taste" and"reason." It's a luscious blend, used to describe the enjoyable, rational way of connecting to G‑d.

Many mitzvahs are comparable to wine. They have a ta'am, an enjoyable "taste," especially when we appreciate the light and delight of the mitzvah. There is a logical reason; they make sense. Thou shalt not covet makes moral sense. Holidays that commemorate historic events have a definite ta'am; we enjoy their flavor and appreciate their reasons. They are self-rewarding.

Then there are mitzvahs that we do without knowing why. G‑d did not offer any rationale for separating milk and meat. We do it without knowing the reason. When we do a mitzvah simply because we are accepting G‑d's will (Kabbalat Ol),we are doing it like soldiers in the army, no questions asked. It seems to be an impoverished, dry action.

What joy is there in that? Isn't joy associated with pleasure, passion and intellectual stimulation?

Admittedly, it's more exciting to do things when we know just what we're excited about. Imagine celebrating a holiday like Passover just because "G‑d said so." Where's the fun in that?

The Kabbalat Ol Wine naturally leads to joyroute seems counterintuitive, and yet this type of joy provides entry into Divine joy. It taps into the limitless reservoirs of the commander-in-chief. G‑d is infinite. Therefore, His joy is boundless; it is a supra-intellectual joy.2

The joy of the water ceremony had no physical pleasure basis. Its joy was completely spiritual, due only to G‑d's command to "draw water with joy."

In the water-drawing ceremony, we redirect our pleasure center, from self-centered to G‑d-centered. In doing so, we give up of ourselves to access something greater, breaking through all boundaries and barriers of creation.

A Way of Life

The wine libations were performed only during the daytime. But the water libations were halachically acceptable at night. This guides our attitude to life.

Serving G‑d with a comprehension-based approach works well for the "daytime." When life conditions shine brightly as the day—and life make sense to us, and our connection feels real—it's as enjoyable as agood wine.

But when we draw close to G‑d in the darkness of the night, in our struggles and challenges, unconditionally and joyfully, despite our lack of comprehension, the prophet Isaiah assures us the drawn waters will become wells of salvation.

Footnotes 1.

There was another, larger aperture on the altar for the nisuch ha'yayin (wine libations) all year. Wine flows more slowly, and so the size of each aperture was custom-designed to allow both libations to take up the same amount of time.


Likutei Sichot 2, p. 426.

By Gitty Stolik Gitty Stolik is a mother and grandmother living in Brooklyn. She is the author of It's OK to Laugh and the editor of Our Vogue, a publication dedicated to highlighting the beauty of Jewish modesty from Torah and chassidic sources. This article is excerpted from her book, New Joy: Response to a Changing World.

Mt. Eval - Joshua's altar

With special permission and accompaniment of the IDF and an armored bus, we will visit one of the most important Biblical archeological sites in the world

.Atop of Mt. Eval, above Shechem in the heart of Samaria, we will be taken to the recently discovered altar, erected by Joshua upon entrance into the Land of Israel over 3,200 years ago.

This is an unusual opportunity and way off the normal touring map.

Shalom Polock invites you on Sunday, Nov.3 for this unique experience.

We shall meet at 9:00 am at the Inbal hotel and return around 6:00.

Bring lunch.

We will have the opportunity to learn about various sites in the Shomron before and after our ascent to Mt Eval, including meeting with the ancient Samaritan community and local Jewish pioneers.

Note: this tour depends upon military permission. If the authorities deem it necessary to cancel at the last minute due to security considerations, we will have to postpone the tour.Cost: 300 shekels

Jerusalem Camping Grounds To Open By Armon Hanetziv

A new camping ground opened Monday in "Hashalom Forrest", which is located on the edge of the Armon Hanetziv neighborhood. The new camping area is in walking distance from the First Station and the Western Wall. This new initiative was taken on by the Tourism Ministry, and was supported by KKL and the Jerusalem Municipality. The goal for this new plan was to combat the shortage of hotel rooms in the city. 

Recently, the "Hashalom Forrest" went through an ecological rehabilitation in order to protect the space as well as make it appropriate for the new camping grounds. The works include arranging trails, installing lighting and electricity infrastructure, arranging sewage and other services, adding active recreational facilities and picnic tables for the public, as well as installing security cameras. These works, which are funded by the Foundation for the Conservation of Open Areas from the Israeli Land Authority, constitute the overall framework that enables the establishment and opening of the camping complex initiated by the Ministry of Tourism.

Happy camping!

Full Story (mynetjerusalem)

Torah New at Four Sephardi Synagogues 100619

In honor of Rabbi Schultz who passed away last year, a new Torah is dedicated to the people of Diaspora and Mount Zion at the famous four Sephardi Synagogues which is nearby in the old city. I, of course, sign up for a letter as part of the mitzvah of writing your own Sefer Torah

See you tomorrow, bli neder

Love Yehuda Lave

Rabbi Yehuda Lave

PO Box 7335, Rehavia Jerusalem 9107202


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