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
His column now also runs in the Times of Israel. Watch for it
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To make an unpleasant event more enjoyable, CHOOSE to do whatever it is you have to do. Instead of saying, "I hate this, it's so hard," tell yourself, "I've CHOSEN this! I WANT to do my taxes/exercise, etc."
Do we still need a Rabbi in the 21st century?
21st Century Synagogue
MONDAY MORNING IN SHUL: "Will everyone please turn on their tablet, PC, iPad, smart phone, and Kindles to Art Scroll page 232. And please switch on your Bluetooth to download the sermon."
"Now, let us daven. Open your Apps, BBM, Twitter and Facebook, and chat with God"
"As we accept your kind tzedakah donations, please have your credit and debit cards ready."
"You can log on to the Shul Wi-Fi using the password 'Hashem18.' The Shammes will circulate mobile card swipe machines among the congregants:
Those who prefer to make electronic fund transfers are directed to computers and laptops at the rear of the Shul.
Those who prefer to use iPads can open them.
Those who prefer telephone banking, take out your cell phones to transfer your contributions to the Shul account."
This week's shiur will be held on the various Facebook group pages where the usual group chatting takes place. Please log in and don't miss out.
Thursday's Talmud Torah study will be held live on Skype at 1900hrs GMT. Please don't miss out.
You can follow the Rabbi on Twitter this weekend for counselling and prayers.
Minyan in Flatbush on 15th street
Shavua tov......my friend......Yehuda thanks for the "Porch MinYanim in Brooklyn.........Here is a follow up sincere story for you, and your readers......Someone came to the minyan in Flatbush on 15th St. by car with New Jersey license plates.....My nephew Daniel asked him, why? there are minyanim in Monsey and other much closer places.....WHY ? to drive more than ONE hour every morning....and NOT work in the neighborhood, but drive all the way back to Teaneck, New Jersey? The answer was, his father-in-law had passed, and his mother-in-law lived right around the corner and that man had been a minyenaire his entire life, in THAT section of Brooklyn.....and he was saying the Kaddish for him. Please, Yehuda, this IS a very RARE......TOP story....Also. THIS minyan started with ten people and now there are 40 plus..with proper distances..etc. a REAL Kiddush HaShem.....wishing YOU a SAFE week and Chodesh Tov...plus Chag Sameach.... Your reader and friend michael in Montreal., Canada.
The powerful story of the Chanukah Song "Ma'oz Tzur"
First a story of a man in an accident:
Shmuel had a bad car accident involving a large truck. Weeks later, in court, the trucking company's fancy lawyer was questioning Shmuel.
"Didn't you say, at the scene of the accident, 'I'm fine,'?" asked the lawyer. Shmuel responded, "Vell, I'll tell you vat happened. I just put my dog Moishele, into the..." "I didn't ask for any details", the lawyer interrupted. "Just answer the question.
Did you not say, at the scene of the accident, 'I'm fine!'?" Shmuel said, "Vell, I just got Moishele into the car and vas driving down the road...."
The lawyer interrupted again and said, "Judge, I am trying to establish the fact that, at the scene of the accident, this man told the Highway Patrolman on the scene that he was just fine. Now several weeks after the accident he is trying to sue my client. I believe he is a fraud. Please tell him to simply answer the question."
By this time, the Judge was fairly interested in Shmuel's answer and said to the lawyer, "I'd like to hear what he has to say about his dog Moishele".
Shmuel thanked the Judge and proceeded. "Vell, like I was saying, I just loaded Moishele, my lovely hundteleh (dog), into the car and vas driving him down the highway when this huge semi-truck and trailer ran the stop sign and smacked my truck right in the side. I was thrown into one ditch and Moishele vas thrown into the other. I was hurting, real bad and didn't want to move.
However, I heard Moishele moaning and groaning. I knew he vas in terrible shape just by his groans. Den a Highway Patrolman came along. He could hear Moishele moaning and groaning so he vent over to him. After he looked at him, and saw vat terrible condition Moishele was in, he took out his gun and shoots him between the eyes.
Den the Patrolman comes across the road, gun still in hand, looks at me and says, "How you feeling?" "Nu, Judge, vat vould you say?
Ma'oz Tzur" (Hebrew: מָעוֹז צוּר Māʾōz Ṣūr) is a Jewish liturgical poem or In Hebrew a piyyut. It is sung on the holiday of Hanukah, after lighting the festival lights. The name is a reference to the Hasmonean stronghold of Beth Tzur. This Hebrew song is thought to have been written sometime in the 13th century. It was originally sung only in the home, but has been used in the synagogue since the nineteenth century or earlier.
While nearly Jew knows the song, because of the popularity of Chanukah, I was recently sent a story about the background of the song which may be true:
A Talmud Chacham in England, R' Mordechai Ginsburg wrote a Kuntrus in honor of Chanukah Mordechai. In it he wrote something that is in unbelievable.
He wrote that in the year 1293 of the secular calendar, there was a terrible person named Frederick. He was part of the Crusades. The Crusades, of course was a group of individuals who formed an army, followed the mission of the holy church to take back the holy land of Israel from the Muslims. They went from town to town and butchered thousands of Jews. When they came to the town of Nirenberg, they were greeted by this Tzadik, R Mordechai Ben R' Hillel Ashkenazi. Frederick spoke to him and said, "I want your village to accept upon themselves our religion". R' Mordechai said, "There is nothing to talk about". He said, "I want you to know I will gather them in square tomorrow. Either they will convert or they will be put to death".
The next day he asked "Will you accept our religion?", and they all answered in one voice, Hear All Israel, the Lord our G-d is One ("Shema Yisroel Hashem Elokeinu Hashem echad"). He proceeded to kill every single one of the 760 souls that gave up their lives for Kiddush Hashem. The gematria of the Hebrew, "Nikmas dam avadecha", to avenge the blood of your servants that have been spilled is 760. R' Mordechai told him, "You think you will break us. You will never break us. I am proud and joyous to be part of a nation that no matter what you do to our bodies, you will never destroy our souls". That night he composed this Mizmor of Maoz Tzur.
Paragraph after paragraph in the song, we talk about a villain that tries to destroy the Jewish people and fails miserable because "The G-d of Israel is not false".
The hymn is named for its Hebrew , which means "Stronghold of Rock" and is a name for G-d.
The above story may be true because "Ma'oz Tzur" is thought to have been written in the 13th century, during the Crusades. The first letters of the first five stanzas form an acrostic of the composer's name, Mordechai (the five Hebrew letters מרדכי).
The poem recalls the many times when Jewish communities were saved from the people around them.
And now that we talked of Chunakah let's tell a short story of Passover:
21st Century Chametz Cleaning Tips
1.. Open a new file in your PC.
2.. Name it "Chametz."
3.. Send it to the RECYCLE BIN.
4.. Empty the RECYCLE BIN.
5.. Your PC will ask you, "Are you sure you want to delete Chametz permanently?"
6.. Calmly answer, "Yes," and press the mouse button firmly....
7.. Feel better?
Works every time!
'Most Visible Jews' Fear Being Targets as Anti-Semitism Rises
Anxiety is increasing in Jewish communities around the United States, fueled in part by deadly attacks on synagogues in Poway, Calif., last April and in Pittsburgh in 2018. Anti-Semitic violence in the New York area has been more frequent lately than at any time in recent memory, with three people killed in a shooting at a kosher supermarket in Jersey City, N.J., and five injured in a knife attack at a rabbi's home in Monsey, N.Y.
But the rise of anti-Semitism has affected different parts of the Jewish community differently. Although synagogues of all denominations have been subjected to threats or vandalism, community leaders say the risk of street violence is greater for Orthodox Jews who wear religious clothing like yarmulkes; black suits and hats; and wigs or other hair coverings in their daily lives.
"We know there are over one million Jews in New York City alone, and a couple hundred thousand of those are Orthodox," said Jonathan Greenblatt, the chief executive of the Anti-Defamation League, using a term that encompasses Modern Orthodox as well as Hasidic Jews. "They are being singled out in disproportionate numbers to their percentage of the population."
Jewish people were the victims in more than half of the 428 hate crimes in New York City last year, with many of the crimes committed in heavily Orthodox neighborhoods, according to the Police Department. Community leaders said most of the victims in the Monsey and Jersey City attacks were Orthodox. No organization tracks the number of attacks on Orthodox Jews, said Jennifer Packer, a spokeswoman for the Orthodox Union Advocacy Center. But Jewish leaders said the heightened risk to the Orthodox was clear in the pattern of incidents.
Community leaders said that the violence reminded them of anti-Semitic acts in Europe, where in recent years Jews have been attacked by followers of the far right in Germany and killed by jihadists at places like the Jewish museum in Belgium. "We thought the things that happen in Europe would never happen in the United States and definitely not in New York City," said Rabbi David Niederman, the president of United Jewish Organizations of Williamsburg and North Brooklyn. One of those killed in Jersey City, Moshe Deutsch, volunteered for his organization. "But unfortunately, we were in dreamland."
Most of the anti-Semitic incidents in New York have not been perpetrated by jihadists or far-right extremists, but by young African-American men, Mr. Greenblatt said. Local leaders said that phenomenon grows out of tension in areas where longstanding African-American and Jewish communities have been squeezed by gentrification. "Sometimes people want to blame different groups for the fact that they are being priced out of the neighborhood, but the Jewish community is not to blame for that because the Jewish community is being priced out too," he said. "That's why they went to Jersey City." [NYT]
Israeli-made x-ray capsule identifies warning signs of colorectal cancer