Would You Jump Off the Brooklyn Bridge Just Because All Your Friends Are?

 (watch till the end its only 25 seconds)

Oh man, my mothers words from when I was a kid are ringing in my mind watching this video.  Let's take a deeper look at this clip. The first kid is brave, he is the trailblazer, the next three are just goofballs, but that last kid is one big life lesson wrapped up in a toddlers body. The last one doesn't actually trip, he gets out of the tent just fine and then drops to the ground because thats what everyone else before him did it.  How many times in our lives do we find ourselves with our head on a swivel, looking to see what everyone around us is doing? Then we do exactly what they are doing too. Why? Because thats what everyone around us is doing!  Even when know what they are doing is wrong or a failure, we are compelled to mimic out of fear of being different. 

When I was a younger and debating what trajectory in life I wanted to take, a mentor (I don't think he knew he was a mentor) gave me some sage wisdom.  He said "It is a 100% guarantee that you will make mistakes in life, but learn from my mistakes and be bold enough to make your own mistakes"  

So thanks Tom, I've been enjoying making my own mistakes for many years now.    

Posted on August 4, 2016 .

Moses' Facebook Video

As I watched this little Facebook video it reminded me of a rabbi who I know who told a story of a time when he was sitting in an airport and a man approached him and started chatting him up.

The man, a evangelical christian,  began telling the white bearded co-conversationalist about how the bible has effected his life and how connected to God he feels.  After about 20 minutes of rambling he looks at the good rabbi and apologizes for being rude and talking so much, and asks him what is his relationship with the bible.

The rabbi pauses, my relationship?

      Well, have you ever heard of Aaron, Moses brother, the first Kohen, priest?  I also am a kohen, so Aaron is like my great grandfather, Moses is my uncle.  Thats my relationship!  I am not just reading a fine piece of literature with a nice message, I am looking at my family album.

 When we look at the Torah we see our grandparents, uncles, aunts, and cousins, and yes even the ones who embarrass us a little bit.

Facebook as silly as it may seem, can sometime remind us very serious life lessons.

 

 

Posted on February 10, 2014 .

Save the World of Another


Whoever saves a life, it is considered as if he saved an entire world.

- Babylonian Talmud Tractate Sanhedrin 37a

We easily see how the impact of one person can change the world, not just for another, but for a generation.  Now we must ask ourselves what are we going to do TODAY to change the WORLD of OTHERS?

Posted on February 3, 2014 .

Super Bowl to Super Jew

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Check out this video of Alan Veingrad, two time Super Bowl champion, and his journey into his Jewish identity.  (He won with the GB Packer and the Dallas Cowboys)

Click here to watch Alan tell his story


Posted on February 2, 2014 .

Internal Tug of War: Who Controls You?

A person carries two voices, two souls: The animal soul and the Divine one. In the words of Ecclesiastes, "The human spirit ascends on high; the spirit of the beast descends down into the earth." They are in constant struggle, with the animal soul seeking instant gratification and pleasure (like the Id), and the Divine soul seeking transcendence and unity. The animal spirit wants to be "more animal," hence more self-ego. The Divine spirit wants to be "more Divine," more selfless.

The domain of the animal manifests in the impulsive emotions, while the domain of the Divine spirit rests in the reflective mind, which can control and temper impulsive reactions. A young child for instance, is controlled entirely by emotion, and yells out "I want it and I want it all now." Similarly the animal within us selfishly barks "give, give." As our minds develop we gain the ability to reflect, repress, temper or channel our impulses.

The question of course is, which is our most dominant force?

The answer is the Divine soul. The inner good in man is the most dominant force in our lives. Yet, this force is locked in battle with the animal soul. We have the freedom and the ability to overcome any temptation if we so wish through self control ("moach shalit al halev," the mind’s dominance over the emotions).

Posted on January 15, 2014 .

The Real Face of Beauty

 

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Last week we spoke of the beauty of our Matriarch Sarah. Our tradition teaches that the Eishes Chayil song was composed originally by Abraham as a eulogy, and you can read more about it here, and that her real beauty wasn't because of her face, but the beauty of the soul.  

This woman also has a soul that is filled with faith and love, despite challenges and adversity.  

I know this video is a bit long, just over 10 minutes, but worth the investment of time.  

 

Posted on October 28, 2013 .

A Celestial Symphony

What a great message.  One seemingly small act from one (small) person, can bring about a so much goodness for so many people.  In this case the "effects" are obvious in that hundreds of people are participating and enjoying the music, but one little act of holiness, one little mitzvah has the same effect.  When we choose to add goodness and Godliness into the world we create an celestial symphony .  Now what are we all waiting for, lets get out there and make some soul music!

Posted on October 21, 2013 .