Wednesday, December 31, 2008

JOY (#1)

Simcha Poretz Geder - Simcha/happiness breaks thru all barriers.

We all encounter obstacles in life that appear to block our path to growth and success. Some are external, challenges presented by the world at large, and others are internal, personal problems which hold us back. We often react to these challenges with feelings of anger, hate, depression or despair.
How unproductive that is! Not only are these feelings painful themselves but they also intensify and magnify the problems we face, making the obstacles more difficult to overcome.
Joy, on the other hand, is in itself a pleasant feeling. And more so, it is the key to the inner power of the soul, unlocking personal strength we didn't know we had.

Rabbi Simchah Bunim of Pshische related the following example.

He once saw a man drowning.

There was no way anyone could save him; the person himself had to summon up his inner energy to fight the waves.
At first, the man was struggling vigorously. But he was quickly losing his strenght. Reb Simcha saw a look of despair on the man's face and that he was prepared to give up. With a slight smile, Reb Simcha shouted to the man: "give regards to the Livyoson" (the great whale)

A light smile then broke out on the drowning man's face, and with fresh vitality, he renewed his struggle and persevered until he was able to save himself.

Mitvah -In the time of Moshiach

Hashem wanted to make us righteous therefore he gave us an abundance of torah and mitzvos, to keep us busy from morning to night. Righteousness is a by-product of the mitzvos we do because we have freedom of choice. When we chose to do the right thing we are able to be righteous.
Freedom of choice is a necessary requisite for the concept of a mitzva being fulfilled.
Will we have the ability to make a choice when moshiach comes?
When moshiach comes there will be no challenges, there will be no difficulties, and we will not have the opportunity to make a choice. We will not have the ability or the challenge to decide to do the mitzvah or not to.
We will all be doing exactly what we are supposed to do, we will all be in perfect sync with Hashem's Will, doing the mitzvos, almost robotic. But with that of course comes the loss of thrill when we DO overcome a challenge.
That thrill and accomplishment can only be achieved NOW, in galus.
Not only is it a physical thrill and joy, but a spiritual reward as well, which we will merit to collect when Moshiach comes. The more difficult it is to do the Mitzva now the greater the reward will be then. More of G-dliness will be revealed.
That is why we need to utilize every moment NOW - till moshiach comes - to gather and to collect as many mitzvohs as possible -
For once Moshiach comes the opportunities of galus will be gone.

Mitzvah/Story/King, silverware

There is a story of a king that went hunting and got trapped in the forest. He was lost and badly hurt. As night set in, he pathetically kept crying out for help and miraculously a peasant living in the forest heard his desperate cries.
The peasant lifted the now unrecognizable king and gently brought him back to his hut and tended to his wounds till he regained enough of his own strength to continue on his way. The peasant had no idea that it was the king that he had revived.

The peasant then received a gift of beautiful silverware with a note from the king who was thanking him for his hospitality in the forest and for nursing him back to his health.

The simple man was shocked. The king?? He had hosted the king in his dilapidated hut?? And the gift, looking totally out of place in his poor home was put on a corner shelf and forgotten about.

One day, the King sent a message to his rescuer that he would like to visit him in his home and thank him personally.

When the simple man heard that the king was coming, he was overcome with anxiety. How can he welcome His Majesty into his impoverished shack?? This was no place for a royal king!! He looked around for something that would be presentable for someone of such stature. He then remembered the gift that he had received from the king earlier. Realizing that this grand gift was something the king can surely appreciate, he happily placed it on the table and awaited the king's arrival.

This time, when the king came, he was royally dressed as is fit for a king. Feeling ashamed at the sorry welcome he was offering the king. "My deepest apologies, Your Highness" He said. " My home is but the simplest of homes. My food? Your dogs surely have tasted better. With what can I serve the king? I have nothing that can impress His Majesty. The ONLY thing I thought appropriately honorable was something that His Majesty himself sent to me."

And the king smiled.

With what can we honor G-d? ONLY with what HE Himself gave to us - His Mitzvos.

Monday, December 29, 2008

very funny

Moishy texts me: "The economy's so rough, people are standing behind President Bush just to get the free shoes."

Mitzvah/ Perek daled tanya (end of)

"Torah is one and the same with G-d" And both are incomprehensible.

Torah descended through levels, till this world, and it clothed itself in material matters which includes almost all the Torah's commandments and its laws.
Nearly all of the mitzvos involve material objects: Tzitizit are made of wool, tefillin of leather, and so on.
Meaning, that G-d's Will and wisdom, which is basically His essence, are clothed in His Torah and Mitzvos.
So although G-d and His wisdom are beyond man's reach, they are now made accessible to us because they are enclothed in physical objects.

So we may think that when we are doing a Mitzva we are only connected to the lowly material level of G-d and not G-d's essence. Yet it is not so. It is like one who embraces a king. There is no difference in the degree of his closeness and attachment to the king whether he embraces him when the king is wearing one robe or many robes, since the king's body is in them.

The reward in the world to come consists of the soul enjoying the radiance of the Divine Presence, the pleasure in comprehending G-dliness. But it is ONLY a glimmer, a ray of the Divine light. In this world though, through our performing Torah and Mitzvos, we are united with G-d Himself.

Mitzvah(theme)/ Pshat

A Mitzvah, is a Hebrew word which means "commandment" and "connection."
The Mitzvahs are, 613 of, G-d's commandments to the Jewish people.
Mitzvohs are the ultimate expression of our relationship with G-d. There's no set place and time that's just for G-d, every place and time can shout out "G-d!" And that's the idea of the Mitzvah. For "Mitzvah" doesn't just mean "commandment": it also means "connection". You are connected to G-d.
When you do a Mitzvah, you're expressing that connection.

There are 248 positive mitzvohs and 365 negative mitzvohs.
They can also be divided into Ethical and Ritual categories: Ethical Mitzvahs tells us how to interact with fellow humans, such as not taking revenge or hurting orphans, and Ritual Mitzvahs teach us how to interact with G-d, such as keeping Shabbat or building a Sukkah.
The Torah decides what is ethical, not our conscience. So ethical Mitzvahs are often difficult to observe, because violating them is easy to rationalize. But observe them we must, for they carry just as much weight as any other Mitzvah. And to observe them of course, (solely) because G-d commanded us to - and we want to be connected to Him.

Have a blessed day.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Vayigash Yehuda...

Yehuda approached Yosef and said,

".......for you are equal to Pharoh"

Rashi: "If you will provoke me -
I will kill you - AND your master"

Gotta love the guy.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Chanuka/Looking for Moshiach in Chanuka

Everything is connected to Moshiach and the Redemption. In fact, the Rebbe stated clearly that it is natural for a person who is involved every day in yearning for the coming of Moshiach to look for a connection to Moshiach's coming in every event he encounters.

This also applies to Chanuka. And since we are in the days of Chanuka it is appropriate to look at the Festival of Lights with "Moshiach eyes."

Since the Chanuka miracle took place in the Holy Temple, its celebration arouses an even greater yearning for the time when the menora will be kindled again in the Third Holy Temple.

Similarly, there is a connection between the above and this week's portion, Mikeitz.

When we hear the name Mikeitz, because we are constantly yearning for Moshiach's coming, we immediately associate it with the word "keitz" which refers to the time for Moshiach's coming.

Also on Shabbat, when the Haftorah will be read and we will hear the vision for the Menora mentioned, we once again immediately associate it with the menora of the Holy Temple.

Let us all join together on Chanuka this year in the lighting of the Chanuka menoras, large and small, public and private. And as we light the menora let us envision ourselves watching the lighting of the rededicated menora in the Third and Eternal Holy Temple.

The Baal Shem Tov taught, "In the place where a person wants to be, that is where he will be found." May we all be found together in the Holy Temple this Chanuka!

Chanuka/The fire in the flint

Chanukah expresses the power of Judaism to survive the forces of assimilation. At the time of the Maccabees many Jews had adopted the Greek way of life. They abandoned Judaism completely and worshipped idols together with the Greeks. However, the Maccabees succeeded in reminding people that they were Jews.

According to Chassidic teaching, within each Jew is a spark of the Divine which cannot be extinguished. It is compared to the 'fire in the flint'. A glowing coal contains fire, but if it is put into water the fire is extinguished. A flintstone has the power to produce fire, and this power is not effected by the way the stone is treated. It can be immersed in water for a long time, and when it is removed it still has the power to produce a spark. The 'fire in the flint' is always present as a potential force.

In the same way, Judaism is always present as a potentially powerful force in the life of any Jew, however remote he or she may have become from Jewish life. The single flask of pure oil which was found in the Temple, and the Chanukah lights which it fuels, represent the eternal Jewish flame which might be hidden but cannot be put out. It is simply waiting for the opportunity to express its beautiful radiance.

This past week....

a klutz kasheh question & answer @ theme

@ stands for 'at'

I didn't have a brochure @ how to light the menorah.....

I told you before, "@" stands for "at", not "about"

Unprecedented compliments @ today's shiur

fyi, in yiddish @ means about -btw

LOLL!!! (literally)

The baal Shem tov taught, " In the place......
And btw I, Moshe, taught that @ means "about" in the Yiddish language.

I hope it's previewed....otherwise, oh my.

stay tuned...

Monday, December 22, 2008

Reporting Live :

Police helicopter.
Tens of Police cars.
Policemen running to and fro.
Suspects face down on the ground.
Police guns' drawn.
Suspects in custody.
Tourist snapping pictures.
Helicopter checking, maybe one more suspect.
Street blocked off.
Suspects being identified, by potential witnesses.


One hour later:
Still searching for 4th suspect.
Brought the canines in to sniff.
Had them check out garage.
Officer asks to use restroom.
Neighbours cant go home.

Darkness has set in.
With no 4th suspect found, as of yet.

(And we gave them sufganiot.
The Police. Not the suspects.)
On describing Chassidus...

"...the levels, the attributes, the angels - all fly way over my head."
"I like long walks, especially when they are taken by people who annoy me."

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Chanukah/Based on the Rebbe's Letter

The eternal lights of Chanuka have eternal messages for us:
The candles are kindled when the sun sets. When darkness falls outside it is then time to light up our homes with the holy Chanuka lights, symbolizing the eternal lights of Torah and Mitzvos.
The location - that they be visible also outside - further indicates that the Torah and Mitzvos not be confined within the walls of the home, but must shine forth also outside.
Another important lesson is that however satisfactory the observance of Torah and Mitzvos may be on one day, a Jew is expected to do better the next day, and still better the day after. There is always room for improvement in the matters of goodness and holiness, which are infinite, being derived from The Infinite.
This too is emphasized by the Chanuka lights. For to fulfill the Mitzva of candle-lighting on the first night of Chanuka is to light one candle, yet the next night of Chanuka it is required to light two candles, and when another day passes even the higher standard of the previous day is no longer adequate, and an additional light is called for, and so on, to increase the light from day to day.

Chanukah/The significance of eight

Seven symbolizes the Natural order, for G-d created the world in six days and rested on the seventh; Shabbos. Eight, symbolizes the Super-natural. The Human intelligence is limited to the Natural order; anything which is above and beyond Nature is also above and beyond human understanding. G-d, is obviously over and above Nature. We therefore cannot understand G-d, or his ways.

The Torah and Mitzvoth, which contain G-d's wisdom and will, are also beyond our understanding, but the more Torah we learn and the more Mitzvoth we observe, the more we become attached to G-d.. By being attached to G-d, we are no longer limited to our OWN human resources, but are now able to draw from the unlimited of G-d's wisdom.

At the time of Chanukah, the Jewish people were challenged to this view and way of life. The Greek philosophers believed that there was nothing higher than the human intelligence. They did not believe in the true G-d, the Creator, because they did not understand G-d, and according to them, anything that could not be understood was not to be believed.

King Antiochus wanted to force the Jews to give up the Mitzvoth which seemed "unreasonable" to him. Like the Mitzvah of the Bris which is done on the eighth day. Antiochus had vast armies, ready to put to death any Jew who disobeyed his orders, which now put the whole future of the Jewish people in great danger. Fortunately, a handful of Jews, led by Mattisyohu and his sons, openly resisted Antiochus. They kindled the flame of true faith in G-d, and with G-d's help they were victorious for they would not compromise with the enemy.

The miraculous victory of the Jews against the Greeks was not only in the battlefield, but a great spiritual victory, the victory of light over darkness. And the one little cruse of pure olive oil, miraculously lasted for eight days, instead of one.

The eight Chanukah lights, reminds us that the true approach to Torah and Mitzvoth is not through the limited human intelligence, but rather through the actual fulfillment of the Mitzvoth first and foremost.

Monday, December 15, 2008



Random Texts, random order..

Can't keep'm all - no room. Very random, very few...


There was just a bomb. Im ok i was in middle of learning chassidis

If you think breaking down 5 times is not enough then it was 6 times!

On the way to oslo stop will kill arafat stop or henchmen stop good shabbos stop this is my version of tel

eh ignoring my text messages will get you NOWHERE

: I stand corrected. It WILL get u somewhere. Into big trouble. Ubber BIG!

I told her how much i used to enjoy reading her emails

T..W.. tefillin bag is right in front of me. Im so tempted to take a pic but im too worried ill be caught red

Call me if ur bored and interested in reading to me from the english siddur....

You won't believe this but i'm holding a baby now

As long as it says alav hasholom - kinahoog bihespeidim

Wow! Great article! - no-none of the galachim will be there- so noone can come

Safe trip! Its free so y not(uh! Maybe not free, oh well!) hee! Hee!

Hows my dvar malchus doing

"Beside You I wish for nothing,"

"I want nothing at all!
I don't want Your Gan Eden, I don't
want Your Olam Haba...
I want nothing but You alone."

The Alter Rebbe

Sunday, December 14, 2008

"I am an artist. I paint with words."


Holy guacamole! (That's from the Texan Rabbi)

The Israeli CIA is back, looking for Av...

(What about you?)
Not to do it davka because you know the joy it will cause!?!

(Doesn't sound very nice, to me.)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

The answer Yeduha Avner is...

So the answer is:

Shir shel yom!!
One must stop and think what day it is!

Hey, Yehuda Avner, did you hear that?

CIA - Shpy.

The Sabra said not to be scared.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Forget sand house, we're gonna have SMELLY house.

Venice Blvd.

Moshe'le's place - Venice Beach.


Highest of all is CHASSID,

..... and here there are three levels:

(a) Worldly affairs do not disturb or distract him. Every individual can, and every individual must, attain this level.

(b) All his affairs "are G-dliness." Though this level "is not distant from you etc.," it is still not within everyone's reach.

(c) The level described in Tikunei Zohar, "Who is a chassid? He who conducts himself with benevolence towards his Creator -towards His nest" - which means that he seeks to unite the Holy One blessed be He, and His Shechina within those who dwell in the lower worlds - not merely to quench the thirst of his own soul; as explained in Tanya.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Which Tefilla is impossible to say without thinking?

Yehuda Avner

Israel - beware!
Norway - you too watch out!

Oy, I'm a bit scared.
No one can do anything to me, right?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Too Old To Be Young


SOOO Happy With This Email Today!

Every issue, we usually end up having to pull a few articles at the last minute because there was not enough space. So your article will not be in the Kislev issue, but it will IY"H be used for....

Yay! B"H.
Now I can totally pull out!

And -
The End. Bli neder.
(This time for real.)


Monday, December 8, 2008

A gutten geburtztog....

To the Judge and Moshe'le.
Whatta farbrengen haya lanu.
Whatta Mentch and a half!
He came with his sweet demeanor,
a Shehechiyonu,
a vort,
a mayse,
a lesson and more.


Sunday, December 7, 2008

An idea lost to fanatics

For The Beginning....

....The hallmark of Chabad's approach is an openness to -- indeed, an embrace of -- the modern world, while insisting that it make a place for their deeply traditional religious devotion. Around the world, including in Los Angeles, Lubavitcher Hasidim are living precisely the sort of lives the jihadi ideology insists are impossible. Culturally, they participate fully in the pluralist democracies, while privately, they profess fully a deeply traditional spirituality. Faithful to their own long history, they are valued and good neighbors to others.

Zalman taught his followers that their G-d desires the development of their minds as well as their hearts. The fully realized human intellect, he argued, was built on da'at (knowledge), bina (understanding) and chochma (wisdom).

It's hard to imagine a more stinging defeat for the Mumbai killers than the fact that a movement of faith founded on such an idea has endured in fidelity to its traditions for more than two centuries, and will continue to thrive when, as the old Yiddish expression goes, the names and memories of the murderers have been erased.

(LA Times, Tim Rutten)

Thank you Kandice

To Rabbi Shimon Rosenberg, (Rifkie Holtzberg's father)

You stood before the entire nation;

In pain -
yet proud.

Suffering -
yet whole.

Broken -
yet maintaining your faith.

In your merit I became a Jew.


It's -
"mom-bay" (rhyming with Bombay)

Or -
"moom-buye" (the Israeli way).

But NOT -
"mom-buye" (that's just wrong!).

A Postcard from Manchester, England.

Regretting that I "gave in".
Especially now.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Just before they left the building, the Zaka volunteers had the presence of mind to take a suitcase full of toys belonging to Moisheh Holtzberg. Let him at least have his toys....

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Ein Milim...

Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky:

Ma nomar uma nedaber

Ein ma l'hagid

This is not the time to ask questions, this is not the time to think.

The Rebbe taught us;
A little candle in a room lights up the whole room.
But such brutal darkness must be combated with torches!
Torches of goodness and kindness. And light!

We will get together on Chanuka, around the world,
for a night when we will celebrate the lights of the Holtzbergs.

* * *

Gavriel Noach & Rivka Holtzberg (Ner H')