Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Torah As A Cell Phone

Sent by R.B.Y.F.

Ever wonder what would happen if we treated Torah as we treat our cell phone?

What if we carried it around in our purses or pockets?

What if we flipped through it several time a day?

What if we turned back to go get it if we forgot it?

What if we used it to receive messages from the text?

What if we treated it as if we couldn’t live without it?

What if we gave it to Kids as gifts?

What if we used it when we traveled?

What if we used it in case of emergency?

This is something to make you go….hmm…just where is my Torah today?

Oh, and ooooooone more thing.

Unlike our cell phone, we don’t have to worry about Torah being disconnected because its calls never fail.

Makes you stop and think ‘where are my priorities’?

No dropped calls!

No worries about running out of power-recharging it. It constantly recharges you !!

No misdialed or wrong connection etc !!

Can be totally concealed in you.

Can be used without Hardware.

No activation or usage fees.

Free Nights and Days 365.

Free Text.

Unlimited amount of users.

Always connects to the President/CEO/CFO 24/7.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Big Bake Sale!

Guys - you're not invited.


Message I was asked to post by a good friend of mine ... and Hashem.

Some very holy girls are planning another bakesale.... A question was asked as to why we make brachos before acting out mitzvos. We make a bracha for lulav, we make a bracha for matza,we make a bracha for all the mitzvos were about to do. We step back and focus on this amazing opportunityHashem gave to us to fulfill this mitzvah........But there is one mitzvah where Hashem says, do not hesitate!!! Don't even take a minute to think of Me or bless Me just do it! And that mitzvah is the mitzvah of tzedaka. Hashem is trying to show klal yisroel that we should always be quick to help out our fellow Jews and we should do it with zrizus.without any hesitation!

IyH on June 6, 2:30-6:00 there will be a bake sale for Shaalva. They are planning a trip for the children to a park with all sorts of fungames and rides and we have the zechus of contributing to this superawesome fun day that's really going to brighten up their cute littlefaces!!!! So bake ur goods and bring 'em over!! It'll be a great way to do chessed and bring something home for your family for shavuos!!!!!!!

JUNE 6 2011 -


Saturday, May 28, 2011

“A blessed thing it is for any man or woman to have a friend, one human soul whom we can trust utterly, who knows the best and worst of us, and who loves us in spite of all our faults.”

I thank all of my sweet friends for the encouraging emails and telephone calls. The email I wrote reached very far places and was told that Baruch Hashem there was nothing in it construed as disrespectful.

I Can't Tell You What I Know About That Guy!

Some time ago I was talking to a man and during the course of our conversation I mentioned a name. He rolled his eyes and said - "Don't get me started on that guy!"

AHHHHHHHH, classic! A classic case of "avak lashon hara" [the dust of lashon hara]. Not as bad as actual lashon hara but still strictly forbidden. Another example is "I have some terrible things to tell you about that person - but I won't because it's lashon hara." A no-no.

Also, talking about who "came out of the closet" can be lashon hara [depending on the shittos of "apei tlasa"] and is CERTAINLY immodest. Why talk about someone's preferences?

שומר פיו ולשונו שומר מצרות נפשו
“If the essence of my being has caused a smile to have appeared upon your face or a touch of joy within your heart. Then in living - I have made my mark.”

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Ki'ish Echad

The first parsha of Sefer Bamidbar tells us about the census that was taken in the second year after the exodus. Immediately following we read about the division and formation of the tribes that the informed the way they camped as well as the order in which they traveled. In understanding how the division of the tribes almost paradoxically unties the nation, we will discover Judaism’s unique way of elevating the individual while establishing unity and equality among all members of klal Yisrael.

Many commentaries grapple with the question of why the Jewish people had to wait so long after leaving Egypt before they would be divided into this formation that is described in detail in our parsha. An oft-quoted answer suggested by Rav Yaakov Kaminetsky is that the people were only ready to accept the very defined and almost hierarchical order of the Jews encampment after the Mishkan was in place, after the people understood that they were all servants to Hashem and their position in this formation would enable them to best fulfill their particular duties.

Rav Mordechai Willig notes that the same words, k’ish echad belev echad (like one man with one heart), that Rashi uses to describe the condition of the Jewish people before receiving the Torah is used to describe the Egyptians during their pursuit of the Jewish people during Yitziyat Mitzrayim. The difference between the two nations, Rav Willig suggests, is that the Egyptians were united in that they had the same goal – to capture the Jews. The unity of Klal Yisrael runs far deeper – they share one heart even when their individual, more immediate goals are not exactly the same.

In fact we learn in our parsha that although we are unified in our ultimate goal – to serve Hashem - the specific goals of the individual members of Klal Yisrael should not be the same. The Torah tells us: The children of Israel shall encamp each man by his division with the flag staffs of their fathers' house; some distance from the Tent of Meeting they shall encamp (2:2). In a deeper sense, “their father’s house” refers to Yaakov Avinu. As Rabbi Fischer expresses to beautifully: The tribes of Israel are like the branches of a tree, subdividing from their common root. To combine their varied strengths, they must remain focused on Yaakov and the Torah.

Rav Schwabb notes, that the division of the camp was exemplar in that there was no strife among the tribes even as they were being placed, some in more optimal positions than others. The reason for this is that each tribe accepted its role, and could take pride in the fact that they were fulfilling their role –each one of equal importance as the next.Perhaps for this reason we see that the word shalom, peace, comes from the root word shalem that means completion or wholeness. It is when we understand that we are part of the whole, and we are a necessary piece that completes the whole – it is then that we do not feel jealousy, strife, or division – but instead feel united in the differences between us. In a similar vein, Rav Nevenzhal explains that the word echad (one) parallels the word achdut (unity) – because when we recognize our individual potential to be part of the whole that we feel obliged to, responsible for, and thankful of what others offer and contribute.

From this perspective we can also understand why each tribe needed its own degel (flag) to mark its identity within the nation. The flags signified that each tribe not only had its own identity, but its own specific tasks and duties – of which the tribe was not only capable but also proud to do. According to the Midrash, the practice of having tribal flags were initiated by the people in hopes to mimic the angels that descended with Hashem at Har Sinai:

The Jews [seeing how the angels served G-d with flags] began to crave to make flags [to serve G-d] and said G-d, similarly we will make flags just like the angels’” (Bamidbar Rabbah 2:3)

Chazal tell us that the angels are all united in that they have the sole purpose of serving Hashem, following His command with complete dedication. And yet, each angel has a specific task that is designated for him alone. And so it is with the Jewish people that we mimic the angels in this way - in recognizing our specific goals within the larger framework of fulfilling ratzon Hashem (will of Hashem). With this we understand that while we must we all strive to serve Hashem to the best of our abilities, we must also recognize that we each have different strengths, different circumstances, and different roles to fill - and so we must all embark on slightly different paths with particular pursuits and goals.

Finally we can presume why the census was taken at this time – as it express this very theme of balance between individuality and unity. At once the census acknowledges and elevates the significance of the individual, while at the same time equalizing all individuals as each member makes up the same amount of the greater mass. This duality is the essence of our people - our individuality and uniqueness are necessary to include us in the census, to make us part of the greater whole.

Rav Moshe Feinstein notes that there is an inherent connection between the counting found in our parsha that we always read during this time of year and the upcoming holiday of Shavuot. He explains that an individual must feel a sense of greatness, significance, and elevation before he is able to accept the Torah. We must be motivated to each find our portion of Torah, as we say every shabbas and Yom Tov in our tefila – veten chelkenu be’toratecha – we ask that Hashem give us our portion of Torah. We must also work to discover what our duties are and how we can best accomplish these goals.

Let us internalize this lesson in the days leading up to Shavuot—to be able to appreciate our individuality in recognizing the importance of our place in the community. The Jewish nation is often compared to one body - perhaps a new understanding of Rashi's famous words - like one body with one heart - each person is a limb or an organ that is vital to life of the entire body - each of us equally important though we may look and even function very differently. It is when we feel at peace with ourselves that we are fulfilling our task that there can be harmony among all individuals. Let us not judge or belittle ourselves, but take pride in every step we take - large and small. At the same time let us train ourselves not to judge another individual's approach or even practices of Judaism – but instead let us learn from, admire, and appreciate how each of us channel our individual strengths and abilities to serve Hashem and to play our role as part of the Jewish nation.

Shabbat Shalom, Taly

Serious Infraction

The Chovos Halevavos says something simply frightening [based apparently on a Medrash]. If Reuven speaks lashon hara about Shimon, Reuven passes on to Shimon his mitzvos and receives in return Shimon's aveiros. What is the rationale behind this? We don't find this stated about any other aveira.

The Michtav Me'eliyahu in volume 4 page 20 and 213 attempts to explain, but with all due respect to the revered author - I am not convinced that his explanation is the correct one.

So if anybody has anything else to offer - I'd love to hear.

But what is clear is that lashon hara should be avoided at all costs. The halacha is that one must give up all of his money [if need be] in order not to speak lashon hara.

Why Not!

Many of you know what has transpired in my personal life. I guess some would like me to comment. So I will be quoting JFK.

"Some people look to the past and say, "Why". I look to the future and say "Why not"!

We have plans to do great things for Hashem and His Torah. It's cooking.

[For those who like juicy loshon hara, there are sadly many such sites. We at Mevakesh TRY to say ONLY good and positive things!!:)]

כי מאתך היא מנוחתם

On Shabbos we say at Mincha "yakira banecha vi'yedu ki may'etcha hee minuchasam" - Your sons should recognize that from you is their rest. Why is it important to know that our rest is from Hashem? The important thing is that we rest. Why do we care from whence the rest emantes?

There is a rest of sleeping, relaxing and chilling.

And there is a rest of returning to your true self. Not trying to be "out there". Not trying to be someone you are not. A rest of connecting to that deep, holy part inside of you.

That second type of rest is the rest that comes from Hashem. We must know that our rest emanates from the source.

Based on the Torah of the "Fired'ike Rebbe" of Yerushalayim.

A Possible Case Of Rechilus

The following is based on an article written by Rav Avrohom Genechovski [one of the greatest Talmidei Chachomim on the planet. A genius of magnificent proportions] in the Habe'er journal [5764].

Reuven told Shimon a secret and asked him to keep it a secret. Shimon told Levi the secret and Levi reported back to Reuven that Shimon related the secret. Is Reuven permitted to rebuke Shimon? If he does, Shimon will understand that Levi told Reuven what Shimon had done. Telling "A" what "B" did to him or said about him is a biblical prohibition called "rechilus". So here maybe it is rechilus about Levi if Reuven rebukes Shimon.

The goal of Reuven is not to harm Levi but to rebuke Shimon, but nevertheless he is [indirectly] saying rechilus about Levi. Even though he doesn't intend it as rechilus and one could argue that it is a "davar she'aino miskavein" an unintended prohibition which is permitted on Shabbos - maybe davar she'aino miskavein isn't permitted in the realm of interpersonal relationships.

Maybe one could argue that is permitted because there is a benefit [toeles] and rechilus is permitted li'toeles. But here the toeles is for the teller and that is not permitted, just as if a boss says to his employee "Either tell me lashon hara or I will fire you" he is not allowed to tell because it is for his own personal benefit.

Maybe Reuven can tell Shimon that a person who overheard Shimon telling the secret to Levi told him [Reuven], but that would only work if Shimon would buy into the story. If Levi says that he doesn't remember if anyone overheard Shimon speaking, there is also the possibility that Shimon told other people so he wouldn't automatically know it was Levi. This would be a classic case of sfek sfeika - double doubt, which is normally permitted. But we NEVER find that in areas of interpersonal relationships sfek sfeikas are permitted.

Bottom line - the halacha is not clear.

So keep secrets - secret.


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

To Daven Means ....

I am going to daven now and felt that first I must add this to the previous post.

Davening is about loving and caring about every Jew on the planet and beseeching Hashem that everybody should be blessed with goodness. Not to love every Jew is NOT TO DAVEN.

And the Goyim too. As we mentioned recently [I think] - "Hodoo lashem kiru bishmo hodee'u bo'amim alilosav" - Thank Hashem call out his name, tell THE NATIONS His great deeds. Every man in China MUST know about the G-d of Israel.

We have to care enough to tell them.

[Based on Rav Kook]

L and B!

Forgetting About Ourselves

We daven shmoneh esrei three times a day in the PLURAL form in order that we realize that the world doesn't revolve solely around ourselves. Problem is, what are we often thinking about as we are saying the words?


To daven properly is to FORGET about ourselves for a few minutes and think about the world at large. And primarily - Hashem.

Yes - davening is about Hashem. Connection to Him and a realization that He runs the show.

Holding On

“Holding on to anger, resentment and hurt only gives you tense muscles, a headache and a sore jaw from clenching your teeth. Forgiveness gives you back the laughter and the lightness in your life.”

When Chazal tell us to forgive our friends [and enemies!] it is not only for the benefit of the forgiven but also for the benefit of the forgiver. The Rambam [hilchos tshuva] says that the way of merciful Jews is to forgive. Hashem gave us a nature that enables us to live less stressful lives.

A MAJOR halachic monograph on burning tefillin chas vi'chalila for a choleh with a contagious disease, over at "shmatsabaitlusa".

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

2 Types Of Tshuva

There are 2 types of tshuva - Tshuva Tata'a and Tshuva Ela'a.

Tshuva Tata'a is a lower tshuva, meaning that I sinned against Hashem and feel terrible about it.

Tshuva Eela'a is a higher tshuva, meaning that I feel far from Hashem. My neshama was close to Hashem before it descended into my body and YEARNS to return to its elevated Divine source. It has nothing to do with sin but rather a simple desire to acheive closeness with Hashem.

The weekdays are primarily a time for Tshuva Tata'a and Shabbos is the time for Tshuva Eela'a.

[Based on the Tanya]

Monday, May 23, 2011

I thank all of my sweetest friends for coming to Mevakesh and letting me share with you words of Torah, chassidus and mussar. I particularly thank those with whom I have a personal relationship for our connection.

Not going anywhere - just felt a need to express gratitude:).


"Fear arises through identification with form, whether it be a material possession, a physical body, a social role, a self-image, a thought, or an emotion. It arises through unawareness of the formless inner dimension of consciousness or spirit, which is the essence of who you are. You are trapped in object consciousness, unaware of the dimension of inner space which alone is true freedom."

To put it in Jewish terms - identify with the Tzelem Elokim within you and that will negate fear, ego, anger, frustration etc. etc.

Abandon your identification with your physical form as your true self.

Rejoicing at the death of Bin-Laden.

An article written in Lashon Hakodesh exploring this issue from someone, whom may I say, has a lot of love for people.

But Bin-Laden? Find out.


והיה ראשיתך מצער ואחריתך ישגה מאד - Though your beginning was insignificant, your end will flourish exceedingly.

Recently a friend of mine was fired from his job. He has a wife and a number of children. How is he going to support them now???

He met one of the gedolei hador he is somewhat close to, at a simcha, who quoted to him the pasuk that Bildad Hashuchi told Iyov והיה ראשיתך מצער ואחריתך ישגה מאד - Though your beginning was insignificant, your end will flourish exceedingly. He was consoled.

SWEETEST FRIENDS!!!! Haboteach Bashem chesed yisovivenu - if you have trust in Hashem you will be surrounded by chesed. The most important thing - always BI'SIMCHA!!!!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

I have a new philosophy. I'm only going to dread one day at a time.

Charles Schultz

Sweetest friends!!! Don't worry about the future! We never know what will be or if we will even be alive. So enjoy this second!


Saturday, May 21, 2011


Rebbe Akiva [Pesachim 112] says that when you walk into a home, even your OWN home, you shouldn't come in suddenly rather you should knock first. Where does he get THAT from??

AHHHHHH Rashi fills us in [based on the medrash]. Rebbe Akiva learns it from the kohen gadol who has bells that ring before he enters the Holy Of Holies [Kodesh Hakodoshim]. BUT WAIT!! Your home isn't the Holy Of Holies, so what's the comparison??

The Alter of Slabodka - From here we learn that your home can be transformed into the Holy Of Holies.

“Many people think that if they were only in some other place, or had some other job, they would be happy. Well, that is doubtful. So get as much happiness out of what you are doing as you can and don't put off being happy until some future date.”

Sometimes - a change is called for. But don't delude yourself into thinking that a change will solve all your problems. When you find a husband it will solve your problem of being single but will create a new one that you are married to a slob. When you change jobs you will earn more money but have a more annoying boss. When you move apartments your faucet won't leak but your electricity will be problematic.

Nothing is perfect. So make the best of EVERY SITUATION.

Or in Jewish .... TOMID BI'SIMCHA!!!!

Rebbe Shimon in the cave - OHHHHHHH did he make the most of his time.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Blessed with Torah and Mitzvot

This Shabbat we read Parhsat Bechokutai, the final parsha of Sefer Vayikra. As we read through the parsha, it seems fitting that we conclude the book of ceremonial and ritual law with the detailed description of the blessing we will experience if we follow the Torah as well as the curses we will suffer from if we turn away from the mitzvot.

What is perhaps more perplexing is the section at the end of the parsha that describes the various gifts and donations an individual might bring to the Temple. In noting the surprising placement of these verses, Rabbi Liebtag points out that Sefer Vayikra begins with the laws regarding the voluntary offerings in the Mishkan, and ends similarly with the laws of the voluntary donations one might give to the Beit Hamikdash.

The entirety of Sefer Vayikra, which deals with specific obligations and prohibitions that fall upon us and includes in it the dramatic consequences of disregarding Torah laws, might make the practice of Judaism seem quite onerous and demanding. And so, by bookending the Sefer with these voluntary offerings and donations reminds us of the ideal way to serve Hashem – with a true and inherent desire to serve the Divine and relate to the infinite. From this intentional opening and closing of the sefer we learn that like the voluntary offering, every mitzvah is intended to be an individual expression of commitment to Hashem and should reflect our desire to come closer to Hashem.

The theme of relating to Hashem with a deep desire to do so carries on throughout the parsha and is most fitting for this time of the Jewish year. The Gomorrah (Megila 13b) tells us that we read the curses of Sefer Devarim before Rosh Hashana and we read the curses of Sefer Vayikra before Shavuot in order that we finish the year with its curses and begin the year with only bracha. The Gomorrah explains further that Shavuot is a New Year for the trees, as the amount of fruit is determined on this holiday. There is, of course, a much deeper way to understand this seemingly esoteric concept that gives insight into the importance of not only learning Torah, but also yearning for it.

Rav Meir Goldvicht explains that the Torah compares a Jew to a tree - Ki ha'adam eitz hasadeh (for man is the tree of the field, Devarim 20:19) – because man’s service to Hashem parallels the three main structures of the tree. Our roots are our prayers, the direct connection with the source of our very existence; our trunk is Torah learning that is the pillar of our lives; and finally, our fruit are the good deeds that we do and the different ways in which we express and channel our spirituality in the surrounding world.

And so, on Shavuot, it is not merely the amount of fruit trees will bare that is decreed, but the amount of fruit that we will be able to produce is determined—how well and how much will we be able to attain higher spiritual heights over the coming year. On the surface, this idea is actually quite puzzling, as we know that one of the fundamental beliefs of Judaism is that everything is in the hands of Hashem, except the fear of Heaven. So how can Hashem decree now how much I will grow spiritually on this one day of Shavuot if spiritual growth lies in our hands, so to speak?

It is in the days leading up to Shavuot and on the day itself that we receive the Torah anew as if for the very first time that we decide how much spiritual growth we will have over the year - as we decide whether we will accept the Torah willingly and excitedly from start. It is to our enthusiasm that Hashem responds and grants us the opportunity to continue to perform Torah and mitzvot, as the Mishneh Torah explains:

G-d also promised us in the Torah that if we observe it with joy...He will remove from us all things that may prevent us from fulfilling it…He will bestow upon us all blessings that bolster our hand to observe the Torah such as abundant food, peace, and much gold and silver, in order that we should not need to preoccupy ourselves all our days with our material needs but be free to learn the wisdom and observe the commandments by which we shall merit the life of the World To come (Hilchot Teshuva 9:1).

With these powerful words we can also understand why a life of Torah and mitzvot ushers in the many blessings described in our parsha – it is when we act as though each mitzvah is an opportunity to get closer to Hashem that Hashem grants us a blessed life –a life in which we are able to perform immerse ourselves in Torah learning and observance as a means to come closer to Hashem.

This is, not surprisingly or coincidentally, the lesson we learn perhaps most poignantly from Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, whose life we commemorate on Lag BaOmer this motzai Shabbat. Rashbi, as he is often called, is most celebrated for his excitement for Torah learning and practice. It is only so fitting that the day we celebrate his life is the day that marks the end of the mourning period of the Sefira – as he was a Torah scholar who demonstrated a dedication to discovery of the deeper layers of Torah and promoted a passion for Torah learning on all levels.

As the Sefer comes to a close, we call out together Chazak chazak venitchazek – let us be strong and strengthen others. May we find strength in the lessons of Lag BaOmer and learn from the model of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai - whose greatest joy in life was derived from his dedication to understanding and practicing Torah truths and ideals, inspire us to start the spiritual New Year with excitement and enthusiasm – so that we can en sure that this year will be one that is filled Torah and mitzvot - with bracha, hatzlacha, and simcha.

Shabbat Shalom, Taly

To all of my sweetest friends who sometimes feel like failures:

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”

Winston Churchill
"Nobody got anywhere in the world by simply being content."

"Im bechukosai talaichu" - One must CONSTANTLY GO FORWARD with the Torah. Another daf gemara, another Tosphos, more chesed, more tzedaka.

Content? For a cat after breakfast. A person move be constantly on the move.

And THAT brings simcha, 2, 3, 4.......

A Sicha from a Jew who is far from Hashem but is trying to make a comeback on the topic of the power of learning torah, here.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Zchus Of A Mitzva

Rav Eliyashiv Shlita was born [about 100 years ago!] after his mother was childless for 17 years. He related that his parents had been to a doctor who told them that they have no chance to ever have children. She lived at the time with her husband at her father-in-laws home. Her father-in-law was the famous mekubbal and author of the sefer "Leshem" [known as the "Baal Haleshem"]. After hearing the sad news she wanted to come home and cry but didn't want to disturb the holy Ba'al Ha'Leshem's learnning. So she hid behind the horse stable and cried. Just then the Ba'al Ha'Leshem walked by. He asked her what was wrong. She replied that the doctor had told them that she will not be able to have children. "So why didn't you come inside?" he asked. She explained that she didn't want to interrupt his learning.

"In the merit of not interrupting my learning you will merit a son who will light up the whole world with his Torah and nobody will interrupt his learning."

And so it was.

10 Things To Avoid

Things not to do - because you are an emes'e ben [or bas] torah:

1] Look at your watch as he is talking to you. This says - "I gotta get out of here".

2] During a conversation, look around in other directions and not at the person. This says "You are not interesting".

3] Have loud conversations on your phone in public, especially on public transportation. Nobody wants to hear you. No offense.

4] When you are feeling criticized - get defensive. This only fuels the flames. Instead repeat the other persons criticism, try to understand it, ask the person if you got it right - then apologize. If you believe you are right - G-d knows.

5] Don't answer phone calls. Or emails. It shows the sender that he is not important.

6] If you are angry with someone - attack him.

7] Think about your own problems as if they are the BIGGEST problems in the world while assuring yourself that your friend's problems aren't nearly as bad.

8] Know that you deserve things, so your mother and/or wife are here to serve you. If they don't - let them know.

9] When you borrow something, a book or money etc. don't return it. This is a common phenomenom. Too common.

10] Don't say thank you to the cab driver, cook, waiter etc. etc. Don't say "shkoyach" to the chazzan. It will make them feel good.

I hope the message is clear.


Love and blessings!

We Are On The Path

"Ki holeich odom el beis olamo"

Because man is going to his day of death.

Koheles 12/5

Rabbeinu Yonah - EVERY DAY we are going on the path of our demise. Yesterday is DEAD. GONE. FOREVER.

Tomorrow - today will be gone forever. So let's make today ETERNAL.


"Im bechokosai talaichu" - by going in the path of the Torah and toiling in Torah. We have the chance to made today last forever.

Or to waste it.

Gone with the wind....

It's in your hands:)!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


“A soulmate is someone who has locks that fit our keys, and keys to fit our locks. When we feel safe enough to open the locks, our truest selves step out and we can be completely and honestly who we are; we can be loved for who we are and not for who we’re pretending to be. Each unveils the best part of the other. No matter what else goes wrong around us, with that one person we’re safe in our own paradise. Our soulmate is someone who shares our deepest longings, our sense of direction. When we’re two balloons, and together our direction is up, chances are we’ve found the right person. Our soulmate is the one who makes life come to life.”

BY GOLLLLLY SWEETEST FRIENDS!:) I bless you that you should find your soulmate SOON. Even if you are married you may not see in the other person what is described above. By working on your relationship EVERY DAY you can make it happen.

A Long Journey

It is well known that Jewish men are buried in a tallis. With this in mind - a may'se.

The Maggid of Kelm once davened in Riga in a vacation spot and he noticed that many of the men didn't bother to bring their talleisim with them. He was quite perturbed. So he went up to the bima and said as follows: "Rabbosai! Let me share with you a story. I once came to someone's house to visit but was told that nobody was home. But suddenly I heard crying from inside the house. It was the person's tallis. So I said "Tallis Tallis, why do you cry?" The tallis answered "My owner went on vacation, took all of his money and valuables with him but left me here." So I told the tallis "Don't cry! One day your owner is going on a loooong journey and he is going to leave all of his money and valuables at home and take only YOU with him."

The message was well taken in Riga.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Didn't Die, Just Fainted

From Revach.net

Reb Shlomo Friefeld, the Rosh Yeshivah of Sh'or Yoshuv was a unique individual with an exceptional ability to affect others through his incredible Ahavas Yisrael and simchas hachaim. His belief in each person's importance and spiritual potential endowed others with the ability to believe in themselves as well. His simchas hachaim was a spiritual inheritance from his rebbe, Reb Yitzchak Hutner, who told him shortly before his death that the key to acquiring light is remaining joyous. Rav Friefeld's simchas hachaim was accompanied by an indomitable optimism.

On one occasion, a friend of Rav Friefeld's received a call from him one morning. His jalopy had died in middle of traffic and he needed help. His friend recruited others and they rushed to the nearby neighborhood where he was stranded in middle of traffic, and helped him push the car to the side out of the way of traffic. His friends, who were fully expecting him to park the car on the side of the street, were shocked to see him floor the gas pedal and reenter the line of traffic. "I need to go to Williamsburg," Rav Friefeld explained. His friends were open-mouthed. "How do you expect to get there when your battery just died?" Rav Friefeld smiled and said, "It didn't die, it just fainted."

Rav Friefeld's friend always remembered that phrase, "It just fainted" as summing up Rav Friefeld's approach to life, his belief that there was always hope and possibility. This was the belief that he was able to exude to others, thereby changing many lives.

(Wings With Which to Fly)

Decisions Decisions


She made ONE decision. ONE. And it changed world history. She decided to remain with Naomi her mother-in-law and as a result she married Boaz and gave birth to a child who is the progenitor of MOSHIACH [may he come speedily in our days].

Orpah. OYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY Orpah. She didn't have a strong enough resolve to stay with Naomi and that night she acted EXTREMELY immorally [for tzniyus purposes I will not say what she did - see Sotah 42b with tosphos]. She coulda been a champion. Instead....

Sweetest friends REMEMBER!! ONE good decision you make can change the course of history.

A wise Gentile speaks: “You must know that in any moment a decision you make can change the course of your life forever: the very next person stand behind in line or sit next to on an airplane, the very next phone call you make or receive, the very next movie you see [CHAS VI'SHALOM!!] or book you read or page you turn could be the one single thing that causes the floodgates to open, and all of the things that you've been waiting for to fall into place.”


Sunday, May 15, 2011

Reb Dovid'l

This Shabbos was the yahrtziet of the founder of the Tolna dynasty, Reb Dovid'l [nif. 1882]. A classic line of his - "This world is split up between half heretics and half believers. Not that half the people don't believe and half the people believe - but each person is split up into half a believer and half a heretic."

He felt that his job was to shine faith in Hashem in the hearts of all.

זכות הצדיקים יעזור ויגן ויושיע!!
"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of other's opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”


Rav Chaim Knievsky is unquestionably one of the biggest Talmidei Chachomim of our generation. He knows it all!

He told the heads of a Yeshiva in Bnei Brak that if the Yeshiva bans cellphones - they don't need a security guard!! The merit of the students who are completely immersed in learning is enough.

Today - people aren't immersed in ANYTHING. Too many gadgets. I know that I have trouble having a two minute conversation with someone without being interrupted by a phone call [from his phone - mine is permanently off....]. People sit on the bus and train - playing around with their gadgets. Texting, sending emails, calling, playing games, talking, babbling or reading silly newspapers that you can't believe anyway etc. etc.

QUIET!!! The Neshama NEEDS silence in order to be activated. When Hashem gave us the Torah, Chazal say that a bird didn't chirp and a donkey didn't bray.

Complete silence.

To accept the Torah one needs to be 100 percent focused. No distractions.

People tell me that in some places boys sit in Gemara shiur and are busy with facebook.

To daven one needs to be completely divorced from this world. A phone in ones pocket takes one subconsciously everywhere - except where he needs to be, with Hashem.

When walking down the street one can THINK. Think - where am I going [in life], what middos I can fix, how I can improve relationships I have, that G-d runs the world. THINK. Become introspective.

Somehow I think I am fighting a losing battle. But if even ONE PERSON turns off their phone for a half hour a day and focuses INSIDE, this post will have been a success.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

“Wishing to be friends is quick work, but friendship is slow-ripening fruit.”


Some thoughts on friendship from a friend of Mevakesh... here.

Monday, May 9, 2011

“Love is the ability and willingness to allow those that you care for to be what they choose for themselves without any insistence that they satisfy you.”


Parents, spouses and friends take note.

באין חזון

באין חזון נפרע עם - משלי כ"ט י"ח

"Without prophecy the nation will become unrestrained."

King Solomon

Today we no longer have prophecy. The Ramban [Bava Basra 12] says that the closest thing we have are the Torah Sages who know the Divine truth with the Spirit that reposes within them. If we don't know how to act or how to relate to a given event - we ask the Gedolei Torah and they guide the way. Otherwise, everybody just decides on their own and the Torah approach gets, chas Vi'shalom, buried under a hill of personal desire.

Our pipeline to Hashem's will.

Prophecy - gone. Tzaddikim and Gedolim - always amongst us.

Love and blessings:)!

Sunday, May 8, 2011


"The only time a woman really succeeds in changing a man is when he is a baby."

I have posted this quote in the past - but it's worth a repeat.

SWEETEST FRIENDS!! Stop criticizing - spouses, parents, children etc. etc. IT'S NOT WORKING ANYWAY!!!

Accept people for who they are. You want to change someone? Start with the person wearing your socks now. That'll keep you busy for the rest of your life.

Also, you might well notice that as that person changes - so do the people around him.


Thursday, May 5, 2011

What Does It Mean....?

The students of Rebbe Akiva died because "lo nohagu kavod zeh bazeh" - they didn't show each other respect. NOT that they were rude to each other, NOT that they mistreated or slandered one another but that they didn't show sufficient respect to one another [or "one to another"? English has never been my strong point. And my high-school english teacher who tried to straighten me out is in the Oilam Ha-Emes - where Shakespere takes a back seat to the likes of the Chofetz Chaim and Whitman to the Vilna Gaon].




Do I respect the guy behind the counter at the grocery store or am I just polite?

Do I respect children or am I somewhat condescending at times because I am an adult and I know better?

Do I REALLY respect my teachers and parents?

Do I respect MYSELF?

What does it mean to respect myself?

I would LOVE you to think about and discuss these quesions over shabbos and share with me some feedback [my email address is well known..]. I want to fix the sin of Rebbe Akiva's students and would appreciate help.

Love, blessings and a shabbos of BLISS to all of my sweetest friends!!!:)
An eye-opening educational manifesto for our generation written over at shmatsabaitzlusa in Lashon Hakodesh. A worthwhile read.

Sanctifying the Times

This week’s parsha continues last week’s theme of what it means to be a holy nation. Within Parshat Emor we learn about the special holidays that make up the Jewish calendar, reminding us that not only do we have the potential to sanctify our selves and our surroundings, but we also have the ability and the obligation to sanctify perhaps the most precious thing to all of us – to sanctify time. As we look deeper into our parsha we are reminded in a most timely way of the potential of the unique period we are in now and how we can best make use of it.

In its accounting of the different holidays, the Torah commands:

And you shall count for yourselves, from the morrow of the rest day from the day you bring the omer as a wave offering seven weeks; they shall be complete (Vayikra 23:15)

While we know that all if the holidays that make up the Jewish calendar and the events we commemorate are related to each other, there is no clearer connection between two holidays as the link between Pesach and Shavuout. So connected are these two moments in the year that the name of the second holiday is literally called Shavuout (weeks) to indicate that it is a celebration that comes only after the completion of the seven-week count from Pesach.

In this light, Chazal tell us that just as Shemini Atzeret is the final stage of Sukkos, Shavuout is the final moment of Pesach. If the two are really like one extended holiday, then the entire period of Sefirat HaOmer (the count between the two holidays) is a chol hamoed of sorts – a time that should be filled with rejoicing as we transition from one celebration of freedom to the most monumental celebration of the year.

And yet, amidst this celebratory and anticipatory time we commemorate a great tragedy of our history when the students of the great Rabbi Akiva were punished for the lack of respect they showed one another. As we read through this parsha that so highlights for us the power of time and the importance of embracing the moment during these appointed times, how do we understand this overlap. How do we psychologically and practically respond to this paradoxical experience of time – what should we feel, and what should we do?

The question becomes deeper when we are reminded of the Jewish law that prohibits an individual from sitting shiva on Shabbat or Yom Tov – reminding us that one is not permitted to be mournful on a day that we are supposed to be inherently happy. So how can we simultaneously be celebrating?

It can be no coincidence that the greatest Torah scholars of a generation were killed during the moments preceding Matan Torah at the same time as we mourn a great tragedy – but what is it that we learn from this?

Rabbi Yaakov Thaler offers a profound answer to this question. He suggests that the reason these Torah scholars were punished specifically at this time is not necessarily because their behavior worsened in the weeks between Pesach and Shavuos to warrant their sudden punishment, but because it was during this time that they should have been working on bettering themselves and preparing themselves for the Shavuos experience. In other words, it was not they who changed, but the times – it was their failure to change with the times that brought about their punishment.

In this light we can better understand the nature of the unique time period we find ourselves in. We are anticipating the rejoicing, but we cannot yet celebrate in full because we must earn the Shavuot experience, we must first ready ourselves to accept the Torah. This is why the holiday has the unique name of Shavuout – to teach us that the day itself is not meaningful and uplifting unless we have utilized the weeks leading up to it to propel ourselves forward in order to be in the proper condition to re-accept the Torah as we do each year.

Rabbi Liebowitz explains that with this approach to the holiday of Shavuot and the Sefira period leading up to it, we can also understand why we don’t follow the traditional way of counting down towards this most exciting and most significant day in the Jewish calendar, but instead we count up. We do not passively count the days as they pass before us, but instead we must actively be involved in the process. Each day we count, we are accounting for what we accomplished in that day. And so, the counting of Sefira serves as a constant reminder of the importance, the value, and the potential of time.

For the students of Rabbi Akiva, it was their kavod for one another that they had to be working on, for each of us it is something different that we must work on to refine ourselves to become vessels that can uphold the holiness of the Torah. Of course there is a deep lesson to be learned from the fact that we have not seven days, but seven weeks for this process – reminding us that indeed changes we hope to make in ourselves takes constant effort, it takes time.

And so we can understand the qualification at the end of the verse: And you shall count for yourselves…and they shall be complete. It is not as much a concern of time as it is how we make use of that time – it is about maximizing these weeks to prepare ourselves for a re-acceptance of the Torah with all its commands to be kept and lessons to be learned. Did we spend these weeks internalizing one of the most fundamental truths and realities about living a torah life –that it takes effort and time to learn the lessons and even longer to live those lessons.

And perhaps that is what is most fundamental to internalize and to accept as we ready ourselves to re-accept the Torah. After all, it is in this parsha that Hashem commands us to sanctify the times - Hashem appoints the times for the chaggim but that is upon us to sanctify the time- in order to do this we must know the importance of time and to consider how we commemorate it, how we spend it, and how we sanctify it. What better way to internalize this lesson than to be reminded with the count of the Omer each night – whether we are still in the count or not may we all consider these lessons so that we can make the most of this unique and opportune time in the Jewish calendar! Shabbat Shalom, Taly

Gastronomical Renewal

It's a mitzva to have a nice meal to honor Rosh Chodesh. The Holy Tzaddik, The Steipler Gaon, used to have a cup of wine every Rosh Chodesh.


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

“Remember that everyone you meet is afraid of something, loves something, and has lost something.”

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Bitter And The Sweet

משלי כז ז - נפש שבעה תבוס נפת - ונפש רעבה כל מר מתוק

A satisfied soul will despise what is sweet and for a hungry soul all bitter is sweet.

The secret of Jewish education is creating a hunger within the students for knowledge, for what is spiritual, for growth. If a student is satisfied - either spiritually, because he is not seeking, or materially, which causes him not to seek [to many gadgets..], there is little hope. All Torah and ruchniyus will be rejected.

When a student is hungry, even though the road to greatness is often paved with bitterness, he will nevertheless taste the sweetness. The sweetness of understanding a difficult gemara, the sweetness of getting out of bed for minyan, the sweetness of foregoing ones own pleasure in order to benefit someone else.

Boy, was Shlomo Hamelech wise!!

That is our daily task: Creating an internal hunger for elevation and ultimately perfection.

Monday, May 2, 2011

They shoulda buried Bin-Laden 50 feet underground.


Because "deep down" - he's a nice guy.

Ba dam chhhhhhhhhh:)

כן יאבדו כל אויביך השם
From the words of Rav Yechezkel Levenstein ztz"l [Ohr Yechezkel Yirah Umussar page 151]:

שמעתי כי לאחרונה נחלש לימוד המוסר בכולל ואחדים מבני הכולל הולכים בזמן לימוד המוסר ללמוד את הדף היומי. ותחילה עלי לומר שאיני מבין הנהגה זו, ראשית עצם לימוד הנ"ל אינו נראה לי כמתאים לאברכים בני תורה, לימוד זה ראוי למי שאין לו כח לעסוק בלימוד התורה בעיון, בני תורה השקועים ברוחניות מה יתן להם לימוד דף גמרא ללא עיון וללא חזרה, בני תורה חייבים ללמוד סדר אחד בעיון כל הצורך וסדר נוסף ללימוד בקיאות אך לימוד שטחי בעלמא מה יתן ומה יוסיף לבני תורה לעזוב לימוד המוסר וללמוד דף יומי ודאי שאין זה מן הראוי

But see Igros Moshe Yoreh Deyah 4/229.

The Ego

"Thinking, or more precisely identification with thinking, gives rise to and maintains the ego, which, in our Western society in particular, is out of control. It believes it is real and tries hard to maintain its supremacy. Negative states of mind, such as anger, resentment, fear, envy, and jealousy, are products of the ego."

The quote is from a goy, but I believe Rebbe Nachman and the Baalei Mussar would agree.

So that would be a GREAT avoda for today [and the rest of our lives].

Let go of your ego. It causes you and those around you a lot of trouble.

How do you do it?

For that we have holy books to guide us.

זיל גמור

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Mazel Tov!

Taly wrote a wonderful enlightening and inspiring piece about Parshas Kedoshim last week. Well, the only mitzva called "Kiddushin" [holy] is marriage.

Here is where it gets exciting.


Mazel tov to her and Marc Braunstien!!!!!!:)

I am SURE that they will build a home which will be a light unto the whole world, filled with Torah, Chesed and everything good! Marc is a great guy, Taly a great girl - so this is mamesh the most perfect match since Adam and Chava. But of course Taly would never tell Marc to eat forbidden fruits. And the shadchan is ALMOST as holy as Adam and Chava's shadchan [nobody can ever be AS holy].... He knows who he is.


"Living" It Up!

AHHHHH!!! The liver. What a "mechaya"! Because it gives us chayim. "Life is in the liver". What does the liver do? From Dr. Wiki -

The liver is a vital organ present in vertebrates and some other animals. It has a wide range of functions, including detoxification, protein synthesis, and production of biochemicals necessary for digestion. The liver is necessary for survival; there is currently no way to compensate for the absence of liver function long term, although liver dialysis can be used short term.

This organ plays a major role in metabolism and has a number of functions in the body, including glycogen storage, decomposition of red blood cells, plasma protein synthesis, hormone production, and detoxification. It lies below the diaphragm in the abdominal-pelvic region of the abdomen. It produces bile, an alkaline compound which aids in digestion via the emulsification of lipids. The liver's highly specialized tissues regulate a wide variety of high-volume biochemical reactions, including the synthesis and breakdown of small and complex molecules, many of which are necessary for normal vital functions. The liver supports almost every organ in the body and is vital for survival.

See Dr. Wiki for more information.

Is this a biology blog?


This is a "Hashem" blog!

How did you get a liver? You were in your mother's womb when you got it, but she can't make liver on her own. Maybe a delicious chopped liver for dinner but not one that will carry out all of the functions of a human liver.

I will tell you what happened. Hashem Yisborach "snuck" in there when Mom was busy shopping in the supermarket or buying a new maternity dress for Shabbos [or eating chocolate] and created for you a perfectly functioning liver. So perfectly functioning it will quietly do its job, give you life and YOU WILL NEVER NOTICE!

The only time people notice is when it malfunctions. OYYYYYYYY beloved friends!! Let us notice NOW. Let us spend tomorrow thinking about all the terrible things that would happened if something went wrong with our liver Chas Vi'shalom [see the Wiki page on liver diseases - if you have a strong constitution...] and be filled with unlimited gratitude to the Creator for providing us FREE OF CHARGE [!!] with this vital, complex and miraculous organ. Miraculous because it came from a tiny putrid drop and knows EXACTLY what to do for the 80-90 years it inhabits our body, even though chances are that we don't even know what it does.

Lets put a price tag on it for the sake of argument. 5 billion dollars. Add the two billion for your hand, another two for the other and we are up to NINE BILLION DOLLARS. On you right now.

Are you bi'simcha or what!

If it weren't sefira I would have to dance with much more joy and vigor than at my wedding day.

And we haven't even gotten to our kidneys....