Friday, March 15, 2019

Parshas Vayikra

It is forbidden to put honey into any of the karbanos. The way Hashem commanded us to offer the sacrifices are perfect and they do not require any additional sweeteners.

We must remember that we were created with perfection. We have talents and qualities that make us great. We should not allow the negative comments of others bring us down. It would be nice if we didn't need compliments to feel good, but since many of us do, we should make an effort to see the good in others and verbalize it to them. Remember, every person's essence is pure since we come from such a holy source!

May we be able to notice the positive about others, tell them when we see it and internalize our inner value so we don't need to be told we are great to know how special we are!

Friday, March 8, 2019

Parshas Pekudei

The Kohen Gadol wore a Tzitz on his forehead with the words "Kodesh LaHashem" engraved on it. He was always reminded that he had a purpose, his job was holy and He was standing before Hashem.

We don't wear special garments with holy words that remind us of our purpose in this world. But if we woke up this morning, that means Hashem has an important role for us to fill that no one else in the world can complete. If we can think this thought, even once a day, we can inject a sense of meaning into our existence. And if we want to take it one step further, we can remind ourselves to put Hashem before us and that He is watching us, so we act properly no matter who is around to see us.

May we be able to keep that godly image before our eyes so we resist temptation and make a kiddush Hashem wherever we go! 

Friday, March 1, 2019

Parshas Vayakheil

The men and women gave so much to the mishkan that Moshe Rabbeinu had to tell them to stop. They understood the value of their contributions and that everything they gave would be used for a building so special and so holy.

When we give tzeddakah, we need to realize how valuable our donations are. We have the ability to help people we know and to help complete strangers by giving generously to organizations who help our fellow Jews. If Hashem blessed us with extra money, we should feel lucky to be in the position to give to others. And if we don't have extra, we should realize that giving things that don't have monetary value is just as important.

May we be able to use the money and qualities Hashem blessed us with to help other people with positivity!

Friday, February 22, 2019

Parshas Ki Sisa

The Torah shows how much it values Jewish Women in two places in this week's parsha. The first is the commandment to make the Kiyar out of the copper mirrors the women used in mitzrayim to beautify themselves for their husbands. The second is that women did not partake in cheit ha'eigel. They didn't donate their jewelry for the Golden Calf.

We see here that women have tremendous power and intuition. We know when to elevate the physical gifts we have and when to hold back with self control. By being aware of our strengths, we can achieve so much while we are alive!

May we be able to utilize the intuition we were given to make good decisions, help other people and exercise self control!

Friday, February 15, 2019

Parshas Tetzaveh

Hashem commanded Moshe Rabbeinu to build a mizbei'ach for the burning of the ketores, a mixture of spices. If one spice was left out, the whole ketores was not kosher. One of the spices, chelbina, had a bad smell. But when it was mixed together with all the other spices, it was considered pleasing before Hashem. 

We see from here that we must have unity between all types of Jews. Hashem loves when we are together, regardless of our differences. We should never think another Jew is bad enough not to be considered one of us. We shouldn't have a "holier than thou" attitude. It's when we are united that Hashem takes the greatest pleasure in us.

May we be able to love and accept all types of Jews, regardless of their outer appearance or our judgement of who we think they are! 

Friday, February 8, 2019

Parshas Terumah

The measurements of the aron were all in half amos. The aron, which had the luchos inside, represents someone who studies Torah.

We see from here that someone who learns Torah always feels a small sense of incompleteness. No matter how much we learn, we remain humble with the knowledge that there is so much more to learn. Torah is so deep and so vast. As soon as we touch on one topic, we realize there is so much we didn't know. This makes us feel so in awe of how much more there is to learn and know and grow!

May we be able to keep our thirst for Torah alive and continue to delve into the beauty and depth of the Torah!

Friday, February 1, 2019

Parshas Mishpatim

We are told not to cause pain to geirim-converts because "you were strangers in mitzrayim." Since we know what it's like to be a newcomer, we need to be more sensitive to those who are new to Judaism. 

Our life experiences help us become more sensitive to other people in similar situations. If we know that when we are super busy (with a simcha, moving to a new house or while someone close to us is sick lo aleinu,) there's no time to eat, we can send food to a friend when they are overwhelmed with life. We can apply this to so many areas in our lives, as long as we look out for and notice when people need us to step in and be there for them. 

May we able to use our intuition that comes with life experience to always be on the giving end!

Friday, January 25, 2019

Parshas Yisro

The Torah lists the mitzvos Bein Adam lamakom-between man and Hashem, side by side with the mitzvos Bein Adam lachaveiro, the ones involving interpersonal relationships. 

We see that the Torah is not just a set of rules that govern the spiritual aspects of our lives. It's so much more than that. The Torah tells us how to act with the people closest to us. Honor your parents. Don't be jealous of your neighbor. Don't steal-money, time or possessions from anyone. Do what it takes to be peaceful and loving to all those you encounter. 

May we be able to live a life of Torah by keeping not only the mitzvos between us and Hashem, but by also maintaining wonderful relationships with all the people we come in contact with!

Friday, January 18, 2019

Parshas Beshalach

When the sea split, Bnei Yisroel didn't go across the sea to get to the other side, they went into the Yam Suf and then came out on the exact same side that they went in. Even though that seems pointless, they gained so much from the process of seeing the miracles and experiencing the unity of the nation being saved together.

Whether the waters of our lives are stormy or calm, there IS a purpose to every step we take. It's through the challenges that we become greater people. We may feel like we're going to end up exactly where we started, but at the end, the process called life makes us into stronger, more sensitive, more giving and more growing people.

May we be able to stay strong while we go through life's challenges and use our experiences to help other people!

Friday, January 11, 2019

Parshas Bo

One of the last makkos was that of darkness. When the darkness was so heavy and so thick, the mitzriyim couldn't even move. They became paralyzed. 

When a person is going through a dark time in their life, they can become paralyzed. They can't think clearly and the small things become overwhelming for them. We should try to be the light for them, to illuminate their path by listening to them when they need to talk and by helping in whatever way we can. We should try to by being a good support for them on an emotional and physical level whenever we can.

May we be able to use our capabilities to bring light into the lives of those who are going through hardships and may we always be on the giving end!