Friday, July 5, 2019

Parshas Korach

When Korach organized a rebellion against Moshe Rabbeinu, accusing him of assigning power unfairly, Moshe suggested that they wait until the next morning for a sign from Hashem to determine who was right. After each group would bring a ketores, a fire would come down from heaven and burn the offering of the either his group or Moshe's group. He wanted to wait so Korach would have time to think and hopefully, he would change his mind.

We see how important it is to wait a little bit when someone is angry. A good resolution can't always be reached immediately because when people are heated, their emotions take over. Once some time passes, even just one night, it may be possible for both sides to hear each other more openly and logically and work towards a peaceful compromise. 

May we be able to give people who are really angry time to calm down so we can keep all of our interactions peaceful! 

Friday, June 28, 2019

Parshas Shelach

Hashem told Moshe Rabbeinu to send a group of spies to look at Eretz Yisroel before the Jewish People would enter the land. 

The spies are interpreted to mean something very personal. Spies refer to foreign thoughts, things we think others are thinking about us. It's not easy to overcome negative thoughts that sneak into our heads. Yet, when we are confident that what we are doing is right, we don't need to worry about what others are thinking. We can be who we are and act in the right way without looking over our shoulders.

May we be able to send away the spies, the negative thoughts, and through this may we achieve many great things! 

Friday, June 21, 2019

Parshas Beha'aloscha

Parshas Beha'aloscha ends with Miriam getting tzora'as. While the entire nation waited for Miriam, her brother Moshe davened. What was his tefillah? 6 words. Ana Kel Na, Refah Na La-Please Hashem, heal her. He davened a short tefillah because so many people were waiting. 

We learn from this that tefillah, chessed and spiritual growth are important but should not be done at the expense of other people. Yes, it's nice to take on extra levels in our yiddishkeit, but we need to be considerate of those around us and make sure our growth isn't causing others discomfort. And while chessed is a big mitzvah, we need to make sure our own families aren't losing out because of it.

May we be able to find the right balance when we are growing and doing good, so we are happy and those closest to us are happy as well!

Friday, June 14, 2019

Parshas Naso

The Isha Sota was taken to be proven as guilty or innocent only after she was warned not to associate with a man she had previously been seen alone with.

We see that accusing someone of doing something wrong is a huge responsibility. We must have clear evidence before approaching someone. Additionally, it is so important to give a warning. This gives the person a chance to fix themselves instead of falling at the first sign of misconduct. If given in the right way, the warning can show we believe that the person can do it right next time!

May we be able to show others we believe they can do better instead of jumping at them with accusations the first time they act wrongly!

Friday, June 7, 2019

Parshas Bamidbar

The shevatim who encamped near Aharon and Moshe were known for their Torah knowledge and spiritual greatness, while those from shevet Reuvain were negatively influenced by their neighbor Korach.

We see how important it is to be surrounded by good people. We should stick around people who will influence us in a positive way and who will lift us up. We can also look at ourselves in the mirror and ask, "Would people want to be around me? What kind of impact do I have on those I come in contact with?"

May we be able to affect others in a positive way and may we always be surrounded by good people!

Friday, May 31, 2019

Parshas Bechukosai

Hashem promises that if we follow Him and do the mitzvos, we will be blessed with peace. We will lie down at night and will not be afraid because we will have inner peace.

How can we achieve an inner sense of calm? When we are satisfied with the things we are doing with our lives and we are living with meaning, we will feel good about ourselves. When we make a difference in the lives of others, we feel peaceful and whole on the inside. And when we strengthen our belief that Hashem is running our lives, we can stay calm even when things are difficult or stressful.

May we be able to feel an inner sense of peace by choosing to live a life of meaning and internalizing that everything that happens to us is from Hashem!

Friday, May 24, 2019

Parshas Behar

The mitzvah of Shmittah is in this weeks Parsha. The farmers who keep shmittah face major challenges of emunah and bitachon-how will they have the money they need if they aren't working? They become more selfless and generous when they allow people to take from their fields. By exercising their spiritual muscles, they become stronger in their avodas Hashem. 

Our spiritual challenges enable us to reach higher levels. Next time you are struggling, remind yourself that it is through THIS challenge that you can become better. Realize that each time you overcome a challenge, you climb up a level...and every little step will get you closer to your goal!

May we be able to strengthen ourselves to overcome our spiritual struggles and always keep growing!

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Food

Why is it that before we eat, we feel tired and hungry yet after we eat, we feel energized and ready to take on the day?

Think about it. Who is the only One who gives a person energy and koach? 

It's Hashem. The source of life. So inside every morsel of food that we eat, there's a small piece of godliness that enables us to become reawakened and reenergized after we consume that food.

So when we eat food, we are also ingesting a piece of Hashem!

It sounds like an incredibly high level to attain and internalize. Yet, if we eat mindfully, slowly chewing and swallowing the food in front of us, we can think, Hashem, there's a piece of your energy inside this bread I am eating. Thank you for injecting it inside this food. And please allow me to have the strength to do whatever I need to accomplish today through this meal I am eating.

This is how we can elevate our food to a very high level. Let us direct our thoughts to what is going on inside of our foods and the Godly energy our bodies are absorbing!

(R' Shimshon Pincus zt"l)

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Pesach Sheini

Today is Pesach Sheini.
We remember this day that was given to those who weren't able to bring the korban Pesach in Nissan. They asked for another chance and their request was granted.

Sometimes, we are too quick to say something won't happen or we won't be allowed to do something. And so, we don't  bother asking. 

We see that it is so important to ASK. Make that request. Ask for a raise. Find out if that person is willing to help out. Don't stay stuck in a situation just because you're afraid to speak up. The key to change might just be to ask for help.

May we be able to find the courage to speak up when necessary, and see positive results when we do!

Enjoy your matzah!

Friday, May 17, 2019

Parshas Emor

There is a special mitzvah for a farmer to leave the corner of his field for the poor man when he is harvesting his crop. He demonstrates his awareness of Who blessed him with this good and shares it with those who are less fortunate than he is.

When we are blessed with plenty, we should remember those who aren't as fortunate as we are and share it with them. And while we think of giving in terms of money, there are so many ways to give. We can give our time or our knowledge, a listening ear or a compliment, encouragement or good advice. Some forms of giving don't have a price tag but they're worth more than all the money in the world!

May we always be on the giving end by sharing whatever good we have with others - from money to talents and everything in between!