Carrying Baggage

  • 15 June 2018
  • jewishfamily

My husband and I have been considering downsizing: perhaps getting a smaller home or even a condo. But then I begin to panic. Where will we store all the things we have accumulated over the years?
When we first got married, we had very few things. We lived a simple life, no luxuries, and it was very easy to pick up and move. It was also a very happy life. The less material items we had, somehow the happier we were.
But as time went along we accumulated things: more furniture, more clothing, more dishes, more pots etc. etc.

Temporary escape...or redemption?

  • 15 June 2018
  • jewishfamily

So many of our youth are confused (actually not only youth….many mature adults as well). WE are in a very deep galus, a very dark spiritual situation where people are looking for happiness from external sources. People are not happy deep inside. People have lost that enthusiasm and simcha that chassidim have always had. Why is that?
I think mostly because we are still in galut, exile!   Jews have had enough of galut. We need redemption.

PESACH FREEDOM

  • 15 June 2018
  • jewishfamily

So what does it mean when we say Pesach is the season of our freedom: zman cheruteinu?  Of course we commemorate leaving Egypt and becoming a free nation. But we know that every Jewish holiday is not just about commemorating the past. Each holiday is applicable on a spiritual level even today.
So what is true freedom?
Each and every one of us has limitations and things that prevent us from serving Hashem with true joy. We have various problems, whether spiritual, material or even within our own personalities. 

HOW DO WE BECOME HAPPY IN ADAR

  • 15 June 2018
  • jewishfamily

​How do we increase in simcha just because adar enters?
The strange thing is that when adar enters, very often we find ourselves challenged by difficult situations, depression, sadness, worry and many problems. Because this is the month where we need to get rid of Amalek. And that requires a fight, a battle. It is a battle against apathy, impurity, negativity: those things that affect our service of Hashem with happiness.
So how do we win that battle? By increasing in happiness. Even if we don’t feel like being happy.

DO NOT DEPRIVE YOUR CHILDREN

  • 15 June 2018
  • jewishfamily

This is a generation where we are very hung up on not depriving our kids of anything.
The friend has a cell phone, our child must have one.
The neighbors daughter is going on birthright, our daughter must go. G-d forbid she should feel left out or deprived.
The cousin has the latest gadget, our son must have it too.
One thing no Jewish parent wants to be “accused “ of by our children is depriving them of what they feel entitled to have.
But is this a proper mentality?
Let’s analyze the results of this mentality.

Exile now and then....

  • 15 June 2018
  • jewishfamily

As we learn this weeks Torah portion (and actually the previous portion and the next one as well), we see how much the Jewish people suffered in Egypt and how Moshe, the Redeemer, announced the redemption but then he had to leave Egypt only to return many years later.....but the Jews never despaired of being redeemed even though it certainly could have brought doubt to their minds. 

CHANUKAH LIGHT

  • 15 June 2018
  • jewishfamily

CHANUKAH....it is all about light. The neshomah is all about light.
But what is it about the chanukah menorah that draws a Jew so strongly? 
We light in total 36 candles over the eight days of Chanukah.
Inside those lights is hidden the light that Hashem created and hid during the first six days of Creation. A light so powerful that it will only be revealed when Moshiach arrives. A  light that explains the suffering all the Jewish people have endured throughout galus.
And that light is what draws every Jewish soul.

THE IN BETWEEN SYDROME

  • 15 June 2018
  • jewishfamily

This is a syndrome affecting much of our generation.
Many people stand in between, not sure how to look at things, not sure how to relate to many issues facing society.
In the past things were clear:  good was good, right was right, wrong was wrong and evil was evil.
Now things have become blurred. People question what was once clear to everyone. morality is no longer so clear.
People cross red lines. People mix together things and try to make permissible what is clearly forbidden by Torah. 

THE SEASON OF OUR REJOICING

  • 15 June 2018
  • jewishfamily

Well, here we go again: rejoicing. It is all about happiness.  We have many holidays that have a theme of happiness to them: Purim, Pesach, Shavuot, and even Chanukah all celebrate events that lead to great happiness. But on the holiday of Succot we don’t have an event we are celebrating in particular. We are actually celebrating joy itself. Pure, unadulterated joy. True simcha.
When joy is accompanied by an event leading to that joy it is limited to some degree.
But when joy is celebrated just for the sake of the joy itself, it is limitless.

THANKING FOR WHAT YOU DONT HAVE

  • 15 June 2018
  • jewishfamily

Thanking Hashem for what you have…and what you don’t have.
Jews are always thanking Hashem. We wake up every morning and the first words we utter are modeh ani, thanking Hashem for restoring our souls to us after our sleep.
So we do have this awareness that we need to thank G-d constantly for all the blessings we have, big or small. Just waking up in the morning is a blessing to be thankful for. Just having our own soul restored to us is a blessing, a kindness.   

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