So many people today are suffering from anxiety and even depression.   This pandemic has brought out tremendous insecurity and fear.  But within all anxiety, there are hidden layers. It is very important to identify what your true anxieties are. For example, many people are worried about making a living because of the pandemic. This is, of course , a valid concern.  But what in particular are you worried about?


We are now entering the Hebrew month of Mar Cheshvan. Every month has a particular sense associated with it. The sense of the month of Cheshvan is the sense of smell.  We are taught in Torah that Moshiach will judge with his sense of smell. Chassidus explains the sense of smell is sensitivity to the soul: to sense how others feel and what help they need. we all should cultivate within ourselves this aspect of being more sensitive to others and to what they are going through and find ways to help them. This in itself will help to bring Moshiach as it increases love and unity. 


We are a society shaped by the information that the news feeds us. And this is very dangerous. The news subtly tries to shape our views and force their opinions upon us. The problem is that many people are wishy washy these days and do not see reality. So they accept whatever the news says. The believe whatever is written on line. They stopped thinking or analyzing .  When Donald Trump coined the phrase “fake news”, he was right


The presidential debate was, of course, a disaster.  But in my opinion, it does not matter.  Because whether or not Trump performed up to par, or whether Biden sounded a bit more coherent than usual (and some people are of the opinion that he was being prompted by a hidden hearing device, or he had the questions in advance and was well prepared) makes no difference to the final outcome. We always need to be wise and see to the future.


Let us start the New Year as new people. The idea of the new year is to leave behind all the negative aspects of ourselves and the previous year and begin anew.  May we be helped from Above to shake off any connection to unhappiness, negativity, unholiness and anything that prevents us from serving the Almighty with true joy. Let us already imagine ourselves in a new world: the world of Moshiach. As Chassidus explains: You are where your thoughts are.


We are approaching the Jewish new year, Rosh Hashanah. It is customary to wish each other a “shana tova umetuka”, a good, sweet new year. Many people simply say “shana tova”, a good new year. But the Lubavitcher Rebbe insisted on using the word “metukah”, sweet. Why? Because the idea of a sweet new year is the idea of sweetening any harshness or judgments.  May this new year truly be a healthy, happy, sweet new year for all.


We are now entering the Hebrew month of Elul, the month that is an acronym for “ Ani l’dodi, v’dodi li” (I am to my beloved, my beloved is to me). It is a month when Hashem is very close to us and accepts our prayers with a happy face. It is the month of the King in the field. A parable is told about a King who goes into the field to greet his subjects on their level.


I would venture to say that we are a generation of addicts. Everyone is addicted to something: some are addicted to drugs or liquor, others are addicted to their desires that they feel unable to control, some are addicted to eating or smoking, and most people in today’s society are addicted to their cell phones, computer screens and technology.  Why are we all so addicted?  What is it about life that has turned us into “addicts”?


Now we are entering the three weeks, the time the Jewish nation mourns the destruction of our holy Beis Hamikdash in Jerusalem.  We know that one of the main ideas during these three weeks is to increase in love and unity in order to correct the sin of baseless hatred which caused the destruction. 


Do we truly value life?  I think this requires true introspection.  If we view life as dispensable, or if we feel there is justification in killing someone (other than in self defense), then we do not really value life.  And why do we not? Because we forget Who gives life. We forget that the Almighty created us, created the entire universe, and He is the One Who bestows life upon His creations.

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