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Thursday, December 24, 2009

They are blind

This short lesson on judging someone favorably was sent to me as an email forward. (Lessons taken from Gossip by Lori Palatnik)

Rabbi Noah Weinberg zt"l was speaking to a group about judging people to the good. He was asked how to deal with people who seem so negative and evil. He replied: "Imagine you were at a corner ready to cross at a light. All of the sudden from behind someone shoves you into the street. You fall and get up scratched and dirty; you turn, ready to give the person who shoved you some of the angriest words you know. When you turn around, ready to pounce, you see that the person behind you is wearing dark glasses and holding a white cane. How do you feel now? Instantly you calm down, and your angerdissipates. He couldn't help it. he was blind."

"That", Rabbi Weinberg said is how we deal with people who appear to us to be evil and mean. "The person is blind. S/he doesn't wake up in the morning and decide to hurt people that day. The person literally doesn't know what they are doing. They are blind". "The next time your parent, in-law, coworker etc. does something to make you crazy, picture them wearing dark glasses and holding a white cane. They are blind. They can't see that they are doing wrong. Help them, guide them, and show them gently the error of their ways. But don't expect them to change. A blind person can't see overnight. It takes time, and sometimes they will never see."

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Parshat Miketz 5770 2009 - Loving Your Fellow jew

Parshat Miketz tells of the sons of Yaakov traveling to Egypt to buy food and bring it back to their father. Yosef tries to foil their plans by accusing his brothers of being spies because their father wouldn't have to send all 10 sons to get food, and the brothers respond that "we are all sons of one man" (42:11). How does that explain why they were all sent? The suspicion Yosef raises still exists!?

In Majesty of Man, Rabbi Leibowitz explains that when Hillel and Rabbi Akiva emphasized loving our fellow man as ourselves, they were describing fundamental principles of the Torah. As the Ramban explains, although the trip to Egypt was long and dangerous, Yaakov felt that developing the brothers' feeling of unity and brotherhood was worth the risk. This Ahavat Yisrael (love for a fellow Jew) is so critically important that Hillel and Rabbi Akiva stressed it, and Yaakov risked his own sons' safety for it. If we neglect each other's needs in the outside world, in the workplace and at home, we're placing ourselves in danger of losing the comm"unity" we strive to be a part of.

Dvar Torah Provided by: Jeff Siedel | WorldWideJewish Network on FB

Monday, December 14, 2009

Chanukah - Foundations

Charlie shows us the beauty behind the message of Chanukah, and the way to achieve Greatness in our lives.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Month of Kislev - Month of Chanuka

Rabbi Pinson gives insight on the month of Kislev.