Three Weeks, Three Repairs
Garden of Wisdom Lesson #64: The Turnaround

The Adventures of Princess and Cray-Cray

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Seriously?? 

Of all the pictures I could have posted of our return to Miami, I chose this?? 

Just in case you were wondering, David is Princess and I'm Cray-Cray. And believe me, it doesn't make a difference if we're hungry or not. 

So.... we're heeerreeeeee!!!! I can't believe it. I feel like I landed on another planet. Everything is so different here!

All week I've been yo-yo-ing from, "I'm so happy to be back!" to "OMG what have I done??

But who cares about my fragile and overwhelmed self? Let's talk about COSTCO!! Oh, Costco, how I've missed you so! I'm not going to lie. I really did miss Costco. And I can't believe how many things are kosher at my Costco! Kosher meat, chicken, all kinds of salads, cheeses, dips, snacks, good Heavens! 

And ADIDAS CLOTHING FOR $9.99??? Somebody pinch me. 

I just can't get over the selection and variety of food here! What am I going to do?? I walk around the stores in a slack-jawed daze, taking pictures, just in awe of everything. 

Another majorly shocking experience was Walmart. O.M.G. The crazy prices! The crazy selection! The crazy people! It was unreal. But my favorite part was seeing a guy driving his electric wheelchair up to the register next to us. He was playing Kenny G. so loud, he could have DJ'd for a club on South Beach. So I was checking him out and then I noticed he's got a Magen David, a cross, and about 4 other large gold religious symbols on his necklace. And his fingers were decked out with rings galore. Maybe he really was a DJ. Fascinating.

Oh, you know what else was shocking? Lowriders. Horrible. Forgot how horrible they were. Can anybody explain the logic to me? Does the fact that your head is vibrating and your eardrums are rupturing make that driver popular? Does a bouncing car really attract the "ladies"? What is attractive about this?? Horribly fascinating.

Here's another shocker. Miami is GORGEOUS! There seems to be a competition between developers to see who can get the top names to put on their buildings so they can charge top prices. Armani, Fendi, Lagerfeld, Reckles... I can't believe how over-the-top these places are! Infinity pools on the 50th floor?? An elevator for your car?? How do so many people have so much money? And more importantly, how do I get them to share some of it with me?

Miami has certainly turned into one of the world's premier locations for materialism. I can see by the looks of this city that our wise sages were right. Wealth is certainly a greater test than poverty. It's so easy to get distracted by the pursuit of wealth and all the fabulousness that comes with it. It's too easy to forget that it is Hashem that is the Source of all of this wealth and the potential blessings that it can bring. 

I suspect being poor is more likely to cause a person to cry out to Hashem, because they're in a position to need help. I don't think that's necessarily the case with rich people. I wonder if anyone's called out to Hashem while shopping at Cartier: "Hashem! Help me! I have too much money and don't know which platinum and diamond watch to buy!" Hmmmm. 

In other news, it's great to see so many people being obviously Jewish. Miami has several strong Torah-observant communities, and I'm looking forward to meeting lots of great people. 

In the meantime, wish me luck as I try to stay strong and not devour those ridiculously delicious and toxic Entenman's chocolate-covered donuts.  

BTW, if you haven't read my article this week, The Lost Check, read it now! It's one of my favorites! 

And could you do me a favor? I'd love to know which one of these Snickers bars you are when you're hungry! Send me a comment! 

~Racheli

And don't forget to check out Rav Brody's weekly emuna class! Details below. 

 

Comments

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Shlomo

You know what's amazing to me? That the Zohar states, yes THE ZOHAR!!!
That the worst think to give a baby is Cholev Stam. The worst! It doesn't say that about ANYTHING ELSE!!! That is dulls their heart! ie, questions about Emunah, etc, etc.
So go choose your Snickers bar. I guess Milk Munch isn't good enough.
(As a BT, personally speaking, Three Mukateers was better!!!)

Tomer Devorah

Well, if nothing else has made you feel like mourning during the Three Weeks, this would certainly do it! Makes me want to sit in the dust and cry. How can any Jew be so willfully clueless and shameless???

Chani

Wow. I totally understand you. I was born and raised in south Florida and the last time I was sitting in my moms oceanfront apartment staring at the beauty of Hashem while listening to the Shark Tank on her giant tv and noshing on Costco chocolate almonds, I prayed to quickly get back home to Eretz Yisroel...
But as much yiddishkeit is flourishing, there is so much of a need to spread emuna and the wellsprings. So enjoy the Costco treats and use them to bring your not yet emuna strong neighbors for an emuna shir. May you be blessed to draw other Yidden into the warmth and light and protection of emuna

Chani

Ps. The chocolate was pareve. I was taught that eating dairy not Cholev Yisroel makes a spiritual blemish. That was enough for me, B”H.

Aliza

Racheli, I have to say I like your style writing. Your posts always start off so "petty" and you lead the reader into emuna.
I really admire your courage, confidence, honesty, and simchat chaim. Whatever decisions we make, the most important thing is that we are going with Hashem. Clearly this is what you live and that is why you are happy (at least that is why I get from your posts!) May you have lots of bracha ve'hatzlacha and nachat from your whole family!
I just want to add that I have a neighbor who made Aliyah and returned for educational reasons for one of her children. She truly believed that it was the right thing to do at that time. Now they are almost all adults B'H and that particular child is in the process of making Aliyah himself, another child has already made Aliyah and she is preparing the rest of her family to return in the coming years. Hashem is with us everywhere!
It seems that some readers just read the beginning of your posts and don't scroll down for the best part :)
Let's all love each other and not pass judgment as stated in Jewish law.

Racheli

Shlomo, if you would have stopped yourself from freaking out about the OUD status of these delicious snickers bars, you might have used your common sense long enough to actually ask me if I ate the snickers bars. For your information, I took this picture At the checkout line and did not buy the snickers. Instead, you have chosen to bash not only me for something I didn’t even do, but you have bashed the entire Orthodox Union which is a wonderful organization that is enabling millions of Jews to keep kosher. Just because the OU’s standards of kosher are not as strict as the standards of a holy tzaddik like yourself, there is no need to insult their good work. They have what to rely on when deciding if something is kosher.

Yankel

@Shlomo (or anyone else for that matter)

Where is the source in the זוהר for the איסור on חלב נוכרי?

(I've been looking for this for awhile. Thank you in advance for for the help)

Racheli

Yankel, I don't know of the source in the Zohar, but I do know that the entire OU and other Gedolim permit chalav nochri. I am very irritated that someone can call something halachically permissible "asur" even when it has been permitted by many rabbis and a national organization.

Racheli

Chani, Hashem's beauty is everywhere, you are right about that. I am happy your are happy where you are. And I am happy you understand that there is much work to be done to raise emuna awareness in the States. I am ready to do what I can to help spread the light of emuna wherever I can. Thank you for your kind words! And as much as I used to love Snicker's bars, I don't eat them today. Just thought the slogans were absolutely brilliant marketing. ;)

Racheli

Aliza, THANK YOU for a wonderfully thought-out, sensible comment! I really appreciate people like you that actually use their brains. I am happy for your friend, and I am totally open to going back to Israel when the situation is appropriate. If my children make it there before me, I will certainly do my best to follow them. As long as my family is getting what it needs, I am very flexible and will do my best to adapt to the situation accordingly. Like you said, Hashem is everywhere and does not judge us... the way we judge others! lol Thank you for actually reading through and getting to the heart of the message! Please keep in touch!

Irwin weiss

Shulchan aruch says a jew must eat only cholev yisroel....

Sam

It is asur for a Sepharadi to eat chalav stam due to the gezeera derabanan that was encoded in Shulchan Aruch. The OU is relying on Rav Moshe Feinstein. Many modern poskim question if the circumstances for Rav Moshe's psak still exist. I know many OU rabbis. They are very serious and responsible and many American ashkenazim follow their standards

Sam

A very good article from the OU outlining its position and the psak of Rav Moshe including the psak of Rav Belski to continue permitting chalav stam for those who want to rely on the heter:

https://oukosher.org/blog/consumer-kosher/rav-moshe-ztls-heter-of-cholov-stam-revisited/

Racheli

Thanks for your comments, Sam. Read my reply to Shlomo.

Chava

Racheli,

Here's a warning: You do have to look at the INSIDE of these gorgeous buildings too, to see what's there, or WHO'S there. This article might make your hair stand on end - thank G-d the worst DIDN'T happen this time. https://israelunwired.com/florida-police-man-planned-to-set-building-on-fire-to-kill-all-jews/

All the very best,
Chava

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