101 posts categorized "Inspiration"

MC "Hitbodedut" Hammer

PC and Truth
It's amazing that you can find spirituality in everything if you just take a good look. Speaking of good looks, over Shabbat, David and I were arguing over where our kids got their good looks from. Obviously, he points to himself, to which I respond: "Well, that's exactly why I'm asking the question." 

Shameful.

Great, I already forgot what I wanted to say. But you know what I didn't forget? I didn't forget that I ate too much cake on Shabbat. I look about four months pregnant right now, that's how bloated I am. All week long, I'm fine with eating healthy. I don't have any temptation to stuff my waist with processed junk and calories that are going to end up being like that annoying person that can't get the hint that you want him to go away and leave you alone, so he keeps talking and talking, totally oblivious to the fact that you've tuned him out and are trying to make it obvious, but not to the point of being rude, that you just want him to get the heck away from you. Maybe I should have written "her" instead of "him." What difference does it make these days, anyway? Gender titles have suddenly become passe and degrading.

My problem, like many others out there, is that my desire to eat the moist, chocolaty marble cake is aroused only when I see the cake. If I don't see it tempting me from its container on my counter top, then I don't desire to eat it. I just realized that maybe I should put the cake somewhere where I can't see it. But then, how will it get eaten? Do you see my dilemma?

Well, Rav Arush understands my suffering. He realizes that resisting the cake is almost The Toughest Challenge for me. As in every tough challenge, he explains that our attempts to resist our bodily urges are futile without asking Hashem to help us succeed. More specifically, Rav Arush is referring to bodily lust. Even though I'm not a man (but I could say I am if that's how I feel, because this world is so messed up,) I feel your pain, guys. I have found through personal experience that it is absolutely impossible for me to resist my sweet goodies if I don't ask Hashem to save me from my desires. 

So you may be wondering why I titled my post the way I did. If you're not wondering, there's something wrong with you. Back in the '90's, I was in high school, and MC Hammer was all the rage. All of us wore those Hammer pants that looked like something fell inside of them and created this massive hanging piece of fabric between the pant legs. It almost looked like a curtain. I bet those pants could actually have been used as a curtain or as a cape in desperate situations where one needed to shield himself from the sun or suddenly fly away like a witch into the night. 

Well, I distinctly remember one of Hammer's songs, which wasn't his most popular, but it was catchy enough for me to remember it 20+ years later. It's called, "We Got to Pray." The lyrics are so spiritual and profound, that I am totally convinced that Hammer was another hidden Breslever, just like Martin Luther King, as I discussed in last Monday's post. Hence, I've given him the name, MC "Hitbodedut" Hammer. Check it out!

We got to pray (pray), I said we pray (pray,) We got to pray just to make it today. 

Okay, so that's half the song right there, but it gets better:

I tried and tried and tried to make a way, but nothing happened 'til that day I prayed. 

We're sending this one out to the Lord, And we thank You and know we need to pray, Cause all the blessings that are good, they come from Above, And once again we want to say "THANK YOU" to the Lord with all our love.

I'm thinking about coming out with a book called "Hidden Breslevers Through the Ages." Seriously. 

With the anti-God Liberal movement in full swing in the U.S., many people might believe that political correctness is a fairly recent invention. Rav Lazer Brody shows us that actually, it's not. In fact, political correctness dates all the way to the times before the Holy Temples were destroyed. Saying something Politically Incorrect certainly doesn't make you a popular person, especially not in Israel, ironically enough. What's the consequence of ignoring actions that are being done which go directly against the Torah? Oooh, you don't want to know! But, really, you do! Read the article!

Just because I like to enjoy a good piece (or three) of cake, it doesn't mean that I'm not into being healthy. Au contraire, darlings! This week, I examine a type of scientific short-sightedness that I call Medical Myopia.  Instead of focusing on changing our eating habits, drug companies and even vitamin and supplement companies try to re-direct our focus to buying more magic pills or vitamins. But too much focusing on taking pills can make us feel like we don't need to change our lifestyles, if we're giving our bodies what they need through medicines, natural or otherwise. Not to mention that it makes such companies crazy rich. This cuckoo mindset is W-Wr-Wro-Wrong! I've got some shocking statistics in here for you, so definitely don't miss reading this one!

I've decided that Rebbetzin Yehudit Channen's life should be made into a movie. I've never met anyone who has had so much drama, and survived it all! You'll never believe the mess she found herself in this time, on her Walk on the Wild Side. OMG. 

Chana Sherman writes about the struggle of being Torah-observant in the corporate world in The CEO Wears a Sheitel. 

David Perlow is a former IDF soldier, so he knows lots about discipline, fighting, and lust. Oops, what I meant to say was that he makes a brilliant comparison in the way soldiers are forced to depend on their superiors to how we are forced to depend on Hashem, and shows us that we are all spiritual Soldiers of the Honor Guard. *This article is for men only, and by men, I mean those who were genetically born as a man and remain a man. Of course, I had to read the article so I can promote it, but for the duration of actually reading the article, I really believed that I was a man, so according to Liberals, that made me a legitimate man, even if it was only for three minutes. Now, does this make me a transgender? Is there a term for going from one gender back to another and then back again? What an avant garde idea!

Lori Steiner came up with a great invention called The Happiness Meter.  It keeps you from feeling so elated that you'll predictably crash afterward, and it also keeps you from falling into a depression. How does it work? Well, I didn't invent the thing! Read the article to find out.

Dr. Zev Ballen continues discussing the secrets and joys of Living the Simple Life.  With all of the material temptations we face every day, is there a spiritual reason and benefit to resisting them? And if so, how can we accomplish such a tremendous feat?

Wishing all of our awesome readers a wonderful week! 

-Racheli


You Rock

Strange things happen when I'm tired. For example, I just ate three bowls of awesome mushroom risotto. I don't know why. I wasn't even hungry. Actually, my senseless eating was very eco-friendly because I'm preserving landfill space by throwing away less waste.

Since I'm basically a vegan this week, I had to find something interesting to make. It came out delicious, and of course my kids didn't want to go near it. Even my little boyfriend was making barf sounds when I tried to feed him. Yuck. 

IMG_20161219_223032820

Seriously, does that look so bad? It's dee-lish! 

What else does my brain do when it's tired? It starts time-traveling through space and, well, time; eons into the past. Tonight it landed on a quote that somehow stuck with me, though I'm not sure why. Some of you may remember the ridiculous and ridiculously funny movie, Zoolander. I'm talking about the original; not the new attempt at trying to re-create a blockbuster that most sequels simply can't do. Whatever. Do you think they care? They still made millions off people that were hoping to get the same dose of funny as the original. 

Aside from the famous "Blue Steel" look, which, incidentally, I am quite good at imitating, I remembered two words spoken between Zoolander and I don't know who: "You rock." And then Mr. I don't know what's his name says, "No, you rock." 

And so I realized: Yes. I do, in fact, rock. I am an awesome wife, mother, woman, friend, and sometimes scary mud-mask-wearing zombie. But it gets better. You rock, too. YOU are an awesome man/woman (hopefully not both or neither,) spouse, friend, human being, and fill in the blank. You work hard to earn a living, to be a good person, to care for your children, to help others, to be a good role model, to create a connection with Hashem, and to use your unique set of talents and abilities that Hashem designated just for you. This is not easy, and you should give yourselves credit for it.

We all have to remember this, especially when we get too focused on how we just can't stop messing things up. Rebbe Nachman gives us one of the most vital life lessons in five (?) simple words: LOOK FOR YOUR GOOD POINTS! That was five, right? 

So, in almost 2017, I'm streamlining Rebbe Nachman's advice for those adults who can't read good and wanna learn to do other stuff good too: YOU ROCK. 

And don't you forget it.

~Racheli

 


A Prayer of Thanks

It's 3:30 and I just got home about an hour ago from my Zumba/weight training/food shopping marathon. Last night, David wanted to make himself his usual breakfast/lunch/dinner of egg whites and salad (BORING,) and of course I didn't have any of the ingredients he needed besides the lettuce. I was like, "Oh, you live here? Sorry, I forgot." And believe me, I really did forget. "Maybe Hashem wants you to go on a diet," I told him. Why should I admit I was caught unprepared? NEVER!!

Besides, it has taken me two days to go through all of the suitcases, and do laundry, and cook for Shabbat, and put everything away. Oh, and of course there are these kids that live in my house that I'm supposed to take care of. So I did that too. Therefore, is it really my fault that I forgot to buy him everything he normally eats? Like, that's so last priority! 

Anyhow, there was this folded up paper at the bottom of his suitcase. I opened it up before throwing it away, because that's the responsible thing to do. Actually, I opened it because I was curious. Responsibility is for adults. Well, it turns out that it was a beautiful prayer called "A Prayer of Thanks." So here it is. Print it up. Put it on your fridge. Make sure you give your spouse a copy. Enjoy!

King of Kings, Holy One, Blessed be He, Master of the Universe - THANK YOU!

THANK YOU for the myriad times You've helped me, supported me, caused me to rejoice, healed me, protected me, and encouraged me. 

THANK YOU for always being with me. 

THANK YOU for giving me the strength to do good deeds, and the strength to pray.

THANK YOU for all the times You've helped me and I didn't know how to thank You.

THANK YOU for the kindnesses You bestow upon me every moment.

THANK YOU for every breath I take.

And THANK YOU, King of kings, even for the things I don't have; THANK YOU for making things a little difficult for me sometimes; THANK YOU for the sadness I sometimes feel - for it is all for my benefit, even though I don't always see it that way.

Deep down inside, I know that everything that comes from You is best for me; everything that comes from You suits me perfectly, every detail meticulously designed for me, like only The King of kings can do.

THANK YOU for making things a little difficult for me sometimes, because only in this way can I appreciate what is good; only after being in the darkness can one appreciate the light.

THANK YOU for the wonderful life You've given me.

THANK YOU for the most minute things I have, for absolutely everything comes from You.

THANK YOU for always hearing my prayers.

Creator of the Universe, I beg your forgiveness from the depths of my heart if I didn't always know how to appreciate what You've given me, and instead of saying Thank You, I complained.

I am but dust, and You are Everything. Please don't distance yourself from me.

Master of the World, I love You with all of my heart and all of my soul. 

  


Don't Let Them Put You Down!

My husband just showed me a clever video of all kinds of news reporters and others that said there was absolutely no way Trump would win. Even his own people didn't think he stood a chance.

The Democrats are still reeling from his win, and I think it's fair to say that most of us are still in shock. But I have a public service announcement for everyone; Democrat, Republican, Independent, and Apolitical.

The title of this post might have clued you in to the message: Don't let anyone discourage you! 

If you have a goal that you're working towards, it doesn't matter what anyone else has to say about it. No one else's predictions matter, especially not the negative ones! Only Hashem knows if you are meant to succeed in reaching your goals. Your main job is to do your best! The results are not up to you, so there's no reason stressing over them. There's especially no reason for listening to negative input. 

If you have a desire to do something great, that means Hashem put that desire in you! Hashem believes in you; you just have to believe in yourself! 

But, what if you gave something your best shot and things didn't turn out as you had hoped? Well, maybe Hashem just wanted to show you how much drive and commitment you have inside. Maybe you just needed to see it for yourself, so you can really believe that you can reach great heights, even though others didn't believe in you. 

Each one of you has tons of greatness inside. Don't be afraid to push yourselves even beyond what you believe you are capable of! And never, ever let anyone put you down!

Shabbat Shalom, and blessings for success in everything you do!

-Racheli


It's All for the Boss

All for the Boss2
There's a big difference between Yoram, a G-d fearing farmer from the Jezreel Valley who grows sunflowers, and between the other farmers in the area that also grow sunflowers. As much as a person loves farming and the outdoors, growing sunflowers is not the most intellectually-stimulating and interesting things that a person can do for a living. In fact, it can be back-breaking and pretty boring work if you're doing it just to scrape out a living.

But not Yoram! He's one of "Garinei Afula"s best contract growers. "Garinei Afula" are famous for selling the biggest and best sunflower seeds in Israel. It's an Israeli national pastime to munch away on sunflower seeds, especially on Shabbat with a Gemara and a cup of tea. Sunflower seed munching is the symbol of Israeli national unity, because it's the one thing that the secular and religious population hold in common - everybody in the country does it. Even when you go to a "Shalom Zachar" on Friday night (the custom of saying mazal tov to the father of a newborn son), three things must be on the table - hummus (whole chickpeas), popcorn and sunflower seeds.

So, if you ask Yoram what keeps him so excited about growing sunflowers after 40 years in the blazing sun of the Jezreel Valley, he'll say, "If I was working for myself, that would be one thing; I don't think I'd have the power to go with this at age 67. But it's all for the Boss - Hashem. I don't know of anyone - outside of Hashem - who can calculate how many millions and trillions of blessings have been made on my sunflower seeds in the last 40+ years since I've been growing them. Try and think how many people have sat together on Friday night enjoying each other and my seeds. Think how many pages of Gemara have been learned, because munching my seeds keep the Torah scholars from falling asleep on Friday night. Imagine how many Israeli soldiers have remained alert on their border watches by virtue of the fact that they have a bag full of seeds to munch on..."

Wow, imagine the place in Gan Eden that awaits a sunflower-seed farmer whose motivation has always been, "It's All for the Boss."

What's our motivation?

Join us today for our weekly shiur and broadcast from Jerusalem, entitled "It's All for the Boss," a shiur you don't want to miss. It will take place, G-d willing, in the ground-floor main sanctuary of the Chut Shel Chessed Yeshiva on 13 Shmuel Hanavi Street in Jerusalem at 7PM Israel time (12 noon EST); the shiur is open to the public - both men and women are invited. You can see today's lesson here - the broadcast, as well as our lessons posted from now on - are Mac and iPod compatible. If you tune in too early to the live broadcast link, you'll be sent to the main page of the Breslev Israel website, so try to tune in on time.  If you are not able to view today's broadcast live, then G-d willing, you'll be able to see the video tape of it later this coming week on Lazer Beams. 


Cha-ching!

My (Racheli) memory is so weird sometimes. Actually, the really weird thing is the associations I sometimes make between different thoughts and memories. Case in point: last week, I had what you would call, "One of those days." Sigh. Eye roll. I'm not very good with those little smiley icons. 

It started with me being woken up by my kids' screaming that there were cats in the backyard. Then they began screaming because they were killing each other. Then I tried to make a coffee, which I didn't get around to until like 11 am. Then, by the time I actually went to make the coffee, my hand hit the paper cup and spilled the hot water all over the counter. That's what I get for being lazy and trying to avoid doing more dishes. I'm so environmentally unfriendly sometimes. Finally, when I actually got to put the coffee in the paper (I'm very stubborn) cup again, I put almond milk in it by mistake. Yuck. I threw it out and had to start all over. Again.

Since my memory is so bad, I can't remember what happened the rest of the day, but I can safely assume there was quite a bit of fighting, threatening, screaming, laundry, etc. All in a good day's work, I say. So what does this have to do with the title of the post?

Our sages teach us that every difficulty is an atonement for something we did wrong. Okay, maybe not me, but definitely you guys out there. And for sure, my husband. Can't forget to leave him out, right? Every atonement brings us a necessary soul correction. Somehow, this thought made me remember Seth Green in a really silly commercial saying, "Cha-ching" when he was ringing up someone's order. Go figure.

So when you're experiencing "one of those days," you can also say "Cha-ching" every time you knock over a cup of hot water or fall smack on your tailbone during your Zumba class, like I did this morning. So much for being the Zumba Queen. But ain't no one gonna take my title from me that fast. You'z gonna have to come and get it. 

What's the vital lesson we need to keep with us during these last few days before Rosh Hashana? Every atonement is like money in the bank! Next time something goes wrong, instead of getting upset, say, "CHA-CHING!" in your most enthusiastic voice. Okay, I don't think I could do that. But if you can, please, let me know how you did it. Would you do it if I promised you that you would double your money? Well of course I can't do that, silly! 

So thank Hashem for every "cha-ching" He gives you this week. G-d willing, you'll see tremendous blessings because of it for the entire following year, and beyond!