23 posts categorized "Thought for the Day"

Smartphone Blind

My dear friend and Emuna Therapist Rebbetzin Yehudit Channen shared this video with me. It took me three times of watching this video to understand what was going on. In the end, I finally got it and laughed at my own stupidity and the humor of the video. While certainly funny, it's also painfully true. We've become so addicted to our phones that we can't even walk down the street without staring into it and typing. 

Even in the elevator nearly everyone I see is checking their phones. What exactly are they checking for? Do they need to be plugged in to the virtual world at every moment? What about connecting with the real world that they're actually a real part of?

Thank G-d we have Shabbat, a chance to disconnect from the social media time-sucker. We can focus on connecting with real people and developing real relationships instead of virtual ones. This Shabbat, weather permitting, go for a nice walk outside. Focus on the beautiful trees. Listen to the birds if they haven't flown South. Look at the gorgeous blue or grey sky. Enjoy breathing in the fresh or polluted air.

In other words, be present.

Shabbat Shalom! For something great to discuss with the family at the Shabbat table, see Rav Brody's mini-lesson on this week's Torah portion in the post directly below. With big smiles,

~Racheli


Rotten Ramens

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I bet you're probably wondering what in the world that is. If you're not, I worry for you. Well, as you can plainly see, it's a fork. A fork with dried up old ramen noodles on it. Now, you're probably wondering where I found this creation. Well, that's a no-brainer. It was on the floor in the back row of my junkmobile. My kids found it today as we came back from our disastrous outing at IKEA. Why is IKEA spelled in ALL CAPS? 

As I pulled up to our driveway, the kids were already halfway out of the car, hysterically laughing from their discovery. Here's a better view.

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OMG WHAT IS THAT?? I'm horrified. To find that moldy mess in my car?? Actually, I'm not really that surprised because my car really is a disaster. I just can't keep up with the kids bringing all kinds of food and snacks in the car, and of course none of them bother to take their snacks and wrappers out of the car. And my short-term memory is also horrendous, so I forget that there is a garbage dump in the backseat. And, I'm just so busy that I don't even have five minutes to waste going through the car. It's funny because I'm always cleaning up my house; but the car? Maybe twice a year. Maybe.

Here's one more angle, because I couldn't stop taking pictures of it because it was so disgusting.

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Now this is interesting. I bet you're wondering if I put that fork there so I could hold up the noodles without having to touch them. Absolutely. NOT! Whichever one of my kids ate this left the fork in the cup of noodles, and over the last several months (?!) they dried up in that position. Un-believable. 

Aside from feeling compelled to post this because it's so gross, I actually gained a little insight from these rotten ramens. I realized that our souls are also vulnerable to mold overgrowth of the spiritual sort. All of our bad deeds probably look this frightful on our souls. Oy, what if it looks even worse? 

Well, the good news is that Hashem gave us an easy way to keep our souls clean. It's called cheshbon nefesh, or daily accounting. Every day, we're advised to go over all of our deeds, both good and not-so-good. Then, we're supposed to make teshuva (repent) for them. If we've hurt someone else, we need to ask forgiveness from them.

This way, our souls are cleaned off, and we don't risk getting toxic mold buildup and harsh judgments as a result. The judgments literally do the dirty work for us, cleaning us up because we didn't do it first through our daily teshuva.

So, don't delay! Keep your souls sparkling and fresh with your daily spiritual cleanup! Doesn't that sound like a toothpast commercial?

And just so we don't end on a sour note, here's something sweet I made tonight!

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It's a hot apple cider with a cinnamon stick and some apple slices in it. And, oh yeah, it's got a splash of bourbon in it, because I've had a rough day. But really, the bourbon gives this drink an awesome kick. If you want the recipe, send me a comment and I'll happily give it to you.

Wishing you all a Chodesh Tov, Chanukah Sameach, and a big Shabbat Shalom!

~Racheli


Black Friday

The other day, I got a new doormat. Now some of you may remember that I also got a new doormat during the early summer. The story was so ridiculous that I had to write about it in my article, "My Darling Doormat." Eventually, this doormat was traded in for a newer, cleaner replacement, as you can see here:

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Fancy, no? 

So, because I'm borderline insane, I decided not to take any chances and left my darling husband a love letter on the door, for when he got home:

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A masterpiece, isn't it. So, he obviously took into consideration what his beloved and cherished wife wrote, and responded in the best way that promotes shalom bayit (marital peace,) as you can see below:

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Now that's what I call love. 

The Black Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday weekend marathon for people that likely already have more than enough stuff, compelled me to be like an annoying mother and remind all of you: don't let yourselves get too attached to your stuff. It's just stuff! 

Why don't they just call it Black December, because that's really what it is. Or maybe they should change it to Amazon December, because does anyone actually go to the mall anymore? 

BTW, did you know that here in Israel, we also had Black Friday? Just take a look!

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Can anyone explain this to me??


Planting Seeds

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So my husband sent me this strange picture of a seed. Fascinating, isn't it? Can anybody guess what this is? Well, you won't believe it, but after staring blankly at this seedling for five minutes, hubby finally realized that it is a popcor-en seed! That's right. A pop-cor-en seed. For you ignoramuses, popcor-en is Hebrew for popcorn. I can't make this stuff up. I'm not sure how the "-en" ending turns it into a Hebrew word, but like many things here, logic just don't jive with reality. 

So here's another question. Where do you think my husband found this darling little popcoren seedling? I'll give you a hint, since you'll never get it. It was growing inside his sink. Like, mamash (really,) inside the drain pipe. That's a logical place for a popcorn to sprout, no? Well, apparently it is, if you're an Israeli popcoren seed. Then it makes all the sense in the world.

The obvious lesson from this is to not let popcorn seeds go down your drain. They might grow a tree right up from the drain pipe, the same way that I used to believe a GMO gum tree the size of a sequoia might suddenly sprout out of my mouth because I kept swallowing my gum as a kid. That terrified me. The thought of never being able to eat again - God forbid a million times! Did your mothers also scare the living daylights out of you with zombie apocalypse scenarios like my mother did? Why was I so gullible?? Sadly, I still am kind of gullible. Kinda. Sorta.

The logical lesson I got from this is that seeds can sprout anywhere and at any time. Duh. But I'm talking about spiritual seeds, like the kind we plant in our kids, or the seeds we plant for our futures. It may take time to see the effects come about, and we may not even realize that we have planted seeds in the first place. But the seeds definitely will sprout - both for the good and for the bad.

That's why we (especially I) have to be super careful of how we (especially I) treat our (my) kids. Nothing happens suddenly. Not in children's behavior, and not in any area of our lives. We just don't realize that we've been planting seeds the entire time.   

So plant wisely. You never know what kind of seed may decide to sprout out of your sink, your toilet, or even worse, out of your stomach. Yuck. 

Have a wonderful day!

-Racheli

 


The Month of Tikkun

Hi! Racheli here. I don't know about you, but I find that this month of Elul is full of tikkunim, or soul corrections. Every day something happens. Yesterday, a tree managed to jump in my way as I was backing into a parking spot. I don't know how it did that. I think it was a suicidal tree. In any case, it broke my rear tail light, and made a nice big dent in the corner of my back bumper. 

Even though my husband wasn't driving, I'm still convinced that it's his fault somehow. The weird thing was that my sensor didn't beep when I was backing up. Usually it beeps to warn me that there's something behind me. But it could be that the tree was off to the side before it decided to jump in my way. The other weird thing is how my car managed to back up onto the sidewalk itself. It's a situation full of mystery.

In any case, my car backed up into a tree. On the sidewalk. Obviously this was a necessary tikkun for something hubby did wrong. You know? I just realized what it was! I now remember having asked him many times to take the baby to school, but he came up with all sorts of lame excuses, like he had to pray and get to work. See? I'm also full of excuses.

I was about to get upset, but as I surveyed the junkmobile, I realized that there were so many dents, scratches, and missing tail light covers, so what was one more dent? Thank God I own the car and I'm not looking to sell it any time soon. At the end of the day, better the car get banged up instead of something worse happening. 

That's how we need to look at everything that goes wrong in life, and especially during the month of Elul. Hashem is doing us great favors by sending us one tikkun after another this month. It means that He wants us to have as much of a clean slate as possible going into Rosh Hashana. If you're experiencing a crazy month of, well, craziness, thank Hashem for it. He obviously loves you very much and is doing everything to insure that you will have a year filled with blessings. Now if a tree happens to jump in front of my car when I'm driving, I'm gonna have to get my eyes checked. Have a great day!