33 posts categorized "Thought for the Day"

My Bling Bling

I hope David doesn't read this post. A few days ago, I took the train to Malcha Mall in Jerusalem and couldn't help but buy this gorgeous light blue sapphire ring. What do you think?

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Don't worry, I've got it all figured out. When hubby gets the bill, I'm going to act dumb, as if I have no idea where that mysterious 4,000 shekel charge came from. And then, when we get into a huge fight about it, I'm going to pull out the, "What, I'm not worth it?!!" card.

Seriously, don't tell him what I wrote. That goes for you especially, Judah Cohen. I know where you live.

Although my photography skills are still quite lacking due to shaky hands and a cheap phone camera, I think this picture is pretty nice. Do any of you remember that old Jlo song, "Jenny from the Block"? I came up with my own version.

Don't be fooled by the rocks that I got... I just totally lied to you and this ring costs only $11.  

Now that's a Grammy-winning song right there. 

For some reason, I'm not ashamed to admit that I love fake jewelry, especially because it's cheap! In my mind, why should I spend a ton of money just to have something that I can say is real, if I can get something fake that's just as beautiful and 1/100th the cost? 

Men, you're probably like, "So what do I care about your ugly ring?" Well, I'll tell you what. My ring actually carries very deep and esoteric messages, like: "money ain't buy you no happiness," and "mo' money, mo' problems," and "you can still buy nice jewelry for your wife that doesn't have to cost your life's savings." 

Most of the things that we chase in life look like they'll give us real happiness. Money, fancy homes, fancy cars, fancy jewelry - it's all nice, but it's a glittering mirage. It's funny, in a way. The tangible things that we want seem real, but they're not. And the intangible things that we place less importance on are what's real.

Love, joy, peace of mind, fulfilling relationships, a strong and personal  connection with The Creator - these things are what's really important in life. Botttom line? It's great to want nice things in life, just don't make it your life's mission to have nice things. Get outta my way, Confucius. 

And if you still think this ring is real, go and get yourself a free eye exam at Walmart, pronto.

Have a wonderful day!

~Racheli

 


I'm Baaaack!

Happy new week, dear readers! It's Racheli, and I'm soooooooo thrilled to be back! Seriously, I missed you guys. Really. Did you miss me? Even just a little? No? Well, just pretend like you did, okay? I'm very fragile, you know. 

Speaking of fragile, for that one person that did miss me, (Tena, would that be you?) I'll give you a little quiz so you can figure out on your own where I've been hiding.

Racheli hasn't been on LazerBeams for over two weeks because:

a) she's been lounging on the beach in Eilat

2) she's been treating herself to daily massages and mani/pedi's

%) she's been unable to leave the kitchen for the entire week of Pesach

8) her kids have been home for nearly three weeks, and she almost lost her mind

72) all of the above

Hmmmm. I know. It's a tough choice. Think. Exercise what's left of those precious brain cells. While you're scratching your heads trying to figure it out, I'm scratching my head trying to find something inspirational to say. Since my brain cells are currently recovering from my kids' ridiculously extended vacation, I'll share with you these gorgeous pics that I took right behind my house. Gosh, Israel is so, so beautiful! Maybe one day I'll actually get to see what's beyond my backyard!

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Wishing you a wonderful and inspiring week!

 

 

 

 


WOW!!

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I can't believe it! I actually found a caricature of myself! Okay, so it's not entirely accurate. Instead of a tennis racket, I would be holding a free weight, and instead of holding a cute little baby I'd have five wild genetically modified monkey/boy hybrids climbing all over me and fighting. But aside from that, this pic is spot-on. I even wear a crown on my head all day. And I really am that skinny. Almost.

But when I'm mad? Watch out! I look more like this:

Firebreathing dragon

The past few days I've been doing a lot of this cool fire-breathing technique. It's a shame it's not included in the relaxation breathing techniques that I never do, because if it were, I'd be the most chill mom in the world. Fo' rizzle. 

This second pic is exactly how I feel today. I've had it with the stress of cleaning, cleaning some mo', food shopping, turning over my kitchen, covering stuff up, did I miss anything? The kids have only been home on their Pesach break for one day and I'm ready to run away. They made me blow up our little inflatable pool, and that meant lots of extra laundry. LOTS. Not cool. Then, one of my kids threw a tantrum and absolutely refused to get his hair cut because he wasn't first. And then a whole bunch of other stuff.

As they say, Baruch Hashem! It could be a whole 'lot worse.

Next week, we'll re-experience our liberation from slavery. I can't wait! I love getting drunk and then having to do the dishes and put the kids to bed after slaving away the entire day. 

These past few weeks and the grand finale that we (WOMEN) have been slaving away towards is almost here. And therefore, I'd like to give a shout-out to all of the awesome MOMS that do it all, and then some. So I had this crazy cool chiddush about the word MOM. If you turn it upside-down, it says WOW.  

Like, totally cool! Here, I'll use it in a sentence: WOW, I can't believe how much MOM accomplishes every day! 

Is it really a chiddush? I'm sure someone else thought of it first, but since I didn't know about it, I'll happily take full credit for it. 

Yes, you Dads are awesome too. But I couldn't include you in the WOW, because that wouldn't make any sense. After all, DAD upside-down is nothing. But if you put it in lowercase, like dad, then you'll get pap. Which is also dad, albeit quite a stretch. Pap, pappy, pop, whatever. 

Anyhow, I'd just like to say on behalf of Hashem that He's super proud of all of our efforts. It's truly unbelievable how many things we have on our plates at the same time, and we still do as much as we can to live according to the Torah as best as we can. Kol Hakavod! Hashem loves you, babe.

Wishing you a happy, low-stress, buzzed but not sick drunk, enjoyable, and delicious Yetzias Mitzrayim

~Racheli


Paradise

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Okay, the strangest thing just happened. I had a completely different idea for this post, but that can wait until I tell you what happened. First of all, shavua tov! I hope you all enjoyed a leisurely Shabbat, whatever that means. Now I'll get to my crazy story.

I didn't have any clue as to what I should post, so I decided to look through the pics on my phone to see if anything interesting came up. All in all, I was sitting at my computer for about an hour, going through emails and whatever. So I'm scrolling through my pics and this one of a T-shirt popped up. I took it a couple of weeks ago when I managed to get out of Bet Shemesh and reach civilization, i.e., a big city. I was at the Azrieli mall in Tel Aviv and saw this shirt hanging there, which I found so funny because I'm from Miami Beach, and aside from the fact that it really does look like Paradise, it also looks a lot like Tel Aviv these days, so I don't understand what all the hype is about. Actually, Tel Aviv and Miami are too similar in too many ways, if you get my drift.

Anyhow, as I'm downloading this picture onto my computer, I'm trying to tune out David's guitar playing that's grating at my ears from the living room. He was also playing for the same amount of time that I was on my computer. Then, as this picture is uploading, I hear him suddenly start to sing some lyrics from a song back in the '80's, about Paradise. I couldn't believe my ears!

I called him over, wondering if he had seen my email of the picture to myself, because he also gets my emails on his phone. Talk about nosy! And then I remembered that I didn't put anything in the subject line, so there was no way for him to know what I was sending myself. So in the exact same minute, he's singing about Paradise as I'm downloading it onto my computer!

Is that not totally crazy?

It's funny when these things happen, isn't it? We may think that things like this are random, but they're not. Hashem is always working behind the scenes, pulling the invisible strings in our heads. When you're thinking of someone and they suddenly call you, it's not random. It's Hashem.

Now I totally forgot my original point. Give me a minute.... Oh, yeah. So Paradise is not a place. It's a state of mind. 

I know it's hard to believe for those of us that aren't multimillionaires, but you can have everything and be miserable. 

If you are truly happy with your life, then you are living in Paradise.

Why did I keep writing Paradise with a capital P? 

Blessings for a wonderful week!

~Racheli


Oops! I Did it Again

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Last night, as I was putting my kids to sleep, I was overcome with the urge to clean out my husband's shelf in our tiny closet. Now I'm sorry I didn't take a picture of the shelf before I cleaned it, because it was a total disaster. Plastic bags were piling up on top of each other, loose change was laying around, and all kinds of wires and G-d knows what were clogging up my shelf. Since my little boyfriend decided he was going to sleep in my bed last night, I did my best to persuade him otherwise by leaving the light on and cleaning the closet without attacking him with kisses. 

Finally, he decided to go sleep in his own bed, and I decided that half of the junk needed to go. So I threw it away. Fast forward a few hours. David came home and wanted to eat dinner. Since Thursdays have turned into my "fast food" night, (OMG!) I showed him the vegan kebabs that I had so expertly warmed up in the oven. He wanted to see the nutrition info on the bag, and I pointed to the garbage can. "How am I supposed to eat it if I don't know how many calories are in it?" he asked. "Why are you so concerned, Mr. Universe?" I told him. "It's not like you're gonna see a difference one way or another!" Ouch. Why do I write this stuff?

So we argued about it for a while, and finally he decided he was going to go through the garbage and look for the bag. I couldn't believe it. As he was making his way down the pile, he noticed a bag of stuff that looked familiar and pulled it out. 

Uh, oh. 

He took it to the counter and opened it up. I tried to ignore what he was doing, but soon enough he called me over. "What is this?! Why do you keep throwing my stuff away???!" He was sooooo mad as he pulled out his brand new eyeglass case and held it up in front of me. "What?" I asked, all innocent-looking. "I never saw that eyeglass case before!" "That's because I just bought it!" Like, oops. "Well, that's what you get for being such a slob!" I snapped at him. And then we enjoyed a nice romantic glass of red wine together.

I thought I would write about this because Pesach is less than a month away, and that means that suddenly everyone goes into hyper-cleaning mode. Since I'm always in hyper-cleaning mode, I felt that I should kick it up a notch and go into hyper-throwing-out mode - you know, in honor of Pesach. 

So what's my point? I've realized that cleaning for Pesach is similar to personal prayer. If you do it all year long, you don't get unexpected surprises popping up in your life , or in your garbage. Wait. That doesn't even make any sense. Isn't every surprise unexpected? I mean, if it was expected, how could it be a surprise? 

Gosh, I'm so profound.

Personal prayer, especially a daily self-assessment, is like Pesach cleaning all year long. There is no way you can remember what you did wrong or right like, nine months after you did it. I can't even remember what I did five minutes ago. So how can you do teshuva for something that you don't remember doing? And if you didn't do teshuva for it, then by default you've created judgments for yourself. It's sad, but true.

Every day we have an opportunity to spend a few minutes in self-introspection, so we can clearly see what we need to work on. If we don't try to improve ourselves, our negative character traits could end up in the garbage, right next to my husband's eyeglass case. And wouldn't that be a shame?

On that note, have a happy, healthy, and restful Shabbat!

~Racheli


Haman's Curse

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A few nights ago I took my kids out for some last-minute Purim/Shabbat shopping, because I just can't learn my lesson. They wanted to "stop by" the toy store, you know, just to schmooze around. Sure. I told them like a thousand times that I wasn't going to buy them anything, but of course they suddenly developed amnesia when they walked into the store. 

As I did my best to hide from my older kids, my little boyfriend, Natan, who's turning three in a few days, walked around the store asking me if I could buy him everything on the shelves. The funny thing was that he asked it so nonchalantly, showing me that he really didn't care about the toys he was asking me to buy him. I found myself saying, "No" every two seconds, while casually checking out the prices on the toys.

Many things were on sale, and if I had wanted to, I could have bought a few of those toys. And that's when I realized something amazing: because the toys were so easy for me to buy, they didn't have any real value in my eyes. Of course, part of that was probably because I wouldn't be playing with those toys, although maybe I would if I actually had some time to play.

For a few minutes, I actually felt what it would be like to be super-wealthy. I gotta be honest - it didn't feel that exciting. All of us, no matter what level of wealth we have, get bored with our stuff. The super-rich can walk around any store and buy anything without necessarily feeling the pinch in their big inflated bank accounts, but they're missing something precious - the excitement that comes along with buying something you really want.

That's why being rich is a bottomless pit. Money makes a person insatiable; he can never have enough stuff. Not only that, he has to constantly get nicer and more expensive stuff, and eventually he gets bored of all of it. This, my friends, is a curse.

Haman suffered the same curse. He was so rich, if he had lived today he would easily be on Forbes' "Top 10 Wealthiest People" list. He might even beat Bill Gates. But, as he states in Megillat Esther, all his riches are worthless when he sees Mordechai sitting at the palace gates. It's true that Mordechai's stubborn unwillingness to bow down to him enraged him. But why exactly was it so important for Haman that Mordechai should bow to him? Why wasn't it enough that the rest of the world bowed to him when he passed by?

Here's what I think. Haman wanted from Mordechai the one thing he couldn't have. Since he couldn't have it, Haman instinctively knew that this was the one thing left in the world that was exciting for him. What else was left? He had money, power, women, a palatial mansion, children. He had everything.

In reality, Haman's curse should be called "The Curse of Everything." Because once you have everything, there's nothing left to look forward to. More of the same just doesn't do it.

Those of you that dream of living the Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, do yourselves a favor and dream yourselves out of it. There's a big blessing in not being able to have the dream life that you want. Believe me, Hashem is doing you a massive favor. Just think about how many uber-wealthy people are terribly depressed, suffer from marital problems, and/or have kids that are totally messed up. That's not a happy life. 

Wishing you all a wonderful, meaningful, and SAFE Purim!!

Oh, yeah, so you're probably wondering why I put a picture of sheep at the top of this post. Well, the truth is that I really didn't have a picture ready for this post, so the idea came to me to use this picture and say that these sheep are actually people dressing up as sheep for Purim. And then, as I was uploading the picture, I suddenly remembered that we just read Parashat Zachor, in which King Saul was commanded to wipe out the nation of Amalek, and even their animals, because the sheep might really be people in disguise! I promise you I'm not lying! Isn't that just insane?? And, I took this picture about two weeks ago, because I never saw a bunch of sheep so close to my house. Totally freaky Divine Providence, yo! 

~Racheli


#NOTMYCOOKIES

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I'm torturing myself right now. Aside from Shabbat, which has turned into my cheat day, I've been very good about staying away from such healthy treats like these chocolate chip cookies. First of all, I'd just like to inform you, our educated readers, that there are actually many people here in Israel that really believe canola oil is healthy. It's true! I mean, not that canola oil is healthy. I mean that people believe it's healthy. Well, you get it.

Listen, Schreiner's, just because you make an awesome cookie and I'm giving you a free plug, it doesn't give you the right to advertise your cookies as healthy when they're full of unhealthy ingredients, like canola oil, processed "whole" wheat, sugar, chocolate chips, um, excuse me, but what exactly is healthy in this cookie? So please stop with the false marketing and send me a few free boxes of your most unhealthiest cookies. And brownies. I love your brownies. I mean, I hate your brownies. Hate them! HAAAATEEEE!!!!

I'll tell you why I'm torturing myself. I just ate a cookie. I sound crazy, I know. Believe me, I know. But I wasn't even hungry. Actually, I was totally full. But you know, I work out, I eat right, and I am so bothered that it's so easy to undo everything I spent the last few days/weeks/months doing! 

You know what really drives me crazy? Just walking past these things in the kitchen. Actually, my kitchen is so small that there's no room to walk past them, so I bump into them every time I walk into the kitchen. I'm like, "Oops! Whoa, so sorry about that!... Wait a minute... you look familiar. Have we met somewhere?" I ask the box of cookies as I lean forward with a little flirtatious smile. In the meantime, I've managed to pull a fast one and slid my hand into the box to steal a cookie without the box realizing what I've done. It's because the box has fallen under the magical spell of my charm.

I gotta tell you that for the first time in my life, I'm salivating like Pavlov's dogs when I walk past any bakery. Could it be because I'm not eating it any more? Hmmmm. Will have to think about that possibility. Eureka! I just had a genius idea!

What if I start a one-woman protest called #notmycookies? I could pretend that, even though I bought the cookies and they are literally mine because I own them, I could create this fantasy in which I believe that these cookies really belong to someone else, and one day they're going to come and get them, so I can't in good conscience eat them, because that would be stealing. 

That's right, folks. I don't accept these cookies as my cookies, because I don't agree with the ingredients they're made from. I stand for health, fitness, and looking good, and these cookies stand for sugar (yum,) chocolate (yum yum,) and all those toxic ingredients. And dogs. Why in the world did I just write that? How can cookies stand for dogs? What's wrong with me? BTW, is it true? Can dogs really not eat chocolate? I had two dogs, but I loved them too much to test that theory out.

Since I have a feeling that my protest will not go viral on social media, I have another suggestion as to how we (especially ME) can avoid this constant torture of the chocolate chip cookie and all forbidden foods:

DON'T LET THEM INTO YOUR HOUSEEEE!!!!!! 

When you go to the market, DON'T go down the aisles with all of the processed garbage foods! STAY AWAY from aisles #4,5, and 6! And 7,8,9, and 10! If you find yourself in a war with your hand that refuses to let go of the box of Entenmann's chocolate-covered donuts (my absolute favorite,) smack your hand with your other hand and keep walking!

Have you figured out this week's secret to losing weight? That's right! If you don't see it, you don't want it! Don't you find that to be so true? How many times do you not want a can of Coke until you see the big red Coke truck driving by? Doesn't your mouth start to salivate? Are we all just dogs? Or is it just me?

This week, when you do your shopping, steer clear of the middle of the store. Not only will you find yourself eating less junk throughout the week, but you'll save a whole 'lot of money! I know those snacks and drinks ain't cheap!

Keep in touch with me and let me know how your week is going. Also, I'm starting a new thing. I'm inviting you to send me your recipes with a picture, and each week I'll pick one recipe and post it on Thursday so people can have time to get the ingredients and make it for Shabbat.

Email me your recipes at racheli@breslev.co.il. 

In the meantime, I'm going to help myself to another cookie (or three.) Seriously, how much longer can I drive myself crazy by looking at that box? At least I don't have to prolong my suffering, right?

~Racheli