131 posts categorized "Weekly Torah Portion"

I Have a Dream

Martin Luther King Quote
OMG, for the fifth year in a row, I did it again. I've forgotten somebody's birthday in the family. This year I forgot that today, January 16, is my oldest son's 12th birthday. I already forgot my third son's birthday last month, and I remember forgetting my own birthday at least three times. What is happening to me? I don't even know the calendar date most of the time! Is it the whole aging thing? If so, I'm really not digging it. 

So I actually had to go online and look at a calendar to see what date it is, and I found out that today, Monday (it's Monday, right?) is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day! Phew! So glad I caught that one in time. Actually, yesterday was his birthday. Now those of us that didn't skip half of high school might recall that Dr. King was a famous civil rights activist and made it his life's mission to end racial segregation and make racial equality a reality. His "I Have a Dream" speech is what most of us remember about the youngest ever Nobel Prize winner, but here are a few quotes that prove that Martin Luther King was also a secret Breslever:

-Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

-The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

-Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase. 

And here's the kicker: Dr. King earned his Ph.D. in theology, in which he compared two religious philosophers' views on God to his own idea of a "knowable and personal God." Hidden Breslever all the way, baby!

In honor of Dr. King's birthday, I'd like to share with you my dream. You see, I have a dream, too. In my dream, I will wake up to the smell of freshly brewed coffee, just like in the Folger's commercials. I will slip my feet into my faux-fur-lined slippers and walk into my hers-only bathroom with a full jacuzzi tub and my very own toilet that no one else is allowed to use. I have a dream that the kids will get out of bed without me having to scream at them, and get dressed and ready all by themselves. I have a dream! That my husband will make me breakfast one morning and do the dishes. Yes! I have a dream! That the laundry will fold itself and my husband will know where the kids' clothes are. I HAVE A DREAM! That I will have... a WALK-IN CLOSET! 

Rav Shalom Arush has a dream, too! In his dream, people are serious about working on their personal holiness. You see, he explains that it's not enough to just read about emuna and guarding your eyes, and then expect yourselves to just change in an instant. That's called a pipe dream; i.e., a fantasy. People, do you also have a dream that one day you'll reach those spiritual goals that you set for yourself? Then take advantage of The Power of Shovevim to make your dream a reality! 

While we're on the subject of influential leaders in the U.S., Rav Lazer Brody talks about Donald Trump's upcoming Presidential inauguration. With an emuna perspective that you just don't see anywhere else, Rav Brody shows us, through Trump's less-than-unexpected win, that Hashem is totally running the show. Don't miss The Delivery Man

You know what? I'd like to add something to my dream speech. I have a dream that all men will finally understand what it means to be a good husband. Men, are you giving your wives the Three A's? Uh, oh. You're asking what The Three A's are? You mean you don't know? Well, then you'd better read The Princess and the Caveman, PRONTO! 

Oh, boy. After complaining that I don't have enough space to put all of my stuff, Dr. Zev Ballen comes along and writes that we all just have too much stuff. There goes my walk-in-closet fantasy. But, really, Dr. Ballen asks if we are any happier with all of our extra stuff than those people who lived a few generations ago. So what are his suggestions for Living the Simple Life? Great questions! Read the article!

Okay, so here's another great question: what do Beards and Babies have in common? Eww, I can't stop imagining a baby with a beard! So freaky! Thank G-d, Eliezer Guterman isn't submitting any baby pictures to the Guinness Book, but he is sharing an unbelievable story about his twins' miracle birth(s?)! 

Lori Steiner writes A Parent's Letter to Hashem on behalf of all parents who can't stop using autospell on their smartphones. This beautiful letter is a moving, powerful, and grammatically correct must-read! 

I'm starting to wonder if our lovely Emuna Therapist Rebbetzin Yehudit Channen's life could get any more dramatic. You'll never believe what crazy situation she writes about this week In Plane Sight

David Perlow shows us through his own life example how thanking Hashem for everything really brings about incredible salvations. His Miracle in the Forest is so cool that I'm tempted to think he made it up. Maybe I shouldn't have written that. Just kidding, David! 

Wishing all of our awesome readers a wonderful week! 

~Racheli

p.s.- Can one of you out there please put my birthday, June 23 in the English/ 18 Sivan in your google calendar, so you can send me a reminder? And a gift?


The Delusional Tzaddik

Delusional
I've been to a night club or two in my life, and one of the most entertaining parts of my evenings out was to huddle up with my girlfriends and size up the competition. "Hey, check that one out," I'd say, nodding in the direction of the Barbie doll supermodel that looked like she dunked her head in a bucket of Clorox. It was South Beach, after all. "She be thinkin' she's all that with her goods on display." "Mmm, hmm, just look at her dress... she wishes she was as hot as you." Then we'd high-five and go dance some more. 

Okay, so this was totally my imagination gone wild. I hated going to clubs and I rarely drank. But, seriously, sizing others up is a problem that all of us face from time to time. It's easy to judge others for not being as good-looking, wonderful, smart, funny, well-dressed, blah, blah, blah, as we are. Actually, it's more than just easy; it's human nature. 

In reality, we're all delusional. All of us think that we're more perfect than we really are. That reminds me of South Beach, too. Oh, how many women I saw sauntering down the street in short dresses and too-tight tank tops when they really shouldn't have been. Really. Did they have one of those special circus mirrors at home that magically erased all of their imperfections? And if so, how can I score one?

Hey, all you BT's in da house... don't think you're not delusional, too. You are still human, right? Rav Shalom Arush explains that Baalei Teshuva are particularly prone to suffering from self-righteous delusion. Your beard can be so long that you're stepping on it, but that don't make you righteous. You're still the same person with the same baggage as you were before you decided to make teshuva. Every new BT wonders why he is suddenly bombarded with problems shortly after making the decision to lead a Torah lifestyle. Elementary, my dears! Rav Arush explains it all in his latest, Rebbe Natan and the BT's. Sounds like a music group from the '60's, no? 

Hmmm. Apparently there's a theme of delusion running through this week's Breslev Israel webmag. Rav Lazer Brody is telling us that if we think that Moshiach is going to come and wisk all of our problems away like Cinderella's fairy godmother, then we're in for a BIG surprise. Ain't no such thing gonna happen! So what's the point in Looking Forward to Moshiach if our fantasy lives of never-ending Tahitian vacations and 'round the world cruises don't await us? Great question! But I'm not going to tell you the answer - read it for yourself!

Ah, yes. More delusion. This time it's my turn to show y'all how delusional you are. I'm doing a series of shocking articles regarding diet and health. The Protein-Cancer Connection is the first in this series. While we're on the subject of delusion: did you know that most people don't relate what they eat to their state of physical health? Doesn't that seem a little crazy? But the craziest info is in this article. Please write me and tell me just how low your jaw dropped when you read what I wrote about the relationship between animal protein and cancer. 

This next story is an amazing one. Dr. Zev Ballen writes about the holy Rebbe Klonymus Kalmish Shapira, who served as a ray of hope and emuna in the dark and terrible years of the Holocaust. How can a person endure such horrific tortures and still be a source of inspiration and strength for others? Read about this amazing tzaddik (who wasn't delusional in the slightest) and his Faith in the Face of Pain. 

Rebbetzin Yehudit Channen, our amazing and well-loved Emuna Therapist, will send chills up your spine when you read her crazy (and not delusional) story about a little argument she had with her husband over where to have lunch. She learned the hard way that what seems to be unfair was actually the best thing for her in Your Money or Your Life.  Seriously, don't miss this one.

Dennis Rosen must have been a straight-A student in school, because I have no idea how he remembered so much detail in Rav Arush's and Rav Brody's lectures in Uman, and without taking notes! Anyhow, enjoy their Gifts From Uman, courtesy of Mr. Hyperthymesia. Just kidding, Dennis! 

Jennifer Woodward is way too organized for me as she describes her Spiritual Business Plan for 2017. It is 2017, right? Didn't I ask that already? 

And the Delusional Award of 2017 goes to David Perlow, for his unbelievable flight mix-up. Okay, so it's not so unbelievable to think you're flying on a different day than you actually are, but what do you do when you realize you've only got four hours to board your international flight? Speilberg, Emuna Take-Off is your next blockbuster. I want a 10% commission. Okay, 20%.

Wishing you every blessing!   

 ~Racheli (I'm really loving that squiggly thing!)


Miracle Twins!

Happy Chanukah, everyone! My insides are going crazy from this wicked stomach bug I'm still suffering with. On the other hand, it could be the 10 pounds of rancid canola oil that happened to be in my fluffy jelly donuts. I'm suspecting that it's not really the canola oil, since my husband and one of my kids also had it. But, who knows. Maybe GMO oil is so modified, that they've made it contagious. I wouldn't be surprised. Until my insides stop moaning and groaning in pain, I'm gonna keep eating whatever I want without any guilt, because it's going to go right through me. No calories, yo! See? There's something good to be found in every bad situation.

Speaking of crazy insides, Susan and Jimmy have their own saga to tell. During her sixth pregnancy, Susan went for a routine ultrasound, and the shocking news she got from the OB nearly caused her to have a breakdown. Thank Goodness, Jimmy was able to activate his emuna superpowers and calm her down. What happens next is truly superhuman, and can only be done by people who are strong in their emuna. Jimmy, you deserve the Husband of the Year Award. Rav Shalom Arush shares their incredible story in The Miracle Twins. 

Seeing the good in our difficult situations can be nearly impossible for us at times. Okay, let's be honest. I don't know about you, but seeing the good in any situation that is less than 99% to my liking is nearly impossible for me. Do you feel the same way? Please? Rav Lazer Brody explains that, in reality, having spiritual awareness isn't as difficult and abstract as we think it is. In fact, it's as simple as 1, 2, 3! Once we fortify ourselves with the realization that Help's on the Way, we can keep our calm and know with certainty that the current tribulation will only benefit us in the end. Don't miss this one!

While most of us are not walking tzaddikim (except me, of course,) many of us might believe that we are. Whether we're returning to the path of Torah observance, or have always been observant, sometimes we tend to think that the heavenly judgments we get are undeserved. In other words, we think we don't deserve what we're going through. Admit it. You know you do it. Honesty's a five-letter word, isn't it. Anyhow, sometimes it's The Little Things we do that create a whole 'lot of big judgments. What little things am I referring to? Well, you'll have to read the article if you want to know the answer. Duh. 

Our incredible new Emuna Therapist, Rebbetzin Yehudit Channen, gives us an inside scoop on her recent adventures working at the Kotel. Her interesting, bewildering, and sometimes downright insulting encounters with women while offering them a shawl to cover up their goods taught her a vital life lesson, which is actually one of Rebbe Nachman's most famous teachings. Check it out in Gotcha Covered! And don't forget - Rebbetzin Channen is now accepting appointments! Contact staff@breslev.co.il to set one up.

Lori Steiner wonders why most of us are afflicted with guilt and worry, especially if we know that Judaism stresses being happy. Is it possible to skip around all day like happy-go-lucky college kids who don't need to get a job and don't have their parents' $30,000 a year debt to occupy their self-obsessed, Holllywood-crazed brains? Find out Lori's answer to her (and my) question in Why Worry? 

Jennifer Woodward comes to terms with the amazing miracle of her Heartbeats after her shocking discovery. 

Shai Mor explains that Hashem wants more from His children than just fancy shuls and external Jewish appearances in The Two Princesses

What makes the eight day of Chanukah so special? And what does it have to do with our everyday lives? Pinney Wolman shares his amazing insights in Zot Chanukah

And here's a link to all sorts of cool Chankuah articles, so you can actually enjoy more than just oily food on this fun holiday! 

Have a great week, and Chanukah Sameach!

~Racheli