153 posts categorized "Weekly Torah Portion"

TGSIO

I should be asleep right now. But I ate like 6 or 7 cacao beans, which are totally bitter and disgusting, but they give you so much energy and do all kinds of other things that I'm too lazy to write about. Actually, it's not that I'm so lazy, but I just painted my nails and it's very hard to type with wet nails. Okay, so I'm also a little bit lazy.

Do any of you know what that title stands for? That's right! Thank G-d Shabbat Is Ova'. I love Shabbat, but being alone with five boys who won't listen to a word I say and who refuse to go and fight outside is very draining. Especially when I don't have a husband to yell at to get up from his beauty sleep and go take care of those unruly kids of his. And now my oldest one, who's 12, is getting all hormonal and pre-pubescent on me, and I realized that I basically have two choices: 

a. run away

b. start drinking

I wanted to add in a third choice, but it's not legal, not even in China. Maybe it's legal in Syria, since people seem to be killing each other like it's going out of style, Hashem have mercy! 

You know I'm joking, right? 

Or am I?

I've got to get to bed. These nails are taking forever to dry! But as long as I'm sitting here, I might as well let you know that I lost my beautiful blue stone ring that I posted about a month ago. I have no idea why I posted it, now that I think about it. But if one of you out there is psychic and could tell me where my ring is, I'll be forever grateful. The only good thing is that it only cost $11, so I can order another one. But until then, I'll have to settle with my 83 other fake rings. One day I think I'll wear a ring on each finger, like those old-school grandmas used to do. I'll wear it to my Zumba class with my Nike hat. I'll be an old-school ghetto grandma with some Janet Jackson moves. Awwww, yeah. Speaking of grandmas, isn't she, like 50? And is it true she recently had a baby?? OMG what is this world coming to?? 

Well, wadda ya know! Rav Arush happens to have a few Jewels in the Sand for me! I don't know why he'd put them in the sand instead of just giving them to me, but I'll take them any way I can get them. Okay, so I just read the article, and unfortunately, it has nothing to do with diamond jewelry, but it does have an amazing true story of what sharing just one emuna book can do. You've got to read this!

This next article doesn't have anything to do with jewelry, unless you're thinking about stringing some matzah balls together and wearing them as a necklace. Maybe I'll try it sometime. Rav Brody tells us the story of a famous Chassidish tzaddik who ate Berele's Gebrokts on Pesach, simply to preserve the dignity of another Jew. It's stories like these that make me so grateful I'm Sephardi and I can eat all the gebrokts I want. (Well, I'm actually half Polish, but that part is hiding in a corner, desperately praying to G-d that the Iraqi half doesn't find her and turn her into kubbe.)

My latest article describes a gorgeous baby girl that I fell in love with, only to realize later that she was a Fake Baby. Look, I know it's been three years since I've had a baby, but I can still tell the difference between a real one and a fake one - at least, in person! But online, wow, that baby looked so real! I'm a little disappointed that the picture I sent in wasn't posted in the article, but I just tried finding it, and I came across some crazy pictures of crazy adults holding fake dolls and caring for them like they were their real babies. And then I saw a few pics of babies in these clear plastic containers, but the babies were in pieces instead of already assembled. Super freaky. Maybe Janet Jackson actually had one of these fake babies. C'mon people. 50 ain't no joke. 

I've decided that Rebbetzin Yehudit Channen, one of our two Emuna Therapists, is moving in with me. I could certainly use her wise perspective on dealing with my kids, as I just read in her latest, Father Knows Best. However, I would change the title to "Rebbetzin Channen Knows Best." She is one of my closest friends, and I can tell you that not only does she know human nature inside and out, but she knows how to deal with people in difficult situations. And that is something so rare! Yehudit, please consider moving in with us! I'll cook for you every night! I'll put all five kids in one room so you can have your own room! Just name it - it's yours! You want some fake jewelry?

It seems that my nails have dried, so on that note, have a wonderful week! I'm going to sleep!

~Racheli


The Perfect Wife

So I was trying to find a picture of the perfect wife, and aside from looking at my selfies, I couldn't find ONE pic on the entire internet (that I could use legally.) You know I'm being slightly sarcastic, right? Right. As you may be aware, David and I have a very special, loving relationship. He's always giving me the sweetest compliments that make me weak in the knees. We're just so in love, he and I. 

Here are a few examples of the sweet one-liners he tells me. Husbands, listen up:

-I love you so much when you're quiet.

-If you didn't talk, you'd be perfect.

-You're perfect when you're sleeping.

To which I lovingly respond:

-Have you looked in the mirror lately?

-How did you give me such gorgeous children?

-On what basis do you deserve a perfect wife?

-You act like a Neanderthal sometimes.

-How did you get so lucky??

Newsflash, guys: the perfect woman doesn't exist! And do you know why?? Because you're far from perfect yourselves! Here's a spiritual rule that you should know, in case you don't already: Hashem gives you what you need, not what you want. Think of that next time you're about to complain about your wives, oh loving husbands. 

Thank G-d I have Rav Shalom Arush to validate my genius. Oh, right! So it's not really my genius per se, but who pays attention to what I write anyway? Back to Rav Arush. He wants us all to get to the level where we have No Room for Doubt in Hashem's Divine providence. That may be a bit too righteous for me, yo. But, Rav Arush is convinced that we can reach it! And we might as well try, because the alternative is being called a heretic. Yeah, you heard me. Heretic. Whatcha gonna do? Are you gonna tell your mommy on me?? Go ahead. I eat mommies for breakfast. But seriously, isn't heretic a strong word? Does it hurt your feelings? Well, don't complain to me! Just read Rav Arush's article! Now!

Oh, boy. I just realized I'm about to get into some serious trouble with Rav Brody. I just finished reading his article about how dangerous it is to speak negatively, and I just wrote how nicely hubby and I speak with each other. I can just see Rav Brody standing in front of us, waving his index finger at his mischievous children: "Tsk, tsk. Now, now, children. Remember what I taught you: Holy People, Holy Tongue!" And then he would do a super-fast twirl and disappear in a puff of smoke. All hallucinating aside, Rav Brody writes about Shlomit, the big-mouthed woman that caused devastating consequences to the Jewish People with her, um, big mouth. Sorry for the redundancy. I'd just like to say in defense of all women that we're not the only ones who can't keep our mouths shut! (Yeah, I'm talking to you guys out there. Heretics. All of you.)

Speaking of romantic relationships, a young woman wrote me about her live-in boyfriend, asking, "Why Won't He Marry Me?" And then I opened up my big mouth and gave her a little bitter pill called "Truth." She's tired of pretending to be the perfect wife without actually having official wife status. But, she can't figure out why she hasn't yet earned it. After all, hasn't she committed, like, a year and a million miles to this guy? Where are her Reward Points?? Where is her free night at the Ritz Carlton?! Am I projecting?

Ladies, it ain't no mystery that your man won't marry you! Don't worry, dahlings, the Iraqi Love Doctor explains it all. If any of you are in a long-term relationship and you're wondering why you're nowhere near the chuppah, read this article before you turn old and gray and wrinkly, and then no one will want to date you. Except maybe other single people who also happen to be old and gray and wrinkly. 

Here's another one who knows just what to say and how to say it. Rebbetzin Yehudit Channen, one of our two incredibly gifted Emuna Therapists, gives us practical advice and insight on The Art of Condolence.  I feel compelled to keep opening my big mouth and add my own advice to her article which is: don't say any of the above quotes to the grieving family. They will most certainly not find it amusing. 

HERETICS! Listen up! Rav Avigdor Miller osb"m wants Marvin to die! Die, Marvin, die! OMG I hope none of you out there are named Marvin! Don't worry, he doesn't want Marvin the person to die, G-d forbid. He just wants us to stop adopting non-Jewish customs and to live like Jews. Yeah, this article is definitely not for the faint-of-heart. It's also not for someone who isn't looking for the Truth. Since I know that none of you out there are either, that means you have to read about The Tests of This Generation! 

Ahava Margaretten asks a fundamental question that many of us women deliberate with: To sheitel, or not to sheitel? Well, you've got to read the incredible story of how she found her answer in My Scarf, My Gift! (Again, there's a lot of truth in this one, so beware, ye faint-of-heart ones names Marvin.)

I started getting palpitations as I began to read Dovber HaLevi's article, so I had to stop. I'm serious. He started to give us an all-too-realistic description of what life is really like, and I got so scared that I immediately ran to the kitchen to get something to eat. But don't worry! If you can get through the article, there's a great ending! How do I know? I skipped to the end, of course! In all seriousness (what does that even mean?), if you're looking for The Emuna Feeling, then look no further! Will someone please write me to tell me what the article really said? You know I'm kidding, right, Dovber??

This is totally crazy, but I really couldn't read the next article, either! Lori Steiner's Rocky Road Chocolate Souffle sounds so crazy delicious, I'm getting short of breath. Really, Lori. It's not fair for you to give an article such a yummy title, when there's crazy people like me who stay away from sugar and dairy like they're the Devil. Not fair! Heretic! Oy, and there's a picture of a chocolate souffle in the middle of the article! G-d help me!! 

Just in case any of you haven't been on planet Earth in the past two weeks, or at least on our site, Rav Brody is coming to North America! Whoo, hoo! That means a whole suitcase of new workout clothes for me! YESH!! Oh, yeah, and there's this whole emuna tour he's doing that's going to give you the tools to break through your barriers in life. But just between you and me, all of these emuna tours are really just a setup for me to get all kinds of stuff fo' cheap. 

Here is the full tour schedule! Don't miss out!!

Have a great day!

~Racheli (still loving that squiggly thing!)


The Time Has Come

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That's some gorgeous beach, isn't it? This pic is an almost perfect image of my fantasy. Here are the minor changes I'm requesting: there should only be one chair for me, because David would be home watching the kids. There should also be a side table with champagne and exotic fruits within my lazy arm's reach. Off by that shaded area under the palm tree, there should be a massage table with a masseuse standing there, ready to give me my hot stone massage. 

Sigh. One day, my redemption will come, and I'll be able to get a little real vacay time at some private beach that I'd have to fly far, far away on international first class to reach. 

Now, I might have to wait a very, very long time for my fantasy to come true, but Rav Arush says that your redemption is here right now! Hey guys, I'm specifically talking to you! Rav Arush explains that lust and improper thoughts make you a slave to your physical desires. Hence, you're in a type of mental prison or indentured servitude to your evil inclination. Take your pick. However, Rav Arush explains that The Time Has Come to break free from the death grip of your animal self, and actually evolve into a refined human being! Who would have thought such a thing could happen? Guys, if you want freedom, read this article! 

I just found out that Rav Brody has a fantasy, too. It's true! His fantasy is that all Israeli flags should have a big plate of hummus in the middle instead of the Magen David, because hummus is the symbol of Israeli unity. How appropriate, considering that tomorrow is Israeli Independence day. But seriously, the conversation he overheard at the supermarket recently was so incredible, that he had to write about it. And what was that conversation about? It was about a husband yelling at his wife to Put the Hummus Back! I'm not kidding. So what was so incredible? The fact that the husband was yelling at his wife in public? Believe me, there ain't nothing strange about that over here. If you want to know, you've got to READ THE ARTICLE! (I'm actually yelling at you right there.)

I can tell you every husband's fantasy. It's not what you think, ladies! Every husband's fantasy is that his wife will stop nagging him. Forever! To that, I say, "NEVER!!" Har, har, har (evil laugh.) David, I mean "Jonathan," writes me that his wife has inexplicably started nagging him like crazy after 10 years of marriage. I was like, "After 10 years? Why did she wait that long?" Anyhow, I gave "Jonathan" an answer that made him cry and his wife cheer and jump for joy.  Hubbies, if you're on the verge of telling your wife, "Get off My Back," then you've just got to read my latest! Do it now, before she runs up an insanely high credit card bill at Bloomingdale's. Run, ladies, run! 

This is unbelievable. Not only is Rebbetzin Channen revealing the misguided fantasy that people think emuna should be, but yet again she gave me chills at the end of her article! OMG. Many of us think that having emuna means you're never supposed to get angry or upset when a test comes your way. Like, that's soooo not true! She shows us that throughout our history, we've had less than perfect emuna, and that's the way it's supposed to be! Why? Read her article, Time after Time. (Did you get my not-so-clever play on words?)

I don't think I can handle reading two articles by Rebbetzin Channen, because I'm starting to feel like it's winter in my room. What's this thing with getting chills every time I read her articles? Honestly, I'm getting a little annoyed with myself. But what can I do? Her writing is that good. This one talks about the different galaxy that she recently traveled to, commonly known as Australia. OMG is this another world! So calm. So polite. So the polar opposite of living in Israel! You've got to read the amazing insights she received From Down Under. She just gave me a new fantasy. One day, Israelis will live like Australians, and not run each other over with their grocery carts. Yeah, right.

Lori Steiner is too organized for me as she shares with us a very, well, organized plan (did you catch that?) of how to focus on the good when we go through challenges. Obviously it's not as fun as throwing yourself on the ground in a massive temper tantrum, but it's much more effective at warding off the evil spirits. So I started reading this article, and the first point was about taking it personally.  And then I was done. I couldn't handle any more truth. Don't worry, Lori, I'm just kidding! She's so on the money, someone should pay her for her latest, Chart it and Discard it. But really, Lory, what am I supposed to do if the second category is my absolute favorite game of all time that I love to play with my husband?? Maybe I'll fantasize that he never does anything wrong. Let's see how that goes.

I am flattered that Dovber HaLevy decided to name his article after my gym obsession, called Flexing the Joy Muscle. Dovber, how did you know that I love to work out so much? I really do smile when I do that Superman pose in the mirror, and I don't care that all the women there are giving me strange looks and whispering to each other. Then, I turn around and yell at them, "Let's see YOUR muscles, ladies!" It's true. I'm completely crazy. Maybe it's because I haven't worked out since last Thursday, because I pulled some tendons in my shoulder and hip. It's all David's fault. Sorry, Dovber. If you peeps out there seriously want to be happy, then listen up to Dovber's tips! 

AND.... did you know that Rav Brody is coming to North America in just two weeks??? Check out the link for dates and locations.

You don't want to miss this tour! It's going to be motivational! Inspiring! Strobe lights and smoke machines! Hallelujah!! 

I've got to get back to the gym...

~Racheli


Parshat Tazria-Metzora: It's Good News!

Imagine that there's mold in your wall from a leaky pipe. The plumber comes and says that he has to sledge-hammer a gaping hole in the wall in order to gain access to the leaky pipe. You're beside yourself - the mess, the cost, what a pain! Rashi calls this "good news"; what's he possibly talking about? See this week's mini-lesson on the Torah portion (you''ll be glad you did) and have a lovely Shabbat!


My Cheap Husband

Wives, do you ever look in your wallets and see this?

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Did you figure out what's missing? That's right! Some cash. Okay, I admit - hubby ain't cheap with' me no mo. My kids took my money. Regarding David, I trained him quite well, but it didn't happen overnight. It took a lot of.... convincing. Whatever that means. Arm punching, screaming, payot pulling, you know, all the stuff that great marriages are made of.

But seriously, someone wrote me complaining that her husband never wants to buy her anything. To which I responded, "Off with his head!" OMG, what's wrong with me today? 

Well, dear husbands, if you happen to be on the stingier side, know that you're not doing anyone any favors. Instead of saving money, you're creating shalom bayit problems, which actually sabotages all of your efforts to make money. A happy wife opens the pipes of abundance and blessings for the entire family, you know. But, hey, don't hate me! I'm not the one who came up with this stuff! 

If you want to stop all of that unnecessary arguing about money, you've got to read My Cheap Husband. By that, I don't mean that I'm asking you psychics out there to read my hubby's face and tell me what it's thinking. I'm psychic too, see? 

Speaking of not-cheap husbands, Rav Shalom Arush explains that we can receive the Torah any time we'd like! Like, huh? I know, I can't figure it out, either. Wait! My psychic powers are telling me that it has something to do with resisting all of the negative influences and temptations, and by doing so we are able to tap into a higher reality. Yes! I really am a genius. Maybe I should invent something. Any ideas? In the meantime, why don't you work on Receiving Your Torah? Then tell me what the article really said. 

Loyalty is a very important part of a happy marriage. It's also a very important part of being one of the king's closest servants. But if you think I'm going to want to prove my loyalty to the king at the risk of dying, sorry, buddy, I'm really not into being that loyal. However, Rav Brody shows us that there are some (insane) people who would give anything to be close to the king. Their test is brutal, and the ones that survive make it to the top. However, what if someone tries to outsmart the king? Will the king see through his "loyalty"? What will he do about it? And what does this parable have anything to do with us? Ah, but the message is brilliant, my dears! Read all about The Final Test and let me know if you remembered the answer! 

Of course, it happened yet again! I really did get chills at the end of Rebbetzin Yehudit Channen's article! I've got to ask her how she does that. And you've got to read her take on what it's like to live among Israelis. She's totally spot-on and very descriptive! I can personally confirm that everything she wrote is 100% true. So if you want the lowdown on life in Israel, don't miss reading Rough, Tough, and Tender!

So just last night I really wanted to scream at my kids because they kept getting out of bed with all sorts of pathetic excuses, like it's too dark outside, or I can't find my Lego guy. I didn't scream at them. Okay, technically I didn't scream at them as much as I wanted to, so that counts for something, right? Anyhow, I was like, "Wow, Was That Me?" Dr. Zev Ballen must be psychic, because somehow he managed to make that phrase the title of his latest article! Dr. Zev, I didn't know you were so talented! But what's even better is that he tells us that we can all have those same moments, where we overcome our negative tendencies. So what are you waiting for?!

Lori Steiner explains that much of our thinking is a result of the backwards messages we've internalized from an ethically backwards society. Okay, she didn't exactly say it in those words, but because I'm psychic, I know that's what she really wanted to say. In any case, she helps us to clarify what thoughts we should have, and gives us a few great ways to Debunk the Myths that we should keep in our minds and wallets at all times. I have no idea why I just wrote that. The subconscious mind is a strange thing.

Chaya Golda Ovadia is quite the farmer as she talks about her somewhat failed attempt at Growing Sprouts in her backyard. Actually, she tried growing like six fruit trees and some cucumbers or something like that, which is simply impossible in a tiny Israeli backyard. Israel isn't exactly America, land of the supersized backyard, french fries, and belly. But don't be fooled. We have plenty of supersized bellies walking around here, and they ain't nothing to be proud of. In conclusion, Chaya shares some amazing insights that she got from playing farmer, and you'll just have to read them to see what they are!

I have decided that Dovber HaLevi should go into motivational speaking. He has such a great perspective on living as an American in Israel, and he is pointing out not only the challenges, but the solutions as well! If you already live in Israel, or you're thinking about making aliyah, you've gotta read Let Go!  

On that note, have a wonderful week as the weather gets warmer by the second. What happened to my winter?? Okay, so it's not all bad. After all, I can make the kids go outside now! 

~Racheli