154 posts categorized "Weekly Torah Portion"

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


The Holiday of Emuna

Pesach cartoon

If I were Moshe Rabbeinu, I would say: "For the next 40 years we do Zumba and cross training until we're about to collapse, and in between all that we'll power walk and eat lots of guacamole-flavored manna."

By this cute cartoon, it seems that the manna really did become whatever we wanted it to be. It's a good thing we don't have manna today, because I'd be eating a full, all-you-can-eat buffet every night. This year more than ever, it's way too easy to eat whatever you want on Pesach. There's no feeling of lack any more. You can eat all kinds of cakes, cookies, even pizza that are from potato starch and gasp gluten free! But be forewarned: gluten free is a big scam! Aside from being a necessity for those with Celiac, gluten free just means TONS OF SUGAR. 

And all that sugar raises your insulin, and high insulin means you're storing more calories as fat instead of burning them. So eater beware. Don't end up with a Pesach Potbelly. I'll do my best to follow my own advice too, for once.

Speaking of potbellies, did you know that Pesach is connected with emuna? I have no idea what those two things have to do with potbellies, but I didn't have another lead-in. And I'm very, very tired. Like, fading out tired. This last sentence took me six minutes to write. Let's focus on the Pesach/emuna connection. Rav Brody talks about the strange contradiction between the bread of poverty and joyous celebration. Certainly these two don't go together, right? Wrong! Rav Brody makes an amazing connection between matzah and emuna, and I promise it's much better than my lame connection between potbellies and emuna. Don't miss this must-read article before Pesach, A Most Welcome Guest! 

Rav Shalom Arush says that to appreciate Pesach, we must learn gratitude as well. Amazing. I'm not exactly sure how, but in the midst of getting ready for Pesach and freaking out on our kids because they keep sneaking food into their rooms, we're supposed to look for our good points and thank Hashem for them. I've gotta try that sometime. I think that focusing on our Good Points and Gratitude is a great way for us to save our sanity and keep us from doing something that might get us a little jail time, if you get my drift. 

My featured article this week has nothing to do with Pesach, but it has a whole lot to do with emuna! You'll be amazed by this true story of a good friend of mine, who came back to Judaism through her Japanese student who wasn't Jewish, as she was living in Japan and teaching English and she ended up marrying him, and then there was this massive earthquake, and you seriously have to read From Riches to Righteous! 

I can't believe it. It happened again! I got chills at the end of Rebbetzin Yehudit Channen's article! How does she do it?? Read the amazing story of Shlomo, her son, and do your best to learn from her example. I know I will! Enjoy these beautiful Fruits of Emuna!  They're low-carb!

Dr. Zev Ballen gives us great tips for how to get out of the same destructive patterns that we fall into when dealing with our kids. I have absolutely no idea what he's talking about. But for all the rest of you parents that aren't perfect like I am, do yourselves and your kids a big favor and read Ending the Crazy 8.

It's obvious to me that Jennifer Woodward is one totally righteous woman. Just the title of her article alone is something I couldn't even write. While she's sharing her personal journey through some tough challenges and her attempts to reach Level 3 emuna, I'm still scratching my head and wondering if I'm ever going to reach Level 1. I'm really not kidding. Are any of you as amazing as she is, that you can see The Beauty of Tribulations in your life? Please, let me know who you are! I want to be your friend!

You know, I'm starting to wonder what I'm doing in such awesome virtual company. Dr. Rivka Levron writes about her amazing and terrifying (for me) car crash with The Flying Tire, but from the aspect of complete Divine Providence. Seriously, who does such a thing? I'm making myself sound more pathetic as I write, aren't I? Well, that's a-okay! 

Oh, brother. Here's another righteous one. Lori Steiner writes about Blessing the Evil Inclination.  Yes, it's true. Our evil inclinations are actually here to help us get closer to Hashem. Lori gives us great tips that help us use him for our benefit while not falling into his wily trap. What does wily mean? I'm too lazy too look it up. 

Just when you thought you couldn't be as righteous as our writers, I'm here to tell you that you can! Be a part of Rav Arush's incredible Kimcha d'Pischa fund, which gives food for Pesach to impoverished families. Imagine what beautiful blessings you will receive by sponsoring a poor family's Seder! It's priceless, I tell you! 

So that's it. I'm packing up and going on vacation to Eilat. By myself. Sometime in the next 20 years. In the meantime, I hope you all have a wonderful Shabbat and Pesach Kasher V'Sameach! 

~Racheli


Parshat Vayikra: The Heroic Bava ben Bota

Our great spiritual leaders teach us that political correctness and truth have nothing to do with one another. Neither the Chafetz Chaim or the Steipler, both of saintly and blessed memory, gave a grain of thought to political expedience when they made Halachic decisions. Although the courageous and holy Bava Ben Bota was a student of Shammai, he bravely shunned “partisan interests” and admitted that the halacha was according to Hillel's opinion. Today's lesson is a must-see, because it's ever so relevant to our generation as well. Enjoy and Shabbat Shalom!


Happy 245th Birthday, Rebbe Nachman!

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Tonight is Rosh Chodesh Nissan, and the 245th birthday of Rebbe Nachman of Brelsev, whom I credit with having saved not only my life, but the lives of my children and all (G-d willing) future generations from me and that husband of mine, who still can't seem to figure out which machine is the washer and which is the dryer, G-d bless him. Since I couldn't find a picture of a cake with 245 candles on it, I found the next best thing which is what looks to be like 100 candles on this edible monstrosity. Actually, the link says this cake has 1,000 candles on it. Do you think so? I think that the person who wrote that either needs an urgent eye exam or he needs to go back to first grade. I'm sure that you all would agree with me by saying that this is a totally insane idea by turning a cake into an explosive device. Maybe it's a Hamas birthday cake? Maybe instead of strawberry filling there's a bomb in the middle? I hope that all those terrorists blow themselves up. A-MEN.

This week, Rav Brody's talking about the number 70, and he says it's The Secret of Geula. While he makes some very insightful correlations between the number 70 and the Redemption, I'm too busy making connections between the number 70 and the horrifying realization that I probably won't be able to do Zumba like I do today. Will I need a cane? A walker with two tennis balls on the bottom? Oy, the horror! I cringe at the thought! I hope that the Mashiach will be here by then and we won't have to age anymore. Maybe 70 will be the new 30. Yeah, I can deal with that. I mean, why not? If people used to live for 800-900 years way back in the day, then 70 would have been, like, practically a newborn. 

Since it's Rebbe Nachman's birthday, I decided to celebrate it with an all-out carb fest. OMG, I feel so disgusting. Yesterday I ate SIX granola bars, tons of fruit, and these "chocolate" tea biscuits that you're supposed to dip in your tea I guess. They're called chocolate, but just because they're brown it doesn't mean they have any actual chocolate flavor. What a bummer. I'm totally grossed out. Yet, I still wanted to keep eating. So I'm in a bad mood because of it. 

Rav Arush is here to save the day, because he's telling me that if I had just had a little more spiritual sensitivity, I wouldn't be so prone to sinning because of my spiritual insensitivity. Well that made a whole 'lot of sense. But what he's really saying is that we've got to figure out where we're holding spiritually. Hashem is sending us challenges along our path of Finding Ourselves, because that's the only way we're gonna get it through our thick skulls that there are maybe one or two things about us that we need to change. Just one or two. What he really meant to say was that if I could just close my mouth for five minutes, I wouldn't feel like a blimp about to explode, because that's really what I feel like right now.

You know why I love Rebbe Nachman so much? Because he teaches that tomorrow is another day! I can start over tomorrow! Hashem is giving me another chance (hopefully) to resist my Evil Inclination and to eat like a normal human being, and not like three burly truck drivers stuffing their faces with double Whoppers at the rest stop restaurant in the middle of nowhere. I actually liked stopping at those rest stops on the Turnpike on the way to Disney World. I found them so incredibly exciting. I'm serious! 

Okay, husbands, listen up. My latest article is a must-read for every man that still believes he's a man and not a fairy princess that should really be living in her enchanted castle with her Prince Charming. Or is it Princess Charming? All this liberal gender identity crisis insanity is getting me so confused. And angry. Why do kids need to be taught to question their gender at age 8??? This world is completely crazy, I tell you! Anyhow, one husband wrote me wondering why his wife wasn't all into his smooth moves. Well, I gave Prince Charming a reality check, and it saved his marriage! It could make yours better, too! Could one of you please tell my Prince Charming to read this article??

So I always thought I was the queen of comebacks, like if some kid would call me stupid, so I'd say, "You're stupid!" For some reason, I haven't quite outgrown this stage, so even today if my husband teases me and says something to try to get my Iraqi Eyes to come out, I'll automatically turn it around on him: "You're wearing two different colored socks!" Take that, David. But now, I'm sad to say that Dennis Rosen has shown me that Hashem Loves Comebacks, but not the kind that I used to give. You mean there's another kind of comeback? 

Speaking of Iraqi, Pinney Wolman is obviously not Iraqi, because if he were, he would know that forgiveness is like a four letter word. So is cake, come to think of it. Pinney, kol hakavod for writing about Forgiveness and Humility. We could all use a little (or a lot) more of both. Except me, of course. Just wanted to make that clear.

Dr. Zev Ballen, one of our two incredible Emuna Therapists, shows us the power of Words that Fix.  He's explaining that talking to G-d is more than just a wonderful thing to do; it actually brings us out of the pre-verbal stage, where we're whining and complaining if things don't go our way. You mean there's another stage after that? OMG. I just realized that between my tantrum-style whining and juvenile comebacks, I may not be as mature as I thought. I'd better read this article AGAIN! 

Lori Steiner explains that even though our ancestors left Egypt, we're still stuck there in a spiritual sense. She gives us the Waze directions for the easiest, least congested Journey to Freedom. Lori, I love your article, and I'm wondering if you can write a sequel for the lovely ladies out there, called "Journey to Freedom II." It would discuss the exalted, invigorating feeling we would experience after finally seeing the entire house in order. The dishes would be cleaned, the laundry would be folded, the beds would be made, all the toys would be put away, and the toilet seats would be clean, dry, and in their proper position. I'm so ashamed to admit that this is what I fantasize about all the time. I need to get out more.

Rav Brody gives us an amazing connection between Rebbe Nachman, intellectual smarty-pants people, and Pesach in this special feature called Freedom from Nonsense. I could also use a little freedom from nonsense. Actually, I heard that the Ritz Carlton Spa in Herzeliya is offering a special Pre-Pesach "Freedom from Nonsense" massage/mani/pedi/facial package. I'd better book that asap!

Have a wonderful week! And don't forget - DUST IS NOT CHAMETZ!!!

~Racheli


Vayakhel-Pekudei. 5777: How to Get the Most out of Our Talents

This week's Torah portion not only teaches us the source of our talents and aptitudes, but gives us the key to putting them to the very best use. Here's how to succeed, as we learn in our mini-lesson on this week's Torah portion:

Here's an important message from my esteemed and beloved teacher, Rabbi Shalom Arush shlit'a:

As the Rosh Yeshiva of Chut Shel Chesed, I feel that chesed - loving-kindness - is one of the most important mitzvoth there is; I'm sure that you agree with me. That's why I included the word chesed in the name of our yeshiva, to emphasize that helping our fellow human is a highest priority. The Torah says, "Love thy neighbor as thyself." "Flour for Passover" means to help the less fortunate of our Jewish brethren have a joyous Passover holiday by enabling them to have the necessary staples. This is something we're all obligated to think about with Pesach less than three weeks away.
 
Rebbetzen Arush and I do our utmost to identify the needy families who are too embarrassed to request assistance, and to give them the needed foodstuffs and financial support. I am privileged and honored to offer you a share in this mitzva.
 
Your donation to our "Emuna Outreach Kimcha d'Piskha Fund" will provide needy families in Israel with all their needs for Passover, including meat and poultry, wine, matzot, dry goods, fruit and vegetables. Since we purchase quality fish, poultry, meat, fruit, vegetables, matza and wine at bulk wholesale prices, we provide all the Seder needs for a family of six for a mere $180. For $72, you can sponsor a guest for the Seder and Yom Tov day. In any event, participation in our "Emuna Outreach Kimcha d'Piskha Fund" with whatever you can afford is a tremendous mitzva that will invoke miraculous blessings for you and yours. Donate to Emuna Outreach to make sure that these worthy families of sorely limited means will also be able to enjoy their Passover holiday. Your donation is US tax deductable. Blessings for a wonderful Shabbat and new month of Nissan. With prayers for your success, Shalom Arush


Don Amalek Corleone

Corleone

I was a bit young, but I do remember watching one or two of "The Godfather" movies. I have to admit, I was enchanted by the slickness and smoothness of Vito and Michael Corleone. Even today, as I write this post, I envy their ability to get downright murderous without yelling and screaming. I wish I could do that. I mean, get angry without screaming. Not interested in getting all murderous, thank you very much. 

Obviously, Don Corleone was not Israeli, because everyone knows that Israelis can't possibly hide their true feelings, for better and for worse. I wonder how The Godfather would have played out with an Israeli cast. Vito would be the rash, brutish grandpa that barks out killing orders as he's spitting out sunflower seeds onto the floor. Michael would be the hyper, irrational, but oh-so-charming heir to the Corleonestine dynasty, but without any self-control. When he confronts his brother, Fredo (Fishel in Hebrew,) instead of quitely but forcefully telling Fredo how he broke his heart while grabbing onto both sides of his face, the Jewish version of Michael would start screaming hysterically at the top of his lungs, accusing Fishel of trying to have his own brother killed, as he squeezes with all of his might on both sides of Fishel's face. The scene ends with Fishel's face being squished beyond recognition as his brains come flying out of the top of his head.

Can I ask you something? Do I need therapy? Or is my imagination just extremely active?  

This whole Godfather thing didn't come from my genius brains, though. Hard to believe, I know. Actually, our very own Rav Lazer Brody came up with this amazingly brilliant comparison of Don Corleone to Amalek. Just like Don Corleone and Michael Jackson, Amalek is a smooth criminal. He ain't comin' at you with a whole big drama scene. Uh, uh. He's sneaking up close behind you, pretending to be your best friend and someone who cares about you, and then when your guard is down - BOOM! The kiss of death. You've gotta read Rav Puzo's, I mean Rav Brody's, Hollywood best-seller, The Assassin. 

As if right on cue, Rav Arush has the sequel to The Assassin ready, and you're about to read it here for the first time! After it seems that Michael Corleonestine and his crew are at the brink of falling down into the gehinnom-like abyss because of all of the terrible things they've done, this obscure group of superheros called The Soul-Savers suddenly shows up at the Corleonestine's Lake Tahoe home. They give Michael a copy of The Garden of Emuna, and tell him that Rebbe Nachman says there's no reason for despair in the world! Michael reads the book and decides to make teshuva and does his best to clean up the gigantic mess he's made of his life and the lives of all those he's hurt. Granted, many of those people probably deserved to be killed, because they were no angels themselves, right? But who are we to judge? Let's leave that in Hashem's hands.

In fact, yours truly already has her very own screenplay ready to go! It's a horror movie called The Dreaded Dentist, and it goes like this: a tired, overwhelmed mom of five boys takes her kids to the dentist, and it turns out her 5-year-old has a cavity. Talk about screaming bloody murder! Well, this mom could already imagine the trauma that was to come; the screechy drill. The kid's screams of terror. The nitrous oxide that doesn't really do anything. The bright lights and mask-wearing aliens holding pointy instruments and mini-vacuum cleaners in the kid's mouth. Oh, what fun. But, she remembered about a little thing called personal prayer. So how did horror movie turn out? You'll just have to read the screenplay!

You know, I think that a lot of the murders caused by the Corleonestine families and the other four feuding mafia families could have been avoided if Dr. Zev Ballen would have been their terapista (therapist in Italian.) He could have made them realize that their need for honor, money, and blood was what caused them to be ruthless, greedy killers. In fact, the title, Love or Honor, is a perfect one to complete Breslev Israel's version of The Godfather trilogy! We'll call it "The Sandak," because we actually do have real-life godfathers in Judaism. The Sandak is the one that holds the baby boy in his lap during the circumcision. You know, I'm starting to see a major connection between Jews and Italian mobsters. Seriously, Speilberg, Coppolla, somebody call me! 

I just decided that Rebbetzin Yehudit Channen should have another title  aside from Emuna Therapist. She should be referred to as The Godmother, because she knows exactly what people need in order to feel good about themselves. This week, she deciphers The Language of Love, and explains that in order to create a real closeness with others, we need to know how to speak nicely to them. Husbands, that means you need to know how to compliment your wives. That's especially true for you, David. Are you reading this? The Godmother is happy to help make all of your problems go away! If you want to set up a meeting, contact staff@breslev.co.il. 

If someone were to do a remake of The Godfather today, I have no doubt that President Trump would make an excellent Godfather. Dovber HaLevi makes an amazing connection between Trump and the ancient Pharaoh, who likened himself to a deity. Pharaoh was the Egyptian version of the Godfather, you know. Dovber points out that just as in ancient Egypt, the world and the media are turning Trump into a deity by spotlighting every single move he makes and everything he says. I've got it! In Dovber's screenplay, Donald Trump would be called Don Trump Corleonestine and the title of the movie would be "The God." Talk about genius!! Okay, so maybe we'll stick with Dovber's original title, Hashem's Trump Card. I'll try not to cry as I finish off my glass of fine Italian red wine. 

David once told me he had a basket of riches for me, and I thought he meant lots of diamond jewelry. Well, I was wrong. What a shocker. Instead, he presented me with a basket of dirty laundry, which I did not find very amusing. I would have preferred Dennis Rosen's Basket of Riches, because at least his riches are valuable. In fact, they're more than just valuable - they're priceless! Don't let these riches pass you by!

Lori Steiner has ruined my day by reminding me that Passover is around the corner. I'm just kidding, Lori! I love Passover, especially the cleaning- because I can get rid of lots of stuff under the excuse that I'm "cleaning for Pesach." Gosh, I hope David doesn't read this! Lori gives us some great tips to get our cleaning in high gear without freaking out and squeezing our murderous, back-stabbing brothers' heads until their brains come flying out. Check out Lori's latest in Defining a Kosher Passover.  

Yes. A terapista is in high order. And so is sleep. Have a wonderful week! (And try to keep your brains in your heads, okay?)

~Racheli

 


R U Scared of Sin?

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I'm in a fog. It seems I may have drank a bit too much last night. I don't think I did, but that could be because I lost count after my third glass of wine. What got into me? I'm not a big drinker. I don't like not being able to walk in a straight line. But, boy did I enjoy laughing! I'm one of those people that can't stop laughing when they get a little tipsy. And I'm not talking about a quiet laugh. Oh, no. I'm talking like loud, over-the-top, obnoxious, snorty laughs. 

I've gotta work on my tznius. Really. Shame on me. How un-ladylike.

Lucky for me, Purim only comes once a year, so that means I'm only a bit looney once a year. Okay, that's not really true. I'm looney all year long, but on Purim I can blame the wine. The rest of the year I just blame my husband. In case you haven't noticed, it's one of my favorite hobbies. 

Oh, and I have to thank my soul sista, Sunny Levi, for this gross picture of her grizzity gross gluten free, organic "hamantashen." Sunny, I love you, but these things look awful! Can you send me some?? Even though they look horrible, I'm sure they're absolutely dee-licious, because I know what a fantastic cook you are. I'm just wondering if you're ever going to speak with me again after you read this post.

So how many of you party animals got smashed yesterday? Are you wallowing in regret today? Jewish guilt? Fear of punishment? Can you even remember what happened yesterday? 

Thank G-d, I know about the power of teshuva, so I did some of that yesterday as I was sobering up. I promised not to make myself look like an idiot in front of my kids if we're around other people. Because I certainly seem to have no problem looking like a crazy person at home, when there's no one else around! Am I starting to make myself look bad? Should I take a public opinion poll? NEVER! 

What happens when we sin and don't make teshuva for it? Well, Rav Arush explains that we're actually creating our own judgments because of our lack of teshuva. Our judgments take the form of all kinds of bad stuff that happens to us, and thus we become afraid of these things, such as getting sick or getting pulled over by the cops. These types of things happen just to awaken us to do teshuva, not to torment us. As Rav Arush says, when you Fear One, Fear No One. If we have the right, healthy types of fears, no other threat will affect us, because we know it's coming from Hashem for a certain reason. 

Hey, I just found out that Dracula was related to Haman! No joke! They were both wicked, blood-thirsty killers. I'm pretty sure that Haman had fangs, too. He was certainly evil enough. And here's another similarity: they both had countless children. It's true! I've heard that Haman had hundreds of kids. And according to Rav Brody, Dracula also has not hundreds, but millions of kids. He says that anger turns a person into a demon, and this demon can double for one of Dracula's Kids.  Come to think of it, I also looked like Dracula's daughter when I took off my eye makeup. I was a scary sight! 

Even though my article this week talks about an interesting situation I encountered at the grocery store, I would just like to say that I do not spend my entire week at the grocery store. It's possible that it's more than half, but I'm afraid to actually think about it too much. Crowded grocery stores aside, Hashem sends us Hidden Opportunities to do great things, but the problem is that they're hidden. That was redundant, wasn't it? Could I still be a little drunk? Don't answer that. 

Thank G-d Lori Steiner is thinking clearly, because she's got loads of insights to share about Purim and the month of Adar. They're all to insightful for me to appreciate at this moment, but I want you to check out her Radar in Adar and then tell me how profound it is! Why does David keep closing the bathroom door? Doesn't he know I'm desperately trying to think?

I just took at look at the clever title of this next article, and I instantly knew that it was written by our uber-talented Emuna Therapist, Rebbetzin Yehudit Channen. This week, she shares how she helped women in her Connective Writing course gain invaluable perspective on the most difficult parts of their childhood. She helped them discover, through Writing the Wrong, that the painful situations they experienced were exactly what they needed in order to flourish later in life. You don't want to miss this one!

I'm telling you, our writers are all so insightful, I wonder what on Earth I'm doing in such awesome company. This week, Dovber HaLevi clearly shows us how the working world functions according to how Hashem wants things to happen, and not according to our physical efforts. You can see it all around you and likely in your own life - how hard you work has little to do with the success of your efforts. Why is that? Dovber explains it all in Opportunity Knocks

Wow, this is amazing. Dr. Zev Ballen, our other wonderful Emuna Therapist, talks about a similar theme to Rebbetzin Channen's in his latest article! He reflects on his own painful situations in his childhood, and shows on a very personal level how they have all worked to build him up into who he is today. He calls it Productive Pain, and I call it "Read this article right now!" 

I just had a good laugh while reading David Perlow's latest article. As he's describing what a mikvah is and how it can be used to spiritually purify us, I remembered my David on our honeymoon in Israel. It was January, freezing cold, and he decides he's going to leave me in the taxi as he hops from mikvah to mikvah, spiritually purifying his holy self. One mikvah happened to be absolutely freezing, and only after he dunked did he realize his kippah was still on his head, so he had to dunk again. The water was basically frozen, and so was his kippah. Serves him right for leaving me in the car on our honeymoon so he can enjoy Taking the Plunge. You know, I would enjoy taking the plunge in a nice Jaccuzzi. Is that too much to ask? Is it? Really?

Rav Brody shares with us an encouraging Purim insight in his article, Above the Sun. He explains that if we go by the rules of nature, then our future looks bleak. What an understatement. But, if we go above the rules of nature, then the possibilities are endless! And how do we go above the sun? Read the article!

Wishing you a happy Shushan Purim, or an enjoyable day off if you're not in a walled city!

~Racheli