Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Our Challenges in Life


Each one of has our very own nisayon (challenges) in life.

We do not have to be anxious of what the outcome will be, we just have to do what is best and right at every given moment and situation along the way.

Hashem will then take all those best efforts of ours, and all the amazing trust and faith we had in Him, and He will do with it what is truly good for us.

Hashem will do what is good.
We cannot know what that may be, but He does know.

The greatest reality is our trust in Hashem,
Everything else is simply our imagination...

Monday, January 13, 2020

Rav Dovid Breezel - Everything Will Turn Out Good


On the second night of this past Hannuka, I was in Yerushalayim and decided to try and visit Rav Dovid Breezel. Baruch Hashem, he was available and told me to come over.
When I arrived, he right away made me a cup of coffee using date syrup as a sweetener. He told me that the date syrup makes it very filling. OK, so I tried it...

In any event, we talked about many things, but I specifically asked him what a person should do when they are faced with a very difficult challenge in life which is causing them lots of suffering and turmoil?

(A full translation of what he said is coming soon, but if you understand Hebrew, so go ahead and click the link below to see the video lesson.)

But in short, he said that basically we need to keep saying that things will turn out good, and that Hashem will help us see the light, and so it will be!

Here is a short video of the Rav teaching the above lesson.
It ends with a very special Hodu sung to a niggun from Rav Elimelech of Lizensk ZT"L.

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Shnayim Mikra Ve'echad Targum


In todays Daf Yomi shiur (Brachot, page 8) we learned:
Rav Huna the son of Rav Yehuda says in the name of Rav Ami:
A person should always complete the weekly parasha with the congregation; reading each verse twice and the targum once... and one who follows this practice will have his days and years lengthened.
(This is done by reading each verse twice followed by the Targum Onkelus on that verse, and then going to the next verse, and so on until the parasha is completed).

This week we have begun Sefer Shemot, so we have here a nice hint. Shemot being an acronym of S'hnayim M'ikra V'e'echad T'argum.

The Shulchan Aruch: Orach Chaim, siman 285, tells us that from as early as Sunday, a person can begin reading the weekly parasha, and complete it by Shabbat. This is called completing the parasha with the congregation. The Shulchan Aruch also suggests learning the commentary of Rashi with the parasha and says that it can be substituted for the Targum. However he concludes that a G-d fearing person should read the Targum as well as the Rashi commentary for each parasha.

It was the minhag of the Ari Z"L to complete the entire Shnayim Mikra Ve'echad Targum on Friday mornings, but many prefer to break it up into smaller daily parts as the Shulchan Aruch suggests, for fear of being too rushed and not having enough time to complete it all on the Friday.

We see in the Be'er Heitev commentary that one may also fulfill his obligation of the Targum by reading a commentary such as Tzeina Ureina (a famous Yiddish midrash/commentary on the Torah - which has now also been translated into Hebrew and English). Stating that the main purpose is to gain an understanding of the parasha.
However, he does mention that according to the Kabbala, it is specifically the Aramaic Targum which should be read.

So to sum it all up, the easiest way to fulfill this halacha is probably by having a daily time where you read a section of the parasha, on a pace to complete each parasha by Shabbat.

The way I try to do it is that each morning starting Sunday, I read an aliya from the parasha. (There are seven aliyot in each parasha, so it is kind of an easy way to break it up).
I first read the aliya in English so that I understand what is going on. I am currently using the English Shteinsaltz Humash which explains things very nicely).
After that I read that same section, twice each verse followed by the targum.
And then at the end I just read through all the Rashis on that section in the Hebrew.

OK, may we all be blessed with success and merit length of days and years. Amen.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

The 22 Letters of Creation


The 22 Letters of Creation:

These are the same 22 letters which G-d used to write the Torah and to create the entire world.

The primary method of the great kabblist Rabbi Avraham Aboulafia was to use various meditations on the letters and their tzerufim (manipulations) to reach great heights in the kabbala, in understanding the Names of G-d, and even in achieving prophecy. We can see from him and from many other of our Chachamim, the extreme holiness and power of the Hebrew Letters.

Rebbe shimon bar Yochai teaches us in the Holy Zohar that G-d created His letters and delighted with them for 2,000 years in the heavens before even using them to write the Torah. We are also taught that the very world we live in and experience today was actually created with those very same letters of the Torah.

Written on the parchment, they are described as "Black Fire on White Fire." (Even Ozzy couldn't come up with a song like that!)

So here below is a video clip where you can enjoy watching how a real sofer writes out every single letter of the 22 letters of creation using black fire ink, written on white fire parchment. 

So sit back, relax and enjoy the meditation!

To order a Sefer Torah, Tefillin or Mezuzot, whats app 058 395 4916 or email

All the best,

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Communicating Effectively as Taught to me by Dr. Miriam Adahan

This is an amazing lesson which was taught to me today by my beloved teacher and therapist Dr. Miriam Adahan.

She taught me today about how we are all born with an active and working "Baby Brain" located in the back of our head just above the neck (you can feel that spot if you like with your hand).
Then at age three, our frontal brain, located behind our forehead begins to develop until maturity at age twenty (that's why in the heavenly courts, one is not yet fully held accountable until he is age 20).
In any event, we then teach our children (and ourselves) to become aware of which brain we are using at any given time. If for example you cannot have your way and then you scream and shout and hit, etc. So then you are currently using your "Baby Brain." If on the other hand you can refrain from anger, listen to your parents, not bother or annoy someone, then you are using your "Mature Grown Up Brain."

In any event, you simply teach children to recognize that every behavior or reaction of theirs is a choice. They are either choosing to use their Baby Brain or their Grown Up Brain.

Today I was in a store with my 5 and 7 year old children. When I told the 5 year old that I would buy him something, right away the 7 year old demanded that she get something too. I told her that I really can only buy this one extra item, so would she like to use her grown up brain and decide to be OK with that. She right away looked at me and gave a a nod and a yes, I will use my Grown Up brain and let it go.

Then, after getting over my shock, I decided to test this further with my 5 year old. I told him, "I know that I told you just now that I would buy you this ball, but since I cannot also buy Chana something right now, would you like to use your Grown Up Brain and put the ball back?" So he looked at me and said, "OK!" That's it, he was over it in a matter of two seconds. And he even felt good about himself for making a good decision (which I right away reinforced with a few nice words to him).

Can you believe this, it really works!!!! And, I saved myself 40 shekels today :)

Below is a guideline for talking to people. This will also tremendously affect the behavior and success of everyone around you.
(I suggest printing it out and learning it and practicing it with whomever you can.)

All the best, Yehoshua

HOW TO TALK TO PEOPLE (adapted from Sarah Chana Radcliffe):
POSITIVE TATTLING: "I'm going to tell Tatty how you helped me, what a nice bracha you said, what a big chesed you did!" "I can't wait to tell Mommy what a huge victory you had." "I’m going to call Bubby and tell  her that your smile bring joy wherever you go." “I’m going to tell your teacher that you didn’t whine or nag when I didn’t let you have what you wanted. I’m going to say how you were m’kabel ratzon Hashem.”
POSITIVE GENERALIZING: "You're always so considerate! You're so supportive. I can always count on you!" "You always know exactly the right gift to buy."  "You bring joy wherever you go!" "Your smile lights makes everyone so happy." "You're so good at calming the baby down."
BRINGING UP THE PAST: "I can never forget how thoughtful you were." "Remember that time you were so courageous?"
POSITIVE LABELING/NAME CALLING: "You're the kind of person who never gives up!" "You're so kind and caring!" "You're a lot more powerful than you know!" "As usual, you came right on time! I appreciate so much that you were prompt." "You make great decisions!" "You always come up with the best ideas." "You really know how to listen. Thank you for your empathy."
POSITIVE EXCUSES: "Don't worry. I know you were just tired and stressed. You would never hurt me on purpose. I know you had no intention to hurt."
POSITIVE COMPLAINING: "You make such great food. I'm going to gain weight. You're so kind to the kids – I hope they'll know how to handle unkind people that they'll inevitably have to deal with."
POSITIVE BLAMING: "It's all my husband's fault that I'm happy; he keeps encouraging me to do what makes me happy!" "It's my wife's fault that I'm in such a good mood. She keeps complimenting me."
POSITIVE PEACE-MAKING: "You're right. Good point."
POSITIVE REPEATING: "I can't get over how brilliant that idea is. I keep thinking about that amazing victory."
POSITIVE IN-LAW COMMENTS: "You must have gotten that wonderful trait from you Mom/Dad."
POSITIVE STUBBORNNESS: "I'll never stop loving you."

     Verbal abuse is known as ona'as devarim. Words or gestures of scorn, ridicule or contempt often causes victims to feel permanently defective and demoralized. Genuinely spiritual people can be recognized by their determination to avoid hurting others, even when – especially when! – they are under stress. To show disrespect to others is a severe sin. Recognize the signs of ona'as devarim:     
·     BLAMING: Take responsibility for your mental and physical health. Never say, "You make me crazy!" "You're killing me!" "I can't have the career I want because of you." "We're poor because of you." 
·     YELLING. Unless there is real danger, do not yell. Anger is insulting. Studies show that children hear less when yelled at. They learn to tune out the screamer. Children who are screamed at learn to hate themselves and then project their self-hatred onto others, especially those they view as weak or inferior. They learn, that, "Hurting people is the only way to educate them."  
·     NAME-CALLING. Never use words to define a child, such as stupid, idiot, selfish, evil, fat, lazy, crazy, slow, loser, pest, nudnik, failure, etc. These words will cause serious damage to the child's fragile sense of self-worth.
·       CRITICIZING: Don't say, "I've told you a million times to stop!" Never mention a trait that a person has no control over or demand something they cannot achieve. This makes people lose motivation and causes them to think of themselves as stupid, worthless and incompetent.
·       BELITTLING GENERALITIES: For example, "You never listen! I told you 100 times!"  "You always lose things."  "You can't do anything right." “No one will ever want to marry you. You’re a good-for-nothing.” 
·       SHAMING GESTURES:  Scorn is often conveyed in gestures such as staring and eye rolling. Most communication is actually non-verbal. It is impossible to avoid conveying disappointment in a spouse, child or student.
·       NEGLECT: Being ignored is a very harsh form of abuse. Children need to be touched lovingly and need to be seen, heard, understood and validated. If not, they are likely to develop social anxiety and to feel that they are worthless.
·       COMPARISONS:  e.g., "Why can’t you be like ____?  S/he is brilliant (or "more religious, organized, popular, happy, pretty, thin, etc.") 
·        THREATENING: “If you don’t stop, I’ll punish you.” "I'll send you away! Go find another family! I'm running away!" [Better to say, "I need a break. I'm going for a walk." "I need to sleep."]
·        EXCLUDING: There are many ways to make a child feel that he does not belong to the family and that he is unwanted in the group, such as by saying, "You're too young." "We never wanted you in the first place." "You're different from the other children." "We're fed up with you."
·        LYING: This includes, a) Not keeping promises, b) Pretending that everything is fine when there is a major tragedy or disaster, c) Telling others that this child is a monster, d) not giving them important information they need to have about illness or major events.
To fight the urge to insult, talk constantly about your victories! This helps you to maintain a sense of self-worth in the face of the inevitable physical and emotional blows you will encounter from outsiders, as well as your own inner critic.
NOTE:  People with personality disorders or on the autistic spectrum may not grasp the concept of emotional pain. If you say, "I feel hurt by your criticism or coldness," they may reply, "You're too sensitive. You're exaggerating. I didn't do anything wrong." They cannot "read" people's emotions or understand the importance of feelings. They get agitated when people express feelings and do not understand why others feel hurt by their behavior. Little can be done for adults with personality disorders. However, some children can be taught to be more attentive. This is a painful reality which makes using A.C.T. even more crucial.