Sunday, July 28, 2013

Torah Thought - Fear and Love of God - The Same

Torah Thought - Fear and Love of God  - The Same

This past weeks Parsha said that all that Hashem wants is to fear him. Oh that is all! It sounds so .....well anyone can do it! Can that be? What is this fear? What is more the Rabbi's teach us that the fulfillment of the ultimate expression of fear of god is love of God! What is it talking about? How much time do we have? I can't spend a lot now.

In the end of the day, fear of God is an awareness of the reality of God's existence and what the implications are of that - God's yoke of expectations of how we are to develop ourselves; psychologically, emotionally, spiritually as we are charged with a sacred mission of being holy - bringing God's love and light into the world through our refinement.

Along with the awareness of God is a recognition of reality that includes both all the constant gifts and resources (life itself) that we are continuously bequeathed, for no good reason other than God's care, love and concern and at the same time an incredible responsibility to utilize these gifts and  resources for our a sacred purpose and personal mission; to the extent a realization that there are real consequences for not being all you could be with all that you have been given.

I love Hashem for everything I have in my life - It is so awesome his love, trust and gifts - that it becomes incumbent upon me to raise myself up and utilize everything in its proper fashion -both for expanding God's glory, light and love in the world and at the same time transforming myself in the image of God - Anything less than that accomplishment for ourselves is not good enough.
That's why there are consequences - The master loves us and wants greatness for us.   

Just like - Rabbi Orlowek's definition of love is if it's important to you, it's important to me and that attitude is now the foundation and operating system upon which the whole relationship rests and is built upon so too - the awareness and recognition of God and all that goes a long with it (fear of God) is the foundation upon which our entire relationship with God ( and all the Mitzvot) are built upon


Teens on Wheels - Summer Mitzva Project -Shoshie's Memory

Teens on Wheels - Summer Mitzva Project -Shoshie's Memory

Teens on Wheels -a North Miami Beach summer camp are running a food drive to benefit the Jewish Community Center Services of South Florida's -Kids for Kosher Food Bank program
in memory of Shoshana Rachel Bas Elimelech a'h - The project is called Shoshie's gift

As Shoshie brought together girls from different communities -this project involves Miami, Bal Harbour, Aventura and North Miami Beach. The girls are all helping the community in honor of their friend Shoshie.

If interested in helping the project, fill a bag with non perishable groceries and call Mrs. Shani Grossbard at 786-337-1855 to arrane a drop off or pick up. You can also send a check if interested call me 414-573-9668

Much appreciation to Mrs Grossbard for her love and leadership from conceptualizing all the way to fruition.

Free Loan Fund - in memory of Shoshana Rachel bas Elimelech a'h

Free Loan Fund - in memory of Shoshana Rachel bas Elimelech a'h

Celebrate its inauguration! Shabbat Aug 17th -Far Rockaway, NY

Michoil Barnett and Simcha Dunn - 2 dear friends took it upon themselves to initiate an incredible Mitzva project. They raised a significant amount of money to create a free loan fund in Shoshie's name. WOW - every time a loan is made -it is n Shoshie's memory.

The celebration is at Khal Nesiv HaTorah - Rabbi Forst's Shul
Shabbos Kiddush - The fund will be announced. Mike & Denise will speak a little bit on Shabbos about ELUL & Shoshie.

Nice Announcement

Denise and myself are im'y being honored at the Aish Hatorah Philadelphia annual Gala event of October 27that the Merion Tribute House  The Maccabeats will perform live -Merion, PA
for more details go to

Friday, July 26, 2013

Torah Portion (Ekev) teaches the essence of Love

Torah Portion (Ekev) teaches the essence of Love

The Torah portion says "It will be as a result (ekev) of your accepting these laws." Then the Torah portion lists many promises of reward and Hashem's protection.

The Rabbi's focus on why the Torah used the word "Ekev"
The Torah could have just said "If you accept these laws"
What is the Torah trying to teach us by using the word "Ekev"?

The Rabbi's teach us that the word "ekev," also means "heel".
The Torah is referring specifically to those laws (mitzvos) that a person tramples "with his heel."

People regard certain laws (mitzvos) as "lightweight," and being not so careful in their observance is like trampling on them "with your heel." Surely every law ( Mitzva) is important -  What is the Torah trying to teach us.?

I think the lesson conveys something about the essence of love. As my Rebbi, Rabbi Noach Orlowek said "love is -what is important to you is important to me".

Certainly we should focus on the most important Mitzvas like keeping Kosher, Shabbat etc - its easy to care about those - the consequences of not doing them could seem obvious but does Hashem really care if I wear a peice of clothing with wool and linen? Does Hashem really care if I want to get red wine stain out of my table cloth on Shabbos? The answer is yes.

The more something seems trivial in my eyes and despite that fact, I am couscous about doing it, for the sake of the relationship,

and I am not doing it because it makes sense to me or I am afraid the consequences if I don't do it - I simply do it because it is important to Hashem -then to the extent that I do it for him is the extent of the love between us. The same with our spouses, kids etc

The more that I do something because it is important to them.....
I always say to Denise "throw out the garbage in a way that it shows that you care about the person (me) who is taking out the garbage - She says use our bathroom like you care about the other person (Denise) who is going to use the bathroom (less details the better- and what women doesn't want their own bathroom without their husband using it?)

Taking out the garbage before she asks me - ..... because my attitude shouldn't be -do the minimum - or unless she asks me
My attitude in a relationship is "if it's important to you it is important to me"

Those things that aren't as important in my eyes (Ekev -trample with the heal) is not what is important - it's what am i doing to make my wife, husband, son, daughter, mother, father to feel good.

Love is all there is

Shabbat Shalom

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

We are all of the same father!

We are all of the same father!

Each Jewish Soul is intricately interconnected to one another -all from the same father - Our father in heaven! We are only divided in a physical sense and it only "appears" that we are so different from each other. The role we have been assigned in this world is nothing more than a role that one would receive when they got a part in a play. Seeing beyond the "jug" - of the body-the physical limitations- our idiosyncrasies and negative character challenges -.....To seeing beyond to the essence of a person will see that although it seems confusing at times, although you would do things differently - you can confirm one thing - Everyone wants to be good- everyone is trying to do good. Let's focus on our common Soul - see each others common drives - We truly are brothers and sisters of the same father.

Positive Statements - Help Needed

Need Your Thoughts - Your Help

I am dusting off a concept/idea that I hope to be using this year a lot. (more info forthcoming) named "Green" Speech -Words Matter! Taking responsibility for our words.

I have 9 different signs/posters - (Cardboard -thick - put them up in a classroom) focusing on Negative Speech. They are the shapes of traffic signs. ie A stop sign with the words "Stop Unkind Words", a caution traffic sign with the words "Caution use words with care".

I am looking to make signs/posters focusing on Positive Speech.
This is where you come in.

1. What would you say are the top positive statements that you could say to another? One example would be appreciated

2. A design idea would be great. You can't get better than the analogy of traffic signs to convey warnings about gossip, secrets, rumors, unkind words- I need a motif for positive words. Words we should use and say

Thank you in advance

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Working on a series of 5 individual Classes on Marriage.

Working on a series of 5 individual Classes on Marriage.
Here's a list of titles and descriptions - Any thoughts? Comments?

Feeding Your Relationships

Why did I Get Married? - A refresher on the purpose of marriage and life all together. Marriage is a complicated; it takes the right frame of mind and commitment to maximize your happiness together. 

Be the Prospective Mate your Spouse was looking for!–What is really the bottom line of what will make my spouse happy? A Rabbi of mine said “If it’s important to you it is important to me”

The 10 Surefire ways to Sabotage my Marriage - Sometimes, we unwittingly, subconsciously, don’t do the things necessary to make our spouses feel valued and strong. Keep your eye on the ball.

Loving your Spouse versus Loving Yourself – Understanding Love, connection & intimacy! Nothing could be more simple but more elusive. How many of us truly feel loved for who we are?

The “1 Habit “of Highly Successful Relationships – Discovering a paradigm, language and understanding that will increase love and happiness in your marriage.

The Unspoken Word -“Our Words our costing us our lives”

·         The Unspoken Word -“Our Words our costing us our lives” – The quality of our lives and the society we live in has been severely compromised by the words we use

·         Wherever we go-Wherever we turn – We can’t seem to escape the destructive force of how words are used in today’s world

·         Negative words – Derogatory words –Damaging words and Gossip –all seem so often so innocent

·         Abusive and violent words –Downright can be so scary.

·         The misuse of words are an essential –seemingly unmovable – core of the

·         The downfall of civility –Outrageous incidents increasingly have become the norm

·         Fighting in our homes; a weakening of trust between husband and wife, animosity amongst siblings, berating our children-words hurt

·         The poisoning of the workplace atmosphere; so much talk, talk, talk -the distance created amongst the employees and with the employer – words hurt

·         Breaching the line of confidentiality – defamation suits all too common and unfair assault on our brand, product and company that destroys-Words cost

·         The destruction of a child’s self respect and self esteem sometimes leading to pent up anger and rage –Words hurt

·         The harsh and abusive sounds that assault us and knock us upside our heads –Words seer into us and paralyze us

·         or whether literally words are a part of an onslaught that God forbid leads to suicide –Words can kill

·         Our words literally are costing us –life- wherever we turn -collectively all of our lives

·         Maybe worst of all- words compromise our self image – they way we think about ourselves

·         and that squelches and steals our view of who we truly are, what we can accomplish and our drive to change the world

·         Words that have the great potential of lifting us up, help building our character, revealing to ourselves the possibility of true inner worth

·         Only to be limited by believing what others say more than you can say to yourself

·         Our words hold the keys to optimism, belief in ourselves, trust in one another, oneness and peace in the world, love and ultimate redemption

·         We must go from the world of “words destroy” to beautiful words – “words that heal” in order to accomplish the “words that build” that will bring us to the worlds we want.  

Monday, July 22, 2013

Jewish Unity -Follow Up

What I am saying, in my own personal opinion is that many  people, many times aren't aware of how, when and were to voice criticism about a Jew, a Jewish group or the Jewish people. For the most part much is said without "benefit" - ..... the remarks are...... going no-where. True we are not well educated in Kosher Loshon hara- when we are permitted - yes permitted to be openly critical. As we judge others-God judges us. Not very person and place is a forum to voice.....

I am not suggesting that rebuke, criticism, etc is unnecessary- but being critical of a Jew, a Jewish group requires knowledge, understanding, - seeking advice ....

  Just 4 “You” Hebrew School –Ages 8-18
  A Project of Rabbi Mike & Rabbi Without Walls
Unlike any Hebrew School You Ever Heard Of 

An Entire Hebrew School just for “You and Your Child”

We offer you a completely: personalized, customized and uniquely designed Jewish educational program just for your child.  No! One size doesn’t fit all. We cater to all types of children including those that don’t fit into a traditional box. Just 4 “You” Rabbi’s, teachers and mentors are available in person or over the phone through Skype anywhere in North America.

We will design a program that takes into consideration your child’s unique background, interests, personality and challenges. No matter what your child’s: interests, motivation, religious observance, education or special needs, we offer a variety of educational goals and approaches along with a personal mentor to help your child on their personal journey. 

Program Goals:
Just 4 “You” is focused on: inspiring a love of: Judaism, pride in being Jewish, a connection to the land and a sense of belonging to the Jewish people. We will help your child attain significant growth in their Jewish identity and help them make quantum leaps: in self awareness, refinement of character and making more responsible choices.  Just 4 “You” wants to help your child to actualize their unique potential for happiness and success. Our goal is for your child to absolutely love our Hebrew school and integrate Judaism’s wisdom into their thoughts, speech and behavior. We aim to make this program a defining; and pivotal experience in their love of Judaism.

Modeling & Mentorship
Our Rabbis and mentors develop a warm and personal relationship with your child. They embody a love of being Jewish and Judaism. Just 4 “You” mentors develop rapport, build trust and connect in a caring way. We understand that the right role model can have great impact on your child’s learning. Your child is able to have a mentor that either: shares the same interests and talents as them or is able to directly engage with them in that interest or use that shared interest to share Judaism.

Designing a program Just 4 “You”
Just 4 “You” programs encompass many disciplines of modern teaching techniques. Learning can incorporate and or all of the following: fun, social interactions, personal relationships, conversation, stories, media, technology, hands–on interactive activities, experiences, skill development, and intellectual content.  Just like a food “takeout” menu, you order exactly what you want. Our goal is to have your child enjoy their education and want more. 

Go ahead – have a nosh  
Try a 3-meeting “tasting” course or a full meal. You will find our Just 4 “You” Jewish enrichment courses will add flavor to your child’s Bar and Bat Mitzvah program or Hebrew school curriculum.  Design the program that meets goals and expectations- Just 4 “You and your child”.

For a menu or for more information contact Rabbi Mike

Nothing is more painful than when our kids fight - Jewish Unity -

Nothing is more painful than when our kids fight - Jewish Unity -           What happens after Tish b av is the measure!

The 3 weeks have come and gone -so too Tish b av. Unfortunately all too often the talk about Jewish Unity. Intuitively though we all understand that this is the tikun (fixing of ourselves) that must be done to bring redemption to ourselves and the world.

As a parent there is almost nothing more disconcerting than when our children fight. We obligate our kids naturally all the time "you have to love your sister" - they mumble something back about hate - "I don't care if you hate your sister you have to love her" - We have a subconscious understanding that peace and love between children is UN-negotiable. We are out of sorts until peace has been restored to our home.

Can you imagine that your kids are in the middle whining, fighting, screeching, crying,calling each other names..... , they are being self-centered, egoistic, selfish.... and not being helpful, charitable, respectful, accepting and loving to one another... and somehow, somewhere in the middle of all of this -they see a commercial as they pass by a T.V and become enchanted with the latest info-commercial selling something that immediately grabs their attention and fancy. They turn to you and say " Mommy/Daddy can we have that"?   (ignoring everything that is and has been going on)

You are like "are you kidding me" - it just doesn't work that way - First, you guys have to apologize, address what has been going on here, acknowledge what you have been doing - Of course I want to give you everything in the world, of course I want to make you happy, of course I love you but first things are first. As long as you both are fighting, name-calling etc etc -you are getting nothing. "Is this how I raised you"? "This is how you behave"?I'm a little disgusted. Take some responsibility for your actions and then we will see.

G-d wants to give us everything - he is waiting for us...... how we do together is the key to God's showering us with everything we want - all of our hopes and dreams.

Now that Tish b Av is over-let's not forget about the importance of Jewish Unity - It starts with ourselves and how we treat one another.

It is no big Mitzvah to be so judgmental, harsh in criticism of any Jew or Jewish group within the Jewish people. Don't be so quick to form an opinion and condemn. Don't be so quick to find advocates for your position. Go out of your way to understand and enumerate the position that you find so distasteful. Even those people who are in favor of exemptions of Army service for those who are learning Torah, even those who are against the Women of the Wall.

All I am saying is that the measure of each one of us, the measure upon which that Hashem will give us bounty how we treat each other, seek peace with one another and give each other the benefit of the doubt.

Don't subconsciously seek popular discord. Remember it's hard to ask your parents for something when you are in the middle of fighting. Let's make it easier for God to answer our prayers.