Thursday, November 27, 2014

8 Good Things harmful in excess

There are 8 things which are harmful in excess and beneficial in moderation: (Avos D'Rabbi Noson, 37: 5)

#2 – Work (yesterday was wine)

 Work is great, it makes money (for some at least!!), sharpens the mind and body and keep us out of trouble.

But too much can damage health, undermine perspective, erode values and ultimately tear apart families.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

A Moment of Insanity

A person does not transgress unless a spirit of foolishness enters into him.’ (Sotah 3a)

Human beings want to be good. Almost above all else. It’s a fundamental need. So in order for us to do the wrong thing, it has to be that we got disoriented for a moment, we lost track of truth, of what matters to us, and followed something crazy in the heat of the moment.

It doesn’t mean we aren’t responsible for what we did. But it does mean that we don’t make ourselves ‘evil’ through our choices; we can simply brush ourselves off and start again.

For those who come to identify with their moments of foolishness as who they are can eventually create a new self that overrides their ability to see their inherent goodness. This people can turn themselves towards evil. But for most people “the wrong choice” can be considered a temporary moment of insanity.

Rabbi Michael Stern (c)414-573-9668

Monday, November 24, 2014

No-one is Jealous of ....

‘A person is jealous of everyone except his son and his disciple.’ (Sanhedrin 105b)
It’s so easy and normal to look at others and feel that we wish we could have what
they have – or as a good second best, we wish at least they would not have it either!

That’s jealousy.

But one never feels jealous of a child or a disciple because their joy is our joy, their success
our success. It’s not me or them. If they have something, it’s mine also.

Perhaps if we try to fulfill the Mitzvah of “Love your Neighbor as Yourself” – everyone’s
Success in your life will fell like it’s your success

Friday, November 21, 2014

Don't Steal Thoughts

Do not stand over a purchase [i.e., pretend to be interested in buying]
when you have no money.’ (Pesachim 112b)

This is called in Hebrew gnaivas daas, literally ‘stealing thought’.
It means that you are making someone get excited about something that is not real.

You are misleading them, knowing they will be disappointed in the end.
It’s not always something one does wittingly, but the Torah demands that we be sensitive
to the feelings of another in this way

Rabbi Michael Stern (c)414-573-9668

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Give With Words

Whoever gives a perutah (a small copper coin) to a poor person
obtains six blessings, but one who comforts him with words
receives eleven blessings.’ (Bava Basra 9b)

I’m not sure why those exact numbers but the sentiment is obvious.
It’s easy to throw money at someone. And there is certainly meaning
in doing so.

But the true assistance that we can give others is via our words and
our actions, not simply our money.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Get your own house in order

Get your own house in order – We don’t judge in Yardley
Adorn yourself (i.e. correct your own behavior), and then adorn others’. (Bava Metzia 107b).
This is the obvious – do as I do, not as I say. It’s all too easy to stand in judgment of others,
telling them how they should live their lives. But the first thing to do is to get our own house
in order. Until then, we have nothing to say.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Is Anyone or Anything Strong? If so What is the Strongest?

Is Anyone or Anything Strong? If so What is the Strongest?

Ten hard (i.e., strong) things were created in the world: The mountain is strong but iron cuts it. Iron is strong but fire softens it. Fire is strong but water extinguishes it. Water is strong but clouds bear it. Clouds are strong but winds scatter them. Winds are strong but the body bears it. The body is strong but fear breaks it. Fear is strong but wine dispels it. Wine is strong but sleep dissipates it. Death is stronger than all of these and charity is strongest of all because it saves one from death.’ (Bava Bathra 10a).