B"H Monday, 28 Nisan 5777 | April 24 2017
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 Character Assassination 
Rabbi Yosi Kahanov
Rabbi Yosi Kahanov

In a small village lived a poor groom. Unable to afford a proper tailor to make a wedding suit, he brought material to a second-rate one. The poor boy was shocked to see the results.

"But this sleeve is six inches too short," he cried. "So pull in your arm," smiled the tailor. "But the other sleeve is a half a foot too long!" "So extend it," beamed the so-called craftsmen. "And the pants," screamed the groom, "the left leg is twisted!" "Oh that's nothing. Just hop down the aisle with your knee slightly bent!" Continue

    
 
 Don't make an ass of yourself 
Rabbi Yosef kahanov
Rabbi Yosef kahanov

Poor Balak and Bilaam. If only they had lived in our generation they might’ve received some respect – favorable media coverage; interviews on CNN and invitations to speak at the Hebrew University to tell their side of the story.

The part about the speaking donkey would certainly make for great feature articles. It would likely be noted that Bilaam is not to be blamed for beating his animal. It’s all really the fault of the Israelites whose aggressive posture is to blame for the whole fiasco. Comments

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 Kabalah Of The Human Entity 

Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi once received a silver snuffbox as gift. But the Rebbe did not want to put it to its intended use, and remarked: "There is one part of the body which is not constantly seeking gratification – the nose. Should I train it, too, to be a pleasure-seeker?"

Instead, Rabbi Schneur Zalman found a more lofty use for the gift: he detached the snuffbox's cover and used it as a mirror to help him center the teffilin on his head.

This incident was once related to Rabbi Schneur Zalman's grandson, Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Lubavitch. As the one telling the anecdote described how Rabbi Schneur Zalman "broke off" the cover of the snuffbox, Rabbi Menachem Mendel remarked: "No, no, my grandfather never broke anyone or thing. He merely removed the hinge-pin which connected the upper part to the lower."

    
 
 Parshas Behaaloscho 
This week we find the only statement in the Torah describing Moses' personality.

"The man Moses was more humble than anyone on the face of the earth" (12:3)

At first glance this is completely not understood.

Moses was probably the greatest leader and certainly the greatest prophet in history. He demonstrated the ultimate in bravery, patience, wisdom, holiness, compassion and much more… why does the Torah praise only his humility? Continue

    
 
 Jewish Nutrition 
Rabbi Yosi kahanov
Rabbi Yosi kahanov

A joyous farbrengen was held one evening at the humble home of Rabbi Shmuel Betzalel Sheftel (The 'Rashbatz'). For hours the group of Chassidim sat, toasting L'chayim's, singing, talking, rebuking and inspiring one another. As the clock marked the passing of the night, the meager platters of 'Farbeisen' (food with which to follow up the L'chayim vodka) ran out, so Rabbi Shmuel Betzalel instructed that the lamb being raised in his yard be slaughtered. A hot stew was prepared to fuel the Farbeisen for many an hour to come.

The next morning Rabbi Shmuel Betzalel's wife came in from the yard with the distressing news that the lamb – which constituted the whole of the 'family ranch' – had disappeared! Said Rabbi Shmuel Betzalel: "No, no, the lamb has not disappeared. The lamb is very much here, it has only changed its sound. Yesterday it said meh-eh-eh. . ., today it is saying Echo-o-d. . ., O-o-one. . . " (as in G-d is one). Continue

    
 
 Longevity-3320 Years and Counting 
Rabbi Simon Jacobson
Rabbi Simon Jacobson
Companies often advertise themselves as “in business for 89 years,” “brewing beer since 1874,” “loyally serving you for six decades.” By invoking generational continuity these businesses are trying to elicit confidence. We tend to trust something that has lasted for an extended time period. It means that the company is time tested, has weathered ups and downs while others failed and has the experience and know-how that you can depend upon. That’s why it has lasted so long.

Never mind that many of these companies have changed hands and are no longer owned or controlled by the founding family. Still, the mere mention of longevity engenders trust in the brand. Read More
    
 
 The ABC's of dating 
Awareness of what you need and are looking for in a spouse. In communities where parents do the searching for their children's spouse they should know what their children are looking for.

Background check is very important before you proceed. Read More
    
 
 The Deeper Self 
A professor once lamented to the Lubavitcher Rebbe about the depravity of human nature. “While most people,” argued the academic, “seem very nice and charming (politically correct) on the outside, beneath the surface we all tend to share the same ugly essence. We are all selfish, arrogant, and egotistical. Why should the intrinsic character of man be so abhorrent?” Read More
    
 
 What is Kabbalah? 

Kabbalah: That which is received. That which cannot be known through science or intellectual pursuit alone. An inner knowledge that has been passed down from sage to student from the earliest of times. A discipline that awakens awareness of the essence of things.

We enter this world and our senses meet its outer crust. We touch the earth with our feet, water and wind splash against our skin, we recoil from the bite of fire. We hear sounds and rhythms. We see shapes and colors. Soon we begin to measure, to weigh and describe with precision. As scientists, we record the behaviors of chemicals, plants, animals and human beings. We video-tape them, observe them under a microscope, create mathematical models of them, fill a supercomputer with data about them. From our observations we learn to harness our environment with inventions and contraptions, and then pat ourselves on the back and say, Yes, we got it right.

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 Parshas Behar 

This week's Torah portion contains 14 commandments and one of them is the prohibition of taking (or giving) interest on a loan. (25:36,37)

In fact this sin is so severe that the Torah follows it with the words; "I am G-d that took you from Egypt to be your G-d" to tell you that anyone who takes interest denies that G-d took the Jews from Egypt!

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 What is the Jewish Belief About Moshiach? 
Rabbi Nissen Dovid Dubov
Rabbi Nissen Dovid Dubov
What is the Jewish Belief About Moshiach?

What is the 'End of Days'?

The term “End of Days” is taken from Numbers 24:4. This has always been taken as a reference to the messianic era. Here we shall explore – albeit briefly – the Jewish belief in the coming of Mashiach.

What does the word Mashiach mean?

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 Parshas Emor 

This week's Torah portion contains the unusual commandment of 'Sfirat haOmer: 'Counting the 49 days between Passover and Shavuot'

It's one of the easiest commandments in the Good Book.

All you have to do is make a blessing (Blessed are you G-d ……who commanded us to count the Omer) and then count the day: ("Today is such-and-such days of the Omer).

But as simple as it is … it contains deep personal meaning. Each of the 49 days corresponds to another aspect of human nature which, according to mystical Judaism, also adds up to 49.

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 It’s Not All That Rational 

The story is told of an elderly woman – an expert embroiderer – who approached a Rabbi, with a magnificent mantel that she hand crafted for the Synagogue's new Torah Scroll. Enamored by the lush fabric and colorful embroidery, the Rabbi immediately rushed to the ark, removed the Torah and placed the mantel over it.

As they shared a moment of delight adoring the lovely new cover, the Rabbi noted, to everyone's disappointment, that the new cover was several inches shorter than the scroll.

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 Parshas Kedoshim 

In this week's Torah portion we find perhaps the most important commandment in the Book: Love your neighbor as yourself (19:18).

One of the holiest and wisest scholars of all time, Rabbi Akiva, said that this is the main principle of the Torah. And the holy book 'Tanya' written by Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi explains why (chapter 32).

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 At the core of our beings 

A chassid was sent by the Previous Rebbe, R. Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn, to visit Jews in outlying communities and inspire them in the observance of the mitzvos. When he returned to the Rebbe, he told him that the Jews he visited had asked him the purpose of his trip, and he had answered them using the following analogy. In previous generations, there were itinerant scribes who would travel from community to community, checking the Torah scrolls and correcting any cracked or faded letters.

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 Life is a Mess 

Der baal agalah shmaised, dee ferd briken-zich, un-dervaile fort-men (Yiddish). – Reb Mendel Futerfass.Loosely translated: The coachman whips, the horses lash-out and all the while the journey progresses.

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