B"H Thursday, 24 Sivan 5779 | June 27 2019
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A Peek into the Human Psyche
 A Tale of Two souls 
Rabbi Kahanov in the insert
Rabbi Kahanov in the insert
But how are we to understand this? How is it that man – this lofty entity created in G-d's own image and likeness – would, in no time at all, lapse into the depth of depravity? The answer to this deserving question lies well within the human anatomy. ■ more
Rabbi Yosef Kahanov
 Let Us Make Man 
The Rebbe then offered the following explanation: G-d inquired of Adam “Where are you in the world?" I.e. Do you understand the nature and purpose of your existence? G-d obviously knew where Adam was; His question was did Adam know where he was. “Where are you?” continued the Rebbe, “is G-d’s perpetual call to every man.”  ■ more
Beware Of the Cheshvan Blues
 Moving (Forward) In Circles 
Photograph: Zalman Kleinman
One year on Simchas Torah, before Hakkafos (the circular procession for which the holiday of Simchas Torah is renowned), the entire synagogue was waiting for Reb Menachem Mendel to begin the recitation of the preceding verses, beginning with Atoh Hareisa. After a long unexplained silence, R' Menachem approached R' Shneur Zalman and said: "I perceive a hundred different ways to interpret this passage, but I cannot translate them into practice. I would hence prefer to refrain from reciting it." ■ More
Rabbi Yosef Kahanov
 Don’t Lose Your Spine! 
Rabbi Kahanov in insert
Rabbi Kahanov in insert
You’re sitting on a plane buckled-up in your seat, as the plane is pushing back. You’re ready to relax – read a book, close your eyes and catch up on some badly needed sleep — but there’s one more important bit of business to be taken care-of before you can kick back; the airline safety demonstration. This, we all know, is when the flight attendant gets up to do her/his little buckle-vest-mask ditty. ■ More
Shoes or No Shoes
 Security Still Belongs to G-d 
Rabbi Yosef kahanov in insert
Rabbi Yosef kahanov in insert

There was once a Melamed (Cheder teacher) whom a well-to-do industrialist engaged to serve as the village resident tutor for a period of time (Zman). It so happened that during this same period the prosperous businessman built himself a magnificent mansion. ■ During the housewarming festivities all the household members were, as can be expected, in highly celebratory and cheerful spirits. When the owner of the new home noticed that the visiting Melamed was quite caught up in the joyous festivities as well, he turned to him in surprise: "Why so much joy? After all, you are only here temporarily!"  ■ More

Rabbi Yosef Kahanov
 The Art of Teshuvah 
Photograph: Zalman Kleinman
A self-proclaimed Jewish atheist had no qualms with sending his son to a Catholic day school. One evening during dinner as the son enthusiastically described the Christian theology of the Trinity – the father, the son and . . ., the man could hardly contain his anger. "Listen here son and remember it well," bellowed the atheist: "There's only one G-d and we don't believe in him." ■ More
Yabbi Yosef Kahanov
 United We Stand . . . Be It Obama Or McCain 
Judaism asserts that unity is not only a desirable and attainable trait but actually a necessity and prerequisite for Divine revelation and blessing. How is this possible? If I’m for Obama and you’re for McCain, how can we be united? ■ The answer is that Unity does not dictate that everyone be or act the same. ■ More
How To Achieve Happiness:
 The clean little secret 
The story is told of a woman who was strolling in the park when she stumbled upon a precious diamond. Before she had a chance to place it into in her bag, she was approached by a hungry vagabond seeking alms. But nothing the woman offered him was sufficient.
The kind woman finally turned to the poor man in dismay: “What do you want?” What can I do to make you happy? The beggar pointed to the diamond in her hand: “That’s what I want.”  More
Not Everything Is Bashert
 The reverberating effects of human behavior 

A man was once accused of a serious crime. The evidence was so incriminating that a guilty verdict seemed inevitable. In desperation, the defendant hired a prominent attorney. “Your only hope,” advised the lawyer “is to enter a plea of insanity. You will need to act crazy in court. ■ At the trial, the man followed his counsel’s advice and began making strange noises; jumping up and down and waving his hands. He performed so well that the case was soon dismissed. More

Parshas Shoftim
 Pinchas Or Korach? 

When Kaiser Wilhelm sought to invade Belgium, he was reminded of the signed treaty agreements to which his action would be in blatant contradiction. Dourly brushing the matter aside the Kaiser declared: “We shall take Belgium! As for the inconsistencies, let not your heart be troubled; the philosophers can be well trusted to supply the necessary explanations.”

A contemporary thinker once opined, “Philosophy is simply the formation of bad reasons for what we believe on instinct.” No wonder that Judaism has a healthy suspicion of man’s capacity to rationalize. More

Parshas Re'e
 A Vote Against “Change” 

When Robert A. Rockaway, a recognized authority on Jewish-American history, decided to chronicle the story of the Jewish mob, he sought out Jewish old-timers, their family and friends, in order to gather information on this less than reputable element.

Rockaway even interviewed his own mother, who, a native of Detroit, Michigan, knew some friends and family members of the nefarious subjects of his research.

Once, while talking to his mother about the reprehensible conduct of a particular mobster, his mother stopped him short in his tracks: “All that you say may be fine and good, no one said the guy was a saint. Between you and me, he was known to have made a few people disappear… But you shouldn’t rush to judgment. Don’t forget that he was always kind to his mother! Does that count for nothing? Trust me; the man was a real Mentch!” Continue

By Rabbi Yosef Kahanov
 Jewish Nutrition 

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

Weekly Parsha
 This Is The Torah 

In the early 1900's, the tenements of Manhattan’s Lower East Side were populated with Jewish immigrants. A Rabbi, who resided in the ghetto-like community, once attended an ecumenical function at which a notoriously anti-Semitic Episcopalian Minister was in attendance.

"What a coincidence!” remarked the minister upon encountering the Rabbi: “It was just last night that I dreamt I was in Jewish Heaven."

"Jewish Heaven?" mused the Rabbi. "What is it like in Jewish Heaven?" More

 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

 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."


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