Rabbi's Blog

The Rabbi's thoughts culled from the "word from the Rabbi" in his weekly email

Secret of a good marriage

Last night we celebrated the wedding of my brother in law in NY. Yeshiva boys are in town to run Chabad events while we are away, let me know if you want them to visit.

The Shema is one of the most important prayers in Judaism. Hear O Israel the Lord is our G-d the Lord is One. We proclaim 1) the Lord is our G-d and 2) the Lord is one. When one gets married they do the same thing. You proclaim: YOU are my spouse and we are one. Prior to marriage, we are two separate people. After marriage, we maintain our separate identities but become a new unit called a family.

As Jewish people we recognize that we are unique individuals yet simultaneously say that the Lord is one; our identity can be a revelation of G-d’s oneness and G-d’s unity.

In a good marriage, the two individuals become better and greater and as a couple, they complement each other to be a better separate individual while making the new singular unit even better.

In a good relationship with G-d, we say: together we are better; G-d is better when we serve Him and serving Him makes us better as well. Additionally, it makes this new unity of oneness even greater.

Have a great Shabbos, 

Enjoy the Yeshiva Boys run service 10:00 am at Chabad

Rabbi Kushi Schusterman 

A war of Ideas

 Question of the Week:

I know that we pray for Moshiach to come and rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem. But isn't there a slight technical problem with that? Currently there is a building which stands on the Temple Mount that belongs to another religion. I somehow can't imagine that they would be willing to give up the real estate and knock down their house of worship to make way for ours... So what's the plan with this


The rebuilding of the Temple is not just about renovating and landscaping. It's a complete renovation of the world's spiritual landscape.

The Messianic era, which we have been waiting for ever since the Temple was destroyed 2000 years ago, will usher in an unprecedented reign of peace. All nations will unite under one G-d with a singular moral purpose. There will be no more war, no famine, and no slow internet. While religious and national identities will remain, the hatred between them will be gone. 

No blood need be shed to achieve this. The force of ideas, not the force of weapons, will bring about the redemption. This means some ideologies will need to be adjusted and certain beliefs rejected. But this can be done through introspection from within rather than attacks from without. When truth shines, falsehood falls away. 

Sounds impossible? Look at history. Cultures do change. Even religions can reform. Within living memory Germany was a murderous terrorist state, and Japan was a mortal enemy of the west. Those two nations are nothing like that today. Okay, it took losing a World War to get there. But go back a bit further in history. Christianity once condoned the slaughter of non-believers, and that changed without a war. Had you lived in pre-war Germany or medieval Christendom you would have never believed that such change is possible. But it happened. 

The Jewish people have always known that the impossible just takes a bit longer. After 2000 years, the time is ripe. We are living in an age of surprises. So don't be surprised if Moshiach comes and renovates the landscape. Those who were previously classified as enemies will become allies. They will willingly and joyously watch the rebuilding of the Temple on its ancient site. 

Good Shabbos,

Rabbi Moss

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Change or stay the same

Change or stay the same (or both)! 

IMG-20180710-WA0016.jpgTwo and a half days with 42 Rabbis at a conference in Lancaster PA; learning tools to be a better community leader, get better at maintaining relationships and being a better rabbi. This is how my week started.

We learned about many new ideas and tools to reach our goal. Statistics and stories were shared to support the theories. And then it hit me.

We did not learn anything new. Of course we learnt about new techniques and concepts, but nothing REALLY new.  As much as things change, they stay the same. But if you want to stay the same, you must change. 

We read about this idea in this week’s Torah portion: Moses wrote their departures according to their journeys… and these were their journeys according to their departures.

Your innovative ideas, your "departures", need to be anchored in the past, in the traditions. It is ok to be innovative in Judaism, as long as it remains within the confines of the Torah. Simultaneously, Judaism is not static; the tradition in Judaism is to depart, to innovate.

To be a better leader, one needs to have anchors and then innovate how to inspire.

To be a better relationship builder, recognize your own self-worth and then share it with others (you are greater than you think you are!) in meaningful new ways.

To be a better Jew, recognize that the Torah is the foundation and build, innovate and inspire with your foundation as the catalyst.

What would you do to inspire others in Torah traditions?

Have a great Shabbos,

Rabbi Kushi Schusterman


It's Yours

Baby boomers are set to pass on some $30 trillion in assets to heirs. Many firms find that roundtable discussions foster intergenerational communication about inheritance.

This week the Torah talks about inheritance and how to transfer land and money after someone passes on. 

Is this relevant? Excluding people planning their estate, like the person I was speaking with yesterday about Harford Chabad's planned giving initiative, who cares about inheritance and its laws? How does it affect my daily life? 

To this, the Torah tells us: It is YOURS. "The Torah that Moses commanded us is an inheritance for the congregation of Jacob." Devarim 32:4. 

The Torah is your inheritance; the $30 trillion in spiritual assets are being transferred to you! Now explore with your spiritual advisor how to best invest those assets. 

Explore your inheritance investment opportunities 
Torah and Mitzvahs
Prayer services 
Torah classes
Youth program

Make your inheritance grow and share it with the next generation, after all, it is their inheritance as well.

Have a great Shabbos.

Rabbi Kushi Schusterman 

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