Rabbi's Blog

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

Don't forget to say thank you!

Sometimes we get stuck. We hit a bump in the road and get frustrated and "stressed out". To paraphrase the Jews on their way out of Egypt:  "We have our enemy behind us and an ocean in front of us. There is no hope".

At those times we need to reach out to G-d. We must ask for his help and his strength...but what about when we succeed more often then not we forget to express our thanks and gratitude to G-d for helping us. 

We learn a lesson of what to do in the Torah reading of the seventh day of Passover and in the Haftorah. The Jews and King David express their thanks to G-d for helping them and being there in their time of need after protecting them and securing their safety.

We often know who to call when we are stuck. As a Rabbi, there are countless times when people reach out for help in their time of need. However, how often do they forget to give an update when things work out?

I am guilty of this myself as well. While I try to update people about the impact of their financial and community support, and I try to thank every person that supports the work we do, I don't always show enough gratitude, give enough feedback and thanks. (Thank You!!)

Let us learn from the Jews to be grateful for what we have, the gifts we are blessed with, the security we have been given. Where we are may not always look pretty and perfect the way we may hoped but we can start with small steps of gratitude. I'm grateful to be alive, to have food to put on my table. Im grateful for the blessings and gifts I have in my life. 

Wishing you a beautiful end to a wonderful Pesach. Chag Sameach!

Who cares that we left Egypt?

Are you celebrating Pesach/Passover?

According to one study: “Passover is the most celebrated of all Jewish holidays with more than 70% of Jewish Americans taking part in a Seder, its ritual meal”

Now it is nice to have a meal together, but who really cares that way back when, three THOUSAND three hundred and thirty-one years ago, the Jewish people left Egypt??

Why is the Seder and Passover relevant in 2019?

Why would the Talmud say that every year (and every day) a person should see themselves as if they left Egypt today?

One answer I find meaningful is that a Jew must remember that the Passover message is always relevant. Every year and every day.  Namely, that the Jewish people have a special place on G-d’s radar. The Jewish people, and every Jew specifically, each moment of their lives, are guided by G-d and Divine providence.

One should recognize that G-d has a unique plan specific for him. This Divine plan can G-d forbid be manifested in the opposite of revealed good and seem bitter. Hashem’s special attention to the Jewish people quickly removes the negativity in every experience.

This is symbolized by the 3 Passover representations: The Pascal lamb (divine intervention passing over the Jewish people), the Maror - bitter herbs (removes bitterness), and the matzah (so fast that the negativity can’t fester).

We must remember daily that G-d is in charge. This recognition removes the bitterness in a challenging situation.

Additionally, on Passover the verse tells us: “You shall relate it to your child”. We need to make our own homes a place where G-d’s presence is felt. We do not only "do Judaism" outside the house, but our home is a Jewish home. We need to educate our children (by example) about Jewish values. Regardless if they are the wise child or temporarily wicked, if they are a simple one or one who does not know how to ask, it is our duty to see to it that our children feel that they are one of G-d’s children and that they live up to that title through including Jewish practices in their daily life.

Have an amazing Pesach,


Multi-tasking is a myth

There is no such thing as multi-tasking. 

Multi-tasking is a myth.

There is task switching, which means moving back and forth between tasks, as it is impossible to focus on two things at one time.

This is a recurring theme in many of the books and articles I have read in the past few weeks.

While studying about Passover, I found a very similar theme.

Generally you are either getting over evil, getting past a roadblock, working on getting rid of a negative character trait, and only afterwards or at a different time, can we work on inspiration, connection with G-d and spiritual growth.

On Passover however, we connect with a higher dimension of G-dliness, a level of connection when G-d was simultaneously getting rid of the evil of the Egyptians while simultaneously saving the Jewish people.

Today, as well, we have an opportunity on Passover to connect to that level of spirituality; to simultaneously increase our connection and get rid of our negativity.

What do you think? How does one tap in?


we need a baseline

We will first get a baseline sample. Only then will you drink the liquid sugar, and we will take an additional sample every hour for 3 hours. Your test results will be available in approximately one week. That is how the technician explained the process as we were testing one of our children for lactose intolerance.

It got me thinking. Often, when we talk about spiritual growth, we miss the first step - what is our baseline? Where are we spiritually? Only then can we test to see if there are things that we need to improve, if there are things we need to be intolerant of etc.

How does one get a baseline? You get a technician; find a friend and ask him to help you identify where you are at spiritually, and then have them help you guide yourself on your journey.

Do not measure every minute. After a week, see if you made advancement on the journey, ask the friend how you are progressing.

Keep moving forward in the right direction! Perhaps, then, by the time Passover comes (in two weeks), we will be ready to be freed from our limitations.

Have a good Shabbos,


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