Rabbi's Blog

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

You Count

There is this concept of getting 1% better each day. When it starts, there is almost no difference. It is just a drop better today over yesterday. But as time goes on, the difference becomes very noticeable. If one gets better 1% each day for a year, at the end of the year they are 37 times better than when they started.
On Passover we celebrate the freedom from the tyranny of constraints toward the freedom of serving a higher power. This journey toward receiving the Torah and accepting the monogamous relationship with G-d is called Sfirat Ha’omer - the counting of the Omer that takes place during the seven weeks from Passover until Shavuot.
The Omer Journey is one of daily improvement, changing our behavior just a little bit. By the time Shavuot comes around, we are already a half time better than we were before. If we start with 1 we end with 1.63 (if my math is accurate) and if we do it for a year, we end with 37.78.
In order for us to grow, we need to start with recognizing our value. 1% of 0 is 0. So while humility is important, it’s more important to recognize that G-d chose us to be His people. He looks at each and every person and says YOU matter, YOU count. What have you done to make yourself just 1% better today?
Do a mitzvah and add a little light to the world today.
Have an amazing Shabbos!
Rabbi Kushi Schusterman

Are you willing to go out of your comfort zone?

A baby in its mother’s womb leaves its comfort zone to enter an unknown world.
A butterfly leaves its cocoon to fly away into the big wide world.
In business, most major growth comes after taking a risk.

Leaving Egypt for the Jewish people was a leap. From a slave mentality to one of freedom.

The end of Passover celebrates the splitting of the Red Sea and the Messianic era.

The end of Passover challenges us to break the laws of nature, including our own nature, to head toward a life of stronger spirituality. 

To do this we need to get out of our comfort zone and do something we never thought possible. 

It can be turning off our phone while praying or only eating kosher food.
It can be ensuring we celebrate Shabbat every Friday night with candles and a meal and no technology, to the full Shabbat experience.
It can be attending the weekly Torah class or requesting to study one on one at a more convenient time.

What is the thing that you would “never do”, so entrenched in your comfort zone, holding you back from reaching your true greatness?

Are you willing to move out of your comfort zone and split your sea? Are you willing to find the messiah in you? Your best life begins with that one step outside of your comfort zone.

Have an amazing end of Pesach. 

Want to join us for the Moshiach meal? 4/23/22 at 7:00 PM-8:30PM
Text or call the Chabad office at 443-353-9718

Rabbi Kushi Schusterman 

Beneath the emptiness

I have seasonal allergies. Each year, as the ground thaws from the winter cold and the flowers start to bloom, my nose and throat start to itch.

One of the requirements of Passover is that it be celebrated in the spring. This is why this year is a leap year (a second month of Adar was added). 

Many times there are moments in our lives that are "winter" like; the "growth" and the "trees" of our lives look bare, empty and lifeless. However, as "spring" arrives, we see that beneath the surface was a vibrant and beautiful life waiting to blossom.

The Jewish people in Egyptian bondage suffered from darkness and pain. It looked like there was no end in sight. Then, as the tree blossomed, so did the Jewish people. Beneath the emptiness was a nation getting ready to bloom. 

Passover reminds us that even when our spiritual lives seem empty and bare, hiding beneath the surface is our growth and our ability to blossom.

May we all experience true freedom this Passover. Freedom to blossom. 

Have a Happy and Kosher Passover,

Rabbi Kushi Schusterman

For the Passover Schedule click here

Strong Connections

With Passover right around the corner, this week started with getting some final things organized for Passover. 

On Monday night and Tuesday was my mother's 36th Yahrtzeit (thank you to those who helped me with the minyan).

Wednesday a bunch of the Chabad Rabbis in Maryland went to meet with the Governor to celebrate the Rebbe's 120th birthday. 

When one is connected with life, truly living and staying connected to their soul identity. and that connection breaks, they are considered Tamei - ritually impure.

Rabbi Adin Steinzaltz writes - The stronger the current of life, the more intense the tumah (ritual impurity) will be if and when that life is stopped and cut off. The more life force that exists in an entity, the more intense the  tumah (ritual impurity)  generated by the negation of that life force will be.

For me this week was a week of strong connections the connection with the  Passover rituals and the experience of Freedom, the relationship with my mother, and the relationship with my Rebbe and the opportunity to honor him.

If any of these connections broke the impurity would be great. 

What are some of your soul connections that are part of the current of your life? 

Have a soulful Shabbos,

Rabbi Kushi Schusterman


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