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Monthly Messages - 2017

Monthly Messages - 2017

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August 2017

 The Temple Mount

This week there was big conflict on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem between Jews and Arabs.  Simultaneously there is an ongoing Jewish conflict about the Kotel, the Western Wall.

What is it about this site that attracts and brings out strong sentiments from people of all nationalities and religions?

According to tradition, the Ark of the Covenant was hidden in the tunnels of Temple Mount a short time before the destruction of the First Temple, 586 BCE. The Two Tablets that are still somewhere on that site, are a magnet that draws people from all walks of life.  This Tisha Bav, the day we mourn the Temple’s destruction, let us pray that this magnet brings us together.





July 2017

The Big Three 
 
The Big Three at the Cleveland Cavaliers did not deliver the championship this year. As Jews, we have our own, “Big Three,” Moses, Aaron and Miriam.

 

This trio of biblical leaders were the ones that led the Jewish people out of Egypt and through the desert.   Each one had their own unique contribution.  Aaron stood out for his unconditional love for every Jew.  Miriam empowered the Jewish women and Moses actually brought us the championship – the Torah at Mount Sinai!

 

 

 

 

 

June 2017

Six Day War

The Jewish world is commemorating 50 years since the miraculous victory of the Six Day war in 1967.  My family immigrated to Israel from Russia a few months before the war, and the tension and fear in the country was palpable.

My mother tells me, that the only optimistic voice was the Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneersohn, of righteous memory.  He continually reassured Jews that Israel is a safe place.

As we approach the Rebbe’s Yahrtzeit, we miss his leadership but continue to be inspired by his love and concern for every single Jew.




May 2017

Airline Fiasco

The world was appalled as the video of the passenger dragged off the airplane went viral. Most of the criticism concentrated on how the airline and law enforcement treated the passenger.  

What about the other passengers?   All those that sat close enough to hear, see and video the  incident, were quick to protest on social media, but none of them were brave enough to stand up and defend the passenger on the spot.

Holocaust Day reminds us that we cannot afford to be bystanders. We must stand up for injustice.

 

April 2017

Vogue Article

When Vogue Magazine publishes an article encouraging the world to celebrate Shabbat, I know that we have really made it!

For some reason, the path to the heart of many Jews, is through the non Jewish world. 

If Madonna learns Kabbala, then Kabbala must be worth learning. 

If Vogue says that celebrating Shabbat is an important act of mindfulness and a good idea even for non Jews, then it becomes a cool thing to do.

I’m wondering how long I will have to wait until the New York Times will promote putting on Tefillin on a daily basis.

  

March 2017

The Wrong Envelope!

It’s one thing to discover that you thought you won the Oscars, but it was really awarded to Moonlight… but it’s a whole other story, to discover that you thought that you married Rachel, but instead it was Leah.

But let’s think how the biblical Jacob handled this ‘mistake.’  He did not view it as an accident.  
He knew it was his destiny – something that was meant to be.

Judaism believes that there are no mistakes in life. Everything that happens to a person, was destined by Divine Providence; it’s the hand of G‑d.  

I didn’t see either movie, but maybe it wasn’t the wrong envelope!!

 



February 2017 

Back to the Roots

On February 11th we celebrate Tu Bshvat, New Year for the Trees.  The Torah compares man to a tree. “Man is like the tree in the field.” Deuteronomy 20:19

This seems a bit perplexing since man has much more in common with animals than with trees. Trees are not walking, talking or moving; animals are intelligent creatures.

What is unique about the tree is that as long as it’s connected to its roots, it keeps growing.  So too, if we, the Jewish people wish to continue to grow, we must make sure to always be connected to our roots.







January 2017

Do You Love Me?

This is the famous question that Tevye, in Fiddler on the Roof poses to his wife Goldie.

And her answer of how well she takes care of him, doesn’t satisfy him, and he keeps asking, “But do you love me?”

G‑d asks the same question to the Jewish people.  “Do you love me?”  And if we answer with how many mitzvot we do for Him, still the question remains, “But do you love me?”

Chanukah is an opportune time to focus on putting love and excitement into our relationship with G‑d. 

 

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