Dreams – What are they Telling Us? – the 4 Kinds of Dreams

In Talmud Tractate Berakhot (55a) it talks about interpretation of dreams. It says a dream that is not interpreted is like a letter that is not opened.

How to interpret Dreams

How can you interpret dreams? Interpret them in a positive way. Once two rabbis went to a dream interpreter. One paid his fee – one did not. To the one that paid he interpreted the dream positively. To the one that did not pay – even though the dream was very similar – he interpreted it in a negative manner. Everything that he interpreted came to fruition. In the end one saw in his dream interpretation guide – that dreams go according to the interpretation.

When someone tells a Moroccan Jew – they had a dream – they usually reply “Halom Tov. Halom Shalom.” / A good dream. A dream of peace. Thus it’s better to ask a person who likes you to interpret it rather than someone who holds a grudge against you.

I was talking with a person – he mentioned that there are various forms of dreams. He mentioned two – but I think there are more.

Dreams of Day’s Events

One is a dream that was prompted by the events of the day or the ideas in the person’s mind. This kind of dream – could be just a fear being put into a story or a thought of the days happenings.

This dream might reveal to a person ways to correct themselves. I read a story from Torah about a similar incident – where one used the message of a dream to correct themselves.

He gave me an example. Once someone dreamed about Sadaam Husein. He was taken aback that in the dream Sadaam was inviting him to sit next to him. When he woke – he expressed his thoughts about Sadaam – that he was cruel and heartless. He thought of his deeds of that day – and found that he acted in a heartless manner to someone he spoke with on the phone and hung up on him. He realized that that was the message of the dream and called up the person to apologize of his cold and heartless behavior.

Dreams of the Prophetic Kind

Some have dreams similar to prophecy. In English (or really French) – we call them Deja Vu – which is the French for “already was seen.” If a person has a disturbing dream – according to halacha / Jewish law – he or she may fast on Shabbat – the day where we are to eat 3 meals – to nullify the the dream. Like we learned in the Yom Kippur Prayer and in the Gemara / Talmud – Teshuva / Repentence, Tefila / Prayer [to Hash-m], & Tzedeka / charity [to a Torah sanctioned cause] – removes a bad decree. Fasting is one way to do Teshuva. In the section of the Humash that talks of Joseph’s dreams – he had prophetic dreams, The cup bearer & the baker had prophetic dreams. Pharaoh also had dreams. In Masechet Berakhot – it says that dreams are one sixtieth of prophecy.

Dreams of Nonsense

Some dreams are nonsensical. It could be the whole dream or part of the dream. In part of Joseph’s dream – there was an untruth. He dreamed that the son & the moon and 11 stars were bowing to him – representing that his father & mother and 11 brothers would bow to him. His mother already passed away – so it couldn’t be that the moon would bow to him.

Dreams of People of the Past

Some dream of people who already died. At times these people are given the right to transmit a message to a person. I have a friend that dreamed that he should hit the person who broke into his apartment on the head with a pan. Someone soon after broke into his home looking for drug money. He listened to the dream and abstained from hitting him – he scared him away.

Someone else I know had a dream of their mother. Their mother was plucking a chicken. Her mother was about to put the chicken in the oven – then at the last minuted she said “Throw the chicken away – it is spoiled” The Dreamer interpreted that – the girl her son was dating – was not a good match for her son. She consulted rabbis & did research and found that she was not a suitable match.


The Man with a Thousand Lives

You learn a lot in the Beit Midrash / Torah house of Study. I overheard a conversation between a rabbi and a new student. He said – how does Torah compare to my life. I like to go skydiving – that’s exciting.

The rabbi answered him – “When you live for yourself you live one life. When you live Torah – you live a thousand lives. You learn about your study partner’s life, your student’s life, your friend’s. People come to you for advice for their concerns. You are not living only your life – but the lives of all those people.”

Real people. Real friends. Real concerns.

The boy tried to answer – I live for others when I skydive. The Rabbi made a joke – “What as a Kapparah / atonement for others?” The boy said “Has VeShalom / G-d forbid.” The rabbi also said the same – but he persisted with his question – “How do you live other’s lives when you skydive?”

The boy wasn’t able to answer.

I thought it was an interesting way of looking at things. I don’t really think I ever thought of it that way.

Sukkot & Enjoying the Great Outdoors

You Shall Rejoice on your Festival – and thus you will be happy. Sukkot / the festival of “Booths” or Huts – was given to the Jews when we were in the Desert.

The Outdoor Festival

We live in huts – with earth grown roofs – for seven days. We leave our permanent residence and live in a temporary hut – reminding us of our temporary stay in the world.

The reason we live in Sukkot – Huts – is to remind us of how we lived in the desert after leaving Egypt – in huts.

The Protecting Clouds

Another reason is to remind us of the clouds of glory. Seven clouds accompanied us in the desert. One was a pillar of cloud that guided us. Another cloud – above us shielded us from the heat of the sun. Four other clouds – protected us from enemies. One cloud below removed snakes and scorpions and noxious creatures.

Putting Materialism Aside

Living in the succah helps us to put materialism aside and appreciate Hash-m’s world. We put our faith in Hash-m and leave the comfort of our more-permanent home. It also serves as an atonement – because when we leave our home – it is as if we are lving in exile. This atones for our sins.

Women’s Exemption

Living in the sukkah is a Positive Commandment from the Torah that is caused by time. Thus only men are obligated to live in the sukkah – for women – it is optional.

Serving G-d in All Ways

I thought of another reason – in Judaism – we go all out to serve our creator. At times we eat to serve Him – like on Shabbat – that we eat three meals of Shabbat. At times we fast – like on Yom Kippur – where we aspire to be like angels who don’t eat. We serve G-d inside the house – and outside the house (in the Sukkah). We serve Him – by resting – to get rest on Shabbat – and by staying awake – like on Hoshana Rabba & Shavuot – where we stay up all night to learn Torah.

Love of G-d

A person who loves his or her child is ready to do all for him. We – following Torah – show Hash-m we are ready to do all for Him.

The Order of Kapparot with Money before Yom Kippur

*Kapparot with Money*
Anyone who wants to do kapparot with  – that is given to tzedaka – please call Matatia Chetrit at 718.962.4872.

*To do it yourself:*

*Kapparot Process*
Before yom kippur some use money to be an atonement for the person – giving them a greater chance to be written in the book of life.
If you want to do it yourself.  Take value of a chicken – about $10. Spin it around on top of person’s head. Say appropriate text 3 times.

If you do it for you yourself circle your head with money – and say paragraph 1. For a Male say paragraph 2. For a female say paragraph 3. For 2 or more people say paragraph 4.

The person who it is being done for should think of the letters – ח ת כ. And do teshuva- repentance at same time. Give money to a poor Jewish family. Or to a Torah cause.
If you want to give to MJO shaar Hashamayim synagogue we have a PayPal account of jenet@iname.com
Gmar hatima tova.

*סֵדֶר הַכַּפָּרוֹת*
*The order of the Kapparot / Atonements*

He will take the money in his hand ($10) and turn it over his head, and say the wording, then he will take another money and turn it over to his wife and he will do it for his children.

The one who turns over himself will say 3 times in Hebrew Below – (optional – repeat the Translation in English below):

1. These are the monies in exchange for me, in stead of me, in atonement for me. These monies will be given to charity, and I will enter into a life of good and peace.

The one doing the kapparot will turn money over a person’s (or people’s) head(s) and say 3 times:

2. 3. 4. These are the monies in exchange for you, in stead of you, in atonement for you. These monies will be given to charity, and you will enter into a life of good and peace.

Once he has made the order of the atonement for him and his whole family it is possible to give a donation to mjo or a torah cause and after the payment he will be able to use the money for himself.

יִקַּח בְּיָדוֹ אֶת הַכֶּסֶף (10$) וִיסוֹבֵב מֵעַל רֹאשׁוֹ, וְיֹאמַר אֶת הַנֻּסָּח, אַחַ”כּ יִקַּח כֶּסֶף אַחֵר וִיסוֹבֵב לְאִשְׁתּוֹ וְכֵן יַעֲשֶׂה לִילָדָיו.

1. הַמְּסֻבָּב לְעַצְמוֹ יֹאמַר 3 פְּעָמִים:
*1. (for himself)*
*אֵלּוּ הַמָּעוֹת חֲלִיפָתִי, תְּמוּרָתִי, כָּפָּרְתִּי. אֵלּוּ הַמָּעוֹת יִנָּתְנוּ לִצְדָקָה, וְאֶכָּנֵס אֲנִי לְחַיִּים טוֹבִים וּלְשָׁלוֹם.*

*ellu hamma’ot ḥalífatí, temuratí, kappartí. ellu hamma’ot yinnatenu litṣdakah, veekkanes aní leḥayyím tovím uleshalom.*

2. הַמְּסֻבָּב לְזָכָר יֹאמַר 3 פְּעָמִים:
*2. (for a male)*

*אֵלּוּ הַמָּעוֹת חֲלִיפָתְךָ, תְּמוּרָתְךָ, כַּפָּרָתְךָ. אֵלּוּ הַמָּעוֹת יִנָּתְנוּ לִצְדָקָה, וְתִכָּנֵס אַתָּה לְחַיִּים טוֹבִים וּלְשָׁלוֹם.*

*ellu hamma’ot ḥalífatecha, temuratecha, kapparatecha. ellu hamma’ot yinnatenu litṣdakah, vetikkanes attah leḥayyím tovím uleshalom.*

3. הַמְּסֻבָּב לַנְּקֵבָה יֹאמַר 3 פְּעָמִים:
*3. (for a female)*
*אֵלּוּ הַמָּעוֹת חֲלִיפָתֵךְ, תְּמוּרָתֵךְ, כַּפָּרָתֵךְ. אֵלּוּ הַמָּעוֹת יִנָּתְנוּ לִצְדָקָה, וְתִכָּנְסִי אַתְּ לְחַיִּים טוֹבִים וּלְשָׁלוֹם.*

*ellu hamma’ot ḥalífatech, temuratech, kapparatech. ellu hamma’ot yinnatenu litṣdakah, vetikkanesí at leḥayyím tovím uleshalom.*

*4. (for a group)*
*אֵלּוּ הַמָּעוֹת חֲלִיפַתְכֶם, תְּמוּרַתְכֶם, כַּפָּרַתְכֶם. אֵלּוּ הַמָּעוֹת יִנָּתְנוּ לִצְדָקָה, וְתִכָּנְסוּ אַתֶּם לְחַיִּים טוֹבִים וּלְשָׁלוֹם.*

*ellu hamma’ot ḥalífatchem, temuratchem, kapparatchem. ellu hamma’ot yinnatenu litṣdakah, vetikkanesu attem leḥayyím tovím uleshalom.*

לְאַחַר שֶׁעָשָׂה אֶת סֵדֶר הַכַּפָּרוֹת לוֹ וּלְכֹל מִשְׁפַּחְתּוֹ נִתַּן לְשַׁלֵּם כָּאן בַּאֲתַר אוֹן-לַיְן וּלְאַחַר הַתַּשְׁלוּם יוּכַל לְהִשְׁתַּמֵּשׁ בְּכֶסֶף לְעַצְמוֹ.

The Dynamics of Change – 5 Easier Ways to Change Habits

Change is a challenge. People want to do the same as yesterday and tomorrow like today. We have things we know we must change – but we are so used to it – how will we do it?

For Yom Kippur / the Day of Atonement – there is a question in the Talmud if one must actually repent / do teshuva to receive atonement from Heaven or is teshuva not required to receive atonement – meaning the day itself causes atonement. It concludes one does teshuva to receive atonement.

The four parts of Teshuva / Repentence are :

Opportunities to Clean the Slate – Teshuva / Repentance – 4 Steps of Repentance

1. CessationStopping doing the misdeed

2. Commitment – Firm resolve never to repeat the deed. One is forgiven if he or she is in the same situation & doesn’t commit the sin.

3. RegretSincere Remorse for Wrong one did. Obviously one has to know what is right & wrong. To know – A Jew learns the 613 Mitzvot or the (Kitzur) Shulchan Aruch / Code of Jewish Law – regulating Jewish life. A Gentile learns their 7 Noahide Laws.

4. ConfessionVerbal Admitting to G·d / Hash·m the wrong one did & asking for forgiveness. If one wronged another, ask forgiveness

Why do children not hold grudges & adults may carry resentment? Children choose to be happy over being right. Adults choose being right over being happy. (Tzemach Tzedek) (Rambam / Maimonides – Mishne Torah – Book of Knowledge – Laws of Repentance – Ch. 2 & 4 )

A study on change found two points that can help us change:

  1. Build in Slack into your change – at times a person changes. They may fall a bit.
  2. It is easier to do something new than to change a habit.
  • Build in Slack into your change – at times a person changes. They may fall a bit.

Let’s say they are on a diet – and they eat a cookie. So they say “How can I have done that? Now I am going to eat a whole bag of cookies.”

All wisdom comes from the Torah – like it says in Pirkei Avot (5:22) – “Turn it over [the Torah] and Turn it over. For all is in it.” A verse in Mishle / Proverbs (24:16) by King Solomon states: “Seven times the righteous falls and gets up. But the irreligious stumble with one misfortune.”

The path to righteousness is not a straight line going upward. A person goes up and at time falls. Then tries again and goes higher than before and may fall again – and they keep going up. The line of change is like a stock chart of a good stock. It goes up and falls a bit. Then it goes up again and falls a bit. You wouldn’t get rid of a stock that has great earning potential – because it goes down a point or two. Don’t give up on your change if you fall a bit.

  • It is easier to do something new than to change a habit. Complement habit to something new

It is easier to do something new than to change a habit. A habit is ingrained in a person. After many years of doing the same thing – it is difficult to change. If a person wants to change they can complement it with a new action. If you drink a lot of Soda when you go to the restaurant – you can say – every time I go to the restaurant I will take my friend that annoys me about drinking soda.

Here is one that is related – that was put into my mind:

  • Make something that you want to do dependent upon what you don’t want to do.

I used to procrastinate more than I do today. The above is a concept I used to reduce procrastination and become more efficient. Let’s say you like to check your emails. You might procrastinate to write memos. Make a RULE – “Do not check emails – until I write memos.” Stick by the rule.

  • Change your “Got to” to “Get to”

At times we look at something as a chore – “I have to cook”, “I got to do the laundry“, “I got to get up.”

Change your perspective that it is a privilege. “I get to cook” – I like cooking. I want to cook to help the family be healthy – I get to do that mitzvah! I am helping my loved ones to have a good nutritional meal and be healthy. What a great merit.

  • Wake up before you snooze.

I forgot when the snooze button was created – some say 1847. There is snooze button on the alarm clock. There is snooze mode sleep. I have another 5 minutes. When you get up before the snooze – I is easier to get up than getting up after snooze. If you procrastinate – in the beginning of the day – by hitting snooze – it might make it easier to procrastinate the rest of the day.


The Transitory Marriage – Judaism Trains for Marriage, Society Trains for Divorce – 16 Lessons for Peaceful Marriage

Marriage is a challenge. Two people from totally different backgrounds, mentalities, ideals share a house together. How can it work?


Torah sanctions responsibilities of each partner. It is upon each partner to make the marriage work.


Torah sanctions that people from same religion marry – Jews marry Jews. Thus people start off with similar mentalities. They have similar material and spiritual goals in life. Their family is guided by Torah.

Marrying for the right reasons – good character traits

In Torah we try to choose a mate with good middot – good character traits. This helps us to get someone with a personable personality. A  person with a kind heart, a giving person, someone with Torah values. This prevents much marital stress. Choosing a mate from a good family also can help the long term of the marriage.

Youthful Marriage

Torah says that a person should marry young – thus people are more flexible and less set in their ways. The Torah tells men of the the Mitzvah / commandment to get married.

Procreation & Children

Torah says people are to “be fruitful & multiply.” – thus people share a common goal of bringing up children in the path of the Torah. (Talmud: Yevamot 63b).

Torah as a Guide

As the Torah is a guide of the couples – the couple looks to fulfill it’s halachot / laws – thus reducing further stress. If there is a disagreement – they go ask a competant Orthodox rabbi.

Mutual Respect

The Torah tells us of the responsibility of the man to honor his wife. It tells how to act properly with all people.

Trust & Faithfulness

The Torah will tell it like it is. It sanctions the importance of trust, faithfulness, and respect of each mate.

Yielding to the Other

Torah instructs the individual of Yielding to the other party. Some things we hold firmly upon – like observing Torah laws – yet even that must be done in a tactful way.

Peace at Home / Shalom Bayit

Torah teaches lessons of importance of and how to have peace at home.


Torah sanctions respect for each individual – regardless of what they did. It sanctions for a person to refrain from speaking badly of others (Laws of Lashon Hara) even if that person actually did the bad deed.

Building a Family

The Torah gives individuals the Tools to build a beautiful family. The family is built through participating in Shabbat & festival meals together. In praying together. In learning Torah together. In sharing opinions and open-minded discussions together. In singing together. In vacationing together. A person’s life is intermingled with that of their family in positive interactions together.

Building Relationships

I overheard Rabbi Benjamin Yochanan speaking with a young man at a Group Shiur / Learning session. The Rabbi talked of the beauty of a Torah lifestyle. The young man replied “You have to enjoy life. I want to enjoy life.” The rabbi asked “What do you like to do?” He said “I Like skydiving.” The rabbi said – “When you do skydiving – you are living only for yourself. When you practice Torah you live thousand’s of lives.” “How so?” he asked. “When you live a Torah life – you live the lives of others. You hear people’s chalenges. You rejoice in their joys. You help people with their problems. You support others emotionally. You are participating in all their lives.”

Building a Spiritual Fulfilling Existence

Marriage helps a person achieve their potential. A man is not complete without a wife. She helps him to become the best he can be. Together they build a beautiful home in this world and the next world. They live a spiritually fulfilling existence together through the Torah.

Prayer to Hash-m

Hash-m / G-d helps a person to have peace at home. We pray for all that we need spiritually and physically.

Answering to a Higher Authority – Pleasing G-d and Man

In Torah we answer to a higher authority – Hash-m. This fact helps us to have boundaries that limit our negative reaction and encourage positivism. Thus a person who is angry – remembers that their spouse may just be an agent of G-d responding to their past imperfection in action. Thus reactions are tempered.

Ideals of Society

Now let’s take the ideals of society.

Rights vs Responsibility

Society – talks of Rights – woman’s rights, minority rights, animal rights and so on. So people live with certain expectations – “I have my right to demand what I want – it is may right.”

Now each person is demanding that their rights be met. Not a good mentality for a marriage.

Marry Whoever You Meet

Nowadays – many marry without thought of compatibility in Torah values, personality, religion, mentalities. The closer one is in mentality to the mate – the less stress. Intermarriage – not sanctioned by Torah – causes great stress between mates. One wants to observe this holiday – the other another. This one believes in one G-d this one believes in idolatry. Each thing causing stress.

Hutzpa Yazge – Arrogance

The Torah says in time before Mashiach / Messiah – Arrogance will increase. It is very apparent – in the News media – of how people who trash others are more respected. They will stop at nothing to break another individual – if he or she has done good or bad. The US court – went against a Texas state court – that made a law to protect fetus rights. People regularly destroy each friends and family members in cafes and restaurants.

Single Life vs. Married Life

Society condones personal, fleeting pleasure.If it gives a person pleasure – society says it is good. They sanction living the “Life of Riley.” Big cars – beautiful houses – the pursuit of pleasure.Distracting them from getting married.

Pleasure without purpose vs Pleasure for Purpose

More people are saying single than ever before. Why? Because they are following pleasure without purpose. The Torah tells people to enjoy life – but the pleasures should have purpose. Pleasures for Purpose – build. Pleasures without purpose – destroy, waste time or at the least accomplish nothing for the betterment of the world.

The Torah sanctions pleasures for purpose.

Family Life is Put as Secondary Ideal

People want independence. Having a family introduces responsibility. Some people refrain from birthing children – because they want to enjoy life.

Homosexuality vs. Being Straight

Society accepts and condones homosexuality. The Torah says homosexuality is forbidden. Although the Torah says to respect all people – it forbids same gender marriage and homosexuality. Homosexuality leads to great reduction in population growth, goes against the commandment to procreate and causes a person to live a life devoid of children. A person who chooses their life as such – will end up alone at the end of their life. They will not have a legacy to continue their genes – for they will have chosen this lifestyle.

A person who chooses marriage to the opposite gender – brings life into the world. This helps them to keep the marriage going because they are involved in a great Mitzvah to build the world together.

Ideals of society as a Guide – You are What You Read

A rabbi I was learning with said – if a person reads newspapers – their mentality will be based upon that newspaper. Newspapers and media usually project ideals contrary to faithfulness and morality. Immorality sells newspapers. In marketing they use the term “appealing to the lowest common denominator” – meaning to values and feelings of even the most immoral portions of society. I don’t think that that is a preferable way to bring up a family or lead a married life.

Promiscuity vs. Faithfulness

The more you see a certain thing – the more you find it to be acceptable behavior. Promiscuity is sanctioned by society, movies, media. Yet it is a total marriage breaker.

I could go on on both lists of How Torah strengthens marriage and society has the opposite effect – but enough said.

Materialism vs. Spirituality

Materialism is a very important aspect of society’s values. Keep up with the Joness it says. Thus Having the latest gadgets puts stree on the marriage when one of the spouse doesn’t deliver materially. Material issues, I believe I read once is one of the Top reasons for marital discord.

Glamor vs. Reality

The world lives on glamor, entertainment, games and sports. If used sparingly – it is ok. But if a person bases their life on these ideals – it could cost them their marriage.

For instance a person may want to marry a glamorous woman or a rich man. Ok – he is rich or she is glamorous – but will she be so spoiled to beat the husband when angry? Or will the rich person be stingy? Will she teach Torah values to children or go shopping on Shabbat or sit and have a Shabbat party together with the kids. Will he watch sports all day or have a conduct a beautiful Shabbat meal with songs and words of Torah?

Will the mate be stuck to their telephone or be concerned about maintaining a healthy, fruitful relationship with others?

The Me Generation

It’s all about me.

Your Mentality Choice

You choose your lifestyle. I chose many years ago. It took effort, fortitude and persistence. It was a gradual, long-term process. In the end I am so happy for my choice.

How to Improve Your Marriage

A good starting point to following Torah as a guide is by reading Torah books on the subjects of your interest. When I was starting out I liked to read stories and aggadah. Going to Shiurim / Lectures of Orthodox rabbis or listening to them online is also a good starting or continuing point.

Listening to Torah Lectures

See our links section for more info. TorahAnytime.com is a great source to find out the Torah view or learn Torah lessons on any subject of interest – for instance marriage. I searched it – and they have over 640 lectures on the topic of marriage from a Torah perspective. Find the rabbi that speaks to you. If one does – listen to their lectures. If one does not try another rabbi on the same subject.

The Sound of the Shofar – The Morse Code Message

I heard this story from Rabbi Farhi of the Safra Synagogue in Manhattan.

A rabbi sounded the shofar / the rams horn for a group of people apparently for Rosh Hashana. Among them was a Sefardic Israeli man, muscular built, no yarmulke. He heard the sound and burst into tears.

The rabbi asked him why are you so emotional when you heard the Shofar?

The Morse Code Specialist

The man told him that in the Israeli Army he was a Morse code specialist. After traveling the world – looking for meaning – he saw a help-wanted ad in the newspaper for a Morse Code specialist. He had to arrive for the interview process – between 10 am – 12 pm. He arrived at about 11:50. The waiting room was full of applicants. He sat listening to the background music. He got up and walked to the interview room. People yelled – hey, wait in line we were here before you. He burst into the room.

After some time the interviewer came out and said – “Thank you for all coming but we found our candidate for the position. You may all go home now.”

“What? All that waiting for nothing” they thought. “And the hutzpa of this guy to burst into the room before us.”

The man explained to the rabbi how he got the job. In the waiting room they played background music. The man realized that the beat to the song was a Morse code message. It said “Anyone who hears this enter into the interview room.” Thus he heard the message from the beat. There was a message behind the music.

The Message Behind the Music

“When I heard the Shofar the sound resonated in me. It was a message that penetrated my heart telling me to do Tehuva – it resonated deep into my soul – and I burst out crying.”

Our Daily Messages

We hear Hash-m’s / G-d’s messages in the background daily – the observant listens and reacts. We see the beauty of the world, the beauty of our children, the blessings we have – does it resonate or do we ignore the message?

It’s our choice.

The Yield Sign & Judaism

The Shabbat / Sabbath between Rosh Hashana / the New Year & Yom Kippur / the day of atonement is called Shabbat Shuva. The Shabbat of Return.

Hash-m gives us Seven days between Rosh Hashana & Kippur to fix our faults for that day of the year. What does G-d want from us? If we didn’t put on Tephillin, we start putting it on. If we didn’t go to synagogue on time – we try to come on time. Hash-m basically wants us to advance one step further. Take the next Mitzvah upon yourself.

Balance of Good & Evil for Freedom of Choice

In this world – evil & good exist. They balance each other out. G-d did this to allow a person full freedom of choice. One can do miraculous deeds through purity – and one can do magical deeds through impurity – black magic. If only good had the power to do miraculous deeds – people would abandon evil. If only people who did good would become wealthy – people would become good – but not for the right reasons. They would be good to become rich – not because Hash-m told them to do good.

The Quick Fall

The Jews they were prompted to do the sin of the golden calf – attributing divine powers to a physical object – because the Satan / Evil Force showed them that their leader Moshe Rabeinu / Moses was deceased. They were so despondent they fell quickly to follow after a foreign idol.

A person can fall two ways – the Evil Inclination introduces anti-ethical and anti-Torah ideas little by little. Thus he chips away at a person’s morality – until he or she falls.

Another way is for a person to become despondent and fall very quickly to do evil deeds.

The Quick Rise

On the other side of the coin – a person can rise very quickly. He can become very inspired or motivated to follow Torah ideals.

Or little by little – through learning Torah, Listening to Torah lectures, attending Torah classes at an Orthodox synagogue – he or she grows slowly.

The Steady Path of Self Improvement and Self Growth

Either method to rise is good. Yet the Torah prefers a person to rise slowly. This helps a person stay the course and continue in a steady path of growth.

Yielding to others (Being Mevater) – for things that go not against Torah is a good thing. We yield to others at times – to create peace. We yield our will to the will of Hash-m – that’s how we grow. Like it says in Pirkei Avot (2:4) – on Doing the Will of Hash·m:

He [Raban Gamliel] used to say, make His [G·d’s / Hash·m’s] will as your will in order that He will make your will as His will. Nullify your will before His will in order that He will nullify the will of others because of your will.

God gives us a tremendous opportunity. Let’s use it to grow.

The Secret to Shalom Bayit – Peace at Home

I wear many hats – literally & figuratively. I wear a black fedora. Sometimes I wear a fez. Both fit – I was born in fez – where they wear those hats. I went to Yeshiva – where they wear black fedoras.

Over Rosh Hashana – I found myself auctioning the mitzvot of the day at the Synagogue. I told them a story – maybe I’ll relate it in another blog post.

I mentioned a Pirkei Avot (2:7) on Materialism & Torah:

7. He [the Great Sage Hillel] used to say –
more flesh, [leads to] more worms,
more property, more worry;
more women, more sorcery;
more maidservants, more lust;
more servants, more theft;
more Torah, more life;
more Yeshiva, more wisdom;
more counsel, more understanding; more charity, more peace.
One who acquired a good name he acquired it for himself. One who acquired words of Torah acquired life in the next world [ie, a portion in heaven].

I didn’t understand – what is the connection of more charity – with having more peace. At the Rosh HaShana Table – someone said – perhaps by you giving tzedaka / charity to a worthy person – they will have less financial stress and they will have peace at home. I heard that one of the main reasons for divorce or stress in the couple is financial concerns.

The Charity Dilemma

I thought and Hash-m enlightened me with an answer. My rebbe asked me a question – what is better – to give $1000 to one person or $1 to 1000 people? It’s better to do the latter. Giving $1 to a 1000 people trains you to be a giver.

Becoming a Givier

If a person gives tzedaka – he or she becomes a giver. One of the reasons for a lack of Shalom Bayit – peace at home is because we feel we have rights. We are due service. The man comes home – dinner is not ready the house is a mess.

The “taker” will say “Why is dinner not ready?” Why is the house such a mess?

The “giver” will take a broom and start cleaning up. He will go in the kitchen and ask if there is any way he can help.

Be a Giver.

The Hot Pot that Broke the Glass Table Cover – Calming Your Anger

They just installed the glass cover on our table top. Looks nice. I see them install it. Coming home later that day, I see a big crack in the glass. What? The first day we get it?

All is for the Good

Gam zu leTova. Also this is for the good. Perhaps it was a Kapara – an atonement for a deed. This is the lesser bad of two options of atonement.

The Evil Eye

Some will say it is Ayin HaRa / the Evil Eye. If someone sees something and they admire or desire it – they might cause an eventual damage to that object. How? We explained it before – G-d listens to the prayers of people. He also hears the heart of people. If someone wants something that you have – Hash-m pulls out the books of deeds of both people – He judges between them and if the one that lacks the object is more worthy or the one that has the object is unworthy – something happens to the object. Was it Ayin HaRa? Perhaps.

The Hot Pot

I find out someone – it doesn’t matter who – happened to put a very hot pot onto the glass. The tension caused by the heat in the glass caused it to break.

The Physics – A Free Physics Lesson

Heat causes objects to expand. Cold causes things to contract. If one places a Hot object on the glass – the glass heat is expanding the glass. The molecules in the cooler area around it is remaining stable. The expanding area is restrained by the cooler area and it breaks the glass.

A Lesson For Us – Don’t Get Heated Up

We sometimes get into a heated argument. The extreme heat breaks the relationship. It wasn’t worth it for a small matter to break the relationship. How important is the matter to you? Is it important enough to break the relationship? Decide it before the heat breaks the glass. Cool yourself down – don’t add heat to the fire. You won’t have to pay another $250 to replace the glass again or pay for a broken relationship that you will have to rebuild.

4 Types of Temperaments

In Pirkei Avot / Ethics of the Fathers 5:11 it says – There are 4 types of people – one gets angry quickly and calms down quickly. One who gets angry slowly and calms down slowly. One who gets angry quickly and takes much time to appease. One who gets angry slowly and is appeased easily. Let’s make efforts to be like the latter.

Rehearse Reaction to Situations that Anger

How? Rehearse in your mind how to react to particular things that anger you. And how to react in general. Count to 10 before you react. Take a glass of water before reacting. Act don’t react. Control Yourself – don’t let anger control you.