Technology Control & Texting Etiquette


Life is about control. Controlling ourselves.

In control of our emotions and thoughts, we live a life of happiness. Letting the situation control us, we are swayed by the winds of emotion.

Judaism is about control and limits. To let our mind control our hearts and not vice versa. Leading us to make smart decisions that we will not regret and will be happy with in the long term.

Below is an interesting list of limits that we can place upon ourselves to live a more meaningful life with building relations between ourselves and others or G-d, instead of relations with us and technology.

Pushing Out Negativity, Bringing In Positivity (or Positivism – if you prefer)

It is interesting that that squiggly line that appears under misspelled words – For the word “negativity” no red squiggly line appeared – for the word “positivity” a red squiggly did appear.  Perhaps it is an indication of the lack of  positivity? Perhaps “positivism” is the real word?

Where does that negativity come from anyway?

Four words stop us in life

“I Can’t”

it creeps up in our material and spiritual aspirations.

I can’t become a great business man. I can’t become a doctor. I can’t expand my store sales. I can’t get a degree.


I can’t do do shabbat. I can’t keep kosher. I can’t say a blessing on food.


“If Only”

if only i will win lotto, i will be happy. if only i land that job, i’ll be happy.

if you want something – go and make your effort – pray to hash-m and if it is good for you G-d will give it to you.

once a woman saved a child’s life. she lifted a car that was on top of a young boy. she was interviewed by tv news. they asked – her “how does it feel like to be a hero!” she said – terrible. they asked – why? she said – after that incident she realized how much potential she had – and she didn’t use it all her life.

Change the “I can’t” to “I can.”

Change the “if only” to “it’s good”.

make small steps towards your goal.

say thanks to G-d for all that you have and for all that G-d did for you till now in that domain.

you’ll get farther that way in life.

Why People Love Jerusalem.

Jerusalem is so diverse. People of all nations of all kinds. It is a place for all people to talk to the G-d that said “Let there be light.”

I was wondering why people feel so comfortable there. Apparently, G-d is the father of all. There are three partners in the creation of a person – a Man, a Woman and G-d. The man provides the white – like bones. The Woman provides the red – the blood and flesh and G-d provides the soul. (Talmud : Niddah 31a)

Jerusalem is the place of the House of G-d – where the Holy Temple will be erected in the future.

Apparently – a parent whose child comes home wants the child to feel at home. That’s the way that G-d wants his children to feel at home. So he arranges that the time they spend in Jerusalem is agreeable.

Jerusalem is also the center of where souls originate – thus the soul longs to go to it’s place of birth.

There’s no place like home,

Say Goodbye to Morning Anger

I wake up and say Modeh Ani. I thank G-d that I am alive.

In Modeh Ani – Upon awakening, one says:

I am grateful before You, Living & Eternal King, that You returned my soul to me with grace. Great is Your faithfulness. / faith [in me.]

Then I wash my hands ritually.

Two things I do in the morning that help me deal with the day ahead.

Saying thanks to G-d that I am alive keeps me positive to know that life is a gift to be treasured every day. But Modeh Ani / I thank You G-d… also has an interpretation that great is G-d’s faith in me.

I can be happy that G-d believes I can overcome any challenge the day imparts.

3 reasons to be thankful.

1. You are alive
2. G-d / Hash-m is faithful to you to only do good for you
3. G-d has faith in you.

[Then I say the morning blessings further enunciating the things for which to be thankful.]

Washing the Anger Away

Washing the hands / Netilat Yadayim also removes evil spirits that rest on the hands when a person sleeps. I don’t know about others – but in the morning I feel my hands have some kind of impurity on them. I wash them with a washing cup – pouring enough water to cover the right hand and then the left and repeat this 3 more times. This removes impurity from the hand. And I believe helps give me a better attitude.

[then I say the washing the hands blessing}

Being ready at every moment to fulfill your purpose

Connected to the fact that G-d believes in You is that you have a very specific purpose to fulfill in the world. Only you can achieve it. So you are to be ready at every moment to fulfill that purpose.

Let’s say you have a van. G-d gave it to you to not only serve your family – but to help others. You love to drive people to their destination.

Let’s say a family member is coming in with family – to your area. they call you the night before to tell you they are arriving. They have a hotel next to your house. You have extra time – once you take care of your family – you can cheerfully go and pick them up. The idea is that you have a purpose from the moment you awake. Be ready at every moment. If your purpose that day is to help this family – then do it cheerfully. Even if they call you later than you expected.

Being angry in the morning will make you lose many opportunities for kindness. “I am too grumpy to pick them up in the morning.” Ok. So be less grumpy.

You think – I am too grumpy to say “good morning” to the doorman.

I am too grumpy to respond that person’s “good morning” in the elevator.

OK. Become less grumpy. It’s in your own hands.

Remember G-d believes in You – that you can perform any Mitzvah that comes before you, that you can overcome any challenge, that you can achieve your purpose in life, that you can be a good person – so why not believe in Yourself.

Believe [in yourself] and achieve.

Self-Knowlege for Self Improvement & Letting Go of Hate

In Parasha / weekly Torah Reading of Balak/בלק – King of Moav, Balak afraid for his country, wants to attack the Jewish nation by employing the Gentile prophet Bilaam to curse them. The Jews could not attack Moav – because they were prohibited from doing so from Hashem. So why did Balak want to attack the Jews?

Answer 1: He was afraid that Israel would take over surrounding towns and plunder Moav. Ramban. (See Artscroll H’umash)

Answer 2: He was an anti-semite. His hatred made him irrational.

Answer 3: His great fear, seeing the Jews destroying the mighty Amorite kings Sihon and Og, made him have delusions and rationalizations that the Jews would attack.

We sometimes have fear of committing to Mitzvot because of “what will people think if I…?” But really they are delusions, because people respect others that follow Torah sincerely. A person in touch with himself will recognize the real reasons and motivations for their observance or non-observance of Torah and use this knowledge for Self-improvement.

We sometimes have certain predispositions or grudges or even hatred against people because of certain delusions or rationalizations. Investigating the source of these delusions will allow us to deal with the source of the problem and let go of the grudges and hate. Ultimately – we will live a happier life.

The Love of G-d – Everything that G-d does He does for the Good.

Don’t Condone Smoking to Smokers.

When I was a teenager – my mother knew I would be tempted to smoke. She told me “If you want to smoke, I’ll give you a cigarette and you can smoke in front of me.”

It kind of lost all the glamor that smoking was made out to be. I don’t think I ever smoked a cigarette since then.


Most people know smoking is bad for the health. So to condone smoking to make another person feel better would be dishonest to say the least.

I don’t buy other people cigarettes if I can get them at the duty free because I don’t want to condone smoking or indirectly cause someone harm.

Some people shy away from G-d. They don’t want to feel obligated to change their lifestyle.

Playing the Acceptance Game.

Some people condone lifestyles that are contrary to G-d’s wishes – as explained in the Seven Noahide laws or Jewish Law because they feel in their heart it is right.


Apparently not. G-d loves each person more than anyone else loves that person. Yes he loves you!

That means two things. G-d loves you more than anyone else in the world loves you. But it also means that you can never love someone as much as G-d loves that person.

What that means is what G-d wants for a person will always be better for that particular person – than what you want for him or her or even what the person himself wants for himself.

Everything that G-d does He does for the Good.

But more than that. G-d knows past, present and future at every single moment. He calculates – given all this knowledge and all the other factors in the world – what is best for you at this particular moment. He knows exactly what is good – and if you had the same knowledge that He did – you would determine the same exact thing.

If one was to inculcate that Everything that G-d does He does for the Good into his being – he or she wouldn’t get angry. They would know that a good G-d was watching their steps and guiding them to the best possible situation. This would relieve much stress.

G-d doesn’t want the death of the wicked. He wants him to improve his ways.

Built into G-d’s laws are the solution to do what is best in every situation. Once a person in Mexico City wanted to sell his building. He didn’t go through with a business deal because it was getting close to shabbat. He told the partner he could not continue negotiations until next week – because of Shabbat approaching. The man dropped the deal. Soon after an earthquake hit Mexico City – demolishing many buildings. The price of the building he had shot up in value and he made a great profit because he was careful to observe Shabbat.

Love in G-d’s Laws

So integrated into the laws of G-d (the Torah’s Shulhan Aruch / code of Jewish Law for Jews or Noahide Laws for Gentiles) is this love. These laws are made for the benefit of man. G-d gains not from our doing A or B. G-d is totally independent from the acts of man. Yet he loves people and made laws to assure that they will be protected. That they will live the happiest life. That they will achieve the most in life. That they will live a life of purpose.

Contemporary Examples of G-d’s Love

Lets take examples. relevant to contemporary society like abortion. same gender marriage and intermarriage.

Some people condone same gender relations and marriage. Some condone abortion. In Torah both are prohibited for both Jews and gentiles.

Let’s examine what is better for the individual. G-d wants people to be fruitful and multiply. A person who has children allows the world to be built. Helps the world to function properly. Also bearing children gives the parents tremendous joy to bring up a child with values – consistent with Torah.

Allowing Abortion and Same Gender marriage ultimately robs a person of those pleasures and restricts a person from building the world. The US Supreme court decision, in my opinion was an insult and detriment to society. Deciding, indirectly – that they do not want certain people – attracted to the same gender – to reproduce.

G-d on the other hand wants people to have offspring. There is a law for people to be fruitful and multiply. This law applies to Jews and also to Gentiles.

It’s better for the society for people to reproduce.

Intermarriage between Jews and Gentiles is forbidden by Torah law. (a person already intermarried consults a competent Orthodox Rabbi according to Jewish law to remedy the situation. Many times if the non-Jewish spouse commits to Torah law, and to observe laws of Shabbat, Keeping Kosher and Family purity – a conversion to Judaism can be arranged.).

A Jew cannot renege on his or her religion. Once they are Jewish – they will always be Jewish. And when they get to heaven they will be judged as a Jew – even if they “converted” out of Judaism.

A child growing up in a mixed marriage – is many times confused. They do not know whether they are Jewish or not. Whether they should follow the Mother’s parents or fathers. (A person is Jewish based upon the mother. If the Mother is Jewish. Or the Maternal grandmother is Jewish – that person is Jewish.)

The child and family live a life of doubt. What is right and what is wrong. There is only true happiness when a person is relieved of doubt.

G-d loves you. he wants you to be happy. we just have to figure out whether it makes more sense to follow our desires or follow the path traced by the the one who loves you and knows exactly what is best for you – Hash-m / G-d.

G-d tells us in Torah. I have set before you good and evil. Death and life. Choose life!

Prepared for the Moment of Truth – Unbiased Thinking & Finding Truth in Your Lifetime.

Vibrant and Colorful Whole and Halved Fresh Oranges

I once asked myself – I wonder I would be like if I was born in Africa.

Then I remembered I was born in Africa. (Morocco)

Product of One’s Environment

A person is the product of his environment.

His experiences, upbringing, society and values shape his perception of the world.

Is there One Truth?

The question that people ask is – is there one truth for everyone.

The answer is – Yes.

Yes – in that there is one truth. The truth that G-d provides.

Yet, for different people different ways of life are appropriate – obviously following that one truth that G-d provides. Different situations also provide different ways of acting. Give a person a bat to play baseball – you are doing good. Give a person a bat to hit someone with it, you are doing bad. Doing Good and bad depends upon the situation.

Laws to Guide and Help You find Purpose

G-d gives laws that give a person much flexibility. But more than that He gives laws that will help a person determine what is his or her purpose, the path to reach it and the possibility to reach one’s potential in life.

The Truth of G-d is what?

First – we must examine what would be  the rational way for G-d to give a divine law.

Would it be more rational for G-d to give it to one person and say – go and transmit it to others or would it be more rational for G-d to appear Himself to an entire nation – of millions of people – and give them a divine Law?

Apparently it would make more sense for G-d to appear to millions of people. To appear to one man – regardless of who it was – would not be so convincing. A single person cannot be a witness in Jewish law for certain things. At least two people are needed.

Judaism is the only religion that claims that G-d himself gave millions of witnesses –  the Jews – a Divine law – the Torah.

Do Miracles Prove Divinity?

Miracles do not prove a person has any divine powers. A person can lift a table. To a child that would appear he did the impossible – for the small child seeing it – the man is doing something that the child cannot do. Doing miracles can be done by the wicked and good. G-d had to make it that way to provide freedom of choice to the world.

If only good people could do miracles or magic then the people would be tempted to do good because they saw it is obviously true – because only good people can do miracles.

Freedom of Choice

Let’s take another example – if only good people would become rich – then everybody would be good. Yet most would not become good because they see the intrinsic value of good and that they are doing the will of G-d – they would be doing it because they want to become rich.

Why do The Good Suffer and the Wicked Prosper?

Freedom of Choice – as explained above – is one reason why sometimes the good suffer and the wicked prosper.

But in the end the wicked will be punished & the righteous rewarded. If not in this world – in the World to Come / Heaven.

How to find Truth

One way to find truth is to write out your thoughts about a certain topic. If it seems right to you – then perhaps you are right. Show it to someone else.

Here’s an example:

I am upset at the cashier because she charged me the regular price on the can of tunafish – when it was on sale.

Now if you read that – a person will think – it’s someone else who put the wrong price tag on the tuna. Why should the cashier be responsible? She shouldn’t yell at the cashier. She should raise her issue with the management. Obviously – in a calm manner.

The Tricks of Liers 

The Torah says the best lie is one that is mixed with truth. If you say you saw a cow flying 200 feet people wouldn’t believe it. But if you say – a cow that was on a truck and the truck stopped suddenly causing a cow to fly 200 feet out of the back of the truck. They might believe it.

Unfortunately – many religions say yes the Torah is true. “But” G-d changed his mind about his laws or about the selection of his people. They take Torah truth and mix it with falsity and pass it on as the Truth. The thing many don’t realize is that “G-d changing his mind” is irrational. G-d  is omniscient. He knows all the past, present and future and thus does not change his mind.

Arriving at truth

A person can discuss truth with a non-biased person. The main point is is to stick to rationality. If either one starts talking irrationally – then the game is over,

A person who is not honest – you cannot really discuss things to find the truth – because their self-interest taints the search for truth.

This week’s Torah Reading (Bamidbar / Numbers 16:1 – 18:32) Talks about Korah. He started a power struggle in the Desert. He accused Moshe / Moses – of nepotism – that Moshe gave the position of Chief Cohen – to his brother Aharon – because Aharon was his brother.

Korah – egged on by his wife – created a quarrel against Moses.

Moshe – in his Humility – went to the parties who started the quarrel and tried to convince them that they were in the wrong. They refused to listen. He tried reason. He tried explaining the consequence of their actions. He explained that he had nothing to gain from being in a position of leadership.

Provide a Litmus Test

He provided a challenge. They claimed that they deserved to be the Chief Cohen / High Priest. Moses said – the 250 people with Korach – will all take fire pans – and offer an incense offering. If one would remain alive – that person would be the High Priest in stead of his brother Aharon. Afterwards he added that Aharon also would participate in the offering.

Why did he do it this way?

Because if all the people died – that would prove that they were not chosen as the high priest – but it would not show that Aharon was chosen to be the High priest.

So therefor he said afterwards that His brother Aharon would also participate – to not only prove that – they are not chosen as the High Priest – but to also prove that His brother Aharon was chosen to be High priest.

To prove something wrong – you can’t just disprove an argument – you have to also show that your position is correct.

Being Ready to Go to the End and Change All for Truth

Once Rabbi Israel Salantar was discussing a particular issue with a person from the Maskilim / “Enlightened” Movement. In the middle of the discussion the man told his wagon driver to get the carriage ready. The Rabbi stopped the discussion. The man asked – why don’t we continue the discussion? The Rabbi replied – I was ready to join your position if you were truthful and were really sincere about truth – but since for you it is only an intellectual exercise and you have no interest in changing if you are proven wrong – I have no time for intellectual musings.

The person who is discussing a topic – should be aware of why they hold a position. Is it because they want to find truth or is it that they want to defend their position.

Many a time a person will find “fault” with Torah and defend himself or herself. His point of view is not based upon careful investigation or rational analysis of the situation. He found a way to justify his immoral way of life by his “disproving” to himself “the existence of G-d.”

In the back of his mind he is thinking if G-d doesn’t exist in my mind – I have the right to act immorally – without guilt. That’s what many scientists do (including Stephan Hawking). They find “fault” with the reasoning of the existence of G-d – to justify their lifestyle. In the end – it is irrational to think that way – because of the argument found in many dentist offices. Ignore your teeth and they will go away. If a person ignores the existence of G-d, it doesn’t mean that G-d will disappear. That person will still be accountable for their actions in the end.

It is also irrational to think that G-d does not exist. If a person found a pencil while walking on the beach – he would never say “The sand just blew together randomly to form this new pencil.” He would know there was an intelligent creator of the pencil. Even more so a person, all nature, the planets, etc – testify to an intelligent creator. Random atoms don’t create people, animals, plants, fruits (see what R. Avigdor Miller says on the orange proving existence of G-d), vegetables, order, movement, mobility, growth, perfect interactions between mates, uniformity, unified laws – like physics and chemistry, etc.

Many a time a person fears what G-d expects from them when it is much easier than they think. According to Torah, Gentiles follow the 7 Commandments and Jews follow Shulhan Aruch – the code of Jewish Law. Both are relatively easy to get accustomed to after serious commitment. So what it comes down to is that many people ascribe to illogical ideas to avoid just taking upon themselves 7 or 10 commandments.

A Popular Rabbi in Israel – Rabbi Amnon Yitzchak – teaches secular Jews about the Torah. He provides clear and rational proofs of the Torah. After his lecture – completely secular Jews – take upon themselves the Mitzvot. Men start putting on Tzitzit / Tassels on their Fringes of their four cornered garments. Married women – take upon themselves to cover their hair. This is the ultimate in recognizing Truth – changing – because you found truth. Those who never observed the Shabbat according to Torah start to do so.

Having Someone to Reason With

In Torah Study – we discuss the issue until we are satisfied that we have come up with a truthful conclusion. Learning Torah with a study partner – hevruta – the usual way of learning Torah – is a way that we arrive at truth. You can sometimes pull the wool over your own eyes – but the study partner will be able to have a more objective view.

The Wife Who Saves Her Husband

In the story of the rebellion of Korah and his followers – one person – Ohs Ben Pelet – is mentioned in the beginning, yet at the “showdown” he is no longer mentioned. His wife saved his life. She reasoned him – “Look, Ohn – what do you gain if you join Korah’s rebellion? Under the rulership of Moses, you are not the leader. If Korah also wins the rebellion you will also not be the leader. So what do you gain?” He acknowledged her truth and she found away to disassociate her husband from the quarrel which saved his life.

Fooling Oneself

Many a time a person thinks he is fooling others. Really he or she fools himself. He think he can swindle others and not be caught. Eventually – he is caught. Eventually the truth catches up. If not in this world – in the next.

Dieing Happily

A rabbi visited a fellow Jew on his death bed. The man disregarded Torah and Mitzvot all his life. The Rabbi explained – if the man would do Teshuva / Repent, he would get a nice portion in heaven. Even if one does Teshuva the last moment, Hash-m will forgive him or her.  The man refused. Apparently – even though he would gain much from repentance – the man refused because he didn’t want to admit that all his life he “wasted” doing nothing to better himself or the world.

Once a Rabbi visited a non-Jewish reverend in the hospital. The reverend was about to die. He asked the rabbi – his religion said that the Jews would never Return to Israel. Now he saw that the Jews had returned and many of the prophesies of his religion were outright disproven. He wondered on the deathbed – “if he had wasted his life in following his religion.” At this moment of truth – the rabbi knew it wasn’t the time to mince words. The rabbi replied “Yes.” The reverend died with pain. Apparently – dieing recognizing the truth is better than dieing without recognizing it.

But even better is to recognize truth when it comes your way. Better to acknowledge the truth and change once you encounter it – rather than wait for the last minute.


Sorry, I Don’t Intend to Impress You – Being Happy Independently of Others

I remember the days when I used to waste time watching TV. (Unfortunately now I waste it using my techno-gadgets 🙂 ).

I must admit there was a great commercial. It featured Uncle Sam preparing to consume a hot dog. The announcer was touting the higher standards of Hebrew National hotdogs – due to their being Kosher in comparison to the USDA requirements. “The US government permits additives and fillers under federal regulations, Since we are Kosher, Hebrew National can’t,” panning up to the heavens and stating “we answer to a higher authority”, Then some heavenly music.

I don’t know know the reliability of Hebrew National – I try to avoid hot dogs. Ask your local “orthodox” rabbi – but it was a great commercial.

I used to be in the dress to impress scene. The Polos, the Lacoste, the Ralph Lauren shirts and ties, the works. I would try to impress others – with my labels & dress and my fashion. I was a fashion setter. I was one of the first to wear the two watches, to have an Apple computer (the Apple II plus) and to be fashionably unique.

As I got older – and hopefully wiser – I figured – what do I need to impress others? Learning Torah, I started realizing the need to impress was time wasted. Yes, I do dress nicely now – but not to impress – to appear neat and elegant but not to attract looks.

I try to be nice, but my main focus is to please Hash-m / G-d. Less pressure. Less shelling out thousands for wardrobes – so that others will say “wow – you look great.”

I don’t need others telling me that. I feel comfortable enough with myself – that I don’t need others accolades.

When I try to please Hash-m and work on myself to be the best person I can be – kind, giving, patient, helpful etc. I feel fulfilled internally. I don’t need external praise to make me feel good. Even though it is good to hear it once in a while – I don’t live for it.

Instead of relying on others for me to appreciate myself, I can appreciate myself independently. I benchmark myself not on what others do or say. I see if I am properly following the way G-d want’s me to be.

In short – I try to “answer to a higher Authority.”