TGIM – Thank G-d It’s Monday – Why You Feel Good to Go to Work

Why are people basically happy to work?

Anthropologists study and theorize. Difficult to believe that 1) we evolved from an amoeba and now because of 2) survival of the fittest we want to work. Both theories leave much to be desired. Theory 1 is utterly illogical. Theory 2 is leaves much to be desired. I would think the fittest would want to rest after all these years. 🙂

The Torah tells it like it is.

The Torah says that G-d created the world. He implanted in each human a soul. This soul wants to do the will of G-d. But He also created a force inside a person that offers advice to follow temptation rather than reason. How do you know the difference? Study your respective commandments.

There is a commandment for all people in the world. To build the world (Lishuvu Shel Olam / הדינין לישובו של עולם) It is Part of the 30 commandments for all humanity of the 7 Major categories of laws for Gentiles – called the 7 Noahide Laws of the Torah.

Going to work builds the world. Thus a person who works gets a mitzvah.

When a person does a Mitzvah / commandment from the Torah – they feel satisfied inside. They satisfy their soul.

That’s why you feel good when you work.

What’s the proof?

Abraham Herzberg’s Theory of motivation.

He said at work there are Motivators and Hygiene factors.

The Motivators – Motivate people to work. With them present people are satisfied and motivated.

The Hygiene factors – if not present – a person may be dissatisfied. But if they are present it will not increase the satisfaction of the work.

Motivators or Job Factors include
Achievement
Recognition
Work itself
Responsibility
Advancement
Growth

Hygiene Factors include
Company policy and administration
Supervision
Relationship with supervisor
Work conditions
Salary
Relationship with peers
Personal life
Relationship with subordinates
Status
Security

With accomplishment at work one builds the world. With the work itself one builds the world. Thus a person is satisfied because he is doing a mitzvah.

A gentile observes 7 Noahide laws from the Torah. A Jew observes the 613 commandments from the Torah.

Each observing their respective commandments, gain satisfaction.

TGIM.

One Thing to Do to Beat Procrastination – and Why it Works

How to beat procrastination. Take one cup of cold water. Put ice inside. Add lemon and sugar.

Yes that is the solution. Kind of.

You know the dictum. When Life gives you lemons make lemonade.

I like the saying “The pessimist sees the glass half empty. The optimist drinks it.”

Be positive. Be proactive. Be Productive.

To get over procrastination – apparently you have to understand what is procrastination and why people do it.

Hash-m gave us the Torah and inside is the secret to all. Even how to beat procrastination.

This is the secret to beat procrastination – for at least a while: Do something small that you like to do to prompt you to get started on project.

King David used to get up and go out with the intention to go to enjoy entertainment. When he passed the Beit HaMidrash / House of Torah Study – he would quickly jump in to study Torah.

He would trick his evil inclination. The evil inclination wants him to be idle. Not to accomplish. To waste time.

So he would get started by doing something his evil inclination wanted – to waste time and then he jumped into something that he really wanted to do – to learn Torah.

Apparently the same applies for procrastination from work. It is a great Mitzvah to work. It is the mitzvah of building the world. This mitzvah applies to Jews and Gentiles.

One of the 30 laws of the greater category of the 7 Noahide laws is to not let the world be barren. To build the world. That’s one reason why people procrastinate. Because it is such a great Mitzvah / commandment to work – so the evil inclination prevents him or her with all sorts of excuses. That’s why a person feels badly when they waste time.

Obviously taking a break once in a while to be more productive later is also a mitzvah – but to waste a day, an hour, or a lifetime – is the evil inclination talking.

Just do it.

And you’re doing great.

The Four Sons of the Haggada. Which Son Are You? – The Ultimate Guide for Self-Improvement

“Blessed is Hashem. Blessed is He. That He gave Torah to His people Israel. The Torah talked about the four sons – one wise, one wicked, one one simple and one that doesn’t know how to ask.”

A person reading the Hagada on Passover will usually ask – who am I out of all these sons? Am I the Wise? The Wicked?

Really each one of us has a trait of each son in us. At times we fall to our temptations – so we have the trait of the wicked son. At time we act with wisdom – thus we are like the wise son. At times we act as the the other two.

So what is the solution? How do we Become more wise and less wicked, less simple and more ethically educated?

There is a concept in Torah Hash-m Makdim Refual LaMaka – Hash-m provides the cure before the illness.

The Ultimate Guide for Self-Improvement

What is the proper cure to having the attributes of the four sons – The Torah.

As first in the Hagada it says :

“Blessed is Hashem. Blessed is He. That He gave Torah to His people Israel.

then it says:

The Torah talked about the four sons – one wise, one wicked, one one simple and one that doesn’t know how to ask.”

 

 

The Difficulties of Life – Here to Make You, Not Break You

Rachel eloped. She married a shepherd that her father did not want her to marry. He wanted a person who knew Torah. She also wanted the same thing, but she looked at potential while her father looked at where the boy was now. She married a person who did not even know the alef-bet (Hebrew alphabet). The son of Kalba Savua, her father, was wealthy. He removed her from his support and her inheritance.

She married Akiva. Through delicate tact she convinced him to enroll in a Yeshiva. He did. They were so poor that she they slept in a barn-like shack. Their beds were made of straw. She being from a wealthy family was a bit disheartened. At that moment a poor person knocked on the door. “Please my friend can you spare some straw. My wife just gave birth and we don’t even have straw for the beds.” Akiva generously gave the straw he could spare. The incident gave them some Hizuk – strength to their morale.

“You see there are people who are even more needy than we.” Akiva said to his wife.

The truth was was that the poor person was Eliyahu HaNavi / Elijah the prophet who comes to the world to accomplish a mission for G-d. He came to them to give them Hizuk – by asking them for some straw.

The commentators ask a poignant question. “If G-d is sending Eliyahu – why not instead let him give Akiva and his wife a purse of gold coins?” Wouldn’t that make him happier?

I heard two answers to the question.

One answer is that by sending Eliyahu to ask for straw, it enabled Rabbi Akiva (as he was known later) to do kindness. It is kindness that really makes a person happy.

A Second answer is that if Eliyahu gave them gold coins, Akiva would not have become the great Torah scholar that he eventually became. The wealth would have made him and his wife focus more on materialism – that focus would have damaged his potential of becoming the Rabbi Akiva that he became. Eventually after 24 years of study away from home R. Akiva came back home with 24,000 students.

If Akiva received gold perhaps he would have come back with only 23,000 students or maybe even none. A person – taking life with the right attitude – can excel in adversity. G-d sends difficulties do that you can overcome them. So that you can become closer to him. So that you can excel in Torah and Mitzvot. And so that – through Torah and Mitzvot – you can become the greatest person you can become.

Meaning – the difficulties in life are here to make you – not break you. G-d only sends a person what they can handle. And all challenges that one encounters is for one’s own good. G-d is good. One reason why people have sufferance – is to help them achieve and better themselves. A person who always had all they needed – may become haughty and/or ungrateful. Sufferance may bring them back to humility and appreciation.

You have to be creative enough to see the good. Bold enough to follow a path – guided by Torah – that will make you a new person.

Don’t look at difficulty as a negative thing. Look at it as an opportunity to improve yourself and your life.

The Apple & the Secret to Self-Appreciation, Meaningful Living & Communication

In the center of the Mizbeach / Altar in Mishkan / Tabernacle – after burning the offerings – the Cohanim would place the ashes in a pile. This was called the Tapuach – the apple – because it resembled half of an apple. There was a Mitzvah to remove ithe wastes before starting the new day’s offerings. This service was called the terumat hadeshen.

The Altar had several pyres of fire. The fire on the mizbeach represents a man’s soul. At times it is covered with ashes – which cause the fire of spirituality and desire for closeness with G-d to wane. Our Job is to remove these external impediments to help us develop a closer relationship with Hash-m / G-d.

Two ways to deeper Self-Appreciation

The process of becoming closer to ourselves is twofold. One goal is to remove impediments. A second goal is to dig deeper into who we really are deep inside.

This process applies to discovering ourselves and to communicating with others.

The Danger of TV – Superficial Family Relations

Our communication with others is mostly superficial. “How are you?” Do we really care or are we making polite conversation. The problem is not strangers. The problem is our close relatives and friends. Do we prefer gathering around a screen munching snacks and fruits than getting to know our children?

Unfortunately the opportunity cost of TV and computer time is less profound relations with children, spouses, siblings and parents. But the point of this article is not to bash TV. It is to remind ourselves that our job in life is to develop deep and meaningful relations with others.

I saw a cute cartoon. A man was on his deathbed with his family surrounding him. His last words were “I wish I would have watched more TV.”

No one regrets TV. People do regret not having more deep family relations.

So we fall prey to the superficial. What the other was wearing. What was a great restaurant. Fine. Stay on that level – but lose out on meaning.

In Pirkei Avot (4:20) – it Says

Elisha ben Abuya says: One who learns as a child is compared to what? To ink written on new parchment. And one who learns as an elder is compared to what? To ink written on scraped parchment.

 

Rabbi Yose bar Yehuda, man of Kfar HaBavli, says: One who learns from young ones is compared to what? To one who eats unripe grapes and drinks wine from its press. And one who learns from elders is compared to what? To one who eats ripe grapes and drinks aged wine. Rebbi says: Do not look at the jug but rather at what is in it. For there are new jugs full of old, and old that do not have even new within them.

Rebbi reveals a secret about learning. “Do not look at the Jug or container – but rather at what is in it”. You can have a young Torah scholar – that has much to teach and an old man that has no Torah knowledge.

Rebbi’s statement also reveals to us the secret to communication, self-appreciation and meaningful living. Don’t look at superficial appearance – dig deeper and look inside.

Let’s apply his statement to each.

Successful Communication

Want more successful communication? Don’t look at the only the words that come out of a person’s mouth or actions – try to understand their needs. There is a child that causes trouble – because they want attention. They do things because they want a reaction from you. They would rather a negative reaction than total ignoring from your part. If you were attuned to the child or spouse’s needs you would not be getting flustered by your relationship or conversations.

Write down on paper – what you think the other person’s needs are 1) In general 2) in particular.

It is simple for a child who is causing trouble. Their need in general is 1) Attention. Love. Appreciation. Their need at the moment is 2) Having fun with a parent.

The Rice experiment of ..  He had three containers of rice with water. He spoke to one nicely. The Other he spoke negatively and the third he ignored. The one he spoke to nicely after a period remained white. The one he spoke negatively became black. The one he ignored  became moldy.

Don’t Look at the container (the words) look at what is in it (the needs of the person).

Marshall Rosenberg was able to settle a 35 year old marital dispute within 20 minutes after each one recognized the other’s needs.

Self-Appreciation and appreciation of others

People Judge other’s and themselves harshly. They think they are bad. The fact that a person feels guilty for a thing they did bad – shows that they realize that they did bad and because they feel guilty – they are actually good. Bad people don’t feel remorse – they rationalize that the bad they did was good. Also one can always do teshuva / repent if they missed the mark.

At times a child or other does an act. They spill the ice cream on the floor. The child was trying to serve their younger sibling. You can either look at the negative – they spilled the ice cream or that they were trying to help their brother.

Don’t look at the container – look at what is in it – he tried to help. Praise him for that.

Praise yourself for your good aspects. The Torah wants you to be happy about yourself. The more positive you are – the more you can accomplish.

More Meaning

Abraham Herzberg wrote an article about motivation of employees in the Harvard Business Journal. He found that employees are satisfied by a job because of certain factors. But become dissatisfied because of the lacking of other factors.

The factors that caused satisfaction were called Motivators. The factors causing dissatisfaction were called Hygiene factors.

Two-factor theory distinguishes between:

  • Motivators (e.g. challenging work, recognition for one’s achievement, responsibility, opportunity to do something meaningful, involvement in decision making, sense of importance to an organization) that give positive satisfaction, arising from intrinsic conditions of the job itself, such as recognition, achievement, or personal growth.

  • Hygiene factors (e.g. status, job security, salary, fringe benefits, work conditions, good pay, paid insurance, vacations) that do not give positive satisfaction or lead to higher motivation, though dissatisfaction results from their absence. The term “hygiene” is used in the sense that these are maintenance factors. These are extrinsic to the work itself, and include aspects such as company policies, supervisory practices, or wages/salary.

Meaning comes from contributing to a better world or a bettering a company. Doing an activity that helps you pass the time doesn’t usually bring you deep satisfaction. It helps you pass the moment in an agreeable way.

It is interesting to note that there is a commandment from the Torah (for Jews and non-Jews) to build the world. By working and doing an honest job helps to build the world. Thus we see that the list of Motivators above – are linked to the commandment of building the world. Meaning that achieving meaning is linked to following the commandments of the Torah. The Jews the 613 commandments found in the Shulchan Aruch. And for Gentiles is following the 7 Noahide laws of the Torah.

When we look deeper in to ourselves, others and the purpose of life – we find a more beautiful world out there.

What’s Your EQ? Your Emotional Maturity

People get stuck. If it’s for good – good. But if it’s negative – you got to get out of that negativity.

Some people are petty all their lives. They complain about that they never became who they wanted. They never got that job. They look at others and remain in complain mode all their lives.

Sad.

Breaking Potential

We all have much potential. But we waste it on – cell phones, killing time, being stuck in my way or the highway mode.

We think we know it all. More than even G-d. That was my mistake. I was thinking what G-d wants is not my problem – until I had a rude awakening. I learned the hard way. But now looking back – that awakening – painful as it was – was worth it to awaken me from my living the false dreams that occupies most of society’s mind.

Pleasant Reality

Cool water splashing in my face – I realized what reality really is – and it was a pleasant surprise.

Living a Lifetime of Childhood

I was living the life of a child. I want my new toy. Give it to me or I will be upset. Give me my popularity. Say I am cool. Let me be the Mr. Popular of the clique. I was.

My whole clique prided ourselves on being different. I took it seriously. Others took it as a fad. My friends became lawyers, accountants, finance people – but I held on to the Idea – of not following the crowd – somehow discovering myself in the process.

When you break off from following the clique – you realize that – what you thought was individuality was really following the crowd. Most of the world follows what is popular. Even in religious circles – you form a new clique.

The Way Out

Your only safeguard in life is following the truth. If you are lucky – you will realize the truth of the Torah. If you are not – you will jump from one clique to another – trying to convince yourself that your happy and having a good time or that your truth is truth. I know. I was there in that shell – until suffering broke me out of the shackles of society’s ideas.

The path was painful many days. I started learning Torah. Many years passed and I emerged from my cocoon as a new man. Not following the status quo – but trying to please my Creator. It wasn’t necessarily because I was so religiously oriented – but I thought that that would be the best path to alleviate the pain.

So now I share some of my lessons learned.

The Cookie Story

Once a man bought a pack of cookies in the airport. On the plane the passenger sitting next to him  took a cookie from the pack. The man was astounded that someone would take his cookies without permission. He didn’t want to say anything – so he took one cookie as well. The other passenger took another cookie. He took another one also. The last cookie the other person broke in half and they shared it.

After the trip – he was wondering how a person could be so bold to take his cookies. When reaching into his carry-on – he found – the cookies he bought. The person next to him was taking and sharing his own cookies.

Many things one can learn from this story – one thing is that the person that you think is taking from you may really be helping you out. An example – you give a dollar to a poor person – you think you are Mr. Generous. Really that person is helping you out more – because he helped you to receive reward for the Mitzvah that you did by giving him money.

If the same happened to you – how would you react? Would it bother you? Would you say something? Would you complain?

The way you answer is one indicator of your emotional maturity (or your level of generosity).

Let’s say it was your roommate. Let’s say the cookies were really yours. Let’s say he or she took your things on a constant basis.

Do you rank them out? Do you complain to others? Do you feel all upset? Do you mention to them in a nice way that you don’t appreciate their behavior? Do you swallow your pride and don’t mention anything – but you have a silent grudge towards them? Or do you try to find some way to find a way to justify their actions or pacify yourself?

Your reaction – is an indicator of your Emotional maturity.

I was discussing with someone – saying that the most proper reaction is the latter – to find a way to justify their actions. Why? Because all other reactions will not help you grow. You will react to your friend and thus react the same way the next time around. One will be complaining about people eating their cookies for the next 100 years of their life. They did not change. The same way you came into the world – you go out. Grumpy in – grumpy out.

Growth starts with belief in G-d. If one believes not in G-d – when push comes to shove they will usually act like tiger towards an animal that grabbed his lunch. But to grow – you know that there is a higher authority watching you. You cannot just do anything. You cannot go bonkers or overboard – because of the decorum that G-d expects of you.

The man (or woman) of growth will think – “perhaps that person cannot afford to buy their own cookies. Perhaps they don’t like to go out and buy cookies and think that you are a generous soul that doesn’t mind them serving themselves. Perhaps G-d is testing your emotional maturity. Perhaps G-d is trying to help you become more generous.

You choose your reaction. You are not forced to react a particular way. The more mature you are the more cool, calm and collected will be your reaction.

You build your maturity – when you control your emotions. Some just want to let off steam. Some gain pleasure from getting angry. Afterwards they justify themselves by saying “you made me angry.” No one makes you angry – only you yourself decides to get angry.

You choose – either the path of letting off steam or the path to growth. The path to growth will lead you to satisfaction with yourself. The path of letting off steam – you may remain a child – with your childish recations for the rest of your life.

You have before you life and good or death and bad. Choose life. Control yourself and grow. Become more mature. Don’t remain a 10 year old the rest of your life.

You control your reactions – you choose whether you will grow or stagnate.

You choose whether you will become a noble soul or a penny pincher or a tit for tatter the rest of your life.

It is much easier to grow when you believe in Hash-m and Torah. For you know that all that happens to you is for your best interest.

Got a parking ticket & you don’t have great faith – you are miserable all day.

Got a parking ticket & you do believe in Hash-m – you feel great and thankful that G-d saved you from a worse fate.

It takes work, control and belief in G-d – but you can grow to that better person. The Torah is the ultimate self-improvement guide. It teaches us to emulate G-d – what better example can we have?

Being Married this Time Next Year – 14 Reasons why You are Not Married Yet & 10 Tips to Tie the Knot

Yes I am the expert. 🙂

Perhaps. Perhaps not.

What I do know is common sense.

Unfortunately sometimes the common sense kicks in only after I made my mistakes. At least I do learn after the mistakes. Sometimes.

Yes this is a Jewish site. So here is some of the Jewish or Torah perspective on the Dating for Marriage.

G-d made a concept of family. He made it that a man and woman will marry to bring up a family that will make this world a better place by following His guidelines as established in the Torah.

The Purpose of Dating

A very important point to remember is – one dates to determine whether the person is the right person for marriage. One tries to get to know the other through seeing if they share common goals and values. Although you want to find out pertinent information – It is not a job interview. You have to see if the person before you has the right attitude, personality, values for you to build a family together. Your first two dates are to determine whether you can get along. The third is to determine whether you can respect the other person’s opinions, goals and personality.

I went out on dates with 10 different people before meeting my wife. It took me 3 dates to ask my wife to get married. Thank G-d she accepted. For others it may take more time.

Statistics are claiming Less people are getting married.

Having this in Mind here are 14 possible reasons why some are not married yet

1. Lack of effort.

Many people want their perfect spouse to fall from the sky. Not likely. A person has to put in a serious effort to finding a mate. If you don’t look you are not likely to find. But an important point to know is – that your looking is not a guarantee that you will find.

Here is the way the world really works. You make your effort for achieving a goal. G-d looks at your effort and says – OK, you made enough effort for Me to give you what you set out to do.

You make your effort – G-d provides the results. This helps us cope with failure as well. because if I put my utmost effort into achieving something and I don’t I am not a failure. I am a success because at least I tried. But G-d had different plans in mind.

Here are two personal examples of the effort we make and the results G-d determines principle.

I wanted to buy a house. We negotiated the price with the owner. We set the terms – we agreed on the terms. I signed the papers to buy the house. I deliver them to the owner’s lawyer. Then I get a call from my lawyer saying “Sorry the deal for the house is off.” “What do you mean. I signed the papers. I gave the deposit check. What happened?” My lawyer said he could not get along with the other lawyer’s attitude. Thus he didn’t want to deal with him.” The lawyers didn’t get along. I lost the house.

Upsetting? Perhaps if you remove G-d from the equation. But if you do put G-d into the equation – you realize that G-d is Good. G-d loves you. G-d wants your best and He thought that what you thought was a good deal was not a good deal – so He found a way to nullify it. End of the story – we found a better house for us in the end. We were happy we didn’t buy the first house.

Another example:

When single, at times I made efforts to find a spouse. At times I was laid back and put it on the back-burner. When I started making a serious concerted effort – by networking with people and prayer to Hash-m / G-d – to find the right mate – I found the right one but not through my efforts. You could say the proposition to meet someone came from left field. I was calling people in the US to meet prospects. The right prospect came from my grandmother who lived in France and who suggested someone from France.

I made my effort – but G-d sent me the right one. My meeting the right person was not a direct result of my efforts. I made my effort. G-d saw I was serious & He sent me the right one.  

So  make your effort. If G-d thinks it is a good idea for you to get married – He will help you.

Obviously – this is provided you stick to the rules of the Torah. If you don’t stick to the rules – so G-d may give you what you want – which is not always the best thing for you.

It is better to pray that G-d find the best person in His view for you to get married with – to help you achieve your potential in life – than to pray to marry a particular person – who might not be the best person for you. I made that mistake. I prayed to date a particular person – I did date them and it didn’t work out in the end – because they were  not for me.

There is a principle in Torah – G-d will guide you in the way you wish to follow. If a person is a thief and he prays to G-d he will help him steal. If you really want a particular person to marry G-d may help you – but it might be to your detriment.

Thus following the laws of the Torah (ie, the 613 commandments for Jews or the 7 Noahide laws from the Torah for non-Jews) is a prerequisite for finding the right mate to achieve your potential in life.

I know what you are going to say. What are you talking about? I know many people who do not follow Torah but are happy in life.

To this I answer – OK they may be happy – but are they achieving their potential for doing good for the world? Probably not.

This is one reason against Jewish intermarriage – when Jewish people marry people of different religions – the goals are the family are automatically confused. One partner wants to give a Jewish education – the other says they see no point in a solid Torah day school education for Jewish kids. But we’ll get to that later.

Be ready to put your best foot forward when searching for a mate. Treat finding a mate as seriously as you would as if you were searching for a Job.

My optometrist friend would call up optical stores – one-by-one he found in the phone book to find a Job. We should be at least as serious in searching for a mate for ourselves or our children. If a person is out of a job, one calls a head hunter, networks, makes phone calls and sends out resumes. The same dedication is required for getting married. Dedicate at least 10 minutes a day to find the right person. Effort includes praying to Hashem / G-d daily to help you find a mate. Before I got married I would recite Tehillim / psalm 121 as a segula to get married. I prayed at the kever / grave-site of Yonathan Ben Uziel in Amuka, Israel. At times I would be serious about dating for marriage regularly. At times I would slack off. When I became serious – G-d sent me the right mate.

A Suggested Amount of Effort

I would suggest a person spend at least 5 to 10 minutes daily searching for a proper mate for themselves or their children.

2. Lack of clarity of what is truly important.
Another boon to getting married is – lack of clear idea of what one wants. If you don’t know what you are looking for – you won’t know when you find it. Some basic points you should consider are found in tip 3 below.

3. Do not value the importance of marriage
Getting married and having kids is a commandment in the Torah for Jews and gentiles. some think it is a nice thing to do – but not for them. G-d formulated things that to reach your potential – you must be married. He created man and woman as one entity. A person not married has not yet found their mate to help them complete themselves.

Because some Do not value the importance of marriage they do not date for the purpose of marriage. Some date just for a good time. That might be a problem. If you or your mate have no marriage intentions – marriage is less likely. Also physical relations before marriage causes objectivity to fly out the window. A person who is not celibate on dates may end up marrying a person who might not be suitable for them. This is probably the major reason for divorce today – people marry others that they are “in love” with without determining if they are compatible with the other before hand.  

4. High expectations
Some people think they are prince charming or princess of Pompadour – so they reject anyone they think is not suitable for them. G-d may have organized you to meet a particular person that He determined is suitable mate for you. Look into a proposal seriously before you reject them. Some people tailor design in their mind a person for themselves. You will most likely not meet this person. But you will meet a person that you feel that you have an affinity to build a wholesome Torah home if you do make your effort.


5. The “When I” excuse
“When I” get my degree, I’ll start looking to get married. “When I” get a decent Job I will start looking. “When I build” my business, I’ll find a mate.
All these are completely invalid excuses to postpone getting married. G-d does not say make sure you have a decent degree before you get married. G-d also provides the parnassa / the income – not your effort. (as mentioned above)


6. Am I turning people off?
Some turn others off with their looks, their appearance, their attitude, their habits and/or their opinions. I am talking with you face to face – your phone rings – it is impolite to answer while I speak with you. Some go on ranting about the President or politics. OK have an opinion – but if that is what you rant about regularly – i would rather talk about things that deal with real day to day life.

Today anyone can spy on your attitudes in life by checking heir facebook page. It’s a dead giveaway. Beware of what you post – it might come back to haunt you. I heard someone lost a job opportunity because of a Facebook post. Apparently people check out potential mates that way. Some people are obsessed with a subject because of a trauma or experience that they had.

Remember you are searching for a mate should be a friend to build a home with – not your psychologist.


7. Low Expectations

At times a person is dating people that will not help that person reach their potential in life. G-d makes it not work out so that you will find the person who can best help you together with the new mate to reach your family potential.


8. Not ready psychologically
Some people are not ready psychologically to get married because they have a fear of commitment or a fear of marriage or a low self esteem. Deal with these issues and make your effort to tie the knot. Marrying the right person makes a person life better not worse.

9. Not ready spiritually
G-d want you to reach a high level spiritually. Being connected to G-d is the greatest pleasure a person can have. He gave us the outline of how to become close with Him – the Torah. At times G-d wants you to reach a higher spiritual level in Torah observance and/or learning before matching you with the right mate so that together you can reach your spiritual purpose and potential. Advice – increase your spiritual Torah pursuits. Read Torah books in your language. Attend Torah lectures. Improve yourself – vis-a-vis the Torah’s values and G-d will match you with a better mate.


10. The “I want” syndrome
“I want someone open-minded. I want someone intellectual. I want someone who can sing.”
All very nice – but irrelevant to being a good mate. The question you want to ask is will the potential mate be a good husband and father or a good wife and mother. That is a fundamental point. Other “I wants” you have may be irrelevant to a good relationship and curtail marriage process.

Someone told me they want an intellectual wife. I told them “what do you think you will be discussing once married – Einstein’s law of relativity?” You will be talking of things to build a family and the relationship. Get goals that will make a great marriage not whims that have no relevance to building a Torah family.


11. No they are not your debate-team partner.
Some people go on a date and try to prove that they are right or show the other person they are wrong. Perhaps that is not their intention, but it comes off that way. if you are different – than respect the other person – act politely and after the date don’t go out again – it is not your job to convert the person to your views.


12. Rejection on paper or social media
At times a person sees a person’s photo and rejects going out because of what they look like. Many time a photo can lie. People reject others without seeing them in person.The total person is much greater than his or her photo or bio or Facebook page.


13. Looking in the wrong places
If you want to buy a car go to a car dealer. If you want to find a good mate go to a place that you would expect to find them and ask around.
I don’t know how successful singles parties are. I suggest to Jewish singles to contact local orthodox rabbis to determine if they know of a potential mate for them and to use me as a reference. An orthodox rabbi knows the members of his congregation. He will give you an honest opinion on the person – provided you ask the proper, pointed questions. You can get ideas for questions in tip 3 below.

14. Lack of Common Values

I think one of the strongest bonds is when people share Torah values. It helps people to make common family decisions. If one is a mate just following the winds of the newspapers or society – one day his value will be A the next B. Perhaps his or her mate will have Value B when he or she has Value A. Thus the solid, tried values of Torah help a couple to live a more stable relationship.

10 Tips to get yourself married with the right  mate that G-d intended you to meet.

1. Know that G-d wants you married – and what he wants from you in marriage by consulting Torah rabbis and lectures on the subject. (see the links section for info on the subject)


2. Know one of the commandments is for a person to beget children and raise them in the path of the Torah (jews the 613 commandments and gentiles the 7 noahide laws from the Torah)

3. know the “requirements” and the “good to haves.”

For a Jewish couple here are certain “requirements” and the “good to haves” for a potential mate

Requirements
a) that the mate is Jewish.
b) that the mate has a desire to use the Torah as a daily guide to building family. (Jews see Shulchan Aruch) / (Gentiles see Torah’s 7 Noahide laws)
c) that the mate has a good heart (ie, generous & giving)
d) that the mate has good values (based upon Torah outlook)
e) that the mate has good character traits (merciful, bashful & doing kindness)
f) attractive to you
g) that you can talk with

Good to Haves

What are the good to haves? Some may be more important than others. You probably have a list of your own.
a) person from a good family
b) person with class
c) person that is responsible
d) person from same background as yourself in terms of – country where you were born, family country background, ethnicity, etc. a similar mentality of the mates decreases lack of accord. A similar mentality will make the marriage to more likely to work out. I thus suggest Sephardim to Marry Sephardim. Askenazim to marry Ashkenaz. Moroccan Jews to marry Moroccans. etc. Obviously, it is not a guarantee for a happy marriage – first the basics are to be in order (the requirements above). But it might cause less reason for quarrels because people are on a similar page. Statistics that supports this notion is a study done by the Center for Disease Control in 2002 about divorce rates that showed interracial marriages were more likely to end in divorce than same-ethnic marriages — 41 percent versus 31 percent.
e) person with similar goals in life
f) person that you can respect and help with their aspirations in life

4. Consider someone who is not 100% your perfect mate / know there are things you can change 

If you find someone who is 80% perhaps you can try to change the rest. Accept the person as who they are. I know people who rejected dates because they were only 90% of what they were looking for. Too bad. There is no perfect person. Only G-d is perfect. Know what you can change and can’t change in a person. If a person has something you don’t like that can be changed – perhaps a date is worth a try. If you don’t know ask a competent shadchan / match maker or Orthodox Rabbi.


5. Know that it only takes one person

For a Jewish couple G-d basically wants a couple to build a family that lives happily using the Torah as their guide for their daily lives. Some people try to surf the social media for a mate. Just focus on meeting one right person at a time. don’t compare. see if that person that you are dating is good based upon what we discussed. aprreciate that person for who they are. pray to G-d to help you make the right decision.


6. Get help from professionals

Perhaps you need a dating coach or advice from the Torah / Daat Torah – so ask a competent Orthodox Rabbi for help.


7. Do your homework before you go out.
Ask references – some have a dating resume – ask for a dating resume of potential mates.


8. Portray a positive image.
Don’t use your date a social worker or psychologist. Keep your vocal opinions to yourself on dates – don’t be obsessed by certain issues. It is a turn-off. don’t be obsessed about yourself and your opinions. You may be wrong. Don’t talk about your failures and deceptions in your life. Don’t talk negatively. Use your speech wisely.


9. Pick 10 things you are looking for in a mate and if you find five out of the 10 – it is worth a try.


10. Look in the right places.

If you are looking for a Torah scholar network in the Yeshivas. If you are looking for a good person – call local orthodox rabbis of communities. If you look in the local bars – you’ll find people with values from the bars – which is a shot in the dark at best.

Wishing you all the best. If you need any advice please feel free to contact us at info@jerusalemlife.com

3 Super Secrets to Beat Foes of Productivity – Procrastination & Distraction

Everything is in Torah.

Like the Three Secrets to Beat Procrastination & Distraction.

Hillel – the great Torah sage – teaches us to beat these foes of productivity.

הוא היה אומר, אם אין אני לי, מי לי. וכשאני לעצמי, מה אני. ואם לא עכשיו, אימתי:

He [Rabbi Hillel] used to say: If I am not for me, who will be for me? And when I am for myself alone, what am I? And if not now, then when? (Pirkei Avot 1:14)

I write this because I fall into the trap as well.

Here are the three secrets – then I will relate them to Hillel’s dictum.

1. Remove Emotions from the Equation

2. Make a List of 10 things you want to accomplish in the Day and focus on three.

3. Start with 5 minutes of the undesired task.

Here are explanations on Hillel’s three pieces of advice.

If I am not for me, who will be for me?

Many a time I procrastinate because I don’t feel like calling or dealing with someone or dealing with a problem. My emotions stop me from progressing. So I have 2 or 3 options 1. To listen to my emotions and procrastinate. 2. Overcome my emotions. 3. Remove my emotions. I act like “Spock” – a person who acts on logic – not emotions and make my feelings of not wanting to make that call irrelevant.

How do I do so? I think that it is irrelevant what the other person will say. It only matters what my job is. Meaning – that if I have a responsibility to do something positive (as dictated by the Torah) – it is irrelevant what the other person will react. I have to accomplish my purpose in my life. What other people think is not my problem.

Let’s take an example – I have to eat Kosher. I have to have a lunch meeting with the boss. Now what will the boss say if he invites me to a fancy restaurant and I can’t eat there because I eat Kosher. So I can push off my meeting or tell the boss – I can only eat in a Kosher restaurant. I am responsible for my actions as told in the Torah. If I am concerned of what will other people think – it is a recipe for self-erasure. Blending into the crowd. Becoming a robot of society.

And when I am for myself alone, what am I?

Obviously I have to accomplish my purpose in such a way by acting in accordance to Torah values – ie, by not stepping on others shoes, by not hurting other’s feelings, by not acting dishonestly, etc.

By acting according to my whims and feelings is in a sense relatively selfish. If I can help another person and I relegate myself to playing video game or surfing on amazon or checking my whatsapp every 2 minutes – I lose the opportunity of helping others.

Thus I must get organized and make my priorities. One way to do such is an idea from Warren Buffet – of Berkshire Hathaway – one of the richest people in the world – given to his Executive Jet pilot. He said make a list of 25 things or goals you want to accomplish. Rank the 5 most important ones. Take care of those five. As for the other 20 forbid yourself to take care of them until you accomplish the first 5.

We distract ourselves with not only things that are not our goals – but things that are our goals but of a lesser priority. If we focus on our main goals – we help ourselves and other people.

And if not now, then when?

If I don’t take care of something right away, I may end up using time allocated for another purpose. Thus I must focus on getting things done on time in the proper time. How? I don’t feel like doing certain things. Now what?

A simple solution is to start 5 minutes of the undesired task. Once you get the ball rolling it is easier to continue.

If there is a will there is a way to be more productive and accomplish your purpose. You can do it.

 

 

Why Me?! The 7 Reasons for Why People Suffer

The Stolen Bicycle

I had a nice bike for several years. I bought it at Toys-R-Us. Disc-brakes, shocks and on sale.

Just the other day someone remarked that my bicycle was missing. I said, why wouldn’t they steal the other bikes. They remarked that the other bikes were registered with the police.

I Just started re-using it after a long hiatus. Too bad I was getting into shape and it was convenient.

Why does G-d send Difficulties?

Why me? Why me? 🙂

G-d has reasons for every good thing or thing that looks bad that happens to us.

If you want to understand the way the world works or why good things happen to bad people or why bad things happen to good people remember this:

G-d conducts the world with Middah Keneged Middah. Measure for measure. You do good – you receive good and vice versa.

But we are not all great at recognizing it. I sometimes attribute my sufferings to certain of my failings. And it comes out pretty accurately. Sometimes the sufferings are direct or indirect. Meaning our suffering may attain the person directly or may be due to the sufferings of others around us. (Some, on higher levels of Torah spirituality, may ask if the sufferings of the world are due to their failings)

Why is G-d Punishing Me?

A woman recently called me. She told me she was having many difficulties – no job. her daughter was doing things that pained her. she did not have an apartment. I consoled her and explained that G-d loves each person. G-d just wants us to live a better life. So He sometimes sends “corrections” – situations that will eventually lead a person to live a much better life than they are presently living. A person has to be wise enough to listen to G-d’s daily messages.

The World Made for You

If the world is made for each person – the world might suffer for someone’s failings. What are failings? I found out the hard way that failings are doing things that are contrary to Torah.

Knowing What is Right & What is Wrong helps one to Remove Sufferings

Unfortunately – i discovered i had many failings. But I was ready to correct them slowly but surely. I am still working on my failings – but I am a big step ahead than I was before. Why? Because I recognize what is right and what is wrong. If one does not recognize this – it is more difficult for one to correct themselves. It is a bit like shooting in the Dark.

Each Jew is responsible for one another. If one Jew suffers the others suffer. If a Jew rejoices another does too. If one does good the others benefit. And vice versa.

When i was a teenager – I experienced sufferings. My sufferings became my teachers. I learned from experience the reasons for suffering. It helped me to cope through the hard times.

The first question one should ask – if G-d surely loves us – why does he allow suffering. We will avoid the philosophical discussions – but below are some basic reasons.

So back to my bicycle – why me?

There are 7 basic reasons for suffering.

  1. G-d is settling accounts for what a person did in the past. If we steal from others – others might steal from us. It could be a past deed from this life or a past deed from a previous life. When one repents sincerely to Hash-m the bad deeds are erased. The solution : Don’t do the same deed that was done to you. Do Teshuva / Repent.
  2. G-d is sending a message to the person to repent. At times a person is totally off-track. Off track – meaning that their values are out of sync with the values of Torah. G-d is sending them a message to get back on track for their own good. The solution: Learn what the Torah expects of a Jew or a Gentile and get back on track.
  3. G-d wants you to Pray to Him – At times a person prays to G-d but is not answered. G-d loves a person and desires his or her prayers. So don’t give up praying. G-d eventually will answer.
  4. G-d wants you to develop a relationship with him. G-d wants a relationship with His Children. Many a time people have a very good life. Children. A good job. A nice family. All the food and amenities they need, but they ignore or some even “diddain” G-d or the Jewish people. Why? Because they are happy with there lot – no need for Torah or spirituality – they think. So G-d may send a wake up call – to awaken them from their slumber through the medium of suffering. Then the person turns to G-d for help and prays for respite from suffering. Then they develop a relationship with Him. A solution to this is to always be thankful for the good.
    We have a synagogue that is next to a playground. Many pass by ignoring our synagogue. I see the beautiful children and all the good the families have. I ask myself – does it not enter these people’s minds to come in to say thanks to G-d for at least some of the good they have.
  5. G-d is testing person to see if they will remain faithful to Him even in trying circumstances – a trying circumstance is not necessarily suffering. It could be doing the right thing when your friends or the society are going against the morality of the Torah. That is a trying circumstance.

  6. G-d wants you to grow. A person sometimes has a trying circumstance. G-d might want to build you. If you think about it G-d knows what is best for the spiritual growth of the person. Thus he puts them in certain situations so that after surmounting the difficulty – they will become a better wants a person to define himself or herself. When a person dies – they remain the same forever. What they became is how they will remain for eternity.
  7. G-d wants you to put in More effort – I know someone who complains – Why Me? Why did I not get a good job? Why did I not find a good match? All kinds of “why me?” statements. I ask him – did you try to apply for a job? No. Did you try your best to get a job? no.I told him – the first step is to make the proper effort and pray to Hash-m for a Job. The way that G-d conducts the world is that one makes an effort to achieve their goals. But the fact that the goals are achieved are ultimately in the hands of G-d. But the minimum requirement is to make a concerted, serious effort towards your goal.

G-d Sends Good in All Situations

G-d does everything for the Good of a person. A person just has to be creative enough to find a reason why whatever happens to them is good. Like the man who stepped on a rusty nail before a business trip – in which the Doctor forbade him to travel.In the end the ship that he was scheduled to travel upon sank.

Developing a Positive Attitude

Look into the reasons for difficulty and you will find a positive reason for each difficulty and challenge. Like the ones above. Many come to the conclusion that certain situations are good and certain are bad. That is inaccurate. All situations are sent by G-d. All situations that G-d creates are good. They might be difficult situations – but their must be good in those situations because G-d / Hash-m is all good. The person with a positive attitude tries to find good in all situations whether they are pleasing situations or difficult situations.

Cherishing Suffering – a higher level for the Elite

The Torah does not condone provoking self-suffering. Hash-m should save us from it. King David “cherished” suffering. Why? Because he felt that when he was pained – he felt a closer connection to G-d. G-d is close to those with broken heart and many feel this. When I look back at my suffering as a teen – I remember the closeness I felt.

Appreciating the Good of Life

A person living a Torah life appreciates the good that G-d / Hash-m gives on a daily basis. We say thanks. We appreciate. We have a closer relationship with G-d. We live more wholesome lives and better achieve our purpose in the end.

Living & Dying with Purpose

Many think dying is the worst that could happen to a person. Everybody dies. Truth is that that is not the worst thing. Dying without a purpose is the worse thing. Torah gives a person purpose – in dying and in living. Purpose for every act and purpose for every world of Torah studied. It turns a life following the pursuit of vain pleasure to a life that is full of purposeful pleasures. Allowing a person to maximize their potential in life and achieve their purpose in the end.

Every Pleasure has a Permitted Substitute

For all pleasures in the world that are forbidden in the Torah there is a substitute permitted pleasure. Examples abound. The Torah forbids Jews from eating pork and thus bacon. There is a kosher substitute made of Turkey that tastes like bacon. Shrimp and shellfish are forbidden to Jews. Kosher substitutes exist.

Pleasure with Purpose vs. Vain Pleasures

If you look at each prohibition – you will find a substitute. Each prohibition in Torah is usually prohibits pleasure without purpose. The Torah gives each a substitute that makes it a pleasure with purpose.

Thus every act that a person does can be a meaningful act through following Torah. Jews – their 613 commandments and Gentiles their 7 commandments.

Preparation for Rosh Hashana

We are approaching the New Jewish Year. Now is the time to get on track to see how we can transform our average lives into more purposeful and meaningful lives. That is one of the goals of Teshuva (literally Returning in Hebrew) / Repentance in Judaism – to return to a life of purpose.

Choose Life

The Torah itself tells you straight out saying “Choose Life!” What is life? Pleasure with purpose – for the sake of serving G-d. Every act done to serve G-d becomes a purposeful act and one lives (and eventually dies) with a purpose.

We should all live long purposeful lives. Amen.

 

 

The Eye of the Earth – a Better Attitude in Life

In Parashat / the Torah Reading of Balak (Bamidbar / Numbers 22:2 – 25:8), Balak, the King of the nation of Moav – afraid of the Jews for he saw what they did to the Amorites – commissions a Gentile Prophet Bilaam to Curse the Nation. Balak describes the Jews as having covered the Eye of the Earth (22:5).

One commentator, Rabbi Elimelech Bidderman, explains the concept of covering the eye of the world. He says that the Jews have a different perspective than the world view. The general view of the world is that everything happens by chance or as a result of cause and effect. A man loses money – he was not careful to update his store merchandise. A woman loses a job – she was too talkative at work. These might be the symptoms – but the ultimate reason why things happen is because Hash-m / G-d wants them to happen.

G-d does everything for the good. If one takes that as an attitude – his depression can disappear. Maybe the man lost his money because G-d saw he was spending too much time working and not spending time with the family or learning Torah and He wanted him to find a more lucrative enterprise in which he would work less making more money allowing him to spend more time with the family.

Perhaps the woman lost the Job, so that she could be hired by another firm that is closer to her home or that would give her more responsibilities.

A man without the attitude that G-d does everything and everything He does is for the good – might take up drinking, or become a tyrant at home, or become depressed. With the attitude that G-d does everything good – the man will get up on his feet and look for another business. He will pray to Hash-m to help him find him the right way in life and for making a living and take action.

The woman – who lost her job might start having negative feelings towards her boss or towards her former co-workers that did not “stick-up for her”. She remains bitter towards the old staff. Even when she gets a new job she remains bitter towards them. But looking at the big picture G-d helped her to lose one job and find a much better position. So what’s the reason for the grudge? It wasn’t the co-workers it was G-d – doing it for her Good. The co-workers might have tried to help her – but she only sees the negative.

In Judaism we have laws of Lashon HaRa / Derogatory speech. We should not speak badly of a fellow Jew – without direct constructive purpose. Many a time a person speaks badly about others because they failed to see the hand of G-d. They fail to see the good in the “bad” that happened to them. Looking at the long term picture one can see the good that happened – so why blame others for your suffering. It is possible that much good came out from the difficult situation that one was in and overcame.

Look at the good that came as a result of a negative looking situation, and you won’t have to blame others. We’ll live life with a positive attitude – rather than with a grudge in our hearts.