Of Chinese Food & Pleasure

Many a year ago – I ate at a Kosher Chinese restaurant called Moshe Peking in Manhattan. People say after Chinese food one feels hungry. Why? Many theories exist. It is low in protein. It is high in carbohydrates. It’s the salt or MSG. Whatever.

Some pleasures are similar – one has a short pleasure but shortly after they feel lacking. Why?  Material pleasures give a person a temporary high. Material things are temporary. We have a high level soul – that is eternal. The Material does not satisfy the spiritual soul.

It is difficult to discern what is a material pleasure – because material pleasures may be mixed with spiritual pleasure. Let’s say you go to a restaurant. Now you are generous and you flip the bill or pay for the group. The eating was material pleasure – but the act of being generous is a spiritual pleasure.

Some don’t discern – so they think that the eating gave them the pleasure – but it was really the kindness you did during the meal that gave you the pleasure.

 

Use Emotions Positively – Don’t Fret, Get Upset or Regret – Get Blessed

It occurs daily that people upset others – including yourself. G-d sends us these gifts as a way for us to reflect upon life and our actions to become better.

If that person – who insulted you – didn’t do it – someone else would take their place.

So – the best is to not get upset – because you recognize it is a message from Hash-m to improve. So improve.

Sometimes we are so upset that we want bad to happen to others – or even ourselves. Sorry – that is not usually productive.

Use Emotions Positively

So use your emotions for the positive and instead of wishing bad on others – wish good for yourself. Instead of wishing that a person who hurt you loses money – use the deep emotions to bless yourself to make more money.

In last week’s parasha – Toledot – Esav was upset that his brother – Yaakov / Jacob – received the blessings from his father. We would have expected the Torah to say that Esav was upset that He – Esav didn’t receive the blessings from his father Yitzhak / Issak. For Esav it was more upsetting for him that his brother received the blessings that he didn’t receive the blessings.

From this We can learn to sort out emotions – to wish good for ourselves rather than to be upset that someone gained.

Black Quarter in My Pocket – Glad to See You Back

Is it painted or is it just dingy? This black quarter got me thinkin. Some mark dollar bills – apparently to see if they will see it again.

If they do – what a woo. How happy if they will be if they see that long lost dollar.

So you’re happy to see a coin. Will it do something special? Not really. Just a nice coincidence.

A kid, a friend, a relative – more precious than mere money. Should not we be happier. Even if we just saw them yesterday?

A thought to think. A reaction to have – glad to see you again.

The World Created with Truth

The Signet of Hash-m / G-d is Truth.

The World was created with Hebrew Letters. Each day was created with a sequence of 3 letters – starting from the hebrew letter Bet like bet of Bereshit. Each Letter has a numerical value. Gematria is determining the value of words with these values. Alef = 1. Bet = 2. Yud = 10. Kaf = 20. Kuf = 100. Resh = 200. Shin = 300. In gematria Ketana = each letter has a single digit – so Yud = 1, Kuf = 1, Resh = 2. Shin = 3

(Alef is starts the 10 Commandments with the word Anochi (I am) – that starts with the letter Alef)

Emet means Truth in Hebrew. Emet in Hebrew is written Alef Mem Tav = 1 + 4(0) + 4(00) = 9

Each day was created with three letters. Each time you add them up it comes to 9 – representing truth.

Day One was created with Bet Gimel Dalet – 2 + 3 +4 = 9

Day Two was created with Hei Vav Zayin = 5 + 6 + 7 = 18 = 1+ 8 = 9

Day Three was creaated with Het Tet Yud = 8 + 9 + 1 = 18 = 1 + 8 = 9

And so on.

Sheker = falsity is written Shin Kuf Resh = 3 + 1 + 2 = 6

If the world was started with Alef – that has one three letter sequence as Kuf Resh Shin (the letters of Sheker) = Each three letter sequence would equal 6 – signifying falsity. Thus each day was created with a three letter sequence starting with Bet – signifying truth.

If you start with Alef – the three letter sequence adds up to six:

Alef Bet Gimel = 1+ 2 + 3 = 6

Yaakov was the Forefather that is known for his carefulness regarding Truth.

In parasha Toledot – When his mother Rivka told Yaakov to get the blessing from his father Yitzhak – by pretending he was His brother Esav – he dreaded doing it. He didn’t want to lie.

It is apparent from his words to his Mother “Perhaps my father will touch me and I will appear as a trickster and bring upon myself….” Genesis (27:12)

“Perhaps” is a word to express hope of happening not distress of it happening. He should have Said “Lest my father touch me….”

The Vilna Gaon explains that Yaakov / Jacob would have rather been caught by his father than to have expressed a lie.

הרב שקד בוהדנה | פרשת תולדות | ה׳תשפ״ב – ראשון לציון

Tons of Things to Do at Home Office and Kids are Acting Up – How to Stay Calm

You have to get back to your home office. Tons of things to take care of. You chose the home office either because of convenience or by force majeure – see covid restrictions.

One reason why we get angry is because I have to be productive – this cute little kid is preventing me from doing so. I have important work to get done – this kid is stopping me.

Just Shout – The Easy Way Out

The shout comes out. Poor kid. Poor you.

G-d gave us kids to educate them to become good, kind people. He gave us a pure kid and expects that after 120 years he remains pure, sweet and nice.

That’s one reason why we put them in a Torah School. So how does that help me not to get angry?

Are You Really More Productive by Shouting

At the moment we are in “I have to get things done mode” We think – my productivity is more important than my educating my kid to be a “Mench” / good human being. I am being productive doing work – I am not being productive catering to my child’s whims.

Productivity in Education

Stop right there. That’s where we err. By responding kindly and with care – we are teaching our child to be kind and to care. We are being tremendously productive in educating our children how to properly respond in stressful situations. How to act nicely even under pressure. What can be more productive than teaching a child to be a kind, caring, sensitive person?

Did You Win the Education Game?

You shout – you lose. You lose the opportunity to teach kindness and patience.

Treat every act as an act of building.

That is what Torah is about: building – building people, building relationships – with people, ourselves and Hash-m.

Four Ways to Stay Calm When in a Rush

I used to take the subway to school. I was late for class. And as you’d expect – when in a rush – the train stops between stations. The announcer gets on “We are experiencing a longer than usual stop light. Please be patient.” His announcement makes me more anxious to get to class. But then I think to myself “By me getting upset – will this cause the train to move faster?” Apparently not. That thought calms me down.

At time we are anxious to get somewhere – so we turn on “I’m in a rush mode” Just turn that mode off. Turn on “I’ll get there when I get there” or I’ll get there when G-d wants me to get there mode.”

People sometimes rush to the red light. I figure “What – should I speed to get to the red light faster?”

I’m in a rush – driving a cool 55 mph. Some guy – goes into my lane driving 30. It’s the solid white lines on both sides and or other cars aren’t letting me in. Should I get upset at the other driver? No. Like he said “Oh – let me annoy that driver by driving 30 mph.” No. He just drives that way. Maybe G-d organizaed it that way to test my patience muscles. If I flinch with anger – I lose. If I stay calm – I win.

 

The Spiritual Cry or Grudging – a Wise Choice?

He took my pencil. I am angry. I won’t talk to him for 10 years.

Smart?

OK. Sometimes the stakes are greater than a pencil – but is it worth it to grudge your best friend, spouse, brother or family member for it?

Think it through. Be real.

What if you found out that the person you had a grudge moved away. Would you still be upset?

The Spiritual Cry

In last week’s Parasha – Avraham – comes to Eulogize his wife Sarah and to cry for her. In the Torah the word to cry is written with a small Kaf. It means that Avraham minimized his crying – because he didn’t want people to think that he put into question G-d’s justice.

Another reason was Avraham was in control of his emotions. He cried what was necessary. My Rebbe taught me “Our Mind should control our emotions not vice versa.” Does it make sense to be angry at the person who took your money – he or she was a messenger from G-d. If that person didn’t do it someone else would have taken the money. Learn from the message – perhaps you have to be more honest with others.

Another reason brought by the Zera Shimshon is that – there are different types of cries – one is for the material loss another was the spiritual loss. If one cries the latter – then G-d collects their tears and stores them in his treasure house. Sarah was Avraham’s soul mate – the small kaf is telling us he was crying for the spiritual loss. Another reference to the spiritual cry – is prompted by the question – Why doe the verse say that Avraham came to “Eulogize and Cry.” First a person cries then they Eulogize? One answer is that his cry was a spiritual cry for the spiritual loss.

A man and a wife – if married properly are soul mates. Each one completes the other. Each one can build the other spiritually – through doing kindness, serving G-d and Torah.

This is a possible explanation of Pirkei Avot – On 3 things does the world stand On the Torah, On the Avoda (Service of Hash-m) and on Kindness. To make a world stand – these things are needed. To make a marriage last – these things are needed.

G-d wants you to have peace – as it says “Don’t Hate Your Fellow in Your Heart.”

 

Is it Smart to Hold a Grudge?

I’m in a rush. I pull into the passing lane. I need 55 mph. He’s going 40. “What’s with this slow poke? What’s this guy doing. Learn how to drive! This is the fast lane!” The anger wells up.

Typical mind thoughts. It happens to me – I used to think somewhat that way – I learned to think a bit different.

I figured “Yes – this guy chose the exact time just to pull right in front of me to annoy me when I am in a rush!?” Doesn’t make sense. This guy was driving the way he usually drives – G-d arranged that this guy be in front of me when I am late. G-d is putting me through the stress test. – Will I get angry? – Will I get upset at the guy? Will I understand that G-d organized it this way as a test.

If it is the latter – there is no reason to get angry. G-d knows what he is doing. He put this “slow poke” in front of me to let me stretch my patience muscles.

OK – now let’s stretch it a little further. Someone takes your new pocket calendar – you have important names and addresses that you need.

Should you Get angry? Hold a grudge? Obviously, he or she cannot take what is not theirs. But how do you react? Will you be upset? If it was destined to happen to you – – it would have happened to you in another manner. Think: Would this happen to you in another manner if he didn’t take it? Perhaps your dog would have chewed it up?

If you think he is a messenger of Hash-m that wants your best interest – you can find a way to not hold a grudge. In Torah it says “Don’t hate your fellow in your heart”

Clean yourself. Clean your emotions.