The Good Snake – What comes from G-d is Good

In Parashat / Weekly Torah Reading Hukat – (Bamidbar / Numbers 19:1 – 22:1)
When certain Israelites were being bitten by snakes for speaking badly about Moses, G-d instructed Moses to make a Copper snake for people to look upon and be healed. “And you shall look at it (the copper snake) and live.” (21:8) A snake is dangerous. what message is this teaching us?

Everything that Hashem does is for good. Even, when something appears bad, like a snake, if is sent by Hashem it is good.

Some say if I dont work on SHABBAT, I will not make money for my family. But really it is the opposite. One who observes Shabbat makes blessing rest on his or her parnassa / income enabling them to feed their family with abundance.

Learning from Spies – Using Good Times of Past to have a Positive Future Outlook

The Israelites in the Sinai Desert sent Spies to investigate Israel, the Promised Land. Before, Moses asked G-d – should they send these spies. He responded – “Send men for Yourself. I know that it is a good land.” G-d was a upset that they needed spies – when He had already promised that it is a good land.

The Spies come back and give a report of the land of Israel. They say it is a land of milk and honey … But there are giants that dwell there and it is a land that devours its inhabitants.”

Calev, one of the spies says “We can overcome the people and conquer the land.” The people cry in fear. G-d tells the Jewish People because they cried in vain – they will stay wandering in the desert for 40 years – one year for each day that the Spies spied.

G-d then tells Moshe / Moses – how come these people don’t believe in me after all of the wonders I did for them in bringing them out from Egypt.

Two questions – 1) Why were they punished by One Year for each Day? 2) Why does G-d say why didn’t they believe in me after all the signs and wonders I Showed them? Out of all the people in the world who heard about all the miracles that G-d did for the Jews, only one person – Yitro / Jethro – out of all the nations of the world were impressed enough to come and convert to Judaism.

Apparently, one answer is :

A person is supposed to learn from the past. If G-d did good for him in the past – it is likely he will continue to good to him in the future. There are three reasons why people adapt a negative attitude in life :

1) They don’t recognize the constant blessings that G-d gives them on a daily basis – like, air, food, life, children, a job, a home, a family, friends, money, etc. This is either because they don’t believe in G-d or they do believe in Him but don’t attribute the good they have to Him.

2) They do recognize the constant blessings that G-d gives them, but they think they are or will be unworthy of his blessings in the future.

Both attitudes may lead to depression.

The Solution:

Learn from the past. If you were able to overcome a difficulty in the past, you will be able to overcome it in the future. If G-d helped you in the past, he will hep you in the future. You make your effort to solve the problem – but it is in G-d’s hands to actually solve it. The effort is in your hands – the solving is in G-d’s. If it is solved after your effort and prayer to Hash-m / G-d – Good. If it is not – perhaps you need to make a greater effort or pray more to Hash-m.

If you did both and still the problem is not solved – the problem it is not being solved for your good.

It’s a win-win situation.

I have been having issues with my car. Check engine light is on. With that you cannot pass inspection. I brought it to 3 mechanics and 2 car dealers. The light is still on. Apart from the fact that this problem is some kind of reason to get me to improve myself for a past misdeed – which I still must figure out which (as there are many 🙂 ), it has helped me to use my bicycle more and get more into shape. Look at the silver lining in each difficulty.

Think positive. Let’s work on ourselves to think of how we overcame difficulties, with G-d’s help, in the past to have a more positive outlook in the future. G-d expects it from us. G-d believes in us. Shouldn’t we believe in ourselves.

Source: Parasha Shelah’ Lekha in Bamidbar / Numbers

Can You Lift This? A Lesson from a Sanitation Worker

In New York City, 3 types of waste are collected.
– compost
– waste

Compost is organic material used to fertilize soil. I went out to talk with sanitation worker. I told him in some of our waste bins was compost. Apparently my compost bin was a bit heavy. He said pointing to te compost bin “Come here! Can you lift this?”

I tried. It was on the heavy side. I replied with a negative. “So how do you expect me to lift it?”

I learned several things from that short conversation. If you can’t lift something yourself – don’t expect others to. Meaning if you can’t lift a bag of waste don’t expect others to do it. Make your waste bags light enough that a normal person can lift.

Meaning – if you can’t run a marathon – don’t expect other average people to do so. If they are highly trained that’s another thing.

So really a person should not speak badly of others. “This guy steals pencils from his workplace.” But if you can’t refrain from doing the same don’t speak badly about him or her.

Or if you can’t do a difficult task don’t expect others to do it for you (unless you pay them).

Another Lesson – Get Help from others

It’s annoying when only after the situation has passed that you think of the perfect answer. I should have said “you could lift it with two people.” At times a person has a difficulty, problem or concern – if you can’t lift it by yourself – so ask another person to help you. Don’t try to lift your problem by yourself – turn to someone else who can help you lift your problem off your shoulders.

Dealing With the Angry Man – What’s Your Next Move?

Put on your gloves. You have an angry man that you must disengage.

Remember the board game Operation. You had to remove items from a man’s body. If your tweezers touched his body – you got a buzz and his nose lit up.

Kind of like the angry guy. You go a bit out his comfort zone and there goes the buzz of his words and his nose flares with anger.

It’s not me it’s him right?

The Relationship between anger and the nose

A side point – interesting that the word for “nose” in Hebrew as the same as “anger” in Hebrew – “af”. I saw an article once that certain aromas of chemicals one emits in a certain emotional state can transmit an emotion to another person. Meaning if a person is angry, another person who smells them with their nose can be influenced also to become angry.

The Proper Reaction against anger

The Jewish people are called the people of the book. Not only because they read books – mainly Torah – but many live by the word of the Torah. A once popular show on private detectives – one detective would determine his next move based upon actors in certain shows he had seen. An observant Jew learns his next move based upon the deeds of great Torah observant people of the generation or in the Torah.

So what does the Torah propose as a “next move” or reaction to an angry person?

Someone recently got angry at me. I learned that the way to react was not the way I did with him. But at least I figured out what’s a good move for the next outburst. Learn from my experience.

The Torah says in Pirkei Avot / Ethics of the Fathers (4:18) regarding Acting with Tact:

Rabbi Shimo’n son of Ela’zar says: Do not appease your fellow at the time of his anger. And do not console him at the time that his dead lies before him; And do not question him [ie, his intentions] at the hour of his vows & don’t make effort to see him at the time of his degradation.

Don’t appease him at the time of his anger. Meaning don’t try to calm him down. Meaning – your attempt at calming him may have the opposite effect of your intention. Meaning you trying to calm him down might get him more angry. So now what can you do? Remain silent. His or her ranting and raving should prompt you to think what’s the best reaction? and your answer should be silence.

(This applies, obviously, if the person is not violent. If the person is violent – you might want to choose flight rather than fight.)

The Fortiori Argument / Kal VaHomer

In Torah there is a logical construct called the Fortiori argument – it goes something like this:

If an average person can lift up this coffee table – surely the body-builder can pick up this coffee table.

Using that principle – don’t appease your fellow at the time of his anger – thus even more so – should you not instigate him at that point. You will just make him more angry. Your objective is to get a point across – do it in a calm, private moment together – not when the person is about to burst.

You have two kinds of angry people – a person who has a bad temper but deep down is good. And a person with a bad temper whose nature is evil. Avoid the latter. Be patient with the first. If the first person is truly good, he will apologize after his outburst – if you don’t respond in kind. If you respond with anger – you will have nullified his feeling of guilt. He’ll think – I got angry – you got angry – why apologize? But if only one gets angry – the calm person has the upper hand.

King Solomon’s Advice

Shlomo Hamelekh / King Solomon – the wisest man – “A Soft Answer turns away Wrath.” (Mishlei / Proverbs 15:1) So – apparently – a soft answer is better than an all out yelling match. Don’t you think?

Is Your Righteous Indignation Righteous? 11 Steps to Self-Knowledge

How could he do that? [Anger flares] That is despicable. I’ll show him.

Ok. He did the bad thing in your eyes. Now what.

step 1.
Wait one moment.

Ask yourself – am I so righteous that I don’t do the same thing or worse?

It’s a trick. You are getting angry – when you have things to correct in yourself. My concern is about myself being a good person – I am not the policeman of others.

Ok. They did something wrong. Wait for a private, calm moment together and express your distress and disappointment in a calm manner and ask them for an explanation and suggest a way to improve.

step 2.
Did he do what he did out of spite and wickedness or ignorance?

Should he or she have known better?

You can try to judge the person favorably. But if correction is in order speak in a calm way to the person of what they need to correct – without berating them but by bringing them up.

Don’t say “You are so inconsiderate. You talk during the prayer service. Don’t you care about the people around you?”

Say “I know you love coming to the synagogue and people appreciate your presence – but at times people want to concentrate on speaking to G-d rather than hearing side conversations. Perhaps if you want to talk – step outside.”

Also you can take other measures like speaking about Halachot / Jewish laws about not speaking vain conversations in a synagogue.

Or putting up signs motivating people not to speak in a synagogue during davening / prayer service. Or explain to other people not to encourage others to talk to them by answering them in a nice way “we can talk later – I’d like to pray now”.

step 3
What is the source of your anger?

Is it that you had a negative childhood experience or that you have a hatred towards certain groups of people or because the torah considers it to be wrong?

If the source of your anger is due to the Torah considering it to be wrong – perhaps you have a right to become upset to a certain degree. there is a statement that at times a Talmid Chacham / Torah Scholar’s Torah gets him angry (ie, he gets upset because of people transgressing the Torah)

If it is your personal bias – who says you have a right to get upset. If G-d is ok with it – why should you be upset.

step 4
Am I upset at a particular individual or people more than others that are doing the same or worse?

Take the United Nations or BDS. Blame israel! They are the cause of the problems. Really? What about the nations that gas their own people or take money for the big wigs while causing the masses to be poor and hungry?

step 5
Are you doing something productive about your concern?

Some go vegan because of the way some butchers treat animals. Even though the Torah in some senses agrees with Veganism – the Torah does permit meat. The Torah has laws about not acting cruelly with animals. I suggest that people petition the companies to not act cruelly with animals.

It also depends upon where you are standing. Are you a vegan because it is healthy, or are you against cruelty to animals because the Torah says so or because you think animals are on par with humans?

If the latter – G-d differs.

Humans are the pinnacle of creation.

Can you be using your time to save humans or people or your people when you are involved with saving animals?

step 6
Are you more Holy than G-d Himself?

Some think that they are smarter than G-d. A person who has proper values – learns what the Torah has to say about certain issues then reacts in kind. You want to find out what the Torah says about killing terrorists, euthanasia, cremation, veganism, same-gender marriage ask an Torah Scholar or an Orthodox Rabbi. Why them? The Torah is G-d’s thought. It is the only divine document given to man in front of millions of people. Also, G-d does not change His “mind”. First decide if your cause is also G-d’s cause. Then you can feel comfortable in your actions.

G-d knows more what’s best for humans than we humans do.

step 7
Is the anger caused by your righteous indignation worse than what the other person is doing?
Do you like to get angry – so you use being “righteous” as an excuse to become angry?

Anger is a terrible thing. we all get angry – but G-d gave us the ability to overcome it.

step 8
Are your reactions to improper behavior considered excessive force?

A child takes a cookie without permission. A child cries in the middle of the night. a child breaks a plate. You hit him. you yell at him. You put him in the corner. A little excessive. your job as a parent is to educate. A child learns more from your behavior than your punishment.

Perhaps you are doing worse than your child and he or she is imitating you.

step 9
Were you mistaken in your assessment?

Perhaps you saw a person slap another person. you think what a wicked person. later you find out that that person had a dangerous insect on his face. you can try to judge favorably in certain instances.

step 10
Can you calm your anger by judging the person favorably or by emulating the traits of G-d?

The Tomer Devorah / the Palm Tree of Devorah by Rabbi Moshe Cordovera explains the 13 attributes of Hash-m / G-d. We are to emulate G-d by being forgiving. Study the book.

step 11
Is my being upset an excuse to render me exempt of my obligations?

People are upset at religious Jews or G-d himself.

Someone responded to my question “Why don’t you put on tefillin?” He said something like – “once I saw a religious Jew steal – now I will not put on tefillin.” what is the connection? The Torah says do not steal. it also says put on tefillin. the torah says clearly what he did was wrong by stealing. so why blame the torah for the improper actions of a man.

Some blame G-d. sure life has difficult situations. Some that we as humans cannot comprehend. Some say they are angry at G-d – so they don’t observe torah. why? Because of the Holocaust. Because their prayers were not answered. That they had a difficult life.

Some will not step into an Orthodox Synagogue. They say they rub me wrong. They don’t consider me. they won’t accept me. I’m happy the way I am. I owe nothing to G-d. Really? Look at all the kindness G-d provides us with every single second – starting with life. the list goes on – food. children. health. a job. a home…

Ok. but look at all the good. what outweighs what?

Is your indignation a reason to exempt you from being thankful for all the good that G-d provides us with every single second? Life. All G-d asks for is a little recognition. for Jews – keep Shabbat. eat kosher food. for Gentiles – learn about and observe the 7 torah noahide laws.

Be thankful to G-d instead of angry. G-d will change your difficulties into joy.

It’s your choice.

I Want to Be Free! Are You there Yet? / The Message of Passover

We are in the holiday of Passover – the Holiday of Freedom.

The Goal of A Jewish Holiday

Observing a Jewish Holiday entails that we achieve something – to greater ourselves or others.

Like a trip. When traveling – we think a vacation or outing is merely a pastime  to enjoy life. Though that is part of it, there is a greater goal to your vacation. We are to achieve a certain goal – that with our qualities we will be able to better someone else’s life. Perhaps it is saying a nice word, perhaps it is giving a poor person some money to buy a meal.

On Passover – apparently one of our goals is to become a free person.

Let’s examine freedom.

There are various levels of freedom. Freedom of movement. Freedom of thought. Freedom of expression.

Even achieving all the above freedoms – one can still lack freedom.

The Difference Between Preference and Choice

Many a time a person mistakes freedom of choice for preference. Preference is one thing – choice is another.

Preference is choosing between – chocolate and vanilla. A Blue shirt or a Green shirt. Yet a person that exercises his or her preferences is not necessarily free. We would not say a cow that chooses between hay or grass is free.

He prefers grass to hay.

So what is choice? It is having an option of choosing good or evil and choosing the good. That is real choice. For On one hand you want to follow your desire. On the other hand your thought process figures that following it will result in negative consequences. That’s real choice.

Freedom from Desires

A person can be subjugated to their desires. They desire a milk shake – they drink it, even though they took upon themselves a diet. Their desires of wanting the shake overcame their thought – that it was proper to go on a diet. They fell into subjugation of desires. For that moment – although they enjoyed the shake – they were subjugated to their desires – and lacked freedom at that moment.

Freedom from Society

A person can be subjugated by their desires, by their emotions – the person with a bad temper or even by their philosophy in life – their mentality. You were brought up a certain way. Now you have a certain mentality that drives your decisions. Many mentalities exist – animal rights mentality, women’s rights mentality, same gender mentality, fight the infidels mentality, anti-zionist mentality, anti-jewish mentality, do kindness to others mentality.

So which is right? Apparently – if one thought deeply into each of them they would be able to find many detriments in that mentality.

Let’s take animal rights mentality. Once I gave a class – I asked If you had a million dollars and you could spend it to save the life of a race horse who tripped or an old lady who tripped – how would you spend it? One woman answered – I’d save the horse. Obviously, that woman’s mentality makes her subjugated – because she places the life of an animal above that of a human being.

Take the “same-gender marriage support” mentality. Is it a good thing or bad? Apparently it is bad. Why? Let me ask you two questions. What is the greatest insult you could say to a person. That they should die? Probably. Someone – who supports this type of marriage is condoning these people who marry – not to have common children. Besides their deeds, one of the legacies of a person is the children they leave. Those who support this marriage, condone these people to not leaving a legacy. The second question – does it make you happy when your friend has children or not? Apparently yes. If you like your friend, you like that they have children that have similar characteristics. So those that do support same gender marriage only look on the surface benefits. They do not go into the deeper issues.

The Ultimate Freedom

So how can you be free? The only one who knows what is ultimately completely good for man is G-d. He thought out all the mentalities and is able to tell what is for the good of man and what is not.

Everybody in the world is dependent upon G-d for their existence. G-d is the only independent existence in the world.

Aligning our thoughts and actions with His desires makes us truly free. How do we know the thoughts and wants of G-d? His thoughts are found in the Torah – the only divine document given in the presence of millions of witnesses.

Following G-d’s laws one attains a higher level of freedom. For our decisions Jews ask a competent orthodox rabbi.

Returning the Ring

A true story. Once a queen lost her ring. She made an ultimatum. If the one who would find it would return it within 30 days, they would receive a reward. If they would return it after 30 days they would be put to death. A rabbi found the ring within the 30 days. He waited till after the reward period and returned the ring. The queen questioned him: “Why did you wait till after the 30 days? Did you not know about the ultimatum?” He replied: “I knew fully well about the ultimatum. But We have a Torah law from G-d to return lost objects / Hashavat Aveida to their rightful owners. I did not want to return it because of your ultimatum – I wanted to return it because the Torah says to return lost objects.”

Give me freedom or Give me death.

Apparently in the world, people do come upon certain Jewish Torah concepts. John Adams said “Give me Liberty or Give Me death.” That is a Torah concept. Apparently the rabbi in the story above knew that concept. He risked his life to be able to live with the freedom offered in the Torah.

Torah Learning brings Freedom

Apparently that freedom described above is the explanation of the Mishna in Pirkei Avot (6:2)

Rabbi Yehoshua son of Levi said: “Every single day a heavenly voice comes out from Mount Horeb [Sinai], & proclaims & says: “Woe to the Mankind for the disgrace to the Torah!” [that they neglect learning & practicing it], for whoever does not occupy himself with Torah is called “reproached” [nazuf] as it says: “A ring [nezem] of gold [zahav] in the nose [af] of a swine is a beautiful woman that turned away from reason.” (Mishle 11:22) & it says: “And the tablets [of the Law – the ten commandments], they are the work of G·d – & the writing is the writing of G·d – engraved [h’arut] on the tablets” (Shemot 32:16) Do not read [it as] “h’arut” [engraved] rather as “h’erut” [freedom]. For the only one who is considered to be a free person is one who engages in Torah Study. And whoever engages in Torah Study, behold they are elevated as it says: “And from Matanah [name of place meaning – a gift – ie, of the Torah] to Nachliel [name of place meaning – My inheritance is in G·d] & Nachliel to Bamot [name of place meaning – high altars].” (Bamidbar 21:19)

Judaism – gives a person the opportunity to be free every single moment.


Letting Go to Find Happiness

Hash-m / G-d is close. Closer than you think.

One thinks – why should G-d answer me?

The Torah tells us that G-d answers the thief that on his quest to rob a house – he prays he will not be caught.

Why? A parent loves his or her children. G-d loves his children as well, even if we are not there yet.

Obviously a person who is completely righteous – following Torah & Mitzvot –  who prays to G-d will be more readily answered – but that does not exclude the average Joe – like you and I – from being answered.

G-d answers the sincere. Those who reach out to Hash-m to him sincerely will not usually leave without some kind of answer or consolation.

Spirituality is being close to G-d.

But what is the secret to become closer to G-d?

I was talking to a Friend who had a transcendental experience. He’s writing about it – telling his experience and a method of achieving a higher realm of spirituality.

He told me – that happiness is a product of letting go of one’s material dependencies. One thinks that getting a new car will make them happy. Perhaps. But the car gets old – we lose the excitement. Attached to the physical we limit our happiness because the physical is limited.

When we make our happiness dependent upon the material – like the stock market – the stock goes up – we are happy. The stock goes down – it brings the mood down.

When we let go of the grudges, the hatred, let go of the desires, let go of materialism – we allow our souls to express itself. Our soul is the real self. The body is just an outer shell – a physical representation of the soul.

A person says – I want to be myself. They are on to something. That happiness arrives when one reaches their true self. But people mistakenly think that their self is their body. Really, their self is their soul. Please the soul, by doing kindness, By learning Torah, by doing Mitzvot – and happiness follows. Why Torah? It is the only divine law whose giving by G-d was witnessed by millions of witnesses – the Jews at Mount Sinai.

Giving is living. Taking is not.

Why did many billionaires take upon themselves to give much of their wealth to charity? They realize that a person is here in this world not to accumulate wealth but to give and do good. They could afford any pleasure – but they choose to give it away for the good of society – and thereby become a greater individual – a greater soul.

A person attached to the spiritual – is attached to the unending light. Thus happiness does not end.


Up, Up and Away – Lessons of the Drone that Flew Away

We won a Toy Drone at Avot UBanim (A program where Fathers and Sons learn Torah Together and win prizes). It was White and Orange.

Fancy controller.

We charged the battery, Installed it, turned on the drone and controller and took it outside.

Lift off. It flew up. Higher, Higher and Higher. I tried pressing all the buttons to make it come back, but it was gone. Out of site. It lasted about 2 minutes.

The practical lesson – before using a drone READ the instructions. Apparently learning to take off the and land safely are good things to know before you fly them. Explain the controls to the kids – so they know too.

Apparently G-d was teaching me several lessons through this experience.

1. The one mentioned above.

2. Before you fly read the instructions – meaning before you get involved in uplifting yourself spiritually read the instructions. Many a time a person wants to connect to G-d. What do they do – they try to fly without reading the instructions. What happens – they fly away to oblivion. They fly and are lost. When they reach the heavens – G-d asks them – why did you not follow my law?

They say “I did follow spirituality!”

G-d says – that wasn’t what I wanted from you. I wanted you to follow my law.

“But How was I supposed to know what you wanted?”

G-d replies – “It is obvious – The Torah is the only Divinely given law that was given by Me before millions of witnesses.”

Back to earth.

Why do people get lost in life? They did not read the instructions.

So what are the instructions of life?

The Torah. Why Torah? Because it is the only divinely-given code of law that whose giving was witnessed by millions of people.

Jews are given the 613 Commandments from the Torah. Gentiles are given the 7 Noahide laws to follow.

Apparently – one will not be able to say to G-d in Heaven  – I didn’t know you wanted me to follow Torah. Why? Because when we go to buy a car – we didn’t just walk into the first dealership and buy it. We investigate – what is the qualities I want from a car, what are cars that have these qualities, which cars have high safety and quality ratings and who is a reliable dealership.

Same thing in life. Same thing for religion.

One is obligated to investigate what is the true religion before they follow it. What is the true will of G-d before I start becoming involved in “humanitarian activities.” Not first see how I feel about an issue and go forward. G-d’s opinion is a prerequisite.

G-d knows more than us. He knows what will bring the world to the best state of perfection. If we disregard G-d we basically shoot in the dark. We fly away to a place far away – that might not necessarily be the will of G-d.

The third lesson: Put other’s needs before your fanciful pleasures.

While setting up the Drone – I noticed two needy people  pass by. Involved with my toy – I didn’t stop to give them charity. My priority in life should be to help others – even if I am in the middle of pursuing my pastimes – the needs of others should take precedence.

Many people will spend thousands of dollars to go on vacation. That’s great. But our spending should also include helping others.

I am a big proponent of sending Jewish children to a Torah Day school – ones that fit the criteria required by the organization Torah Umesorah. Many parents – unfortunately – spend thousands on vacations and houses – and say they have no money to spend to put their children in a Torah day school.

It is a trick. A slight of hand of the evil inclination. Most priorities of parents include giving children proper values. Yet – many choose to give their children the toys of life – but neglect giving them a Torah education by sending them to Torah Day schools – that will provide them with the best values in life. Where they learn daily how to be a good person, the importance of doing kindness, the importance of helping others, honoring parents and all the basics and details about how to have good values.

The Greatest Kindness one can do for a Jewish child is to provide them with a Torah Day school education. It’s the best preparation for life and the best manner of helping them to enjoy a meaningful life.

Don’t let your drone fly away.

Learn the controls before you fly.

“That’s one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind” – Learning from Heavenly Messages

It was the fifth manned mission of NASA’s Apollo program. July 16, 1969 at 9:32 am EDT (13:32 UTC) at Kennedy Space Center in Merritt Island, Florida. The Saturn V rocket lifts off with Mission commander Neil Armstrong and pilot Buzz Aldrin. On July 20, 1969, at 20:18 UTC, Armstrong became the first to step onto the lunar surface. His famous words before taking a step down from the Eagle’s ladder -“That’s one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind.”

G-d sends us messages every day. Apparently that message – heard throughout the world on TV – was a message to us humans. What was G-d communicating to us?

A message that is as relevant then as it is today.

Each one of us has a specific purpose to accomplish in the world. The winds of mediocrity tell us – eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow you die. But the attitude is a smoke-screen to mask us from achieving our potential. Like the background music that is played in stores – to keep you in a trance to keep you in the store longer – so that you don’t notice the time passing.

The message “That’s one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind.” is telling us to break out of mediocrity. Many times a day we have an opportunity to do a kindness for others. Many times we have an opportunity to do a small act of kindness. We think it is no big deal – but really it can greatly help another person or all mankind.

Take a person who imparts to a non-observant Jewish person the beauty of Shabbat by inviting them for a shabbat meal. That person thinks – ok so he had a meal by home – no big investment – I was going to prepare food for the family anyway. But it is possible that you changed the person’s life. Your small act of kindness was “one small step for man – but a giant leap for mankind.” Because you changed the life of that person. His life will not be the same for now you opened a door to help him or her develop a closer relationship with the creator of the world. He will now change his life because of a small act on your part.

Take a person who teaches another Jew Torah or a Gentile the 7 Noahide laws. We think “so he took five minutes to teach the other person a Torah lesson.” But in reality you may have saved that person’s life from the despondency of living a life void of spirituality and a relationship with the true creator of the universe – Hashem.

These are small examples. But the message is clear. One of our jobs in life is to do acts of kindness – that for us may be small – but make a great difference in other people’s lives.

Once a person fixed the collar of a person in a Yeshiva. He thought nothing of it. Many years later – the boy whose collar he fixed came up to him and thanked him. He said many years ago I felt lonely and was considering leaving the Yeshiva. But your act of kindness of fixing my collar made me reconsider – because I saw people did care about me. I wanted to say thank you.

Imagine the reward for one small act. All the years that the boy studied Torah in the Yeshiva will be attributed to the boy who did a small act. The reward for Torah study is unimaginable. He did a small step, but it had tremendous ramifications.

Two women used to collect charity for poor people in the neighborhood. They decided together that the one who would eventually die first would come back to the other one in a dream and tell them about judgement in heaven. After many years one woman passed away. She came to the other in a dream. She told her – “Judgement in Heaven is rigorous, but the reward is also tremendous. Remember once we waved at a wealthy woman to get her attention – to collect some charity. You cannot imagine what great reward we were given for that small act.”

A small act of kindness goes a long way.

Jerusalem – Old City – Jewish Quarter Map








Jewish Quarter Map

מפת הרובע היהודי








Stepped Pool – Information Center
The Broad Wall – First Temple City Wall
Jerusalem of the First Temple Period – Yad Ben Tzvi
The Two Towers
Herodian Quarter – Wohl Archaeological Museum
The Burnt House – Katros House
The Cardo
Madaba Mosaic Map
Rooftop Promenade
Hatekumah Garden
The Four Sefardi Synagogues
Old Yishuv Court Museum
Hurva Synagogue
Jewish Qtr Defenders Memorial Site -‘48
“Alone on the Walls” Museum (1948)
Beit El Yeshiva
Jewish Quarter Defenders Monument (1948)
Batei Mahsei Square
Jewish Student Center – Jeff Seidel’s
Tiferet Yisrael Synagogue
Temple Treasures Institute
Aish HaTorah Visitor Center
Reconstructed Temple Menorah
Western Wall Plaza
Western Wall Tunnels
Ophel Archaeological Park and Davidson Center

הבריכה המדורגת מרכז מידע
החומה הרחבה שרידי החומה מתקופת בית ראשון
מרכז לתולדות ירושלים בימי בית ראשון יד בן צבי
מגדלי קדם המגדל הישראלי הרובע ההרוריאני מוזיאון וואהל לארכיאולוגיה
הבית השרוף בית קתרוס
מפת מידבא
טיילת הגגות
גן התקומה
ארבעת בתי הכנסת הספרדיים
מוזיאון חצר היישוב הישן
בית כנסת החורבה
אתר הנצחה ללוחמי הרובע בתשח

מוזיאון לבד על החומותבתשח
ישיבת ביתאל
גלעד לנופלים בתשח

כיכר בתאחסה
מרכז מידע לתלמידים
בית כנסת תפארת ישראל
מכון המקדש
מרכז המבקרים אש התזרה
שחזור מנורת בית המקרש
הכותל המערבי
מנהרות הכותל
הגן הארכיאולוגי ומרכז דוידסון











Archaeological Site

Observation Point


Information Center

Wheelchair Route

Recreation & Shopping Site

City Wall


Bus & Taxi Stand



בית כנסת


אתר ארכיאולוגי

נקודת תצפית


מרכז מידע

מסלול בכיסאות גלגלים

פנאי & אתר קניות

חומת העיר


תחנת אוטובוס ומונית