The One Mitzvah you Can’t Do, Unless….

It is a Jewish custom to purchase one’s burial plot while still alive. The source is Midrash Rabbah Leviticus 5:5 amongst others.

Why? There are a number of reasons given, here are 3:

The Torah commands us el ha’afar tashuv, to earth shall you return, there is a mitzvah to be buried in the ground (Code of Jewish Law, Yorah Deah 348:3; 362:1) We endeavor to fulfil every mitzvah but once a person passes they can no longer fulfil the mitzvoth/ commandments! The only way to fulfil this mitzvah is by purchasing it while you are still alive, may that be for 120 healthy years!

It avoids unnecessary delays and confusion (and the possibility of a relative suggesting cremation, G-d forbid) after a person’s passing.

It reminds us to value our time by realizing that our life on earth is limited.

So go ahead, make sure that you have a proper burial spot and may you live long and healthy!!

Menachem Mendel Bluming

What’s Up With the Kippah?!

The Yarmulka or Kippa is a bit like a wedding ring.

suede31_eggplant_kippah__43612.1398809733.500.750

A wedding ring is a sign that you belong to someone. If you think of your loved one all the time, do you no longer need to wear the ring? Is a ring only worn until you love each other enough not to need a reminder?

Of course not, because:

1) Just because you “know” that you’re married, doesn’t mean you won’t “forget” when temptation comes your way.
2) The ring isn’t only a symbol for the one wearing it. it also has a message for everyone else who sees it, that they should be aware that this person belongs to somebody else, so don’t mess.
3) If you see marriage as a burden, then you wear the ring like a ball and chain. But if you are in a relationship that is deep and real, then you wear the ring with pride, because the very existence of the ring means that there is someone out there that loves you more than anyone in the world.

Same with the yarmulka.

1) Only a very holy person could be conscious of G d absolutely all the time. The rest of us need something very tangible to remind us that He is always there (this is for men, a woman is naturally more aware and sensitive to that which is holy and sublime).
2) It is also to identify ourselves as Jews in the eyes of those around us, that we “belong” to something and Someone.
3) And we wear it with pride, because the Jewish people has and deeply loving relationship with G d. True love is with you all the time, and you want to tell the world!

Rabbi Moss Chabad.org and Menachem Mendel Bluming

What to do when you crave appreciation

I heard a beautiful story from a fellow rabbi:

A husband in his community wakes up at 5:30 AM and runs through his inbox. He sees an email from his wife and the subject is “you mean so much to me” his heart melts… but then he opens it and realizes that he was BCCd by his wife on an email to the housekeeper to whom she was expressing gratitude and he realizes how deeply he craves that expression of appreciation…

So what did he do? What would YOU do with that realization and feeling? He emailed his wife and the subject was “You mean so much to me” – in the email he expressed how
deeply he loves her and cherishes her and appreciates her. By seeing how much he needed it, he realized that his wife likely craved that expression from him just as much, if not more.

The end of the story is that she gave it back to him in spades!

What a story to live by!

Menachem Mendel Bluming

Don’t Push it Off

Eva Sandler
Eva Sandler mother of two children who were murdered along with her husband in March 2014 in Toulouse France. She was asked if she has a message to share: yes I do she said: Don’t hold back. Tell your children what you’ve always wanted to tell them. Invest in your marriage and pay attention to your spouse. Say the shema with your children every night and never miss. Who knows how much time we have?! She continued: Just the other night I missed saying the shema with the children because I was busy and tired and tonight I longer can…