The key to the powerful treasure of the Seder is shared in the Four Questions
On all other nights we don’t dip in but tonight we do, twice…
Some of us go through life without ever being present, without dipping in. We may be sitting in one place, but our mind is elsewhere. We are constantly focusing on what needs to happen next, or where we would rather be, and never experiencing the moment for what it is.
Hold on I’ve got to grab this call and get to this text, I’ll be right with you…
We can miss out on the magic of today, simply because we are distracted. Tonight will be different. Tonight we will immerse ourselves in the moment, and be totally transfixed by the Seder and its message. We will dip ourselves entirely in the words of the Haggadah.
Not once but twice – in time and in mind we will be fully present at the Seder to find freedom by remembering who we are and where we are going and what this life is all about…
Menachem M Bluming and Chabad.org
It is so natural and joyous to care for our children and yet what a challenge to show that love, patience and care to our parents.
Why is it so? It’s easy to write it off to the ills of our society values and of course there is truth to that but here’s a different angle.
We are all descendants of Adam and Eve, the first human beings. We have inherited from them the basic ingredients of human nature.
One thing made Adam and Eve very different to the rest of us. They didn’t have parents. They were created as adults by G-d, not born as babies to parents. They had no umbilical cords.
We on the other hand do have parents. And we inherit their genes, all the way back to Adam and Eve. That’s why the desire to look after our children is human nature, but looking after our parents are skills that don’t come naturally. Adam and Eve knew how to parent, but they never knew how to treat a parent. This is a skill that we need to learn.
If children are taught to just follow their heart and trust their instincts, then they will do just that. Their instincts tell them to care for themselves and their young, but not their parents.
On the other hand, if we teach our children that they are moral beings, who can use their free choice to go beyond their genetic programming, they can do what is right rather than what feels right, and what is good rather than what feels good. This means honoring the people who gave them their existence; who sacrificed for who they are today.
By Menachem Bluming and Rabbi Moss and Chabad.org
The healthcare debate rages on in the country. The costs are so great and they are beyond what many families can afford and yet costs keep on rising and the price tag to society is skyrocketing. How can we leave families without healthcare coverage? How can healthcare coverage be provided in a fiscally responsible manner? What to do?
So here is a word to the wise from the Bible, the Torah (Exodus 15:26) “…if you will diligently heed the voice of G-d, your G-d, and do what is upright in His eyes and carefully listen to all His commandments and statutes, then all of the illness that I (G-d) brought upon Egypt, I will not bring upon you for I am G-d your healer.”
The two parts of the verse seem to be contradictory. If G-d promises not to bring any illness upon the people why then is G-d referred to as ‘your healer’ since a healer is only necessary after one already has an illness? The answer is that G-d is teaching us two important lessons about health and healing: a) the role of a healer is not primarily to heal after the onset of an illness but rather to prevent illness in the first place by promoting healthy living and b) that physical and spiritual health are two sides of the same coin, each as necessary as the other.
This notion highlights a critical calling to the American medical system. There can be no doubt that modern medical advances are astounding and unequaled to any other time and place in the world. Yet, the system still primarily centers around healing illness and not on the prevention of illness in the first place by promoting healthy living. The ideal solution of course would be to create a partnership between doctors, schools and clergy to promote both healthy and holy living.
Creating a health care system where the incentives for both the individual and the doctor encourage proper healthy physical and spiritual living is really the only way to have an affordable and sustainable health care system for all.
Menachem M Bluming
If your wife asks you if you love her during a particularly lousy day in your relationship on which you really do not feel the love (to say it mildly)… should you answer honestly?
Yes… and that answer should be: of course I love you! My momentary lapse of feeling due to the inevitable vicissitudes of normal relationships does not threaten the essential foundation of our relationship.
So it is perfectly honest to say “I love you”, even at a moment when you don’t feel it. And an amazing thing happens when you do. Your heart starts to melt. By mouthing the words “I love you”, not because you felt like saying it, but because your wife needed to hear it, you have reached outside of yourself, bursting the bubble of self-absorption that is probably the cause of the blockage in the first place. Now you are open to feel again. It won’t be long before the love starts flowing back, more powerful and passionate than ever.
The same applies to our relationship with G-d. Our soul is connected to G-d, because it is a part of Him. But we often don’t feel that connection in our hearts, because we are spiritually blocked, our hearts are frozen to spirituality. The love is there, just like the soul is there, it is just not felt, not apparent.
We don’t have to wait for those feelings to come in order to pray. It is the other way around, by saying the words of the prayers, even without feeling them, the layers of cynicism and doubt start to melt away and our connection to G-d comes to the surface.
So you can pray when you are not sure you believe it, just like you can tell your wife you love her even when you don’t feel it. Because not so deep down, you really do.
Menachem M Bluming, Chabad.org and Rabbi Moss
In 1997 Pepsi ran a promotion in which one bottle cap out of 565 million revealed a win of 1 million dollars! It was called the 1997 Pepsi Cola Globe Buck Contest. There was excitement in the air and Pepsi sales sky rocketed!
Say you invited some friends to a BBQ on a beautiful Sunday afternoon in your backyard and while they were enjoying their food one of them opened a Pepsi bottle and SHE WON! She was thrilled… but you, not so much…
“Wait, you can drink the Pepsi as my guest, but the bottle cap and bottle are mine… I won that million dollars not you… It belongs to me.”
What do you think? Who would American and Jewish Law consider the rightful owner?
Upcoming class taught by Menachem Mendel Bluming in conjunction with JLI
Banks remain open on inauguration day January 20, 2017
There are times to bend like a reed in the wind.
And there are times to act as a stubborn wall against the tide.
There are things that lie at the periphery of life. In those situations stubbornness often stands in the way of harmony and peace. Every such “I” is the very root and source of evil.
But when it comes to matters that touch the purpose for which you were placed in this world, that’s when you have to be that immovable wall. That’s when you have to say, “On this, I‘m not going to budge.”
That “I,” that’s not evil. That‘s an “I” fulfilling the purpose for which you were given an “I.”
Menachem Mendel Bluming and Chabad.org and Rabbi Freeman
Feeling depleted lately? Exhausted? Drained? Simply not enough strength to keep on moving forward? Sometimes I feel like I am down to the very last drop… How do we keep on going?
…Gaze at the beautiful flames of the Chanukah Menorah, the soft lasting glow of the candles or oil flame seems to be telling us something very personal:
Those brave Maccabees; All they had was one small jug of oil really not enough to last for 8 days, they realistically did not have enough. Yet amazingly their flame kept on going and going and going…
Within your soul there is an endless indefatigable supply of pure oil that will keep our flame burning way past what we think we can reasonably handle. If we only apply its flame our souls draw on an infinite resource…
Menachem M Bluming and Chabad.org
It was not by chance that the Greeks overlooked one small cruse of oil, there is a deep message that is being communicated.
No Greek in the world can defile that pure essence of yours! No abuse or neglect or catastrophe can touch that one small pure cruse of oil; the center core of your soul.
Tap into that pure cruse and reignite the menorah of your life!
Menachem M Bluming and Chabad.org
Mazel means a flow from above… tov means good or: a good flow from above. Mazel tov means may you be aligned with your soul above… May you appear below the way you are seen in your pristine essence above…
So mazel tov for the marriage really means may your marriage reflect the way a marriage should be from G-d’s perspective. Mazel tov upon your birthday means may the coming year below reflect the way it is seen in its full potential above!
Pretty deep blessing!!
Menachem Bluming and Chabad.org