It is a fundamental tenant of Jewish faith that you destined to be where you are right now. Quoting from Proverbs 20:24 “A man’s steps are decided by the Lord”. G-d has laid you where you are for a reason. Though you fool yourself in thinking that you chose to be there, in fact you were directed there from above.
One of the names of G-d in Hebrew is Hamakom, which in literal translation means The Place. There is a divine hand that leads every person to the place where we are in. It means you need to come to peace with the place G-d has put you. You are in that situation because you should be there for reasons you may never understand.
You may never be completely happy with any place you reside. But you will be able to settle, as soon as you decide that o.k, this is home, this is where G-d wants us to be. We are not stuck, we are directed. The acceptance that you are in the correct place will itself help you see that you should be there.
Now of course, there comes a time when we do need to move. But only after a clear message from Above that it’s time to go. But till that time, put all your energy into finding out why you are needed there. And place your trust firmly in Hamakom.
Menachem Bluming, Rabbi Moss and Chabad.org
So, let me be faithful to Jewish tradition and try to answer one question with another question. Interestingly, the Torah never actually states that Jacob died. It simply says that “he expired and was gathered unto his people.” This prompted one of the Talmudic sages to expound that “our father Jacob never died.” Whereupon his colleagues challenged him and asked, “Did they then bury Jacob for no reason? Did they eulogize him in vain?” To which the Talmud answers: “As his descendants live, so does he live.”
Life does not end with the grave. The soul never dies and the good work men and women do on earth continues to live on long after their physical passing. More particularly, when there is regeneration, if children emulate the example of their forbears, then their parents and teachers live on through them.
Menachem Mendel Bluming, RY”G and Chabad.org
If someone came to me and said, “I’ll give you ten thousand dollars to buy your son/daughter,” what do you think I would say?
Would I sell one of my children for ten thousand dollars? No way!
So what if they offered a hundred thousand?
I wouldn’t do it, right?
And if they offered a million? Ten million? A billion dollars to buy my child?
I wouldn’t even need to think it over. I would not sell my child for all the money in the world.
A child is more precious than anything. And thank G-d, our family has a few, ok more than a few 🙂 Each one of them makes our family rich beyond measure.
Some people think kids are expensive. Teach your children that having children is our true wealth.
Menachem Mendel Bluming and Rabbi Moss and Chabad.org
The shamash burns only to serve, it exists for the other. It is happy in its role of igniting, warming and illuminating. It towers over the rest not to lord over them but rather to keep an eye out for them. The shamash’s flame is not minimized in the process, it is only empowered to spread more light.
Our world needs us to serve as the shamash to spread light where it’s dark, warmth where it’s cold, Torah in a place of confusion. To care, to nurture to reach out.
Menachem Mendel Bluming and Chabad.org
The answer to that question tells so much about who you are and what you value.
Our children notice what makes us upset and they learn from it what to value. “Dad’s car, now that is sacred! You dare pour fruit juice on his car carpet and boy will you be sorry…” What makes Dad happy? Football or values? What makes mom truly glow?
What we tell our children (mostly) goes through one ear and out the other (sorry to break it to you). If real values give you true joy (nachat), if you get angry only over those most important issues, your child will learn volumes from that.
Menachem M. Bluming and Chabad.org
It’s beyond the human brain to grasp, but there was no before… Time itself was created!
Here’s an analogy to understand “no time”… When did 2 + 2 begin equaling 4? Of course that’s silly, it is not bound by time.
The first creation was Time and from there G-d continuously creates time. Each breath, each tick, each beat of the heart comes only once, created by G-d.
Every instant of life is a raw but precious jewel, beckoning, pleading, “Unlock my secret, do with me something to reveal my purpose of being! For I am here only this one time, and then never again.”
And so that is our primary mission: To elevate time and make it holy.
Menachem Mendel Bluming, Rabbi T. Freeman and Chabad.org
Here’s a thought:
On the very first Friday of history, Adam and Eve were created in the afternoon. On that first day, they were told not to eat from the fruit of one tree, the Tree of Knowledge, until nightfall.
The mystics teach us that the tree was a grape vine. Grapes are a fruit that contains the potential for abundant good and abundant evil. Over a glass of wine friendships are made and destroyed, lives are enhanced and ruined, hopes are created and dashed. It is the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.
The prohibition was only to last until nightfall that day. Upon the start of Shabbos, they were allowed to eat from the fruit. However they did not wait.
We correct this mistake by making Kiddush on Friday night over wine or grape juice. It is to remind us that we can only have enjoyment of the pleasures of this world if we can also defer our enjoyment. If you can wait, then you are the master of your desires. If you can’t, then you are slave to them. The ability to control yourself is the key to being a good person. It starts with the way we eat, and extends to every choice we make. It elevates us above our base desires and empowers us to be masters over ourselves and reach out for a higher calling.
Menachem Mendel Bluming and Rabbi Moss taken from Shach al Hatorah, quoted in Likkutei Torah Kedoshim 29a
Trust transcends hope, as the sky above transcends the earth below.
A thread of hope is an anchor to the ground, a narrow path you’ve set for destiny to lead you.
The thread snaps and your eyes look up to see nothing more than the open sky. Hope is gone. All you can do now is trust the One who has no bounds.
That is Trust: When you stop suggesting to your Maker how He could rescue you. When you are prepared to be surprised by wonders and open to miracles.
Menachem Mendel Bluming, Rabbi Freeman, Chabad.org
In Las Vegas we were stunned once again by another staggering and grotesque mass murder and the resultant anguish for all those whose lives have been destroyed and irrevocably altered. We are left perplexed and wondering what in the world is going on in our country?
This kind of vicious mass murder is something we have not seen before, certainly not with the frequency that we see it today. Would you believe that there has been a shooter incident somewhere in the country almost every day this year?
In the latest tragedy in Las Vegas the killer doesn’t seem to even have had a twisted ideological or religious motive. Just wanton murder.
Although law enforcement may be baffled in their search for a motive in this case, A general societal shift may have contributed to the perpetration in these kind of atrocious acts. The most dramatic changes in American society over the past seventy five years has been, not in the technological realm (though superficially it may seem so), but rather in the abandonment of absolute values and G-d centered morality. This fundamental change in the underpinnings of society, has over the course of time, permeated every aspect of contemporary society from basic social structures to business, entertainment, and education. This abandonment of G-d and values has weakened our societal foundation and, cumulatively, has laid the ground work that has wreaked this nihilistic havoc upon us.
Our society has willfully followed the path that brought us to this G-dlessness. But, each of us as individuals do have the chance to make G-d centered choices. These singular, individual acts, have the ability to create global positive change.
Menachem Mendel Bluming, RSK and Chabad.org
There is only one mitzvah that you are exempt from if you are uncomfortable and that is dwelling in the sukkah. If the sound of the shofar is uncomfortable to you, sorry but tolerate it. If fasting 25 hours is uncomfortable to you, you are still required to fast on Yom Kippur. Why would you be exempt from dwelling in the sukkah if it raining?!
Sukkah is G-d’s embrace. He embraces us as we are without us doing anything religious. We eat, we drink, we talk to friends and that is sanctified by G-d when enveloped in the Diving Embrace of the Sukkah. In fact the verse “His right arm embraces me” refers to the sukkah. Unlike the days of awe when we pray and fast on Sukkot He embraces your life as you are, inviting your personal life to be imbued with sacredness.
An embrace is not an embrace if it makes you uncomfortable. Sukkot is too personal to obligate you if you are in agony.
Then again how can someone be in agony when embraced by G-d, even if it’s raining?
Mendel Menachem Bluming and Rabbi Moss and Chabad.org