Stubborn but Flexible

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?

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

Chanukah Message- Healing Your Soul

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

Does Mazel Tov Mean Congratulations?

​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

You are Responsible Because You Matter

“A person is obligated to say: The entire world was created for my sake.” (Talmud, Sanhedrin 37a).

To a child, this is an absolute fact. He or she is the center and focus of all. Father and mother and the rest of the universe exist merely to cater to his needs.

The undesirable aspects of such an attitude are self-evident, and weeding out the negative in man’s base instincts is what education is all about. But the egocentric instinct that the child exemplifies has a positive side as well. A child has no problem dealing with an insignificance of self in face of humanity’s billions and the vastness of the universe. A child is utterly convinced that his or her existence has meaning and his/her deeds have consequence.

This is the child in ourselves that we must learn to cultivate: the conviction that our every thought and deed is of real, even global, significance.

If you have difficulty accepting this, ask your child 🙂 Or the child in you.

Chabad.org adapted by Menachem M Bluming

Great article by Dr. Martin Graf in the widely circulated Lchaim weekly newsletter!

The Conduit

Dr. Martin Graf has been practicing internal medicine since 1964. He
began attending college at Alfred University after graduating high
school at 16. From there, he attended Wake Forest Medical School in
North Carolina, where he finished his medical boards with the highest
mark.

Though he hadn’t needed to study to pass his boards, when Dr. Graf
started seeing patients, as an intern and then a resident, “I wanted to
know everything. I wanted to help solve all the problems that were being
brought to me. I read and read and read. ”

Dr. Graf attended the University of Chicago for his medical residency.
The only resident not from an Ivy League school, he was named Chief
Resident in his last year. He also did a fellowship in allergy and
immunology at NYU, as well as two years in the military at Bethesda
Naval Hospital. “My real strength is patient care, though. And that is
what I have been doing for the past 47 years.”

Dr. Graf met his wife, Judith, during his fellowship. “I feel G-d guided
me to meet her. My parents found a studio apartment for me near NYU. A
few weeks before I was to move in, the sitting tenants decided to stay.
There was another apartment available in the same building. Judith was
my next door neighbor but our paths never crossed. And then, one day,
both of our apartments got flooded, and we went into the hallway, which
is where we met.

“I was raised in a home where my mother was agnostic and my father
didn’t attend synagogue. I did not go to a synagogue after my Bar Mitzva
until we had a son and wanted him to go to Hebrew school.

“”While at the synagogue, there was an assistant rabbi who gave me a
copy of a debate between Dennis Praeger and Howard Kushner on why bad
things happen to good people. I was so impressed with Mr. Praeger’s
arguments that I began listening to his tapes. He then did the
monumental task of teaching Torah for the next 18 years. I anxiously
awaited my four tapes each month

“Six years ago I got in touch with Rabbi Yehudah Shurpin from
Chabad.org’s ‘Ask the Rabbi.’ Rabbi Shurpin recommended I attend a JLI
class (myjli.com) at my local Chabad. When I attended my first class at
Chabad of Potomac, seeing a rabbi with a black hat and beard was as
strange for me as seeing someone from an African tribe. Rabbi Mendel
Bluming has been an excellent teacher, spiritual leader, and good
friend. Since then, I have continued my studies with Rabbi Bluming and
as well with Isser Charter, my mentor at JNET (jnet.org).”

Dr. Graf contacted us to share with our readers stories of how he sees
G-d’s guidance in his medical practice. A few of those stories follow:

Soon after I went into practice, I had a new patient come into my
office. She was 75 years old and I greeted her by saying “Welcome Nan
Fox.”

She immediately told me “Sonny boy, my name is Mrs. Charles Fox and if
you want to see me again you will refer to me as such.” I noted that in
her chart.

After I finished the history in my consultation room and physical exam
in the examining room I told her my nurse would come in to help me with
an additional exam. She said, “Sonny boy, no one examines me there.”

I noted in the chart that she refuses the exam and not to ask her ever
again. She came in yearly for her complete physical and on the 10th year
after completing her exam, for some inexplicable reason I said, “Mrs.
Fox. How about me doing the exam this year?” To my astonishment she
agreed. I found an early cancer, she was operated on and cured.

A few years later I received a phone call at midnight from the husband
of a patient of mine who was in Hawaii. She had always enjoyed excellent
health but that day had suddenly lapsed into a coma. All her lab tests
were normal and they were preparing to do an exploratory operation on
her brain to try to find out what had happened to her.

We didn’t yet have Cat Scans or MRI’s. I asked him if she had had a
urinary tract infection and he said “yes.” Was she taking Cipro? “Yes” I
told him to stop the Cipro and she would wake up. She stopped it and
returned to normal health. To the best of my knowledge, coma due to
Cipro is either exceedingly rare or has never been reported. My
diagnosis was not humanly possible. It was then that I realized G-d was
using me to help others.

A few years later, my brother had an appointment with me. On performing
a routine medical exam, I felt something that seemed abnormal to me.
Although his blood test returned normal, I felt compelled to send him to
a specialist. The specialist called me to tell me that he thought
everything was normal. I told him about my concerns. He said if I
insisted he would do a biopsy. The biopsy came back as cancer. I sent
him to Dr. Patrick Walsh, the famous urologist at Johns Hopkins who
invented the nerve sparing operation for cancer of the prostate. Dr
Walsh told my brother that this was the smallest cancer of the prostate
he had ever treated! I was so grateful to G-d as my brother and I are
very close.

I can cite dozens more instances where G-d has used me to help people,
but I will end with one where G-d used my stupidity to help another
patient. Mr. Pflum had a complete physical exam scheduled. Unfortunately
that morning I had two emergency patients come in who both needed to be
hospitalized.

When I finally called my first scheduled patient in, I was 1 1/2 hours
late and for the first and only time, I brought him directly to the exam
room without doing my usual history. I didn’t even review his chart.
Everything appeared to be normal and my nurse did an EKG because he had
mild hypertension. The EKG was wildly abnormal so I looked at his chart
to see what his last EKG showed. It was then that I realized I had done
a complete history and physical on him just three months ago and his EKG
then was completely normal.

If I had reviewed the chart in advance as I always do, I would not have
repeated the EKG. I referred him to a cardiologist and he had a 99%
blockage of the main coronary artery. He was operated on and cured. I
told this story to my son who is an outstanding emergency room doctor
and he said, “Dad, you’re just a good doctor.” I told him that I am
neither a good or bad doctor; if you study Torah and allow G-d to come
into your life you may be as fortunate as I have been. I frequently get
praise and thanks from my patients, but I always tell them not to thank
me; I am only the conduit, thank G-d.

Click here for the link: http://www.lchaimweekly.org/lchaim/5777/1446.htm
Posted by Menachem M Bluming

A Guide to Loving Another as Yourself!

Love Your Neighbor As Yourself… is it really possible?!

Well, are you perfect? Do you still love yourself?

Accept another and embrace them too despite their imperfections. Don’t allow that imperfection to constantly stare you in the face, just as it does not invalidate you in your own eyes.

Based on the Tzemach Tzedek; transcribed by Menachem M Bluming and Chabad.org
love_thy_neighbor-billboard

Imagine No Religion

directions
Question:
I don’t want my children to be narrow-minded and look down at others, so I haven’t given them a Jewish education. They have been brought up without any religion; they are free to choose whatever beliefs they like. I try to live by the words of John Lennon:

Imagine there’s no countries / It isn’t hard to do, Nothing to kill or die for / No religion too, Imagine all the people / living life in peace…

Doesn’t that sum it all up?

Answer:

I admire your passion and idealism. You have obviously given some thought to your children’s moral future, which is a credit to you. But I don’t see how the philosophy you have espoused is any less closed-minded than fundamentalist religion.

You don’t want to force your ideals on your children. But by denying them their spiritual heritage, you are doing just that. They are missing the chance to explore their Jewish identities during their formative years. They didn’t choose that, you did. You have decided their religion for them.

And if that song is your bible, then they are being brought up in a much more closed-minded religion than Judaism.

You have only quoted one verse. But I think the last verse of the song is the most revealing:
You may say I’m a dreamer / But I’m not the only one.

I hope someday you’ll join us / And the world will live as one.

So, according to Lennonism there is “you” and there is “us”. You are the unenlightened ones. We have found the truth. But hopefully one day you will see the light and become one of us too. Only then can the world finally live as one. Is that open-minded?

Contrast this with Judaism’s view that not everyone has to be Jewish. A non-Jew can live a perfectly fulfilling and meaningful life while remaining a non-Jew. They don’t have to join us to be considered a good person. If anything can make us truly live as one, it is the recognition that we are all created by the same G-d, but we don’t all have to serve Him in the same way.

Much of what is presented today as open-minded secularism is as narrow and self-righteous as the most fundamentalist sect.

Imagine a religion that teaches its children to be proud of who they are, but that not everyone has to be like them. Can you think of a religion like that?

by Menachem Bluming, Rabbi Moss and Chabad.org

Second Day Yom Tov Jewish Holiday- Why on earth?!

yuntif
Question: Why do we still keep two days of Yomtov outside of Israel? I know the history: in ancient times people didn’t have calendars on their phones, because the calendar was not set in advance, but rather month by month. When witnesses saw the new moon they reported it to the rabbis in the Temple, and the rabbis would declare that a new month had begun. It would take a couple of weeks for the message to reach outlying communities, so they could never be sure of the correct date to celebrate the festivals. So the diaspora communities kept two days to be on the safe side.

That made sense back then, but for heavens sake, we have calendars today! Why do we still keep two days in the diaspora for every festival that is one day in Israel?

For me, this is one of the most ridiculous laws. It’s like the World Jewish Council of Rabbis can’t be bothered to overturn it or discuss it. Or perhaps they fear a backlash from Jewish bakers, butchers and grocers around the world who like having more Jewish festivals with more meals….

Can’t we update this one already?

Answer:

I remember I had a teacher who had little patience. If a student missed out on what he said, he got furious and thundered, “Why can’t you listen the first time? I will not repeat myself.”

This is not fair. Not everyone can grasp an idea all at once. There are some gifted individuals who are sharp enough to get it the first time. But many of us need to hear something twice before it sinks in. a good teacher should no this.

G-d is the greatest teacher, and time itself is His classroom. Every festival in the Jewish calendar is like a lesson G-d teaches to the world. On Pesach we learn about freedom, and G-d beams a light of freedom into the world. On Sukkos we study the meaning of true happiness, and G-d sends the gift of joy into our hearts. Each festival and its observances are the way we receive the lesson, the light and wisdom of the day.

When you live in the Holy Land, its very air makes you wise, it opens you up to spiritual wisdom. Like a gifted student, you get the lesson the first time. You need only celebrate one day of each festival, and its message hits home straight away.

In the diaspora, we just don’t get it so fast. We need more time for the lesson to sink in, as the air here is not as spiritually refined as Israel air. And so we are given a second day, another chance to fully absorb the power of the festival and for the message to hit home.

Our sages prophesied that one day in the future, the holiness of Israel will cover the entire earth, and then we will all get it the first time. Until then, we in the diaspora can enjoy the extended holiness of an extra day.

Make sense? If not I am happy to repeat it… 🙂

Source:Rabbi Shnuer Zalman of Liadi, Admur Hazaken, Likkutei Torah Shmini Atzeres 92c
Menachem Mendel Bluming, Rabbi Moss and Chabad.org