Menachem Bluming Considers is Divorce a Mistake?

We all have free choice. We can marry Mr Wrong, or divorce Mr Right. We have to take accountability for choosing a partner, even if things didn’t work out.
However, when a marriage ends in divorce, it’s not to say that it was not supposed to be in the first place. Together with the belief in free choice, we also believe that whatever happened in the past was supposed to happen. And so you wed the person you were destined to marry. It was meant to be. And in retrospect it was destined to end.

This is the paradox of faith: What I am about to do is my freedom. Once I have done it, it was meant to happen. I am responsible for my actions. I made the bed, and I am required to sleep in it. But now that I did, I couldn’t have slept anywhere else.

As painful as the experience may have been, your divorce was integral to your soul’s mission. We can only guess why.
It is possible that the ill-fated marriage was a rectification for something in a past life. It could be you have a soulmate from your former incarnation that you didn’t marry the first time around, as well as a soulmate from your current incarnation, and so you have to wed both.

Perhaps you were required to bring a child into the world who otherwise would not have been created.

Or perhaps it was a necessary step in your journey of learning, bringing you closer to your true self, and your real soulmate.

Who knows?
We don’t take it lightly when divorce happens. It is a tragic last resort when all other attempts to mend a toxic marriage have failed. And sometimes it isn’t in your hands. But if it has happened, you have to trust that this is your soul’s direction. May G-d give you the strength and wisdom to navigate the next step on that path…

Menachem Mendel Bluming and Rabbi Moss

Menachem Bluming Muses on What Makes Jews Unique

Jews do odd things sometimes. One example is the known practice of “credit combing.”
Many Jews have a habit of combing through the names at the end of a movie, searching for Jewish names. At each discovery they shine with pride:

Look! Assistant Gaffer…….Marvin Goldstein! Catering Consultant……..Beth Cohen!

This strange practice comes from a very deep place in the Jewish essence. Jews share a spiritual union with each other. If I meet a Jew- it doesn’t matter where, there is an immediate connection, a kinship, a sense of oneness. We are like one vast family, and even closer than that.

If Jews are in the news, we each take it personally. When Israel is being attacked, we feel the pain wherever we are. When a Jew wins a bronze medal in baseball, we all share the victory. And when we pick out a Jewish name in the credits, we get excited.

Maybe other nations do this as well. But I don’t think so. This strong sense of connection makes the Jewish nation unique among other religions.

This is the reason why data cannot apply to the Jewish people. No Jew is only an individual. We are a collective soul, a slice of something bigger than ourselves. We may be a tiny blip on the radar, but we don’t work by the usual rules of demography. Our strength is not measured by our numbers, but by our oneness.

The destiny of the Jewish nation is to be a strong voice of goodness and decency among the family of nations. When we unite with our community and commit ourselves to the shared mission of our people, then we are a formidable existence. Not because we are one billion, but because we are one.

Menachem Mendel Bluming, Rabbi Moss and Chabad.org

Menachem Bluming Sounds off on “Why Smile ?”

Your face is not just your business. It is public property. You only have to look at your own face once briefly in the morning. Everyone else has to look at your face all day. So just because you are in a bad mood or going through a rough patch, doesn’t mean everyone else has to be brought down too. The people around you deserve to be greeted with a pleasant face.
Of course, smiling is not only for the benefit of others, but for your own benefit too. The number one cause of misery is not life’s troubles but rather self-absorption. The more you think about yourself and your predicament, the more you marinate in self-pity, the more miserable you become.

On the other hand, when you look outside of yourself, look around you and see how you can be of service to others, when you smile not because you are in the mood but because others deserve to be smiled at, you start to feel upbeat and light again.
This is not to say that there are never any real reasons to be sad, or that smiling is a magical cure for depression. The point is that smiling is a duty you have to others. And when you focus on your duties rather than your difficulties, you are on the road to happiness.

So Smile 🙂

Menachem Mendel Bluming, Rabbi Moss and Chabad.org

Menachem Bluming on the Flu

So many people are feeling dreary with the flu. May they recover quickly!

How does this work from G-d’s perspective? This illness holds us back from doing so many good things and furthering our mission?

Who knows… here’s a telling story:

There was once a Jew who lived on a farm, far away from any Jewish community. He was a devout and pious man, and he and his wife did their best to create a Jewish home for his children. But he yearned to be surrounded by Jews, to be able to pray in a shul, study Torah with like-minded people and be part of a community. Day in and day out for years he would sit alone with his prayer book and his volume of Talmud, wishing he could share them with others.

After many years, his dream started to come true. Slowly, more Jews moved to his area. It took decades, but he did build a community. Forty years after his arrival, that remote country town boasted a shul with daily services, regular Torah classes, a mikvah and a warm little community. He was no longer praying alone.

But the Rebbe said something astounding about this.

This Jew certainly got more pleasure from the vibrant latter years than the lonely early ones. But we don’t know which G-d enjoyed more. It could be G-d took pleasure from his lonely prayers of yearning, all those years of wishing and pining, even more than the communal satisfaction that came later.

A sincere desire to do good is itself a holy moment. When you wish you could help someone but circumstances don’t allow it, or when you truly would love to do a mitzvah but your health prevents you from doing it, that pure intention is precious to G-d. And who knows, maybe more precious than when you do a mitzvah with ease.

May you have a full recovery and get back to all your good deeds with full strength. And when things are good, remember your precious loneliness.

Menachem Mendel Bluming, Rabbi Moss and Chabad.org

Menachem Mendel Bluming reflects: where you are meant to be right now.

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

Menachem Bluming was asked: Why does the Torah portion / Parshah which describes the end of Jacob’s life, his death and his funeral — carry the title Vayechi, “And He Lived”?

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

A family with children is extremely rich. I’ll tell you why…

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

Menachem Bluming was asked why we light the shamash. Why not just light a match and from it ignite the candles of that night of Chanukah?

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.

Happy Chanukah!

Menachem Mendel Bluming and Chabad.org

Menachem Bluming asks: What makes you angry and what makes you very happy?

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