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Menachem Bluming Muses: Your Continuity

A fish out of water does not die immediately. In fact, a fish out of water seems quite lively. It flips and flops and dances around, seemingly more active than it was before. An ignorant observer may think that the fish is better off on dry land, free from the …

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Menachem Bluming Muses: Do Jews Believe in Luck?

Mazel tov! If Jews believe in Divine Providence (fate), why do we always use the word mazel which means luck? Isn’t that a contradiction of belief? Actually, mazel is usually mistranslated as luck. The correct meaning of mazel is “a drip from above”. Which is probably why people just translate …

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Menachem Bluming Muses: How Your Spouse Can Help You

The choice of words the Torah employs to describe the role of the spouse — “a helper against him” — seems contradictory. If a wife is supposed to serve as a helper to her husband, she is obviously not poised “against him?” Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi explains that the …

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Menachem Bluming Muses: Your Hakhel

In the days of the Holy Temple the entire nation would gather to hear the Jewish king read from the Torah on Sukkot after the Sabbatical shmitah year. It was exactly at this time. Each mitzvah has continuous application even those that we no longer keep in their original form. …

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Menachem Bluming Muses: Sin’s Value

The Torah uses numerology, a method of connecting concepts via numbers. Every Hebrew letter has a numerical value. The first letter, Aleph, has the value of one. The second letter, Beit, is two, and so on.  When the letters of two words have the same value, it indicates an inner …

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Menachem Bluming Muses: Remind Me To Live

Do you know the song that is sung over and over again over Rosh Hashanah: “Zachreinu Lichaim Melech Chafetz Bachayim…” Remember us G-d for life, we pray over the High Holidays. The basic meaning of it is a prayer to G-d for life in this coming year, undoubtedly a critical …

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Menachem Bluming Muses: Are You Old?

Old age is not so easy to define. For a professional football player, forty is already over the hill. On the other hand, there are budding authors in their eighties publishing their first book. So who is old? We do need a clear answer. There is a mitzvah to “rise …

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Menachem Bluming Muses: How’s Business?

If a business focuses only on cash flow, it can easily fail. The cash flow may be fine and yet the business falling off a cliff, G-d forbid. We are in the final Jewish month of the year. This month is called the month of accounting. In Judaism cash flow …

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Menachem Bluming Muses: Shocked by Today’s Jew Hatred?

Are you shocked by the resurgence of anti-Semitism in the world? When Jew-hatred comes from backward extremists and street mobs, it isn’t so surprising. But when university educated, well-read westerners, who know history and have access to the facts, are able to demonize Israel and the Jewish people, something is …

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Menachem Bluming Muses: To Bris or Not to Bris..

As a parent, you need to make many decisions that will impact your child’s future. Deciding whether to make a Bris is one of them. Here are the things you need to know before deciding what to do:  – A surgical circumcision is not a Bris. Apart from the missing …

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Menachem Bluming Muses: Why Smash a Glass Under the Chupah

Question from a groom:  I understand the reason we break a glass at a wedding ceremony is to commemorate the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem some 2000 years ago. This indeed was a significant event in Jewish history, but it doesn’t seem to have any personal relevance to me. …

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Menachem Bluming Muses: Gezuntheit! 

The ‘bless you’ response to a sneeze was enacted by one of the popes during the bubonic plague. So it definitely has a non-Jewish whiff about it. But long before that, Jews blessed each other upon sneezing. The Talmud records that in the earlier generations, people didn’t get sick before …

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Menachem Bluming Muses: NASA’s Mind Boggling Images

The new pictures from the James Webb telescope are nothing short of incredible. We understand so little of the vast universe before us. With all the unprecedented scientific and medical knowledge and even with this incredible ability to see crisp pictures from a telescope placed 1 million miles away, we …

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Menachem Bluming Muses: Is Torah Logical?

Nope. It was never meant to be. In the Torah in Numbers chapter 19, the Torah says, “this is the statute of the Torah” and then it teaches about the red heifer. When the Torah refers to a statute it is speaking of a mitzvah that has no logical understanding. …

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Menachem Bluming Muses: Waiting for a Miracle?

I have heard many people say that if G-d would only do a miracle they would believe. After all, in the Torah we read of many miracles that G-d did on a regular basis. Why don’t we see these miracles these days? The Lubavitcher Rebbe once addressed a similar question …

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Menachem Bluming Muses: Most Transformative Mitzvah

In the Jerusalem Talmud when the word mitzvah is mentioned it refers to tzedakah. The Talmud in Bava Basra page 9a teaches that tzedakah is equal to all the other mitzvot combined. The power of tzedakah is self transcendence. To give away that which can be used for your own …

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Menachem Bluming Muses: Parenting: How Do I Get My Kids to Behave?!

We all know people who as kids misbehaved terribly, but turned out to be wonderful adults. It could be that they ended up that way not in spite of their childhood cheekiness, but because of it. You see, rambunctious kids get reminded of what they should and should not be …

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Menachem Bluming Muses: Why Sleep?

The days pass rather quickly and when you look back a week and then a month has flown by in the blink of an eye. In fact, as you get older time seems to pass by more quickly. One theory offered for why it seems so is because a smaller …

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Menachem Bluming Muses: The Rest of the Story

Are there parts of your life that make absolutely no sense? Do you see certain chapters of your story as essential because they express who you are and others as just a distraction? On Purim this story only begins a few chapters into the Megillah and yet the Mishna asks …

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Menachem Bluming Muses: Jewish Mourning

We are taught to be the masters of acceptance. All that G-d does is for the best, Judaism teaches us repeatedly. Yet we do not become comfortable with death, internally we do not accept it. When Jacob was faced with the tragic death of his precious son Joseph, the Torah …

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