All posts by rabbijosh

THE BLAME GAME

Blame picIf someone pushed a button that released a fleet of nuclear missiles all over the United States and then quickly shot down each one saving everyone from utter destruction, would we call them a hero?  Would everyone cheer for joy at their “savior” who saved them from imminent death and destruction?  Would we appoint him as the leader of our people for his great care and love of our nation?  We’d lock him up!  The nerve of him to put us all through the horrifying traumatic experience of potentially we were all going to die!  Who cares if he stopped it?!  It’s his fault it happened! Continue reading THE BLAME GAME

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Thinking Twice

orcaAfter taking my kids to pet the dolphins, kiss the sea lions, and watch the killer whales at a marine mammal theme park in Florida, I was told I have to see the documentary Blackfish.  For anyone unfamiliar with the film, it is a film that follows the history of 3 deaths associated with Tilikum, a captive killer whale, along with the history and context of other captive killer whales.  It shows sailors (with big beards and tattoos) crying over how sad it was to take the baby whales Continue reading Thinking Twice

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Connecting to the Heart

The word DIsconnect on metal chain links pulling apart to symbolize separation, dissolution, divorce, or the end of a partnership

Ten of the most astounding experiences mankind has ever gone through were complete.  The climatic tenth was a confrontation with mortality itself by means of the death of the firstborn.  After an experience like this, the world has changed, especially the Jewish people, forever more.   At this point, the Jewish people have become the Untouchables!  They are on fire!  They are unstoppable!  And yet Continue reading Connecting to the Heart

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8 Jewish Lights Unto the World

There is an interesting account written by Clearchus, a student of Aristotle, telling of when Aristotle was confronted by a Jewish sage. The sage (unnamed) had come to test Aristotle’s renowned knowledge and insights. However, according to Clearchus, Aristotle was the one who left impressed by the sage’s knowledge and insights. Continue reading 8 Jewish Lights Unto the World

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THE ORIGINAL BIRTHRIGHT TRIP

Flag of Israel“Mom?  Dad?  Remember how you wanted me to love Israel and it was really important to you that I go there?  Well, now that I’m here, I do love Israel.  In fact, I’m not coming home.  I’m staying here.”  That’s what I told my parents at a ripe matured age of 16 years old halfway through my Summer youth trip to Israel.  And though not every Jewish youth has such an extreme response to their first experience in the Jewish homeland, we all become impassioned in some way.  Some of us come back wanting to learn Hebrew.  Others want to learn more about Jewish history.  Some people are compelled to explore their Judaism more seriously, and others just feel a stronger sense of Jewish identity.  This phenomena is so profound that millions of dollars have been put into getting Jewish youth to experience this encounter with their homeland.

What is this phenomena?  What happens?  Continue reading THE ORIGINAL BIRTHRIGHT TRIP

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New Mindset = New Results

Happy New Year! Rosh Hashana, the Jewish new year and the Day of Judgment, is coming up. And it’s kind of a funny day. No, being judged for the year is not so funny. But if you look at our customs for the day, you’ve got to wonder what’s going on! We have these huge festive meals on the Day of Judgment. Yes, we’re Jews and any excuse we can come up with, we eat. But it’s Judgment Day! What’s with the 5 course meals? And you would think on Judgment Day we’re going to have a real heart-to-heart conversation with our Creator about all the things we’ve done wrong and how we’re going to change this year. I dare you to go look for that in the prayer book. You won’t find it! It’s actually forbidden to talk about our sins on Rosh Hashana! What’s up with that? We’re trying to pull a fast one on the Almighty as if it never happened? And what’s with the shofar blast? It’s a cry? A coronation? What’s the connection to Rosh Hashana? Continue reading New Mindset = New Results

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Treasuring the Moment

If you thought “The Cat’s in the Cradle” was heart wrenching when you were single, try thinking about it when you’re a Dad!  No, I don’t mean Little Boy Blue and the Man on the Moon.  I’m talking about that boy (who we all can relate to) who missed out on those moments with his father, and the father (who we can also all relate to!) missing out on those moments with his son.  Life goes by so fast.  And there’s so much going on!  We all have to fess up to the truth.  It’s really hard to catch those special moments in life!   Continue reading Treasuring the Moment

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Dealing with Anxiety

Head shot of worried man“Anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, but only empties today of its strength.”  I love this quote!  But sometimes we have to ask ourselves… now what?  How are we supposed to deal with the natural anxieties that life leads us through?  I think we can begin to answer that question by understanding the mechanisms of anxiety. Continue reading Dealing with Anxiety

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A Happy Life

smilyMy son and I have reached a new milestone.  We can learn together!  I’m not referring to math or science.  I’m talking about Torah study!   We open up the Torah together start reading and, here comes the best part, we start blasting questions left and right at each other!  Why did Moses say that?  Why did the people respond this way?  Isn’t that an extra word?  What’s the Torah trying to teach us with this verse?  And we start to make a list of our questions together.  Continue reading A Happy Life

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The Advantage of Vantage

business woman waiting for time to go by

Advantages to Vantage Points

Relationships are the backbone of our emotional health.  They are also the source of our emotional aches!  So often it’s the people we love and find comfort in that are the cause for our distress.  And it usually comes from a communication we had with them that went awry.  Wouldn’t it be nice to just feel a strong bond and closeness constantly with everyone we’re near to?  Would you think it’s the start of a cheesy fake commercial if I told you that you can? Continue reading The Advantage of Vantage

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