Boredom and Berachos

Many people seem to be bored with their lives. They look for diversion in activities such as swimming with sharks, bungee jumping and extreme sports. Others obsessively pursue whatever is new — fashion, music, or high-tech gadgets. This boredom really stems not from a lack of novelty, but from a lack of appreciation of life itself and all the blessings of life. A person who takes pleasure in his very ...

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Tactical Mitzvot

A great rabbi once said that it is easier to memorize the entire Babylonian Talmud than to change one character trait.  Self-improvement is one of the greatest and most difficult challenges that a person faces.  How does one go about overcoming a negative trait? The answer was supplied by my karate teacher many years ago (when I was fit and flexible).  He said, “Always attack where the opponent is weakest.” The ...

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Flags and Tribes

This Shabbos we will be continuing reading about the various tribes, their duties, their encampment, flags and donations to the Mishkan.  This division into tribes was also seen earlier at the crossing of the Red Sea, where G-d took the unified waters of the sea and split them into multiple parts to create paths, one for each tribe. I think that one idea behind these divisions it that Hashem demonstrated ...

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Question: What is the Jewish Calendar? Answer: Its Complicated

Measuring and marking the passage of time is a universal human preoccupation. At least forty different calendars are in use around the world today.  The most widely used systems are the solar calendar, based on the cycle of the sun, and the lunar calendar, based on the cycle of the moon.  Because of its orbit around the earth, the moon alternates between being fully exposed to sunlight (full moon) and ...

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