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16 posts from November 2012

Daddy Come Home

This clip and song really hits a heartstring - see for yourself how moving and lovely it is. Here in the south of Israel, we no longer take a peaceful and quiet Shabbat for granted. Shabbat Shalom and every single blessing for you and your loved ones.

Singing to Hashem in Uganda

Last year, during my visit to my esteemed friend Rabbi Capers Funnye of the Beth Shalom Bnai Zaken Ethiopian Hebrew Congregation in the south side of Chicago, he told me about several Judaism-practicing communities in Africa with whom he maintains contact and visits periodically. One of them is the Abuyadaya Community of Uganda.

As we say thrice daily in the "Aleinu" prayer, we await the day when all of mankind will call Hashem's Name. Meanwhile, let's enjoy meeting, seeing and hearing Yosef Squared, a young Abuyadaya who sings his praises to Hashem. Enjoy it!

Potential of the Soul

Using a neurosurgical scalpel for peeling potatoes doesn't make the potatoes smart; it only dulls the scalpel. ~ Lazer Beams

Allow me to translate the above quote into practical terms: Hashem gave you a Divine soul that comes with phenominal cognitive capabilities. Why dull its exquisitely bright illumination by muddying it with the gunk of TV, newspapers, DVDs and trash novels?

You know what that means? If The Almighty gave you the soul of a prince or a princess, then you should be acting like royalty in the king's palace. You shouldn't be rolling around in the mud like a crass country bumpkin.

Still not with me? OK, I'll go a step further: If you really knew how to sink your teeth and your brain into a page of Zohar or Gemara, you wouldn't have the patience to watch 22 professional Gladiators chase after an odd-shaped ball in an arena.

One of the first questions that the Heavenly Court asks is why you spent so much of your life in front of a TV set rather than developing your mind and your spiritual life. Purgatory is the embarrassment one suffers up there if he or she doesn't have a decent answer. Don't say that your friend Lazer didn't tip you off ahead of time.

Sandy Koufax and Yom Kippur

Sandy Koufax is one of the coolest American Jews ever. Probably one of the best pitchers in history, he led the Dodgers to the World Series year after year. In 1963, he struck out 15 Yankees in a Series game, to break an all-time record. He was scheduled to pitch in the first game of the 1965 World Series against the Twins; the game fell on Yom Kippur and despite tons of pressure on him, he refused to play. This was one of the greatest sanctifications of Hashem's name in US history. Hashem rewarded Koufax with a perfect game that same World Series on September 9, 1965. Sandy, we wish you long and happy years!