29 posts categorized "Thought for the Day"

A Lesson from Amona

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Today was a very sad day in Israel. In the tiny Shomron (Samaria) village of Amona, 40 families were forcibly expelled from their homes. Back in 2014, the Israeli Supreme Court voted to not only expel these families because the land on which they built their homes - with government grants, no less - was later claimed to have been built on private Arab land. 

The worst part? Actually, there are two. First: the Supreme Court refused to provide the families with alternative housing. It's not bad enough that they're demolishing their homes, but they're leaving them homeless, too. Second: it was a Jewish "human rights" group, Yesh Din (there is judgment,) that instigated this fiasco, claiming that the homes were built on private Arab land. It's one thing if an Arab "human rights" group wants to bring up such a claim. But a Jewish group fighting for the rights of people who hate us? 

Why aren't they fighting for the human rights of these 40 families who now have nowhere to live? What about the children's rights to grow up without suffering the trauma of losing their home and being made homeless in the freezing winter? Yesh Din, where are their human rights? 

After seething at this injustice the entire day, I realized something.

Since I have to believe that Hashem is doing everything for the best, I trust that this indeed is for the best. Okay. That's nice and vague an all, but why do I need to stand by and watch these people suffer? And then I thought, why do we need to go through any suffering at all? When things are so painful, why can't Hashem just speed things up a bit and/or make them go away altogether?

But then I realized that Hashem is trying to teach us an extremely important lesson: 

We have to be patient with the bad things, just as we are patient with the good things. 

You see, Hashem can't run this universe on a double standard. He can't separate cause and effect only when the effect is negative. He can't take away our free will only if we're going to make decisions that will hurt us later. He can't speed up the process only when it's painful for us. 

When good things happen, like when we're on vacation, we wish it could last forever. Be honest - we'd have no problem living on a cruise ship for the rest of our lives. At least, I wouldn't. But when something bad happens, we want it to go away as fast as possible. Sure, it's human nature, but I believe Hashem made us like this to teach us to have equal-opportunity patience, as opposed to selective patience. 

Now I understand what it means when Hashem is referred to as "long-suffering." He suffers along with us in our tough situations, but for our own spiritual growth and soul correction, He can't take these painful times away from us, because in the end, we will see how they really were for our ultimate good. 

So we need to learn from this example and be "long-suffering" as well. As much as we would like to not have to go through difficult times, we need to do our best to accept that this is what Hashem wants, and to try to emulate His patience to the best of our ability. 

As for this leftist group, Yesh Din, I have one thing to say to them: "יש דין ויש דיין." There is judgement, and there is a Judge. And one day, He's gonna give y'all a Heavenly smackdown that's gonna send you straight to Planet X, where you belong. 

~Racheli

Rabbi Lazer adds:

Well said, Racheli. The Gemara says that Hashem lets evil people do evil things, but ultimately, they will pay the price. Our Arab neighbors say kol calb bijh yomo - every dog will have its day. That is a message to anyone who has a hand a uprooting a Jew from his home in the Land of Israel.

There's another lesson here. Folks in Israel rejoiced when the so-called "right" was elected. But with all the politicians and their talk, the bottom line is a program than any extreme-left government would be proud of. What does that mean?

Hashem is shouting at us: Menachem Begin the far-rightist gave Sinai to the Egyptians. Ariel Sharon the far-rightist gave Gush Katif and a chunk of Northern Samaria to the PA. Now Bibi and Bennett (Yes, Bennett, a member of Bibi's government) are uprooting Jews from their home in Amona. Hashem is showing all of us a painful lesson that's recurrent all through Jewish history - we can trust no one but Him.

The only way we can strengthen our hold on all of our sacred homeland is to fulfill King David's advice as he states in the last passage of Psalm 105 - Hashem gave us this land for the sole purpose of observing the Torah ands its mitzvoth here. Hashem wants us to strengthen our dedication to Torah and especially Sabbath observance. Hashem wants an end to government-sanctioned policies and laws that negate Torah. There is no one or nothing but Hashem, and if we want to build our country on His holy land, we need His help.


Black Friday

The other day, I got a new doormat. Now some of you may remember that I also got a new doormat during the early summer. The story was so ridiculous that I had to write about it in my article, "My Darling Doormat." Eventually, this doormat was traded in for a newer, cleaner replacement, as you can see here:

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Fancy, no? 

So, because I'm borderline insane, I decided not to take any chances and left my darling husband a love letter on the door, for when he got home:

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A masterpiece, isn't it. So, he obviously took into consideration what his beloved and cherished wife wrote, and responded in the best way that promotes shalom bayit (marital peace,) as you can see below:

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Now that's what I call love. 

The Black Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday weekend marathon for people that likely already have more than enough stuff, compelled me to be like an annoying mother and remind all of you: don't let yourselves get too attached to your stuff. It's just stuff! 

Why don't they just call it Black December, because that's really what it is. Or maybe they should change it to Amazon December, because does anyone actually go to the mall anymore? 

BTW, did you know that here in Israel, we also had Black Friday? Just take a look!

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Can anyone explain this to me??


Planting Seeds

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So my husband sent me this strange picture of a seed. Fascinating, isn't it? Can anybody guess what this is? Well, you won't believe it, but after staring blankly at this seedling for five minutes, hubby finally realized that it is a popcor-en seed! That's right. A pop-cor-en seed. For you ignoramuses, popcor-en is Hebrew for popcorn. I can't make this stuff up. I'm not sure how the "-en" ending turns it into a Hebrew word, but like many things here, logic just don't jive with reality. 

So here's another question. Where do you think my husband found this darling little popcoren seedling? I'll give you a hint, since you'll never get it. It was growing inside his sink. Like, mamash (really,) inside the drain pipe. That's a logical place for a popcorn to sprout, no? Well, apparently it is, if you're an Israeli popcoren seed. Then it makes all the sense in the world.

The obvious lesson from this is to not let popcorn seeds go down your drain. They might grow a tree right up from the drain pipe, the same way that I used to believe a GMO gum tree the size of a sequoia might suddenly sprout out of my mouth because I kept swallowing my gum as a kid. That terrified me. The thought of never being able to eat again - God forbid a million times! Did your mothers also scare the living daylights out of you with zombie apocalypse scenarios like my mother did? Why was I so gullible?? Sadly, I still am kind of gullible. Kinda. Sorta.

The logical lesson I got from this is that seeds can sprout anywhere and at any time. Duh. But I'm talking about spiritual seeds, like the kind we plant in our kids, or the seeds we plant for our futures. It may take time to see the effects come about, and we may not even realize that we have planted seeds in the first place. But the seeds definitely will sprout - both for the good and for the bad.

That's why we (especially I) have to be super careful of how we (especially I) treat our (my) kids. Nothing happens suddenly. Not in children's behavior, and not in any area of our lives. We just don't realize that we've been planting seeds the entire time.   

So plant wisely. You never know what kind of seed may decide to sprout out of your sink, your toilet, or even worse, out of your stomach. Yuck. 

Have a wonderful day!

-Racheli

 


The Month of Tikkun

Hi! Racheli here. I don't know about you, but I find that this month of Elul is full of tikkunim, or soul corrections. Every day something happens. Yesterday, a tree managed to jump in my way as I was backing into a parking spot. I don't know how it did that. I think it was a suicidal tree. In any case, it broke my rear tail light, and made a nice big dent in the corner of my back bumper. 

Even though my husband wasn't driving, I'm still convinced that it's his fault somehow. The weird thing was that my sensor didn't beep when I was backing up. Usually it beeps to warn me that there's something behind me. But it could be that the tree was off to the side before it decided to jump in my way. The other weird thing is how my car managed to back up onto the sidewalk itself. It's a situation full of mystery.

In any case, my car backed up into a tree. On the sidewalk. Obviously this was a necessary tikkun for something hubby did wrong. You know? I just realized what it was! I now remember having asked him many times to take the baby to school, but he came up with all sorts of lame excuses, like he had to pray and get to work. See? I'm also full of excuses.

I was about to get upset, but as I surveyed the junkmobile, I realized that there were so many dents, scratches, and missing tail light covers, so what was one more dent? Thank God I own the car and I'm not looking to sell it any time soon. At the end of the day, better the car get banged up instead of something worse happening. 

That's how we need to look at everything that goes wrong in life, and especially during the month of Elul. Hashem is doing us great favors by sending us one tikkun after another this month. It means that He wants us to have as much of a clean slate as possible going into Rosh Hashana. If you're experiencing a crazy month of, well, craziness, thank Hashem for it. He obviously loves you very much and is doing everything to insure that you will have a year filled with blessings. Now if a tree happens to jump in front of my car when I'm driving, I'm gonna have to get my eyes checked. Have a great day!