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The Boulder Jewish Community Center

The Boulder Jewish Community Center (Boulder JCC) is a central address of Jewish life in Boulder County and the Colorado Front Range and is home to one of the best Boulder preschools and day camp as well as baby, toddler, youth, family, teen, young adult, adult, arts and culture, and community programs. We provide a guide to Jewish Boulder. Everyone is Welcome!

FINAL JEWISH HISTORY

 24.02.2014

 The Aish Center provides cutting-edge social and learning opportunities for young Jewish professionals in New York City

http://www.AishCenter.com

We meet Jewish New Yorkers ‘where they are’ and connect them to their spiritual and cultural inheritance, via in-person and online programs, with virtual classes conducted via live Google Hangouts. We provide individualized learning, social and travel programs that transform ignorance to awareness, apathy to excitement, and curiosity to commitment. We inspire Jewish pride and leadership, and empower positive contribution to Jewish communities worldwide!

The Aish Center provides cutting-edge social and learning opportunities for young Jewish professionals in New York City in a warm, welcoming, and open atmosphere. Whether you want Business Networking Events, a Crash Course in Hebrew, Jewish Wisdom for Living, or the Israel adventure of a lifetime, Aish NY offers you access to more of the value in being Jewish.

Rabbi Mizrachi – Why Did The Holocaust Happen? Torah Codes, Having Faith in God No Matter What

31.08.2013

Rabbi Mizrachi – Why Did The Holocaust Happen? Torah Codes, Having Faith in God ALWAYS — Visit Website For More Lectures:http://www.divineinformation.com

Jewish Culture and Civilization

 05.02.2013

A discussion of a 10-volume anthology, “Jewish Culture Civilization,” with Felix Posen of the Posen Library, Editor-in-Chief James Young, and Deborah Dash Moore, co-editor of Volume 10 and “City of Promises” (NYC). “L’Chayim” from Bnai Zion House.

See all episodes of Shalom TVhttp://blip.tv/shalomtv#EpisodeArchive
Visit Shalom TV’s series page http://blip.tv/shalomtv

COMMENT: The Magic Touch

The Magic Touch
Adar I 24, 5774 · February 24, 2014

Do hard workers become successful people? I’d like to think so . . . when I’m successful. But for every time I’ve worked hard and succeeded, I’ll show you another time when I worked hard and fell flat on my face.

Success is the magic that floods my efforts with satisfaction. But success is never a guarantee, because there are so many variables that play into my ideal outcome. Magic happens when all the variables are aligned and things play out even better than I’d anticipated.

What’s unnerving is the schism between work and success. In that schism, I am so vulnerable. Sometimes work flows seamlessly into success, and then I take all the credit for my achievements. Other times, that gap brings success close, but so out of reach.

Do hard workers become successful people?

I have my work cut out for me today. In the morning, I’ll prepare for a few of my classes. Success would mean that my students walk away stimulated and consciously aware of their core spiritual identity.

Later on, I’ll cook for Shabbat. Success would mean that the food is perfectly kosher and very tasty, and nurtures my Shabbat guests.

When my daughter comes home from school, I’ve planned some alone time for us. We’ve been getting into power struggles, and we need to talk. Success would mean that she shares openly with me and is receptive to my guidance. Ultimate success means that she develops healthy skills for conflict resolution.

After the kids are asleep, I’ll write. If I’m lucky, I’ll uncover the unifying idea behind my research and find the right words to express myself.

Success may be a wild card, but hard work is a skill you can master. You need to assess your resources: internal resources like talents, skills and intelligence; or external resources like money, family and friends. Once you know what you have to work with, you need to have the confidence to utilize and cultivate those resources. As the old adage goes, “You’ve got to do your best with the tools you have.”

It’s G‑d who gives us the resources with which to work. My opportunities are His gift to me. But pulling things together and pushing my agenda forward is laborious work. And once I put in the work, it’s all too easy to forget that G‑d is the sole determinant of success.

Rabbi Pinchas of Koretz was a disciple of the Baal Shem Tov, and later became a rebbe in his own right. He had a student who meticulously observed the mitzvah of refraining from eating leavened foods (chametz) on Passover. This student scrutinized every morsel of food that he ate on Passover—he wouldn’t even eat at the home of his rebbe, Rabbi Pinchas. Rabbi Pinchas invited him to his house for every meal, and every day his student refused him. On the last day of Passover, Rabbi Pinchas invited him yet again, and his student politely declined yet again. “Check the bottom of your water barrel,” Rabbi Pinchas told him. Lo and behold, lying at the bottom of his water barrel was a kernel of wheat—actual chametz. The student was shocked and devastated. He ran to his rebbe and cried, “How could G‑d have done this to me, knowing how careful I am not to have one speck of chametz in my home?” The rebbe replied, “We all need G‑d’s help, and we all have G‑d’s help—unless we say to G‑d, ‘I’ll manage on my own.’ Then G‑d says, ‘By all means, show Me that you can do it on your own.’”

It’s humbling to have to ask G‑d for success. Especially when you’ve invested so much personal ingenuity. But G‑d’s final touch is much more effective than our cumulative efforts.

There are short-term goals and more global pursuits. Top on my list of global, lifelong pursuits is to develop spiritual sensitivity. I want a relationship with G‑d that tugs at my heartstrings. I want a higher consciousness, and more passion when I do mitzvot. Does that sound noble or unrealistic? Perhaps it’s both. Chassidic teachings explain that authentic feelings for G‑d are a gift from Him. My part is to serve G‑d through the mitzvot. I can’t make myself enlightened, but I can do what G‑d wants of me. If I’m successful, if G‑d chooses to bless me with overt success, then our relationship will be emotionally satisfactory as well. Spiritual narcissism comes from going directly for the inspirational relationship with G‑d. Humility means doing what G‑d wants and waiting for Him to gift me with inspiration.1

The template for our partnership with G‑d is spelled out in the Jewish people’s first national venture: the construction of a portable sanctuary, the Tabernacle. The Tabernacle was G‑d’s home on earth and His vehicle for communication with the Jewish people. It was an intricate and exciting project. G‑d had provided them with all the resources they needed, as well as detailed instructions. Parshat Vayakhel describes how the Jews invested money, labor and effort into the construction. Everyone pulled together in their unique way. The Parshah’s name, Vayakhel, means “and he assembled,” and they truly assembled a beautiful structure with elegant furniture. But it was empty. It didn’t feel like G‑d’s home yet. The Parshah concludes, but the story doesn’t culminate.

There are short-term goals and more global pursuits

In the next Parshah, Pekudei, Moses reviews the inventory of the Tabernacle and sets up shop. And then the magic occurs: “The cloud covered the Tent of Meeting, and the glory of the L‑rd filled the Mishkan.”2G‑d transformed the Tabernacle from a wooden edifice into a magical, G‑dly oasis.

“Work smarter, not harder” is a popular phrase. To me, working smarter means consciously attracting G‑d’s blessing to our endeavors, acknowledging our dependence on Him, being aware of the partnership between us.

Sometimes, partnering with G‑d can be counterintuitive. Like when I’m are so frantically busy that I don’t have any time to pray. But here is another perspective: “I have so much to do today, I can’t afford not to pray!” I can work from the bottom up, but only G‑d can see the situation from the top down.

The Lubavitcher Rebbe said that although having a large family is so incredibly time-consuming, the more children a mother has, the more efficiently she will work. Not only because of her learned expertise, but because G‑d gives her work an extra dose of blessing and success so that she can accomplish more in less time.3

In Parshat Vayakhel, the Jews work hard to make the Tabernacle happen. In Parshat Pekudei, G‑d’s presence rests on the Tabernacle.

In a standard year with 12 months (not a leap year with 13 months), we don’t have enough weekends for the 54 Torah portions to be read. The solution is to double up several of the short Parshiot. The Parshah of Vayakhel is paired up with Pekudei, making them “sister Parshiot.” This Parshah partnership itself speaks volumes about efficiency and time management. If you want to get twice as much done as usual, look to merge “Vayakhel” and “Pekudei”—personal effort and the recognition that it’s G‑d who makes it magical.4

FOOTNOTES
1. Torah Ohr, Parshat Mishpatim.
2. Exodus 40:34.
3. From a talk of the Rebbe on Rosh Chodesh Shevat 5741 (1981).
4. Likkutei Sichot, vol. 3, p. 933.
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By Rochel Holzkenner    More articles…  |   RSS Listing of Newest Articles by this Author

Rochel is a mother of four children and the co-director of Chabad of Las Olas, FL serving the community of young professionals. She is a high school teacher and a freelance writer—and a frequent contributor to Chabad.org. She lectures extensively on topics of Kabbalah and feminism, and their application to everyday life. Rochel holds an MS in Brain Research from Nova SE University.

PARENTING: Don’t Forget

Don’t Forget
Adar I 24, 5774 · February 24, 2014

Our brain processes language in mysterious ways. Learning the quirks of the brain can help you master yourself and help others, so here are the some tips I’ve picked up in my years of studying psychology and hypnosis:

  • Be concise. The brain doesn’t like a lot of little words. For instance, if you want to give your brain the suggestion that it should relax your body, it would be better to close your eyes and think to yourself, “Relaxing deeper and deeper,” rather than say to yourself, “I am now relaxing all of my muscles.” The brain wants you to get to the point and skip all the extraneous words.
  • Use “ing” words. The brain seems to respond better
    Our brain processes language in mysterious ways

    to words that end in “ing” over declarative sentences (e.g. “Relaxing . . .”).

  • Use permissive words. The brain prefers “permissive” words to direct instructions. Therefore, “I’ll allow myself a few minutes of rest” is far more restful than the stressful “I’ve got to rest right now.”
  • Be positive. The brain isn’t fond of negativity, and so tends to discard words and parts of words like “don’t,” “not,” “un,” “never,” “no,” and so on. This leads to interesting results: If you’re rushing out of the house in the morning and you tell yourself “Don’t forget the book,” your brain is quite likely to deliver the instruction “Forget the book.” If you think of a task as being “no problem,” the brain drops the “no” and focuses on the “problem.” “How was your day?” “Not bad.” Saying this fails to generate much happiness.
  • Use labels with caution. The brain loves labels. If you put a label anywhere in a sentence, the brain latches onto it and stores it as the essential part of the message. This can lead to serious distortions from the original intent. For example, saying to a child, “You spoke in a very mean way to your sister” will be stored as “You are mean.” This is because “mean” was the only label in the sentence, and it is now chosen to concisely summarize the message in the brain. All the other information in the sentence just disappears.

The Implications for Family Communication

As a parent, these tips can be very useful. For instance, if you would like your children to lower their voices, you’ll be more effective with the “ing” strategy, saying something like “Speaking quietly, please,” rather than “Can you guys please lower your voices?” Remember, too, that the brain responds better to brief instructions. “Walking slowly” is better than “Hey guys, please slow down and stop running.” “Walking slowly” is also better than the directive “Slow down.”

Positive constructs are more effective than negative ones, which is especially important when talking to kids. Try saying “Remember your lunch!” instead of “Don’t forget your lunch!”

Similarly, replace phrases like “not bad,” “no problem,” and “not an issue” with phrases like “very good,” “my pleasure,” “glad to help,” and so on. These words give you and your listener a much stronger dose of positive energy.

Positive constructs are more effective than negative ones

Permissive words can be used to good advantage, too. For instance, suppose a child says, “The homework will be too hard!” You might be inclined to say something like “You’ll see—it will be easy.” However, you’ll probably get better results by saying something like “Allow yourself to be surprised—maybe it will be easy!” The permissive language (“allow,” “surprised,” “maybe”) helps the brain absorb information, whereas the declarative version (“you will see,” “it will be easy”) invites resistance and argument.

As for the constructive use of labels, a helpful family rule is “Never use a negative label in any sentence.” Instead of saying “You were very mean to your sister,” switch to “You need to be sensitive to your sister’s feelings.” The label “sensitive” will stick like glue to your child’s brain, helping him to actually become more sensitive in the future.

Advice from Our Sages

Choosing words wisely is a longstanding tradition in Judaism. Every word we speak is seen to have powerful effects on ourselves, our loved ones, our community, and even our universe! As our sages advise, “Think about it before you say it.” The more we know about how words are processed and received, the more effective we can be with choosing those that will achieve our goals.

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By Sarah Chana Radcliffe    More articles…  |   RSS Listing of Newest Articles by this Author

Sarah Chana Radcliffe is the author of The Fear Fix, Make Yourself at Home and Raise Your Kids without Raising Your Voice. Visit her parenting page or access her teleclasses
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