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"Serve G-d in Joy, come
In an all-Jewish school, a Russian man decided to disrupt a math class.
He stormed in and cried:
"You Jews think you're so smart, try and answer this!
There are seven trains going all around the country with sixteen cars on each train. There are thirty-three people on each car. How old am I?"
No one responds.
A boy in the back stands up and says, "48."
Amazed, the Russian says "Yes! How did you know?"
The boy replied, "There's a man in our village who's twenty-four and he is only half meshugah."/as crazy
An Englishman took a business trip to New York.
When he arrived, the hotel clerk asked him a riddle. "My mom and dad had a baby. It wasn't my brother. It wasn't my sister. Who was it?"
The Englishman thought long and hard, but eventually gave up. "I don't know who was it?" The hotel clerk responded, "It was me!"
The Englishman thought that was hilarious.
He couldn't wait to get home and tell this funny joke to his family and friends in England.
When he arrived home they met him at the airport and he asked them: "My mom and dad had a baby. It wasn't my brother. It wasn't my sister. Who was it?"
His friends thought and thought about it until they gave up.
So he told them, "It was a hotel clerk I met in New York."
A young lady visited the government matchmaker for marriage and requested
- "I'm looking for a spouse.
The marriage officer said, "You're requirements please."
"Well, let me see. Needs to be good looking, polite, humorous, sporty, knowledgeable and good at dancing.
Willing to accompany me the whole day at home during my leisure hours, if I don't go out. Telling me interesting stories when I need companion for conversation and be silent when I want to rest."
The officer listened carefully and replied,"
You need a television."
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How do you explain the difference between COMPLETE and FINISHED in a way that is easy to understand.
Some people claim there is NO difference between COMPLETE and FINISHED. They are mistaken:
When you marry the right woman, you are COMPLETE.
If you marry the wrong woman, you are FINISHED.
.... and when the right one catches you with the wrong one, you are COMPLETELY FINISHED ! !
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|Kosher Caffeine - by Rabbi Shlomo Ezagui
of the dark tunnel.
From the time of creation, G-d intended that we should be persecuted and sent into exile. Right from the beginning of the bible, the four major exiles are already indicated, and it is in the last book of the bible that is most connected to this period of exile and descent, towards the last portions of the bible, that the ultimate redemption for the entire universe is spoken about.
This confirms the rule that it is the lowest of situations that connect us most profoundly with the highest and deepest of intentions and ultimate goals. The higher a stone on a building, the further it falls from its base, the deeper it entrenches itself in the ground. When we see a stone so far from its source on the ground, we know, it must have fallen from a very high source.
The further back the stone is pulled in a sling, the more power is being transferred into it.
It is clear that not being in our own land and being scattered all about is a result of not heeding the admonishment and rebuke of the prophets. However, after the fact since everything comes from an All Merciful and kind G-d, the process is not only a punishment but as well an opportunity to discover holy sparks, otherwise unnoticed diamonds, to accumulate in our repertoire, that would never have been discovered had we not been sent into exile.
In mysticism there is a principle that teaches, the physical world that appears to deny G-dliness and deceives us constantly of its source has sparks of G-dliness hidden in it from places that are much higher and more powerful than the outwardly spiritual phenomenon. A person is able to connect with G-dliness through the opportunities in a physical world being used for spiritual purposes in ways that are higher and deeper than can be reached merely through spirituality alone.
When we use food to energize our bodies to serve G-d, we take hard earned money and give it to support a G-dly cause, a transformation of our lives and a connection with G-d is reached beyond any spirituality in itself could ever take us to.
When a person lost his way because he wasn't careful before he set out on his trip to do due diligence, or a person made foolish choices and ends up in a dark tunnel, he should take the blame and feel guilty. However, he should not for even a moment think that this is where it ends and all is lost.
It is in the descent and in the exile, it is when a person is in a dark tunnel and has fallen down, what seems so far and distant that the deepest and greatest discoveries and opportunities can be encountered.
Great spiritualists would instruct their students to be happiest in times of difficulty because it was necessarily then, that they would be able to gather the greatest of good, by anticipating this truth in a joyous frame of mind.
Once the two Tzadikim, G-dly brothers Rabbi Zushe and Elimelech (about three hundred years ago) were thrown into prison for being Jewish. When they woke up in the morning, one of the brothers started to cry realizing where they were. The other brother said, "the same G-d we serve outside the prison, who tells us to accept everything in joy, tells us to serve Him with whatever we are able to inside the prison. Let's dance and sing for the chance to serve G-d in a way we never did before."
When the guards saw how happy they were and discovered the reason, he took away their "new opportunity" to serve G-d and they were free once again from their current hardship.
15th of Tammuz, 5733 
To Each and All of the Campers,
Boys and Girls, of pre-Bar (Bas)-Mitzvah Age,
In All Summer Camps, Everywhere -
G-d Bless You All
Greeting and Blessing:
I hope and pray that you are making the fullest use of the present summer days to gain new strength and strengthen your health - both the health of the body and the health of the soul, which are closely linked together. And since the health of the soul is bound up with the Torah, which is "our very life and the length of our days," and with its Mitzvoth [commandments], "by which the Jew lives," you are surely doing your utmost in regard to Torah study and the observance of the Mitzvoth; in which case you may be certain of the fulfillment of the promise - "Try hard, and you will succeed."
I wish to emphasize, particularly, one point in connection with the forth-coming "Three Weeks" [between 17 Tammuz and 9 Av, when we mourn the destruction of the Holy Temples] -
And you are, no doubt, familiar with the events and significance of these days.
The point is this: I want you to consider carefully the special Zechus (privilege) which Jewish children have, a Zechus (privilege) which affects our entire Jewish people, to which King David refers in the following words: "Out of the mouth of babes and infants You have ordained strength (oz)... to still the enemy and avenger" - including also the enemy that has caused the "Three Weeks" and still seeks vengeance to this day. In other words, the way to vanquish and silence the enemy is through the study of the Torah, called "strength" (oz), by the mouths of young children. Indeed, so great is their power that our Sages of blessed memory declare: "The whole world exists only by virtue of the (Torah) breath of little Jewish school children, whose breath is pure and free of sin," referring to children who have not yet reached the age of responsibility for wrongdoing, that is, boys and girls of pre-Bar (Bas) - Mitzvah age.
In this connection it is necessary to bear in mind the words of our Prophet Isaiah (in the first chapter) "Zion will be redeemed through Justice (Mishpot) and her returnees through righteousness (Tzedoko)." "Mishpot," here according to one interpretation, refers to the Torah. This means that through the study of the Torah and the observance of its Mitzvoth, especially the Mitzvah of Tzedoko (charity), the Redemption (Geulo) is brought closer.
And Tzedoko (charity) - in the light of what has been said in the beginning of this letter - includes both Tzedoko for the body and Tzedoko for the soul: Tzedoko (charity) for the body is,simply, giving Tzedoko to a poor man, or putting money in a Tzedoko box; Tzedoko (charity) for the soul is to help one's classmates and friends spiritually - that is, to encourage them in matters of Torah and Mitzvoth,
through showing them a living example of how a Jewish boy and girl should conduct themselves, and also by talking to them about these things.
Since it is my strong wish, and also great pleasure, to be your partner in this Tzedoko activity, I have sent out instructions to give each and everyone of you a token amount of money in the currency of your country, which is to be my participation in the said Tzedoko campaign.
May G-d bless each and everyone of you and grant you Hatzlocho [success] in all above, especially in your Torah learning and practice of Tzedoko, in a steadily growing measure, so that also when you return home from summer camp and throughout the next school-year (may it be a good one for all of us) you will - with renewed vigor and in good health, in body as well as in soul - go from strength to strength in your study of the Torah with diligence and devotion, and that your studies should be translated into deeds - in the practice of the Mitzvoth with Hiddur [beauty]; and all this should be carried out with joy and gladness of heart.
And may we all very soon, together with all our Jewish brethren, merit the fulfillment of the prophecy that these days of the Three Weeks will be transformed from sadness into gladness and joy,
With the true and complete Geulo (redemption) through our righteous Moshiach,
"Who shall reign from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth...
"And all the earth will be filled with G-d's Glory."
With blessing for Hatzlocho and good tidings in all above,
|It Once happened
|Some of the outstanding miracles and stories associated with the vessels of the Temple.
In the year 361 of the Common Era, 293 years after the destruction of the Second Holy Temple, a new leader of the Roman Empire ascended the throne.Julian would be Caesar for only two years, but his short reign would be distinguished by an unusually friendly relationship with the Jewish people. In fact, Julian was responsible for initiating an abortive attempt to rebuild the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. We are aware of these events thanks to a Greek historian who recorded them for posterity some 80 years after they occurred.
Julian was a nephew of Constantine the Great, who established Christianity as the official religion of the Roman Empire. He also moved its capital from Rome to Byzantium (Turkey), and changed its name to Constantinople.
When Constantine died, his three sons fought over who would take his place. Almost all the members of the royal family were murdered, with the exception of Julian. After traveling to Athens and studying philosophy, he became disaffected with Christianity and reverted to the ancient idolatry of the Romans.
Julian went on to become a celebrated military leader, enjoying many victories over the warring Germanic tribes. When the then-reigning Emperor decided to exile him to the Far East, his troops rebelled and established him as the new Caesar. One year later, he declared full religious freedom for all citizens of the Empire. In truth, he was far more benevolent toward his Jewish subjects than to his Christian ones. In an official letter addressed to the "Jewish communities" of the realm, he wrote that he was henceforth exempting the Jews from the special tax that had been levied against them, and declared himself a long-time defender of the Jewish people.
In the same letter he blamed his uncle, the late Emperor Constantine, and his uncle's cohorts, whom he termed "barbarians," for the state-sponsored and institutionalized discrimination against the Jews. At the end of the letter he reassured everyone that he had personally had them killed, and advised the Jews to forget about them and relegate their nefarious deeds to history. Julian also promised that after the war with the Persians ended he would rebuild the holy city of Jerusalem, "which for so many years you have longed to see inhabited; indeed, I will help you inhabit it."
In general, however, the Jews were unimpressed by Julian's professions of fellowship. They knew that they were not sincere, and were actually motivated by selfish political ambitions. Nor did they consider him a new "Cyrus," who had been sent by Divine Providence to bring their exile to an end and rebuild the Holy Temple in Jerusalem.
In fact, the Greek historian who chronicled this episode wrote that Julian's "friendship" with the Jews was largely the result of his hatred for the Christians. Moreover, he hoped that they would ultimately follow his example and assimilate into the dominant Roman culture.
At one point, Julian summoned the Jewish elders and asked them why they were not keeping the Torah's laws with regard to the sacrifices. The elders explained that after the Holy Temple was destroyed bringing sacrifices was forbidden, as doing so depends on having a standing Temple with priests to serve in it.
To demonstrate his serious intentions, Julian then ordered that the Jews be given a considerable stipend from the royal treasury, so they could begin to take the first steps toward reconstruction. According to the historian, the Jews actually started recruiting artisans and laborers. Their first task, however, was to clear the Temple area from the filth and debris that had accumulated over the centuries. Women, too, joined in the work, while others contributed their jewelry. After the ground was cleared they were ready to lay the foundation stone, but an extremely powerful earthquake intervened. Huge boulders flew in all directions, and the earth split in many places. A number of Jewish workers were injured, houses came tumbling down, and many residents of the city lost their lives in the disaster.
When the dust settled, the laborers returned to their tasks. Some assumed they were still obligated to carry out the Emperor's orders, while other truly wished to continue. In any event, they refused to recognize the Divine Providence that was obviously against rebuilding the Temple at that time.
And then, as if to further indicate G-d's displeasure, a huge fire broke out at the construction site and many more workers were killed. At that point everyone agreed that the time had not yet arrived to build the Temple, and the project was halted.
Although there is no way to verify all the details in the Greek historian's account, it is undisputed that the Emperor Julian fell in battle against the Persians in 363, effectively putting an end to his plans.
The Rebbe stated that the time for the Final Redemption has arrived! May we merit to see the third and eternal Holy Temple rebuilt immediately.
Candle Lighting time in
North Palm Beach Florida
July 12, 2013
Shabbat is over
Inspiration from the Lubavitcher Rebbe
Love vs obedience.
Once, I came home to find my children climbing into the attic through a hole in the ceiling-an act I had sternly forbidden due to the dangers involved.
But I watched before I opened my mouth. It took four of them:
two to lift one up, and another to hold the chair those two were standing on
It was then that I understood something I had heard my
Rebbe say many times:
When a father sees his children working together with love, he is prepared to forgive them for anything.
Better disobedient children who love one another than obedient ones who quarrel.
Although the future Holy Temple is built and stands ready, nevertheless, the Biblical command, "Make Me a sanctuary," still applies and the Jewish people must actually do something in its construction.
When we create mini-Sanctuaries, synagogues and houses of study, houses devoted to Torah, prayer and charity, including also the sanctuary which every Jew, young and old, can make in his/her heart, home, room, action etc.
These mini-Sanctuaries serve as a preparation and harbinger of the future Temple.
(The Lubavitcher Rebbe, Shabbat Chazon, 5747-1987)