The character of one's soul is in their thoughts.

Shabbat Tazria-Metzora
April 12, 2013

 

 
A quick fix of inspiration from,The Lubavitcher Rebbe,

Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson.
The Job of a Rebbe is...


A college student once asked the Lubavitcher Rebbe what is his job. The Rebbe gestured to the ceiling of his room and replied:

Do you see that light bulb? It is connected by wires to an electrical generating station that powers the whole of Brooklyn. And that plant is connected to turbo-generators at Niagara Falls that power the whole of New York State and more.

Every one of us is a light bulb wired in to an infinitely powerful generator. But the room may still be dark, because the connection has yet to be made. The job of a rebbe is to take your hand in the dark room and help it find the switch.
Moshiach Matters
Why do our Sages describe Moshiach as a "metzora" (one afflicated with a disease resembling leprosy, where blotches form on the skin) and the Holy Temple as "a house afflicted with 'leprosy' "?
Since there are blotches of evil in the world that prevent the light of redemption from being manifest, the power of these lights is turned inward and is reflected in the leprous blemishes to be visited on Moshiach and the Temple. Ultimately,
however, "the metzora will be purified" and the inner light identified with him will be expressed throughout existence. Then, "the spirit of impurity will be removed from the earth."
(From Keeping in Touch by Rabbi E. Touger)
 
ACTION - THE MOST IMPORTANT.
And on the eighth day shall he be circumcised (Lev. 12:3)

"How great is the Sabbath," it states in the Midrash, "that an infant isn't circumcised until he has passed [at least one] Shabbat."

Another explanation: Experiencing the Shabbat sanctifies the infant, rendering him worthy of entering the Covenant of Abraham.

(Yalkut Yehuda)
Jokes

"Serve G-d in Joy, come
before Him
in song"

A lady in her fifties sees a guy on the street smoking.
"Sir do you know smoking is bad for you and expensive? How many packs do you smoke a day?"
"Lady I smoke 3 packs a day and they're $15 a pack"
"Sir that's over $300 a week! If you didn't smoke for 5 years you could buy a lexus!"
"Lady, let me ask you a question. Do you smoke?"
"No"
"So where's your lexus?"
==========
Honey
David and Cheryl were at their first pre-natal class.
So that David could get an idea of what it felt like to be pregnant, the instructor strapped a bag of sand to his stomach.
As he walked around with his new bulge, David said: "This doesn't feel too bad."
Then the instructor deliberately dropped a pen and said to David: "Now I want you to pick up that pen as if you were pregnant."
"You want me to do it the way my wife would?" confirmed David.
"Exactly the same," said the instructor.
David turned to his wife Cheryl and said: "Honey, please pick up that pen for me!"
Corny Corner!!

"Doctor, doctor, will I be able to play the violin after the operation?"
"Yes, of course..."
"Great! I never could before!"
----------
A man speaks frantically into the phone,
"My wife is pregnant, and her contractions are only two minutes apart!"
"Is this her first child?" the doctor queries.
"No, you idiot!" the man shouts. "This is her husband!"
----------
"Doctor, are you sure I'm suffering from pneumonia?
I've heard once about a doctor treating someone with pneumonia and finally he died of typhus."
"Don't worry, it won't happen to me.
If I treat someone with pneumonia he will die of pneumonia."
----------
A pipe burst in a doctor's house. He called a plumber.
The plumber arrived, unpacked his tools, did mysterious plumber-type things for a while, and handed the doctor a bill for $600.
The doctor exclaimed, "This is ridiculous! I don't even make that much as a doctor!"
The plumber quietly answered, "Neither did I when I was a doctor."
 

Candle Lighting time in
North Palm Beach Florida

 

April 12, 2013 7:25 p.m.
Shabbat is over 8:19 p.m.

Lunch N Learn.
Come N Join.

LUNCH N LEARN
this monday!
Mondays 12:00 p.m. come and you will expand and deepen your appreciation for life. $5.00.
Fill ur mind and ur stomach
its a no Brainer.

====================
Services nights 8:00 p.m.
Days 10:00 a.m. followed by kiddush

Warmest wishes for a Shabbat Shalom.
"Kosher Caffeine"
by -- Rabbi Shlomo Ezagui
www.koshercaffeine.com


The character of one's soul is in their thoughts.


As garments of the soul, a person's thoughts are always the results of what he/she decided to think.

We are always accountable for our thoughts. Consciously or subconsciously, by intentionally inputting our thought pattern, or unintentionally allowing extraneous thoughts into our mind, we bear that responsibility.

Thought is a garment to the soul like speech and action and is therefore a tool of the soul, and not the soul itself. For this reason, even when we don't feel like it, and/or we are not in the "mood", we always have the ability to focus our mind in the direction of thinking whatever it is we decide to think and change our "mood". However one very important distinction with thoughts is that, because thoughts and thinking is constant and internal, closest to the soul, therefore they are more deeply attached to the soul and affecting the soul. Thoughts have the strongest and greatest influence on a person. The mark and/or stain that come as a result of one's thoughts, for the good or the opposite, will be deeper on one's soul.

Many times we hear people saying, "Oh, I was just thinking about it, but didn't act on it." That is actually a grave mistake because what a person entertains in their mind besides the energy it creates around them, what we think will leave the deepest mark on the personality and character of a person.

Let us look at the physical counterpart to these "garments", clothes. When a person puts on nice clothing over his body, they will actually change his mood according to the clothing he puts on. In the Talmud garments are called "my honor'. They help define the person and rightfully assign integrity to the person wearing them. An ordinary person, when he puts on honorable and luxurious clothing, he will feel and will be treated in that fashion.

So it goes with the garments of the soul. Every speech, action, or thought we decide to don upon ourselves, will influence and impact the actual soul positively or negatively.

With enough repetition, habits are formed (which can always be reformed if necessary), which will eventually mold and shape our actual souls in the direction and form of these garments for now, and all eternity. The spark of G-dliness inside ourselves the "I" inside which remains alive even after we leave this world, takes on the shape and style and becomes identified by the habits and garments we regularly decided to place over our souls.

A person's life is judged not by the soul he was granted, but by the choices he makes regarding these garments of the soul. After a while and with enough routine and habit, the thoughts the speech and actions will express the character and nature of what our souls have become.

For a person who has decided to make a routine of being involved in wisdom, intellectual thought comes to his mind. A person who decided to think happy and joyous thoughts, cheerful and joyful thoughts will start flowing automatically. This becomes who they are. For some people, the thought to murder never enters their minds, for others, the thought to contribute to society in a positive way will never enter their minds. In the end, what we think is a result of how we trained ourselves to think.

The fact that thoughts ultimately manifest the personality and character traits of the soul, brings a special seriousness and attention to the content of one's thoughts. Proper thoughts reflect a healthy soul. While empty, vain thoughts reflect an empty and confused soul. Even when these are irregular once in a while, thoughts become a reflection of the character of one's soul.
The purpose of all hardships is the good it potentially can and will lead to....

Living with the Rebbe.


The name of a Torah portion is indicative of its contents and theme. The name of the first of this week's two readings, Tazria (literally "when [she] shall conceive") is therefore surprising at first glance, as the entire portion deals with the affliction of leprosy rather than conception and birth. In fact, the Biblical plague of leprosy was the most severe form of spiritual uncleanliness, leading our Sages to declare, "The leper is considered as if dead."

Tazria, however, is an allusion to the positive, inner purpose of all the afflictions and punishments that are prescribed in the Torah, as will be explained:

G-d is the epitome of goodness and loving-kindness. He doesn't punish anyone for the sake of being punitive. His sole intention is to refine and purify the person, to remove the "shell" that was created by his sins, and to elevate him to a higher level. All of the Torah's punishments, even the most stringent, are for the ultimate good of the recipient.

This is also the inner intention of the Biblical plague of leprosy (tzara'at), as distinguished from the modern day illness known as Hansen's Disease. As Maimonides explains, the physical manifestations of tzara'at were miraculous in nature, and were visited on an individual for the sin of lashon hara (gossip).

"The first symptoms would appear on a person's house; if he repented, the house would be purified. If he persisted in his wickedness until the house was destroyed, the leather garments in his house would begin to change... If he persisted in his wickedness until they had to be burned, the clothing he wore would be afflicted." It was only if a person did not return to G-d after all these warnings that any symptoms of tzara'at would appear on his body.

Once this happened, the afflicted person had to temporarily leave the rest of society and dwell in isolation. The purpose of this period of separation and reflection was to transform the former sinner into a new entity, one that was purified and refined.

The name of the Torah portion, Tazria, thus reveals the true objective of all the Biblical plagues: the "birth" of a new being, a purer and holier Jew.

This is also the inner meaning of the Jewish people's exile. During the exile, we "sow" mitzvot and good deeds that they may "grow" and flourish when Moshiach comes. The reward we will receive in the Messianic era will not be dissociated from our present service; on the contrary, it will be the natural outgrowth of all the "seeds" we are planting now.

May we merit to see this immediately.

Adapted from Volume 22 of Likutei Sichot
@ The Alexander hotel in Paris playing cards...

It Once happened.


"Where will we be staying?" Reb Yeshaya Berlin asked Rabbi Shmuel of Lubavitch (known as the Rebbe Maharash, fourth leader of Chabad, whose birthday was this past Wednesday, 2 Iyar) upon their arrival in Paris.

"At the Alexander Hotel," the Rebbe replied. The Chasidim accompanying the Rebbe on this special trip were surprised. The Alexander Hotel was famous as one of the most luxurious establishments in the city. Members of royalty and other high-ranking dignitaries were its usual guests. "Common" people, no matter how wealthy, never dreamt of crossing its threshold. Yet this was where the Rebbe wished to stay.

The Rebbe then told the Chasidim that he would do the talking, as none of the other members of his entourage spoke French. In fact, the Rebbe Maharash was fluent in many foreign languages, among them Russian, French and Latin. He was also extremely well read in a wide range of subjects and disciplines, in addition to his outstanding scholarship in both the revealed and esoteric aspects of Torah.

At the front desk of the hotel the Rebbe announced that he was interested in reserving a suite of rooms. "There are several suites available at present," the clerk replied, "at a cost of 200 francs per night." It was an almost unimaginable sum of money in those days.

But the Rebbe wasn't satisfied. "Perhaps you have something better?" he inquired. "I wish to stay on the same floor as the game room," the Rebbe insisted. The clerk consulted the register for a moment. "You're in luck," he told the Rebbe. "There's an empty suite next door to the casino." He then quoted a price far higher than 200 francs. The Rebbe asked to reserve three rooms - one for himself, two for the rest of his entourage - but the Chasidim were in no financial position to stay at the Alexander, and found lodging elsewhere.

The Rebbe went up to his quarters and remained there for several hours. In the meantime, the Chasidim came back from their hotel and waited outside the Rebbe's room.

The Rebbe's face was very serious when he eventually opened the door. Much to everyone's astonishment, he then strode purposefully over to the hotel's gambling casino and went inside.

Needless to say, the players at the gaming tables were unaccustomed to guests of the Rebbe's stature joining them in their pursuits. Eyebrows were raised throughout the hall. Trailing after him, the Chasidim were just as baffled as the gamblers. But, from long experience they knew that Rabbi Shmuel certainly had his reasons.

At one of the tables sat a young Jewish man, engrossed in a game of cards. In front of him was a goblet of wine, from which he sipped every now and then. The Rebbe walked over and sat down next to him.

For the first few minutes the Rebbe said nothing and the man continued playing. Then the Rebbe suddenly stretched out his arm and placed a hand on the young man's shoulder. "Young man," the Rebbe said, "it is forbidden to drink the wine of gentiles."

The Rebbe paused a moment to let his words his words sink in. "Non-kosher wine dulls the mind and the heart," he continued, adding the admonition, "Be a Jew." Without further ado the Rebbe stood up, wished him a good night and left the casino.

The Rebbe Maharash was clearly very agitated. Reb Yeshaya Berlin later commented that he never saw the Rebbe in such an emotional state.

A few hours later the young Jewish man was seen making inquiries as to the whereabouts of the gentleman who had spoken to him in the casino. The Chasidim rushed over to show him where the Rebbe was staying, and he was admitted.

The private conversation that ensued lasted several hours. The next morning, the Rebbe Maharash left the hotel.

"It has been many generations since such a pure soul has come down to earth," the Rebbe later explained, referring to the young man. "Unfortunately, it had fallen into the depths of kelipa [the forces of evil]."

Whatever was discussed, the encounter proved to be a turning point in the young man's life. No longer estranged from Yiddishkeit, he returned to full observance of Torah and mitzvot soon afterward. Today, his descendents are G-d fearing, religious Jews.

This was the extent of the Rebbe Maharash's love for his fellow Jew, even one he had never met before.


Warmest wishes for a Shabbat Shalom.

Rabbi Shlomo Ezagui