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"Serve G-d in Joy, come before Him in song"
Jews and Lightbulbs
Q: How many Orthodox rabbis does it take to change a light bulb?
Q: How many Conservative rabbis does it take to change a light bulb?
A: Some members of the Committee on Law & Standards say it takes a minyan, except what makes a minyan nobody can agree on. Some say the minyan can be made up of men and women, some say only men, some say men OR women. There was no majority, so the issue remains subject to the decision of the synagogue leader.
Q: How many Reform rabbis does it take to change a light bulb?
A: None, anyone can change it whenever they want to.
Q: How many Reconstructionist Jews does it take to change a light bulb?
A: What is a Reconstructionist Jew?
Q: How many Jewish Renewal rabbis does it take to change a light bulb?
A: If the rabbi leading the process is sufficiently skilled in channeling spiritual energy, the light bulb will be relit by itself. However, the bulb must be an eco-kosher bulb that is not going to be lit from nuclear powered electricity and have been made from a company that was in any way responsible for the poisoning of the Hudson River. And during the paradigm shift between the changing of the bulb, one must document the experience for the up and coming book called "The Jew in the Light Bulb."
Q: How many Shlomo Carlebach Hassidim does it take to change a light bulb?
A: Gevaldt, the light just went out, it must be a heavenly sign from Above that we all really need to get much closer this time, sing a good niggun or two, mamash open our hearts to this gevaldt Ishbitz torah, tell a Baal Shem Tov story and then later maybe somebody from the Chevreh can change the bulb at 2 in the morning.
Q: How many Breslover Hassidim does it take to change a light bulb?
A: None, because there will never be another one that will burn as brightly as the first.
Q: How many Kabbalah Center Jews does it take to change a light bulb?
A: As many as it would take to raise the $5000 bulb that was carefully selected by "Rabbi" Philip Berg based on its inherent ability to drawn down the Supernal Light into a Vessel astrologically appropriate for that particular Center as well as financially appropriate for their account.
Q: How many congregants in any one synagogue does it take to change a bulb?
A: CHANGE! You vant we should CHANGE the light bulb? My grandmother is the one who donated that light bulb!
Q: How many Jews does it take to change a light bulb?
A: 50. One to change the bulb, 13 to discuss it and give contradictory advice to the person changing the bulb, and 36 to live elsewhere, start their own community, act mentshlich and not mention the previous bulb.
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In the times of Elisha the prophet the Jews had a king called Yehoiram who was wicked and worshiped idols.
When the king of Moav rebelled against him, he invited Yehoishofot, the righteous king of Yehuda, to join him in battling Moav.
On their way, they were without water for seven days, so when they heard that Elisha the prophet was nearby, they hurried to see him. However, when Elisha saw Yehoiram, he said angrily, "What do we have with one another? Go to the prophets of your idols!"
Elisha nevertheless agreed, in honor of Yehoishofot, to exercise his power of prophecy , but he was unable to do so because of his anger. In fact he had to ask for a musician to play for him, and only then did the spirit of Holiness rest upon him.
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Warmest wishes for a
|Kosher Caffeine - by Rabbi Shlomo Ezagui
The bus ride we call - LIFE.
"And Abraham came to eulogize Sarah and to cry for her." In the original Hebrew, in the Torah, one of the letters in the word to cry, is written in a smaller font. Our sages tell us, because Abraham didn't cry very much over the death of Sarah, he knew he would soon see her.
Rabbi Chaim Vital the faithful student of the great mystic Rabbi Yitzchok Luria tells us: A person is his soul, while his body is no more than a garment to the soul. When we see a person approaching us, most people give their attention, not to the watch the person is wearing or to the clothing, but to the body inside the clothing. We consider the person driving the car, and not the car that is being driven by a person.
Taken a little further and more accurately, the same approach needs to be regarding the body of a person versus the soul energy inside. The body is merely the exterior, manipulated and controlled by the will of the soul inside. The health and wellbeing of the soul is what matters most.
In 2009 a very dear person, loved by everyone, a teacher and father was brutally murdered in Israel, his name was Meir Chai. The name Chai, means life. Twelve years earlier Meir was involved in an accident. He was pronounced clinically dead. His soul went up to heaven and he pleaded with G-d not to take his soul back. He had a wife and children and was a teacher in a school. He was told, he had twelve more years, and he came back to life. At that time the name Chai-to life was added as a channel of extra blessings of life for himself.
Exactly twelve years to the day, his life was brutally ended. This story was told over by the family during the seven days of mourning.
Let's say you're taking a bus ride from Miami to Jacksonville. At Fort Lauderdale another person gets on the bus and you develop an interesting conversation with this fellow and a liking to him. Before you know it you've already come to Melbourne and he is about to leave. You plead with him to stay, you feel a strange deep attachment with this person. But he insists he has to get off now.
You argue with him, but you came on after me why are you leaving so soon. And he answers, I came on the bus from where I live and I am getting off to where I, need to get off.
Life is very similar.
We wonder sometimes why is it that some people seem to die young and others seem to live forever. The answer is, life as we know it in this world doesn't start and neither does it end with this ride. We all come from somewhere, and each one of us has a unique mission and journey to take.
Off course when a loved one passes away it's difficult to part, but it's only temporary. In this short ride we need to make the best of every moment so when we get to our destination we take from the bus all that is necessary, all the good deeds, for our next chapter of the soul's life.
When I am driving in my car there is this moment, the ones that are behind me and the big traffic jam up ahead that I have no idea I am about to encounter. The one in the helicopter, a little higher up in the sky can see all that, with one glance.
While from our perspective, the past the present and the future are three different tenses. To G-d, it's all the same. G-d who sees the whole picture will one day with the coming of the Moshiach help us understand and make sense of the many experiences that are difficult for us today.
Candle Lighting time in
North Palm Beach Florida
Oct. 18, 2013
Inspiration from the Lubavitcher Rebbe
Nothing is greater than peace. Even when you are 100% right, and you know your spouse is 100% wrong, you can still give in for the sake of peace.
Better a difficult peace than an easy quarrel.
-from a letter
When Nebuzaradan exiled the Jews from Israel, they passed by the grave of Rachel our Matriarch.
Rachel emerged to weep and to ask for mercy on their behalf.
The prophet Jeremiah reports: "Thus did the L-rd say, a voice is heard on high, lamentation and bitter weeping. Rachel weeps for her children, she refuses to be consoled for her children, for they are not."
And G-d in fact answers:
"Thus did the L-rd say, refrain your voice from weeping and your eyes from tears, for there is reward for your labor, said the L-rd, and the children shall return to their boundary"
(Rashi Va'yechi, and Midrashim quoted by Radak, Yirmeyahu 31)
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Counts the most.
|Greet 'em with a smile.
And when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed to the ground (Gen. 18:2)
The great Sage Shammai said: "Greet every man with a pleasant countenance."
Should a person give his friend every gift in the world, yet greet him with a scowl, it is considered as if he gave him nothing.
But if he greets him with a smile, it is considered as if he gave the other person everything, even if he is empty-handed.
(Avot D'Rabbi Natan)
The Rebbe writes,
Reconcile science & religion.
17th of Cheshvan, 5723 
...I trust that our views will be reconciled, since, as you indicate in the introductory paragraph of your letter, you are in full sympathy with the aims of my said letter, namely, to resolve any doubts that science presents a challenge to the commandments of our Torah.
I must begin with two prefatory remarks:
It should be self-evident that my letter did not imply negation or rejection of science or the scientific method. In fact, I stated so explicitly towards the end of my said letter. I hope that I will not be suspected of trying to belittle the accomplishments of science, especially as in certain areas the Torah view accords science even more credit than science itself claims; hence, many laws in halachah [Jewish law] are geared to scientific conclusions (as e.g. in medicine), assigning to them the validity of objective reality.
A remark has been attributed to you to the effect that just as Rabbinic problems should be dealt with by someone who studied Rabbinics, so should scientific problems be left to those who studied science. I do not know how accurate this report is, but I feel I should not ignore it nevertheless, since I agree with this principle. I studied science on the university level from 1928 to 1932 in Berlin, and from 1934 to 1938 in Paris, and I have tried to follow scientific developments in certain areas ever since. Now to your letter:
I quite agree, of course, that for the aim mentioned above, scientific theories must be judged by the standards and criteria set up by the scientific method itself. This is precisely the principle I followed in my letter. Hence, I purposely omitted any references to the Scriptures, or the Talmud, etc. from my discussion.
You write that you can heartily applaud my emphasis that scientific theories never pretend to give the ultimate truths. But I went further than that. The point was not that science is not now in a position to offer ultimate truths, but that modern science itself sets its own limits, declaring that its predictions are, will always be, and in every case, merely "most probable" but not certain; it speaks only "in terms of theories." Herein, as you know probably better than I, lies a basic difference of concept between science today and l9th century science. Whereas in the past, scientific conclusions were considered as natural "laws" in the strict sense of the terms, i.e. determined and certain, modern science no longer holds this view.
Parenthetically, this view is at variance with the concept of nature and our own knowledge of it (science) as espoused by the Torah, since the idea of miracles implies a change in a fixed order, and not the occurrence of a least probable event.
Acknowledging the limitations of science, set by science itself, as above, is sufficient to resolve any doubt that science might present a challenge to Torah. The rest of the discussion in my said letter was mainly my way of further emphasis, but also because, as already mentioned, according to the Torah, i.e. in the realm of faith and not that of science, it is admissible for the conclusions of science to have the validity of natural "law."
Next, you deplore what you consider a "gratuitous attack" on the personal motives of scientists. But no such general attack will be found in my letter. I specifically referred to a certain segment of scientists in a certain area of scientific research, namely, those who produce hypotheses about what actually occurred thousands upon thousands of years ago, such as the evolutionary theory of the world, hypotheses which contain no significance for present day research ... hypotheses which are not only highly speculative, but not strictly scientific, and are indeed replete with internal weaknesses.
Yet, lacking any firm basis, these scientists nevertheless reject absolutely any other explanation (including the Torah narrative). It is the motives of these scientists that I attempted to analyze, since their attitude cannot be equated with a desire to promote the truth, or to promote technological advancement, scientific research, etc. I did not want to accuse them, at any rate not all of them, of anti-religious bias, especially as some of them, including some of the originators of the theory, were religious. I therefore attempted to explain their attitude by a common human trait, the quest for accomplishment and distinction. Incidentally, this natural trait has its positive aspects, and is also basic in our religion, since without the incentive of accomplishment nothing would be accomplished.
Your remark about the misuse of the terms "fission" and "fusion" in relation to chemical reaction is, of course, valid and well taken. I trust, however, that the meaning was not unduly affected thereby, since it was twice indicated in that paragraph that the subject was chemical reaction. Undoubtedly, the terms "combination" and "decomposition" should have been used. (Actually, I believe, the different usage of these terms in nuclear and chemical reactions is more conventional than basic. Nevertheless, I should have been mindful of the standard terminology.)
Here, a word of explanation regarding the terminology of my letter is in order. If the terms or expressions used are not always the standard ones, this is due to (a) the fact that I do not usually dictate my letters in English, and while I subsequently check the translation, this perusal may not always preclude an oversight, as the present instance is a case in point; and (b) the fact that I received my scientific training, as already mentioned, in German and French, and previously in Russian, which may also account for some the variations.
continued in next issue
In the end he bought them both,
the house and the fish.....
This coming Thursday, the 20th of Marcheshvan,(October 24,2013) is the birthday of Rabbi Shalom Dovber (the Rebbe Rashab), the fifth Chabad Rebbe.
The Rebbe Rashab was only 22 years old when his father, Rabbi Shmuel, passed away. It was not until several years later that Rabbi Shalom Dovber took his father's place and assumed the mantle of leadership.
The Rebbe Rashab once commented: "It says in the writings of the Mitteler Rebbe that'Conducting business with complete faith in G-d is an even higher level of service than learning Torah for its own sake.' If that is the case, then it is also that much more difficult to accomplish. One must therefore do all one can to become a proper vessel for earning one's livelihood in the proper manner. It is precisely because of the difficulty involved in this that I hesitated, but finally assumed the position of Rebbe."
In the early days of the Rebbe Rashab's leadership someone once asked the Rebbe's brother, Reb Zalman Aharon, if he thought that the present Rebbe was worthy of his position.
Reb Zalman Aharon answered: "Between every two diametrically opposed points in the world there exists a medium, or mean. For example, between the extremely wealthy man and the poverty-stricken beggar are those in the middle class, and between the person who spends his life doing good deeds for his fellow man and one who is cruel and selfish are those whose deeds place them somewhere in the middle. But between a Rebbe and an ordinary person there is no halfway point: one is either a Rebbe or an imposter.
"And my brother is certainly no imposter..."
There was once a Jew living in the city of Nevel who was known as "Reb Zalman the Herring," as he made his living selling all kinds of pickled fish.
One day Reb Zalman was faced with a terrible dilemma when his landlord suddenly decided to sell the house in which he lived. Although he searched all over he was unable to find an appropriate apartment, nor could he afford to buy the building himself, for if he did, he would not have enough money left over to buy fish. Not knowing what to do, Reb Zalman went to the Rebbe Rashab to ask his advice.
"What should I do, Rebbe?" he implored.
"Buy them both, the house and the fish," responded the Rebbe.
Reb Zalman wondered what the Rebbe meant. If I had the money to buy both, he reasoned, I would not have come all this distance to ask what to do.
Suddenly an idea occurred to him. Perhaps his landlord would agree to sell the house for half the price to be paid in cash immediately, while the rest could be paid out over time. Maybe the fish wholesaler would do the same!
Reb Zalman told both of them what the Rebbe had said, and both landlord and fish monger agreed to this method of payment.
In the end he bought them both, the house and the fish.
The Rebbe Rashab was once sitting at a gathering of Chasidim when the time to pray the afternoon service arrived. At that moment, the host had been about to serve tea to his guests. A controversy ensued over what to do first, pray or drink the tea.
"It all depends on what you want to do in a less hurried and more peaceful manner," remarked the Rebbe. "If you'd rather drink the tea in a leisurely fashion, then by all means pray first. If, however, you'd prefer to pray with a clear and calm head, it's better to get the tea-drinking over with..."
There was once a Jewish innkeeper who made his living selling spirits to the local peasants. One day, a non-Jewish peasant opened up a new tavern right across the street. The non-Jew's prices were lower, so all of the Jew's former patrons quickly switched their allegiance and bought their whiskey in the new establishment.
When the innkeeper told the Rebbe about his competition, the Rebbe instructed him to set up two barrels of whiskey. "Tell your customers that you are selling two types of whiskey - one cheaper, and one of a better quality."
The Chasid did this, and all his customers returned. They all insisted on buying the more expensive variety.
Warmest wishes for a
Rabbi Shlomo Ezagui