LIVING WITH PURPOSE

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Re'eh: Is G-d Smiling At Us?

After taking many beautiful hikes in the Chamonix-Mont-Blanc area with my kids this summer, we decided to spend a rainy day in Geneva. One of my daughters who is taking an A-level in Physics suggested we visit the CERN, (European Organization for Nuclear Research), one of the world's largest and most respected centres for scientific research. The CERN is perhaps best known for discovering the “G-d particle”, otherwise known as the “Higgs boson”. This particle is “an invisible energy field present throughout the universe that imbues other particles with mass”. On the way out of the museum we saw this message embossed on the exit wall: Where do we come from? What are we? Where are we going? Th

Eikev: The Secret To Becoming Less Arrogant

To what extent are we as individuals, responsible for our own success? How much gratitude do we owe to our parents, family and friends? What about outside forces beyond our control? As Moses takes leave from the children of Israel on the other side of the Jordan he shares his concerns for their future. Above all he is most worried about affluence for it this that will likely beget arrogance. In his memorable words Moses conveys the following timeless message to his people. “When you have eaten your fill and have built fine houses to live in.... and your silver and gold have increased. Beware lest your heart grow haughty and you forget your God.... And you say to yourselves “My own power

Va'etchanan: Your Time Has Come To Shine!

How nervous are you about the future? How does one deal with all the uncertainty which increasingly pervades our world? Is there a particular Jewish response to all the disruption we are currently experiencing? As usual we can gain insight by “Living with the times”. With that I mean and emphasize the “Spiritual Times”. It follows that each day is infused with a particular spiritual energy which serves as a moral compass for the Jewish people and through them for the whole of mankind. Today is the fifteenth day of the month of Av in the Jewish calendar. It is unique in its spiritual intensity. Indeed the Talmud (Taanit 26b) relates “There were no greater festivals for Israel than the 15

Devarim: Can The Negative Become A Catalyst For Good?

What is the most effective way to deal with the challenges in our lives? Is is possible to transform the negative forces we encounter into a catalyst for good? Human beings have an Inherent propensity towards hope. If you have any doubt take a look at children. More then anyone else, they reflect our natural state. The reason for this is because, embedded deep within us is a divine spark which animates every fiber of our being. Consequently we believe in the inherent goodness of mankind and the trajectory of history. As expressed in a popular Israeli quote “In the end it will be good”. The challenge is to be able to see through the corruptive forces that obscure the positive energy th

Devarim: Can The Negative Become A Catalyst For Good?

What is the most effective way to deal with the challenges in our lives? Is is possible to transform the negative forces we encounter into a catalyst for good? Human beings have an Inherent propensity towards hope. If you have any doubt take a look at children. More then anyone else, they reflect our natural state. The reason for this is because, embedded deep within us is a divine spark which animates every fiber of our being. Consequently we believe in the inherent goodness of mankind and the trajectory of history. As expressed in a popular Israeli quote “In the end it will be good”. The challenge is to be able to see through the corruptive forces that obscure the positive energy tha

Matot-Massei: Are Your Brothers To Go To War While You Stay Here?

If you are a Jew living in the diaspora and your son or daughter came home one day and told you they have decided to join the IDF. How would you respond? Would you be proud of your child for being so courageous? Or would you try and dissuade him or her by asking them to reconsider? The real question with which we are being confronted is: To what extent are we as Jews responsible to defend our people and our country? What personal sacrifices are we expected to make toward that end? As the Jewish people were about to enter the land of Israel, two tribes ask Moses for permission to settle locally. Moses responded to them rhetorically with a most powerful phrase. He asks “Are your brothers

 

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