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Bereishit: Overcoming Sibling Rivalry

At the dawn of history there is one event that captures a recurring narrative. It is the story of sibling rivalry and it ends in tragedy. Cain and Abel both bring an offering of thanks to G-d to show their appreciation for his blessings. Only, Abel offers the best of his flock whilst Cain gives the leftovers of his produce. G-d responds by taking notice of Abel’s gift but not Cain’s. Cain’s immediate response is not surprising. He becomes angry and saddened by his predicament. He feels humiliated by G-ds preferential treatment towards his brother. G-d responds immediately.  He says “Why are you annoyed, and why is your face dejected? Surely, if you do right, there is uplift”. Cain ca

Shemini Atzeret/Simchat Torah | Joy: A Paradigm Shift

A story is told of a Talmudic Sage who has an out-of-body experience. Upon recovering he is asked by his father to depict his impressions. He responds as follows: “I saw an inverted world. Those above, i.e. those who are considered important in this world, were below, insignificant. Whilst those below, i.e. those who are insignificant in this world, were above.” Life rarely goes according to plan. Things are not what they seem to be. Many truths are counterintuitive. This is why we need to draw guidance and inspiration in our lives, especially in our times, from a deeper source. The climax of the festival series, Sukkot / Shemini Atzeret / Simchat Torah, is described as the “Times Of O

Sukkot: Unconditional Or Performance Based

Do you feel that your parents love you unconditionally or is it performance based? What about the love you have for your parents? What about our relationship with G-d? Is he our father or is he our king? Should we love him or fear him? We can gain insight into the above from delving into the meaning of the festivals we observe during this month of Tishrei. The first half are dominated by festivals described as the “Days Of Awe”. The second are described as the “Times Of Our Rejoicing”. Herein lies the complex and multi faceted nature of the relationship between the Jewish people and G-d. The question is, which festival ultimately captures the essence of that relationship? The first L

Yom Kippur Message: How To Enter ‘The Zone?’

A secular friend once consulted a wise man for advice on getting closer to G-d. He responded: Don’t ask the scholars, they have no idea. Instead, listen carefully to children. We are all in constant search for tranquility in our lives. Some believe this could be achieved through greater financial security or emotional serenity. Others feel the need for a deeper sense of meaning and purpose in life. Yet despite all our genuine efforts this state of being remains elusive. The question is: Is the search for tranquility in our lives futile? A few years back I climbed one of the tallest mountains in Europe. The experience had a profound impact on me. It taught me a powerful lesson on life.

Vayelech: Can People Really Change?

Do you believe people can really change? Have you ever tried to rid yourself of a character flaw? Do you think that you fully appreciate your weaknesses? The High Holidays are upon us. They come and go each year. We try to anticipate a New Year which will engender a fresh start in our lives. However, immediately afterwards, reality returns in all its glory. We seem to revert back to our original state. One of the most intriguing Chassidic sages, Reb Zusha of Anipoli (1718-1800) gave precious insight on the subject of inner transformation. He made this simple by providing a five part meditation series. Each theme is based on a biblical verse corresponding to a letter of which the word



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