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Va’etchanan: How To Improve Our Adaptability Skills

As days become weeks and weeks turn into months, we are all being compelled to adapt to a new reality, otherwise referred to as the “new normal”. Change is never easy. We are all creatures of comfort. However, sometimes we have no choice. In truth, the forces which compel us to adapt to a new reality are divinely engineered. It is G-d telling us, I know you can do better. As Darwin said: “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, it is the one that is the most adaptable to change.” Our challenge today is, how do we improve our adaptability skills? The Jewish people are perhaps the greatest example in history of learning to adapt to new conditions. We have not only survived more c

Devarim: Jack’s Wish - A True Story

It all began last Sunday when I received a call from a friend. He said to me, “Rabbi, my brother just passed away in Goa, India and wanted to be cremated. Can you help?” I realised straight away that this was going to be a complicated issue. A Jew living in Goa! Wants to be cremated! Where do I even begin? I thought of the teaching of the Baal Shem Tov, that when a Jew hears of another Jew’s distress it is because G-d believes you can help. I decided this would become my top priority and that I would do all that was possible. I asked my friend if he thought we should give his brother a Jewish burial. He was torn, but at the same time adamant. If his brother Jack’s wish was to be cremated, th

Matot-Massei: Is Life The journey Or The Destination?

The history of the Jewish people is fascinating and intriguing, precisely because of their continual migration. Throughout the ages we have been compelled to leave our respective homes and travel to foreign lands. Where would the Jewish people be today if we had remained in the land of Israel? Einstein once said: “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving”. However, in order to keep moving, one needs direction. Challenges are G-d's way of reminding us that we need to keep moving. If we are not constantly moving we are not truly living. Setting targets in our personal and professional lives are like destinations. They help challenge us to move beyond our comfor

Parshat Pinchas: "I Wish Only To Be Remembered As A Mentsch"

Einstein once said “if I had one hour to save the world, I would spend fifty-five minutes defining the problem and only five minutes finding the solution.” What’s wrong with the world today? Is there a unifying cause which explains all the ills engulfing us? I came across an interview in the FT with Maurice Levy, Chairman of Publicis. (We are hosting him on the CJL Fireside Chat July 15). He is asked: How do you want to be remembered? To which he responds: “I wish only to be remembered as a good man; in Yiddish one would say a ‘Mentsch.’” There are schools and universities around the world dedicated to teaching every possible subject or discipline. Perhaps there should be one dedicated to te

Chukat-Balak: Navigating In Times Of Uncertainty

Many studies have shown that uncertainty is even more stressful than knowing something bad is inevitably coming. Navigating life in a world of unknowns is one of mankind’s greatest challenges. We spend our lives trying to create a sense of security for ourselves and our families. We earn a living to provide food and shelter for our loved ones, and to provide an education for our children. We save money to ensure against possible turbulent times ahead. We purchase a wide range of insurance products to protect ourselves from an unforeseen calamity. Sometimes however, the cause of uncertainty is even more profound. Conventional methods of protection are no longer useful. We find ourselves livin

 

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