Sanctify yourself through the permissible... Yevamos 20a

Divrei Torah to provide Chizuk in the struggle to balance spiritual and physical needs.

L'Iluei Nishmas Mirkah Bas Yosef

Monday, March 26, 2012

Watering the Garden of Gratitude


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The power of a nurturing relationship.

Try and remember the person that had the greatest influence on your life. Maybe it was a teacher, a relative, a grandparent, a spiritual guide or a military commander. Notice that this particular person had certain qualities that you adored, even though he or she wasn't always easy on you. Let's reconstruct those qualities and put them down on paper:

1. You had no doubt that this person categorically cared about you and only wanted the best for you.

2. This person believed in you completely, even when you failed to believe in yourself.

3. This person always seemed to know how you feel.

4. This person was a great listener.

from http://lazerbrody.typepad.com/lazer_beams/

When I read this I realized that this is a perfect description of a good sponsor.  This is one of the most powerful success tools of the 12 step program.  I am so grateful to Hashem for sending me a great sponsor.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

My personal prayer while eating-it really helps.

When I am eating my weighed and measured meal, there is always a point when I look at my food and say, "Oh, no, there is not much left."  I try to use this as a reminder to daven for 3 things:
1) That Hashem should keep me abstinent until my next meal.
 2) That Hashem should make me satisfied from this meal, and
 3) That my food should be a Refuah. (I read in a Sefer by  Rabbi Nachman that our food can be a refuah.)

I have shared this with many people and they say that it helps them too, so I decided to post it.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Put on a Happy face

Dry Bones cartoon: Purim, Holiday, Jewish Culture, Judaism, Jewish,

A Dvar Torah from Rabbi Katzenstein - Purim

What is Purim? In truth, many believe they know the answer to this question, but in actuality they don’t. To numerous people, Purim is an “everything goes” day, a day in which all limitations are removed and all restrictions are non-existent. They say whatever they want, and they do whatever they want. To others, Purim is simply a masquerade, with the most important feature being their costume. This, however, is far from the truth!
Chazal teach us that in the days of Moshiach, of all of the Yomim Tovim, Purim will be the one that remains, for Purim is a taste of “tomorrow.” What does this cryptic allusion to tomorrow mean?  ביום ההוא יהי' ה' אחד ושמו אחד, on that day HaShem will be One and His name will be One. Upon the arrival of Moshiach, all will recognize the Oneness of HaShem, all will be cognizant of the fact that it is He and only He that created and maintains all that is. It is this truth that will unite us as a nation, and the entire world, under the domain and dominion of HaShem. All of our differences will dissipate, and all of our diversity will seem petty, as we will comprehend and appreciate all that transpires is the will of HaShem. It is this feeling that is palpable on Purim. The togetherness and camaraderie is tangible. The friendship and togetherness is manifest. It is a glimpse of the much anticipated “tomorrow” that we anxiously await and long for.
Purim is a wonderful day filled with many mitzvos all sharing this common theme and fostering this feeling. Mishloach Manos conveys the idea that, if it were to be possible, we would all join at one tremendous communal seuda. Since we cannot, we send each other gifts of food, sharing our festive meal, relaying the reciprocal message to others that I wish you could be my guest. We give Matanos L’evyonim, expressing to the less fortunate, that as we are ready to dine royally, our feast would be incomplete knowing that our brother is lacking and needy.
The Gemora tells us that in contrast to Matan Torah, on Purim the Jewish people re-affirmed their commitment to HaShem and His Torah out of pure love. This love was an expression of sincere thanks for being miraculously saved from Haman and his cohorts and their diabolical plan to annihilate our nation. The Purim story represents of our myopic view of the world around us, the many times that we do not perceive the ways of HaShem. It is a sign of the ecstasy and excitement that exists when at the end we understand in hindsight the profundity of all that transpired.
May Purim enable us to feel the extraordinary love of HaShem, to shower others with our affection, and to merit such great days through the coming of Moshiach.
A Freilchen Purim!
Rabbi Katzenstein

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

At the Purim Seudah we are on a higher madregeh then at Neilah of Yom Kippur.

I went to a Shiur last night by Rebetzin Kalmonovitz last night  who said that at the Purim Seudah we are on a higher madregeh then at Neilah of Yom Kippur.  Hashem opens gates that are not open at any other time of the year.  Hashem forgives us for things that we did not do Teshuva for, and for things that we did intentionally, as long as we are filled with the Bitachon that everything that Hashem does is for the best (like in the story of Mordechai and Esther).  This is the reason for wanting to be in a state that we dont know the difference between Bless Mordechai and Curse Haman.  In the end, whatever happens is for our best, so even the seemingly bad is really a blessing.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Gam Zu L'Tova on Purim

In our lives there is nothing good or bad, there is just sweet and bitter.  Since everything comes from Hashem, nothing is bad.  In the Purim Story, the things that made the situation seem the worst, were actually the root cause of the redemption.  This is the essence of Purim, looking at things in our lives that seem difficult and realizing that they were really for the best.

from A Shiur by Rabbi Berkowitz on Aish.com -Purim Perspectives
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