Monday, December 31, 2012


Rebbe Nachman says that joy is essential to our service of Hashem, as well as to our health and wellbeing.  It was one of his favorite topics to talk about, constantly striving to serve Hashem with joy, to be happy, etc.  Rabbi Arush and Rabbi Brody both continue to talk about striving to serve Hashem with joy as well.  This week I get to put this into practice an extra bit.  Saturday Night, while walking down some icy stairs in Chicago, I slipped, and before I knew it, I was flat on my back and my ankle was really sore.  So sore that I could hardly walk, and had to see a doctor.  Turns out I broke my leg, just above the ankle on the non weight bearing bone (Thank Hashem for that!)  Now, why do I mention this when talking about joy?  Because I could be all sad and depressed that I am not able to work, and am not able to do much as I used to, or I could remain upbeat, make jokes about the experience, and enjoy life with a smile on my face.  I admit this is not as big of a challenge as other people have, but for an independent guy, its still hard.  Perhaps the lesson here is that I need to recognize all the help that Hashem provides me with in my life, and be more grateful to the Ribbono Shel Olam for all that He does.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Quote from Rabbi J Schneersohn

"When a Jew studies Torah he feels like a student before Hashem. his teacher, Whose wisdom he is studying.  When he prays, he feels like a child before his father."  Sourced from Lessons in Tanya, volume 1 page 184 on the bottom.

Thursday, December 27, 2012


Louis Jacobs writes:
"In Slabodka they taught: man is so great, how can he sin? In Navaradok they taught: man is so small, how dare he sin?"
I think if Rebbe Nachman would to have to chose one of the two Derechs, he would chose Slobadka.  After all the Rebbe's works are all about how much Hashem loves you no matter what, finding your good points, and recognizing your inner greatness, or gadlus.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Problems and background.

First things first, on the lighter side of things, I have a new background, which I found on the website:
Much thanks to the Rabbi of the site for pointing to me where I could actually download the picture to use myself.
On the heavier side of things, I have problems, everybody does, and marriage just makes them worse in many cases, especially if you don't realize that you have them.  However, sometimes marriage allows you and forces you to confront these problems, and work on them in ways that you might not have been strong enough or able to do on your own.  One such problem I have had was with eating, I have always had a problem with eating ever since I got to college.  I never really learned how to self regulate my food intake, so I gained weight, cause I would always eat to much- eating was a very pleasurable activity, and since I did not have a lot of friends who I would eat by, I ate more than I should because I wasn't conversing in the middle of eating, which helps cut down on food intake.  Recently my wife and I decided to go to OA to try and get help with our eating and get it under control.  The other problem I have had also became much more of a problem in college, only I didn't realize it was such a problem until it almost cost me my marriage two months ago.  I am an internet porn addict.  Thank Hashem, I have been clean for almost 2 months now, steps have been taken to prevent the problem from being an issue in the immediate and long term sense, and I am getting help.  My message is, if you have a problem, admit it, seek help.  You will save major headaches if you can sense a problem before it becomes worse.  A Moshal if you will:  Getting a cavity drilled, and filled involves a little bit of pain, time and money.  But if you ignore the problem, getting a crown or even a root canal, involves a lot more pain, time and money.  There is no shame in getting help, only in not getting it.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012


Human beings are meant to grow.  We are meant to change, over time for the better.  Our traits are meant to be improved upon, slowly over time, we are supposed to be more patient, less angry, more giving, less stingy, etc.  Judaism says that if you want to be happy, you have to be growing.  It is commonly said that if you are not growing in your Judaism, you are sinking, there is no standing still, and if you feel that you are standing still, than you are for sure sinking!  The Vilna Gaon says that we were put on this earth in order to grow.  Also, Rabbi Schafier of the Shmuz says that we are only going to truly be happy when we are growing, and coming closer to Hashem, something Chassidus says as well.  Rabbi Schafier likens this world to a gym, a world of growth, sweat, and hard work, and then we can enjoy the spa of the afterlife after all the hard work we put in down here.  If you have ever taken a shower after a nice workout, than you certainly know what that feels like.  Only, heaven is over a million times better than that.

Sunday, December 2, 2012


As I wrote in my last post, I have been really struggling in my avodas Hashem, things are getting better, I am learning more than I was before, and even though I am not doing all that I should, I have more desire to serve Hashem than I did.  Not totally sure what has done it, I have made it a point to read and learn more mussar, and I talked to a friend about my lack of desire on and for Shabbos, he suggested that I visit the Mikvah before Shabbos, and it seems to have worked.  I do look forward to starting to learn Tanya again tomorrow, and reintroducing more Chassidus into my life.