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Reasonable Expectations

12/14/2018 02:04:31 PM

Dec14

Whether or not you are open to seeing someone or something in a positive light makes all the difference.

I was recently counseling someone through a bitter dispute he was having with a client.  Understandably, he had built up a very negative image of the client.

In one of our sessions, he brought...Read more...

Quiet Influence

12/07/2018 12:23:48 PM

Dec7

Who are the biggest influencers in your life? How do you influence others?

The chanukah lights contain a profound answer to these questions.

Our rituals and customs each influence us in different ways. When we blow the shofar, or shake the lulav, or pray, or ear matza, or study Torah, or give...Read more...

Thanks For The Sting, Honey

11/30/2018 09:58:40 AM

Nov30

What will you be thankful for this Chanukah?

In the famous chanukah prayer, "V'al hanissim", there are some versions which include something very odd:

"We thank G-d for the miracles, for the salvation, for the...Read more...

But I Have To...

11/23/2018 12:22:43 PM

Nov23

Who is in control of your life – you or someone/something else?

Are you a Yaakov or a Yisrael?

This week’s Torah portion Vayishlach recounts when Yaakov’s name was changed to...Read more...

Before It's Too late...

11/16/2018 12:33:39 PM

Nov16

It's difficult to fully appreciate something whilst we have it. It's much easier to look back and appreciate it. But by that time, it's too late.

This is why many people feel that their lives are filled with missed and undervalued opportunities.

When our children grow up we regret not fully enjoying them in their youth.

Read more...

Reflections On Tragedy And Hope

11/09/2018 12:12:10 PM

Nov9

Some quickly written thoughts that are swirling in my mind as we near the end of this tumultuous week:

Another shooting. 12 dead in California.

A...Read more...

Trust One Who Failed A Driving Test

11/09/2018 12:10:05 PM

Nov9

When I made a silly mistake on my first drivers test, I began to sweat and become very anxious that I would fail. My examiner was a sweetheart and allowed me to pass.

At the time I considered myself very lucky. Ever since, I've been proud of my badge of honor having passed on my first try.

However,...Read more...

You're Not Going To Heaven!

10/19/2018 12:24:31 PM

Oct19

On a flight this week I was surrounded by eighteen tall, broad and handsome soldiers of the US Coast Guard.

When I got seated, I asked the one next to me where they were going. “To New York. “Why?” “On a...Read more...

The Package Called 'Me'

10/12/2018 11:12:47 AM

Oct12

Have you ever wanted to press a reset button on your life?

You may be 20, 30, 50 years old, and thought to yourself, "this is not how I imagined my life would turn out."

If you had...Read more...

There's No Friday On The Jewish Calendar

10/05/2018 02:16:09 PM

Oct5

Semper  Paratus.

It's the official motto of many organizations, including the US Coast Guard.

It's a Latin phrase, meaning 'Always Ready.'

It came to mind after hearing a comment made to me the other day.

At the conclusion of the Jewish month of Tishrei, the month filled with...Read more...

Feeling Overwhelmed? Try This...

09/21/2018 01:45:38 PM

Sep21

The challenge each of us face now is:

How to channel all the inspiration and energy built up over the High Holy Days into our daily practical lives throughout the coming year?

I recently read an amazing study about how to...Read more...

The Perfect Storm

09/14/2018 12:40:11 PM

Sep14

The phrase ‘The Perfect Storm’ comes from the non-fiction book with this title, authored by Sabastian Junger in 1997. Three years later the book was turned into a film with the same name.

The phrase connotes a confluence of bad circumstances that combine to form a monumental disaster. In the...Read more...

Never Fear Sin

08/17/2018 12:44:33 PM

Aug17

Before the Jewish army would go out to war, a priest was appointed to help lead the army -  to accompany, guide and inspire the soldiers.

One of his prep speeches went like this: "Hear, O Israel … Let your hearts not be faint … for the Lord,...Read more...

Do You See Or Hear?

08/03/2018 01:14:14 PM

Aug3

We encounter the world around us through all our different senses.

We taste, touch, smell, listen and see.

But we connect with the most important things in our lives primarily through our ears and eyes. Think about your relationships, your education, your job, your worldview, and you’ll notice how what you see and what you hear are...Read more...

The Happiness Mix

07/20/2018 11:16:09 AM

Jul20

Emotions are complicated.

When we pause to think about what and how we're feeling, we can get confused. Am I feeling like this or like that? Or a little bit of both?

Just try answering Facebook's question...Read more...

A New World Order

07/13/2018 10:56:24 AM

Jul13

This week it was yet again confirmed that which we know to be true deep in our gut.

That when the entire world cooperates together in unison to achieve a goal, no matter how audacious it may be, it will always succeed.

After a long and scary 18-day ordeal, 12 boys and their teacher were...Read more...

Whose Genes Will You Blame?

07/06/2018 12:21:00 PM

Jul6

Why are we so suspicious of others?

Often, when we see someone do something good, we suspect that their intentions are flawed. Do they really mean it? Who are they trying to impress? What are they trying to prove? What do they expect in return? What are they covering up? What is their real agenda?

Similarly, when someone does something which...Read more...

Be A Little Moses!

06/15/2018 12:12:56 PM

Jun15

How should a Jewish leader react when their generation has been overcome by sin and waywardness?

Historically there have been three different kinds of approaches:

Noach paradigm: When G-d planned to destroy all of humanity due to their sinful behavior, he instructed Noach to build an ark to save the good people. Noach worked tirelessly to build the ark and to ensure that he and his family will be saved. But Noach didn’t...Read more...

When G-d Took A Risk

06/08/2018 11:00:27 AM

Jun8

Some episodes are true turning points in history.

This week's Torah portion records one of them. The Jews were preparing to soon enter Israel. They would be led into Israel by Moses, and begin to build and settle their land under his guidance. One can just imagine how glorious that might have...Read more...

The Female Qualitative Edge

03/09/2018 01:30:45 PM

Mar9

For decades the media and other influential voices of society have been campaigning against women. They’ve done so very cleverly, dressing up their campaign by claiming they represent women, and wish to ‘empower’ them and make them be ‘just like everyone else’.

But the root of their campaign...Read more...

Let's Create Life!

02/22/2018 11:08:32 AM

Feb22

We are still in a state of pain and disbelief about the horrific school shootings in Parkland FL last week, which claimed the lives of 17 people, and injured many others.

Fingers of blame are being pointed in many directions – the NRA, the school, the FBI, our politicians, and many other systems.

No...Read more...

WHAT'S THE REAL-FEEL?

01/05/2018 09:36:37 AM

Jan5

Eliezer Wolf

Here’s a typical conversation over the past few days:

A: “Its’ freezing!”

B: “I know. They say that it’s 10 degrees.”

A: “Yeah, but the real-feel is actually -5 degrees!”

Humans have been attempting to make weather predictions for thousands of years. And ever since the invent of science and technology, we have been able to forecast with much greater precision.

In the 1990’s,...Read more...

A LESSON IN SENSITIVITY

12/28/2017 09:33:32 AM

Dec28

Eliezer Wolf

My grandfather Mr. Herschel Klein was a very special man, with true 'old-world' values.

When he retired, he volunteered to teach a Talmud class at my high-school. Each year, days before Pesach, he would take his class on an excursion to the...Read more...

MINORITY RULE

12/22/2017 09:32:14 AM

Dec22

Eliezer Wolf

In a court of law we apply the principle of ‘majority rule’. But sometimes, we ought to simply ignore the majority. Here’s why:

But first: we were all alarmed (though sadly not surprised) at the absurd resolution that was voted upon at the United Nations General Assembly this week. In a vote of 128 to 9, the majority of nations voted for a resolution that demanded that the United States rescind on its recent declaration...Read more...

Keep Calm With A Hammer & Nail

12/01/2017 09:28:58 AM

Dec1

Eliezer Wolf

There is a not-so-well-known custom about how to conclude the ‘shiva’, the week of mourning after the passing of a loved one.

The mourner bangs a nail into the place where they sat shiva and grieved their loss.

The source for this custom is obscure. Here is one of the possible...Read more...

MY SHORTEST HIGH HOLYDAY SERMON

10/18/2017 09:22:21 AM

Oct18

Eliezer Wolf

Of the many sermons that I shared over the High Holy Day season, perhaps the most important one was delivered this past Saturday night, at the end of Shabbat Bereishit, which concluded the festival season.

Following is a transcript:

Read more...

Anger Management

08/25/2017 12:12:41 PM

Aug25

When life throws you a lemon, and you are tempted to throw a fit, there are 2 paths to dealing with it: 1) Emunah-Faith, 2) Emotional Control.

The 'Faith Path' means that you realize that everything is orchestrated by G-d, so it's best to simply raise your hands and ride...Read more...

How A Racist Is Born

08/18/2017 11:22:34 AM

Aug18

“See, I have placed before you the blessed path and the cursed path. The blessed path – when you will obey the commands of the Lord. The cursed path – if you won’t obey the commands of the Lord, and you will worship other gods.”

These are the famous opening verses of this week’s parshat Re’eh....Read more...

Israel's Sword & Bow

07/07/2017 12:37:57 PM

Jul7

Rabbi Eliezer Wolf

 

"Balak the son of Zippor [king of Moav] saw all that Israel had done to the Amorites.”

This is the opening verse of this week’s Torah portion. Simply understood, the verse is introducing the ensuing story why Balak wished to curse the Jewish people. Just recently the Jews had successfully...Read more...

Life's Like A Mountain, Or Two

06/30/2017 12:56:52 PM

Jun30

Rabbi Eliezer Wolf

There are a lot of Mountains featured in Biblical history.

Moses received the Torah from G-d upon Mount Sinai.

Moses passed away upon Mount Nevo.

Aharon, his brother, passed away upon Hor Hahar, Mount Mountain.

Mount Mountain is a strange name....Read more...

Wed, December 19 2018 11 Tevet 5779