Parashat Hashavua

Say: Bless You

 

Say: Bless You

If you wanna be happy for the rest of your life .. BE HOLY! (what?)

Okay – who cares about HOLY these days? Maybe you should (and not only because themedical researchers say you live longer).

Mini Quiz – and the answers are ALL RELATED!

Do you ever speak to the supermarket check-out person?

What is a REGEL in Hebrew? (NOT a Beigel)

What are the holiest days in the Jewish Calendar?

Who is the holiest person in Jewish litany?

Let’s answer them backwards –


The High Priest is SUPPOSED to be the holiest person in theholiest Temple.

The holiest days in the Jewish calendar are –

THE DAYS THEPRIESTHOOD BLESS ALL THE PEOPLE.

(High Holy Days and the THREE REGALIM – Happy Holidays–

Passover Sukkot andShavuote)

REGEL means FOOT - and also “Getting Used To things (HERGEL)”

So here’s the connection -

IF YOU GET USED TO BLESSING PEOPLE

HERGEL

EVERY DAY WILL BE A HAPPY HOLIDAY

REGEL

Try it on the check-out person –

Say “Bless you” – and get a smile-

Or a blessing back!

Shabbat Shalom


Rabbi Andy Eichenholz

a Sabbath of Spies?

 

?a Sabbath of Spies

This Torah portion says Moses re-named Joshua

G-d re-named Sarah and Abraham so they could have Jewish Children

Was Moses trying to be like G-d?
NO - he was LEARNING from G-d - and IT HELPED -

and Joshua said NOTHING BAD after spying out Israel

but WHAT WAS HE SENT TO SEE THERE?

10 leaders did NOT HAVE THE EYES or the HEART to Understand the

LAND OF ISRAEL -

THEY DID NOT KNOW THEY WERE SENT THERE TO understand
THAT G-D LOVES THE PEOPLE AND THE LAND OF ISRAEL
(AND THE TORAH OF ISRAEL)

so they (10) criticized it -

and caused a tragedy -

so IF YOU DON't have forgiving and understanding eyes and heart -

LEARN FROM G-d and

as the Rebbi Shlomo Carlebach used to always say

OPEN YOUR HEARTS (in order to really see the truth)

Love and Shabbos from Tel Aviv

Rabbi Andy Eichenholz

You never know

 

You never know

There's a tradition that the world survives because there are 36 HIDDEN righteous people.

They do Mitzvot that others can't or don't or WON't do.

Why do I believe in this tradition?

Because of Charley in Manhattan.

A homeless fellow I have known for years

I once was having an asthma attack - before I knew I had asthma - and he was there and gave me a spray device with Albuterol (what you take when you have an attack).

I had some work to do but needed a helper - and none of my regular workers were available -

but Charley was there - and offered to help me carry a 20 foot ladder and hold it while I made some repairs (I paid him of course - but I couldn't have done that very urgent work that day without an assistant).

I couldn't find a good Yiddish dictionary I was looking for - and he pulled one right out of his shopping bag.

Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach would always talk to and give charity to homeless folks - and they all loved him - and he taught us - well - it sounhds silly but -

"you never know"!

I came back from New York to Israel yesterday - and this morning and was too tired to get up for my Minyan at Dawn.

But I was stubborn and got to a later minyan -

where I gave some charity to a family with 8 kids who need money to stop being evicted.

I'm ALWAYS up at dawn - but - YOU NEVER KNOW why I had to get to that minyan!

So whenever you talk to or help out a homeless person REMEMBER -

with MITZVAS - you NEVER KNOW! JUST DO IT!


Love and Shabbos

Mazel Tov to Ivy and Anthony on their new baby!

Rabbi Andy (Chanoch) Eichenholz

Lfum Tzara Agra

 

Okay - so Maimonides probably would not be able to decide -

BUT LIKE A GOOD JEW HE POSED THE QUESTION -

is the totally righteous person a stronger soul - or

a person who is able to follow his "good will" and mostly control his dark side ?

No - I'm not saying Green Lantern had a Dark Side - BUT

doen't everyone (or almost everyone) - just a little?

Maimonides quotes the Talmud

Lfum Tzara Agra -

(from there the health fanatics learned "no pain no gain")

we get Spiritual Reward based on the EFFORT we put in

to our Spirits!

How do we do that?

Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach told the wise little story-

"The holy Sanzer Rebbe called in his children

after they were bar mitzvahed and said to them,

"From now on, I just want to be your best friend."

That trust gave those children self-confidence

which GIVES US SPIRITUAL STRENGTH

And Rabbi Carlebach told this:

Every Morning the Lubavitcher Rebbe would go to the Mikva on Albany Street - and walking down Union street he would always say good morning to a person he saw every day. And the person would reply "good morning Rabbi".

Each day that person wanted to say good morning FIRST - but every morning the Rebbe would say GOOD MORNING from further away!

Imagine the spiritual strength the Rebbe had - to ALWAYS GREET his fellow person FIRST - to start the OTHER PERSON's day with a SMILE!!!

(I never saw that in a Mighty Mouse cartoon or a Green Lantern comic though....)

Shabbat Shalom

Rabbi Andy Eichenholz

Have a Date With G-d

 

Have a Date With G-d

Modified this week by Rabbi Andy Eichenholz -
from Rabbi David Aron's teaching of Isralight
Jerusalem, Israel - 
and a word from Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach OB"M

lights!
huh?

All the Jewish holidays plug us into the (GOOD) drama in Jewish life.

Otherwise it's easy to forget.


Rabbi Aron likes to quote Henny Youngman's joke

"I became an atheist - until I realized there were no HOLIDAYS!"

So Jewish holidays return us to - what?


You can always CELEBRATE - but onnecting your celebrations to RELIVING


The "sharp turns and striking contrasts" in Jewish history.

It's like Having a Date with G-d -

Remembering what was meaningful in the past,

and thinking together with a significant other-

about what is in thepresent and what can be in the future.


Torah says "your holidays are HOLY-

and why?

BECAUSE THEY MAKE US us to recognize THAT-

G-d’s love is with us all the time.

Each holiday celebrates a critical ingredient in the recipe for a lovingrelationship with G-d and our fellow man —

freedom, JOY, responsibility, fallibility, accountability, 

forgiveness, spontaneity, integrity, wholeness,intimacy, anticipation, hope and trust.

Each holiday in the Jewish calendar is a date with G- d - TO TREASURE

and adapted from a recording to Rav Shlomo (from something I just received)

LAG B'OMER is the CELEBRATION of the SECRET LIGHT hidden in everything-

the Treasure G-d leaves for us in this world-

and it is in studying the secrets of the Torah

as well as the REVEALED and SIMPLER teachings -

that reveal that LIGHT for all the world

Parashat Tazria

 

The following teaching from Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach was forwarded to me by friends -
I have edited only a few words - so those who did not know the style of Rabbi Shlomo would best understand the idea. 

---Rabbi Shlomo's words: 

Sweetest Friends, 

This Parsha (TAZRIA) we learn about a child being born, 
and then the Parsha talks about talking only good about others 
What is the connection? 

You know friends, 
holiness means to be connected to time 
(Rabbi Carlebach used to speak about all time and the NOW - and infinity) ! 

(We are counting 49 days - Omer - from Passover to Shavuote) 
When I count the Omer 
(and today is 20 days of the OMER) 

I say,please Hashem (G-d), 
please take me back to the holy Temple 
(when we brought to Omer grains to the Temple) 
(When a child is born - all counting starts from their new birth!) 

The biggest fixing 
of (from) the holy Temple (that we had in Jerusalem) 
is knowing the time TO DO WHAT"S RIGHT (at the RIGHT TIME) 
There (from the Holy Temple)
I can learn the holiness of receiving life every second - as if we were babies just born. 
If we would treat each other like we were just created right now 
(ALL NEWBORNS), 
we wouldn't hate each other, 
(and that would fix the whole world) 

because I only hate you for something you did yesterday. 
So when Meshiach is coming, 
why will we suddenly begin to love each other? 
Because I (will) look at every person like they were just created, 
(like everything RIGHT NOW IS NEW - even relationships - and 
it fixes everything between people) 

So - ok, you didsomething wrong yesterday, but who cares? 
Right NOW to me you're a new born baby-like person. 
(and who could not love you?) 

love and shabbos 
Rabbi Andy Eichenholz

Portion Shemote: Burning Baby (car), Burying the (passing) Jews, and the Flight to Israel

Portion Shemote: Burning Baby (car), Burying the (passing)  Jews, and the Flight to Israel
 
 
 
What a Portion - a whole new life - a new beginning
 
for the Children of Israel (of Jacob) and a message to us every day!
 
First some questions - Was it easy for Moses' mother to hide him for three months?
 
While the other kids were being tossed into the Nile, his Mom Yocheved hides him - like during the holocaust.
 
Somehow there was always someone ratting on others - so it WAS A MIRACLE THEY (or anyone) SURVIVED!
 
And it is obvious that Moses' father hid his wife Yocheved for a few months too, and brought them food - like in some holocaust stories.
 
And those holocaust stories of bravery are true!
 
Don't Ever Forget every Jew who survived the holocaust was a miracle story.
 
I personally know someone born in a ghetto and hidden for a year,
and someone born in a cave under the noses of first the Nazis and then the Russians! Lives in NJ.
 
So the Torah gives us a glimpse into the cruelty of the Egyptians (some of ther world) 
and the bravery of Moshe's family.
 
May we be saved from the cruelty of the world 
- and may the world FINALLY GET IT that G-d wants gentleness devotion and love.
 
So unfortunately David from NY suddenlypassed on this week with no children.
 
The people from work and his neighbors - mostly gentiles -
described his gentleness and helpfulness for many years.  
 
May those feelings of appreciation carry over to others and to other good deeds in David's memory. Indeed he was a caring and sweet man - I'm sure he was like Moshe's father Amram - who probably was able to save his family because people loved him and everyone covered for him despite the Egyptian cruelty.
 
David's Holy Cousins arranged the funeral which I performed on Wednesday - 
a Great Mitzva - despite my crazy USA schedule and
before rushing to the airport to come back to the Holy Land.
 
On the way - my friend's car caught fire! 
On the NJ Turnpike we were going towards the Lincoln tunnel.
 
Hundreds of cars passing us and honking on BOTH SIDES! - But nobody stopping.
 
Mike the driver runs out, gets me and his son out, and grabs a few things while I and the son run to the side.
 
After a few minutes a big white car drives up and stops.
 
Forget terrorists and kidnappers (first thoughts of the others).
 
This not uyoung lady with a heavy Russian accent says "can I give you a lift to port authority?" (NYC bus station).
 
She says "I am not Jewish but I see an old (thanks!) Rabbi with a white beard 
standing with a suitcase opposite a fire on the highway
 
"How can I not stop the traffic and offer you a ride?
 
"It is like me seeing Moses and the Burning Bush in this desert of unfeeling humanity."
 
Meanwhile there is all this honking and what to do? My friend is calling for a tow, traffic is stalled -
 
so I said goodbye to my friends who agreed... I
 
throw my stuff intot the car - and get to New York!
 
There her friend - the owner of the car - drives me to JFK and I make the plane on time!
 
So Shemote is the story of saving others
 
then of inspiration at the burning bush
 
and the difficult decision to do what's right in the face of threats (Pharoah and the New Jersey Turnpike Traffic).
 
May we all be inspired to be part of the rebirth of humanity in the spirit of the Bible.
 
IT AINT JUST A LOT OF STORIES!
 
Shabbat Shalom
 
Rabbi Andy Eichenholz
 

Portion of Vayeirah – and it appeared to Abraham (after the Bris-es in his household:

Portion of Vayeirah – and it appeared to Abraham (after the Bris-es in his household:

Back to normal after the party – right?
But NOT after minor surgery – right?
Yet here is Abraham in the desert looking to invite 3 little heathens into his home …

From Rabbi Moshe Tzv Nerya OB"M (thanks to his son Zev):

Abraham loved the world and all its inhabitants as the Almighty loves them – BECAUSE of the GOOD they are DESTINED to ACCOMPLISH – and that's how he SEES THEM –
Little angels or little heathens – ALL part of the Almighty's plan.
From the thoughts of Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach: "and it APPEARED to Abraham …
that there were three people walking in the desert – "

Yet when he invites them for a meal and to rest a little bit "by him" – they show to be angels, 
and bless him and Sarah with a child Isaac (who WILL bring laughter to the WORLD),

And they save Lot, and his daughters, who will EVENTUALLY bring birth to King David- (and LATER ON the Jewish Moshiach who WILL BRING ABOUT the Almighty's redemption-)

All this for just a few matzos, hamburgers, a seat in the shade …!

SO REMEMBER THIS WEEK – the anniversary of Rabbi Shlomo's passing – when we read
This week's Torah portion-
What we REALLY can leave for the world!

Shabbat Shalom from Israel
Rabbi Andy Eichenholz

What do you do with a Leper? Portion of Metzora

What do you do with a Leper? Portion of Metzora

 

What do you do with a Leper? Portion of Metzora 
Of course - you CURE them! 
And when it's time for them to return to the community - 
the Torah says "you take for them 2 birds ..." 

Later in the Portion Metzora - about other sacrifices - 
it says "They will take" - 

so the secret of the DIFFERENCE we can only learn from Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach (zatza"l) 

Who's more a leper to society than the people roaming the streets? 

One of the Rabbis of Manhattan once told me 
"Rabbi Shlomo took us on a tour of Riverside Park- 
at midnight last night- 
and he taught us how to do the Mitzva of Charity- 
we went around and talked with all the HOMELESS people 
sleeping in the park 

and gave them some money - 
but the most important was to talk with them" 

Because the Torah says "take for them 2 birds" 
the Kohen helps them in the process of returning to the community ... 

Let us all be a part of the redemption as we prepare for Passover 

Love and Shabbos from Israel 

Rabbi Andy Eichenholz