Thursday, February 25, 2010


Mostly, each of us has a body that we are free to use. We want to move our heads -- we do so. We want to wiggle our toes -- we do so. We want to stand, walk, run -- we do so. What makes this all possible? -- The blood that runs through our veins.

Likewise, an energy-agent provides us with all the accomplishments, the pleasures we reach, we achieve -- an energy-agent gives us all that we have. What is this agent? It is heavenly help -- in Aramaic, siyata d'shemaya.

We need to know though, that as some people train their bodies to higher levels of ability, so we may use this heavenly help with greater or lesser skill.

A dancer teaches his body to move into difficult positions with ease and grace. A musician coaches her ear to hear a false note. A scientist prepares his mind to explore, methodically, possibilities and combinations of possibilities. Similarly, we must learn to use the heavenly help we receive with precision and polish to arrive at every type of success.

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Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Your "now" is you. Your "now" is your life. The big question is can you enjoy it?

In other words, in addition to cleaning, repairing and building, in addition to sitting in dentist chairs and grinning, you need to be happy, now. This need not take away from your being a lawyer, a house mom, a financial analyst, a storeowner. You can go on building shopping malls, writing books, earning degrees, eating pizza. But you must also love your "now". For, the Creator has given you a gift -- the most Powerful, Wealthy, Intelligent force of all has handpicked a prize for you. To look down on it, reject it, is a terrible mistake -- one of the worst you can make.

On the other hand, to embrace your "now", love it, praise and thank the Creator for it, is the best investment you will ever make. It pays a thousand percent return. It brings you close to the Emperor of All and sits you on a glistening throne. It allows you to be the most powerful, popular, wealthy, intelligent person who ever lived.

So say thank you, smile and be happy, now!

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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Thank-you, thank-you

Try this mantra during your day, "Thank-you, thank-you, please, please".

As you say thank you, think of all the wonderful elements of your life for which you are grateful. As your say please, think of all you still would like. The Creator is as close to us as we are to Him (Tehillim 145.18).

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Monday, February 22, 2010


The best motorcar is one that produces the most power, while burning the least fuel. It's the same for us...

We eat and drink for energy. However, the food itself is not energy. Our digestive system needs to convert our food into power. Ideally, we should burn all the food we consume -- producing maximum energy and minimal waste. In this way, our bodies glow with health, fitness and beauty. However, when our system doesn't work as it could -- we eat a lot, put on weight, spend much time in the bathroom, and have little strength. This leaves us weak and flabby. We need therefore, to doctor our bodies that they may serve us properly.

This idea applies not only to eating, but to every aspect of living.

We take much from our world -- goods and services, homes and holidays. Also, we enjoy many life experiences -- at work, at study, even at play.

The question is then: How much of what we take do we convert into something useful, inspiring, and how much do we waste? How much of what we consume enriches our world, and how much simply dies?

Therefore, we need to adapt, to improvise. We need to think originally. We must want to help others. We must want to create what is more beautiful, more pleasurable. We must make ourselves a "digestive system" that will help us become people who are not only healthy, fit and beautiful -- but also, great.

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Thursday, February 18, 2010


Your favorite lamp broke? You drove your car into a lamppost? The heating system stopped working? Your boss chewed you out? Call it a kapara -- an atonement for one of your wrongs, a carelessness you showed towards the Creator -- and have a great day.

Have a great day. Have a great day. Have a great day. Have a great day.

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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Don't Compete

Don't compete - others are you, your team. In the larger sense, everything around you is you, the larger you. Those who are more than you are; those who are less; even those who, superficially, stand at your life-station -- all are a part of the greater you.

See their genius, anything they produce, any way they enhance the world, as something you started -- a wish you expressed, a hope you nurtured -- that this world should be a better place.

Likewise, see their act of spoiling, destroying, as being something you began. Some laziness, some sadness soured your face, robbed you of the gleam in your eye and the brightness of your smile, and this brought the pollution, the devastation around you.

The whole creation is in your hands. Take it. Make it into something beautiful, something you and others will enjoy. Be a happy and positive, singing and dancing world.

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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

It Depends on Us

It depends on us -- us and only us. We are the ones who can change anything, who can improve the world around us. We may need the Creator's help to accomplish anything, but His help is here. We must simply ask for it.

It depends on us. We have to make it happen. The Creator will help us, but we must make the first move, we must take the first step. It cannot be another way. We have to look for it to happen. We have to ask for it to happen. Then it can happen.

We need to move first. We must make one move, then another, then another. This is sometimes the hardest part -- the resistance that faces us before we take that move. But if we'll ignore our reluctance, if we'll take the initiative, the resistance will fade from before us.

We can make it happen -- now. All we need is to do it -- now!

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Monday, February 15, 2010


We need to be careful not to attach our thoughts to material objects. Our fascination with them prevents us from soaring to higher planes of consciousness, in this world, and the next (heard from Rav Amatzya Yakovzon, shlita).

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Friday, February 12, 2010

Good Story

The body of every good story is the courage and determination that the hero displays in the face of difficulty and challenge. This then should be the focus of our lives, to meet our life situation with greatness.

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Thursday, February 11, 2010


Whatever has happened until now doesn't really matter. Whatever will yet happen in the future also doesn't matter. Only one thing counts: what we say, do and think now.

Our yesterday is a background against which we conduct ourselves today. This background consists of successes and failures, excitements and disappointments. All this the Creator creates as our springboard -- a springboard to launch us towards happiness and success. Specifically, the past we lived through and experienced, is what allows our accomplishment and achievement to be the greater. Thus, there's no reason to worry over it.

The future is also something that shouldn't trouble us. What we do now decides what we deserve to receive -- and what we deserve to receive, we will receive. Good, powerful acts lead to good, powerful results. Poor, weak acts lead to poor, weak results. We simply need to DO the best we can right now, BE the best we can right now -- and KNOW that this will lead to our ultimate satisfaction.

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Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Here is advice worth repeating to ourselves:

One: be happy, excited, enthusiastic about all you do. Do it with a smile, a giggle, a laugh. Do it as a super-fun, new, interesting activity. Be captivated, fascinated. Let your eyes glitter. Rub your hands. Laugh again, just for fun. This is it -- a long-awaited treat, a slot machine pouring out glittering gold, a supersonic ride on a cloud, stars shining bright on white snow, a slide down a rainbow. This attitude has to affect others, and it has to affect you -- for your success, for your joy.

Two: be especially happy, excited, enthusiastic when you do a holy duty. When you stand up to pray, to praise, thank, plead with the Creator; when you help another, giving your time and money to enrich someone else; when you sit in a class, in front of a Torah text to learn, absorb, internalize the Creator's word, do it with a smile, a giggle, a laugh. Do it as though it was super-fun, new, interesting. Be captivated, fascinated. Let your eyes glitter. Rub your hands. Laugh again. This is it -- a long awaited treat, a slot machine pouring out heavenly gold, a supersonic ride through the solar system, sun shining bright on white wool, a shower of heaven's blessings. This attitude has to affect others, and it has to affect you -- for your future, and for your present.

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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Love Life

How ready are you to give away a year of your life, or even month? How about a week, a day? How about 10 minutes?

Unless we know of some magnificent, vital cause, we won't give away even five seconds of the life the Creator gives us. Isn't it a puzzle then, how we allow days, weeks, months and even years to slip by, while we continue simply to exist -- to survive as unfulfilled, empty beings?

Passive, tired, unenthusiastic living is a form of death. How much of our precious time do we lose to such an approach, to such an attitude? We need, instead, to gallop through our days like horses of fire. Our hearts need to burn with passion -- a passion for life. To think actively -- to speak with purpose -- to move positively towards shining goals -- this is life.

To love life is to love the Creator. To love life is to live as the Creator wishes us to live. To love life -- every second of it -- is to fulfill ourselves -- and to win.

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Monday, February 8, 2010

As a Director

We can live our lives as a director directs his movie -- looking to enhance each scene with more emotion, feeling, turning every moment into something special, such that the audience walks away with new inspiration.

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Thursday, February 4, 2010


With each slap of wet sand, the child's sandcastle grows greater, swells grander. Its walls become thicker. Its towers become taller. Now, if that child will keep at his work -- not losing concentration, not pausing in his labors -- how awesome that castle will be.

We too build a castle with our daily activities. Every action we do, every word we speak, every thought we think, is another slap of wet sand against its walls. Positive activities make our towers larger and taller. Negative activities make them smaller.

What is our castle? It is the person we become. It is our stature, our power, our wisdom. It is our confidence and serenity, our enthusiasm, our passion -- the joy of life that shines from us. The greater our castle, the more pleasure we have from ourselves, and from others.

We need to know our castle. We need to focus on it. For, the more we focus on it, the better it comes out. We look at our project, and we become excited about it. And in our excitement, in our eagerness, we build it faster and more beautiful than ever before.

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Wednesday, February 3, 2010


When we make a party -- for a special occasion or no reason at all -- we want it to be fun; we want the food to be tasty; the setting to be attractive, our guests to enjoy themselves.

This only happens, though, with preparation and hard work. We need to buy food, peel, slice and roast it. We need to set out dishes and serve them. We need to sweep and scrub. We need to rearrange tables and chairs. We need to fill balloons. We need to think and plan that our guests should have a wonderful time.

Then there's something else -- something that seemingly needs little preparation. Just as we want our guests to enjoy the party, so we want them to enjoy us. For this, we need a sunny smile, lively eyes, sympathetic ears, and a real desire to make them happy. Isn't this part simple? Yes and no -- think about it. Here are some questions that can help:

One: Do we want to be such a person only when we're at that party, or all year round?

Two: If we're not such a person all year around, do we think we'll fool others for those few hours of our party?

Three: If it does pay to be such a person continually, doesn't this need some study, understanding and training? Doesn't it take some effort?

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Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Do What You Like

Here is an awesome key to success: Do what you are best at doing, and leave the rest to the Creator.

For example, imagine that you are a good cook. Even though you live in a world that doesn't want cooks -- in a world where food is mass-produced -- in a world that's full of good cooks -- ignore all this. Don't look for a different occupation -- especially when it's something you don't like doing -- especially when it's something you are not good at doing. Just cook. Find someone, somewhere, who will give you something for your labors. Then work to the best of your ability. And what of the future? Don't worry. Leave it to the Creator.

This doesn't mean that you don't have to work hard. In addition to doing what you are best at doing, you need to do your best. Also, doing what you enjoy doesn't mean that all will be easy and smooth. You will face tests -- you will confront difficulties. But you'll be the richer for one vital reason -- you'll be doing what you are most happy doing. As for the rest -- with a little thought and a little faith -- you will see that the Creator does it for you.

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Monday, February 1, 2010

Small is Better

Sometimes to be small is better than to be large, to be weak rather than strong, to be poor rather than rich. For, when we are small, weak and poor, we understand more easily, what it is to turn to the Creator and request His help.*

*Based on Rav Moshe Shapiro's explanation of the thanks we add to our prayer over Chanuka

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