During the period when Maimonides served as the royal physician to the Sultan of Egypt, the Sultan never became ill. One day the Sultan asked Maimonides, possibly in jest, “How do I know that you are an expert physician, since during the period that you have been here, I have never been ill, and you have not had the opportunity to test your skills?” Maimonides replied, “In truth, the great and faithful physician is the Holy One, Blessed be He, as it is written, ‘I, the Lord, am your healer.’ And this Great and Faithful Physician was able to promise His people that because He is their Physician, He will be able to protect them from all the illnesses that were inflicted on Egypt.” Maimonides concluded, “Therefore, we learn that the ability of a physician to prevent illness is a greater proof of his skill than his ability to cure someone who is already ill.”
The Torah does not place the entire responsibility for maintaining good...
In the 1950s, a Harvard-trained researcher based out of Johns Hopkins named Curt Richter ran some fascinating experiments.
He wanted to see how long rats could swim in two different conditions.
In the first condition, he simply let them swim as long as they could before giving up and drowning. They lasted 15 minutes.
Then, in the other condition, right before they were about to reach their maximum threshold of 15 minutes, he picked them up and dried them off and let them rest briefly before putting them back in.
Guess how long they were able to swim after that quick reprieve.
Only a few more minutes? Another 15 minutes? Maybe 30 minutes?
Try 60 (!!!) HOURS!!!
After being saved those little rats swam for an absolutely astonishing 240 times longer.
15 minutes vs. 60 hours. That’s crazy.
Why? How is that possible?
Richter said it was because of one very simple thing: HOPE.
The rats that had been saved had “seen” a better future. They “knew” there was a...
Guard Your Health- The Importance Of Exercise
Harvard MD psychiatrist John Ratey puts it brilliantly in his great book Spark—which is all about the science of how exercise changes our brain.
He tells us that exercising “is like taking a little bit of Prozac and a little bit of Ritalin because, like the drugs, exercise elevates these neurotransmitters.” The bottom line: “exercise balances neurotransmitters — along with the rest of the neurochemicals in the brain.”
A bunch of research has shown that exercising is as effective as Zoloft in reducing depression. You can bring people who are experiencing depression into a lab and randomly assign them to a few different groups. One group takes an anti-depressant pill, another group exercises and another does both.
Then, the researchers track their levels of depression after a few months.
The exercise group consistently outperforms the other groups. Unfortunately, exercise doesn’t...
One of the main tenants of Chassidic philosophy is that “G-d desires the heart”. While the mind is the seat of the intellect and logic, it is nevertheless fallible to self absorption and ego.
The Mishnah says that “the world stands upon 3 pillars: Torah, Teffilah and charitable deeds”. The Kabbalists says that the Mishnah’s assessment of “the world stands- exists” refers to the totality of the world’s existence. If mankind is viewed in terms of collective time, it stands that the earlier generations fixed the aspect of learning Torah on the supreme level of allowing the world to “stand”. The latter generations are meant to fix the 2 remaining pillars of Teffilah and charitable deeds.
In some Kabbalistic writings it is brought out that the job of the really latter generations- us, is to fix prayer, while in others it is to fix charitable deeds.
In light with the Chassidic approach to prayer both approaches are true, since...
“These are the names of the Children of Israel. with Jacob each man and his household, coming (descending) into Egypt”
A New King
The new King who “did not know Joseph” is the Yeter Hara - the negative inclination, called an old foolish king. This king has no knowledge of G-d (called Joseph), “and he told his nation”- the powers of negativity. “The nation of Israel is becoming great and mightier than us”, the Yeter tov- positive inclination is becoming mightier than us.
Pharaoh had to do something- quick!
The Israelites are summoned to build cities of storage for Pharaoh. Pharaoh has the letters of העורף- the nape. Unlike the face, the nape is desensitized and the inner (holier) motivation is unseen. The pyramids -“let us build cities of storage, Pitom and Rameses”- let us subjugate the body within the powers of negativity.
Pitom- “the mouth of the abyss” has the letters פה...
"The people of the book", is a pretty accurate description of the Jewish people, wouldn't you say?
More than merely study, learning is intertwined with the very fabric of Jewish survival. Learning Torah has always been the secret of not just spiritual survival, but had the protective qualities to safeguard the individual and the community from the turbulent waves of the world, giving wisdom, inspiration and hope to a people who has defied history.
We have had many leaders throughout the ages, but the leadership of Joseph and Judah lay the foundations of "the people of the book" as they start their long rode in Egypt and all subsequent exiles.
Joseph & Judah diametrically different.
Joseph was exceptional. He started off as an a child prodigy we may say. According to Kabbalah, Joseph represents the Sefirah of Yesod. Yesod is called Tzadik- the righteous one and was endowed with the abilities to remain mentally focused and morally righteous...
#21 What Is Within A Word?
The Ba’al Shem Tov says that infinite possibilities are hidden within either a spoken or written word. בא אל התיבה״- go into the arc”, the word Teiva- arc, also means word. The Ba’al Shem Tov says means the meaning of this verse is that we go not just into the arc but into the word.
On a similar note it says “male and female should enter the arc”. The Ba’al Shem Tov explains that there are “2 meanings in all words, the male aspect and the female”. Kabbalah explains that the male aspect is more connected to mercy while the female is connected to judgement.
Meaning that we can analyze the meaning of things in their negative or positive way.
The idea here is that we should view words, not just of the Torah but of people and ourselves in their positive light.
#22 Procreative Information
The Talmud - Berachot 63b says “they lectured in a congregation of Torah”. The Mishnah-...
The Tenth of Tevet is one of the four fast days that commemorate dark times in Jewish history. The others are Tisha B'Av (the day of the destruction of both Temples in Jerusalem), the 17th of Tammuz (the day of the breaching of the defensive wall of Jerusalem by Titus and the Roman legions in 70 CE), and the third of Tishrei (the day that marks the assassination of the Babylonian-appointed Jewish governor of Judah, Gedaliah ben Achikam. He was actually killed on Rosh Hashanah but the fast day was advanced to the day after Rosh Hashanah because of the holiday).
The Tenth of Tevet marks the onset of the siege of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar, the King of Babylonia, and the beginning of the battle that ultimately destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple of Solomon, and sent the Jews into the 70-year Babylonian Exile. The date of the Tenth of Tevet is recorded for us by the prophet Yechezkel, who himself was already in Babylonia as part of the first group of Jews exiled there by Nebuchadnezzar,...
Ma’ayan 1// Nahar 9
We are in spiritual world history class. In this chapter, Rabbi Avraham Azulai speaks about the second “providential watch”, which takes place after the primordial sin of Adam. The negative impact of the primordial sin is comparable to that of the destruction of the Temple where Kabbalah says the two letters Hey (Binah and Malchut) of G-d’s holy name went into exile.
Those supernal sources become shut and had never since been reopened since the sin. Meaning , that the revelation of Keter (the Divine subconscious) become shut from becoming revealed within Chochmah (Divine intelligence). The two adjoining Middot (Sefirot) were now unable to receive Divine flow from their supernal root of Keter.
The primordial sin caused the world to descend down into the Klipah (literally husk or shell but referring to negativity) not to become elevated until the world will reach it’s final rectification when the world will be cleansed from...
Lectures On Morning Prayer# 2
The ARI tells us that there are 2 levels within the worlds, the external and the internal dynamics. The external level of the worlds are the Divine Chariot, angels and offanim a lower form of angels. Although the “worlds” are spiritual, there is nevertheless the external framework of operation.
The inner level, the soul of creation is manifested in the form of Nefesh within the world of Asiyah, Ruach within the world of Yetzirah, Neshama within the world of Beriyah. Each one of these levels has as well external and internal realms.
It is known what the Zohar (Vayakhel 211b) says that we must begin a fixing on the realm of action, which include 4 preliminary preparations to access the soul of prayer.
Part of soul
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