Habit building is essential for us to build lasting change and shape the personality we seek to become. In this class we delve into the fundamentals of habit building and the practical ways we can install new positive habits and uninstall the negative ones..
Habits are the actions that we consistently and often routinely do. Our habits form our personality and the self image we have about ourselves. Whatever your identity is right now, you only believe it because you have proof of it.
In Hebrew habits are called Hergel- הרגל, coming from the root word רגל- foot.
When we give charity, the Sefer Hachinuch (Barcelona, Spain 1300’s) says that one should give in increments, thereby building the nature of kindness.
How long do habits take to install or undo?
Research says that it takes 30 days in order to install or undue a habit. The Talmud says that when there is a change in the mentioning of the winter or summer in the daily prayer service, one can...
We are living in amazing times where the future is essentially now. We are privy to incredible advancements that our grandparents could only dreamed of. While we are moving towards a more digital world, there are great dangers of our minds becoming increasingly distracted and desensitized. In this class we delve into the pros and cons of our digital era as well as provide tips on how to maintain spiritual focus and stability by minimizing and selectively choosing our digital practices.
The Future is now
The Zohar speaks about the flood of Noah which saw a downpour of water from above, as well as the “lower waters", which emanated from the abyss and underground wells. The Zohar says “in the 6th Millennium waters from on high and water from below will flood existence”. The 6th millennium corresponds to the 17 Century, which saw the advancements of the Industrial Revolution, the greatest advancement that the world has seen. The 17th Century was also a time of...
What is redemption?
We have all heard about redemption and intuitively seek and yearn for it. We know that the world and creation is destined for something far greater than what we are seeing and the conscious state of mind which we are in. The Rambam (Maimonides) devotes the last 2 chapters of his monumental books to redemption and what the world will look like.
So what is redemption really?
Turing On The Light
The creation of the world is likened to a house, a dwelling place. Just as we feel at home in our own homes, so too G-d yearns to feel “at home” in this world. We help make that dwelling place for the Divine in this world. The Midrash says that “G-d desired to dwell within this world”.
In addition, just as there are various types of homes, such as a large, small, with a view etc. A common need for all homes is for the home to be well lit. Without the proper lighting, either from widows are electricity and as beautiful as the home may be with...
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...
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...
The Ramak tells us that we are made in the image of the divine which is called Keter or crown.
Man or Adam comes from the word earth and to resemble. It is not enough to merely resemble the divine in form we also must resemble the divine most importantly in deed and action.
But what are G-dly, or divine deeds and action you may ask?
Here we are told that the 13 attributes of mercy are divine paths of just action.
What are the 13 principals?. It should be noted that there are 2- 13 principals found in the Tanach, bible. The first is Moses 13 attributes which he beckons for the Jewish people not to be obliterated by the harsh decrease exacted upon them do to the sin of the golden calf. The 2nd 13 attributes is found in the...
By: Moshe Reuven Sheradsky
Today and the next several days forward onto Tuesday, the 18th day of the Month of Elul, are very special days. Particularly so, as the 15th of Elul is the day The Rebbe Rashab (the 5th Rebbe of the Chabad Chassidic Dynasty) established a learning institution (otherwise known as a “Yeshivah”) that has been the bedrock of spiritual growth and development amongst the Jewish community and the world at large until this very day. This was not just a learning institution like any other. This Yeshivah, would include the learning of the hidden aspects of the Torah, namely Kabbalah and Chassidus, along with the revealed aspects of Torah, which was the only study taking place in yeshivahs until this took place.
The reason for this creation of a new yeshivah which would take hold for the future was like so. The Jewish community was becoming more and more dispersed throughout the world. Leaving tiny shtetle, insulated communities with no...
By Moshe Reuven Sherdasky
"We started jamming out with friends. One of our friends decided we should meet each other and through that present audience of just friends it grew. The more we related to that experience, the more people wanted to be a part of it. One person felt good about what were doing, so he told someone, and the word spread that three guys are playing together and that you should listen to them. It started as group of small shows, first it was a birthday, to a gig in the village then all over the world. People feel close to us as we feel close to them even if they live hundreds of miles away".
Sitting down a few weeks ago with friends, Shlomo (lead singer), Zachariah (guitarist), and Paltiel (manager), of the star band, Zusha, was something special. I had met the band 6 years ago when aimlessly wandering into Chabad of NYU. On my way to Israel, I had stopped over in New York for a few days to spend some time with my cousin. I needed a place to go to for Shabbat...
By Rabbi Amichai Cohen
The 3 week period, which begins on the 17th of Tammuz and ends on the 9th of Av is an intense time where we remeber the calamaties which occured during this time.
On the 17th of Tammuz 5 negative things happened, most importantly the first tablets were broken, the walls of Jerusalem were breached.
On the 9th of Av is when both Temples were destroyed.
This period of time is called "Bein Hametzarim" or "within constrictions". Jewish law maintains that it is preferable not to embark upon new things such as getting married, moving or starting a new job.
The Talmud says "bad does not descend from heaven". So how do we reconcile with this seeming contradiction?
The Zohar recounts that when Rabbi Chayia, one of the foremost students of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai wanted to enter the academy of Rabbi Shimon in heaven he heard a heavenly voice say "one who does not know how to transform darkness into light and bitterness into sweet has no place in this world"....
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