Monthly Archives: June 2016

Shavuos – No Strings Attached

No strings attachedShavuos is the marriage of Hashem with the Jewish people.  Hashem being the chosson. The Jewish people being the kallah. And the Torah being the kesuva – marriage contract.

Being we just finished the days of  Tashlumim on the 12th of Sivan (when in the times of the Bais Hamikdosh, the Holiday sacrifices could still be offered if they weren’t brought up on Shavuos itself), let us reflect on the meaning of Shavuos and how it relates to dating and marriage.

The Torah in Parshas Bamidbar emphasizes that Hashem counted the Jewish people in the Sinai Desert, which is ultimately where He chose us from all the nations of the world, to be His bride and recipient of the coveted Torah. The significance of the Sinai Desert is explained in Parshas Bo. The Jewish people had departed from slavery in Egypt “without any provisions”. Rashi indicates this illustrates the unconditional faith, love and commitment the Jewish people had for Hashem by following His instructions in leaving Egypt and going into the desert without any provisions.  read more

Adar 1 & 2 – Double Dosage

Happy modeמשנכנס אדר מרבים בשמחה

Increasing Joy – It’s possible!!!

The chossid Rabbi Shlomo Chaim Kesselman z”l  was for many years the mashpia (spiritual mentor) in the Yeshiva of Kfar Chabad.  Primarily, he was a a living example of how a Jew and Chossid serve Hashem with Emes – truth and genuine sincerity without any ulterior self-serving motives. Many of his students and those who he influenced, apply daily his teachings, guidance and character behavior decades after his passing in 1971.

A story is told about a couple who came to him shortly after their wedding and sought life advice. Reb Shlomo Chaim told them: make a hachlata – resolution – to be happy! Because in life there will be times where you will experience challenging moments and simcha will not be present automatically. In fact, you may have valid reasons to in fact not be happy.  Therefore Reb Shlomo Chaim requested, no matter the circumstances, be resolute in being b’simcha. Indicating, the choice of whether to be in a joyous simchadike mood is ours to be made. Therefore, if someone starts his day on the left foot (with a negative note) ie void of simcha, it is in his capabilities and control to change his disposition to the positive. read more

Opposites Attract

opposites attractMany times I am told by parents or the person themselves that they are looking for a shidduch with similar character traits and personality. Eg  matching introvert or extrovert, academic, street smart, strong-willed etc etc  

But do two potential suitors necessarily need to be the same? After all, we know the idiom “opposites attract”.  

In last week’s parsha, Chayei Sarah, Avraham’s servant, Eliezer prayed to Hashem requesting that he succeed in finding a suitable mate for Yitzchak, by subjecting her to a unique test of chessed (kindness) – of not only fulfilling Eliezer’s request for water to drink, but also offering water for his camels as well.   read more

Receiving The Right Advice, Guidance And Brochos

In honor of the passing of my father z''l, I started a weekly Talmud shiur studying the first tractate Brochos.

On page 3b, the gemora discusses how the Chachomim (Sages of Israel) approached Dovid Hamelech with a plea that the Jewish people are in dire need of sustenance.

Dovid Hamelech responded that people should support each other ie the rich should support the poor and people should work for each other making the nation economically self sufficient.

The Chachomim responded that the needs of the poor are way too much to be supported by the rich. read more


5776 – תשע”ו = Roshei Teivos –  שוש תשיש ותגל עקרה 

This past week I received a text from someone seeking a shidduch “I am waiting to see this year’s decree”. My initial reaction was, “don’t sit back relax and see how the movie plays out. Take ACTION!!!

 Do ALL that you can and Hashem will reciprocate בשעה טובה ומוצלחת – in an auspicious time.” read more

Tu B’Av – 15th Of Av

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Today marks the 15th of Av-a day in which the Talmud (Taanit 26b) exclaims that “there was never in Israel greater days of joy than the 15th of Av and the Yom Kippur.”

While the 15th of Av is particularly known as the day in which the maidens of Jerusalem would go to the vineyards in search for a suitable mate, the Talmud enumerates five events that occurred on this day.

They are: 1) That the generation of the desert ceased dying, 2) inter-tribe marriages became permitted, 3) cutting wood for the altar was completed, 4) the road blocks to the Temple were opened, and 5) the dead of Beitar were finally brought to burial. read more