Saturday, April 27, 2019

Iyar: Enhancing our Relationships

Dear Friends,

This post is about the Jewish month of Iyar as it relates to The Chazak Plan: A 12 Month Journey to Spiritual Strength.

Rosh Chodesh Iyar begins Motzai Shabbat, Saturday night, the 4th of May and lasts for two days.

The period known as The Omer occurs during this month. During part of The Omer, we commemorate thousands of Rabbi Akiva’s students who died in a plague. The Talmud teaches that the plague occurred because the students did not treat each other with proper respect.

This month, we focus on treating others well and enhancing our relationship with them.

Our relationships play a pivotal role in either enhancing or negatively affecting our emotional, physical and spiritual health; toxic relationships drain us, while healthy relationships nourish us.

Make a list of your key family, work and social relationships. Decide which ones to strengthen or repair, which ones need better boundaries or for you to distance yourself from, and ways to foster new healthy relationships.

Input into your checklist the following practice or a related one: At least once a week, schedule one-on-one time with someone in your life to strengthen that relationship; shut off your cell and give him or her your undivided attention.

In addition, this month, work on being less critical of others. Start by focusing on the person of whom you are most critical. Consider using your checklist and check off each day you were able to avoid criticizing them. You might want to start off with just avoiding being critical during a set time of day, i.e., morning, afternoon or evening, and build from there.

Questions for the month:

“Which of my relationships do I need to strengthen? What is the first step to doing that?”

“Which relationships need better boundaries or for me to distance myself from? What is the first step to doing that?”

“Do I want to form new healthy relationships? What are some ways I can do that?”

“Which person in my life am I most critical of? For this month, am I willing to commit to give them at least as much compliments as criticisms?”

During this month, read up on the type of relationship you are currently dealing with. Here are links to articles on specific relationships:




Relating to your parents

Take care and may God grant us success in the coming month,


Saturday, April 13, 2019

What Worked for Our Ancestors: 5 Lessons from the Exodus

Dear Friends,

Passover begins this Friday night, April 19th. During the Seder, we will recount the story of the Exodus. Here are 5 lessons we can learn from it.

What Worked for Our Ancestors: 5 Lessons from the Exodus

Happy Passover, Chag Kasher Vesameach,


Saturday, April 6, 2019

"Where Am I Holding?"

Dear Friends,

A key step to growth is to know where you are currently holding and which area could use strengthening.

Some people think they have so many flaws, the situation is hopeless. Others think they're beyond reproach and feel little motivation to improve. Both perspectives are counterproductive. If we don't try to grow or don't think we need to, we won't.

Instead, realize that we all have areas where we can grow and that we all have the ability to improve. Choose one thing you will do to improve in an area that you are motivated to address. If you're not sure which area to work on or how to improve, ask someone wise.

Stop thinking you're something that you're not, (either that you're hopeless or flawless), to discover who you can become.

Have a great week,