Sunday, December 19, 2021

Saturday, December 11, 2021

"Abraham + Isaac + Jacob = You"

 Dear Friends, 

One of the biggest mistakes we make in life is underestimating ourselves. 

Each one of us has the potential to achieve greatness. 

What is an area in your life where you can achieve more?

What will you do to take the next step?

Abraham + Isaac + Jacob = You

Have a good week, 


Saturday, November 20, 2021

Saturday, November 13, 2021

Saturday, October 30, 2021

Kislev: Gratitude

Dear Friends,

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

Rosh Chodesh Kislev begins Thursday night, November 4th and lasts for one day.

During this month we celebrate the festival of Chanukah, which commemorates the miracle of the oil, the victory of the Maccabees over the Greeks and the rededication of the Second Temple. A key message of the festival is expressing gratitude to God for the miracles He performs for us.

Each day, preferably at the beginning of the day, spend time feeling grateful for the blessings your Creator gave you. Thank Him for His many gifts, for the bright side/silver lining of your difficulties, and for signs of His help amidst your challenges. Consider inputting this daily practice of expressing gratitude into your checklist.

In addition, express your appreciation to others. You can do this in person, on the phone, via an email or text, or with a written note.

For a discussion on gratitude, see the first tool in, “6 Tools to Enhance Your Mood."

Questions for the month:

“What is something I am very grateful to God for? What can I say to Him to express my appreciation?”

“Who is someone who has helped me? How can I express my appreciation?”

May God grant us success in the coming month,


Saturday, October 16, 2021

Saturday, October 9, 2021

Noah Got Drunk. What's the Message to Us?

Based on a talk I gave over Shabbat:

In this week’s Parsha, Parshat Noach, we read about Noah, a righteous person: From the entire world, he and his family were the only ones worthy of being saved from the flood. He was tasked by God to ensure the survival of the entire animal kingdom. As he left the Ark, having successfully taken care of the animals, he was at the height of his success. Yet, after he leaves the Ark, the first thing he did was plant a vineyard and get drunk. As the Torah says (Genesis 9:20), “Vayachel Noach...”, “Noah debased himself...”

How can someone who was on such a high level fall so drastically, debasing himself and getting drunk?

The commentators explain that when Noah left the Ark, and saw a desolate world, he realized all that was lost and all that was needed to rebuild. He became despondent. How will he ever rebuild the world? This led him to look for relief in alcohol.

What can we learn from this?

I want to share with you two messages:

The first is to never lose hope. No matter how dire a situation is, whether health or financial or other circumstance, God can turn things around in the blink of an eye.

Rebbe Nachman writes, “Ain yiush beolam klal.” There’s never a reason to despair. God can always turn around even a dire situation.

Rebbe Nachman’s student Rav Nosson wrote the following in a letter, I quote from the book, Healing Leaves: Prescriptions for inner strength, meaning and hope: “If I have done nothing other than to make known to you that a person must never despair, no matter what, this would be enough. Know that this is the real truth for every person in every time. If everyone in the world knew this and genuinely believed it, the world would already have reached a state of complete rectification.”

Sometimes we try, especially in an area of spirituality, but we have a setback and think, “what’s the point in trying? I’m never going to reach the level I strive for.” But what we don’t understand is that getting up from each fall is part of the process of spiritual growth and is what God wants from us!

Here’s another power quote from Rav Nosson: “A person's main test in life and the essence of the refining process he must undergo, is that, through all the declines and falls and through all that he experiences, he should not allow himself to become distanced from God, from Torah or from prayer.”

Regardless of the setback, don’t allow your connection to God to weaken, never stop learning, never stop praying.

The second message we can learn from Noah getting drunk is the importance of believing in yourself. Upon leaving the Ark, Noah probably thought to himself: “The world that was is gone forever! How will I ever be able to rebuild?” And so he became depressed.

But later on, was Noach and his family able to rebuild the world?

Yes. Everyone alive today descends from Noah.

Often, our greatest challenge, what is holding us back, is not believing in ourselves, not believing that we can accomplish great things.

Before we can achieve something, we need to think that with God’s help we can do it, otherwise, we won’t even bother trying. Often, people sabotage their success by telling themselves all the things they will never succeed at and it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. The truth is that they could have accomplished so much more, but only if they would have believed in themselves.

What is something you want to achieve? Make a step by step plan on how you will get there. Use the power of visualization and visualize yourself working toward and achieving your goal.

I watched a fascinating interview with R’ Eli Stafansky on Artscroll’s website. R’ Eli gives one of the most well attended Daf Yomi classes in the world. Thousands of people watch his class on the Talmud on a daily basis. You might think he must have been a top student. But as R’ Eli says in the interview, he wasn’t the best in his class. Preparing the class also doesn’t come easy for him and he spends a lot of time on it. He says he’s a regular guy who likes to learn Torah and wants to share the excitement of learning Torah with others.

But how does someone go from teaching the Daf Yomi to a handful of people to thousands? It takes a lot of Divine assistance but you also have to believe in yourself. If you believe that you can achieve greatness, then you will never lose hope. You will get up from every setback and keep plugging away until you succeed.

We all have the potential to achieve greatness but we need to push ourselves past our comfort zones to get there.

What new goal will you choose to help YOU reach YOUR personal greatness?

Saturday, September 18, 2021

Saturday, September 4, 2021

You: As God Intended

Dear Friends,

Rosh Hashanah begins this Monday night, September 6th.

Have a Shana Tova!

Article for Rosh Hashanah:

You: As God Intended


Saturday, August 28, 2021

How to Infuse Your Life With Meaning: 3 Things to Do Daily

We all want to live a meaningful life. The question is how?

Many spend their lives pursuing wealth, climbing the career ladder, accumulating possessions or pursuing leisure activities. But we all know that these activities do not lead to lasting happiness and do not give us a sense of fulfillment.

What then leads to a meaningful life?

Ethics of the Fathers answers this question with a teaching from Simon the Righteous (1:2), “The world stands on three things: (1) on the Torah, (2) on (Divine) service and (3) on acts of kindness.”

God created the world as a place for us to accomplish these goals. To the extent that we fulfill the purpose for which we were created we feel fulfilled.

Think about the people you know who lived happy, fulfilled lives. Were they moral and ethical (key aspects of a Torah life)? Did they have a connection to God through the Divine service of prayer? Did they spend time helping others?

In general, the more they embodied these three areas, both through their actions and passing on those values to their family, the more fulfilled they were.

There is no guarantee that we will always feel fulfilled, no matter how spiritual a life we lead. Life is filled with challenges and setbacks and at times we feel weighed down by them. We cannot use how activities make us feel as a barometer for how to live our life. We do what is right, regardless of how we feel in the moment. Especially during challenging times, if we persevere and engage in meaningful activities as best we can, we will reap the fruits of our labor. Looking back, we will be proud of how we chose wisely and overcame difficult life circumstances.

Personalize these three areas to make them most meaningful for you. God created you with unique strengths and abilities and you bring the world to a greater state of wholeness through your unique contribution. You have potential that no one before or after you will have. The more you actualize your potential, especially in these three areas, the more meaningful and satisfying your life will become.

1. Torah. The area of Torah includes living the Torah’s teachings as best we can, as well as plumbing the depths of Torah wisdom. Personalize living the Torah by choosing a particular area of Jewish law in which to excel (in addition to doing your best in general Torah observance). It might be being extra careful not to gossip, to be scrupulously honest, or any other area of the Torah. In terms of personalizing Torah study, look for the area of Torah wisdom that speaks to you. While we all need to know basic laws, each one of us has specific areas of Torah knowledge as well as specific teachers and authors that resonate with our unique soul. Many find learning with a study partner to be especially beneficial. You can be paired with one for free at

2. Divine Service (Prayer). The Sages teach that without the Temple, we engage in Divine service through prayer. Each day, while reciting the formal prayers or Psalms, think about how they apply to your unique situation and challenges. Using a translation can be very helpful in doing this. There are a number of options both for the formal prayers as well as Psalms. One translation is Psalms that Speak to You by Yitzchok Leib Bell (available in either interlinear or traditional translation editions). In addition, pray to God informally, thanking Him for His blessings, sharing with Him your challenges and asking for His help.

3. Acts of Kindness. Throughout the day there are numerous opportunities to be kind and benefit others, starting with our family and friends and branching out. Even if we are paid for our services, if our intention is to benefit others and help them, we are doing acts of kindness. Whether through your work or informally, look for ways to use your unique abilities to benefit others. In addition, to the extent that God has blessed you with financial resources, share them with those less fortunate. Lastly, ensure that you are only a force of goodness in people’s lives; make amends as soon as you realize that you have caused someone emotional or financial harm. 

The common denominator of the above three areas is God. It is God’s Torah that we study. It is God to whom we pray and it is God’s creations that we help. God created us to have a relationship with Him and fostering a relationship with our Creator makes life meaningful and not a random accident as atheists believe. Moses told the Jewish people to make God the focal point of their lives. He said to them, (Deuteronomy 10:20-21), “Hashem your God shall you fear, Him shall you serve, to Him shall you cleave and in His name shall you swear. He is your praise and He is your God…” The more we make God the focal point of our lives, the more we elevate ourselves and are deserving of praise.

The important things in life take effort and these three areas are no different. It is possible to do them superficially, but that will be missing out on discovering their true value. Our efforts make us worthy of reaping the rewards of a meaningful life. The Sages teach that God wants to shower us with blessings, but we need to first become a vessel to receive those blessings. Our efforts to overcome challenges in these three areas create that vessel.

It is challenging to study and live the Torah amidst distractions and temptations. It is challenging to pray daily with feeling. It is challenging to be generous with our time and resources. But if we do what is easiest, what will become of our lives?

Be courageous! Push yourself to achieve greatness and break through the barriers holding you back. Make these practices nonnegotiable and soon they will become anchors of your day and life. Make them a priority, even if you don’t see benefits right away. Through your efforts you will break through the shell that holds others back and you will be among those who discover the sweetness hidden inside.

Put in the effort to decipher and apply God’s wisdom. Put in the effort to pray to God with feeling. Put in the effort to help others. When you persevere with single minded focus, then you will taste the deep and enduring sweetness of spirituality, of a connection to God. Everything else is shallow and fleeting in comparison.

At the end of Moses’ life he tells the Jewish People that they will lose their way, and worship foreign gods (modern day gods include worshiping the ego or the almighty dollar). Yet, they will realize their mistake and not be lost forever. Moses tells them (Deuteronomy 4:29), “You will seek from there Hashem your God and you will find (Him) if you search for Him with all your heart and with all your soul.”

You want to find God? You want to find meaning in your life?

You need to search with all your heart and soul.

It’s not going to be easy and there will be obstacles. But those who refuse to give up are guaranteed by Moses himself that eventually they will find God.

One barrier to success is procrastination: We might tell ourselves, “I’ll study when I have time. I’ll pray when I’m in the mood. I’ll volunteer when I have the energy.” But since these three areas are what give life meaning, how can we risk missing out on the very purpose for which God created us?

After we push through the barriers holding us back, we can reach a point where we sense the incredible opportunity that is life and we yearn and thirst for these three areas: we thirst for God’s wisdom, we thirst for the chance to speak to Him and we thirst for the opportunity to help His children.

Use this clarity when unsure what to do and ask yourself, “Which course of action brings me closer to living God’s Torah, to deepening my relationship with Him and to being a force of goodness in people’s lives?” Whatever pulls you away from that, you know to avoid.

Each day, tap into the power of these three areas. Begin with small, concrete steps: read or listen to an inspirational Torah thought daily. Recite daily from Psalms or a prayer book with a translation and speak to God in your native language, unburdening yourself to Him. Each day, look for opportunities to be of service to others. If a day is coming to a close and you haven’t done an act of kindness yet, put some money in a charity box.

Track your progress in implementing these practices. Make a weekly or monthly chart, with the days of the week or month running along the top of the chart and on the side list the behaviors you want to track: Torah study, prayer and acts of kindness. You can either put a check box or the number of minutes you spent on each one. Aim to not leave a day blank and certainly not two days in a row. If possible, team up with a friend or family member and each week go over your chart together and give each other encouragement. 

Do the following exercise: Imagine that central to your life is learning and following Divine wisdom, deepening your relationship with God and helping others. Those activities fill your thoughts and free time. Now ask yourself, “Living a life with that focus, would I feel happier and more fulfilled than I am now?”

That life is within your reach. Take the first step today.

Saturday, August 21, 2021

Saturday, August 14, 2021

Saturday, August 7, 2021

Elul: Repentance

Dear Friends,

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

Rosh Chodesh Elul begins Motzai Shabbat, Saturday night, August 7th and lasts for two days.

Elul is the time of year we take stock of our lives and prepare for the High Holidays. Most of us have at least one area in which we struggle; perhaps it is being ethical in business, being moral, being charitable and kind, refraining from hurting others and studying Torah. Correcting our key flaw(s) is a major part of our life’s mission and why God put us in this world.

Pick one area on which to focus and choose a manageable change you will make on a daily or weekly basis; input this change into your calendar or checklist. If possible, speak to your rabbi or spiritual mentor for guidance. The focus on repentance continues into next month until after Yom Kippur.

As the High Holidays involve reciting many prayers, for suggestions on how to enhance your prayers, see, “How to Unlock the Hidden Power of Prayer.”

Questions for the month:

“Which area do I struggle with that I’m motivated to address this Elul?”

“What is a manageable commitment I will make?

“Is it clear to me what area to focus on and how to repent (if necessary)? If it is not clear, who can I speak to for guidance?”

May God grant us success in the coming month,


Saturday, July 24, 2021

Saturday, July 17, 2021

Article: "Seeking the Divine Presence" and Change in Email Provider

Dear Friends,

Due to a change in Google's Feedburner, we have switched over to to deliver these blog posts.

If you have any issues with the new service, please let me know 

Today is Tisha B’av. While we mourn the loss of the First and Second Temples, we pray that the Messiah will come soon and rebuild the Temple, turning this day into a day of rejoicing. 

May it be today.

Seeking the Divine Presence


Saturday, June 26, 2021

Responding to Tragedy

Dear friends, 

Only a short while ago I posted about the tragedy in Meron and now another tragedy in Florida.  

The tools are the same. The ever powerful tools of prayer, charity and Torah study. 

Life is so fleeting and it is so easy to get distracted from what is truly important. Let us strive even more to use our time wisely and focus on pursuits of lasting value. 

How to Respond Effectively to a Tragedy or Crisis

We pray for the wounded and for the success of the rescue efforts. 

May God send comfort, healing and protection to our people, 


Saturday, June 19, 2021

“Why?” 5 Reasons for Suffering

 Dear Friends, 

When faced with difficulties, many of us have asked: "Why God?"

“Why?” 5 Reasons for Suffering

Have a great week,


Saturday, June 5, 2021

Tammuz: Forgiveness

Dear Friends,

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

Rosh Chodesh Tammuz begins Wednesday night, June 9th and lasts for two days.

On the 17th of this month, we fast to commemorate the breaching of the walls of Jerusalem before the destruction of the First Temple. This is the beginning of the period known as The Three Weeks which ends next month on Tisha B’Av, the day we mourn the destruction of the First and Second Temples. The Sages teach that a key reason the Messiah has not yet come to rebuild the Temple is because of the sin of hating one’s fellow Jew.

We are a small nation surrounded by enemies bent on our destruction. To defeat the hatred against our people, we must defeat the hatred within our people. This month, go out of your way to be forgiving and overlook the faults of others.

One of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov’s most transformative teachings is his emphasis on finding the good in ourselves and others (Likutey Moharan I, 282). A complementary practice is to realize that we all have difficulties and to feel compassion for our own challenges and for those of others. Each day, look for the good in yourself and others, and feel compassion for the struggles we all face. Then, you will be more forgiving and loving toward yourself and others.

Check off on your checklist each day you complimented someone, or at least spent time thinking about a person’s good points (including your own).

Questions for the month:

“Who in my life do I feel hatred toward or greatly dislike?” (Pick one person and depending on the situation, either work on forgiving them or on reducing the hurt you feel, as this hurt only harms you.)

“Who pushes my buttons? Can I focus on their good points and be more complimentary and understanding?”

“What is the first step I can take to try to resolve a conflict I have with someone?”


The Freedom of Forgiveness: 3 Strategies to Letting Go

May God grant us success in the coming month,


Saturday, May 29, 2021

What Does God Want from Me?

 Dear Friends, 

At various points in our lives, many of us have asked:

What Does God Want from Me?  

Have a great week,


Saturday, May 15, 2021

The Hidden Side of the Ten Commandments

 Dear Friends, 

This Sunday night, the 16th of May, begins the Holiday of Shavuot, where we celebrate receiving the Torah on Mount Sinai. 

The Hidden Side of the Ten Commandments

Have a Chag Sameach!


Saturday, May 8, 2021

Sivan: Living the Torah’s Wisdom

Dear Friends,

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

Rosh Chodesh Sivan begins Tuesday night, May 11th and lasts for one day.

The festival of Shavuot occurs during this month. On Shavuot, we celebrate receiving on Mount Sinai the Torah, God’s instruction manual for life. Even those who are unaffiliated, without realizing it, observe part of the Torah. Take for example the 10 Commandments, many already believe in God, do not worship idols, honor their parents, do not commit murder, adultery etc.

Begin at whatever level of observance you are currently on, and pick one area you are motivated to strengthen this month. At the end of each day/week, mark off on your checklist if you kept that observance.

Question for the month:

“What area of observance will I strengthen this month or at least learn more about?”

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


Saturday, May 1, 2021

Tragedy at Meron

Dear friends, 

We are all heartbroken over the tragedy at Meron. 

Any tragedy needs to be addressed on multiple levels: praying for the wounded, donating to those affected, learning from past mistakes etc. 

When we hear about a tragedy like this, we cannot go on with business as usual, it needs to affect us in some way. To serve as a catalyst for growth. To grow in our prayer, good deeds and Torah study and to realign our priorities, realizing how fleeting life is and to make the most of every precious moment God gifts us. 

How to Respond Effectively to a Tragedy or Crisis

May God send comfort and healing to our people, 


Saturday, April 24, 2021

20 Minutes a Day to a Closer Connection to God

We all want a closer connection to God, to feel His presence in our lives. Sometimes we feel this closeness, other times not. How can we ignite our passion, yearning and closeness to God?

This topic is explored further in, “We All Go Through Spiritual Winters. What to Do During Yours.” Here we break it down to a daily routine of 3 steps that can be done in as little as 20 minutes a day. Spending an hour or more is optimal, but at least 20 minutes a day. Pick a set time and make it part of your daily routine. It is not all or nothing; do the best you can.

While this program involves just 3 steps, there are many aspects of Judaism not covered here. Each aspect and observance fortifies our connection with our Creator and fulfills His will for us.

Try this program for at least 30 days. Afterwards, assess what is working and which area you want to strengthen.

3 Steps to a Closer Connection to God:

1. Study inspirational works daily. Whether listening to a podcast, class, or reading an article or book, find an area of the Torah that you find inspiring. There are many areas to choose from. Keep searching until you find the area that currently speaks to you. Many find Chassidic works to be particularly inspiring. A current favorite is A Bit More Advice available with free shipping here. For a weekly email or daily chassidic thought through whatsApp by LPI Torah, click here. See also, “Mining the Depths of Torah Wisdom.”

2. Recite Psalms daily. Aim to read at least one Psalm a day (or a portion of longer ones). You can also read the monthly cycle of Psalms. Another option is to read the Psalms which make up Rebbe Nachman’s Tikkun Haklali (16, 32, 41, 42, 59, 77, 90, 105, 137, and 150) which many find particularly purifying. Read Psalms with a translation you understand and say it with intention. Use the skills you acquire reciting Psalms soulfully to say other prayers with similar intention. There are a number of excellent translations of Psalms available. One is Psalms that Speak to You by Yitzchok Leib Bell (it is available in either interlinear or traditional translation editions). Before reciting Psalms, you may find it helpful to sing a soulful melody or listen to one to get into the right mindset. A popular choice are the melodies of Shlomo Carlebach. See also, “How to Unlock the Hidden Power of Prayer.”

3. Speak to God daily. Have a set time you talk to God. Thank Him for His blessings, share with Him your concerns and ask for His help. Ask Him to bring you closer to Him and to fulfilling your potential to do His will. In addition, think about God throughout the day. Tune into the fact that His presence fills the entire universe and that He is with you at all times. Think about how God is guiding and strengthening you, that all the blessings in your life come from Him and that even your challenges are from Him for your ultimate good.

(Please note: While reciting Psalms and speaking to God in your native language are not obligatory, unlike Torah study and formal prayer, they still can be very helpful to deepen our relationship with our Creator.)

Divide your daily routine in whatever way works for you. To start, one option is 10 minutes of Torah learning, 5 minutes of reciting Psalms and 5 minutes of talking to God and build from there. You may find it helpful to schedule daily recurring reminders for these three practices using Google Keep, Evernote or a different system. After doing the above three steps for a few weeks, deepen the practice by exploring this topic further here.

Each day is a new beginning. Even if yesterday you did none of these practices, begin your day with at least one practice and take the first step along the path to closeness to God.

Do this routine everyday, even when you do not feel like it. While these practices can enhance our feeling of closeness to God, our relationship with Him cannot be based on feelings. God is our Creator and Father in Heaven, whether we feel it or not. We cannot live without God’s constant help, whether we realize that or not. It is especially important during times when we feel distant from God to strengthen ourselves in the above 3 steps. This will help us move through a spiritual winter to a spiritual spring and renewal.

A feeling of inspiration and closeness to God is a gift from Him and one we cannot force. These 3 steps help us create a vessel. God, at the right time, fills that vessel with a feeling of His presence in our lives. Be tenacious in doing these 3 steps every day, creating a stronger and stronger vessel to receive the Divine gift of closeness to God.

In memory of Yosef Yoel ben Avraham Yitzhak HaLevi ve Chaya Sarah

Saturday, April 17, 2021

6 Ways to Kick the Criticism Habit

Dear friends,

Most people are far too critical. 

How about you, do you criticize too much?

6 Ways to Kick the Criticism Habit

Have a great week,


Saturday, April 10, 2021

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 Sunday night, April 11th 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.

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?”

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, March 20, 2021

What Worked for Our Ancestors: 5 Lessons from the Exodus

Dear Friends,

This Motzai Shabbat, Saturday night, the 27th of March is the first night of Passover.

What Worked for Our Ancestors: 5 Lessons from the Exodus

There will be no blog post over the holiday.

Have a Chag Kasher Vesameach!


Saturday, March 13, 2021

Nissan: Spiritual Spring Cleaning

Dear Friends,

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

Rosh Chodesh Nissan began Motzai Shabbat, the night of the 13th of March and lasts for one day.

During Nissan, we celebrate the holiday of Passover. On Passover, we commemorate the Exodus from Egypt. It is a time of freedom, when we free ourselves from that which brings us down spiritually.Even today, many of us are still not yet completely free and are enslaved to our passions, to varying degrees. At the same time, we still maintain some level of moral purity. The goal is to raise it up a notch, thereby increasing our freedom.

When you prepare for the holiday by removing leaven from your house, also remove spiritual pollution. To whatever extent you’re ready, go through your books, magazines, music and videos, and get rid of those which are filled with profanity, lewdness or vulgarity. Go through your wardrobe and donate to charity clothing that is unbecoming of the daughter of the King. Use an internet filter to block inappropriate websites and be more discerning what websites and videos you expose your soul to. If you wouldn’t show it to a teenager, you probably shouldn’t be watching it either. Avoiding that which downgrades our spirituality will help us have a closer connection to God.

An aspect of maintaining your purity is speaking in an elevated manner. Are there any words you choose to remove from your vocabulary, at least for this month?

Using your checklist, you can check off each day you succeeded in speaking in a refined manner and/or staying away from spiritual pollution (or limiting your exposure as best you can).

4 Ways to Safeguard Your Moral Purity

Questions for the month:

“How can I declutter and elevate my spirituality at the same time? What will I get rid of?”

“What is a source of spiritual pollution in my life? How can I shield myself from it or at least limit my exposure?”

“What word(s) do I choose to remove from my vocabulary, at least for this month?”

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


Sunday, February 28, 2021

Corrected Link: 3-Dimensional Acceptance: A Pathway to Peace and Power

 Dear Friends,

(Below is the correct link. I apologize for the inconvenience) 

There are three dimensions of acceptance: Accepting our present circumstances, accepting ourselves and accepting other people...

3-Dimensional Acceptance: A Pathway to Peace and Power

Have a great week,


Saturday, February 27, 2021

3-Dimensional Acceptance: A Pathway to Peace and Power

Dear Friends,

There are three dimensions of acceptance: Accepting our present circumstances, accepting ourselves and accepting other people...

3-Dimensional Acceptance: A Pathway to Peace and Power

Have a great week,


Saturday, February 13, 2021

The FAR Plan: Three Steps to Emotional Health

Dear Friends,

Most of us have had times where we felt depressed or anxious. What can we do to enhance our emotional health?

The FAR Plan: Three Steps to Emotional Health

Have a great week,


Saturday, February 6, 2021

Adar: Enhancing our Joy

Dear Friends,

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

Rosh Chodesh Adar begins Thursday night, the 11th of February and lasts for two days.

Our Sages teach that with the arrival of Adar we increase our joy, culminating in the festival of Purim. Purim commemorates the salvation of the Jewish people during the Persian exile.

While we do not have direct control over our moods, there are things we can do to enhance them. Things that enhance our mood which may have been impacted by the Corona virus include sleep, exercise and time spent with friends and family. This is on top of specific challenges we may be experiencing due to the pandemic.

Focus on one change that you are motivated to make. Maybe going to sleep and shutting off the computer earlier, scheduling in exercise, or calling a friend you haven't spoken to recently to catch up.

Questions for the month:

“What do I think is most negatively affecting my emotional health? How will I address it?”

“What will I do this month to enhance my emotional health?”

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


Saturday, January 30, 2021

Discover Your Inner Peace

Dear Friends,

Many of us are looking for more peace and calm in our lives.

Discover Your Inner Peace

Have a great week,


Saturday, January 23, 2021

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Overcoming our Soft Addictions

Dear Friends,

Most of us have some form of addictive behavior that's less than helpful. 

What's yours?

Overcoming our Soft Addictions

Have a great week,


Saturday, January 9, 2021

Shvat: Elevating the physical

Dear Friends,

There was something wrong with last week's links. I apologize and the links on the blog site have now been corrected.

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

Rosh Chodesh Shvat begins Wednesday night, the 13th of January and lasts for one day.

The 15th of this month is Tu B’Shvat, the New Year for trees. An aspect of this holiday is celebrating and elevating the physical. Part of sanctifying the physical is taking care of the body with which God entrusted you. During this month, choose to upgrade either your sleep, exercise or diet habits.

Pick one change you will make on a daily or regular basis, for at least this month, and using your checklist, track how often you do it. If you find the change very easy, add another one. Some examples: Go to sleep 15-20 minutes earlier each week until you feel refreshed in the morning; exercise 2-3 times a week or go for a daily brisk walk; cut out sugary drinks and/or foods from your diet, limiting them to special occasions. Make water your preferred beverage. If you do not like the way your water tastes, consider a filter.

A related point of focus for this month is to consider if there is an area of your life where your relationship with the physical has become excessive or harmful, e.g., overeating, overspending, overworking, or overuse or inappropriate use of the internet. Most of us have at least one area which, at a minimum, wastes our time and takes us away from more fulfilling activities. This month, pick one behavior to rein in and one behavior you would like to do more of instead. Taking back control of how you spend your time and money will help you feel better about yourself.

Questions for the month:

“What will I upgrade this month, my sleep, exercise or diet habits?”

“Is there an area of my life which has become excessive or harmful? How will I regain control?”

“What would I like to do with the new time or money I free up?”

“Do I feel good about how I’m living my life? If not, what is one change I can make that would help me feel better about myself?”

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