In Israel, a new five month scholarship program being offered to young aspiring athletes – one of them could be you.
Dave and a friend were on a camping trip. At one point Dave began hurrying to prepare dinner. When his friend asked why he was rushing, Dave remarked that it was getting dark and there were things which needed to be taken care of before nightfall. The friend realized that Dave did not know he was still wearing tinted sunglasses and it was making Dave believe it was much darker than it really was.
When we are feeling low, our perspective is often like that of Dave, and our interactions with others will reflect that “darker” misperception of reality. To make matters worse, part of our low mood may create an impatience to “talk things out” or “get to the bottom of things” right away. Resisting that temptation can be the difference between a successful resolution of an issue or a trail or resentment and regret. As Dr. Richard Carlson puts it: “Your own moods can be extremely deceptive. They can, and often do, trick you into believing your life is far worse than it really is…When you’re in a good mood, relationships seem to flow and communication is easy. If you are criticized, you take it in stride. On the contrary, when you’re in a bad mood, life looks unbearably serious and difficult. You have very little perspective. You take things personally and often misinterpret those around you, as you impute malignant motives into their actions…
The truth is, life is almost NEVER as bad as it seems when you’re in a low mood. Rather than staying stuck in a bad temper, convinced you are seeing life realistically, you can learn to question your judgment. Remind yourself, ‘Of course I’m feeling defensive (or angry, frustrated, stressed, depressed); I’m in a bad mood. I always feel negative when I’m low.’ A low mood is not the time to analyze your life. To do so is emotional suicide. If you have a legitimate problem, it will still be there when your state of mind improves…”
9. I Can Choose To Accept Life On Life’s Terms.
Many of our arguments with others often result from being upset that events are not unfolding the way we would like. Our car breaks down and we yell at the mechanic who promised us the car was fixed. We miss a deadline at work and take out our frustration on our spouse when we get home. A child comes home with a bad report card and we lash into him or her for not doing better.
Dealing with the difficulties of day-to-day life, large and small, cause us to feel various degrees of anger – depending on much of our vision of how things should be has been disturbed. But such an emotional state doesn’t solve the problem and often makes it worse by damaging relationships and hurting those we love the most.
Rabbi Abraham Twerski is a doctor who has worked with alcoholics for many years and believes that each of us can exhibit the behavior of an addict in times of stress. While we may never act out by misusing a substance, our anger can seem as addictive as alcohol or drugs when things don’t go our way. In that sense, we can benefit from the suggestions in various “12 Step” programs. An oft cited passage from the primary treatise outlining the plan of Alcoholics Anonymous can be quite helpful if we remember it before our emotions take over:
”And acceptance is the answer to ALL my problems today. When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing or situation—some fact of my life—unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing or situation as being exactly as it is supposed to be at this moment.
Nothing, absolutely nothing, happens in G-d’s world by mistake…Unless I accept life on life’s terms I cannot be happy. I need to concentrate not so much on what needs to be changed in the world as on what needs to be changed in me and my attitudes.”
10. By Acting More Peacefully With Others, I Can Help To Achieve Peace With Israel And The World.
It is easy to feel frustrated when confronted by global problems, including Iran’s nuclear program or terrorism. We may support particular political, economic or military options we think can make a difference. But deep down, we realize that our true source of protection is G-d. Practical measures are certainly necessary, but their success or failure ultimately depends on Divine assistance. As Rabbi Yaakov Solomon wrote shortly after the 9/11 attacks:
About the Author: Gary Tolchinsky works at a consulting firm in New Jersey. He is a graduate of Columbia Law School, where he studied mediation and alternative dispute resolution. He is on the Advisory Board of the North American Conference on Ethiopian Jewry and is founder of the website jewishbooksforpeace.org. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
You must log in to post a comment.
I watch my children use blocks to build a large structure, observing the trepidation with which they add each block. As the structure becomes larger there is a greater risk of it collapsing, thus bringing an end to an hour of playful labor. I anticipate what will happen when one child adds a block to the top floor, compromising the integrity of the building and resulting in the collapse of the entire structure. The argument that ensues is predictable, as each child blames the other for “ruining” the fun. As an adult, I wonder about the need to attribute blame. Will assigning blame be instrumental in rebuilding the structure?
In this week’s parshah the Torah discusses the halachos of when one steals from another and when confronted in beis din, the thief swears falsely with his denial that he stole. This parshah was already taught in parshas Vayikra; however, there are two halachos that the Torah adds in this parshah to this topic.
In order to carry from one’s home into the street (even when the area is enclosed by a properly constructed eruv), the eruvin ceremony must be performed. This ceremony involves the placing of food in one designated home on behalf of all Sabbath observers in the enclosed area. In order for the eruvin ceremony to be valid, however, it must be performed on behalf of all owners of streets and homes in the enclosed area.
Question: On Friday night the chazzan in many shuls ascends the bimah for Kabbalat Shabbos but goes to the amud starting for Barchu. Why?
Question: As Shavuot is fast approaching – a holiday on which we dwell on the story of Ruth and the origins of the royal house of David – I was wondering if you could help me resolve something. Some people say that Rabbi Yehudah HaNassi, the redactor of the six orders of the Mishnah and a scion of King David, purposely kept any mention of Chanukah and the Hasmonean kings out of the Mishnah because the Hasmoneans improperly crowned themselves and ignored the rule that all Jewish kings are supposed to come from the tribe of Yehudah. Is this true?
The Rema writes (Ohr Hachaim, 494:4), “It is customary to spread branches of trees in our synagogues and homes [on Shavuos] in order to commemorate that which the sages say [Rosh Hashanah 16a] that on Shavuos the world is judged concerning [how many] fruits the trees will produce [that year].”
‘A Separate Contribution From Each’
If a man suspects his wife of infidelity, he is to bring witnesses and warn her not to go into private quarters with the man in question. If she violates that warning, he is to bring her to the kohen, who will give her the “bitter waters” to drink. If she was falsely accused and was innocent, she will be blessed with children. If she was guilty, she will die a gruesome death.
A flash of red caught my eye, and I looked up and saw a cardinal perched on the picnic table on my deck. What a miracle, I marveled. You’re beautiful. Thanks, Hashem. And then my mind’s wheels began to roll, and it struck me that several miracle stories had come my way this week. The stories prodded me to think of and feel Hashem’s presence as a more tangible and vivid reality.
Over the years I’ve received letters from all over the world in which people share feelings and thoughts they’ve experienced upon becoming became Torah observant. Usually these letters arrive not long after the writers had heard one of my speeches. No matter where a particular speech took place, and no matter whether I spoke the language or had to use a translator, the magic always works. In reality, it’s not magic at all but a little voice in the soul – the “Pintele Yid,” that spark of G-d’s Word engraved on all our neshamahs. Here is one recent letter.
By the time these words are printed, there will be only a few more days left before Shavuos. We hope that up until that point, we will still have been counting the days of Sefiras Ha’Omer with a bracha, but we also know that too often, despite our best efforts, we drop out of counting with a bracha some time before the count is complete.
In this week’s parshah the Torah tells us that the bechorim were replaced by the levi’im to serve in the Mikdash. The Torah says that there were 273 more bechorim than levi’im. Those bechorim could not simply be replaced, and had to be redeemed. Hashem told Moshe that each bechor should give five shekalim to Moshe, who, in turn, should give them to Aharon and his sons. With that, they would be redeemed.
Question: Is there anything special that one should do on Yom Yerushalayim?
Question: As the shamash in a small community shul with an aging population, I am faced with numerous challenges. The following is only one of them. During sefirah, different people daven for the amud for Ma’ariv. Once, a bar mitzvah was one of them. On another occasion, a very recent ger lead the service. Were these individuals allowed to lead the congregation in counting sefirah? I also wonder, in general, if everyone should be trusted to lead the counting. What if someone forgot to count on one of the previous nights but does not inform anyone of this?
As we begin the New Year it is with a sense of hope that we can avoid the painful arguments, hurtful remarks and misunderstandings which have harmed our relationships in the past. We seek to make amends with friends and family over the high holidays and resolve that things will be different in the future. But moving forward, we may also wonder if we can really change patterns of relating that have been perpetuated for years or decades.
About a month ago, we began the Passover Seder by asking “the four questions,” which led to a narrative explaining how the Jewish people were freed from Egypt. We are now in the midst of a forty-nine day process of spiritual growth in which we prepare ourselves to receive the Torah.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/holidays/ten-affirmations-for-a-peaceful-year/2012/09/13/
Scan this QR code to visit this page online: