Showing posts from February, 2019

Why didn't he tell his parents?

  This Jewish year is a leap year, so we get a full extra month, "Adar 1".  Adar is known as a happy month and month of good luck.  Most notably, Purim happened in Adar and that was a story of catastrophe turned celebration.  The Talmud advises to squeeze court hearings and property purchases into this month as things seem to turn out right in this month. Now, to continue from last week's story about the rabbi who was sexually abused from age 8-18.   Two more things that stuck out at me, were his guilt/shame/confused childish feelings, even at an older age, and also his parent's reaction.  It seems odd that an otherwise intelligent and mature boy could think of himself as satan, Saddam Hussein, and live in fear of being stoned by a rabbinical court, even at an older age (the first time that he even considered the possibility of not being evil was at age 20).  Coupled with his double life and perversion of sexuality, the guilt and shame unquestionably took a huge toll

#Metoo inspires rabbi to come out as abuse victim

Did you hear about the big news last week?  A Chabad rabbi in Utah became possibly the first orthodox rabbi to come out in public about the sexual abuse he went through as a child from his nanny.  I won't go through the details, but you can read the article  here .  I didn't see it until after I sent my email last Friday, so I thought to add my commentary today. Many people were shocked that someone could be so successful and charismatic while living the double life of pain, guilt & shame. I'm not surprised by this at all.   The Talmud tells us the stats.  "A majority of the population (>50%) struggle with stealing, a minority (<50%) struggle with adultery and everyone struggles with gossip. The stats are that 20% of all women have been abused, although it's a very hard number to get accurate because of its sensitivity. With these kinds of numbers, survivors have got to be all across the spectrum. Almost 20 years after the abuse started and ten years aft

Are you worthy of owning money?

Are you worthy of owning money?   So many people struggle to pay their bills month to month and don't have a penny to their name.  Why is that?  Is there a shortage of money?  Are they splurging everything on frivolities? The Talmud and other Jewish sources have some insight that answered the question for me.  It really boils down to the very meaning of "wealth."  How would you define the word?  Does it mean health, or enough money to buy whatever you want?  Maybe it means a nice house or a fancy car? The Torah teaches that our charity should "fill the lack of the poor person".  The Talmud explains that on the one hand, we should give them enough to live the lifestyle they're used to.  "Even a horse to ride on and servants to wait on them."  On the other hand, charity only needs to fill the lack, not make them rich. Wait one second.  If a horse to ride on (the biblical equivalent of a Lexus) and servants to wait on them isn't wealth, what is? 

I want to be a motorcycle Stuntman

Did you ever see the motorcycle stuntmen in the circus?  It's amazing to watch three or four people riding around perfectly in this tiny cage without crashing into each other.  What about airplanes flying in tandem?  These huge things flying around at crazy fast speeds are just a few feet away from each other.  One little maneuver out of sync they'd come crashing down.  Even at the dentist office, I'm amazed to watch the assistant working together with the doctor.  They know exactly what the other one is going to do next and work as a perfect team, like a hand in a glove. Before I make my point, let me tell you a little story.  While Natanya was in NY at the Shluchos convention, I was trying to be a good dad, taking care of our four younger children.  Luckily, I had big time help from my stepmother and father, and we made it. Things were basically fine until Friday night.  As we set up the table for Shabbos dinner, Levi, our 18 month old, started to cry.  We thought