Showing posts from April, 2020

Is G-d in Control?

Is G-d in control?  The short answer is yes. Let me share four levels of belief in G-d:   G-d created the world a long time ago G-d continues to create/control the world, especially the big things (like coronavirus)   Not only does G-d control the big things, but He even controls the smallest details (like a leaf falling off a tree, or each individual blade of grass growing, or who I bumped into in the store).  The one and only thing out of G-d's control is fear of G-d itself (Pirkei Avos). G-d even choreographs our mistakes Belief that G-d created the world is pretty basic.  To say that G-d is involved with the big things is also relatively easy to swallow.  Even though it hurts, when we go through hard times (like now), we turn to G-d and ask for his kindness, and can find comfort in the knowledge that He knows what's going on. However, believing that an infinite G-d could care about small things like a blade of grass growing, littering, or doing a a little m

My Birthday Resolution: Habit of Kindness

A birthday is like a personal Yom Kippur, and a time for reflection and good resolutions.  My birthday is on the 9th day of the omer which is the day of "severity of severity"  (click  here  to learn more about sefiras haomer and how you can fulfill this easy mitzvah).  Like everyone else I know, I have character flaws that keep popping up again and again.  My character flaws seem to revolve around "severity" and I've been reflecting on how I can incorporate a little bit more "kindness" into my life. It really got me thinking about the Rebbe's mitzvah campaign of tzedakah.  Obviously, tzedakah was a mitzvah before his campaign, but the Rebbe had a unique angle:   Everyone should have a pushka (charity box) in their home and office It shouldn't have an organization's name on it Best if it's attached to the wall  It's not about how much you give, rather the habit of giving You should give at least once every day, especially befo

Why is this Passover different from all other Passovers?

Why is this Passover different from all other Passovers? On all other years, you could be tempted to buy pasta on the holiday.  But on this year, the pasta shelves are empty. On all other years, people host big seders and small seders.  But on this year, everyone will celebrate Passover with their family alone. On all other years, some Jews celebrate, but others go to work.  But on this year, everyone will be home. On all other years, Passover is defined by our experience, but on this year, Passover is according to G-d’s plan. Please let me explain the last one.   Many people are worrying how they can celebrate without the regular guests and extended family.  Celebrating Passover alone just doesn't seem like a real Passover.  Maybe we should just skip this one and pick up next year?  There's a story of a rabbi & his brother in a Russian prison for teaching Torah.  One morning, the brother was crying bitterly.  When asked why the saddnes, he responded, "eve