Home
In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

JewishWorldReview.com

Chosen Words


Printer Friendly Version

Email this article



A newsletter for personal and spiritual growth gleaned from classic biblical and other sources that will help you enhance your day to day life. Likely the most constructive three minutes you will spend today



Personal Growth

DEFICICIENCIES THAT
MAKE ONE WHOLE

Wouldn't it be better if we were all self-sufficient? Clearly, G-d could easily have endowed each of His creations with the full measure of intellect, strength, health, ability ...everything from a way with words to an unfailing sense of direction.

However, as is obvious, He didn't. Not only do we perceive instantly that He did not build us "fully loaded," but Judaism has us even thanking Him for our deficiencies, each and every time we finish eating certain foods.

The concluding blessing known as "Borei nafoshos," has within it this seemingly unusual concept. "Blessed are You Hashem, our G-d, King of the universe, Who creates numerous living things with their deficiencies... ."

To understand why we thank G-d for a poor command of math, a bad sense of direction, hay fever, forgetfulness and millions — possibly billions — of other human flaws, consider the world without these deficiencies.

Each person would be a self-contained island, with no real need to connect with others.

Nobody would be motivated to reach out to anyone else, and nobody would have anything significant to offer.

The late sage, the Chofetz Chaim, ZT"L, sees in this blessing evidence that G-d built the world upon the quality of chessed, kindness. Kindness is activated by the needs of others.

Our strengths fill in other people's gaps, and the strengths of others supply what we're lacking. The doctor needs the grocer; the grocer needs the farmer, who in turn needs the doctor. The end of our blessing is "l'hachayois bo'hem nefesh kol choi," "to give life through them to all living things." It is these very creatures, complete with their deficiencies, that create chessed — the foundation of life in this world.


Better Relationships

THE GREATEST

In our culture of self-promotion, few qualities sound as quaint as "humility." But it was just this quality that the sage, Ramban, in his letter (Iggeres Haramban) to his son, stressed as the "finest of all admirable traits" and the key to serving G-d.

To acquire this trait, "Let all men seem greater to you in your eyes," he advised.

Rabbi Yosef Weiss of Lakewood, New Jersey, once asked Rabbi Yehudah Zev Segal, zt'l., the late dean of the Manchester (England) Yeshiva, how it is possible to follow this directive. One need only look around at the population of the world to realize the difficulty in feeling inferior to everyone. The answer, said Rabbi Segal, is to understand that every person is superior in some way. Even the "lowest of the low" has some quality in which he surpasses you. Even the career criminal has some trait — perhaps it's die-hard loyalty to his gang, or courage in the face of danger — that others could benefit from emulating.

By recognizing that everyone is our superior in some way, we can nurture the quality of humility within ourselves.

Donate to JWR



Life's Lessons

SMALL MATTERS

One afternoon as the sun was setting over Jerusalem, two distinguished residents of the city were out walking. In the distance, they observed a man leaning on a lamppost with both hands.

Concerned that he was ill, they rushed toward him. Only then did they recognize him as the renowned scholar, Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Auerbach, zt"l, who was in the process of hanging a notice on the lamppost.

"Maybe you didn't hear the tragic news," he explained to them. "But Reb Boruch Rothschild, who lived here a number of years ago, passed away today." With the funeral imminent (burials take place even at night in Jerusalem), Rav Shlomo Zalman, one of his generation's great leaders, took it upon himself to go about the neighborhood posting notices, lest the news remain unpublicized.

While many people consider themselves too busy to take care of small matters, to the truly great, nothing is insignificant.

— Adapted from "Along Maggid's Journey," by Rabbi Paysach J. Krohn with permission from Mesorah Publications


Inner Excellence

AS IF

"I'm just not a 'kid' person. I don't have the patience," the man explained. It was his rationale for his tense relationship with his children. "I'm not outgoing," said the woman.

This bit of self-analysis was her justification for pretending not to see most neighbors she encountered on the street.

Although G-d made many different types of people, each with a unique set of strengths and weaknesses, He made only one Torah (Bible) that binds us all. The self-centered person isn't exempt from the need to show kindness.

The stingy person isn't exempt from giving charity. The reserved person doesn't have special license to ignore others, nor the impatient person to snap at those who irritate him.

"Going against the grain" seems impossible, but the Torah teaches that it is not.

Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzato, in his famous ethical work "Path of the Just," advises those who are reluctant to perform an act of kindness to just pretend. Act as if you're enthusiastic, he says, and you will find your inner self responding likewise.

The same strategy is true when any character trait called for in a certain situation is in short supply within you. Act confident, and you give yourself confidence.

Act compassionate, and you find yourself slipping into the role you've created. Using the "as if" approach opens a person up to experiences beyond the boundaries of his nature. And these experiences, ultimately, remold that nature. By acting "as if," you can create a new grain, a new self, capable of grasping every opportunity for growth with enthusiasm and joy.

— Adapted from "Begin Again Now," by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin, with permission of the author

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes uplifting articles. Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Chosen Words, a newsletter of spiritual and personal growth, is produced by the Chofetz Chaim Heritage Foundation. Comment by clicking here.

© 2006, Chofetz Chaim Heritage Foundation