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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)

Jewish World Review Oct. 7, 2005 /4 Elul, 5766

Moses and the lobster

By Rabbi Abraham J. Twerski


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True happiness can come only from growth


“I am 120 years old today; I can no longer go out and come in, for G-d has said to me, 'You shall not cross this Jordan'.”

                        —   Deut. 31:2



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | In "Living Each Week" I cited the comment of the Rebbe of Gur who explained that Moses lived for only one purpose: To fulfill the Divine mitzvos (religious duties) and to elevate himself spiritually. At this point in his life, he had maximized the spirituality he could attain. There was only one way that he could still grow spiritually, and that was by the performance of the mitzvos that are applicable only in the Holy Land and that he could not perform elsewhere.


Moses pleaded to be allowed to enter the Holy Land so that he could do these mitzvos. When his pleas were turned down and he saw that there was no way he could further grow spiritually anymore, he accepted death. For Moses, a life that was without spiritual growth was not worth living.


Moses made it very clear that simchah (joy) was an essential component of the Divine service. He warned the Israelites of the dire consequences that would befall the person, ''Because you did not serve G-d with joy'' (Deuteronomy 28:47).


Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch (1808-1888) points out that the word same'ach (happy) is related to and perhaps derived from the same source as tzome'ach (growth). True happiness can come only from growth, especially spiritual growth. A life devoid of spiritual growth is devoid of simchah.


There is an important message in the relationship of Someach to tzomeach. Elsewhere I have cited the Talmud that we should learn some things from observation of nature (Eruvin 100b). We might learn from nature by observing how lobsters grow.


Lobsters are confined within a rigid shell. As the lobster grows, the shell becomes too confining and oppressive. It then sheds its shell and grows a more spacious one. As the lobster continues to grow, each new shell eventually becomes oppressive, leading to the formation of a larger one. The stimulus that enables the lobster to grow is the discomfort it feels when its shell becomes oppressive. If the lobster would not feel discomfort, it would remain forever tiny.


Growth is often accompanied by discomfort. ''For with much wisdom comes much suffering'' (Ecclesiastes 1:18). Yet, tzome'ach is related to same'ach. Hence, there can be simchah even when one experiences discomfort. This is why we find that our great tzaddikim (the truly righteous) welcomed suffering. The spiritual growth that was stimulated by the discomfort more than compensated for the suffering.


We live in an era where scientific advances have given us unprecedented comfort in living. Western civilization has become essentially hedonistic. Whereas it is perfectly normal to seek relief from pain, we are at risk of rejecting all types of discomfort, including those that are the stimuli for spiritual growth. If we eschew spiritual growth because of the discomfort that may accompany it, we may also be lessening the amount of true simchah that we can achieve.


On the day of his death, Vayeilech Moshe, Moses progressed. Moses had one last opportunity for growth, to fulfill the mitzvah of giving reproof and blessing.


Moshe Rabbeinu, Moses our teacher. He taught us and continues to teach us that growing and fulfilling oneself is the source of true simchah.

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Rabbi Abraham J. Twerski, M.D. is a psychiatrist and ordained rabbi. He is the founder of the Gateway Rehabilitation Center in Pittsburgh, a leading center for addiction treatment. An Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, he is a prolific author, with some 30 books to his credit, including, "Twerski on Chumash" (Bible), from which this was excerpted (Sales of this book help fund JWR). Comment by clicking here.

© 2005, Mesorah Publications, Ltd.