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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 Nov. 2, 2006 / 11 Mar-Cheshvan 5767

Making the mundane holy

By Rabbi Berel Wein


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Now that the holidays are behind us, the first drops of rain have fallen, the flu shot vaccine is available, and the grind of everyday life has kicked in again, our psychological selves need to be restarted.


One of the great ideas of Judaism is the necessity to infuse everyday life with a sense of purpose, commitment and even holiness. I think that is what Rabbi Yisrael Lipkin of Salant had in mind when he said that a Jew should feel that every day of the year is like the month of Elul — the month of holy preparation and awe that precedes the High Holy Days. For if we are unable to give importance to each and every day of our lives, then life becomes drudgery and a disappointment.


It is almost natural to experience an emotional and spiritual letdown after the month of Tishrei and its awesome and joyous holidays. Yet the measure of humans is their ability to be resilient, productive and forward-looking. When the Torah records for us the passing of our father Abraham into old age it states that he "came into and with his days." The rabbis have interpreted that for us to mean that Abraham treated every day of his life as being a special day.


Every day brought new opportunities for hospitality, goodness to others and service to G-d. Abraham did not experience lost days. Though there were undoubtedly different moods and emotions present in Abraham on different days, nevertheless he was determined to make every day meaningful and worthwhile. Every day he was able to start anew on his project of proclaiming G-d and monotheism in a pagan and hostile world.


The idea of the Shabbes (Sabbath) is a further example of the Jewish attitude towards always starting anew and sanctifying every day of our lives. The influence of Shabbes is meant to last the entire week and infuse its holiness and spirit into the otherwise mundane days of the work-week. The Jew throughout the centuries was able to make Tuesday have some feeling of Shabbes to it. The tragedy of Jewish life in our times is that for much of the Jewish world Shabbes itself feels just like any ordinary Tuesday.


Instead of making the mundane holy we have mistakenly converted the holy into the mundane. So there now exists no special day in our week. None of the days of our existence are deemed to be really special and therefore life becomes boring, difficult and disappointing. People feel that there are many wasted days in life and this gnaws at our conscience and places great psychological pressures upon us.


There are many painful moments in human life. There are many days and events that make us feel that we don't want to get out of bed in the morning. This feeling is one of the clinical symptoms of depression. It is a feeling that we all have to constantly battle against.


The month of Tishrei and its holidays so recently passed was meant to give us an injection of specialness and strength — the ability to start again living with vigor, hope and optimism. Judaism is a faith that is not based on sadness or a pessimistic view of human nature and human life. Instead it demands that we serve G-d with a feeling of joy and privilege. It is a faith of resilience and inner strength. It demands that we always pick up ourselves from the floor and start going again, no matter what.


The experiences of the Jewish world over the last century stand as explicit testimony to this characteristic of Jews and Judaism. King Solomon said in Proverbs: "The righteous may fall seven times but they always rise again." The tragedy of others is that they are unable or unwilling to rise again after having fallen.


All of Judaism is built upon the ability to start again, to rise from the depths, to keep on going and struggling. I pray that this winter season will be a healthy, meaningful and happy one for all of us and that all of its days will be special and productive ones.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes inspiring articles. Sign up for our daily update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Rabbi Berel Wein --- Jewish historian, author and international lecturer offers a complete selection of CDs, audio tapes, video tapes, DVDs, and books on Jewish history at www.rabbiwein.com Comment by clicking here.


© 2006, Rabbi Berel Wein