Weekly Share

Food For the Soul

Is Everything OK?

In the days of Moses and the Jews in the Wilderness, the Moabite women were seducing young Jewish men. The Almighty was angered and sent a plague upon His people. Jews were dying left, right and center. To compound matters, Zimri, a Prince from the Tribe of Shimon was himself consorting with a Midianite Princess named Kozbi and flaunting their illicit relationship in the face of Moses. Enter Pinchas, a young Jewish zealot who kills Zimri and Kozbi. Suddenly, the plague stops. No more Jews die. And G-d declares Pinchas not a murderer but a hero. He is appointed to the priesthood and as befits a hero gets a whole portion of the Bible named after him, the parsha, Pinchas.

I’m definitely not suggesting that we root out all sinners by putting a spear through them. What was appropriate in ancient times is not necessarily appropriate today. The way to stop the internal hemorrhaging of our people through assimilation and intermarriage is not the way of Pinchas.

Most people who turn their backs on Judaism today do so out of ignorance. We cannot condone it, but such people don’t need a whipping, they need a whetting of their spiritual appetite. They need an education, urgently. They need a lot of love and warmth and for people to reach out to them and share the beauty of a Shabbat or an inspirational Shul experience. Show them their own Jewishness and how meaningful it truly is, and they will no longer want to give it up.

What, then, is the message of Pinchas for our time? That sometimes, even today in our super-sensitive, tolerant society, we do need to take a stand. That there will be issues which demand that we put our foot down, that we insist, that we say “No!”

It might be different issues for different people. For some it may be Jerusalem, for others Yom Kippur, and for still others it might be insisting that their daughter’s boyfriend cannot sleep over. Somewhere, surely, there has got to be a bottom line.

Generally, diplomacy and positive encouragement work much better than fighting. But inevitably there will be occasions when even pacifists like us will need to adopt the zero-tolerance Pinchas approach. When we, too, will have to say, “I’m sorry. I cannot accept this kind of behavior. This is wrong. Stop!” Even in our OK Generation, not everything is OK.

From an article by Rabbi Yossy Goldman


Shabbat Shalom

Shabbat Mevarchim

This Shabbat is Shabbat Mevarchim (“the Shabbat that blesses” the new month). A special prayer is recited blessing the Rosh Chodesh (“Head of the Month”) of the upcoming month of Av (also called “Menachem Av”), which falls on Friday of next week.

Prior to the blessing, we announce the precise time of the molad, the “birth” of the new moon.  

It is a Chabad custom to recite the entire book of Psalms before morning prayers, and to conduct farbrengens (chassidic gatherings) in the course of the Shabbat.

Chabad.org


Mind Over Matter

Faith, Intellect, Wisdom

Faith believes that which it is told, because it wants to believe. Intellect believes that which it understands, because it wants to attain understanding. Wisdom believes that which is true, because it is true. Wisdom doesn’t have to fit that which faith wishes to believe. Neither does it await the approval of intellect to say, “This can be understood.” Wisdom is a power of vision, the power to see “that which is” without attempting to fit it into any mold. Wisdom, therefore, is the only channel by which an Infinite G-d may enter.

Rabbi Tzvi Freeman


Moshiach Thoughts

Total Immersion in G-dly Wisdom

The Messianic Era will be one of tremendous prosperity—”delicacies will be commonplace like dust.” That will leave humankind with ample free time—and all the nations of the world will be preoccupied with one pursuit: the study of G-d and the Torah. Moshiach will reveal profound hitherto unknown dimensions of the Torah. The Midrash goes as far as to say that “the Torah which we study in this world is naught in comparison to the Torah of Moshiach.” Furthermore, while our present-day knowledge of G-d is limited to intellectual perception, when Moshiach will teach about G-d, we will actually “see” what we are studying. 

Visit Chabad.org for more about the Torah of the Messianic Era—its superior nature as well as the radically different way we will grasp the knowledge.


Have I Got A Story

Who Makes Your Choices?

A husband was once asked for the secret behind his happy marriage. “It’s simple,” he replied. “We divide responsibilities. We decided long ago that my wife makes all the small, routine decisions, and I make the major decisions. She decides what house we buy, where we go on vacation, whether the kids go to private schools, if I should change my job, and so on.”

“And what are the big decisions?”

“Oh, I make the big, fundamental decisions. I decide if the United States should declare war on China, if Congress should appropriate money for a manned expedition to Mars, and so on.”


Life is a series of choices and decisions. The decisions, however, are relatively simple in comparison to their implementation. The majority of us “choose” to live healthy lifestyles; improve our parenting, spousal and interpersonal skills; increase our knowledge; advance our careers; etc. Carrying through with these choices is the challenge. The trick is to concentrate on one, two or three of these choices. But that just leads to another choice. Which of these choices should we focus on?

Let us look to the Torah, and specifically the description of the methods by which the Land of Israel was to be divided amongst the tribes, for insight on this matter. “To a large [tribe] you shall give a larger inheritance, and to a smaller tribe you shall give a smaller inheritance” (Numbers 26:54). The division of the land was logical: each tribe was allotted land according to its size. Furthermore, the land wasn’t divided merely based on acreage. Rather, the land was evaluated for quality and potential crop yield, ensuring that each tribe received a fair portion.

Nevertheless, the final say belonged to the lottery. After the land was divided into twelve portions, each portion earmarked for a particular tribe with the population which corresponded to its size, a lottery was made to determine which tribe would receive which portion. Miraculously, the lottery confirmed the division which was previously agreed upon. Why the need for this two-track process? Perhaps the lesson G-d was teaching the Israelites before they entered the land, before they became involved in the art of making a living and the many decisions which this entails, was that even those decisions which seem to be in our hands are also ultimately determined by lottery, orchestrated by G-d’s hand.

The Talmud tells us that forty days before a child is conceived, an angel approaches G-d and inquires whether the child will be wise or dim, muscular or frail, wealthy or poor, and whom he or she will marry. He does not, however, inquire whether the child will be righteous or wicked—because “all is in the hands of Heaven besides for [an individual’s] fear of Heaven.”

We may think that we determine our spouse, our field of work, our city of residence, etc. In fact, though, these questions have all been answered before we were even conceived. Yes, G-d expects us to make wise decisions, but ultimately these wise decisions are manipulated and guided by G-d, who orchestrates the circumstances to ensure that we follow the path which He planned for us. Yet we rightfully pride ourselves in being creatures that possess freedom of choice. But this choice is relegated to the arena of right and wrong, ethics and morals. We do have the ability to choose whether to pray with concentration, give charity, be kind to our fellows and keep kosher. And ultimately, our choices in these areas will be our lasting legacy—because in reality they are our only real and un-influenced choices.

So, on which choices will we focus? The “big” ones, over which we have no control, or the “small” ones, which are entirely in our hands? As is it turns out, it is the small choices which impact the world.

From an article by Rabbi Naftali Silberberg

Food For the Soul

Profit from a Non-Jewish Prophet

Many believe that the concept of a Messianic Redeemer is a modern-day invention, or worse, a Non-Jewish/Christian innovation. [In the Parshah Balak] we read about the prophecy of Bilaam the Midianite who, frustrated in his desire to curse the Jews, ends up blessing them. His final prophecy is of our eventual redemption. I don’t get it. We’ve got no Jews, no rabbis, no home grown talent, that we need a Bilaam to introduce such a fundamental concept?

The late Rabbi Chaim Gutnick once told me about a couple who came to him for marriage counseling. Among other advice he suggested they commit to some specifically Jewish practices, for example Shabbat meals. Frustrated by his reactionary, old-fashioned viewpoint, they dumped him and sought professional help.

A few weeks later he was at home, and answered the door to the same couple, this time carrying a bottle of wine and a bouquet of flowers as a peace offering. Their explanation for their change in attitude: Their highly paid, thoroughly ‘modern’ therapist had recommended that they bring some romance and caring back into the marriage. Once a week, turn off the TV, disconnect the phone and make a commitment to sit down together for a quiet, candle-lit dinner. Hearing this identical advice from “a professional,” they reconsidered their previous attitude and were willing to accept that there may well be some value in Judaism after all.

Unfortunately, for many Jews to accept a moral standard and belief they need the world’s approval. If a rabbi talks about the negative effect of television and the Internet, people say he is outdated, but were a lecturer on values to say the same, then people take it more seriously. If even the Bilaams can be persuaded that this world is due for a change; that life has greater possibilities than the mess we struggle with daily; isn’t it time that we too got on the Goodness & Kindness bandwagon and, by changing ourselves, bought about change?

Rabbi Elisha Greenbaum


Shabbat Shalom

“Three Weeks” Begin

The 17th of Tamuz (July 16) marks the beginning of The Three Weeks period of mourning which culminates on the 9th of Av, commemorating the conquest of Jerusalem, the destruction of the Holy Temple and the dispersion of the Jewish people.

Weddings and other joyful events are not held during this period; like mourners, we do not cut our hair, and various pleasurable activities are limited or proscribed. Consult the Code of Jewish Law (Shulchan Aruch) or a qualified rabbi regarding specific proscriptions.

The Lubavitcher Rebbe urged that the Three Weeks should be a time of increased giving of charity and Torah study in keeping with the verse (Isaiah 1:27), “Zion shall be redeemed by law, and her returnees by charity”, particularly the study of those portions of Torah that deal with the laws and the deeper significance of the Holy Temple.

Chabad.org


Mind Over Matter

Inner Focus

We can view our world as an accursed place of pain and corruption, or we can see beyond the veneer to view these evil episodes as merely futile attempts to cut us off from G-d’s vision.

When you feel cut off from your potential, try to focus on your inner redemptive qualities. Transform your negative, accursed self-talk and become your greatest advocate to bring more goodness into your life and the world at large.

From an article by Chana Weisberg


Moshiach Thoughts

Bringing Mochiach

Every Jew is able to bring about the actual manifestation of Moshiach. One is able to do so by means of Torah and mitzvot. For Torah and mitzvot effect a purification and refinement of the physical world. Impurity is reduced and nullified, to the point of “I shall remove the spirit of impurity from the earth” (Zechariah 13:2). This will be achieved with the coming of Moshiach who shall reveal goodness and holiness in the world, culminating in “The earth shall be full with the knowledge of G-d as the waters cover the sea” (Isaiah 11:9).

From an article by Rabbi J. Immanuel Schochet


Have I Got A Story

Of Donkeys and Discernment

In one of the most fascinating stories in the Torah, the prophet Balaam tries get G-d to acquiesce to his desire to curse the Jewish people, thereby causing them some harm that would weaken or destroy them. Balak, the king of Moab, had offered him great reward if he would weaken the people of Israel so they could be driven away from the region. Balaam engages in a series of dialogues with G-d, in which G-d makes it clear that He doesn’t want Israel cursed. Balaam, however, thinks he can still “sell” G-d on the idea.

Then, Balaam’s donkey moves from being a mere conveyance to an eloquent spokescreature for animal rights. Three times she sees an angel blocking the way. Each time she moves aside—angering Balaam, who did not see the angel. Each time, Balaam hits the poor donkey. Finally, in the Torah’s words, G-d opened the mouth of the she-donkey, and she said to Balaam, “What have I done to you that you have struck me these three times?”

Balaam said to the she-donkey, “For you have humiliated me; if I had a sword in my hand, I would kill you right now.”

The she-donkey said to Balaam, “Am I not your she-donkey on which you have ridden since you first started until now? Have I been accustomed to do this to you?” He said, “No.” G-d opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the angel of G-d standing in the road, with a sword drawn in his hand. He bowed and prostrated himself on his face. The angel of G-d said to him, “Why have you beaten your she-donkey these three times? Behold, I have came out to thwart you . . .”

The biblical commentator Rashi points out the donkey seeing the angel is not at all remarkable: “The she-donkey saw, but [Balaam] did not see, for G-d permitted a beast to perceive more than a man. Since [man] possesses intelligence, he would become insane if he saw the threatening angel.”


This idea expressed by Rashi is an embodiment of the key lesson of the entire Balaam episode. The question is often asked: why did G-d originally argue with Balaam, telling him that He disapproved of the trip, only to let him go and try to curse Israel, and eventually foiling his plot? Why didn’t He just stop Balaam in his tracks? The Talmud (Makkot 10b) answers this question:

One is allowed to follow the road he wishes to pursue, as it is written, “G-d said to Balaam, ‘You shall not go with them,’” and then it is written, “If the men came to call you, rise up and go with them.” The essence of humanity is free will. Free will is the “image of G-d” in which Adam and Eve were created.

The Source of All has defined absolute moral and conceptual principles. Living a life that expresses these principles is the definition of goodness. At every juncture, however, we are completely free to reject such a mode of life. This freedom gives substance and meaning to our choice when we “choose life.”

On rare occasions we are given a glimpse of the truth (such as at Sinai), just so that we know what it is that we seek. But freedom of choice can truly exist only in an environment of natural ignorance that demands discernment and intelligence to overcome. We must live in a world where neither Creator nor creation is obvious. We are then given the ability to use our powers of intelligent analysis and discernment to recognize that this magnificent mural has an Artist, and that our being painted into this mural means that our presence is of fundamental necessity for the entire enterprise of creation to be whole.

If we saw the process of creation and the presence of the G-dly in everything, if we saw the flow of energy from the Infinite Source into everything, bringing it into being at every moment, we would have no free choice in choosing the good; it would be obvious. We are given discernment and intelligence to autonomously pierce the veil of ignorance cast over humanity, if we so choose. To do so, this veil must remain locked in place until we open it by using the keys we are given. Often people say, “If G-d would appear to me, and tell me to, I would live a life according to the Torah.” That is a fine way of life—for a donkey. Besides, as events demonstrated, even after Balaam got to see things from the donkey’s perspective, it did not help him; he kept following the “way he wished to be led.” G-d has given us something far, far superior to “Donkeyvision”: the challenge of liberty and the gift of discernment.

From an article by Rabbi Shlomo Yaffe

Food For the Soul

Confronting the Heifer

In the Parshah Chukat (Numbers 19:1-22:1) Moses is taught the law of the red heifer. This law is the most mysterious law of the Torah. Somehow, the red heifer would purify one who contracted the most severe form of ritual impurity, that of coming in contact with a human corpse.

Chassidic philosophy explains that the red heifer captures the secret of the uniquely Jewish approach to purifying the negativity within each of us. It is the key to dealing with our inner passions, which overwhelm us with the force of their energy.

Purity is not achieved by suppressing or waging war against desire. The Torah teaches us to look right at the passionate, forceful red heifer. Look at its core and understand that the red heifer is not negative, nor is it spiritually neutral. The Torah wants us to understand that the heifer can be the most powerful agent of purity in our life. The power of desire, its incredible force and energy, is not evil. For while the external expression of the desire may be negative and must be burned, the ashes of the heifer, its inner essence, is the source of purity. When the ashes are mixed into the “living waters,” when the power of desire is directed toward a positive goal, the heifer itself will be an unbridled force that will provide spiritual and emotional purity. 

From an article by Rabbi Menachem Feldman


Shabbat Shalom

Upcoming Holiday: The Three Weeks (July 16 to August 7)

The Three Weeks is an annual mourning period that falls out in the summer. This is when we mourn the destruction of the Holy Temple and our launch into a still-ongoing exile. With an eye to the future, we also learn about the Third Temple, which is yet to be built.

The period begins on the 17th day of the Hebrew month of Tamuz, a fast day that marks the day when the walls of Jerusalem were breached by the Romans in 69 CE. It reaches its climax and concludes with the fast of the 9th of Av, the date when both Holy Temples were set aflame. This is the saddest day of the Jewish calendar, and it is also the date that many other tragedies befell our people. 

Read about Tisha B’Av and The Three Weeks at Chabad.org.


Mind Over Matter

Thoughts Channel Emotions

Our Torah tells you that you must not fear. Even if an army is charging towards you, you must not fear. For there is no danger worse than fear.

But you are only human. Do you truly have control over the dread and panic pounding in your heart? Yes. Not directly, but through the power of your mind. If you will choose not to dwell on those things that instill panic and dread, those emotions will wither and fade.

And the choice is yours. What do you want to speak about? What do you want to think about?

For the thoughts of your mind are the conduit of life for the emotions of your heart.

Rabbi Tzvi Freeman


Moshiach Thoughts

“This is the Torah’s decree… have them bring you a completely red heifer which has no blemish…” Chukat 19:2ff.

Maimonides cites a Mishnah with the following words: “Nine ‘red heifers’ were prepared from the time this precept was ordained until the Second Temple was destroyed: the first was prepared by Moses our Master, the second Ezra prepared, and there were seven from Ezra to the destruction of the Temple. The tenth will be prepared by King Moshiach-may he soon be revealed, amen, may thus be (G-d’s) Will!” (Hilchot Parah Adumah 3:4)

Our present mitzvot can make this happen momentarily!

From an article by Rabbi J. Immanuel Schochet


Have I Got A Story

Spread the Love

I overheard a discussion. One woman was complaining about her teenage son’s aggravating behavior. “Sometimes, I could just kill him!” She vented. Unbeknownst to her, the other woman was in the middle of chemotherapy treatment for her own son to fight his life-threatening illness. I observed her tense up at the choice of words. Calmly, she replied: “Kids will be kids. But beneath it all, we love them so much that we would do anything to keep them healthy—even with their irritating antics.”

[The Parshah Chukat] speaks of the death of Moses’s brother, Aaron. “The entire Israel wept for Aaron for thirty days.” (Numbers 20:29). The entire nation mourned Aaron’s death because he was so beloved to them. The Midrash (Avos d’Rabbi Nosson 12:3) explains that he worked hard at restoring peace between quarrelling friends or spouses.

Aaron would approach each of the disagreeing individuals separately and soften them by saying, “Your friend/spouse is utterly embarrassed over what he did to you! He wishes you would be reconciled.” When the two would later meet, they would be ready to overlook their differences and re-establish their relationship. We are permitted to modify the truth for the sake of peace, but on face value, it seems like Aaron was actually saying a complete lie, which is not permitted.

But in truth, Aaron’s words were not inherently false (Sichos Kodesh, 5741). To love our fellow is a cardinal mitzvah of the Torah, which we all want to fulfill. While on the outside, these friends or spouses were angry with each other, Aaron was able to help them dig a little deeper to expose their true feelings and wishes.

In the first talk that the [Lubavitcher] Rebbe delivered on his official acceptance of leadership, he articulated what would become his mission statement. He spoke about love of one’s fellow human being, as well as the interrelation between loving G-d and loving His children. “A person who loves G-d will eventually come to love what G-d loves—all His children. And his love will drive him to wish to bring G-d’s children close to Torah—because that’s what G-d loves.”

There are times that circumstances create barriers between us. Due to the many pressures in our lives, we may sometimes act selfishly or insensitively, or respond angrily or unkindly. But deep down, that’s not really who we are or wish to be.

Loving our fellow means stripping away those external barriers that divide us to find the deepest bonds that connect us. Because, despite irritating antics or behaviors, that love is what is truly real.

From an article by Chana Weinberg

Food For the Soul

Inside/Outside

The sixteenth chapter of Numbers tells the story of the mutiny led by Korach, a cousin of Moses who challenged Moses’ authority. In the end, Korach and his henchmen were swallowed by the earth in a divine display of rather unearthly justice.

The Midrash reveals some of the behind-the-scenes dialogue between these men. Remember, Korach was no pushover. Besides being of noble lineage, he was clever, wealthy and quite charismatic. One of the questions Korach put to Moses was this: does a house full of holy books still require a mezuzah? Moses answered that it did. Korach scoffed at the idea, ridiculing Moses. The little mezuzah contains the Shema—but two chapters of Torah. A whole houseful of books with the entire Torah won’t do the trick, and a little mezuzah will? It doesn’t make any sense, argued Korach.

Why was Moses’ answer correct? What indeed is the significance of a small parchment on the doorpost in relation to a library inside? The Lubavitcher Rebbe explained that it all depends on location. The books are inside. The mezuzah is outside. When there are Jewish texts inside our study and living rooms, this indicates that the home is a Jewish home. This is good, and as it should be. But what happens when we leave the comfortable confines of our home? Do we cease to be Jewish?

The mezuzah is at the threshold of our homes, at the juncture and crossover between our inner lives and outer lives. As we make the transition from private person to public citizen, we need to be reminded of whom we are, and that we take our identity with us wherever we may go. There is only One G-d, says the little scroll, whether in our private domain or in the big, wide world.

From an article by Rabbi Yossy Goldman


Shabbat Shalom

Joshua Stops the Sun 

July 2, 2022 – the third of Tamuz – commemorates the third of Tamuz of the year 2488 from creation (1273 BCE) when Joshua was leading the Jewish people in one of the battles to conquer the Land of Israel. Victory was imminent, but darkness was about to fall. “Sun,” proclaimed Joshua, “be still at Giv’on; moon, at the Ayalon valley” (Joshua 10:12). The heavenly bodies acquiesced, halting their progress through the sky until Israel’s armies brought the battle to its successful conclusion.

Chabad.org


Mind Over Matter

Disruptive Spirit

Even the most sublime strivings of the spirit must be restrained when its passion drives a wedge between ourselves and others. We know our passion is misdirected when it prompts us to look down on others who have achieved less than us or begrudge those who have achieved more…

True love for G-d should not drive us from each other; G-d loves others as much as he loves us. Now we understand where Korach went wrong. Korach’s zeal for the high priesthood led him to a rebellion that was bitterly divisive. This was the first indicator that his passion for G-d was misguided…

From an article by Rabbi Lazer Gurkow


Moshiach Thoughts

“Korach the son of Yitzhar… assembled against Moses and against Aaron…” (Korach 16:1-3)

Korach erred by assembling his followers to rise and rebel against Moses. He thought that by doing so he could, as it were, force the realization of the redemption before its time. He did not realize that it could not happen until the refinement of the world would be completed. 

From an article by Rabbi J. Immanuel Schochet


Have I Got A Story

The Greenest Grass

A rabbinical colleague tells me that he’s had extensive contact with one of the most popular and renowned entertainment celebrities of our time. This star is not only hugely famous, wealthy and successful, but has been acclaimed around the globe for his rare talent and genius. Hundreds of thousands of fans wish they could have his life, that they could be him. In the course of their conversations, the rabbi asked this man what it is that he constantly wishes for in life. His answer: Obscurity. His dream is to fade from the limelight, and lead a simple, anonymous, man-on-the-street, white-picket-fence existence.

In this week’s Torah portion, Korach, we meet a man who by all accounts was a very intelligent, affluent and gifted individual. A Levite by birth, he already occupied a position of prominence and prestige within the community of Israel. Yet he rallies together a band of fellow Levites to challenge the leadership of Moses and the priesthood of Aaron. “The entire community—all of them—are holy, and G-d is among them,” Korach protests, “so why do you [Moses and Aaron] exalt yourselves over the congregation of G-d?”

How virtuous. How egalitarian. After all, every soul, bar none, is a spark of G-d. How then can distinctions be drawn between Jews—whereby this one is a tribal prince, this one a Levite, this one a priest and yet another a high priest? Let us all stand as one without separation or distinction.

Righteous indignation is often nothing more than envy with a halo. Indeed, for all of his “man of the people” posturing, Korach was not nearly as unselfish and altruistic as his words might suggest. The man felt rebuffed in that Aaron, and not he, was granted the high priesthood, and could not abide this perceived snub to his own standing and stature.

In responding to Korach, Moses says: “It is too much for you, O offspring of Levi.” In other words, can you not recognize the beauty and uniqueness of the gifts you do have? You are a member of the chosen people. As a Levite you are a keeper of the sanctuary. You are a respected dignitary. You have so much going for yourself. How could you possibly be discontent? Why must you seek the priesthood, when G-d clearly gave that to somebody else? Korach’s begrudging spirit gave him no peace, and ultimately led to a fatally disastrous end for him and his group.

The sages teach us: “There is no man who does not have his place.” If that’s the case, the commentaries ask, why is it that there are so many people who are so unhappy with their lot? The answer is that instead of savoring their own special place and flourishing therein, they futilely crave the place that belongs to somebody else.

The reason G-d created man as a single unit rather than as an entire species (as He did with the animal kingdom) is to show you that one man equals the world, says the Mishnah. Every individual is unique. You were handpicked to fulfill a specific mission, a mission that only you can perform. That mission is to enhance and perfect your world. And what is “your world”? It’s whatever you wake up to in the morning: your life, your family, your community, your personality, your problems, your circumstances—that’s your world. That’s the life you were put into, and that’s where your purpose can be found. We don’t sit around saying “if only.” “If only I had kids like those . . . if only my mother wouldn’t have married my father . . . if only I were better looking, more intelligent, more talented . . . ”  It makes for nice fantasy, perhaps, but a total waste of time and energy when it invades reality.

When you live with a sense of divine purpose, you recognize that you are who you are, your life is what it is, because that’s what it’s meant to be. And it is within your own life that you are called upon to serve your Creator and fulfill your very distinctive mission and purpose.

Korach would have done well (as would we all) to heed the profound words of the serenity prayer. The key to living a good and happy life is to have the courage to change those things which can be changed, the serenity to accept those things which cannot be changed and the wisdom to know the difference.  A person who sees the essence of life as serving the will of His Creator does not expend useless energy craving places where the grass is greener. He finds meaning, purpose, joy and fulfillment in the place where the grass is greenest of all: his own.

From an article by Rabbi Moshe Bryski 

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