‘Relationships’ Category Archives

3
Oct

After Forgiveness

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Relationships

I am convinced that a Shiva call is not considered complete until after the Seven Days of Mourning! The Shiva house is full of people, but then it ends. The mourner is left alone. He has to return to life with his entire world changed, without the support of all the friends who came during Shiva. The call after the Shiva has ended, when the people have left and the house is silent, is when the mourner needs a different type of support. The phone call after Shiva completes the comfort offered during Shiva.

I just finished speaking to a friend two weeks after he got up from Shiva, and I realized that there is a long list of “after” calls to make: not to the people who I visited during Shiva; those calls were made. I have to call all the people of whom I asked forgiveness to show that the request for forgiveness was only the first step. I now have to work at rebuilding relationships I have damaged.

I cannot make my “after” call and pretend all is well because I asked for forgiveness, but I must convey the message that I am determined to repair the relationship. It is only now that the real work begins. Is the relationship important enough to put in all that effort? Is the other party interested? How hard shall I try?

One more thought: Is this what our post Yom Kippur work is? Are we supposed to use our Mitzvot as demonstrations of our commitment to repair our relationship with God? Does the real Yom Kippur work begin after Yom Kippur?

Was that Jonah’s issue with the repentance of the people of Nineveh?

Author Info:

Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone™ is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

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27
Sep

Clothes of Righteousness

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Prayer, Relationships, Spiritual Growth

“Who clothes Himself in acts of Righteousness in judgment.” (Rosh Hashana Machzor)

Not only do the clothes make the person; the person can ‘make’ the clothes. Clothes carry something from the person who wore it before I did. (Chatam Sofer, Toledot)

We dress ourselves in God’s garments with our acts of Righteousness – Tzedaka.

Author Info: 



Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

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18
Sep
25
Aug

Rabbi Daniel Lapin: Thought Tools: When a Man Loves a Woman (part 1)

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Relationships

The Foundation Stone wishes a hearty Mazal Tov to Rabbi and Mrs. Lapin on the marriage of Miriam and A.J. May the young couple, guided by their parents’ wisdom and example of magnificent Midot and values, build a home that reflects the greatness of the Lapin legacy.

A few hours ago my wife and I stood beneath a wedding canopy gazing happily at one of our beautiful daughters, Miriam, and the young man she has chosen to accompany through life.  The ancient phrases in the prayer book I clutched appeared a little blurred through my teary eyes.  Actually, recalling the event now is making this computer screen a bit blurry too.

This wedding played my emotions like B.B. King played his famous guitar.  Just as each of his string-bending vibratos I once heard on Beale Street in Memphis sounded unique, so this wedding felt unique.  Which is strange because its format was virtually indistinguishable from 124 other weddings at which I have been privileged to officiate.

Obviously every couple was unique, but each ceremony closely resembled all the others.  At every wedding I followed the same traditional script, exercising no creative originality.  Furthermore, there was little of a personal and individualistic nature with which I could have embellished Miriam’s wedding.  The structure of a traditional Jewish wedding ceremony is tightly proscribed.

It would have been easy had I asked Miriam to prepare some personal prose for her chosen who, in turn, could have recited a few moving lines about his feelings.  That way we could have had a truly memorable ceremony.

But I am only the messenger of a Boss who issued clear directions that leave me little room for spontaneity or creativity.  These instructions specify how we introduce a man and a woman into the holy covenant of marriage.  Chiefly, the man formally accepts upon himself legally binding obligations.

You might consider this unsentimental process to be unduly legalistic; ignoring the rapture and romance of the occasion.  Yet, the ceremony’s structure is precisely what promises stability.  Ancient Jewish wisdom observes that legalities lead to love while love can sometimes end in legalities.

Business partners know that beginning with a firm contract is the surest way to a happy and durable partnership.  Though men and women usually feel the emotional intensity of love and longing, marriage can still benefit from listing all major expectations.  Love is a frighteningly unspecific sensation upon which to build a life.

Obviously love and attraction are a prerequisite for a man and woman considering marriage.  However, what distinguishes the covenant of marriage from the coupling of lust, are precisely the legal commitments.

A few hours ago a young man stood alongside his beautiful bride.  Before official witnesses, he pronounced his commitment to support our daughter.  He undertook to provide for her every need; emotional, financial, and physical.  My daughter then plighted her troth to him in affection and sincerity by allowing him to place his ring upon her finger.

Uttering personal vows alone on the beach in Acapulco or having barefoot ceremonies in a grassy meadow with guitar-playing poets is not sufficient for a Jewish marriage.

A legal ceremony binds together, not only my daughter and her husband, but also binds the two of them to the past, the present, and the future.  Present at the wedding today were both the visible and the invisible generations that carried the couple to this day.  Miriam and AJ looked out at all their family and friends knowing that their bond ties them also to the community.  And gazing into one another’s eyes the two of them knew they are forming a magical and mysterious bond with the future.

My wife and I smiled knowingly at one another.  This ancient legal ceremony precisely echoed our own wedding of a few years ago.  We pray that theirs will bring the knight and his lady the same joy, creativity, spontaneity, and romance that ours brings us.

God lays out His blueprint for marriage in the early verses of the book of Genesis.  Ancient Jewish wisdom reveals insights from the original Hebrew text and I present many of these permanent principles packaged in practical and useful ways in my audio CD set Madam I’m Adam—Decoding the Marriage Secrets of Eden.  It makes a wonderful gift for both the newly-wed and the long-wed eager to enhance their partnerships. We’re offering $10 off online orders this week. Next week we’ll explore the peculiar examples of love in Scripture.







Thought Tools byRabbi Daniel Lapin

www.rabbidaniellapin.com

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15
Aug

The Dance of Tu B’Av: Shedding

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Relationships

Debbie has an interesting understanding of the borrowed clothing of the Tu B’Av dance: One of the most important stages of marriage is being able to shed certain self-perceptions ingrained from childhood and school, and learn to see ourselves as our spouse sees us, and grow into our own skin. The borrowed clothes are the Sages’ reminder that the clothes we wear when we first marry are borrowed; they are perceptions ingrained from the past that must be shed as we enter marriage which can help us discover ourselves.

Author Info:
Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

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13
Aug

Not Moment To Moment

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Portion of the Week, Prayer, Reflections & Observations, Relationships

“I was friends with one of the crew members on TWA Flight 800. I had called her because she was on my mind. It had been a while since we’d talked and I missed seeing her. I left her a message on her voice mail to call me. A few days went by and I became increasingly irritated that I had not heard back. My husband said just call again or say what you want to say on her answering machine. I knew she was probably busy and was just waiting for some free time to call me back. Even knowing this, I became increasingly angry. I held back my love. I closed my heart to her. The next day her plane crashed. I deeply regret that I did not give my love freely. I was playing a game with love.”

The woman was measuring her love by the moment, by one action,and then closing her heart. We must try to see love in the big picture, not in detail. A detail such as a single phone call can be a distraction from real love.

David Kessler – Life Lessons Page 43.

“And these matters that I command you today shall be upon your heart.” (Deuteronomy 6:6) ‘You should always look to these matters as if they are new, fresh and exciting – as if the Torah were given today – not like a stale, outmoded dogma.’ (Rashi)

Although each individual action matters in a relationship, some more than others, we cannot measure our love for God by one moment or action, nor can we measure God’s love for us by the moment or single action. Perhaps the “Today” in the verse, especially when considered together with the “Alls” of the previous verse; “All your heart, all your soul, all your resources,” means that we look at the entire day, not moment by moment.

Just as with every relationship, there will be moments during the day when our love for God falters. There will be actions that do not reflect attachment. There will be moments during the day when we do not feel God’s love. We will suffer experiences that lead us to question whether God loves us. We strive to live days of love. We want to be able to recite the Shema before going to sleep with a sense that this was a day of love.We measure the day by its “All.” We want to go to sleep feeling, “This was a good day with God.”

Author Info:
Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

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12
Aug

Separation Anxiety

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Portion of the Week, Relationships

“Then Moses set aside three cities on the bank of the Jordan toward the rising sun, for a murderer to flee there, who will have killed his fellow without knowledge, but who was not an enemy of his from yesterday and before yesterday.” (Deuteronomy 4:41-42)

Three cities were necessary for two and a half tribes, and only three for the nine and a half tribes on the other side of the Jordan. Moses knew that the separation from the Land across the Jordan would foster a more violent society.

And yet, we find that the two and a half tribes made a special effort to maintain their connection, as we learn from Joshua, Chapter 22:

9 And the children of Reuben and the children of Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh returned, and departed from the children of Israel out of Shiloh, which is in the land of Canaan, to go unto the land of Gilead, to the land of their possession, whereof they were possessed, according to the commandment of the LORD by the hand of Moses. 10 And when they came unto the region about the Jordan, that is in the land of Canaan, the children of Reuben and the children of Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh built there an altar by the Jordan, a great altar to look upon.

11 And the children of Israel heard say: ‘Behold, the children of Reuben and the children of Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh have built an altar in the forefront of the land of Canaan, in the region about the Jordan, on the side that pertaineth to the children of Israel.’ 12 And when the children of Israel heard of it, the whole congregation of the children of Israel gathered themselves together at Shiloh, to go up against them to war. {P}

13 And the children of Israel sent unto the children of Reuben, and to the children of Gad, and to the half-tribe of Manasseh, into the land of Gilead, Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest; 14 and with him ten princes, one prince of a fathers’ house for each of the tribes of Israel; and they were every one of them head of their fathers’ houses among the thousands of Israel. 15 And they came unto the children of Reuben, and to the children of Gad, and to the half-tribe of Manasseh, unto the land of Gilead, and they spoke with them, saying: 16 ‘Thus saith the whole congregation of the LORD: What treachery is this that ye have committed against the God of Israel, to turn away this day from following the LORD, in that ye have builded you an altar, to rebel this day against the LORD? 17 Is the iniquity of Peor too little for us, from which we have not cleansed ourselves unto this day, although there came a plague upon the congregation of the LORD, 18 that ye must turn away this day from following the LORD? and it will be, seeing ye rebel to-day against the LORD, that to-morrow He will be wroth with the whole congregation of Israel. 19 Howbeit, if the land of your possession be unclean, then pass ye over unto the land of the possession of the LORD, wherein the LORD’S tabernacle dwelleth, and take possession among us; but rebel not against the LORD, nor rebel against us, in building you an altar besides the altar of the LORD our God. 20 Did not Achan the son of Zerah commit a trespass concerning the devoted thing, and wrath fell upon all the congregation of Israel? and that man perished not alone in his iniquity.’ {S}

21 Then the children of Reuben and the children of Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh answered, and spoke unto the heads of the thousands of Israel: 22 ‘God, God, the LORD, God, God, the LORD, He knoweth, and Israel he shall know; if it be in rebellion, or if in treachery against the LORD–save Thou us not this day– 23 that we have built us an altar to turn away from following the LORD; or if to offer thereon burnt-offering or meal-offering, or if to offer sacrifices of peace-offerings thereon, let the LORD Himself require it; 24 and if we have not rather out of anxiety about a matter done this, saying: In time to come your children might speak unto our children, saying: What have ye to do with the LORD, the God of Israel? 25 for the LORD hath made the Jordan a border between us and you, ye children of Reuben and children of Gad; ye have no portion in the LORD; so might your children make our children cease from fearing the LORD. 26 Therefore we said: Let us now prepare to build us an altar, not for burnt-offering, nor for sacrifice; 27 but it shall be a witness between us and you, and between our generations after us, that we may do the service of the LORD before Him with our burnt-offerings, and with our sacrifices, and with our peace-offerings; that your children may not say to our children in time to come: Ye have no portion in the LORD. 28 Therefore said we: It shall be, when they so say to us or to our generations in time to come, that we shall say: Behold the pattern of the altar of the LORD, which our fathers made, not for burnt-offering, nor for sacrifice; but it is a witness between us and you. 29 Far be it from us that we should rebel against the LORD, and turn away this day from following the LORD, to build an altar for burnt-offering, for meal-offering, or for sacrifice, besides the altar of the LORD our God that is before His tabernacle.’ {P}

Unfortunately, all their efforts came to naught. Reuben, Gad, and half of Menashe, were the first tribes to be exiled and lose their connection to the Land and the nation. The separation that began when they chose to settle on the East bank of the Jordan, soon developed into a chasm. Their society did become more violent. The more violent society also had far more unintentional murders.

How interesting that Moshe chose a Mitzvah of separation, the Cities of Refuge, in which a murderer is separated from society, to point out the risks that Reuben and Gad were taking by choosing to settle on the other side of the Jordan! It is even more interesting that we take pride in being called, “Ivrim,” People from the other side, as in “Avraham HaIvri.”

The unintentional murderer is accepted with open arms into a nurturing community that will care for all his needs, physical, emotional and spiritual. He is not separated from others to live in his own world, but to relearn how to live as part of a healthy community. He is separated into a world of togetherness.

The two and a half tribes separated themselves from the people who were already ‘Ivrim,’ separate. They focused their efforts on remembering Jerusalem, not on building a community of togetherness with the other tribes, or even between themselves.

A connection with Jerusalem absent a connection with the people of Jerusalem, will soon disappear.

Whenever we make an effort to be ‘Ivrim,’ to separate, we must expend an even greater effort to unify with others who make a similar choice. We cannot afford a separtion beyond a separation. We begin to define ourselves by being different, and we end up standing alone.

Their altar was not the answer. It didn’t work. They should have paid attention to Moshe’s warnings.

Do we?

Author Info:
Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

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3
Aug

Rabbi Daniel Lapin: Thought Tools: Small Change – Big Change

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Portion of the Week, Relationships

Another powerful and timely message from Rabbi Daniel Lapin to help us consider the challenges of exile, and repairing relationships: “I need to start going home to Arizona each weekend,” the long-time campaign manager told the candidate, “but I’ll be back here in Idaho early Monday mornings.” The uneasy candidate responded, “Well, if I lose, it will be your fault.”

The engaged couple was discussing whether to set up home closer to his job or hers.  He preferred closer to his job which was also near friends. Her curt response: “Well fine, as long as you don’t get upset when I lose my job for tardiness.”

The sales professional disagreed with the corporate decision to bundle services in a new way. His manager insisted that this was the way it had to be. The salesman responded, “Well, it’ll be your responsibility if I fail to reach target.”

In each of these three examples, both parties mishandled the discussion. Both people forgot they were a team with one common goal.  Instead of finding a mutually agreed-upon solution when confronting a new situation, the encounters ended with a silly ultimatum and unhappy individuals.

These real-life examples could have been more successfully handled by following these five steps:

A: Form a bond of trust. (We are a team and we will find a solution that works for both of us)

B: Agree on objective (We need to win this election/We want the best place to live/We want to keep sales growing)

C: Depersonalize the conflict by recognizing that change triggered the problem (the campaign manager’s child was ill/two people uniting their lives/corporate decision)

D: Cooperate in discovering or creating at least three possible solutions.

E: Find agreement in a solution that both parties can own.

There are small changes in life and then there are drastic ones.

See this passage:

He (Abraham) proceeded on his journeys from the south to Bethel to the place where his tent had been at first…to the site of the altar which he had erected there at first…

Many translations suggest that the phrase “at first” is repeated in that passage. In reality, the original Hebrew text uses two quite separate words.  The first ‘at first’ is the Hebrew word TeCHiLaH while the second is the word RiSHoNaH.

This verse can help distinguish between the two Hebrew words.

And I will restore your judges like RiSHoNaH and your advisors like TeCHiLaH

(Isaiah 1:26)

Israel’s first judge was Moses:

Moses sat to judge the people…

(Exodus 18:13)

Moses was a radical new paradigm. There never was a judge in Israel before him.  However, no one is highlighted as the pioneering advisor.

Why are these two different words used in our verse about Abraham? There was nothing groundbreaking about his first visit to Bethel so the text uses the weaker word TeCHiLaH.  However, “…to the site of the altar which he had erected there at first,” alludes to the very first altar constructed by Abraham (Genesis 12:7-9) Never before had Abraham built an altar to God.  It was a new paradigm, different from the altars which others built previously, thus the text uses the word RiSHoNaH.

So we see that ancient Jewish wisdom distinguishes between minor incidents and major developments.

What is the life lesson for us? We must differentiate between small changes and paradigm shifts. A campaign manager needing to spend nearly 30% of the week away from the battleground presents a major adjustment. Getting married is an enormous life change. A significant change in corporate policy is always momentous. Recognize that the change is precipitating the problem, not your partner. Don’t act as if the change is no big deal or pretend it doesn’t exist. Instead, solve it as a team, not as adversaries. For the relationship to thrive, recognize that you both win or lose together.

Practical lessons like these emerge from subtle language differences and other startling secrets which ancient Jewish wisdom reveals. Each of my five Biblical Blueprint audio CDs delves into Scripture and extracts concrete messages from God which will improve our lives. You or someone you love will be blessed by this set. It is always a good deal and for forty-eight hours it’s an even better one.







Thought Tools by Rabbi Daniel Lapinwww.rabbidaniellapin.com

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2
Aug

The Price of Relationships

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Relationships

They have been married for so long that they don’t remember why they are fighting. They simply know that they are in an argument. There is no single specific issue. They fight. They stopped listening to each other many years ago. The only thing they do hear is criticism. There is no “reason” for them to argue other than their being so accustomed to fighting. That, I believe, is the definition of Sin’at Chinam, or, hatred for no reason. They are stuck in their argument and, when asked, admit that they cannot picture how to live with each other without arguing.

I spend a great deal of time working with people, many of whom are sinking in a quagmire of resentment and anger. People carry their anger for years, even after they have forgotten what provoked their anger. The hatred takes on a life of its own. That is Sin’at Chinam.

It is even more frustrating to observe people seeding such long-lasting resentments. One person phrases something in a poor manner, the other person is hurt, the first person is shocked that he provoked such a response and becomes so angry that he will say something hurtful and the conflict takes root. Neither one will recall exactly how the argument began, but it doesn’t matter; it takes on a life of its own. That is Sin’at Chinam.

I have often heard Rav Kook ZT”l quoted as saying, “The only way to repair Sin’at Chinam is Ahavat Chinam.” It seems that Rav Kook was focusing on the Sin’a, the hatred. I suggest that we focus instead on the Chinam, or ‘Free.’

People have difficulty acknowledging they pay a price for an argument. We pay a steep price even when we are 100% in the right. There is no Chinam – argument without a price – just as there is no Ahavah, or love without a price.

Love is not only experienced; it makes demands. Love demands patience, generosity, selflessness, understanding, empathy and much more. We make our first mistake when we think that either love or hate is Chinam – free, meaning that we do not pay a price.

When one person hears an insult he has a choice whether he is willing to ‘pay,’ meaning to invest effort in understanding what the other said or meant, or what the other was feeling that led him to speak the insult. When we are willing to ‘pay’ we will be able to find a solution.

However, if we focus on ‘Chinam,’ our desire to have love without having to pay, we will certainly be unwilling to ‘pay’ to repair a situation of Sin’a – hatred.

Author Info:
Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone™ is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

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29
Jul

Fable of the Porcupine

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Relationships

A message about Sinat Chinam – Baseless Hatred, as we approach the Nine Days: Offered by Mel B.

It was the coldest winter ever. Many animals died because of the cold. The porcupines, realizing the situation, decided to group together to keep warm. This way they covered and protected themselves; but the quills of each one wounded their closest companions.

After a while, they decided to distance themselves one from the other and they began to die, alone and frozen. So they had to make a choice: either accept the quills of their companions or disappear from the Earth.

Wisely, they decided to go back to being together. They learned to live with the little wounds caused by the close relationship with their companions in order to receive the warmth that came from the others. This way they were able to survive.

Moral of the story: The best relationship is not the one that brings together perfect people, but when each individual learns to live with the imperfections of others and can admire the other person’s good qualities.

Author Info:
Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

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