Thursday, November 17, 2011

Every time We Say Goodbye

Two years ago at this exact moment I remember exactly were I was. It was Erev Shabbos Parsha Chayei Sarah. I had just returned home from traffic court in Pittsburgh. It seems that sometime before this evening I had been speeding. Yet at this moment I was speeding again. Rushing to get to the hospital. I wasn't sick. There was nothing wrong with me. On this night just two short years ago I said goodbye to someone I love. I stood with my family and said goodbye for the last time. This night haunts me every year. The thoughts about that night, the memories, the pain I still feel every time I think of it. It is a night that will live in infamy.
This weeks parsha teaches us about the life of our Matriarch, Sara.However, in the parsha, our first matriarch Sara dies. The question is asked why is the parsha called Chayei Sara, the life of Sara and not Neis Sara, the death of Sara. The answer as taught by chasidus is that this parsha is not about her death but about how her life was lived through the generations she mothered. What the hell does this mean. Her life being lived through others. At first I didn't get it. But now, now I understand. A life is not marked by how it was lived, but by the impact it leaves on others. How others learn from what you did and apply to their own life. 

Two years ago tonight, a part of me died...but the part of me that is still here will live everyday remembering and applying the life lessons taught to me by the part that is gone.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Flattery...Part Two

My first time in Crown Heights many many moons ago a friend took me to 770.
We went very late at night to avoid the crowds of people visiting for the Rebbetzin yaretzeit.
When we got there we sat in awe look at the Rebbe's lone chair just sitting there...
For some reason and I'm not completely sure why it was a very spritiual experience.
For years this moment has stayed close to my heart until I saw the photos above!

We have recreated 770 in multiple cities across the world and reproduced historical pictures of the Rebbe that we display in our homes. But not we can have a replica of the Rebbe's chair. Yes we too can sit in the Rebbes chair as we pray, eat, or watch the sunday night game. When I saw the Rebbes chair for the first time it was a holy experience...and now, now it is as good as buying relpica coins on a late night infomercial.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

If G-d Made Oats, and Doe's Eat Oats, and Little Lambs Eat Ivy. A Kid Will Eat Ivy Too...Wouldn't You?

My friends often ask me about the purpose of life. Why are we here? Now I'm not exactly sure why the ask me...I'm not exactly an authority on such things nor have I figured out my own purpose. However, I was recently told by a friend that I am a Lamed Vovnick. This friend was heavily intoxicated and I'm pretty sure they also thought I was Yushka at the time...but a compliment is a compliment. But, Lamed Vovnick or not, I am always asking myself, " Why the hell am I here?"
Now this may come as a surprise to many of you but over the past few months, I have taken to learning Tanya. Yes the heretic learns Chasidus. Recently in my learning I have discovered the meaning of life...
We learn in Torah that there are four stages or levels of creation. In each level different things and beings were created. However there is a fifth level in which the Yidden are kept. The Rebbe raises a question...why then does it not say there are five levels of creation. The answer is simple. Other things and beings in this world were created by God (capital "G" seems appropriate). However, we the Yidden are a part of the Creator therefore we were not created. Thus we solve the puzzle of the levels of creation.
Now Tanya discusses this idea further.  The purpose of every life is to suppress the  sitra achra which will in turn raise the neshama that is surrounded by the animal soul. By suppressing the sitra achra and raising the neshama we bring balance to our lives. Now this really only applies to a "regular Joe" so if your a Tzaddik or like me, a Lamed Vocnick...Congrats you have already achieved a purpose in life and can now move to the next level in "Mario Brothers." You have saved the Princess and gathered all the coins. However if you still stuck level one...don't blame it on the fact that your Atari keeps freezing or you joystick is something about it. Our purpose in life is to make good choices for ourselves that will raise our neshama. Now remember different folks and what is good for the goose is most certainly not good for the don't judge or compare. However I will warn you...Tanya states that if a Yid cannot make the right choice and work toward his purpose, he is lower than an animal. Why? Because an animal does not have a choice...he is a created being that fulfills its purpose not by choice but by command. We have a choice we are part of the creator and therefore our purpose is to be the best that we can be...(because in the Army National Guard we can!)
So there it is the purpose of life given through Chasidus by a Heretic!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Now Hear This

Dear Readers and Followers,
The blog is back!!! I am so excited to get writing again. I am going to try to update everyday but don't hate me if that doesn't happen. I have a few requests...
1. Follw me on blogger if you aren't already...
2. Leave comments I want to hear what you have to say!
3. Tell me what you want to read about...
4. Don't get offended...this blog is not for the faint of heart...I speak my mind and well you you don't like that don't read it!

Saw This On Kingston

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Like A Prayer

This song was stuck in my head the last time I went to the Ohel...