Wednesday, November 26, 2014

30 Minutes to Stronger Faith

Dear Friends,

Yesterday, I gave a class on how to build stronger faith. The class was a short one, just a little over 30 minutes.

To download the class, click here. (The link remains active for 7 days).

Thursday, November 20, 2014

How Do We Respond to Such a Tragedy?

Dear Friends,

We are deeply shaken by the terrorist attack in Har Nof. We mourn those who were killed and we pray for the speedy recovery of the wounded.

How do we respond to such a tragedy?

By allowing it to change us for the better.

By insisting that it does.

I updated two articles on this topic:

Who Caused This Crisis?

How to Respond Effectively to a Tragedy or Crisis

This Tuesday night, November 25th, at 8:30pm, in New York City, God willing I will be giving a class at the West Side Institutional Synagogue, 120 West 76th Street. The synagogue is between Amsterdam and Columbus. The class is entitled: "Unshakable Faith: What It Is, What It's Not and How to Build It." The class will be based on articles from this blog.

The rest of this post is about the Jewish month of Kislev, as it relates to The Chazak Plan: A 12 Month Journey to Spiritual Strength.

Rosh Chodesh Kislev begins this Motzai Shabbat (Saturday night), November 22nd and lasts for one day.

The theme we will focus on for Kislev is gratitude.

During this month we celebrate the festival of Chanukah, which commemorates the miracle of the oil, the victory of the Maccabees over the Greeks and the rededication of the Second Temple. A key message of the festival is expressing gratitude to God for the miracles He performs on our behalf.

Each day, preferably at the beginning of the day, spend time feeling grateful for the blessings your Creator gave you. Thank Him for His many gifts, for the bright side/silver lining of your difficulties, and for signs of His help amidst your challenges. In addition, express appreciation when someone does something beneficial for you.

The readings for this month focus on Chanukah and related themes. Additional discussion on gratitude is covered in the beginning of the article, 6 Tools to Enhance Your Mood.

Readings for the month:

Clarity + Purity + Joy = Transcendence

Abraham + Isaac + Jacob = You

Have a Shabbat Shalom,

Yaakov

Please forward this post to at least one person you think may benefit from it. 

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Three Fundamental Mitzvot

If you were asked, what are three fundamental mitzvot, what would you answer?

Many would say: Keeping Shabbat/holidays, observing the laws of Family Purity (which govern marital intimacy) and eating kosher.

Why is that? Even though every mitzvah is important, why are these three often singled out as being fundamental?

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Everything Works Out in the End: Even when it doesn’t appear to

Many mistakenly think that having faith in God means believing that if we pray and make reasonable efforts, our difficulties will go away. What perpetuates this myth is that thank God, many difficulties do eventually go away. However, we cannot deny that sometimes they don’t. For example, even after prayer and effort, some people never regain their health, find a spouse or have kids. With this reality in mind, what are you to believe, that things will work out or that maybe they won’t?

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Cheshvan: Prayer

Dear Friends,

This Shabbat is the Shabbat Project. For an article about this worldwide initiative click here.

The rest of this post is about the Jewish month of Cheshvan, as it relates to The Chazak Plan: A 12 Month Journey to Spiritual Strength.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Recording of Lecture: You Get Out What You Put In

Dear Friends,

For those who were not able to attend the lecture, you can click here for the link. 

After accessing the link, hit the play button. If that doesn't work, then click download. After downloading the file you should be able to play it. 

Please note, before uploading the file, I scanned it for viruses using AVG Antivirus software. 

For additional material relating to Yom Kippur which I did not have time to cover in the lecture, please see my Elul post on repentance by clicking here.

Shana tova,

Yaakov 

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Upcoming Lecture: You Get Out What You Put In

Dear Friends,

If you live near the Upper West Side of Manhattan, I want to invite you to a lecture I will be giving,
God willing, Tuesday, September 30th, at 8pm.

I will be speaking at Congregation Ohab Zedek (OZ). The topic will be on preparing for Yom Kippur and focus on five possible areas for us to strengthen. It will use my article How to Remove Your Number One Spiritual Stumbling Block as a springboard for further discussion.

The OZ is located on 118, West 95th Street, between Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues. There is a suggested donation to their learning program of $5.

If you can make it, I'd love to see you there. If you know people who may be interested in it, I'd appreciate it if you forwarded this post to them.

May we all be inscribed in the book of life, for a healthy and happy New Year,

Yaakov