Patience is a Virtue

Patience is a Virtue

I can tell you it is not a virtue that I have naturally or that I have mastered. It is though something I strive for :-).

Some people are just more patient, they are “gelasin” that’s a yiddish word for even-keeled. It sounds better in Yiddish. Others are “farhitzed” also a yiddish word, that means cooked or shvitzed (oy vey with these yiddish words). They can’t sit still and need it to happen now! They need the next challenge, next opportunity!

The fact is that both are necessary qualities at various times and it’s important to know what is needed and at what time.

After Jacob encounters his brother, Esau tells Jacob, why don’t I help you out and we’ll travel together.

Jacob, tells his brother, that he’d rather his brother go ahead and he’ll meet up with him in Seir. Jacob tells Esau that there are many people, many cattle and it will take time, you can’t rush them.

Our Sages tell us that there is a cosmic event transpiring in this encounter. Jacob meets Esau hoping that Esau is ready for refinement and ready to enter into the Messianic Utopian Era. As it turns out Esau is far from ready. And so Jacob tells him, that there is more work to do before Moshiach can come. Esau says to Jacob, so get on with it. Let’s get it done, now!

Jacob tells him in a word, “patience”! This is not work that can be done overnight or rushed. We have much refining to do with the people and possessions of the world. You go ahead and we’ll meet up with you once we have refined the world.

Rashi the foremost commentator on the Torah tells us that when will Jacob meet up with Esau, that will be when Moshiach arrives.

For the millennia this has been our calling, to find the Divine sparks in the physical world around us, to find the G-dliness in the Esau around us. Slowly, but surely.

The Rebbe taught that this work is completed, it is time for Moshiach to come and the only thing left to do is for us to greet Moshiach. So, we’ve entered into an era of no patience. No more being cool and chilled. Now it’s time to act! To do everything we can within ourselves to find the missing sparks inside of us and to be ready to welcome Moshiach, Now! Amen!

Have a Great Shabbos!
Rabbi Mendel Schusterman

A Bit Of Wit…

A Rabbi recounted this story:

With all the instant messaging and texting lingo going around – with abbreviations like “LOL” and “OMG” and “BTW” – I asked a young lady named Kaila if she would be going to shul this Shabbat, and she replied to me “JFK.”

“JFK? What does that mean?”, I asked.

Kaila answered politely, “Just for Kiddush.”

Entering the “World” and Surviving

Entering the “World” and Surviving

Thanks to my Ema, Mrs. Chana Rachel Schusterman, for sharing the following Torah thought!

Parsha Vayeitzei tells of the journey of our forefather Jacob, to the home of his uncle, Laban. His parents sent him from their home in Be’er Sheva to Haran in Mesopotamia to find a wife.

Jacob went from living in his parents’ home, an environment of holiness, to a place with bad values where his unscrupulous uncle lived. How was he to maintain his spiritual level even there?

At the beginning of his trip, Jacob slept on a mountaintop where he had a dream. In the dream he saw a ladder with angels going up and down on it, and G-d spoke to him and blessed him. He woke up with the realization that he was in G-d’s presence.

He prayed and took an oath, “If G‑d will be with me, and will protect me on this journey that I am undertaking, and will give me bread to eat and clothing to wear. And if I will return to my father’s home in peace (b’shalom), then the L‑rd (Havaya) will be to me as G‑d (Elokim).”

Jacob prayed that G-d would continue to be with him. He asked for bread, which represents Torah that we learn and integrate into who we are and how we live. He asked for clothing to wear, which represent mitzvos, the deeds that will surround us with true and meaningful action. He asked to return in peace. Peace, “b’shalom,” means complete, whole in body and whole in soul, with his values and way of life intact.

On the spiritual level, this journey represents the descent of a soul to inhabit a body in this world. Each of us comes into the world with a mission. We are here to transform the body and its place here below into an environment where G-dliness is known and experienced.

How can we come into a world of self-centeredness and power struggles and remain focused on achieving our G-dly mission? We need to know that G-d sends the soul into the body empowered to fulfill its purpose. We have to remember our faith in G-d even as G-d also has faith in us. As Jacob said, when we learn Torah and do mitzvos we are guided through this world. We pray to succeed without being negatively affected by our own egos or by the obstacles and influences around us.

While we live in the world, we must remember that our soul is connected above this world. Our souls enlivens our bodies. That is who we are. Knowing this, a person can have a strong sense of identity, purpose, and dedication. Then we are whole and in-sync with G-d’s will.

Jacob went through great struggles in Haran but triumphed with his wholeness intact. While there, he built a large family, accumulated wealth, and accomplished his purpose in that place. Then, he was ready to go home to his father. He knew that G-d above is with us wherever we are, even as we do our work here. Our lives are precious. We each have an opportunity to use our stay in this world in a way that is whole, living souls in living bodies, bringing more goodness into the world.

Chana Rachel Schusterman

Spiritual Teacher, Counselor and Public Speaker

Have a Good Shabbos,
Rabbi Mendel Schusterman

A Bit Of Wit…

A woman on a train walked up to a man across the table. “Excuse me,” she said, “but are you Jewish?”
“No,” replied the man.
A few minutes later the woman returned. “Excuse me,” she said again, “are you sure you’re not Jewish?”
“I’m sure,” said the man.
But the woman was not convinced, and a few minutes later she approached him a third time. “Are you absolutely sure you’re not Jewish?” she asked.
“All right, all right,” the man said. “You win. I’m Jewish.”
“That’s funny,” said the woman.” You don’t look Jewish.”

Are We Really So Different?

Are We Really So Different?

That which the heart doesn’t allow for, time allows for. This Hebrew saying – which flows much more nicely in Hebrew – captures the feelings many of us have almost two weeks out from the Pittsburgh massacres.

The deep rooted pain, anger, disbelief, fear subsides and we are able to go about our days without being consumed by those horrific events.

For the families and Pittsburgh community, it will take more time, but they too, in time, will feel the pain subside. This ability for the acute emotional pain, is a gift that Hashem has given us. Imagine, if one, who has experienced serious physical injury, remained completely conscious of the moment the injury occurred and the pain that came with it. It would have to paralyze a person as it did in that first moment.

The not remembering is what allows us to move on.

However, if we don’t internalize the lessons, if we don’t make changes, it was all for naught.

***

One thought that keeps recurring for me is the many non Jews who have offered condolences to me and many other Jews of all stripes and backgrounds. I don’t remember, as much, the Jewish community feeling a sense of need to offer condolences with members of the local churches after the various church shootings that have taken place.

Why is it that a random gentile sees a secular or observant Jew and senses that the Jewish People are all connected to the point of offering me condolences for a community that is not mine, for people that I didn’t know?

***

The answer is simple. The Jewish People are indeed one. Yes, we may not all observe the same, we may not observe at all, we may believe that we carry a truth when others are misguided, but these are all external dimensions of who we are.

If you saw someone in physical pain, and surely if it was your brother or sister, would you not reach out to help them alleviate that pain?

How much more so one in spiritual pain, whether they are conscious of it or not, we should reach out to help them alleviate that pain.

We should act with love towards others and encourage them to see the world in a way we believe to be of spiritual and material benefit to them.

However, even when they don’t go that journey with us, they remain our complete brothers and sisters.

That is because what binds is our Neshama, our soul, and the Neshama transcends observance. Our connection to another Jew is inherent.

If the gentile senses this to the point of connecting random Jews, how much more so should we express this connection through acceptance and love for our fellow Jew.

***

This past Shabbos, I spent with a couple thousand Chabad Rabbi’s from around the world for the annual conference of Shluchim. The message that is communicated year in and year out, the Rebbe’s message, is a message of love for our fellow Jew. A love that transcends the physical differences, let alone political and emotional differences.

Coming away from another election which has become continuously more divisive, let’s all put away our differences, the things that divide us and focus on our inherent connection to each other, the soul that binds.

Have a Good Shabbos,
Rabbi Mendel Schusterman

A Bit Of Wit…

Two newlyweds quickly realized their marriage wasn’t working and filed for a divorce. The judge asked them what the problem was.

The husband replied, “In the five weeks that we’ve been together, we haven’t been able to agree on a single thing.”

The judge turned to the wife, “Have you anything to say?”

She answered, “It’s been six weeks, your honor.”

Pittsburgh and the Legacy of Sarah

Pittsburgh and the Legacy of Sarah

In place of my usual Torah thought, taking into consideration the tragic event of 11 of our fellow Jews in Pittsburgh being murdered solely because of their being Jewish,  I’d like to encourage all to take on an extra Mitzvah to fight darkness with light. You may want to choose a Mitzvah option by clicking  HERE

For a Jew, when tragedy strikes such as happened in Pittsburgh, we must of course do what is practically necessary to make sure such events don’t happen again. But, in addition, we must also have a spiritual dimension to fight what happened. Hence, the Mitzvah campaign above.

In addition, please see the following video which connects this approach with the Torah portion of Chayei Sarah to be read tomorrow in  Shul.
Have a Good Shabbos,
Rabbi Mendel Schusterman

1-19

B”H
Friday, January 19- 3 Shevat Parshas Bo
Candle lighting Indianapolis Area: 5:31 PMSee the Torah thought below:
Have a great Shabbos!
Three New events on the horizon:
1) Friday Night -Shabbat Meal: February 2nd , 2018 for Jewish Young Adults ages 18-25 : contact us or sign up HERE2)Join us for a Melavah Malkah, a traditional Saturday night meal, to celebrate the leadership of the Lubavitcher Rebbe.
Saturday (after Shabbos) January 27th, 11 Shevat at :1112 Oakwood Trail 46260
*Video Presentation
*Light Buffet
*Lichayim
This event is FREE and open to  the entire Jewish community.
RSVP preferred but not required.
For more information, please contact Rabbi Schusterman at 317-698-6423

3) Upcoming Hebrew Reading Course:
Mondays, January 29th, February 5, 12,26,March 5th.

Choose between:

  1. 5 Mondays 9:30-11AM at :1112 Oakwood Trail Indianapolis 46260
  2. 5 Mondays 6:30 to 8PM in NW Indy at the HHAI Cultural Arts Center 6602 Hoover Rd.
  3. Cost $50
  4. Call (317) 698-6423 for more details
It’s That Time of the Year – Resolutions

Have you paid attention to your inbox (digital and mail)? Are you getting those January solicitations to join the gym? Try out the newest diet? Join a new business coaching program?

January is a milestone in time; the end of one year, the start of a new one. People reflect on things they wished they had accomplished, feel guilty about the midline bulge and resolve that “this year” it’s going to be different. Hence, the capitalization of your emotional roller coaster by the companies of the world.

So when is a resolution a good one and when is a commitment to change an authentic and sustainable commitment?

The Rebbe draws an inference from this week’s Torah portion to determine that a resolution to percolate and integrate into the person in a fashion of commitment is 4 days!

In this week’s Torah portion we read of the instruction to the Jewish People to take a sheep or lamb for the Passover sacrifice on the 10th of Nissan. The offering would be brought on the 14th. Thus there would be 4 days of consideration as to whether to go through with the offering or not.

Why the big challenge? The sheep was worshiped by the Egyptians. The Jews having been slaves for so long needed to break out of their slave mentality. The first step is to stand up to your captors, to no longer be afraid of them, to realize that your freedom transcends the whip of the taskmaster.

This is an internal transformation that needs to take place and the taking of the sheep, not being intimidated from the Egyptians was the first step.

What are you enslaved to? What are your first steps in breaking free?

IJDC offers monthly Friday night Shabbat  meals focusing on various demographics throughout the Jewish Community (Singles, Couples with children, over 40, under 40 etc.) Smart, average 😉 etc.

Rabbi Schusterman is available for private lessons for Adults or children in Hebrew or other Judaic subjects

Ongoing:
Torah Tuesdays in East Carmel   6PM Tuesdays at Facets Studio 755 West Carmel Dr. Carmel, 46032
Shabbos Hosting :
We would like to host you (and your family) for a Shabbos meal. Please call Rabbi or Fraidel at (317) 698-6423 to schedule. NO CHARGE

As mentioned previously, we recently opened a new Jewish organization in Indiana with the goal of strengthening Judaism. In case you haven’t seen our email or facebook , we opened the IJDC (Indiana Jewish Discovery Center), http://www.injewishdiscovery.org
http://www.facebook.com/injewishdiscovery currently run out of our home. The goal is to provide services for the Jewish Community both physical and spiritual for young and old with the unique beauty that we and our family ka’h  bring to the table.
Please provide us with feedback (both good and constructive) , so we can better serve you.
May we merit to the coming of the Moshiach very soon!

1-12

B”H

Two New events on the horizon:
Friday Night -Shabbat Meal: February 2nd , 2018 for Jewish Young Adults ages 18-25 : contact us or sign up HERE

 

Upcoming Hebrew Reading Course:

Choose between:

  1. 5 Mondays 9:30-11AM at :1112 Oakwood Trail Indianapolis 46260
  2. 5 Mondays 6:00 to 7:30PM at the Hasten Hebrew Academy Cultural arts Center , 6602 Hoover Rd, Indianapolis 46260
  3. Cost $50
  4. Call (317) 698-6423 for more details

IJDC offers monthly Friday night Shabbat  meals focusing on various demographics throughout the Jewish Community (Singles, Couples with children, over 40, under 40 etc.) Smart, average 😉 etc.

Rabbi Schusterman is available for private lessons for Adults or children in Hebrew or other Judaic subjects

As mentioned previously, we opened a new Jewish organization in Indiana with the goal of strengthening Judaism. In case you haven’t seen our email or facebook , we opened the IJDC (Indiana Jewish Discovery Center), http://www.injewishdiscovery.org
http://www.facebook.com/injewishdiscovery
currently run out of our home. The goal is to provide services for the Jewish Community both physical and spiritual for young and old with the unique beauty that we and our children ka’h  bring to the table.
Please provide us with feedback , so we can better serve you.
See the Torah thought below  and may we merit to the coming of the Moshiach very soon!
Rabbi Mendel Schusterman

Ongoing:
Torah Tuesdays in Broad Ripple:  6PM Tuesday at Facets Studio 6251 Winthrop Ave. #1 46220
Shabbos Hosting :
We would like to host you (and your family) for a Shabbos meal. Please call Rabbi or Fraidel at (317) 698-6423 to schedule. NO CHARGE

It’s time to warm up!

Sometimes in life when we are cold we ought to warm up. This is true when we are cold to things of holiness and importance. Making excuses why we are not better people, better spouses, more involved parents, more active Jews all of these come from a place of coldness. When we take that cold water and turn it to blood, we heat things up and bring passion to our indifference.The weather across the country has been freezing! It’s time for a thaw.

 

Maybe that’s why in this week’s Torah portion the Frogs jump into the ovens?! In plague #2 against Pharaoh and his People, Frogs, an amphibious creature, jumps into the Egyptian ovens as an act of sacrifice.

 

In the plague #1, the cold Egyptian water turns to blood.

 

We have the cold turning warm and the cold putting out the fires.

 

 

Yet at the same time sometimes we get too excited about superficial and meaningless things. I’ll leave this one to your own judgement and self assessment, but suffice it to say that there are plenty of things that we overly invest ourselves in, that produce little to no value for our lives or the lives of those around us.

 

When we get too excited about those kind of things, we need some coldness to still those flames. This is the fire of the Egyptian excitement exemplified by the ovens. The frogs represent a need to cool things down a bit.

 

So as you shiver from the cold, maybe bring some fire and passion into your Jewish life and throw some of the coldness onto the unnecessary fires and passions.

 

Have a great Shabbos!

01-05

B”H
Friday, January 5- 18 Tevet Parshas Shemos

After having just spent  a week and a half in Maryland and New York, it’s nice to be back home in the Hoosier State even with the crisp cold we are experiencing.
So, this week we opened a new Jewish organization in Indiana with the goal of strengthening Judaism. In case you haven’t seen our email or facebook , we opened the IJDC (Indiana Jewish Discovery Center), https://www.injewishdiscovery.org
http://www.facebook.com/injewishdiscovery
currently run out of our home. The goal is to provide services for the Jewish Community both physical and spiritual for young and old with the unique beauty that we and our children ka’h  bring to the table.
Please provide us with feedback , so we can better serve you.
See the quip 😉  and the Torah thought below  and may we merit to the coming of the Moshiach very soon!
Rabbi Mendel Schusterman

Ongoing:
Torah Tuesdays in Broad Ripple:  6PM Tuesday at Facets Studio 6251 Winthrop Ave. #1 46220
Shabbos Hosting :
We would like to host you (and your family) for a Shabbos meal. Please call Rabbi or Fraidel at (317) 698-6423 to schedule. NO CHARGE
More classes and programs to be announced soon

Fiery Ears

I recently heard this nice thought; “listen and silent have the same letters”. I’m not sure who is the author of this statement but it surely reflects two approaches in how we relate to others.

Some peoples silence is a simple tactic to get the other person to finish talking so they can fully have the stage when it is their turn to respond.
For others, they are actually listening, taking in what the other person is saying trying to internalize and relate or at best sympathize.

***

In this week’s Torah portion, Moses encounters the Burning Bush. An interesting thing happens. Moses turns to see the burning bush, G-d calls out to him and says “Moses, Moses”, Moses responds “here I am”. Then G-d instructs Moses to remove his shoes.

Listen to the events, the exchange here. Moses is interacting with G-d; seeing the Burning Bush, responding to G-d’s calling to him. Now listen to the next verse.

“G-d says, I am the G-d of your father, the G-d of Abraham, the G-d of Isaac and the G-d of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon G-d”.

What happened in this verse that suddenly causes Moses to hide his face? He was interacting a second ago with G-d and now he suddenly stopped!

***

Our Sages say that G-d was offering a gift to Moses. G-d was telling Moses that as he will experience the suffering of the Jewish People in the coming days, months and years and will pained for them, he will cry out for meaning and explanation. Now, G-d was offering Moses a glimpse behind the curtain to understand the meaning for Human suffering.

G-d was offering Moses to see and understand the fires both literal and figurative that will burn, hurt and at times consume his people.

At that moment, Moses turns his face away. Moses doesn’t want to see that which is behind the curtain. He knows that is he looks behind the curtain, he will never again be able to truly listen, to truly empathize. As long as we can put meaning to another’s suffering, we can never fully feel for them.

***

When it comes to our own suffering, we can choose to make meaning from it. Our Jewish tradition encourages us to look into our own character, our own shortcomings and find meaning in our suffering or pain to motivate us to better ourselves. Perhaps our character is in check and things are good. Then our tradition tells us to see our suffering and pain as a propulsion to push us forward. This is true for our own struggles, but when looking at another, unless you are G-d, or unless G-d has given you direct information (as G-d did at times with the Prophets) our only perspective should be one of crying out and calling out to G-d to remove the suffering, to heal the pain.

This is what Moses, the greatest leader, teaches us as he he is being called upon to guide and lead the People from Egypt and through their travails in the desert. Open your heart, listen to the other person, truly empathize and in some way simply listening will alleviate a bit of the pain.

X