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We have often heard the complaint that the children of the community think they are special. Critics note that among the youth there is a sense of haughtiness and pride. This they find unacceptable, typically quoting Maimonides where he states that “There are certain character traits which a person is forbidden to accustom himself in, even in moderation. Rather, he must distance himself to the opposite extreme. One such trait is haughtiness. For the ideal path is not that one be humble alone; he must be lowly of spirit and exceedingly unassuming.
But can there be a good haughtiness? Where does one draw the line between positive self-esteem and pride? We all know that self-esteem is a very important ingredient for a successful and happy
There was no one in the world greater than Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis A"H in my humble opinion. On paper the Rebbetzin's accomplishments were beyond compare. A Holocaust survivor who instead of letting the holocaust defeat her, defeated as it were the Holocaust, by bringing thousands upon thousands upon thousands of people back to G-d, building a magnificent family that bear the names of the holy Rabbis and Rebbetzins of her family who sanctified G-d's Name in the mentionable horrors of the
Sometimes we wonder whether we puny individuals can make an impact on world events, whether we can make a real difference in G-d`s universe.
Most of us would give a negative response to such questions. Parshas Ki Tisa however, comes to challenge that view. This week`s parsha impresses upon us that not only is it possible for us to make a difference, but it is our imperative to do so. The portion opens with the words "Ki Tisa..." - "When you shall take a census of the children of Israel..
At the center of this week’s portion of Ki Tissa is the worship of the Golden Calf, but I believe more important than the sin is the lesson of Divine Mercy as an answer for our propensity to sin. We are taught the thirteen attributes of Hashem which we repeat whenever we beseech the Al-Mighty for compassion and forgiveness in the face of our transgressions. And we hear the words which man always longs to hear, Salachti KidVarecha – I have forgiven according to your request.
Each Shabbat we have a kiddush at our synagogue. During the winter when we pray Mincha around 12:30, we extend lunch with a class and often add some additional short speeches by congregants relating to that week’s kiddush dedication.
This past Shabbat we commemorated the Yahrzeit's of Mr. Alan Wagner the father of my long time Chevrutah, Rabbi Michael Wagner and Mr. Simcha Yusupov whose family had emigrated from the former Soviet Union, who I count among my dearest friends and who have become