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TorahAnytimes Newsletter Metzora

Parshat Metzora

Compiled and Edited by Elan Perchik


"The TorahAnyTimes" Newsletter

Parashat Metzora                                                                   Print Version
7 Nissan, 5782 | April 9, 2022

Compiled and Edited by Elan Perchik

Dr. David Lieberman
Making Better Decisions

There is one factor that determines almost exclusively what decision you're going to make. And that factor is entirely within your control

Your mood. Your mood affects your decisions to a frightening level.

Think of how many decisions you make because of your mood. A good mood can lead you to act responsibly and in the right ways, whereas a lousy mood, the opposite.

So how can you change your mood? How can you snap yourself into a different state of mind?

Simple. Act the way you want to feel.

Our mood is based on our emotional state. If you find yourself sitting slumped over with your head down, you're not going to make a decision that requires assertiveness and confidence. This “body cognition,” a concept coined by modern psychologists though articulated by the Ramchal hundreds of years ago, is rooted in the axiom, “the external awakens the internal.” If you place a pencil between your teeth, creasing the corners of your mouth, research has found that you’ll experience the material under study as funnier, because your lips are forming a smiling position.

If you want to feel more confident at any moment, assume the superhero pose, standing with your legs apart and your hands on your hips. This increases testosterone and decreases cortisol, lowering stress hormones in your bloodstream and relaxing you.
Act and move a certain way, and you will start to feel that way. Actions first, feelings second. It’s a game-changer for all of your life.

Rabbi David Shelby
Words Spoken Here

Three students of mine who had been looking to get married for some time now decided that they would take a trip to Israel and visit some of the prominent Rabbis, in the interest of receiving berachot and encouragement. It had been a journey for them over the years, with many disappointing experiences, but this trip put them in great spirits and enthusiastic anticipation that something great was just around the corner.

They decided to visit Rabbi Shmuel Pinchasi, a revered Dayan in Jerusalem. “Come to my Beit Din (court) this Monday and we will work it out.” Rabbi Pinchasi said. My students, startled with the request to show their faces in court, called me in a mild panic. “Do we really need to go to court?” “Rabbi Pinchasi will be of help to you all,” I told them reassuringly, knowing that whatever it was, it would be something valuable.

That Monday, in walked the three girls to the court, an unexpected feeling gripping them. Rabbi Pinchasi summoned them to a table, where three Rabbis had convened. Together, in unison, the Rabbis said, “You’re all going to get married within the year. Just like we, as a Beit Din here are proclaiming this, the Heavenly court too will agree.”

And you know what? All three girls got married within the year.

Words spoken down here have an effect in Heaven. A true effect. It’s no gimmick. It’s real.

Rabbi Ephraim Shapiro
The Ultimate Guest

Every day you walk into your home, ask yourself the following question: is the home I’m creating one where Hashem would feel comfortable entering?

How do I speak to my family? Is what I am doing in the privacy of my home something I would be alright with Hashem seeing?
Think for a moment, and if any changes need to be made, do exactly that: make it a home where Hashem Himself finds a home.

The words Family and Familiar are very similar, and for good reason. Our family is very familiar. And yet with that, it is easy to compromise on the respect they deserve. Our words can come across sharp and stinging or our full attention may wander elsewhere.

The litmus test as to what we should say or do is if we would have no problem having Hashem be right there with us. Because, in truth, He always is.

Rabbi Yoel Steinmetz
Knowing Who You Are

We all have low points in our lives. We all have times when we are not feeling happy with ourselves. It may be due to our job or our marriage, or a host of other reasons. Because of it, we can slip and wind up acting in ways that compromise our integrity, our self-control or our commitments. How can we fight back?
Know who you are.

Rav Yaakov Emden writes:

Whenever a person finds himself battling with the yetzer hara, it’s because he has forgotten where he comes from. A Jew is Hashem’s child, and isn’t someone who descends from just anyone. Therefore, when one finds himself up against a test in life, he should galvanize his spirit by remarking, ‘Who is to Hashem?’ and remind himself of this truth – Hashem takes pride in me as His child.

When we take to heart who we are and what we can accomplish with our life, and what we are accomplishing, it fuels us forward and empowers us to face our struggles. We begin to feel as if G-d’s angels are accompanying us everywhere, always. On our way to work, throughout our time at the office, and when we are home, these angels remind us, “You are the King’s child; always remember.”

This is the path towards a life of honor as a Jew.

Rabbi Tzvi Sytner
Small Miracles

There is no such thing as a small miracle. A miracle is a miracle, period. Indiscriminate of its magnitude, if something happened beyond the realm of the ordinary, extended above the sphere of the expected, it is miraculous.

Who’s to say that you should have woken up today able to see with your eyes, hear with your ears or walk with your feet? No one. If you are, G-d handed you a present. He handed you a miracle. Is it the size of the Splitting of Sea? You might say that it isn’t. But think of it differently. A miracle is a miracle, no matter the shape or size.

If you have a family, a job or a home, it’s not because that’s how life is meant to be. You could have exactly the opposite – no family, no job and no home, and just the same, it can be said, “That’s how life is meant to be.” It’s not nature that’s organically running your life. It’s a symphony of people and places being set up for you, an orchestrated harmony of parts and pieces being designed for you. By G-d to you and for you.

That’s what we call a miracle.

Human tendency is to notice the outliers, to be in awe of the colorful supernatural. But that tendency is born out of desensitization to what we see any day, every day. And we do see people breathing, walking and talking every day. That daily scene grows on us and dulls our sensitivity to the ordinary.

But that doesn’t take away from the miracle that we call life.

Big or small, it’s the same G-d, giving you the same result – a miracle, a blessing. It’s His love, and it knows no bounds.

That’s all there is to it. A bona fide miracle.

Rabbi Shlomo Farhi
No One Knows

Rav Avigdor Miller zt”l used to say that, each and every day, we should perform one act of chesed (kindness) which no one knows about. It’s an act that is pure and unadulterated in its intention to fuse goodness into the world and be a beacon of light to the world. We do it because we want to be like Hashem, Who carries out acts of kindness to the world not because of the praise and accolades He receives, but because He wishes to shower goodness upon us.

If this can become daily habit and ingrained focus of ours, sooner than later, our very character becomes the substance of kindness. We become identified and one with kindness.

Be like G-d and do something every day for someone else that no one knows about. With that goodness, you’re a walking embodiment of shining greatness into the world.

Rabbi Dovid Goldwasser
You Have the Power

It’s one of the most often-quoted phrases in Jewish circles, “Hashem doesn’t give you more than you can handle.” If you are going through a rough patch, a testing time in your life, whether it be spiritually, physically or emotionally, with a friend, a family member or even yourself, you can handle it. You can stand strong and weather through it.

Many a time, we don’t want to believe we have the strength. “I can’t,” we let out with a sigh. But undeniably, the truth is and always has been… you can. You have the power and you have the stamina. Now, where can you find this strength?

Deep within. It’s not always readily at the surface. It’s like water which lies miles deep underground, and only after tireless digging and excavating, does it appear.
Dig and discover the inner reservoir of strength within you. Reach deep inside.

We all have an inner voice that tells us, “You don’t have what it takes! You’re weak!” But why is that voice any more accurate than the other voice which says, “You do have what it takes!” Tell the voice that puts you down – “Goodbye and good riddance. I’m not listening to you.”

That voice, that whispering, that demeaning inclination doesn’t like to be disagreed with. Telling it this over and over will get rid of it. Eventually, it’ll get the message: you’re not backing down, you’re not giving in. So it will either continue listening to you telling yourself that you can do it, or leave.

And most of the time, it leaves. And when it returns, you’ve got just the trick to get rid of it once again.

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