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In Parliment Square in Vienna a large crowd assembled as the representitive of Baron Rothchild exhibited the greatest invention ever known to modern man - the Automobile. The first wagon without horses!!!

For a long and tiring hour he explained the finer points of Motors, Gas, Transmissions etc. etc. At the conclusion of the lecture an old man rose and asked for permission to speak.

"Everything is very clear and very interesting" he said, "but I still don't understand where and how you connect the horses."

There is a school of thought in modern psychology which believes that all of a persons problems can be traced back to one fundamental error in perception. If you can correct this error then you have a happy human being.
Western culture accepts as axiomatic the principle that the purpose of life is physical pleasure. From this perception emerge many other ideas. Examples: Money is just about the most important thing in the world. [G-ds name on the dollar symbolises that on some level the dollar is... G-d. Just look at how many "G-d fearing" people lose all of their scruples when it comes to making the Almighty Dollar.] Male-Female interaction [lashon n'kia] should be unbridled. All forms of entertainment are very important and highly reccomended-unless illegal [Hey it's no fun to sit in jail]. The examples are myriad but we will suffice with the aformentioned.

If you speak with someone [or almost anyone for that matter] who suscribes to such a viewpoint and you suggest something different he will think that you are nuts.

I want to be nuts.

Western culture is really not that far off. We are here for pleasure. But the real thing. G-dly pleasure. Lihisaneg al Hashem. Primarily in the next world. But also right here in this world. If you have ever learned a Gemara with a Rambam, a question of the Maggid Mishne reconciled by a brilliant approach of the shev shmatsa-you know what I'm talking about. Or if you have ever helped a needy person [aren't we all needy in some way] for no other reason other than the fact that it was the right thing to do. And even if you acted at great personal sacrifice - you felt it was worth it. The examples abound but I would prefer that you go out and do it instead of reading about it!

So next time you have a decision to make ask yourself if you are being swayed by long held perceptions about right and wrong, good and bad. This is critical.

Otherwise you might end up tying horses to your automobile.

Your friend and ever faithful servant,

Ally Ehrman

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Segula - 40 days at the Kotel

About me

  • I'm Rabbi Ally Ehrman
  • From Old City Jerusalem, Israel
  • I am a Rebbe in Yeshivat Netiv Aryeh.
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