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Pancakes And Zionism

Mr. Freidman's family was very worried about him so they sent him to a psychologist. The doctor asked Mr. Friedman what the problem is. He replied that he doesn't have any problem but his family forced him to see the psychologist and that is why he came. Upon being asked why his family thought he should come, he answered "Because I like pancakes". The psycholgist remarked "That is totally normal. I also like pancakes". "Well then," answered Mr. Friedman, "you should come to my house. I have a whole basement filled with pancakes."

The key to emotional and spiritual health is BALANCE. Spiritually this means that one should not stress any mitzva too much. For some the mitzva of living in Israel is the focus of their Judaism to the exclusion of all other mitzvos. For others it is Talmud Torah. For others it is chesed. For yet others it is the mitzva of giving tzedaka. People become so absorbed in "their mitzva" that they forgot about the others and - maybe worse - they belittle those who are not as careful as they are.

Every mitzva is important, not only the ones that we connect to. I am lucky in that Hashem has given me many great spiritual opportunities. I live in the Holiest city in the holy land. I learn Torah in a yeshiva with wonderful boys etc. etc.

But when I hear of friends of mine who live in America [what Rav Kook called ama raika - empty nation] but spend sleepless nights in the hospital to be available for their sick friend - I am truly humbled. Maybe their selfless acts of love and chesed are greater in the eyes of Hashem than MY mitzva of yeshivas Eretz Yisrael and Talmud Torah. Who knows. When I hear of the mesirus nefesh that some baalebatim have to learn Torah daily despite their demanding schedule, I wonder if my mesirus nefesh is up to par. And when I hear of a young woman who says the entire sefer tehillim from the depths of her heart - in her friends merit, I ponder that maybe Hashem enjoys her Tehillim more tham the Rabbeinu Chaim Halevi Al HaRambam that I learned.

Our job is to try to keep the Torah in its entirety to the best of our abilty - not to judge others.

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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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