Transitions Are Tough- But So Are You!
Rivki D. Rosenwald Esq., CLC, SDS
Let me explain. We get to a point where we feel comfortable, finally, in a certain setting or at a certain stage. In fact, we are even feeling a little haughty. For example -school seniors. You've finally made it. You are running things. You are it! Everyone's looking up to you and you are calling the shots. Then boom, crash, smash. You’re a freshy again. Disoriented, powerless and bottom of the totem pole.
Think of moving to a new neighborhood. You had your friends, your shul, your set up, your routine. You mattered to a group. Someone cared if you failed to show up on Shabbas. Then you move. Bam! You've got to start all over again. Fitting in. Mattering to someone. Anyone?!
More complicated - You have a boyfriend/ girlfriend. It took time to be a couple, to feel you were somewhat right for one another, to build some history. Then you think this just isn't "thee one". Oh man you've got to disconnect. Stop seeing each other. Start ALL over again. Ouch not an easy one.
Here's one that's kind of comically sad, but true. You've gotten use to your body. You don't like it but you've got it. It's a part of you, an unwelcome part, but it's so pleasurable to put in the excess weight… the chocolate, the cookies, the pizza, the freedom. But then one day you finally admit you don't like it. Painful transition here we come.... - the yogurt, the salads, the no carbs!!
We can't just freeze in our comfort zone. Appealing? But we’d never move forward. How do we make transitions less painful?
Transitions are difficult! Yet there is a point somewhere into the change where we say, ok I'm getting the hang of this. I've finally embraced the future and let go of some of the past. But when does that happen? And how do we survive till we get there? Honestly ...different situations call for different measures and require different lengths of time.
With a diet it's the 2 week rule. If you can distract yourself, discipline yourself; perhaps wire your jaw shut, anything!!... for two weeks then you've made it. Your body will relinquish its urges. But good luck to you getting through those first 2 weeks! It may feel like a life time. But then it's worth it.
With school- that's tricky. For some it can take a day. They're the enthusiasts. Don't you just want to shoot them! They embrace new friends, new teachers, new opportunities to learn. La la la, miss goody two shoes or confident Kate. But for the general population it can take more time. Then one day you realize it's not that bad and the climb up the ladder to senior begins all over again.
Now here's a complicated one -getting over someone. There's no particular time period but here's some helpful moves you can make. One might be to China! And I mean send the other person there! Alternatively, a helpful starting point is believe this is how it was meant to be! Not easy to embrace, but definitely helpful. Then distraction, keeping busy, being with or talking with people, can all give you some strength through this transition. Of course meeting someone else is a sure fire way to get over someone! But the moment when your head is clear of the other person, well, there’s no telling when it comes. It's kind of one day, when you least expect it, a passing thought makes you realize the person’s only a passing thought, and the pain is gone. It's a different time for everyone, but I guarantee it does come!
What about moving to a new neighborhood. Sometimes it's about your stage in life. If a group showed up in the neighborhood at the same time, it’s so much easier. You all adjust together. When you show up alone it's a big hurdle. What usually saves the transition is -One Amazing Menshe, who pulls you in. That can happen quickly or slowly. But the best thought I can share is not to give up hope or get too sad. Because that Menshe is there somewhere, and when you least expect it they can crawl out from under some rock.
In the meantime, remember the saying all beginnings are hard. And we can begin again at any age. Hopefully, as you get older you have the wisdom of prior experiences to tell you things change, if not; I'm telling you they DO! Keep busy, try your best, but don't be too hard on yourself, because unfortunately some things need the passing of time as a component!
What's the bottom line? No one is out there having these easy transitions. At least not consistently. But many can tell you, from experience, eventually there is accommodation and comfort with the new situation. That's the good news!
But guess what? Then there's usually another transition to get use to! And that's 'not' the bad news - that, my friend, is life!
Rivki Rosenwald is a certified relationship counselor, and career and life coach. She can be contacted at 917-705-2004 or email@example.com<mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
Questions to Spark Your Seder
Here are 6 questions that give us a deeper understanding of Passover.
1. Why must we first search for and get rid of every morsel of chametz?
The night before Passover begins we search every nook and cranny for ‘leaven’-chametz. The next morning we burn the leaven. ‘Chametz’ is compared to the ego of a person. Flat matzah alludes to humility. The ‘leaven’ we rid ourselves of represents the negative character traits we should be searching for. It is not just our physical homes we must clean. It is time, too, for a spiritual cleaning. Just as leaven and breads rise, so too does a person’s pride. Arrogance does not allow relationships to flourish. An arrogant person cannot teach, learn, or truly love. He cannot make space for God; his heart is filled with self-love.
Before sitting down to Seder, take steps to search within our hearts and souls. Take a few moments and think about how we have been treating others, reacting to those we live with, and which words we have been using. Only then can we genuinely harness the energy of this incredible night of freedom.
2. Why do we recite the 15 steps of the Seder’s order before we begin?
The word ‘seder’ means ‘order’. Life requires thought; we shouldn’t live randomly. Whenever we take action it’s good to think beforehand. Every word we speak, each text we send should be considered carefully. These 15 steps are the ultimate mindfulness plan. Living purposefully requires setting goals.
The very first step of the Seder is “Kadesh” –reciting Kiddush, sanctification. Exodus was our gift of sanctification and spiritual transformation. From that moment until today we were given the ability to soar. But spiritual connection does not just happen. We must also take a step towards God. Seder night is our time to take that step. It begins with the knowledge that we are sanctified. No Jew should ever give up on himself. We are never beyond hope. Just as God took care of us the night of Exodus, so too, does He take care of us until today. This is what faith is all about.
3. Why ‘Karpas,’ a vegetable dipped in saltwater?
The Seder leader dips a vegetable into saltwater and distributes portions to all. There is a deeper meaning to this seemingly simple act. Vegetables come from the dirt. Seeds are put within the dark ground and one wonders if it will ever sprout. So too, from the depths of slavery and a land of idolatry did our nation flourish. Sometimes we may wonder if the spark within is still alive. We may feel as if we are living in darkness. Our nation seems to be floundering. Never grow despondent. Look at this vegetable that began from a tiny seed in the earth and then burst forth and grew. This is a message to each of us as we begin the Seder night. We will flourish. Each soul has a life source within that can pierce the darkness. Never despair.
4. Why 3 matzahs and 4 cups of wine?
As we harness the miracles of the night it is crucial to establish our roots. We transmit to all who sit at our table that we are a nation who possesses great spiritual DNA. Seven is the number of our original forefathers and mothers. Our three patriarchs – Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, as well as our four matriarchs – Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel and Leah – walked before us. They created a path for us, overcame tremendous life challenges and tests so that we would have the fortitude to continue their great legacy. It is only when one knows where they’ve come from that they will be able to know where they are going.
At the Seder take a few moments to speak about the strengths of each of these great ‘zaydies’ and ‘bubbies’ of ours. We are here today because they endowed us with the traits of resilience, compassion, spirituality, collective responsibility, unshakable faith and love of God, desire to learn, and the stamina to never give up despite the odds that speak against us.
5. Why invite hungry people to join us once we are already seated?
Passover is the night of redemption and redemption arrives when we start caring for those who are around us. There are times in life that we don’t realize that we have been kind to the world but those closest to us feel ignored and disparaged. I’ve spoken with husbands, wives and children who live with family members of great community leaders, but when it comes to their very own spouses and kids the silence has been deafening. As we sit together at Seder take a look around the table. “Let all who are hungry come and eat”- let those who are emotionally hungry, anyone who is starving for a kind word, a loving gesture, a moment of listening-this is the time to start showing our sensitivity. Satiate the needs of those who are sitting beside you. Show that you are truly a part of this nation who cherishes kindness, tzedakah and love for family.
6. Why these 4 sons?
The Hagaddah speaks of 4 sons: the wise, the wicked, the simple, and the one who does not know how to ask. If you think about it, the righteous son is missing. The message is clear. Each of these children presents unique challenges. (Even the wise son may not fit in with peers, dislike the conformity of school and question constantly thinking he knows better). Seder night teaches us that we may not overlook any child. We have been given each soul with the understanding that we will do our best to guide, teach and inspire. Look at a child’s nature and figure out the best response custom-made for that personality. The Hagaddah instructs us to reply to each child’s question with an individual response. Usually we think about teaching the ‘righteous’ or ‘good’ child while other children may be ignored. When transmitting faith we cannot afford to take this approach. Every single child is to be loved and cherished. Each deserves to be engaged.
May we all tap into the power of this great opportunity. Chag Sameach.
Help- I'm A Flour Girl
Rivki D. Rosenwald Esq., CLC, SDS
Are you looking for me?
Well if you want to find me come looking at 229 Juniper Circle South.
I'll be there steeped in chocolate and frosting drizzled with caramel and crumble. Or I may be in a vat of soup or dressings.
I'll be busy working on a bake sale with Purim treats, misloach manos, appetizers and dishes to eat, all for an organization I know and love. Its whole concept is inspiring and revitalizing the next generation so they'll stay connected to their Judaism and keep us from dying out. So if it takes getting myself a little full of yummy treats and expanding my waist line a bittttttt what can I do - I'm in.
But, I'm beseeching all of you to come help spread the wealth so to speak. Because anything that's left I'll have to buy and eat. Honestly, you do need to break your fast or make a seudah don't you? So you can help others out while you help yourself out! It's basically a win win! (No, I can't say a thin thin-though there will be some nut free and gluten free items so that might be helpful). BUT- hey consider this- Purim is VINAHAPICHU, the more you eat the thinner you'll get!!! Good time to buy our richest delights and you’ll be emaciated at the end of the day. Lucky you!
Now I'm not stopping you from donating items if you'd like, in fact we'd love it. That is, as long as you tell your kids, husbands, and friends to come buy them back. But if you want to just make your Purim easier, then we've already done the work for you.
Of course, if you want to get my autograph on one of my witty weekly articles I'll throw that in, for nothing, if you come by. I'll even take a photo with you that you can discard with all your other junk mail, if it gets you to come. My point is I can't do this alone. As they say "it takes a village". And who better to appeal to then this generous, caring, chessedik community, to fetch me out of a barrel of cheesecake and pecan pies, lasagnas and spicy cigars. You know what, stay home and leave me to my demise!!!!!
Or come share the mitzvah. March 22 and 23, located in Lawrence. You won't need waize to get you there -just follow your noses!!! Looking forward to seeing all of you, --- Oh and I could use an invite to a Seudah - Because I'll be there 24 /4 setting up, preparing , cooking, baking and Collecting from some of the best cooks in town. And you won't need to cook for my family or the 24 other keeruv families I've invited -cause we've taken care of that for you!Rivki Rosenwald is a certified relationship counselor, and career and life coach. She can be contacted at 917-705-2004 or email@example.com<mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
How to Respond to Arab Lies and Canards Against Israel
Alex Grobman, Ph.D.
One of the greatest concerns of the Jewish people is how to counter the attempts to delegitimize the state of Israel. The goal of these attacks is to isolate Israel from the West, criminalize her actions and expose her as an international war criminal, an occupier of Arab lands and a rightwing religious theocracy. They want to deny her the fundamental rights of self- defense and security in an asymmetric war, and gradually erode her stature, and turn her into a pariah state through demonization, lies, disinformation and double standards. To succeed in undermining the legal, political and moral justification for the Jewish state, Israel must be seen as the impediment to peace, and an oppressive government with no historic or legitimate claim to the land of Israel or to Jerusalem her capital.
Her enemies employ a number of strategies designed to ensure her demise. On July 9, 2005, the Palestinian Arabs issued a call for an international campaign of boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS), which will continue “until it [Israel] complies with international law and Palestinian rights by: 1. Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Wall; 2. Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and; 3. Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194.”
Manipulating language to describe Israel’s alleged sins has enabled the Palestinian Arabs to frame the way Israel is perceived. This technique, introduced by the Soviets, which is called "reversal of culpability," imposes a false historical analogy on the present. Thus, Goliath becomes David, and David becomes Goliath. The most prevalent use of this practice is the charge of "genocide," which conveys the fallacious claim that "Israel is doing to the Palestinians what the Nazis did to the Jews."
The Soviets created a political language that connected the former Soviet-styled antisemitism to that of the present. By defining the political vocabulary about Israel and the Jewish people, the Soviets produced the cultural foundations for a new type of political antisemitism that has become part of mainstream culture. The danger, historian Joel Fishman notes, is that these criticisms ultimately obscure the distinctions between what is right and wrong and undermines the foundations of Judeo-Christian morality. In this environment of moral confusion, terror and violence have become acceptable and even justifiable.
How do we counter BDS, and the malicious falsehoods leveled at Israel? One approach is fight the cultural, academic, sports and economic boycotts in the courts. Shurat HaDin, Israel Law Center, based in Tel Aviv, and directed by Attorney Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, and the Lawfare Project, led by Brooke Goldstein, a New York City-based human rights attorney, continue to challenge and win cases against those seeking to delegitimize the Jewish State.
We must also arm ourselves, our children and our non-Jewish allies with information to expose the myths, lies and distortions that have led to a “corruption of language and thought,” and deny Israel’s right to exist.
To refute the most common fabrications about BDS, I have written a number of books that provide the weapons needed. We cannot change or temper the passion of those who viscerally despise Israel and are bent on hastening her demise. We can provide information to those interested in understanding the nature of the conflict, why the solutions advanced thus far have failed and why this dispute will continue to remain intractable.
BDS: The Movement to Destroy Israel, which explains the history and ideology of the movement, who supports this campaign, how the Jewish community responds to BDS, and the effectiveness of these attempts.
Erosion: Undermining Israel Through Lies and Deception Is all criticism of Israel antisemitic? When does criticism of her actions cross the line and become unacceptable? What are the criteria that make such condemnation antisemitic?
* The lack of sufficient water resources in the Middle East has become a source of tension which the Palestinian Arabs have exploited as a weapon against Israel. She is accused of not sharing scarce water resources and developing an effective waste management system.
* Homicide bombings are designed to terrorize, demoralize and crush the spirit of the Israeli civilian population. Understanding the nature of jihad and martyrdom is the first step in appreciating the nature of the danger and the physical threat they pose.
* How does a government respond to the constant risk of homicide bombings? To thwart these attacks, Israel initiated targeted killings of Palestinian Arab terrorists, built a security fence and established checkpoints.
* Denouncing Israel as apartheid state is calculated to erode Israel’s legitimacy.
Cultivating Canaan: Who Owns The Holy Land?
By design, Israel’s enemies have created confusion about her right to exist as a Jewish State. Among the many lies fostered are:
*Jews have no legal, moral or historical right to the land of Israel;
*Jews have no right to national self-determination;
*Jews have no historical or religious connection to the Holy Land;
*Jews either stole Arab land or purchased property at very low prices;
* The Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria are an impediment to peace and are illegal;
* Israel is Jewish, but not democratic.
We cannot change those who want to destroy Israel. We can expose the malicious lies that undermine and delegitimize Israel to those interested in understanding the essence of the conflict and provide them with answers to these outrageous and destructive fabrications.
License to Murder: The Enduring Threat of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion
This study examines the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the most deceitful, dangerous and pernicious of the libels ever used to incite hatred and violence against the Jewish people. They shape the way Jews, Israel and the West are viewed by the rest of the world.
The Protocols continues to be published in practically every language, in hundreds of editions, in hundreds of millions of copies, and in very compelling videos on the Internet. It is particularly disconcerting that this is embraced even today by leaders of the Arab-Muslim world, where the Protocols continues to be published in vast quantities, and cited in the writings of mainstream academics, who lend credibility and legitimacy to this utter falsehood.
Hebrew University trained historian Alex Grobman has written extensively on the Holocaust and on Zionism. He has served as Director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, founded the Holocaust Center in St. Louis and is a former director of the America-Israel Friendship League, where is now a consultant.