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“I Can’t?” – Who Says So?

January 23, 2020

Here is an old post from the Spinning Rabbi’s Greatest Hits.*

Posting it again now will help with your 2020 vision, or is it your vision for 2020.  It will help you stay Enthusiastic.

So here it is

You will be so inspired when you watch the video below, but first let’s give it a little context.

If there is something you really wish to do or accomplish, how often do you say to yourself “I can’t”?  If you say that to yourself, then you will come to believe it.  Once you believe it, it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy.  That is a self-imposed limitation.  Besides, how do you know you can’t, if you don’t try?

Do you say it because others tell you that “you can’t”?  Why are you letting them decide for you?   If you listen to them, it’s the same as a self-imposed limitation.  Besides, how do they know?

This video titled “Yes I Can”, will show you what never saying “I Can’t” and always saying “Yes I Can” can do and will do for you.

Watching this, you will say to yourself, “Amazing”.  The point being made by the people in this video is just the opposite.  They don’t believe what they do is amazing!!!  They believe they can and no one can tell them otherwise!


You Cannot Lower Your Mountain, You Can Elevate Yourself!

*updated slightly from the original of AUGUST 17, 2016


Always Enthusiastic

January 14, 2020

As we begin another New Year, we make promises/resolutions to ourselves with an eye towards reaching our dreams and goals.

We begin the New Year with lots of enthusiasm towards reaching those dreams and goals.  Inevitably, for most, that enthusiasm wanes over time.

So how do we keep that enthusiasm burning?

There are lots of new beginnings.  There is a new year, a new month, a new week, a new day, hour, minute……  Each new is another opportunity to reignite the enthusiasm you had at the beginning of the last new.  If we celebrate each new as another opportunity, we can renew that enthusiasm and keep it burning.  So cherish the new of every new and especially every moment.

With every new remind yourself of your dreams and goals.  Think of a word or thought that you can use as prompt reminder.  With those reminders you will keep the enthusiasm in the present.  Renew with each and every New.

 “The beginning is embedded in the end, and the end is embedded in the beginning”. – Sefer Yetzirah 1:7

Most Important – be grateful for each New that you are given!

You were given life for this moment, so that you can give this moment life.

For a new beginning to truly be a new beginning means not being anchored to the past.  It is an opportunity to leave it behind.

Don’t just take a step forward, jump forward.  Why jump, because when you take a step, one foot is still left in the past.  When you jump, both feet leave the ground and then both land in the new spot.  That  means you are leaving the past behind and landing in your new beginning.

So leave the past behind, except for remembering the lessons you learned and create the present……Enthusiastically!!

Now with all that enthusiasm, remember that it is the Doing!!  “Wishing and hoping… and planning and dreaming”*,  – “Won’t get you where you want to go”**.  It’s the doing that will get you the results.

“When all is said and done, a lot more is said than done”.  — Lou Holtz

A reminder lesson from the Tightrope Walker who said when asked how he gets across

“It’s simple. Before I begin, I find an object on the other end and focus on it. I don’t dare take my eyes off the object while I’m walking. I don’t look to the right, I don’t look to the left, I don’t look down.  As long as I focus on my goal, I make it across”.

With every step and progress you make towards the goal congratulate yourself

Be Good Do Good Think Good

* from “Wishing and Hoping”,Dionne Warwick

** from “Words of Love”, the Mamas and Papas


Healthy and Happy New Year 2020!!

January 1, 2020

Healthy and Happy New Year!!

As we begin another new year, another new, another beginning, a new decade, we look forward to all that we wish for.  The good that we wish for ourselves, is the good that we wish for others and vice-versa.

For this New Year, let’s do more than just wish.  Let’s make this a “Happy New Year”.  Let’s make this the year where our deeds make our wishes reality.  A year where we tap into “all of our possibilities” and potential to become the human we were destined and created to be. A year where we each do our part to make our world a better one.

We can get there by constantly striving to make all of our actions directed to a purpose higher than just ourselves.

All that we need and the world we all wish for is in our hands.

Many years ago there was this great old wise man, a seer, who was coming to a town to speak.  His reputation preceded him, so many people waited with great anticipation for his arrival and then went to hear him speak.  Among them, was this one young and skeptical man, who went simply to challenge the wise man.  After the wise man spoke, there was a Q&A. When it was the young mans turn, he put out his cupped hands and asked the wise man what was in his hands. The wise man replied, “two little birds”, which was correct. The young man was impressed, but he was still skeptical, so he asked whether they were dead or alive. The wise man knew that if he replied, “they’re dead”, the young man would open his hands and the birds would fly away. If he replied “they’re alive”, the young man would crush the birds in his hands. The wise man’s reply was simply

“the answer is all in your hands.”

“Each person must see himself as though the entire world were held in balance and any deed he may do could tip the scales.” – Maimonides

May 2020 be your best year ever…so far!!

Healthy and Happy 2020

Be Good Do Good Think Good


You Don’t Have To Be Jewish To Enjoy Latkes

December 23, 2019

You don’t have to be Jewish to enjoy Latkes and you don’t have to be Jewish to enjoy some of  Chanukah’s lessons and miracles.

Here are some of the lessons that apply to all

Jews all over the world are now celebrating Chanukah, the celebration of many miracles.  From the victory of a small band of men fighting for their religious freedom against a very large and well equipped army, to one days worth of olive oil used to light the Menorah which then lasted for eight days.

The miracle of the oil burning for eight days represents the victory of light over darkness, both literally and figuratively.

At nighttime, Jews place their lit Menorah in doorways or windows to bring light to the dark street and to all who see it.

“A little light will dispel much darkness.”   —   Tzeda LaDerech

On the Menorah is a head candle called the Shamash, which is used to light all the other candles.  The Shamash lights other candles without losing any of its own light.  Each of us can be like the Shamash and bring light to all whose lives we come into contact with.  When we are like the Shamash, not only do we keep our light, we actually shine brighter.  We all have that power through acts of goodness, kindness, and charity.

“From one burning candle many candles are lit, yet its own light is not diminished.” – The Sages

Here is another powerful and universal message from Chanukah, the miracle of light.*

Of all the special qualities of a pretty and delicious olive, its essence is found in its oil when lit, producing its light.  In order to get to the olives essence, it must first be crushed to produce the oil.

So too in our lives, we sometimes are or feel crushed – by pain and suffering, loss, struggle, and disappointment – and just like the olive, it is then that our essence can be revealed.  It is in those moments that you may find your essence and with it bring your light to the world.

Happy Chanukah and Merry Christmas

and to all a good light

*Based on a teaching of the Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneerson

Can Make You Stronger

December 17, 2019

“That which doesn’t kill us, makes us stronger.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

You’re probably familiar with that quote.  I think it would be more accurate to say “can make us stronger”.

It ultimately comes down to choice.  How you choose to respond to all that comes, or is sent your way, can make you stronger.  You have no choice as to what comes or is sent your way.  You do have the choice as to how you respond.

Like a boxer in a fight who gets knocked down.  He can give up and stay down, or he can get up, quickly learn what just happened, and fight stronger and better.

One choice can make you stronger and one might kill you.  Not literally kill you, but kill your chance for a life filled with meaning, purpose, success, and joy.  The life you say you want, right?

“Our lives are fashioned by our choices. First we make our choices. Then our choices make us.” – Anne Frank

“It’s choice, not chance that matters” – Jean Nidetch

“Life is a sum of all your choices.” – Albert Camus

It begins with internalizing the attitude of believing that you do have the power of choice.  You are the boss of you!

All of life’s choices have a price. We can’t choose the price. We can only choose whether we are willing to pay it.

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given circumstances, to choose one’s own way”. – Dr. Viktor Frankl from his book “Man’s Search for Meaning”  He was a Holocaust survivor*

Attitude and Choice

“In life some people have it easy and make it hard and some people have it hard and make it easy” Sam Fox, my Father (obm), a Holocaust suvivor

Dr. Edith Eva Eger, who was also a Holocaust survivor, never forgets what her mother told her the day her and her family were taken by the Nazis:

“We don’t know where we’re going, we don’t know what’s going to happen, but no one can take away from you what you put in your own mind.”

Dr. Eger used to ask herself, “Why me? Why did I survive?” But over the years she has learned to ask a different question: “Why not me? What is mine to do with the life I’ve been given?”

Here is your homework

*I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, if you haven’t read Dr. Viktor Frankl’s book, make the choice to read it!!

Then read “The Choice” by Dr. Edith Eva Eger

 Be Good Do Good Think Good

Happy Day of Giving Thanks 2019

November 27, 2019

We so quickly and casually say “Happy Thanksgiving” that we often miss and forget that it’s a day for actually giving Thanks. Of course, so is every day and we begin everyday with Thanks.

What are you Thankful for?

Who are you Thankful for?  Thank them!

Thank You for being a friend of Fred Fox, Spinning Rabbi

Humpty Upty*

November 17, 2019

*An oldie but goodie, that a reader recently brought to my attention, so I’m reposting it with some addition

“Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the king’s horses and all the king’s men
Couldn’t put Humpty together again.” – Mother Goose

Why couldn’t all the king’s horses and all the king’s men put Humpty back together again?

First, Humpty had to want to be put back together again.  Secondly, and most importantly, only Humpty could put himself back together again.

Everyone else could lend a supporting hand, an uplifting hand, be a cheerleading section, but it was all up to Humpty.  Humpty could continue to be a Dumpty, or he could choose to be an Upty!!

When we realize, believe, and continually remind ourselves that each of our lives have value, that we are here for a specific purpose and mission, then being an Upty becomes easier.

We all sometimes stumble, we all sometimes fall, and we all sometimes get knocked down.  What you do when that happens determines where you go and you determine the determining.

“Why do we fall- so we can learn to pick ourselves up.” –  from Batman Begins

“The righteous may fall seven times, but they always rise again.” – King Solomon Proverbs

If you were a boxer and got knocked to the mat, you might say to yourself (consciously or un) “if I stay down I can’t get hit again”.  That is the self-preservation instinct born of fear, protecting you from getting hurt again.  The odds of winning are zero if you choose to stay down.

The ultimate self-preservation instinct should be to get back up in order to fight for the life you want.  How much do you desire that life?  How hard are you willing to fight for it?

 “Everything you want is on the other side of fear.” – George Addair

Know that you will fall or get knocked down again.  Accept that and understand that it’s part of preparing and learning.  The trick is to train, learn, and prepare yourself so that each time, you not only get back up, but you get back up quicker.

 Be Good Do Good Think Good


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