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You Don’t Have To Be Jewish To Enjoy Eating Latkes *

November 29, 2021

You don’t have to be Jewish to enjoy eating Latkes (potato pancakes fried in oil) and you don’t have to be Jewish to gain from some of Chanukah’s lessons and miracles.

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

Here are some of my favorite lessons that apply to all

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

The holiday is commemorated by lighting oil or candles on a Menorah.  This is done for eight nights, The first night one light is lit.  Each night one more light is added, thereby increasingly bringing more light to vanquish the darkness.  How exciting is it, that when the fifth light of the eight is lit, there is now more light than darkness.  A reminder for us to continually and increasingly bring more of our light to all.     

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 the other candles without losing any of its own light.  Like the Shamash, each of us can bring our light to all whose lives we come into contact with. We all have that power through acts of goodness, kindness, and charity.  More than like the Shamash, not only do we keep our light when we share it, we actually shine brighter!

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

Of all the special qualities of a pretty and delicious olive, its essence is found in its oil when lit, producing 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, illness, fears, loss, ……..  Just like the olive, it is in those moments that you may find your essence and with it bring your light to the world.

Happy Chanukah

Be Good Do Good Think Good Be Healthy Be Thankful

*Another updated “Oldie But Goodie”  

Happy Day of Giving Thanks 2021

November 24, 2021

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 so we begin everyday with Thanks.  When we Give Thanks, we have a happy day.

No matter what else is going on that may trouble us, we always have something to be Thankful for!  That you woke up today is the first thing to be Thankful for.  That means you were given more time.  You were given more time, because you are still needed.

Taking a moment to think about that which you are thankful for, creates a feeling that is healing.

What are you Thankful for?

Who are you Thankful for?  Let them know!

Thank You for being a friend of The Spinning Rabbi and Fred Fox😊

Wishing You A Happy and Healthy Thanksgiving

Be Good Do Good Think Good Be Healthy Be Thankful

Innie Or Outie*

November 8, 2021

Not do you have an “Innie” or “Outie” but are you an “Innie” or “Outie”?

In other words, are your thoughts, speech, and actions predominately innies or inner-directed, or outies or outer-directed.  Inner-directed as in solely for the benefit of I, which is not souly, or outer-directed as in for the benefit of others, which is souly?  Are they directed towards what you can get or what you can give.

Inner-directed leads to the dead ends of anger, envy, and/or depression. Outer-directed leads to an open and never-ending road, with the top down, and lots of sunshine.  It is the road of giving of yourself to someone or something other than yourself.  It is the road that leads to being Happy then Happier…..

 “being human always points, and is directed, to something, or someone, other than oneself—be it a meaning to fulfill or another human to encounter.  The more one forgets himself—by giving himself to a cause to serve or another person to love—the more human he is and the more he actualizes himself.  What is called self-actualization is not an attainable aim at all, for the simple reason that the more one would strive for it, the more he would miss it.  In other words, self-actualization is possible only as a side effect of self-transcendence”. –  Dr. Viktor Frankl  from “Man’s Search For Meaning”

Be Good Do Good Think Good Be Healthy

*An “Oldie but Goodie” re-posted

Do You Want to Have A Good Day

October 13, 2021

I recently saw a quote that said “Wakeup thinking something great is going to happen today”.  That quote sounds good.  It evokes excitement for the day and hopefulness.  That’s good, although it can lead to disappointment.

If that’s what you’re thinking when you wakeup, what happens when the day is over and “something great” didn’t  happen?  Then, as you lay your head on the pillow and close your eyes, you won’t feel contented.

What happens if the “something great” that you hoped for doesn’t happen for days and days?  The disappointment might lead to hopelessness, anger…..

We too often think about what we want to get, instead of what we can give

Wakeup with these thoughts to create a truly good day

Wakeup each day by being thankful and grateful. First and foremost be grateful that you woke up. For that means that you have been given more of the most precious non-renewable resource of all—Time! You have been given time because you are needed, your life has purpose and meaning, and you matter. You are given this time to perform a good for one or for many. You are given this time because no one else can perform this specific good except you!  Now that’s exciting!  Next Thought…..

Think that today will be a good day because of all the good you can and will do today

So the secret to having a good day is to make it a good day.  You make it a good day through the good deeds you do.  You make it a good day by making someone else’s day better.  Maybe, what you give of yourself to another is the “something great” for them?  Then, as you lay your head on the pillow and close your eyes, you will feel contented, knowing that you made “something great happen today”!

Be Good Do Good Think Good Be Healthy

Keep Digging

September 30, 2021

Many, many years ago there was a famous geologist who traveled all over to study the soil and what might be found below.  One day he came to a small village and began studying soil and rock samples around this village.  He came to a certain spot and from his analysis there, he was certain that deep below would be found the most precious gem in the world.

He invited all interested villagers to come and dig on a certain day.  He said that whoever found the gem could keep it, as all he was interested in was knowing he was right.

The day arrived and many showed up to dig and many to witness.

All the diggers began very enthusiastically.  After a short while and only a few feet down, a few gave up.  They said, “they hadn’t slept well”, they hadn’t eaten or hydrated”, they had an argument with their significant other, …….” and many other excuses.

The rest got down about one hundred feet, where it got darker, colder, and muddier.  This caused some more to give up.

Another hundred feet or so down and more gave up.  Some no longer believed that there was such a gem to be found.  Some just decided that even if there was one, it just wasn’t worth digging anymore.

Eventually, there was just one!

As dark, cold, and muddy as it got, he kept digging.  He kept digging deeper within himself to keep digging deeper underground.  After hours and hours, suddenly he saw the gem shining and lighting a path to it.  He got to it, took it in his hands, and hugged it.  He was elated.

He climbed back up to the top as fast as he could.  When he got there, he raised the gem to show it to the large crowd that was still there waiting for him.  Some of those that had given up, were in the waiting crowd.  They were disappointed, as they were hoping that he would emerge empty handed.  The rest were cheering and cheering.  They were happy for him, and never forgot his example.

He was offered large sums of money for the gem.  He was a poor man and yet he refused to sell it.  It was more precious to him as a reminder of what he accomplished and what he was capable of. He would look at the gem whenever he was pursuing another of his dreams, goals, and his purpose.

Which one of the diggers are you?  Dig deep down within yourself and you’ll know which one you can be and truly are!

We’ve all been giver-uppers at one time or another.  Let this story I made up,  be a reminder as you dig for the gem in your dreams, goals, and purpose.

“Can you dig it” 😊

Finish what you start and that will make you stronger, healthier, better—Heart and Soul.

If it’s worth starting, it’s worth so much more when you finish

Keep Digging

Be Good Do Good Think Good Be Healthy

Happy Independence Day 2021

July 1, 2021

The Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4, 1776.  It said;

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”. 

The founding of America was then, a very novel idea in building a nation based on individual rights and freedom.  A nation founded on the idea that man is inherently (soul) good and given freedom could/would eventually live up to that good. A nation founded on the belief that all are created in the image of G-d.  That we are all children of G-d.  That given freedom, we could and would eventually have a country that lives up to and recognizes these “self-evident truths”.

Those who got freedom back then, were grateful.  Yet it was not something that they were familiar with and had no real experience with.  They were an imperfect people given the freedom and opportunity, based on the founding principles, to grow and become a more “perfect union”.  So began the journey in learning how to use their new freedom.

We were all created with free will.  The USA was created to be a nation that gave us the opportunity to express our free will.  With the freedom of free will, we can choose to elevate ourselves and become the person we were created to be.  To be the unique person, with a unique purpose, and mission for which we were each created.  A mission that contributes to the benefit of all.  A person who follows

“Love your fellow as yourself” (Leviticus 19;18).

“If I am not for myself, who will be for me. And if I am only for myself, of what good am I.” – Hillel, Ethics of fathers 1:14

Without these rights and freedom we could not pursue our dreams and our individual purpose.  When we each use that freedom to be who we are meant to be, to fulfill our unique purpose, America will be all that it’s meant to be and what it was founded for.   Without the freedom to fulfill our individual purpose, we will never get to a nation fully defined by it’s founding principles.

What could be more gratifying for each of us to know that we chose, because we could, to use that freedom to reach our ultimate potential as human beings.  To know that it came from you and not imposed on you.  To look around us and see that all are enjoying “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”  To be truly United.  It may take longer than we would like, but freedom is the only way to get there.

If there are faults in America, it is not the fault of America.  We are all still imperfect people.

A young child asks his parents on a long trip, “Are we there yet?”.  The parent answers “no, not yet”.  On our journey, we must constantly ask ourselves, “Am I there yet?”. Each of us is a work in process that can lead to progress.  The closer you get, the closer we will be to the ideals that America was founded on.

In the 245 years of our independence, we have made much progress, and accomplished much good.  One of the many of America’s accomplishments is very personal for me.  If it wasn’t for America, my Parents (OBM), would not have been Holocaust Survivors,who then came to America, and therefore I would not be

So let’s keep going forward, until the answer becomes, “yes, I am there” and therefore “yes, we are there”.  Without freedom we will never get there!

To have the freedom to pursue and become our true selves is indeed something to be thankful for.

Our liberty should be celebrated everyday by using it for the good of all.

May we cherish, be grateful for, and protect those freedoms for many, many more years.

May we use our freedom to fulfill our greatest human potential.


G-d Bless America

Always Giving Your Best Pt.4

June 17, 2021

A reader of this site was a little uncomfortable with the “you can’t be” in the last post and asked for a little clarification.  So here it is, for all to see

Positive Psychology, many parents, and many Self-Help books will tell you that “you can be anything you want to be”.  That’s not necessarily true.  Can you be the President of the United States-maybe, can you be a superstar athlete-maybe, can you be………

You may not become anything you want to be, although you should try if that is where your passion lies.  Go as far as you can go by putting all you have into it, and be happy with where it leads.  If, for example your goal is to become number one at something, recognize that it is more than okay if you don’t succeed.

Otherwise, instead of raising your image of yourself, for accomplishing all that you did, it might lower it.  This can lead to feelings of failure, envy, and then anger.  That’s a no-no.

Realize, that it’s more than okay, because while you might not become number one at that something, you gave it your best.  That alone teaches you consciously or un, a lot about yourself.  You will have learned that while your physical potential is limited, it is indeed greater than you presently think.  That will give you the strength and courage to always reach for your full potential.

While you may not become anything you want to be, you can be everything you were meant and needed to be and be number one at that.  No one can be as good at the something that you were meant to be, as you can be.  Only you can be the “Best-Est” at being you!

You were given gifts to use for your unique purpose and mission.  There never was or ever will be anyone like you and there is a reason for that.  The reason is that you and only you, here now, can make a certain and unique contribution to improve our world.  Your contribution might not bring you fame and fortune, but it will improve your life by improving the life of another or others.

Sing Along With Me

“Only you can make all this world seem right
Only you can make the darkness bright
Only you and you alone…”*

When the great Rabbi Zusha was on his deathbed, He was surrounded by family, friends, and students. They saw him crying and asked if he was crying because he feared death. He explained that he wasn’t afraid of dying. He was afraid that when he died and met G-d, he wouldn’t be asked why he wasn’t more like Moses or Abraham; he would be asked why he wasn’t more like Zusha.

“I do not try to dance better than anyone else. I only try to dance better than myself.” – Mikhail Baryshnikov

“May you use all of your possibilities for the benefit of many.” – Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the  Lubavitcher Rebbe

Be Good Do Good Think Good Be Healthy Be You

*From the song “Only You” by The Platters

P.S. The reader that requested this is now “Banned” and “No more soup for you” 😄

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