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The Best-Est

February 7, 2019

This is a story about a young boy, let’s call him Isaac, who like so many others wanted to be the Best, at least at something.

He came home from his first day in kindergarten so very excited and happy.  His Mother asked him what he was so happy about.  He told her that he “was the Tallest in the class”.  The next year, when he came home from his first day in the First Grade, he was sad.  His Mother asked him why he was sad.  He said that he was “no longer the Tallest”.

A little later that year, in P.E., they had a race.  He came home that day happy again.  Why, because he was the Fastest.  A little later that year, there was a race for the whole grade.  He came home sad that day.  Again, his Mother asked him why he was sad.  He said that he was “no longer the Fastest”.

This went on and on with spelling bees, I.Q. tests, other contests in P.E., best looking, and………

Now he was sad a lot of the time.  His Mother reminded him that his Grandfather, was a very learned and wise man.  She took him to see his Grandfather.  He told his Grandfather why he was sad.

His Grandfather told him that he knew of the one thing that he could be the very best of in the whole wide world.  Young Isaac was so excited to hear what that was.  His Grandfather told him that “you could be the very best you ever.  No one could be better at being you and who you are meant to be than you.  No one ever was or ever will be made just like you.  You are a gift and have a gift.  G-d gave you life and gave us you for a very, very special reason.

Isaac asked him, what was the gift and reason?  He was told “Let’s start with “love your fellow as yourself”*, and when you’re ready we’ll talk some more”.

Isaac was now so excited and the sadness melted away as he believed and followed his Grandfathers words and advice.  He never forgot his Grandfathers words.

The Grandfathers words are a lesson and reminder that applies to each and every one of us, young or not.  Internalize and carry this thought with you every day.

Heart and Soul

To be continued

*Leviticus 19:18



Give or Receive?

January 22, 2019

A recent psychological study confirms that which we all have heard so many times.

“it is better to give than receive”

96 college student participants were given $5 each day for five days.  They were to spend it on something identical each of the five days.  Some of the students, randomly selected, were told to spend it on themselves and some on others.  Over the time of the study the participants happiness was measured through self-reporting, beginning just before the study began..  Those that gave to others became happier.  Those that spent it on themselves, not only didn’t become happier, their happiness decreased.

Let this serve as another reminder, that true and lasting happiness doesn’t come from getting things.  So, whenever you’re feeling down, the cure is reaching out and giving to another or the giving of yourself to another.

Of course that approach might mean you’re giving with an ulterior motive.  Even if that’s the case, it’s still a good start.  Practicing giving regularly, will eventually lead to doing it automatically, with no ulterior motive.  Then you will be following Maimonides advice

“do what is right because it is right”

Imagine a world where more and more people took that advice.  As young people today would say “how cool would that be”?

“My father said there were two kinds of people in the world: givers and takers. The takers may eat better, but the givers sleep better.” – Marlo Thomas

“We exist temporarily through what we take, but we live forever through what we give.” – Douglas A. Lawson

“To give and then not feel as one has given is the very best of all ways of giving.” – Max Beerbom


Heart and Soul



Resolutions, Resolutio, Resolut……….

January 9, 2019

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.  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!

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. As long as I focus on my goal, I make it across”.

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


Happy and Meaningful 2019

Heart and Soul

Healthy and Happy New Year 2019!!

January 1, 2019

Yes, it’s been a long time since I have written and posted anything.  A recent event reminded me of how much I miss writing and posting for all of you.  I was reminded of how much joy it brings me.  I sincerely hope it brings a little more light to your days as well.  So expect more from me this New Year.

So, let me begin the return with this wish for all

Healthy and Happy New Year!!*

As we begin another new year, another new, another beginning, 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 plan on making 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.

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.”

Healthy and Happy 2019

Heart and Soul

*edited from previous New Year posts

Yom Hashoah 2018

April 12, 2018

Today is Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day.

In honor of all those who perished, were murdered in the Holocaust, and what lessons we can learn from remembering, I send this to you.

My parents are Holocaust survivors, or now, were Holocaust survivors.  In their honor and memory, I remember.  In memory of the six million Jews who were murdered, I remember.  For this I say “Never Again”.  We remember to honor those who were murdered and to ensure that it doesn’t happen again, anywhere.

 “What does it mean to remember? It is to live in more than one world, to
prevent the past from fading, and to call upon the future to illuminate it.”  Elie Wiesel

Today, I am sad not just for the remembering, I am sad and fearful as I see that Anti-Semitism is on the rise again.

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”. – George Santayana

Often, it’s repeated because we are fooled as it never comes dressed in the same clothes.  Anti-Semitism is again on the rise and this time, it is not only coming from where it traditionally sprang.

Along with the current rise in Anti-Semitism, Christians, Yazidis, Syrians, and many others are being persecuted and murdered around the world.

“The hate that begins with Jews never ends with Jews. In a world awash with hate across religious divides, people of all faiths and none must stand together, not just to defeat anti-Semitism but to ensure the rights of religious minorities are defended everywhere.” – Rabbi Jonathan Sacks

 “The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.” – Albert Einstein

“It’s not the differences that divide people, but rather the indifference.” – Francesca Schwartz, my Aunt, she was a Holocaust survivor who was a victim of Dr. Mengele experiments

I write this because I cannot be indifferent.  I must speak up.  I must do something.  I hope that this something touches you and that you feel the same.

It is traditional and respectful to observe a moment of silence.

If we observed a moment of silence for all of the six million, we would be silent for eleven and a half years!

Let us all observe a moment of silence.  Let us all vow to not remain silent!!!!

“Never Again”


Pharaoh Or Moses*

April 2, 2018

This week the Jewish people are celebrating Passover, their Emancipation and Exodus from 210 years of slavery in Egypt.  There are many valuable lessons in this celebration that apply to everyone.

Here is one of them

Jews are commanded to constantly remember the slavery of their ancestors.  More than that, they are commanded to remember it as though they were there as slaves.

There are several very valuable lessons in doing this.  One of the universal messages of this remembering, is the lesson that while we are no longer physical slaves, we are still slaves. This time we are our own Pharaoh and the slavery is of the self-imposed spiritual and emotional variety.

We hold ourselves back from becoming the person we were created and meant to become.

We each have a Pharaoh inside of us that holds us back with our fears and insecurities.  We also have a Moses inside of us that can lead us to freedom.  A freedom that we can use to continually grow and improve.

Who would you rather listen to?

The only one who can free you now is you!

Heart and Soul

*updated from a previous post

Quotes, Quotes, and More Quotes

March 6, 2018

Everyone loves a good quote

 “The wisdom of the wise, and the experience of ages, may be preserved by quotations.” – Isaac Disraeli

So I’ve added a new feature.  It is a Quote page.  The page already has many quotes listed and a new one will be added almost every day.

To see the Quotes simply click on Quotes in the upper right hand corner of this page, or simply click on the this link  Quotes

After you’ve read all the quotes there, make it a habit to regularly visit the page and see the most recent quotes.   You will be moved by them.  You can quote me on that!

Heart and Soul

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