Skip to content

“And Now I’m Back………..”

August 3, 2017

Yes, it’s been some time since I published a post.  “And now I’m back to let you know I can really shake ’em down” (from “Do You Love Me” by the Contours)

During my time off,  I have been touched by the many readers from around the world that have availed themselves of this site by reading old posts.  I call those posts “Oldies But Goodies”.

The most popular post of any ever published here at the Spinning Rabbi* is, “If Iam I because I am I…   (click the title to read it).  Every day, people from all over the world visit the site to read it.

One reader during the time off, having read that post, asked in the comment box, “What if I don’t like who I’ve become? How do I change and become good? “

In responding to her question it hit me that I should share it with all of you

So my here is my response

Firstly, I must remind you as it says on my home page, I’m not a real Rabbi.

It’s great that you’re asking that question. It means that you recognize that you don’t like who you presently are. That recognition is a very positive first step. It means that you know the difference between what’s good and that which is not.

“The entire purpose of our existence is to overcome our negative habits.” – Vilna Gaon

Since you know right from wrong, as the next step, develop a pause button that allows you a moment to always ask yourself if your next words or actions are good or not. That pause moment may seem like a long time at first but with repetition and practice it will become instinctual.

“Act the way you’d like to be and soon you’ll be the way you act.” – Leonard Cohen

You recognize that you don’t like who you’ve become because that’s not the true you and that’s what troubles you. The true and real you is embedded in your soul. It knows what is good and what your true purpose and mission is.

There are many posts on this site that will give you some more tips on staying on the path you truly wish to be on.

Thank you for asking me your question!

As I view the many old posts that readers have gone to over the past few months , I will re-post those that speak to the above the most and others, under the heading of “Oldies But Goodies”

You Cannot Lower Your Mountain, But You Can Elevate Yourself

Heart and Soul

“Have A Great Day”

March 2, 2017

People often say to another, “Have a Great Day”.

What makes a great day?  How do you insure that you will have a great day?

Here is a Prescription

First, immediately upon awakening, begin with an acknowledgement of thankfulness and gratitude for being given another day.  That you were given more time, means you are still needed and hence valuable.

Then make your list of the things you need to do to continue to make progress towards your goals and dreams.  The things that will keep you climbing your mountain and getting closer to being the person you are meant to be and can be. 

Make another list of the routine things that you need and wish to get done.

Then start doing

At bedtime, once again state your gratitude for having the day.  Then go over the lists to see what you are able to check off.

If, after the checking off, you are disappointed that you didn’t accomplish as much as you hoped or planned to, don’t let it get you down.  That you didn’t accomplish all that you planned, does not mean it wasn’t a great day.

No matter how much you accomplished or didn’t, the one certain way to have a great day is to give some charity and be of service to another, every day.  If you did that, then it was a great day.

So the secret to having a great day is to make it a great day.  You make it a great day through good deeds and charity!!  You make it a great day by making someone else’s day better.

The next time someone says to you “Have a great day”, respond by saying “I will make it one”.

Have A Great Day!

Heart and Soul


The Ship That Never Got There

February 9, 2017

Before one begins climbing their mountain (see the last post), one must have a strong grounding in their core principles and values.

Many years ago an adventurer had heard of an island inhabited by beautiful and inviting people. The land was also filled with gold and precious gems. He dreamed of sailing to this island.

He knew it was a treacherous journey across often storm-tossed seas. So he commissioned the best ship builders to build a ship specifically designed for this voyage. He sought and hired several experienced sailors for his crew. They trained and prepared for the voyage while the ship was being built.

Finally the day arrived and with great fanfare they set sail. They had all the maps and other tools to set the course. All started fairly well, although the ship was difficult to keep on course.

This became a real problem when the first strong winds came along and threw them completely off course. The crew struggled to adjust the sails in order to get back on course. This problem worsened when a storm came along. Sometimes they found themselves going in circles.  No one could figure out why this was happening.

One day a severe storm hit them and they found themselves shipwrecked on the beach of an uninhabited island. After they checked to see if they were all okay, they checked the condition of the boat. The boat was marooned on the beach on its side. It was then that they discovered that the boat was inexplicably built without a rudder.

Our Rudder

In physical conditioning and training the current emphasis is on strengthening the core.  A strong core promotes overall strength, stability and balance.  If an athlete has trained hard in all areas, but has neglected his core, then his overall performance is at a minimum compromised.

This is true for all of us when we embark on climbing our mountain.  If we begin without a strong grounding in our values and principles, our core, our rudder, we will constantly be thrown off course.

There will assuredly be many tests of our commitment to our core values and principles. Without the stability provided by our core, our rudder, we will at best delay realizing our dreams, goals, and purpose.

Before starting or re-starting your climb, make sure you have a strong core.  Have something that is a constant reminder for you of your core principles and values.

 “Those who stand for nothing fall for anything.” – Alexander Hamilton

Heart and Soul

An Oldie but Goodie updated from the original

You Cannot Lower Your Mountain, But You Can Elevate Yourself *

February 1, 2017

The title of this piece is the overall theme of the Spinning Rabbi.  It has been on this site since the beginning.

Being that this is still the beginning of a New Year and with this being a very tumultuous time, I am putting out this piece again, in the hopes that it helps to keep you focused on you and your part.  To help you keep climbing and getting stronger, healthier, better, and smiling.

Your mountain is the metaphor for your life’s journey.  The climb indicates the challenges and struggles.  Every challenge, test, or struggle may not be what you want. It is what you need or are needed for, at that moment.

Think of “your mountain” as a series of hill and plateaus. Each hill is the struggle, followed by a plateau where you digest the accomplishment of getting to the top of that hill, and prepare for the next hill.

You were born at the base of your mountain and the human you were destined and created to become is waiting for you at the top of your mountain.  At the top of your mountain is not a pot of gold, but a pot for you to deposit all the nuggets of gold, mined from all of your experiences, you collected along the way.

Every step on your climb has a reason. Every person or event is presented to you for a reason. You may not know the reason. You do know, or should come to know, that it is either for the benefit of others, or to further prepare you for your purpose and mission, or both.

You have free will; therefore you have the choice as to how you respond in all situations.  With free will, know that there will be times when you may make the wrong choice and take the wrong turn. Be confident that there will be signs along the way directing you back as long as you look for them.

You can adopt this “your mountain” attitude, which will then assist you in fulfilling your potential in everything you do. If you always strive to reach your fullest potential available to you at every moment, you will be training yourself to do that in all that you do. You will then realize that you can find joy in all that comes your way once you recognize that it is ultimately for the good.

Knowing that the true you, your ultimate potential, awaits you at the top of “Your Mountain”, should inspire you to continue the climb. Accept that every challenge and struggle on the way up is there to strengthen, teach and prepare you for you.  Accepting that will give you the courage and strength coupled with the excitement to take on all that comes your way. You will learn to relish each challenge as you get stronger and wiser each time you take it on.  Just as an athlete looks forward (not without some degree of fear, hence the adrenaline rush) to the next competition.

The ultimate goal of getting to the top is the goal of discovering you. You will get there by tapping in to the all that’s available to you at every moment in all that you do.  All that you do means just that, in and with everything and everyone that comes your way.  Elevating yourself means constantly tapping into to your other-centric giving you.

This is the pervasive theme of all that you will read on this site.  I invite you to make this your mantra:

“I cannot lower my mountain, but I can always elevate myself.”

Heart and Soul

*this is an updated version

Forgive and Forget??

January 25, 2017

The last post, “Forgive and Keep Going” spoke of what the free-ing of forgiveness can do for our ability to get to where we are meant to go/be.

The question arises, as to whether forgiveness also means forgetting.

There are two parts to forgiving.

One, as pointed out in the last post, is to forgive, so as to free yourself.  To not be anchored or held back by resentment, hurt, revenge,…….  If you allow that to happen to you, you lose!  If you lose, we lose you!

“When you forgive, you in no way change the past — but you sure do change the future.”   —   Bernard Meltzer

 “Forgiveness means giving up all hope for a better past.”  —   Lily Tomlin

The second part is forgiving the offending party and therefore forgetting or erasing the event.  To do that would mean to maintain whatever type/level of relationship you had with that person.  That level of forgiving can only come with that person sincerely asking for forgiveness and demonstrating it.  Without that, you are still stuck because the hurtful/harmful event will happen again and again.  With that asking and demonstrating, you can then forget.

Forgetting doesn’t mean to quickly erase.  That event contained a lesson for you to learn and improve from.  When you’re hurt, ask yourself what you can learn from the hurt.  Once you have the lesson ingrained and used for future action, then you can erase.

 “Experience is the best teacher, and the worst experiences teach the best lessons.” — Unknown

Think about what you learned or could have learned.

 “It is never too late to be what you might have been.” – George Eliot

The most obvious lesson is

If someone hurts you let it serve as a reminder that you shouldn’t do that to another.

 “What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow.” – Hillel

Share some lessons with us by using the comment box

Heart and Soul



Forgive and Keep Going

January 11, 2017

In the Biblical story of Joseph, we learn of his magnanimous forgiveness.

Here is a very abbreviated version, that teaches us how to move forward, so that we can get to where we are meant to be.

Joseph had been thrown into a pit and then sold into slavery by his jealous brothers.  He later spent years in prison and eventually became a ruler in Egypt under Pharaoh.

Twenty years later when reunited with his brothers he harbored no resentment and told them to not be sad over what they had done to him.  He understood and explained to them that he wouldn’t be where he was without this journey imposed upon him.

Through this journey he learned to have faith.  Faith that this was G-d’s plan for him.  Faith that all that happened was eventually for the good.  He was able to move forward to great accomplishments because that faith allowed him to let go of the anchor of anger, grudges, or resentment.

 “Forgiveness is the key to action and freedom” – Hannah Arendt

“Anger begins with madness and ends with regret.” – Ben Hamelech V’Hanazir

“Don’t carry a grudge. While you’re carrying a grudge the other guy is dancing.” – Buddy Hackett

“Resentment is like drinking poison and hoping the other person dies.” – Rebbetzin Feige Twerski

If you develop the attitude of that faith, then you will understand that you have to go through what you have to go through to get you where you are meant to be.  Having that faith will make the journey a little easier and keep you focused on the finish line.

Part of the If You Are Always Looking Back, Then Your Future Will Look Like Your Past series

Heart and Soul

Healthy and Happy New Year 2017

January 4, 2017

It’s not too late to wish you a Healthy and Happy New Year!!

Here is a thought as we begin a New Year to get and keep you moving towards making your dreams a reality.

Another New Year, another new beginning that we celebrate.  Another New Year that we make promises/resolutions to ourselves with an eye towards reaching our goals.

There are lots of new beginnings.  There is a new year, a new month, a new week, a new day, a new moment……  Each new is another opportunity to reignite the enthusiasm you had at the beginning of the last new.  Treat each new as if you were hitting the refresh button.  If you celebrate each new as another opportunity, you can find enthusiasm and excitement constantly.

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

From year to year, from new to new, the passage of time may dilute the enthusiasm you had at the beginning.  The ultimate new is the next moment.  So cherish the new of every new and especially every moment.  Remind yourself with every new to keep the enthusiasm in the present.

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

The most important ingredient of you reaching your goals, 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 the results.

For a new to truly be a new beginning means not being anchored to the past.  It is an opportunity to leave it behind.  Leave the past behind, except for remembering the lessons you learned and create the present……Enthusiastically!!

Healthy and Happy 2017

*”Wishing and Hoping”,Dionne Warwick

**Words of Love, the Mamas and Papas

Heart and Soul

%d bloggers like this: