Archive | July, 2010

Carlebach On Soul Mates

31 Jul

There’s a teaching from the Ishebitzer Rebbe in the name of The Seer of Lublin in the name of Eliayhu HaNavi that says: When you really want to ask someone for forgiveness with all your heart, you can bring them back from The Other World…But if works for love as well. If you know with all your heart that your soul mate is in this world, then your great love will bring you together from the far corners of the globe.

This is the miracle of how soul mates meet. I bless us all that we should find our soul mates. LeHaim!

Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach (from “Shlomo’s Stories” p. 95)

What makes two people bashert? How is it possible for two people to “just know” that they are meant to be one? Because when two people want to make a relationship work with every ounce of their life’s breath, when two people put in all their heart, all their soul and everything they’ve got, then time and space become mere pebbles along the way . What once might have appeared to be tremendous boulders are easily trampled by the steadfast pact these two souls have made. Is it G-d’s will that makes a couple bashert?  The only way to get a proper answer for this question is to bolster it with another question– what is the definition of bashert? Is it simply bringing two people together or is it creating a lifelong relationship?

If the answer is simply bringing two people together, then of course Hashem is totally in control of our bashert. He is in control of everything, this aspect are of our lives included. However, there is one area in our lives that He does not take the reins, and that is in whether we become tzaddikim or…not tzaddikim. Whether we choose work on ourselves every day of our lives, or whether we choose to proclaim– “this is who I am, and that is final.” The only way for two to become one is for each individual to shed his identity as an individual and join as one entity. It takes more than the Divine will of G-d. It takes passionate yet bridled strength of the heart; two people who want to be together with every ounce of their life’s breath. Two people who will not allow the nisyonot of the world to come between them. As much as I praise and applaud rationality and practicality, I do not underestimate the power of love. I am well aware of its immense power; how it inspires one to overcome every obstacle with vigor and might. When you want something badly enough, when you know unwaveringly that it is real and true, Hashem bends the laws of His world in ways we never before fathomed. Hashem brings us to our basherts, but it is us who keeps our marriages bashert for the rest of our lives.


Confidence: Just Do It

14 Jul

I am the girl who walks up to you and introduces herself with an exuberant yet soft smile.

 I am the girl who contributes to conversation with vivacity and ease.

I am the girl who talks to you like we have been friends forever.

I am the girl who sits down at your table, even though we have never met.

I am the girl who asks why you chose to go to Podiatry school and how you became so interested in fixing feet.

I am the girl who insists that the chair next to hers was made for you.

I am the girl who holds herself with impeccable posture; shoulders relaxed and eyes ever sparkling,

Looking from the outside, you wouldn’t guess that, that girl is cripplingly shy.

Some people, like myself, are born inherently shy. The idea of taking the initiative to join a game, activity or conversation is terrifying and unrealistic. Who would want to talk to me? They seem to be having so much fun; I might spoil it by joining in. They might not like my sense of humor. I might come across as stupid. Such doubts bombard my thoughts, poisoning them with anxiety. Other times I am shy out of sheer laziness. Being interested in others takes genuine thought and consideration. I know I can do it but…I’m just not in the mood.

Either way, whether in the grips of self-doubt or the lull of laziness, shyness never leaves me feeling very good. This past shabbos, I was sitting at a table with four other “young people,” all of whom have known each other for years. Joining their table was as intimidating as plopping myself down between Joey, Rachel, Phoebe and the other Friends for a Central Perk schmooze. But as I have learned over the years, the only thing more uncomfortable than pushing myself outside my comfort zone, is meekly and silently remaining within it.

So I stepped outside.

I was the girl who introduced myself with an exuberant yet soft smile.

I was the girl who contributed to the conversation with vivacity and ease.

I was the girl who joined their table, even though I didn’t know them, and you know what…

It wasn’t awkward. Not for a second.

There were other times in my life that I embraced my outgoing side, but up until this year, I felt it was an act. I felt as though I was fooling people; manipulating their opinions of Coral Cap with my convincing and thespian expertise. I would have my periods of social finesse and my periods of introversion. Yet this year, I decided to step out of the box. I joined a couple of USBGs, made an effort to converse with the people in my shul , made it my business to acquaint myself with co-workers, visited other communities and got to know some of the people there…I made myself just do it. And as time marched on and the experiences wracked up, I discovered an incredible gem. The girl I thought was an act, the girl I assumed was a filmy facade is really a facet of who I am. It’s the part of me I never showed, out of fear of what others might think.  It’s the part of me that reflects the interest, appreciation and love I have for others. It’s the part of me that expresses and feels simchas chaim without hesitations or qualms.  For years, I subserved to my hesitations in fear that others would see me as a fake. But thank G-d, here I am, 20 years old, happy with who I am; willing to push myself even when my inherent shyness tugs silently every now and again.

Don’t worry so much about how other people will react, rather, focus on your actions. Do not be afraid of rejection or negative responses; that is in the hands of others. Focus on that which is in your control– your thoughts, your actions and the way you present yourself to the world. Don’t think of a clever way to step outside The Comfort Zone. Just do it. Put out your hands, shove with full force and let yourself free. Enjoy life, enjoy the people you encounter  and enjoy being yourself.

Happy Free Slurpee Day!

11 Jul

Though I am sure this is a celebratory occasion for many, 7/11 Free Slurpee Day is an especially dear day for me. You see, for the past year I have been living in a 7/11-free  area. In case you were wondering if it is possible to live in an American city without this generation’s most popular general store well, I’m living proof of such an existence. I know, it  is preposterous. What is more American than dousing a hot summer day’s heat with a Slurpee induced brain freeze? How am I supposed to do that if the closest 7/11 is an hour away?

Thank G-d, those days are over. I am back in an area where 7/11’s hog commercial real estate like its coffee competition, Starbucks. Thus, I was able to celebrate this slush-happy day with a Hawaiian Punch/Blue Raspberry Slurpee. And in case you were wondering, it was good.

So good.

Putting Marriage First

4 Jul

Putting Marriage First

This article is an excerpt from M. Gary Neuman’s book, “Emotional Infidelity.” This is the kind of approach we should grow ourselves accustom to before marriage. Love isn’t to make a marriage work; it never was and it never will be. Neuman diligently points out what does make marriage work. Read it and tell me what you think.

Happy Fourth of July,