Change as a Window to Abundance

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"If we fear change, we are blind to the abundance of life" - M. Nepo What aspect of life's abundance has this dramatic change brought you into contact with? If that abundance is hard to see, that may be because we have become so accustomed to looking in narrow, confined spaces for it. Funny enough, those narrow, confined spaces may be "out there" in the ever expanding world of our next moment's…

Lovers Facing Each Other and the Beyond

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Working with couples, the most significant shift I get the privilege of witnessing is when husband and wife turn to one another and share intimate emotional space. She may share her loneliness and how her angry attack is really a fearful, fear laden attempt to try and find him. He may share his fear of failing and disappointing her (again) and how withdrawing is his way of protecting himself and not…

The Sweetness of the Stinging Nettle - A Parenting Lesson

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These small plants commonly found along the Eastern seaboard can hurt. But if you carefully cut the nettle at its stem, it's insides serve as the perfect remedy. Pain is always best sweetened at its source. If you can slowly, gently enter and listen, it will share with you its secret of what is truly important. A mother gets angry at her four year old son Josh for not listening...again. She yells.…

Why You're So Hard on Yourself and What You Can Do About it

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“What’s wrong with you?” “Why are you so lazy?” “Look at how much better and more successful he is than you.” If these judgments were lodged at a child, we would be up in arms in defense of his dignity and her sense of self. And yet, we routinely file these evaluations and many others….against ourselves. If you are not familiar with the inner judge that I describe, good on you, stop…

Mother's Milk (Yitro)

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And G-d called to Moses from the mountain saying: 'This is what you shall tell the house of Jacob and relate to the Children of Israel'. (Exodus 19:3) The ‘house of Jacob’ refers to the Jewish women. (Rashi)   The offer to receive the Torah and become G-d’s nation went to the women first. Why? Because a mother is the conduit for a child’s identity and essence. Identity is the context…

The Illusion of Authoritarian Parenting (Vaera)

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  Aaron cast down his rod in the presence of Pharaoh….and it turned into a serpent… and the Egyptian magicians, in turn, did the same with their spells. (Exodus 7:10-11) Aaron was given the divine ability to turn his staff into a snake. The Egyptian sorcerers appeared to do the same with theirs. This is a great analogy for 2 parenting styles that seem to get the same results: Take a child…

Values are Caught, Not Taught (Bo)

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“…When your children ask, what is this service to you? You shall say…” (Exodus 12:25-26) Education is a parental responsibility. Because the Torah views education, not as an accumulation of knowledge, but mainly as a transmission of divine values, parents are the most appropriate people to accomplish this task. Why? Because values are transmitted as an organic part of daily living. You can’t…

The Engine of Existence: Exploring the Dynamics of Giving and Receiving 

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Explore the universal dynamics of giving and receiving (mashpia-mekabel) and discover how a deep understanding of this process can inform and guide your most important relationships. This class can be presented as a lecture or in-depth text study. Approximate Length:  Text Study - 60 minutes Lecture - 30 minutes Target Audiences: Schools (Parent education) Synagogues (Adult…

"Reign it In"! (Vayechi)

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Reuben, you are my first-born, my might and the first fruit of my vigor, exceeding in rank and exceeding in honor…unstable as water….you brought disgrace… (Genesis 49:3-4). Rueben made a mistake. He was emotional, acted impulsively and it cost him. Mistakes are forgivable, but their consequences remain. In an online world mistakes can be especially costly. A poorly considered Instagram/Facebook…

The Path to Adulthood (Miketz)

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And Pharaoh said to his courtiers, “Could we find another like him, a man in whom is the spirit of G-d?” (Genesis 41:38) In last week’s parsha (Vayeshev), Yosef is referred to as a “lad” (נער).  In this week’s parsha, Pharaoh calls him a “man” (איש).  One might say that Yosef matured into a man, not simply by the passage of years but by his experiences during that time and…