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Thinkingaboutme.org

8 years of Parasha articles. 

SHLACH 2012

By Yosef Farhi | Jun 12, 2012

GLASSES OF ANXIETY The story of the Spies is one of the greatest mysteries of the Torah. The punishment resulting from their report was from the harshest possible, with ramifications felt until the present day. Instead of being allowed to enter the Land of Canaan immediately, Bnei Yisrael had to remain for forty years in…

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B'HALOTCHA

By Yosef Farhi | Jun 6, 2012

       WHO IS TESTING WHO? The Mishna in Avot teaches us:  Ten tests was our patriarch Avraham tested and he withstood all of them – to show the depth of his love (to G-d)… Ten tests our fathers tested G-d in the desert, as it is written: “And they tested me ten times,…

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NASO 2012

By Yosef Farhi | May 30, 2012

 BLESSINGS OF LOVE Notice the language of the brachah recited before Birkat Kohanim, the blessing given by the kohanim to the rest of the congregation. It is utterly unique: “וצונו לברך את עמו ישראל באהבה …and He commanded us to bless His people, Israel, with love“. In no other blessing before a mitzvah do we…

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SHAVUOT 2012

By Yosef Farhi | May 22, 2012

 G-D’S TORAH AND HIS APPROACH The Sifri (Devarim שמג) relays the following Midrash: Before G-d came to Mt.Sinaito give the Torah to His People, He approached the nations of the world, one by one, and offered them the Torah. He first approached the nations of Esav. Esav’s descendants responded by first asking G-d what is…

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BEHUKOTAY ENGLISH

By Yosef Farhi | May 15, 2012

   A TORAH EDUCATION …אם בחקתי תלכו…ונתתי גשמכים בעתם   If you follow my statutes…I will provide you with rain at the appropriate time… Rashi explains that this verse teaches us about “toiling in Torah study” (שתהיו עמלים בתורה). Indeed, as the Chazon Ish ( ק”א ח”א ס י’ב ) points out, all the brachot in the…

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BEHUKOTAY – SPANISH

By Yosef Farhi | May 15, 2012

   Sobre los estudiantes de… Torá אם בחוקותי תלכו… ונתתי גשמיכם בעתם… Si habréis de seguir Mis estatutos… os proveeré de lluvias en el momento apropiado… Rashí explica que este versículo nos enseña a esforzarnos por el estudio de la Torá (שתהיו עמלים בתורה). De hecho, el Jazón Ish señala (ק”א ח”א ס י”ב) que todas…

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BEHAR – ENGLISH

By Yosef Farhi | May 8, 2012

  PRAYING FOR A BRAINSTORM Many people wonder why their minds drift during prayers. Why on earth does the imagination start running on turbo at these particular times? The sad joke is: When you need a real brainstorm, just start your prayers. Can something be done in order to assure that our minds be under our…

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BEHAR- SPANISH

By Yosef Farhi | May 8, 2012

 Rezar por buenas ideas Muchas personas se preguntan por qué sus mentes vagan durante los rezos. ¿Por qué es que la imaginación comienza a funcionar a toda velocidad justo en este momento? Una lamentable broma dice: Si necesitas una buena idea, comienza a rezar. ¿Hay algo que podemos hacer para dominar a nuestra mente, permitiéndonos…

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EMOR 2012

By Yosef Farhi | May 3, 2012

A GENERATION OF VICTIMS Several generations ago, psychology introduced us to a concept that changed humanity. A Freudian theory developed that adult mental ills were the result of damage done to the developing ‘psyche’ by parents who traumatized their children during critical stages of their early development. Ever since, parents and educators are blamed by…

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ACHAREI MOT- KEDOSHIM – SPANISH

By Yosef Farhi | May 1, 2012

¿Cuán santo eres? Tómate unos instantes para contestar las siguientes preguntas: ¿Cuán santo eres? ¿Cuál fue el momento más sagrado que viviste alguna vez? ¿Quién es la persona más santa que alguna vez conociste? Esta es una clase de preguntas que la mayoría de nosotros jamás nos preguntamos. Mientras escribía este artículo, se las planteé…

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EMOR – SPANISH

By Yosef Farhi | May 1, 2012

Una generación de víctimas Hace algunas generaciones, la psicología nos dio a conocer un concepto que cambió la humanidad. Una teoría freudiana difundió que “las enfermedades mentales en los adultos son resultado de un daño provocado a la psiquis del niño, por padres que traumaron a sus hijos en una etapa crítica y temprana de…

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ACHAREI MOT- KEDOSHIM 2012

By Yosef Farhi | Apr 26, 2012

HOW HOLY ARE YOU? Take out a minute to answer the following questions: How holy are you? What was the holiest moment you felt in your life? Who was the holiest man you ever met and got to know? This is the type of question that many of us have never thought about. While I…

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TAZRIAH – METZORAH 2012

By Yosef Farhi | Apr 25, 2012

THE TRUE LIE Our parasha discusses the leper, the Metzora. Although our Rabbis teach that the cause of leprosy is speaking לשון הרע  ,gossip, this is not mentioned specifically in the two parshiot that discuss the leper and his purity . Our Rabbis teach that this name “metzora” is a shortened version of the words…

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TAZRIAH – METZORAH = SPANISH =

By Yosef Farhi | Apr 24, 2012

            El hombre mudo                                      Hace tan sólo tres años acudí un sábado por la noche al funeral de un hombre anciano de Jerusalén que yo creía haber conocido. Doce años antes de fallecer, el difunto había atravesado una extracción…

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TAZRIAH – METZORAH

By Yosef Farhi | Apr 19, 2012

  HUMBLING THE HUMBLE When I was coaching a boy on improving memory skills, he asked me if I could help him to remember not to get angry in situations which provoked such a reaction. I responded that when he got angry, he did not forget that doing so was against his values. When he got…

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PESACH 2012

By Yosef Farhi | Apr 3, 2012

 THE GOOD SIDE OF THE EVIL INCLINATION It has become the “in thing” for many Jewish mothers to go to a hotel for Passover. Even though this was not the practice of their own mothers, going to a hotel instead of cleaning is becoming the widespread custom for many who can afford – and even…

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NISSAN 2012

By Yosef Farhi | Mar 27, 2012

                   WANTS  IN SPRING BLOSSOM In the month of Nissan, we have a beautiful blessing: the unique blessing on the blossoming of the trees. This blessing is unique not only because it comes only once a year, but because of what it is that we are praising…

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VAYIKRA 2012

By Yosef Farhi | Mar 20, 2012

ENERGETIC BLOOD AND LETHARGIC FAT Mr. Levy sells merchandise and signs contracts out of his home office. When things are quiet, he spends his time learning in the synagogue down the block. One day, a client came, wanting to place a substantial order. Upon answering the door, the family told this fellow that their father…

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VAYAKHEL – PEKUDEI 2012

By Yosef Farhi | Mar 13, 2012

UNDERSTANDING THE SINNER At times, we hear very unsettling things about people we know – people who we thought of as good and honest can fall so low. There is a mitzvah to judge people favorably. That, however, is not the topic at hand. Rather, our focus is on understanding people. It is extremely perplexing…

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PURIM 2012

By Yosef Farhi | Mar 6, 2012

THE MASKED YOU Everybody knows there is a minhag (custom) to dress in costumes on Purim. This minhag is not just a playful, childish activity : there is deep significance behind the masks and costumes we wear on Purim. A mask or costume hides one’s identity. This theme of hiding one’s identity  is one we…

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TEZAVEH (ZACHOR)

By Yosef Farhi | Feb 28, 2012

     CHILLING WITH AMALEK G-d told Moshe to pass on the message that He is at constant war with Amalek, in each and every generation. In each generation we must ask ourselves to identify the current Amalek, who is continuing the age-old war against recognizing the monarchy of G-d. Who is the today’s Amalek…

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TERUMAH – Rosh Chodesh ADAR

By Yosef Farhi | Feb 21, 2012

LOVE OF “WANTS” The Mishkan and Shabbat have a lot in common. We learn all the 39 forbidden categories of “work” (things that are not to be done) on Shabbat from the 39 kinds of labor that were done in order to erect the Mishkan. We are taught about Shabbat also in Parashat Ki Tisa,…

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MISHPATIM – SHEKALIM

By Yosef Farhi | Feb 14, 2012

3D LISTENING Early one morning, I sat down next to my study partner, who was acting pretty strangely. He had one eye closed and was looking with his open eye at his hands, as he slowly moved them toward and away from one another. I asked him what on earth he was doing. He told…

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YITRO – english

By Yosef Farhi | Feb 7, 2012

      Perspectives of Wealth I was coaching a young client who went to work. He was under a lot of stress. He wanted to be successful while studying in college. This, in itself, is not a problem. However, this boy believed that in order to be successful, one has to make it big.…

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BESHALACH- english

By Yosef Farhi | Jan 30, 2012

STIMULATION OF THE SENSES                  Generally, pleasure or enjoyment involves stimulation of any one of the five senses, which are where most pleasures are found. We enjoy tasting certain foods and seeing a nice view of nature or a beautiful painting. Usually, the place where we chose to…

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ENGLISH – PARASHAT BO

By Yosef Farhi | Jan 24, 2012

 A LESSON FROM AN OLD EGYPTIAN WOMAN The human mind’s ability to believe whatever it wants against all odds is fascinating. The Midrash Hagadol writes the following story: Moshe prophesied in Egypt about the coming plague of the Firstborn. He mentioned that there will be a great outcry in all the land of Egypt, that…

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english – va'era

By Yosef Farhi | Jan 17, 2012

  THE HARDEST WORKERS OF THE WORLD The Rambam wrote in a letter to his son, R’ Avraham, that Pharaoh is none other than the Evil Inclination. R’ M. Shwab writes that if we can learn the story and behaviorisms of Pharaoh, then we can learn the story and behaviorisms of our Evil Inclination. By…

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shemot – english

By Yosef Farhi | Jan 9, 2012

                               MEMOIRS OF GRATITUDE   Moshe was reluctant to take the position of leading the Jews out of Egypt. He justified his reticence to G-d by saying: I am not a man of words … for I have a heavy mouth…

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PARASHAT VAYECHI

By Yosef Farhi | Jan 3, 2012

IN LOVING MEMORY OF REUVEN BEN SARA AND CHANA BAT HENYA Being Me / Dissipating Stress One never gets burned out from being himself. “Burn-out” happens when a person tries to be someone he is not, and then finds that it is impossible! The Hebrew word for stress is מתח. This word מתח  is also…

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vayigash – english

By Yosef Farhi | Dec 27, 2011

Yehuda = Honesty, Nobility and Responsibility The inner strength of Yehuda during stressful times got him very far. Many of us know that the HolyTemplein Jerusalemwas situated in the portions of Yehuda and Binyamin. The reason for the Templebeing located in Binyamin’s lot was for something he did not do. All the tribes, excluding Binyamin,…

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MIKETZ – english

By Yosef Farhi | Dec 20, 2011

KEEP DREAMING One of the greatest gifts G-d bestowed on mankind is the ability to dream and imagine. Imagination is a tool that – when properly utilized – can transform the present into the future, helping us move from pain to pleasure, from confinement to liberty.  It can trigger in us both the ambition and…

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english- Vayeshev

By Yosef Farhi | Dec 13, 2011

   UNDERSTANDING DESTINY AND FREE WILL The well-known mishnah in Pirkei Avot tells us that “everything is foretold” (3:19).  In a similar vein, the equally well-known piyut, Yigdal, reminds us that G-d “sees to the end of an action from its outset.” Furthermore, we know that the events of the present are pre-ordained on Rosh…

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vayishlach – english

By Yosef Farhi | Dec 6, 2011

PROBLEMATIC PERSUASION After Shechem raped Yaakov’s daughter, Dina, something very strange happened. He spoke to the heart of the girl (Bereishit 34:3). Rashi informs us that he persuaded her by saying: See how your father spent an enormous sum of money for a small plot of land. I will marry you, and you will own…

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VAYETZE – ENGLISH

By Yosef Farhi | Nov 29, 2011

              TRUE LOVE We find a perplexing passuk with regard to Yaakov’s love for Rachel. In describing the seven years Yaakov was forced to wait before he could marry Rachel, the Torah tells us: He felt that they were like just a few days due to his love for…

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english- toldot

By Yosef Farhi | Nov 22, 2011

THE CHALLENGES OF THE FFB    (FRUM FROM BIRTH) Both Yitzchak and Rivkah had to pray hard until G-d granted them children. But a close look at the beginning of our parashah reveals that G-d actually answered the prayers of Yitzchak, not the prayers of Rivkah (Yevamot 64a). What was the reason for this? The…

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