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Thinkingaboutme.org

8 years of Parasha articles. 

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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english – chaye sara

By Yosef Farhi | Nov 18, 2011

              SIBLING RIVALRY IS MORE THAN KIDS’ STUFF    The Midrash (Rabba 56) provides some of the details missing from the Torah’s account of the  Akeidah (the “Binding of Isaac”).  Among other things, it tells us just what kind of approach Satan used in trying to trip up Avraham and…

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english – vayera

By Yosef Farhi | Nov 8, 2011

HOW TO FOCUS ON PRAYER    We all want to pray with full concentration, yet our minds wander so often. This makes prayer pretty frustrating. The truth is that today, more than ever before, staying focused is a difficult goal for much of humanity. Is there any effective technique that will help us to stay…

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spanish – vayera

By Yosef Farhi | Nov 8, 2011

                                          Cómo concentrarse durante la tefilá Todos anhelamos rezar con suma concentración, pero muy a menudo nos distraemos y nos llenamos de frustración. La verdad es que en la actualidad, mantener la concentración es una meta…

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english – lech lecha

By Yosef Farhi | Nov 3, 2011

 WHAT WE CAN LEARN FROM AVRAHAM’S DEFENSE OF JUDAISM     “Street-smart” people know how to deal with sticky situations. Not all of us are blessed with their talents. Indeed, even they may not be aware of how they naturally behave.  I would like to examine one of the techniques used by the “street-smart personality,”…

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Noach – english

By Yosef Farhi | Oct 27, 2011

 A MESSAGE FROM A DOVE   At the end of forty days of rain Noah sent a raven and afterward a dove to verify whether the floodwater had subsided. The dove returned to Noah with an olive tree branch in its beak. The Talmud (Eiruvin 18b) explains that the dove here relayed to Noach the…

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english – sukkot

By Yosef Farhi | Oct 9, 2011

The Sukkot Festival – Zman Simchateinu   The Torah emphasizes that Sukkot is a joyous holiday.  Indeed, it commands us not once, but twice, to be joyful on Sukkot: “Rejoice in your festival…and be totally joyous” –ושמחת בחגך…והיית אך שמח ; and “Rejoice before the Lord, your G-d, for seven days” – ושמחתם לפני ה’…

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spanish – sukkot

By Yosef Farhi | Oct 9, 2011

La Festividad de Sucot –Zman Simjatenu    La Torá pone hincapié en que Sucot es una festividad alegre. De hecho, nos ordena dos veces que debemos regocijarnos en Sucot: “Regocíjate en la fiesta… y sé totalmente feliz” – ושמחת בחגך… והיית אך שמח, y “Regocijaos ante Hashem, vuestro Di-s, durante siete días “- ושמחתם לפני ה ‘אלוקיכם שבעת…

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french – sukkot

By Yosef Farhi | Oct 9, 2011

La fête de Souccot – Zman sim’haténou   La Torah met l’accent sur le fait que Souccot est un jour de fête joyeux. En effet, elle nous ordonne non pas une, mais deux fois, d’être joyeux durant Souccot : “Réjouis-toi dans ta fête… et sois totalement joyeux” – ושמחת בחגך … והיית אך שמח et aussi…

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english – yom kippur

By Yosef Farhi | Oct 5, 2011

                                        SHORTCUT TO FORGIVENESS Not many hours lie between us and the sealing of our fate for the upcoming year. We cannot afford to waste time.  This situation causes pressure for many of us. How are…

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spanish – yom kippur

By Yosef Farhi | Oct 5, 2011

UN ACCESO DIRECTO AL PERDÓN   No nos quedan muchas horas hasta el sellado de nuestro destino para el año entrante. No podemos darnos el lujo de tomarnos unas vacaciones, lo cual pone en tensión a varios de nosotros. ¿Cómo lograremos completar nuestra “agenda de teshuvá” antes de Iom Kipur? Los Sabios nos enseñan que…

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french – yom kippur

By Yosef Farhi | Oct 5, 2011

  RACCOURCI POUR LE PARDON   Nous ne sommes plus qu’à quelques heures de la nouvelle année qui va sceller notre destinée. Il n’y a pas de temps à perdre ! Cette situation provoque un stress pour beaucoup d’entre nous. Comment allons-nous compléter notre “agenda Techouva” avant Yom Kippour ?              . Nos Rabbanim enseignent qu’il…

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english – nitzavim vayelech

By Yosef Farhi | Sep 21, 2011

                                                  THE MEANING OF TESHUVA   The Talmud gives us an example of when a sinner can be considered a genuine Baal Teshuvah (penitent): If he refrains from sinning a second time when he encounters the same woman at the same place and time where he had previously sinned (Yoma 86b). This is…

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spanish- nitzavim vayelech

By Yosef Farhi | Sep 21, 2011

   El significado de la teshuvá  Para indicar cuándo un pecador es considerado un verdadero Baal Teshuvá, el Talmud nos da un ejemplo: Si se abstiene de pecar por segunda vez cuando se encuentra con la misma mujer en el mismo lugar y hora que pecó en el pasado (Iomá 86b ). Esta es una prueba…

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french – nitzavim vayelech

By Yosef Farhi | Sep 21, 2011

            EN FIN DE COMPTE, QU’EST-CE QU’UN BAAL TECHOUVA ?   Le Talmud nous donne un exemple de cas où un homme ayant fauté peut être considéré comme un véritable baal Techouva Baal (pénitent) : S’il s’abstient de pécher une seconde fois quand il rencontre la même femme, au même…

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english – ki tavo

By Yosef Farhi | Sep 14, 2011

                                 PREPARING FOR ROSH HA’SHANAH I once overheard a conversation that echoes in my ears every year around this season. A young son of a rabbi who was looking to become wealthy asked one of his father’s wealthy congregants how…

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french ki tavo

By Yosef Farhi | Sep 14, 2011

PRÉPARATION POUR ROCH HACHANA Un jour, j’ai surpris une conversation qui résonne encore dans mes oreilles chaque année à cette époque : un jeune garçon, fils de Rav qui souhaitait devenir riche, demanda à l’un des fidèles fortunés de son père comment il pouvait y parvenir. “Cela prend seulement une journée par an”, lui répondit l’homme…

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spanish – ki tavo

By Yosef Farhi | Sep 14, 2011

PREPARÁNDONOS PARA ROSH HASHANÁ Cierta vez escuché una conversación que se me vuelve a la mente todos los años alrededor de esta fecha. Se trataba del hijo pequeño de un rabino que soñaba con ser rico y le preguntó a un hombre pudiente, concurrente de la sinagoga de su padre: “¿cómo puedo hacerme rico?”. A lo que…

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