Thinkingaboutme.org

9 years of Parasha articles. 

The Art of J.O.M.O.

By Yosef Farhi | Dec 23, 2020

Click vayigash 2020 for download The Art of J.O.M.O. Sometimes I wonder if I am the only person in Israel who is not planning a trip to Dubai. I was brought up in a culture that feeds the FOMO fear. Fear of missing out. If you could go somewhere cool, why not? If you could…

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THE ART OF BUILDING TRUST

By Yosef Farhi | Dec 16, 2020

Click miketz 2020 for download THE ART OF BUILDING TRUST Parashat Miketz Covidland is a place where fear, doubt, insecurity are rampant. People trust less political leaders, governments, news, leaders of medicine, disease experts, the FDA. The invention of the vaccine is only half the solution. The other half of the solution is to invent…

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THE ART OF SPIRITUAL COMEBACK 

By Yosef Farhi | Dec 9, 2020

Click vayeshev 2020 for download THE ART OF SPIRITUAL COMEBACK Parashat Vayeshev Covid has taken a toll on the spirituality of the system. During Covid, 30 percent of Yeshiva students in Israel did not return to Yeshiva. Some, because they dropped out. Some, because they didn’t fit in, to begin with. Some, because they were…

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THE ART OF SOCIAL DISTANCING

By Yosef Farhi | Dec 2, 2020

Click Vayishlach 2020 for download THE ART OF SOCIAL DISTANCING Parashat Vayishlach Mental health in Covidland is essential. Even if the Covid numbers are fake news, the emotional damage is not. People have fallen into problematic behaviors such as drinking, smoking, overeating, hyper-focusing on the news, poor sleeping patterns, helplessness, hopelessness, lack of motivation to…

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READY TO MAKE ALIYAH?

By Yosef Farhi | Nov 25, 2020

  click Vayetze 2020 to download READY TO MAKE ALIYAH? Parashat Vayetze   To move to Israel, to make Aliyah or not to, is presently a hot topic. “I’m not ready; I can’t live in an apartment, and I can’t afford to buy a house. No Amazon Prime, no Costco… Can’t we just create America,…

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THE ART OF PATIENCE

By Yosef Farhi | Nov 18, 2020

click toldot 2020 for download THE ART OF PATIENCE Parashat Toldot   Republicans want things to stay the way they were. (GOP – Great Old Party) The Democrats want change; they want to rethink what is considered moral. The Democrats’ claim against the Republicans is that the Founding Fathers were not that moral. It was…

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THE ART OF BEING CALM AND CHEERFUL

By Yosef Farhi | Nov 11, 2020

Click Chaye sara 2020 for download THE ART OF BEING CALM AND CHEERFUL Parashat Chaye Sarah I can’t believe I am writing this. But if just one reader, or one reader’s child thinks this helps me feel better, it’s well worth it.  Lately, I have not been feeling calm, present, cheerful. I decided to turn…

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THE FEAR OF G-D BAROMETER

By Yosef Farhi | Nov 4, 2020

Click vayera 2020 for download THE FEAR OF G-D BAROMETER Parashat Vayera When the Torah introduces the test of Akeidat Yitzhak, it tells us וְהָ֣אֱלֹקים נִסָּ֖ה אֶת־אַבְרָהָ֑ם   And Elokim tested Avraham. Wait a second! Wasn’t this just as much a test for Yitzhak as it was for Avraham? After all, Yitzhak was 37 years old,…

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FRAME IT!

By Yosef Farhi | Oct 28, 2020

click lech lecha 2020 for download FRAME IT! Parashat Lech Lecha I will never forget how, when my late great-grandfather Will reached his 100th birthday, he received a happy birthday letter from President Clinton. He framed it. The card wasn’t so important, but the person who gave the card was important. The president of the…

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YOU ARE NOT EXCUSED

By Yosef Farhi | Oct 21, 2020

click noach 2020 for download YOU ARE NOT EXCUSED Parashat Noach After the flood, Noah first attempted to send the raven to verify that the land had dried up, but the raven refused to go on this mission. He had two claims. “Your Master hates me, and you hate me! Your master hates me, for…

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THE ART OF ASSERTIVENESS

By Yosef Farhi | Oct 14, 2020

Click bereshit 2020 for download THE ART OF ASSERTIVENESS Parashat Bereshit After Adam ate from the Forbidden Fruit and transgressed G-d’s only command, G-d approached him in the most unusual way. Adam, ashamed of not heeding G-d’s command, embarrassed now that he realized that he was in the undress, was hiding. G-d asks Adam, with…

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THE POWER OF BEING PRESENT

By Yosef Farhi | Oct 7, 2020

THE POWER OF BEING PRESENT According to Judaism, you do not need to do something, get something, or have something, to become happy. To be happy, according to Judaism, you need to undo things, like anger, jealousy, damaged pride or damaged relationships. To undo helplessness, hopelessness, doubt, all-or-nothing thinking, expectations or “should” thoughts. To stay…

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THE POWER TO BE HAPPY

By Yosef Farhi | Sep 30, 2020

click sukkot 2020 c for download THE POWER TO BE HAPPY Rabbi Yosef Farhi Built into Judaism is a life-long workshop that prepares us to become superhuman beings. From nursery to nursing home, Judaism teaches us patience and trains us to delay self-gratification. It teaches you to wait 6 hours between meat and milk, to…

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FATHERLY FORGIVENESS

By Yosef Farhi | Sep 24, 2020

click yom kippur 2020to download FATHERLY FORGIVENESS Yom Kippur The words of our prayers are precise. There is not one bit of redundancy or random usage of words. The Great Assembly revealed to us with their Torah knowledge and prophecy, the code we use to dial G-d, the prayers as we have them in our…

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Rosh Hashana

By Yosef Farhi | Sep 16, 2020

click rosh hashana 2020 for download NEVER READY ENOUGH Rosh Hashana Rosh Hashana has three seemingly unrelated main themes. 1. It is a day of crowning G-d as King, negating, completely, that there is any “independent” force, such as “nature”. Malchuyot. 2.  It is a day of judgement, a day of renewal of the world.…

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THE PROCRASTINATION PLUNGE

By Yosef Farhi | Sep 9, 2020

click nitzavim 2020 b for download THE PROCRASTINATION PLUNGE Nitzavim Vayelech A 60-year-old man is cleaning out his drawer. He notices a note from the shoemaker, dated 20 years back. He never got around to picking the shoes up, and he had completely forgotten about them. He decides to add some spice to life, to…

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU

By Yosef Farhi | Sep 2, 2020

click ki tavo 2020 for download HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU Parashat Ki Tavo A 50+ year old brother and sister asked me to help them with their Hebrew. That is what I do; helping people improve their prayer and learning, communicating with G-d, on every level possible. Their elderly father asked to speak to me.…

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MEANINGFUL IMPACT

By Yosef Farhi | Aug 26, 2020

Click Ki Tetzte for print MEANINGFUL IMPACT Parashat Ki Tetze There are three judgements all souls need to go through by the Heavenly court. 1. Rosh Hashana. 2.When one dies. 3. And at the resurrection of the dead. (Ramban Shaar Hagmul) When King Shaul brought the soul of the prophet, Shmuel, down to earth to…

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THE ART OF CONTEMPLATION

By Yosef Farhi | Jul 22, 2020

THE ART OF CONTEMPLATION Parashat Devarim G-d told Moshe,  הָב֣וּ לָ֠כֶם אֲנָשִׁ֨ים חֲכָמִ֧ים וּנְבֹנִ֛ים Appoint for yourselves judges that are wise and intelligent men. It is not enough to be wise and knowledgeable in Torah. One needs to also have intelligence, the ability to contemplate, discern and deduce. Moshe was commanded to choose, as judge,…

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THE ART OF HEARTFELT PRAYER

By Yosef Farhi | Jul 16, 2020

THE ART OF HEARTFELT PRAYER Parashat Mattot Masei R’ Y. Eibshitz (1694- 1764 Prague) was once challenged by the king of his day. “In your books, it says that Mashiach will come as a poor person riding a donkey. גִּילִ֨י מְאֹ֜ד בַּת־צִיּ֗וֹן הָרִ֙יעִי֙ בַּ֣ת יְרוּשָׁלִַ֔ם הִנֵּ֤ה מַלְכֵּךְ֙ יָ֣בוֹא לָ֔ךְ צַדִּ֥יק וְנוֹשָׁ֖ע ה֑וּא עָנִי֙ וְרֹכֵ֣ב עַל־חֲמ֔וֹר…

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THE ART OF EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION

By Yosef Farhi | Jul 9, 2020

THE ART OF EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION Parashat Pinhas Effective communication is definitely an art.  Non-effective communicators don’t ask themselves the seven questions before communicating.  Who is the right person to relay the message? What is the right thing to say? To whom? With whom? Where is the right place to say it? How is the right…

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THE ART OF IMAGINATION

By Yosef Farhi | Jul 2, 2020

THE ART OF IMAGINATION Parashat Hukat The Jews spoke badly about G-d and Moshe: Why did they take us out of Egypt, to die in the desert? There is no bread, no water, and our soul is repulsed by the disgusting bread (the Mannah). G-d sent in the people poisonous snakes, and they bit the…

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THE ART OF NARRATION

By Yosef Farhi | Jun 25, 2020

THE ART OF NARRATION Parashat Korah Your life decisions and everyday decisions are generally limited and confined to your four S’s. Social (the people you associate with and see, role models, community), State of mind (emotion, mood, physiology, etc.), Structure (what is most accessible, easy, simple, available), and Story ( the narrative of your life…

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MAN WITH A MISSION

By Yosef Farhi | Jun 18, 2020

MAN WITH A MISSION Parashat Shlach You always have two choices. You can live your life as if you were created for a purpose, for a mission. There is rhyme and reason to why you were created, and why you are here now. Or, you can live your life as if it is a random…

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THE KEYS TO HEAVEN’S GATES

By Yosef Farhi | Jun 11, 2020

THE KEYS TO HEAVEN’S GATES Parashat Bhaalotcha You can and should always talk to G-d. But prayer that works, prayer that opens the right doors to answer your prayers in Heaven, is prayer using the right words, the words that the great Jewish leaders established, understanding and meditating on what we are saying. We would…

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THE ART OF FINANCIAL SERENITY

By Yosef Farhi | Jun 3, 2020

THE ART OF FINANCIAL SERENITY Parashat Naso Coronavirus has taught the world that real wealth is health, family, and safety. It has taught us that to be alive, to be able to breathe, is a blessing. Many perceive wealth as a blessing, but as the rich frequently confess, this is a mistake. Wealth and happiness…

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MORE PRECIOUS THAN PEARLS

By Yosef Farhi | May 30, 2020

MORE PRECIOUS THAN PEARLS SHAVUOTH by Rabbi Yosef Farhi There is a custom to read Megillath Ruth on Shavuoth. What is the meaning of this custom? There are different reasons. Here is a thought I had. Our Rabbis teach that a Talmid Hacham who is a mamzer deserves more respect than a Kohen Gadol who is a…

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THE ART OF DEPENDENCY

By Yosef Farhi | May 24, 2020

THE ART OF DEPENDENCY Parashat Bamidbar Each day, in the blessing before Shema, we pray to G-d that we be connected to Him and His Torah. We ask for this connection, in the merit of our ancestor’s Bitachon, their trust in G-d. בעבור אבותינו שבטחו בך … כי בשם קדשך הגדול הגבור והנורא בטחנו. In the…

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THE ART OF MEANINGFULNESS

By Yosef Farhi | May 17, 2020

THE ART OF MEANINGFULNESS Parashat Behar Behukotay by Rabbi Yosef Farhi The wisest of men taught us that there is always a deeper meaning to things than the way we experience them on a superficial level. As King Solomon taught הַכֹּ֥ל הוֹלֵ֖ךְ אֶל־מָק֣וֹם אֶחָ֑ד הַכֹּל֙ הָיָ֣ה מִן־הֶֽעָפָ֔ר וְהַכֹּ֖ל שָׁ֥ב אֶל־הֶעָפָֽר: And the following passuk states מִ֣י יוֹדֵ֗עַ…

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THE ART OF ALTRUISM

By Yosef Farhi | May 17, 2020

THE ART OF ALTRUISM Parashat Emor by Rabbi Yosef Farhi Rashi points out that right in the middle of the Torah’s detailed discussion of all the Jewish yearly Holidays and their respective laws and sacrifices, there is a law that seems to be unrelated to the subject. After speaking of the cutting of the barley…

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THE CHOICE OF EXTRAORDINARINESS

By Yosef Farhi | May 17, 2020

THE CHOICE OF EXTRAORDINARINESS Parashat Aharei Mot/ Kedoshim by Rabbi Yosef Farhi There are five choices that we can make that will decide if and how much we are productive, especially when bouncing back during times of crisis and challenge. Choice no. 1: Act on the Important; Don’t react to the urgent. Choice no. 2:…

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THE ART OF THIRD PERSON PERSPECTIVE

By Yosef Farhi | May 17, 2020

THE ART OF THIRD PERSON PERSPECTIVE Parashat Tazriah Metzorah by Rabbi Yosef Farhi In the ability to adapt to changes and bounce back from challenges, there are two lessons from this week’s Parashiot. One from Parashat Tazriah- the art of self-reflection. The other from Parashat Metzorah- the art of hope and reframing luck. The two…

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THE ART OF ADAPTING TO CHANGE

By Yosef Farhi | May 17, 2020

THE ART OF ADAPTING TO CHANGE Parashat Shemini by Rabbi Yosef Farhi We all like Seder, order. But life is not Seder. It never was and never will be. When life has no Seder, we are forced to think hard and make an internal Seder. I.e., we are forced to answer the hardest questions in…

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THE ART OF TRUSTING

By Yosef Farhi | Feb 6, 2020

click BESHALACH 2020 for download THE ART OF TRUSTING Parashat Beshalach I know that this sounds ridiculous, but did you ever return G-d a favor? He did, does, and will always do, so much good for you and your family. Or is it just impossible to do G-d a favor, for He does not lack anything…

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THE ART OF EMOTIONAL RESILIENCE

By Yosef Farhi | Jan 30, 2020

click Bo 2020  for download THE ART OF EMOTIONAL RESILIENCE Parashat Bo Martin Seligman, the author of Learned Optimism and founder of modern-day Positive Psychology, writes that successful people are usually positive people. Positive people are masters at the three Ps. They believe that 1. Problems are not permanent. 2. Problems are not worse than they…

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