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Thinkingaboutme.org

8 years of Parasha articles. 

By Yosef Farhi | Mar 11, 2016

THE NASTY COMMENT Parashat Pikudei Mordechai was known to be ורצוי לרב אחיו, accepted by most of his brothers. (10; 3) The Talmud (Megillah 16b) deducts, “And not accepted by all of his brothers.” The Talmud has its way of dealing with this, deducing from here, what it deduces, which I will not discuss. The…

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THE BIRTH OF THINKINGABOUTME.ORG

By Yosef Farhi | Mar 2, 2016

THE BIRTH OF THINKINGABOUTME.ORG Parashat Vayakhel This time of year is very special for me. It is the time of year that Thinkingaboutme.org was created. It all happened one Friday morning, in the long, double-Adar winter z’man of 2011. After dropping the kids off at school, I sat on my couch, with a pen and…

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WHAT PEOPLE SAY

By Yosef Farhi | Feb 25, 2016

WHAT PEOPLE SAY Parashat Ki Tisa The Avtinas family had a family secret. They were the only ones who knew how to make the Ketoret, the Temple Incense, in such a way that when it was brought on the Altar, the smoke would rise straight as a beam, and when it hit the ceiling, it…

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By Yosef Farhi | Feb 18, 2016

THE PARACHUTE JUMP Parashat Tezaveh One of my students doesn’t like attending class. So the other day, when he attended, I asked him why he bothered. Especially, because for that class, he was the first one there. “Rabbi, today, I went up to the North of Israel, and I jumped off a plane. I went…

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By Yosef Farhi | Feb 11, 2016

WISDOM FROM THE MENORAH Parashat Terumah Someone once asked one of the heads of Rolex, “So, how is the watch business going?” He answered, “I have no idea. I am not in the watch business! I am in the luxury business!” No one who needs a watch for telling time buys a Rolex. They buy…

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THE AVERAGE AMERICAN

By Yosef Farhi | Feb 4, 2016

  THE AVERAGE AMERICAN Parashat Mishpatim ויתיצבו בתחתית ההר, And they stood at the foot of the mountain. (Shemot 19 ;17) Avdimi Bar Chasa said that this passuk teaches you that G-d turned the whole mountain over their heads. He said, if you accept the Torah, good. But if not, שם תהא קבורתכם, over there…

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JEWISH PEPPERSPRAY

By Yosef Farhi | Feb 4, 2016

JEWISH PEPPERSPRAY Parashat Yitro We are never defeated unless we give up on G-d. We cannot allow ourselves to get used to the current situation: Israel news does not go a day without an attack. I attended a Bar Mitzvah in the Aish Hatorah building in Jerusalem this last week. I parked in the Har…

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THE P3 TREE MODEL OF THE SUCCESSFUL

By Yosef Farhi | Feb 4, 2016

THE P3 TREE MODEL OF THE SUCCESSFUL Tu Bishvat   On Tu B’shvat, we don’t say Tachanun; we do not confess our sins, for it is a day of celebration. We celebrate the trees, חג לאילנות.  It is considered a new year in regard to tithing. Why does the birthday of the tree fall at…

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AN ONION FROM BRESLEV

By Yosef Farhi | Jan 14, 2016

AN ONION FROM BRESLEV Parashat Bo   In Kiddush Levana, we mention something odd. We praise G-d for making a world that runs like clockwork, and for the fact that all of nature serves G-d happily. And then, this is what we say, וללבנה אמר שתתחדש עטרת תפארת לעמוסי בטן שגם הם עתידים להתחדש כמותה…

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PLAN FOR A CHANGE

By Yosef Farhi | Jan 14, 2016

PLAN FOR A CHANGE Parashat Vaera A few weeks ago, I coached a yeshiva student who was in somewhat of an identity crisis. He decided that he wanted to be what he called “a Halacha Jew”. He wanted to keep halacha down to the smallest detail. The problem was that this boy was very far…

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By Yosef Farhi | Dec 31, 2015

   YOUER THAN YOU Parashat Shemot   One of the secrets of motivation is hidden in this week’s Midrash. וירא בסבלותם And Moshe saw their burden. What did he see? R’ Elazar the son of R’ Yossi said, He saw a small load on the big Jew, and he saw a big load on the…

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ILLEGAL, IMMORAL AND FATTENING

By Yosef Farhi | Dec 23, 2015

ILLEGAL, IMMORAL AND FATTENING Parashat Vayechi Life really stinks. There are so many things in life we can’t have. Luxury is out of our budget. As one gentile put it, all the good stuff in life is illegal, immoral or fattening. Life is so complicated and frustrating , full of expectations that we have that…

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THE MAGICAL DREIDEL

By Yosef Farhi | Dec 17, 2015

THE MAGICAL DREIDEL   An incredibly interesting question was asked by R’ Zacharia Wallerstien. The letters on the Dreidel, on the סביבון, are the letters נ’ ג’ ה’ ש’ , that are an acronym of נס גדול היה שם, a great miracle happened there. Now, the legend goes, that at the time of the Greek…

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THE SECRET OF SELF-DISCIPLINE

By Yosef Farhi | Dec 4, 2015

THE SECRET OF SELF-DISCIPLINE Parashat Vayeshev   Yosef, one of the most handsome men ever, was tested by Potifar’s wife in a way that we cannot begin to fathom. The seduction was obsessive. This wicked woman threatened to kill Yosef, to defame him and otherwise cause him harm. It would have been so much easier…

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MARRIED TO A MATERIALISTIC MAN

By Yosef Farhi | Nov 25, 2015

MARRIED TO A MATERIALISTIC MAN Parashat Vayishlach   We are judged for everything we do. But, that judging is so complex, because it means taking into consideration each individual person in his own, particular life, factoring in where they came from and in what given circumstances they find themselves. The same action can be a…

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HOW TO ATTRACT YOUR SOULMATE

By Yosef Farhi | Nov 18, 2015

HOW TO ATTRACT YOUR SOULMATE Parashat Vayetze Prayer. It can be the most emotionally intense part of your day, or just something that you need to get over in order to get on to the next thing. It all depends on your approach to prayer, how much you believe in it, and your state of…

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THE HOLY THIEF

By Yosef Farhi | Nov 12, 2015

THE HOLY THIEF Parashat Toldot Next to the grave of the Sabba of Shpoli is the famous tombstone that says, “Here lies Yossele, the Holy Thief”. The Hassidic masters tell that the Saba from Shpoli would spend a lot of his time with the Jewish thieves in town. “I can rely on my bandits. I…

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THE BREAKDANCING PRESIDENT

By Yosef Farhi | Nov 5, 2015

THE BREAKDANCING PRESIDENT Parashat Chaye Sarah There are three peculiar Berachot, that we make each day. שלא עשני גוי, שלא עשני עבד, שלא עשני אשה. Blessed are You… for You did not make me a gentile, … for not making me a slave, … for not making me a woman. What is so bad about…

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THE SECRET MOTIVE TO PASS LIFE’S TESTS

By Yosef Farhi | Oct 22, 2015

THE SECRET MOTIVE TO PASS LIFE’S TESTS Parashat Lech Lecha   We are all on this 120 year voyage through a world of tests and trials. One of Judaism’s core beliefs is that we get rewarded for passing tests. Not always do we have access to that inner power to overcome the challenges and temptations…

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SUKKAH CONTRADICTION

By Yosef Farhi | Oct 2, 2015

SUKKAH CONTRADICTION Sukkot has some sort of paradox in it. On the one hand, we are to go out to the hut and live a temporary lifestyle for a week, to internalize the lesson of temporariness in this world. On the other hand, there is a concept of תשבו כעין תדורו – the sukkah needs…

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THINGS vs. RELATIONSHIPS

By Yosef Farhi | Sep 26, 2015

THINGS vs. RELATIONSHIPS Sukkot There is a secret in happiness that is hidden in Sukkot. On Sukkot, we are commanded to be happy. But what if I am not? There is a mitzvah in Sukkot to make our families happy. There is a mitzvah on Sukkot to be happy with G-d. But what if I…

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THE LAW OF INFLUENCE AND PERSUASION

By Yosef Farhi | Jul 9, 2015

THE LAW OF INFLUENCE AND PERSUASION Parashat Pinhas The most powerful way to persuade and influence is to offer a vehicle that will get the person from his point A to his point B. Everyone has a point A, the place where they are at the moment. And everyone has a point B, the place…

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I WAS WRONG

By Yosef Farhi | Jul 1, 2015

I WAS WRONG Parashat Balak What are the two most important character traits needed for a healthy marriage? When asked by the shadchan what type of spouse you are looking for, make sure to stress these two characteristics that you need to find in your partner for life: Honesty and Responsibility. But how can one…

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HAPPY IN THE HOLOCAUST

By Yosef Farhi | Jun 25, 2015

HAPPY IN THE HOLOCAUST Parashat Hukat Everybody wants to be happy. Very few people are. One fellow says, “All I need is to get married, and then I can be happy”. His friend says back to him, “All I need is to get divorced, and then I can find happiness in life.” A third fellow…

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THE "F" PIRATES

By Yosef Farhi | Jun 18, 2015

THE “F” PIRATES Parashat Korah The emotions that control us the most are the emotions that we do not notice. Just awareness of an emotion is more than 50% of the solution. Many times, others can be more aware than we are of the emotions that are inhibiting us, because emotions are blind spots. This…

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EMOTION C3

By Yosef Farhi | Jun 11, 2015

EMOTION C3 Parashat Shlach  A  woman that one of my family members knows had three children. All girls. The woman was a bit bubbly, and when she was on her fourth pregnancy, she would tell her friends and acquaintances in a laughing manner, “If this child is also a girl, I will leave her in…

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YOLTO

By Yosef Farhi | Jun 4, 2015

YOLTO Parashat Behaalotcha Rebbi  Shimon said, Why didn’t G-d bring Mannah for the whole year at once? Why did G-d bring it in daily portions? It is similar to a king who would support his son by giving him all of his sustenance once a year. Then, the son visited his father only when there…

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TORAH LISHMAH – OUT OF THIS WORLD

By Yosef Farhi | May 13, 2015

TORAH LISHMAH – OUT OF THIS WORLD Parashat Behukotay The first Mishna in the sixth perek of Avot reads. כל העוסק בתורה לשמה זוכה לדברים הרבה ולא עוד אלא שכל העולם כלו כדי הוא לו . נקרא רע, אהוב וכו’  Anyone who learns Torah Lishmah, will merit many things. Not only that, but the entire…

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THE REAL ANSWER TO LIFE'S PROBLEMS

By Yosef Farhi | Apr 29, 2015

THE REAL ANSWER TO LIFE’S PROBLEMS Parashat Emor Ben Zoma said, “Who is wise? One who learns from all people. Who is mighty? One who overcomes his own Inclination. Who is rich? One who is happy with what he has. Who is honorable? One who honors others.” The commentators explain that Ben Zoma was asking…

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THE SIGN OF BELIEF

By Yosef Farhi | Apr 22, 2015

THE SIGN OF BELIEF Parashat Acharei Mot – Kedoshim  In order for a coach to be a good coach, a Rebbi to be a good Rebbi, a parent to be a good parent, and a boss be a good boss, he needs to look at his client, student, child, employee, as if they are wearing…

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HOW TO BECOME RICH AND FAMOUS – GUARANTEED!

By Yosef Farhi | Mar 3, 2015

HOW TO BECOME RICH AND FAMOUS – GUARANTEED! Purim The Megillah ends with a lesson to take with us throughout the year. But first, a bit of coaching. Here is a “gentile” definition of success, from one of the best master- coaches in the world. “Success is the ability to live your life the way…

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A LESSON FOR ALL LESSONS

By Yosef Farhi | Feb 25, 2015

   A LESSON FOR ALL LESSONS Purim /Tezaveh And  the king removed the ring from his hand, and he gave it to Haman, the  enemy of the Jews. (Esther 3 10) Our Rabbis teach that this act, the removing of Ahashverosh’s ring, was the catalyst that made the Jews repent. Despite the fact that the threat…

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A LESSON FROM A MEKUBAL

By Yosef Farhi | Feb 18, 2015

  A LESSON FROM A MEKUBAL Parashat Terumah I like this story, and not only because I am Sefardi. A certain X-Kollel guy went to a Mekubal. He was down about his spirituality, for although he was still learning Daf Hayomi and reviewing what he had learnt from his Yeshiva and Kollel years in his spare…

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THE CHICKEN NUGGET PIRATE

By Yosef Farhi | Feb 11, 2015

THE CHICKEN NUGGET PIRATE Parashat Mishpatim מדבר שקר תרחק Distance yourself from deceitful words. The Torah does not warn us to distance ourselves from any sin except this one: lying. What does this mean, to distance yourself from deceit? The Peleh Yoetz, on the word Sheker, gives us a gem for developing social skills. We…

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HE’S ON FIRE!!!

By Yosef Farhi | Feb 5, 2015

HE’S ON FIRE!!! Parashat Yitro A retired elderly couple sits on a bench at the Oceanside, watching the sunset. They say to each other, “If only this moment would never end!!” The couple feels that way, for they have finally reached the Golden Age. They have married off their kids, paid their mortgage and are…

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