Let us start the New Year as new people. The idea of the new year is to leave behind all the negative aspects of ourselves and the previous year and begin anew.  May we be helped from Above to shake off any connection to unhappiness, negativity, unholiness and anything that prevents us from serving the Almighty with true joy. Let us already imagine ourselves in a new world: the world of Moshiach. As Chassidus explains: You are where your thoughts are.


We are approaching the Jewish new year, Rosh Hashanah. It is customary to wish each other a “shana tova umetuka”, a good, sweet new year. Many people simply say “shana tova”, a good new year. But the Lubavitcher Rebbe insisted on using the word “metukah”, sweet. Why? Because the idea of a sweet new year is the idea of sweetening any harshness or judgments.  May this new year truly be a healthy, happy, sweet new year for all.


We are now entering the Hebrew month of Elul, the month that is an acronym for “ Ani l’dodi, v’dodi li” (I am to my beloved, my beloved is to me). It is a month when Hashem is very close to us and accepts our prayers with a happy face. It is the month of the King in the field. A parable is told about a King who goes into the field to greet his subjects on their level.


I would venture to say that we are a generation of addicts. Everyone is addicted to something: some are addicted to drugs or liquor, others are addicted to their desires that they feel unable to control, some are addicted to eating or smoking, and most people in today’s society are addicted to their cell phones, computer screens and technology.  Why are we all so addicted?  What is it about life that has turned us into “addicts”?


Now we are entering the three weeks, the time the Jewish nation mourns the destruction of our holy Beis Hamikdash in Jerusalem.  We know that one of the main ideas during these three weeks is to increase in love and unity in order to correct the sin of baseless hatred which caused the destruction. 


Do we truly value life?  I think this requires true introspection.  If we view life as dispensable, or if we feel there is justification in killing someone (other than in self defense), then we do not really value life.  And why do we not? Because we forget Who gives life. We forget that the Almighty created us, created the entire universe, and He is the One Who bestows life upon His creations.


Today is the special day of Gimmel Tamuz, the day that our Rebbe, the Lubavitcher Rebbe, was concealed from us until the coming of Moshiach.   But what can we do to connect with the Rebbe? We can learn the Rebbe’s teachings of chassidus, follow the Rebbe’s ways and fulfill the Rebbe’s directives. Perhaps the most important directive from the Rebbe was about loving every Jew unconditionally. And this is what our generation finds difficult.


There are a number of Turkish tv series on internet these days which are blatantly anti semitic. They twist around the Torah and make it sound like Avraham sacrificed Yishmael rather than Yitzchak (Hashem yirachem).


Today’s lifestyle has become all about zoom.   I do amit that zoom is a good online platform to have classes and to get together with friends, family etc.


I was thinking about how the entire world is now wearing masks.  What is a mask? It hides who you are. On Purim, there is a custom for us to wear masks. The mask hides our face but allows us to reveal another aspect of ourselves.  In life we all wear masks on a spiritual level. We pretend many things in order to fit into society, or to get approval from others, or to make ourselves happy etc. etc.

Subscribe to