Monday, May 29, 2017

The Mayanot Shul Shavuot Program

The Mayanot Shul is hosting all night Learning!
A wonderful community atmosphere, with light refreshments served. 
Commemorating the 50th Reunion of Jerusalem 

Tuesday May 30th, 2017
28 Narkis Street, Nachlaot Jerusalem
נרקיס 28, נחלאות ירושלים, בית כנסת מעיינות

(Each Class is 45 Minutes)

Workplace Halacha
Rabbi Ari Wasserman
12:00 Midnight

Jerusalem: From Conception To Resurrection
Rabbi Yaakov Moshe Poupko 
1:00 AM 

Jerusalem: Through The Prism Of Chassidut 
Rabbi Shlomo Gestetner
2:00 AM 

ליקוטי מהר''ן 
רבי אופיר שבח 
12:00 - 2:00 AM

"Making The Torah Real In My Life Time"
Rabbi Ami Weisz
Dr. Yoni Stanleigh
2:30 - 4:00 AM

NOTE: Shachrit at Mayanot begins at 9:15 AM 
For inquiries or to sponsor, please contact: [email protected] 

To join the Mayanot Shul Facebook Page and receive updates, click here.


Shavuot Kids Program at the Mayanot Shul
Shavuot Day: 
Wednesday May 31st 2017 
In the Main Shul Courtyard
10:30 - 11:45 AM

Program Includes:
Hear the Aseret Hadibrot (Taking place at 10:40 AM sharp in the Main Shul)
Refreshments and Prizes
Games and Activities
Story Time 

Sponsored In Memory Of:
Alta Shula Bat Yosef Yitzchak & Hinda Swerdlov 

We look forward to celebrating with you!

For any questions please email: [email protected]
Chag Shavuot Sameach!

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Kindness Coming Round Full Circle

It was 1987 and six young Yeshivah students, who were Shluchim at Ohr Elchonon in Los Angeles, decided, one day, to skip the Yeshiva lunch and dine at the Milky Way Restaurant on Pico Boulevard. 

The proprietor of the restaurant was impressed with the students, and in her signature generous spirit offered some special dishes ‘on the house’. However, she did more than just offer complementary delicacies to  the Yeshiva students;  she listened to them, discussed life with them and in general made these out-of-town young students totally welcome in her restaurant, as if it was her own home. What they soon learnt about Leah Adler, the proprietor of The Milky Way Restaurant, was that she was an extraordinarily kind, wise, and giving person.

Rabbi Kasriel Shemtov, executive director of the Maynot Institute of Jewish Studies, was one of those six shluchim. “Leah, or Lee Lee as she was known, cared personally for her customers she listened to their stories, to their problems and rejoiced in their joy”, he shared.  When he heard the sad news of her passing he knew that Mayanot should honor this unique person.
Born in Cincinnati, Leah developed a love of music, learning Piano at age five. She studied at the Music Conservatory and graduated from the University of Cincinnati. She opened her own art gallery in Scottsdale and later her restaurant in Los Angeles. In 1945 she married Arnold Meyer Spielberg, and they had four children — Steven, Anne, Sue and Nancy. She is survived by her children, her eleven grandchildren and five great grandchildren.

On Thursday, March 23rd, 2017, together with Rabbi Binyomin Lisbon, the founder of Kosher Supervision of America (KSA) in Los Angeles, a special Shloshim commemoration took place in loving memory of Leah ‘Lee Lee’ Adler at both the Mayanot Men’s and Women’s campuses. The Mayanot women’s program studied Mishnayos, in merit of Lee Lee. At the Men’s Program, the students all participated in a Siyum masechta and special fabrengen with several guest speakers who all knew the nifteres.

Rabbi Binyomin Lisbon, spoke at both events. As the Rav haMachshir of the restaurant, he knew Leah Adler very well and described her unique qualities and emphasized how we can all learn from her kindness, open heartedness and listening ear. “She was a gem of a human being” he said. “She had an incredible personality and truly made an impact on you, even if you only spent a short time with her.  Her character, her warmth of spirit, and her ma’asim tovim were remarkable”.

Moshe Stein shared the first time he and Leah both met the Lubavitcher Rebbe at the Machane Israel Fund talk in 1990, and how he spoke to Leah right after she met with the Rebbe in New York. “It was absolutely phenomenal”, he said. “Lee was really inspired by her meeting with the Rebbe, she was beaming like a ray of light, shining… I am so grateful for that memory”.

When Leah and Bernie Adler first desired to provide fine kosher dining in Los Angeles, they approached Rabbi Lisbon and told him they would only embark on this project, which at the time was uncharted waters, if they would receive a letter of blessing from the Lubavitcher Rebbe. The Rebbe’s letter is prominently displayed in the restaurant, to this day.

Faigy Zilberstein, an old friend of Lee Lee, was kind enough to come to Mayanot and share her memories with the students at the Women’s Program, which was greatly appreciated by all.

This special Shloshim event was coordinated with the help of Leah’s son-in-law and daughter, Shimon and Nancy Katz. The Mayanot family sends their condolences to Leah’s children and their spouses and their families; Steven Spielberg & Kate Capshaw, Shimon & Nancy Katz, Danny & Anne Opatoshu, and Jerry & Susan Pasternak, May they all be comforted with the mourners of Israel.

This summer Mayanot will be hosting over 4,000 Birthright Israel participants, and is dedicating the volunteer activities in Leah’s merit, the activities which so greatly reflect her life, l’zchus - Leah Faigel Bat Shraga Feivel. May her nesahmah have an aliyah and may her memory be a blessing and an inspiration for all of us!

Watch the video of the event, here.
For more information about Mayanot and its many learning programs please visit: 

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Women’s Israel Reunion on Yom Yerushalayim

The Mayanot Israel Alumni Women's Network gathered on Tuesday May 23rd, for their second meeting. Graciously, Mrs. Rivka Marga Gestetner, the Mayanot Women's Program educational director, offered her home for the gathering. 

It was fitting that the women's reunion occurred the evening of Yom Yerushalayim, celebrating the anniversary of 50 years of the reunification. The city was celebrating a reunion and so were the Mayanot women! It was a wonderful atmosphere, as all of the women who gathered, have made Aliyah themselves, building a life here, in Jerusalem. 

The group spanned several years of Mayanot alumni. Some students present had attended the very first year of the program, while others represented the most recent graduating class. It was wonderful catching up, and being able to hear what everyone is doing in their life, building families, careers and doing it in Israel. 
The new Scholar in residence, Mrs. Freidy Yanover shared Torah relating to Shavuot and was lucky enough to meet all of the Alumni in attendance. 

Mrs. Yanover eloquently spoke about receiving the Torah on Shavuot, the Jewish people's marriage to G-d, and our level of choice at Sinai & in our everyday lives. She shared how, "the Sinai experience is a feminine one, in that it’s fluid and not static. We may feel far at times, or even down, but we must always remember our relationship can never be ruptured, it can always be repaired."

Rivka Marga, whose hospitality is unparalleled, prepared a beautiful table including: cheesecake, homemade jam, granola, yogurt and wonderful platters of Israeli fruit. She fabrengened with the women regarding gratitude, sharing, "It's amazing that G-d gave us a neshamah (soul) but it's even more amazing that he let us know that we have a neshamah (soul)." 

Mayanot thanks all the women that came out and participated in this wonderful evening of sharing, fabrenging and learning, and hope that this beautiful tradition of gathering to learn, and reconnecting only continues! 

To find out more about hosting Mayanot alumni events in your city, please contact: [email protected] 

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

A Personal Account of S'firat Ha'Omer

Sharing what a Mayanot Women's Program student has learnt about this period of time, between Passover and Shavuot, and how it can impact our lives in a practical way. 

Written by: Lauren Buckman

We are currently in the period of S'firat Ha'Omer, the Counting of the Omer. The 49 day count starts on the second day of Passover and ends on Shavuot, the holiday celebrating the giving of the Torah. Back in Temple times, the seven weeks were counted from the day the barley offering was brought to the day the wheat offering was given on Shavuot. These 49 days also correspond to the seven expressions of our seven characteristics, which we work to strengthen in order to prepare ourselves to receive the Torah on the holiday of Shavuot. 

Why? When we were slaves in Egypt we sank to the 49th level of spirituality (the 50th level being the lowest level of which there is no return). Let’s just say we were not people to be proud of... G-d gave us ten miracles (the Ten Plagues), we saw them, and then we went on our merry ways. We did not internalize what was happening around us and were not grateful to G-d for what he was doing for our people. 

Alas, we were about to reach the lowest level when G-d freed us from Egypt. We left Egypt on the morning following the Seder (the first Passover Seder in history) and seven days later we crossed the Reed Sea. 
We were out. We were free people. Gone were the days of slavery in Egypt. 

Why did G-d really save us from the hands of Pharaoh and the Egyptians? 
It wasn’t just to be free physically, perpetually wandering the desert, but to be free Jews. We left slavery specifically to receive the Torah at Mount Sinai and practice the faith of our people. And this is what the Jewish people have been trying to do ever since. Not only to be Jews, but to be practicing, thriving, progressive Jews. 

Now, during the counting, we are on a journey to take full advantage of the miracles of Pesach and each of the miracles we experience every day: waking up in the morning, every breath we take, and every opportunity we get to do good in this world. 

The circumstances of today would be unimaginable to our ancestors. For thousands of years, Jews have faced persecution in order to practice our religion. We were exiled from our land and only until very recently do we have our own state (as of 69 years ago). Now we have a place to call home which is very accessible, we have religious freedom in the countries where we live, we have the unimaginable. I cannot even begin to tell you how fortunate I feel to be living in Eretz Yisrael, with the freedom to study Torah and do Mitzvot. 

I look forward to these final weeks, soaking up as much of Israel and Torah as I can, to ultimately bring this light home and around the world.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

A Newfound Love of Israel

Some of the Birthright Israel: Mayanot students (L-R) 
Aviel Yashar, Eli Polikar, Shahar Zuckerman, Emily Franklin, and Esther Amram. 

There is something special about Birthright Israel: Mayanot trips to Israel

After many months of anticipation, we were finally on our way on our trip to Israel through Birthright Israel: Mayanot. When word spread that our flight to Israel was delayed about 10 hours, a wave of frustration spread through our group. Israel was having its worst snowstorm in decades-at the very same time as our scheduled flight. There was talk that we'd be stuck at Kennedy airport in New York for those long hours, and that our new flight would be so early we wouldn't even have time to sleep. While the latter was true, Rabbi Chaim Lipskier stood in line for us at a service desk and after a couple of hours managed to get our whole group accommodations for the night, as well as vouchers for the hotel and airport. Seeing our rabbi's sincerity and concern was early proof that I chose well by going on Birthright Israel: Mayanot with Chabad at UCF.

That night was a better mixer than anything that could have been planned. While some chose to save their vouchers, most of us spent quality time with each other and mingled away. Afterward, our group naturally split into those that wanted to rest and those that were going to save the slumber for our early morning flight. I spent that night with a few people who were initially strangers and later became my best friends on the trip.

Israel was absolutely breathtaking. Florida's flat terrain has allowed us to build all over it, and civilization dominates the land. In Israel it is nothing like this. The people and the land are married, and their civilization is integrated.

As you travel, you find yourself looking up and down to see other cities. The sight of windy roads and buildings sprinkled all over the mountains rendered me speechless. Each of Israel's cities has its own personality; Tel-Aviv offers beautiful architecture, a heavenly beach and modern culture, while Jerusalem carries a holiness as ancient as its stone foundation.

On our Birthright Israel trip, eight Israeli soldiers stayed with us. Although they've lived in Israel their whole lives, they realized they'd never seen the country in the way that they saw it with our group. Our tour guide, Daniel, an American who made aliyah, exposed the richness of the land to us at every stop so we could see it with more than just our eyes. Daniel passed his passion on to us and we developed an appreciation for the land as well as for each other. Our group embodied the meaning of misphakha (family). We connected like we'd known each other for months although we'd only just met.

My favorite moments in Israel were the intimate farbrengens and group discussions with the Chabad rabbis. Speaking with other Birthright Israel groups made it clear that there was something special about Mayanot trips. I came home with a newfound appreciation for Judaism, after learning how much more there is to the Jewish heritage than faith. It's a culture, a history, and a privilege to be a part of. I have immeasurable gratitude to the donors of Birthright Israel: Mayanot, our loving staff member Tal, and especially our UCF Chabad Rabbi. The experience would not have been the same without them.

Written by: Aviel Yashar, Birthright Israel: Mayanot Participant 2014

Monday, May 1, 2017

Mayanot Alumni Wins First Place Prize!

We are very proud to announce that Moishe Chakoff, our Mayanot Men's Program Alumni recently won first place in the Meaningful Life Center MyLife Essay Contest, taking home $10,000 for his incredible and insightful chassidut essay.
We offer him a heartfelt Mazal Tov for this wonderful accomplishment.

We also want to include an honorable shutout to Hadassah Silberstein, our Mayanot Women's Program Alumna who won third place prize and took home $1,000. View her essay here.

Please find Moshe's winning essay below, as seen via: MLC

Trees and Maps: How to Stop Being a People Pleaser

by Moishe Chakoff
MyLife Essay Contest 2017

The expression “people-pleaser” may seem like an innocuous phrase to describe a very nice person. In truth, it describes a psychological disorder wherein individuals feel they must say “yes” when they really want to and should say “no”. The Giving-Tree by Shel Silverstein illustrates the mentality of people-pleasing very clearly.  The Giving Tree tells the story of a young boy that befriends a tree.  During the boy’s lifetime, he asks the tree to provide him with various materials for his benefit. In different stages, the tree gives up all its apples, leaves, bark, branches and trunk. By the time the boy becomes an old man, all that’s left of the tree is a stump for him to sit on. [1]
People-pleasers feel they must ALWAYS be helpful, regardless if they are overextending themselves in their generosity [2].  Psychologists believe this “Giving-Tree” mentality stems from an acute fear of isolation and rejection, wherein acts of “kindness” are really a ruse to cover-up negative feelings [3]. Over time, this behavior could lead to severe physical and psychological problems.
Chassidus not only gives the tools to curb people-pleasing tendencies, but also can teach a person how to transcend their fears of isolation and rejection. To achieve these goals, this essay will conduct personality profiles of Abraham Isaac and Ishmael, and analyze the beginning lines of the Shulchan Aruch based on the teachings of Chassidus. The terms Chesed, Gevurah, Tohu, Tikkun and Sheviras haKeilim will also be explained.
The practical application of this essay will be based on a unique “M.A.P.”.  This M.A.P. will help a person understand their Motivations (M), adopt a healthy course of Action (A), and help a person stand up for their core Principles (P) and beliefs in the face of adversity [4].

Abraham and Isaac- Healthy Chesed

Abraham is the personification of kindness in the Torah. He would find travelers to invite into his tent to eat, drink, and sleep if they needed lodging. He even cared about wicked people, as evidenced in his prayer for the citizens of Sodom and Gomorrah.
What is kindness? What compels someone to care for other people? Chesed, which is the term for kindness used in Chassidus, means much more than the willingness to do a favor. When a person is truly kind, he (a) has an inherent desire for kindness, (b) he will give no matter how great or small someone is, and (c) it pains him when there is no one to share his kindness with. Chesed was Abraham’s defining attribute because he had all three qualifications. Thus, he gave of himself completely with his body, soul and material resources [5].
Even within this unparalleled kindness towards strangers, Abraham did not neglect himself. We see this in the fact that Abraham practiced Tzedakah within the context of Mishpat [6]. Tzedakah refers to the obligation of giving to those in need; Mishpat means to be exacting like a judge. The way Avraham gave was measured; first he determined exactly how much he needed (and he did that with a strong judgment, taking for himself only the bare minimum), and ONLY THEN did he give away the remainder of what he had (i.e. money, food, attention etc.) to others. Though Abraham gave his all to others, 1) his giving was a result of his humility and total devotion to G-d; it came from strength not weakness, 2) he did so not in a reckless way, but in a way where he left enough for himself to survive. When a person is humbly dedicated to G-d they know exactly what they need, and they can then give of themselves completely. A truly kind person is not a doormat for people to trample over. A truly kind person knows how to take care of themselves as they are taking care of others. [7]

Questions for consideration:

-What motivates a people-pleaser to be giving? Is it because of their inner desire to contribute to the world? Or is it from a place of weakness, because they don’t want people to think of them as selfish [8]?
 -Do I prioritize my own needs, or have I neglected them because of my giving-tree mentality?
We see from Abraham’s younger son Isaac, who was the personification of restraint (Gevurah in Hebrew) in Torah, that controlling the amount one gives can bring about the greatest Chesed. Think of drip-irrigation [9]. Too much water damages plants, and ultimately wastes water. Drip-irrigation delivers precise droplets to plants throughout the day, giving a plant the exact amount of nutrients it needs. This system also promotes great water conservation. Although it seems harsh to give small drops of water to plants, in truth it is best for them to receive exactly what they need to maximize their growth.
 So too in giving to another person, giving can turn into too much giving. Sometimes it is better to say “no” to doing favors for others [10].

Thought for Consideration:

Think of how saying no (to others asking you for favors) can be beneficial.
Ishmael-Unhealthy Chesed
Isaac successfully integrated measured giving into his life. Abraham’s eldest son, Ishmael, was not able to do so. Chassidus explains that his main mode of expression was Chesed, but it was totally out of control. How could it be that Ishmael was so much like his father (who was also recognized by the attribute of Chesed), yet so different?
There are two modes of spiritual reality known as Tohu, and TikkunTohu can be described as a world of many points, in which the points are unable to touch or tolerate each other [11]. Tohu gives the ability for one “point” to feel separate from all other, and separate from G-d. These separate points also “usurp” the feeling of G-d’s absolute existence and act as if G-d’s existence is their own [12]. In our own lives, a person experiences a state of Tohu when they are being self-centered, and therefore cannot tolerate others.
The inability of different entities to blend together in Tohu creates a Sheviras HaKelim, or shattering of vessels. Tikkun takes these shattered (intolerant) pieces, and puts them together in a way that they cooperate with each other.
Imagine yourself trying to complete a 1000-piece puzzle. The best way to complete the puzzle is to have the cover of the puzzle-box as a reference. The box shows the “bigger picture” of what the separate pieces look like when they fit together. So too, Tikkun unifies all the shattered pieces from Tohu and shows them how to “fit” together. [13]
Ishmael is the embodiment of Chesed in Tohu, which is Chesed in the extreme. He needed to show people how kind he was, because his entire existence was being threatened if he was perceived as miserly. This is precisely why he went overboard with his generosity. [14]

Thoughts for Consideration:

-People-Pleasers go overboard with their giving because they expect to be rejected [15].
– “When you constantly give of yourself to your friends and family and do not permit others to give back in return, you are being manipulative and rejecting”. “Your motives for giving will ultimately be suspect” [16].

Pleasure Through Opposites

To heal Ishmael’s chaotic kindness, Chassidus advises Ishmael to begin Music Therapy.
To preface, the peoples of the Eastern Lands (particularly India and the Middle-East) are descendants of Ishmael. The uniqueness of a culture can be found in its music. Whereas Western music (Europe) is characterized by its joyful and sweet sound, Eastern music expresses bitterness and yearning [17].
It may seem odd that Ishmael would enjoy bitter music, because Chesed is associated with feelings of joy.
The truth is that pleasure comes from opposites. For example, during the summer heat, cold water is more pleasurable than hot tea. During a cold winter, hot tea is more pleasurable than cold water.   Ishmael finds this “cold”, bitter music pleasurable because it quenches his “hot”, vigorous nature. [18]

Healing through Opposites

The Zohar tells us that within the Jewish people there are two distinct types of souls: Abraham souls and Isaac souls. When the Jewish people were exiled, the Abraham souls were exiled to the West and Isaac souls were exiled to the East. These souls descended into their geographical positions to heal their surroundings, and one of the most potent methods of healing is through music. Chassidus explains that the Isaac souls took the music of their adopted lands, stripped it of its extreme and selfish nature, and exchanged it with expressions and feelings of the soul [19].
In other words, secular music expresses emotions that we already have [i.e. love songs express feelings of love, joyful songs express happiness etc.]; Jewish music expresses the soul’s emotions, which we yearn to have [20].
By listening to the soul melodies of Sephardic Jewry (Isaac souls from the Middle East and Asia), one may be able to modify their people-pleasing behaviors. It may also be beneficial to listen to certain Niggunim (Chassidic melodies) that express bitterness and yearning of the soul.

A Foundation for Life

Because of their fear of rejection, People-pleasers could end up compromising on their core principles so people will like them. This is a historical and psychological truth Jews have dealt with throughout history. Some Jews abandoned Judaism due to fear of becoming social pariahs. The problem with this approach is that there are some people who will not like you no matter how nice you are to them [21]. On the other hand, most people have a tremendous amount of respect for people who stand up for who they are and what they believe in. What can a people-pleaser do to rid themselves of their fears of being rejected, and stand by their principles?
The Torah was acutely aware of the fear of rejection and isolation, and addressed it at the very beginning of the Shulchan Aruch. The Shulchan Aruch is the authentic four volume guidebook that lays out the details of how to conduct oneself based on Torah principles. In the opening lines of Shulchan Aruch, we are instructed to “not be ashamed by people that mock you” [22]. It begins this way to hint to the fact that all 4 volumes of The Shulchan Aruch are dependent on this instruction.
How does one fulfill this axiomatic Torah mandate? Especially for a people-pleaser, it seems easier said than done. The answer is found a little bit later in the Shulchan Aruch, which quotes King David who stated, “I have placed G-d before me always; because He is my right hand, I shall not falter” [23].
Most people overcome moral dilemmas when they know someone or a group of people are supporting them. The Shulchan Aruch teaches us that if one meditates on the fact that G-d is always with them, they will be much more confident about overcoming any challenges; they will be cognizant of that fact that they have an unlimited amount of support from the Source of All Life (which is G-d) when they face adversity. Through this meditation, one can be freed of their fear of isolation and rejection, because they know G-d will never abandon them [24].

Draw a M.A.P.-Chart your course

Based on the above, one can now draw their own personal M.A.P. to navigate their way out of a “Giving-Tree” lifestyle:
First, consider your motivations for doing acts of kindness
Ask yourself, “Am I generous because it is integral to my life’s mission, or am I doing it to cover-up anxieties and fears”? Make an honest accounting.
After you make an honest accounting, adopt a healthy course of action in the order prescribed below
(1) Make a list of what you need for your physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. Check off which needs are being met and which require attention.
(2) Start a system of giving in a measured way, beginning with money. Use the Shulchan Aruch as a guide, which instructs us to give a minimum of one-tenth or a maximum one-fifth of our salaries. Learn the end of Chapter 34 of Tanya, which explains the spiritual significance of the latter type of giving [25]. Use this as a springboard for others areas of your life where your generosity is overextended.
(3) Download Sephardic and Chassidic music onto your iPod. Listen periodically throughout the day to temper your people-pleasing tendencies.
After making a course of action, move to step (P), which will prepare you for the times the (M) and (A) sections of your M.A.P. will be challenged
In the mornings, study chapter 33 of Tanya to understand how G-d never abandons you, and is with you in your attempts to do the right thing [26].

Final thought: Be A Tree!

The Torah tells us that “Man is a tree of the field” [27]. A healthy tree is always growing, and it produces good fruits. These fruits have seeds to produce more trees like it.
The life-lesson here is that a person should always be growing and adding positivity to their life [28]. In this way, people will not only be “pleased” by you, but they will also try to emulate you.  By following your personal M.A.P. and thinking about this concept, one can be a true Giving-Tree.


  1. See the article “THE GIVING TREE AT FIFTY: SADDER THAN I REMEMBERED” by Ruth Margalit, which tells of the dark nature of this popular children’s book.
  1. There are different levels of people-pleasing. The Disease to Please by Dr. Harriet B. Braiker has a helpful survey to determine how much of a people-pleaser an individual may be.
  2. The Disease to Please, Pages 9 and 32
  3. To my knowledge, this acronym is wholly unique to this essay
  4. See Kuntreis BarMitzvah 5653 Pages 28-29, Maamar Isa B’Midrash Tilim; also, Archos Tsaddikim Gate 17
  5. Book of Genesis 18:19
  6. This paragraph is based on Likkutei Sichos Volume 25 ,2nd Sicho of Parshas Vayeira page 84. See the entire Sicho  there pages 79-85.
  7. The Disease to Please, Page 8
  8. Let There Be Water by Seth M. Siegel Pages 63-65; This example is based on Tractate Taanis 23a, which tells the story of Choni HaMagal praying for rain
  9. See Likkutei Sichos Volume 20, 1st Sicho on Parshas Toldos, Page 100-107, which shows how Isaac brought about the greatest expression of Chesed through the channel of Gevurah.
  10. Torah Ohr Beshalach 65d
  11. Sefer HaMaamarim 5685 Page 109
  12. See footnote 11
  13. Toras Chaim Toldos 4b. See Likkutei Torah Eikev 18a. Torah Ohr Beshalach 63b. One term used to describe Ishmael is Gasus Ruach. This word can be understood as a description of someone who is full of himself or arrogant. It can also be understood as someone who desires to be significant or accepted. In this way, Gasus Ruach is an apt term to describe a people pleaser. For a definition of Gasus Ruach, see Getting Past Depression by Getting Past Yourself by Aryeh Gurwitz
  14. The Disease to Please Page 39-40
  15. Ibid direct quotes from Page 48
  16. We see also this in Western and Eastern foods; Western foods are sweet, and eastern foods are more bitter/spicy
  17. Shaarei Teshuva 89d,
  18. See Ibid
  19. See Rabbi Manis & Benny Friedman – Ke’ayol Ta’arog,
  20. The Stress expert Dr. Hans Selye accepted the approach of altruistic egoism, that a person should be generous to others because of the stress that results from making enemies. He qualified this approach with the caveat that you cannot please all the people all the time, especially those that are out for personal vendetta and those that are vehemently hateful or prejudiced (The Stress of Life, Pages 452-456, and The Disease to Please Page 36-37). In this vein, the German writer Max Nordau once commented, “The Jews are not hated because they have evil qualities; evil qualities are sought for them, because they are hated” (The Great Thoughts by George Seldes Page 313).
  21. See the Rema’s notes at the beginning of Shulchan Aruch; see also Reb Mendel, Sipuro shel Chassid, Mashpia u’Mkushar pages 142-143
  22. Tehillim 16:8
  23. Sichos Kodesh 5739 Acharon Shel Pesach, Pages 507-516. also, Sefer HaMaamarim Meluket Gimmel page 119-124
  24. Someone who understands Hebrew can also meditate on Likutei Torah, Shir haShirim page 6d-7a
  25. See the Mylife Essay “Anxiety and Chassidus” by Rabbi Yosef Malkin,
  26. Book of Deuteronomy 20:19
  27. Shevach HaMoadim, Tu b’Shvat Page 118, based on Likutei Sichos Volume 31 page 241
For the full list on winners and finalists, see more.
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