Yichud Shiur and Meditation Experiment

Had to reinvent this site again when it got deleted during a hosting move. But enough of the geek talk, this just means that I lost a number of posts, and now the site looks different. But thank God, I think it looks a lot nicer. And it has a pic of a flower from my backyard.

I haven’t given a Chassidus/Kabbalah whatever intro shiur in a while. I was thinking of giving a whole Corona shiur.. and I didn’t, for the various reasons.

This shiur has nothing to do with that. But the experiment ties into this week’s parshah, and I went with it, even though I’m actually going to start teaching again this week. (I think.)

Yichud Meditation Experiment

Go ahead and leave a comment. I dare you.

My New Site

Hello, been a long time since I’ve posted…
I finished my degree, and I’m putting my energies into that… Here’s my new site: ShmuelElbinger.com You can sign up for the email list to that… the focus is more on therapy than Torah in the new blog…. Let me know what you think! Thanks!

Torah and Psychology II? – Surprise!

Is this the prequel or the sequel to my Torah Psychology article? I’ll let you be the judge, but I’m definitely asking for your opinion about the topic covered.
I hope to take you for a bit of a ride with this article. I’m going to start with an amazing d’var Torah that gives tremendous insight into ourselves, what it takes to be a leader, and the different stages of spiritual development.

Continue reading “Torah and Psychology II? – Surprise!”

Torah and Psychology?

Do I hold of Torah psychology? First lets define terms. Does the concept of Torah psychology exist?
Nowadays, people have issues. It’s debatable whether they always had them, they only just started noticing they have them, or they always had them but now we have a lot more people having a lot more issues. But the bottom line is that lots of people have serious issues they need help with, and Jewish folk are not immune at all.

Continue reading “Torah and Psychology?”

Really Ancient Wisdom

This is an ancient practice I’ve committed to doing for almost six times a week on average… See the article below from the Journal of Chinese  Medicine for all the extra benefits: spiritual and mental clarity, memory improvement, and stress relief – all these acupuncture points are activated. The true spiritual benefits are immeasurable.
I’m presenting you the article here in full with permission of the Journal of Chinese Medicine. My new friend Rabbi Ariel Tvito sent me the pdf. (The editor generously gave me permission to display it, even though the hard copy price is $6.60 for archived articles.)
Journal of Chinese Medicine on Tefillin

Ho’da’ah – Gratitude – Saving the World, Part 2

Here’s the second installment of the last exciting article:

What are We Missing?

The secret is this:
The true nature of ho’da’ah and the connection between admission and gratitude, is the recognition of personal chisaron, deficiency and imperfection. It is taking ownership of what one is missing. Both thanks and admission of guilt flow from this concept.
But why is this so central to our personal growth, and the rectification of the whole universe?

Continue reading “Ho’da’ah – Gratitude – Saving the World, Part 2”

Ho'da'ah – Gratitude – Saving the World, Part 1

I’ve mentioned that I’m in a course that teaches using Torah principles in counseling and couching. My coaching buddy “Medium sized Mike,” has been encouraging me to go forward on my writing projects. One of them was a little pamphlet I’d like to publish on Ho’da’ah. It’s based on a talk I gave at a siyum, which I probably won’t post on the blog. It’s a really good first time little publication idea.
So he wouldn’t let me alone about it (I mean, he was very positive and encouraging, and we worked on techniques to help with writer’s block – in this case procrastination etc…) Well, the major second draft is done! So I’m going to post it up in a few installments so I can get your feedback before I polish it. When I’m done I’ll give it its own page.
Here goes:

Gratitude – The Key to Personal Power, the Love of Self and Others, and Saving the World

Continue reading “Ho'da'ah – Gratitude – Saving the World, Part 1”

The Lev Aryeh Chumrah Song Vs. the Aveirah Song, A Common Theme?

From Aveirahs to Chumrahs in 60 Seconds

If you read my long meandering About page, you may know that I learn with guys at Yeshivas Lev Aryeh. Amongst the minor financial rewards, and great spiritual rewards, are the minor perks, like spying on the creative process involved with putting together Lev Aryeh’s famous new viral youtube videos, the Purim release The Aveirah Song, and the new just for fun summer release: The Chumrah Song – the official sequel to The Aveirah Song. (Warning – Looking at youtube may be dangerous to your spiritual health, so probably it’s better to view them using the links below. I put the lyrics for both of the songs at the bottom of the post as an extra service.)

The Aveirah Song   vs.
Lev Aryeh – The Chumrah Song


I got a gander at lots of silly clips that didn’t make it into the video. I heard how the donkey was obtained, and then made a hasty retreat when the baby tried to nuzzle me. (I’m ok with animals I guess, but I didn’t want it to eat my tzitzis. And as Dr. Suess said, “I’m not your Mommy.”)
More interestingly, I read the first draft of the new song, written by “B,” and was privy to hear some of the weeding process (A lot of the lines were too lomdish – to obscure – for the uneducated masses). “B,” (who I’m sure wouldn’t mind if I disclosed his first name but still I didn’t get permission) is the head talent behind the videos. He’s the producer, writer, director, and main actor for the character he created. He’s got a good, yiddeshe kop, not just for silliness, but as a solid “learner.” The man has a notebook on Baba Basra as thick as a phone book. He’s not just a letz (clown).

The Lesson Behind the Lev Aryeh Videos

So I pointed out to him “I love how the character is still the same guy… I mean, he hasn’t learned anything really – before he was bragging about his big aveirahs, and now he’s bragging about his big chumrahs. No real spiritual development there. He’s still a show-off.”
B. concurred. “You’re one of the only guys who gets this!” he affirmed, (It was early on in the game.) “That’s really the whole idea.”
The contrast between the two videos is shtark mussar (a real lesson) for us all. The point is not to put down, malign or deride any particular group of people (unlike some satirical Jewish blogs may or may not think) – just ask the boys. It’s just done in silliness, a spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down…. but the hidden message is deep, yet right in our faces.
We laugh at the character in the vid, but how much of our behavior is driven by our deeper values, and how much of it is moved by a need for approval or ego gratification? Are all of our mitzvahs so completely l’shmah (for the sake of heaven) – sometimes even our aveirahs aren’t l’shmah (for their own sake)! B.’s character is really funny, and the songs and videos are extremely entertaining, but the message hits close to home. “Eizah hu chacham, ha’lomed m’kol adam.” Who is wise, one who learns from every man… 
This includes what not to do from the videos’ character, and it includes the wisdom of the young Lev Aryeh bachrim behind him.

The Aveirah Song Lyrics:

Every song needs an introduction… because…
CHORUS
A song without an introduction,
Is like chicken soup without no lukshen,
My producer just looked at me and nodded,
I think he wants me to get started.
Testing, testing, aintz tzvai, drai
I eat a gid hanasheh every bite,
I put on my left shoe before my right,
You think I don’t do aveiros? Don’t even wonder,
I never make a brucheh when I hear the thunder,
My wife wears a sheitel, not a tichel,
I eat the herring without the kichel,
I drink every night ad delo yudeh,
I never sing zemiros at the shabbos sudeh,
I hang around with a goyishe oilem,
I never do bikur cholim,
Yeah I hang out with goyim vus iz nisht gemalet,
I don’t put on my paper, beis samech daled.
CHORUS
I spoke to my goyishe friend named Boris,
He wrote me up this little chorus,
It breaks up the song so it doesn’t get boring,
And now we’ll continue with the recording.
I go to shul and I’m just chillin,
I only put on one pair of tefillin,
I never cry when I go to levayos,
I eat the matzah, less than a kezayis,
I don’t even care about chulev stam,
I don’t even like be’er mayim chayim,
I go to the games with Derek Jeter,
I always get married during sefira,
I do aveiros, oid ve’oid,
I never go on trips on chol hamo’ed,
I never daven tefillah be’tzibur,
I listen to the tapes, from Justin Bieber.
CHORUS
I cruise around in my ’05 Taurus,
Blasting out the second chorus,
I feel like I’m rocking up the whole joint,
And now we’re at the halfway point.
I’m such a goy, vus hut du getracht,
I learn the gantzeh nittel nacht,
Chassidim and rebbes are not my types,
I wear the tzitzis without the stripes,
I always say lashon hara,
All my friends do avodah zara,
I’m such a tzioni, I sing Hatikva,
I don’t even pay when I use the mikva,
I changed my name to Sam, from Shmuel,
I don’t even like Eretz Yisrooel,
I don’t ask for a shidduch when I go to Amukah,
I give more than a choimesh to tzedukeh,
I use the Internet for the news,
I do birkas kohanim with my shoes.
CHORUS
Don’t turn it down, don’t ignore us,
Listen up to the final chorus,
I haven’t yet showed you all my cards,
Mir halt shoin by the line fun twenty yards.
I do shnayim mikra without the targum,
When I see an Amaleiki I would never harg him,
I’m the biggest ba’al aveiros in the velt,
I never give my kids any chanuka gelt,
My esrog is always full of black dots,
I always make a brucheh when I wash urchatz,
I eat in the sukkah on Sh’mini Atzeres,
I toivel in the mikvah holding a sheretz,
By Haman’s name I always cheer,
By shulem zuchers I only drink root beer,
By the Purim shpiel I never laugh,
For afikomen I use the smaller half,
I only drink gimmel koises,
I eat tons of marror without charoises,
Rosh Hashana by simanim I eat the shvantz,
By my chasunah I had an aveirah tantz.
CHORUS
Too much of your time I’m already spending,
So now I’m gonna take you to the ending,
I hope you like and I hope you enjoy,
This song about a yid who thinks he’s a goy.

The Chumrah Song Lyrics:

I never shave, not even with a trimmer,
I keep the Three Weeks ah gantzeh zimmer,
I bring a mezuzah wherever I travel,
I tie knots in my tzitzis so it doesn’t unravel,
I am so frum, that everyone is jealous,
I say lashon hara all day, lito’eles,
I switched tuna bagels for cream cheese and lox,
When I see a car on Shabbos, I throw at it rocks,
If a lady is driving I never yield,
When the Rebbe throws apples I play left field,
I don’t learn gemara ‘cuz goyim lived in Bavel,
I cover all my mirrors just in case I’m an avel.
CHORUS
I didn’t look in a thesaurus,
So I have no words to put in the chorus,
I’ll just tell you more ’bout what a tzaddik I am,
All of the mitzvos that I’m mekayem.
When I go to the mikvah I turn off the heater,
I don’t even know who is Derek Jeter,
And when I go to the mikvah, to make sure it cleanses,
I pull out my teeth and take out my lenses,
If my wife boils water that’s not Badatz,
I make her buy a new set of pots,
I don’t put chrein on fish, of any species,
‘Cuz I’m choishesh for bishul, even from kli shlishis,
If I see a sheretz I would never touch him,
‘Cuz when mashiach comes I’ll have to eat kodshim,
Between fish and meat I drink a bottle of bourbon,
I knocked down my whole house, zecher l’churban.
CHORUS
As you can tell, I’m Hassidic,
So I don’t know how to write a lyric,
So I’ll just sing, and you’ll get a rush of,
Respect for me, ‘cuz I’m so chashuv.
I stole a diamond ring from my Tante Bailah,
Just to be mekayem “Vehaishiv es hag’zailah”,
I eat chulent yeder murgen, mitt-tug, un nacht,
I walk in the ga’as with my oigen farmacht,
I teach my kids that ham is mee’yis,
I don’t mish on Paiysach, or Sikkis, or Shvee’is,
Pesach Sheini I use a new set of keilim,
I don’t play chess, ‘cuz the king has a tzeilim,
I don’t eat marror, ‘cuz I’m choishesh for bugs,
When I see my bubby I don’t give her hugs,
My shiur for matzah is fifty k’beitzim,
I sit down everywhere, that’s not a moishav leitzim.
CHORUS
There’s a goy named Boris, but I don’t know him,
So he didn’t write for me a poem,
Instead I got help from a yid named Baruch,
To write my own chelek of Shulchan Aruch.
When my wife buys a sheitel I pour on it bleach,
On the maps in my house I cross out the beach,
I daven shiminessra for at least an hour,
I wear my koppel when I take a shower,
I beat up my kid if he’s not the best in his kittah,
Everything I do, I do it b’shittah,
By Reishis Hagez I give more than reishis,
By Aishes Chayil I don’t say “Aishes”,
In the sukkah I make sure to keep my toes in,
By the Kosel I rip everyone’s hoizen,
L’chumrah, I made all my kids become gayrim,
Every day I put like ten people in cheirim.
CHORUS
I really didn’t write anything for this one,
Yada bada booda, something something…
On my phone I have an anti-Internet app,
And from now on I don’t sing my songs in rap.