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Chaos in the kitchen!

Friday, 6 September, 2019 - 9:44 am

Tuesday morning, while Chavie was up in Kalispell celebrating the Bris of Montana’s newest Menachem Mendel, born to Rabbi Shneur and Chana’le Wolf, I was in our Bozeman kitchen, wrapped in my Talis and Tefillin, trying to sneak in an Amidah prayer amidst the morning chaos of the kids' first school day. I made it almost to the end where we pray for peace and unity, when rather rapidly things got noisy. Zeesy began an activity of scratching the rice off of the bottom of soaking pot from Monday’s dinner, Menny found it important to pull on my pants while asking me about the content of his lunchbox and Chana Laya was on the other side of the room playing with a salt shaker, which normally doesn’t bring about kitchen cleanliness. I was trying to Daven but it was hard, I gave it my everything, with extra Kavana, focus, so that I don’t drop G-d mid-sentence.

It’s hard to stay focused.

In this week’s Torah portion, Shoftim, we read about prophets. A key factor in recognizing the holiness of a prophet or their falsehood, is whether they bring you closer to G-d or pull you further away. It’s a fairly simple mechanism: when a man or woman claiming to be Divinely inspired, helps us focus more on Hashem’s Mitzvot, to be more G-d fearing and G-d loving, to ignore the temptation of secularism and the addiction to superficiality, then there’s at least a good chance that their prophecies are authentic, but, when in the name of G-d, they instruct you, overtly or subtly, to defy G-d, then we must run for the hills as this is a farce and a soulless endeavor.

There are books, gurus, programs, cults, movements, Ism’s, schools and leaders that are motivational, intellectual, deep, raw, inspirational and even spiritual, but if what they are selling, the ideas they are teaching and implanting in our minds,  makes us observe one less Mitzvah, forces us to transgress one biblical prohibition, encourages us to love Hashem any less or focus less on Him, then it’s not for you. It can feel good, taste good and smell good, but like soda, it’s produced with toxic chemicals and will never quench our thirst for G-d. Having Kavana, focusing healthfully on G-d, requires lots of inner courage and determination to withstand all types of pressure, but it’s worth the relationship with the Creator of heaven and earth.

Feeling spiritual is not as good as being spiritual!

May You guard our brethren in Israel and the world over from harm and send us Moshiach speedily. May You protect the armed forces of Israel and the United States wherever they may be. Shabbat Shalom! Chazak!!! L'Chaim!!!

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