Jewish Home LA - 11-14-19

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The Week In News


NOVEMBER 14, 2019 | The Jewish Home




message canon beour seen at Full Full videovideo message can be seen website,


The Week In News

NOVEMBER 14, 2019 | The Jewish Home




OU National President





KEYNOTE ADDRESS: Featuring Rabbi Efrem Goldberg Senior Rabbi, Boca Raton Synagogue at Adas Torah


RABBINIC SHIUR AT LINK KOLLEL Featuring RAV HERSHEL SCHACHTER Rosh Kollel – YU/RIETS, Halachic Posek OU Kosher Faculty Visits to Local Yeshiva High Schools


• SHABBAT DINNER – Faculty and Sponsors • Tisch on Pico at Adas Torah • Oneg Shabbat Hancock Park and Valley Village



at Los Angeles OU Member Synagogues


SHABBAT LUNCH – Faculty and Sponsors



OU West Coast President

For More Information, contact: or 310.229.9000 ext 201 In conjunction with




at YULA Boys High School, 9760 West Pico Boulevard

• Women’s Beit Medrash • Legal MCLE Seminar • Rebbetzins Conference • Exciting Kids Program – Sunday Fun Day PARTICIPATING SYNAGOGUES

Adas Torah • Beth Jacob Beverly Hills B’Nai David Judea • Calabassas Shul • Link Kollel & Shul Pacific Jewish Center • Shaarey Zedek • The Westside Shul Westwood Kehilla • Westwood Village Synagogue • Yavneh Young Israel Century City • Young Israel of North Beverly Hills Young Israel of Northridge



The Week In News

NOVEMBER 14, 2019 | The Jewish Home




Dear Readers, The Gemara recounts how a potential convert asked Hillel HaZaken to teach him the entire Torah on one foot. Hillel responded, “Don’t do to others that which you don’t want done to you.” It’s interesting that he didn’t say it in the positive, “Do to others,” but rather suggested what not to do. A similar point can be made of mitzvos in general. There are a lot more negative commandments than there are positive ones. Perhaps the message is that before we embark on a project, even a positive one, the first attitude is one of pause. For example, in a relationship. The foundation on which a healthy relationship is built is respect. Respect of boundaries, recognition of another, and ultimately respecting differences. This creates the space in which a fellow human being can enter our lives. Same is with a teacher/student relationship. Before teaching a student, a teacher must press pause on their own insight and thoughts and enter the mind of the student. It’s hard to listen if we are consumed with our own thoughts. It happens sometimes that we feel full of ahavas Yisrael and want to help other Yidden, but somewhere along the way we cause offense or hurt or aggravation. We’re left wondering what went wrong. We had the best intentions, but the results were very different than we expected. Many times, it was the pause that was missing. We set out in a state of passion and inspiration to accomplish something, but we were so consumed with our feelings and the way we pictured things getting done that we inadvertently pushed others out of the way. Before embracing another with love, we must first make sure we have in mind the other’s needs and preferences and are not just looking to extend ourselves. Once the proper respect is in place, we can then work on all the positive feelings which bring us together, ultimately as one nation with the coming of Mashiach now. Wishing you a wonderful Shabbos,


T H E P R E M I E R J E W I S H N E W S PA P E R H I G H L I G H T I N G L A’ S O R T H O D OX C O M M U N I T Y The Jewish Home is an independent bi-weekly newspaper. Opinions expressed by writers are not neces­sarily the opinions of the publisher or editor. The Jewish Home is not responsible for typographical errors, or for the kashrus of any product or business advertised within. The Jewish Home contains words of Torah. Please treat accordingly. FOR HOME DELIVERY, OR TO HAVE THE LATEST ISSUE EMAILED TO YOU FREE OF CHARGE, SEND A MESSAGE TO EDITOR@JEWISHHOMELA.COM

TheHappenings Week In News

NOVEMBER 14, 2019 | The Jewish Home

FIDF Gala in Memory of Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, Z”L, Raises $29 Million Tova Abady The Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) Western Region Gala held November 7th at the Beverly Hilton raised $29 million, including a $15 million donation announced at the Gala by Haim and Cheryl Saban. The Sabans previously served as chairmen of the FIDF for 13 years. Actress and model, Moran Atias, reprised her role as emcee at this year’s event, which drew over 1000 supporters. She introduced representatives from all branches of the U.S. military. They then joined IDF soldiers on the stage to sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” and “HaTikva.” Among the representatives of the U.S. armed forces was David McCarthy, a retired lieutenant colonel in the American Marine Corps. McCarthy said he was incredibly proud of all the soldiers, especially his oldest son, who was a sergeant in the IDF. His son, after completing his army service, stayed four additional years in Israel to study at Aish HaTorah in Jerusalem; he is currently a law student in Brooklyn. McCarthy said he was bursting with pride when his son joined the IDF, and he wished he could’ve joined with him. IDF soldiers present (some identified only with an initial for security reasons) included Sgt. (Res.) Izzy Ezagui, who returned to army service after losing an arm in battle; 1st Lt. Jerusalem, an Ethiopian-Israeli soldier who refused to allow her visual disability to interfere with her being able to serve and who became an IDF officer in the IDF Northern Command; Cpl. Eden, an IDF Musical Ensemble singer and winner of X Factor Israel; 1st Lt. N, raised in a Druze family and serving in a special unit of paratroopers; and Sgt. Y, who spent time in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and is now serving in an elite IDF unit. Earlier, in an interview, Sgt. Y said if there was anything he could recommend to IDF supporters, it would be to help his fellow lone soldiers who were suffering with mental stress and suicide. He cited two reasons for this particular struggle: One was that these young people keep their feelings inside because of the very macho culture, and the second was that some young people already are dealing with problems when they join. He suggested that individuals working though mental health or familial issues not sign up to be soldiers until they receive professional help. There are not enough mental health programs in place for the soldiers. Hopefully this will change in the future.

VP Tony Rubin thanked Haim and Cheryl Saban for their 13 years of dedication and the astounding $55 million in personal donations to date. In addition, Rubin said Haim Saban also helped raise funds from people attending the Gala

totaling a quarter of a billion dollars. Rubin told the crowd that he personally was donating $1 million. He told the story of how eight or nine years ago, he and his wife were talking to their daughters—

high school seniors at the time—about which colleges they wanted to attend. They agreed to help their daughters with pursuing recommendations and whatever else they could do in order for them to be accepted to their preferred schools.

Join us as we honor the memory of

Rabbi Yochanan Stepen, ob”m Dean Emeritus of Emek who devoted 32 years of service to the Emek Community. Sunday, November 17th at 11:00 am Emek Teichman Beis Medrash 15365 Magnolia Boulevard • Sherman Oaks, CA Light refreshments will be served


TheHappenings Week In News

NOVEMBER 14, 2019 | The Jewish Home

Rubin said that he imagined that the conversation among Israelis with their high school seniors would be very different, with parents agreeing for their children to enter the army, where they’d be put in harm’s way. Rubin said he couldn’t do that, but he could make a huge donation.

how he heroically neutralized a terrorist during an army operation. Following his service, thanks to the IMPACT scholarship program (one of the many beneficial programs funded by the FIDF), he was able to complete a college education at Tel Aviv University in computer science. He also wanted to contribute more to Israel, so he volunteered in his community and met his wonderful girlfriend (soon to be his wife).

Several attendees were wearing red kippot that said Trump. One of them donated $5000 (his total for the year $40,000 in honor of President Trump). The mention of Trump elicited applause and cheers by many attendees.

In addition to the IMPACT college scholarships (4580 were provided in 2018), the FIDF has provided education programs, tuition assistance to veterans (the Horizon program), Judaica through the Spiritual Needs Program, flights home for both soldiers (through the Lone Soldier Program) as well as for bereaved families, construction projects, and more.

Yael Eckstein, who is an Orthodox Jew, said there was nothing traditional about her leading attendees in the blessing HaMotzi or taking over the reins from her father’s organization, IFCA (the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, also known as “The Fellowship”). IFCA has raised over a billion dollars for Israeli causes (including $55 million to FIDF), mostly from evangelical Christians. Eckstein announced a $3 million contribution this year.

Following the program, 16-time Grammy Award winner (nominated 47 times) David Foster entertained the crowd with some of his Grammy-winning hits. He then asked if anyone in the audience would like to sing. Two people came up, both with incredible voices. Foster was joined onstage by singing sensation Shelea. “It was an exciting and meaningful evening,” said Julie Iskowitz, who attended the gala with her son. “FIDF is a critical organization that I’m proud to support.”

One of the most touching moments of the evening was heroic soldier Amit Kadosh asking his girlfriend Talya to marry him. He kneeled down on stage to ask her and then put a ring on her finger. Amit is currently a reserve staff Sgt. A video showed Haim and Cheryl Saban pledging 15 million

Wurzweiler Combines Social Work and Education in New Graduate Programs, Master’s Degrees in Special Education How does one combine 1) a compassionate approach to human welfare with 2) a strong pedagogical foundation for teachers instructing students with a variety of abilities and special needs? The Wurzweiler School of Social Work at Yeshiva University is tackling this challenge with the creation of two new degree programs in Special Education.

These two new programs cover two different age groups: Teaching Students With Disabilities (Birth - Grade 2), 47 credits, and Teaching Students With Disabilities, (Grades 1 - 6), 46 credits. Graduates will be awarded a Master of Arts degree and will be prepared for their initial certification exam as well as their certification in special education.



YOUR STORY IS YOUR LEGACY. DON'T LET IT BE FORGOTTEN. Ready to write your book? Mobile: 323-388-5283 Email: Website:

Each program will focus on developing the skills to teach children who require specialized support. The curriculum includes courses in childhood development, pedagogical practice, differentiated instruction as well as inclusive practices. “These culturally-sensitive programs are rooted in the values of social justice and equity and will provide opportunities for students who are specifically looking to work in Jewish educational settings as well as secular environments,” said Dr. Joan Rosenberg, Ed.D, founding director of the program. “As with all Wurzweiler programs, students receive extensive support from faculty, academic advisors, and student teaching supervisors, plus their cooperating teachers with whom they work very closely,” she explained. The programs are open to individuals just entering the field as well as experienced teachers who want to become certified to teach special education. Dr. Danielle Wozniak, Dean of Wurzweiler, is excited to offer existing teachers the opportunity to advance their careers in education as well as improve their earning potential. Dean Wozniak added, “The

program’s first cohort is expected to be as diverse and eager to learn as the groups of students they will educate. Wurzweiler students will understand that the process of learning to be a teacher is never finished. Our graduates will become reflective lifelong learners.” To learn more, visit About Yeshiva University Founded in 1886, Yeshiva University (YU) brings together the ancient traditions of Jewish law and life and the heritage of Western civilization. More than 7,000 undergraduate and graduate students study at YU’s four New York City campuses: Wilf Campus (Washington Heights), Israel Henry Beren Campus and Brookdale Center (midtown Manhattan) and Jack and Pearl Resnick Campus (the Bronx). YU’s three undergraduate schools—Yeshiva College, Stern College for Women and Sy Syms School of Business—offer a unique dual program comprised of Jewish studies and courses in the sciences and humanities. Graduate and affiliate schools include: Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Wurzweiler School of Social Work, Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology, Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration, Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies, The Mordecai D. and Monique C. Katz School of Science and Health, and Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary. YU is ranked among the nation’s leading academic institutions.

Photo credit: Mark Von Holden


The Week In News

NOVEMBER 14, 2019 | The Jewish Home

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At YU, we are happy to help. Just call 833-YU-HELPS.



Torah Musings The Week In News

NOVEMBER 14, 2019 | The Jewish Home

Enough! Sarah Pachter

With French parents, I grew up hearing the phrase, “Ça suffit,” all the time. Interestingly, although my mother only became a French citizen later in life—my father is the true native—it is her voice I still hear ringing in my ears. Literally, Ça suffit, means “That’s enough,” and it served as a catch-all phrase in our family. As a child, my mother would say it to my siblings and me if we were too rambunctious, or it was used more sternly if we were behaving inappropriately. It was thrown around in public when we picked out too many Hershey bars at the grocery store, or when we kept asking for more (and more) clothing. The bonus of using French was that the word would float over the average person’s radar without their understanding—or so we assumed.

Truthfully, this word is loaded with many layers and undertones for every user. One Erev Shabbos, I was preparing for a potluck meal with a few families in our home. We piled on another family at the last minute, and I was worried that the potato dish I made was not sufficient enough for the amount of people eating it. I called my friend to get her opinion, and she answered me with words that have stayed with me ever since. “Sarah, whatever amount you have, it’s enough.” Although she was referring to the potatoes, this concept can be applied to our possessions as well. Whether packing for a trip, or feeling satiated in life, perhaps it is enough. From potatoes to possessions, we have everything we need. I am often asked by my students, What can we do when we don’t feel satisfied with our lot in life? And isn’t wanting more a good thing? Isn’t it a sign of ambition? Where is the balance?

A student of mine had been on the dating scene for many years and was discussing a great guy she had been set up with. When she began nitpicking his minor flaws, I reflected back to her another phrase my mother drilled into me as a child, “We have to know when to leave well enough alone.” This can be applied to life in general. Perfectionism is a lie, and whether we’re dating or accomplishing, if we keep striving to reach the elusive goal of perfection, we will often be left with nothing. I was once in the holy city of Jerusalem experiencing a Shabbat meal with a family of native Yerushalmis. Their apartment was physically bare, with minimal furniture and decorations, but filled to the brim with spirituality. At the meal, the youngest child pointed to her sister and whined, “I want that headband!” Placidly, the mother asked her, “Eizeh hu ashir?—Who is rich?”

Smiling, the daughter responded with the rest of the famous verse from Pirkei Avot, “Hasameach bechelko.—He who is happy with his lot.” I was awestruck, especially since one can’t orchestrate a child’s reaction. If this simple family could feel blessed and satisfied, then surely I could, too. Satisfaction is one of the greatest challenges of our generation. Most of us wake up with a feeling of scarcity. After our first yawn and stretch, our thoughts lead us to, I’m so tired, I didn’t get enough sleep, I have such a busy day, or I don’t have enough time. It is a constant feeling of just not having enough. Perhaps, in reality, we do have enough, and we are enough. Maybe it does suffice! Even the Torah uses its own form of Ça suffit. Dov Ber Pinson, in his Spiral of Time series,1 writes, “The more you acquire, the more you require.”


Dov Ber Pinson, Spiral of Time

series, (Tammuz and Av), pg. 16

Torah Musings The Week In News

NOVEMBER 14, 2019 | The Jewish Home

It is human nature to have desires, ambition, and even envy. We all know that as soon as we obtain the object of our desire, we are already on to the next possession. Physicality is usually just out of reach. With an insatiable appetite, the human keeps consuming, hoping to feel satiated, yet never quite feeling full.2 How can we come to a place where we feel enough during times that call upon satisfaction? Rebbetzin Henny Machlis, in Emunah with Love and Chicken Soup, explains3 that Korach was not satiated because he wanted more power and prestige, and thus he envied his cousin Moshe’s role of leadership. Why was Korach punished? He didn’t receive din for feeling jealous; rather, he received din because he didn’t call out to Hashem to ask for what he wanted. Feelings are implanted in us by Hashem, and therefore Korach could not control his feeling of jealousy. He was punished because he turned away from the power of tefillah and instead utilized his jealousy to attempt to create something destructive. This led to his personal destruction. What if, rather than saying, “I want more,” Korach had said, “Hashem, I want more.” This is what the Torah urges us to do. There’s a mashal of a doctor who was asked to work the night shift at the hospital. He was the sole doctor on the premises but was instructed to gather the doctors on call if it got too overwhelming. Initially, he was handling things well, but as more patients arrived, he struggled to maintain balance. Because he could not manage successfully alone, a patient died under his supervision. This doctor was eventually prosecuted because he didn’t call for help when he should have.4 When we feel lacking in something, we should feel empowered to turn to Hashem for help. We can daven with the following plea: Hashem, I know it is “enough,” but even if I should feel satiated and content, I don’t. Please understand my human limitations and give with an open hand. Hashem, I know I don’t deserve this, but still I ask with chutzpah for more. Please say yes, yes, yes to us, again and again. I started praying in this way when a mentor of mine told me the following story. She and her husband were approached for help regarding parnassah. They helped this man find a job, and although he expressed his gratitude, it seemed to open a Pandora’s box of requests. He subsequent-


Dov Ber Pinson, Spiral of Time

series, (Tammuz and Av), pg. 16


Rebbetzin Henny Machlis, Emunah with Love and Chicken Soup, pg. 478


Rebbetzin Henny Machlis, Emunah with Love and Chicken Soup, pg. 479

ly asked for another favor, and they helped again, thinking that would be the end of his requests. Instead, he asked for money. They gave it. Then, he asked another favor, which would require this couple to put themselves in an uncomfortable situation on his behalf. At this point, they were frustrated with the array of never-ending requests, and felt it was somewhat chutzpadik. But, rather

than embarrassing him or just saying no, they decided to stretch themselves and acquiesce. As they reflected upon the situation they realized, Is this not what we do to Hashem, day in and day out? Their knee-jerk reaction was Ça suffit. But instead they decided, Hashem is our example, and therefore we will do more because we want Hashem to give us more, too (even when we ask with chutzpah).


Hashem wants our envy; He wants our dissatisfaction. He gave us those feelings so we can turn them upward instead of outward. When we turn our jealousy outward, Hashem says enough, and it can consume us like the ground that swallowed Korach. But if instead we turn our jealousy upward, Hashem can answer us with compassion and understanding and grant our desire, even if it truly is enough!

Who am I?

November 21, 2019

6:30 PM - 9:00 PM 6:30 PM Check-in 6:45 PM Program begins promptly

Shalhevet High School 910 South Fairfax Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90036

Register NOW at find us on Eventbrite

What inspires me?

Street parking extremely limited. Ride share encouraged. Self-paid parking available at Petersen Automotive Museum


Where do I want to go?

a Rosina Korda Gap Year Scholarship! Exclusive to Fair attendees.

Presented by:

Find your right direction on November 21st! AIGYA.ORG • INFO@AIGYA.ORG

Special thanks to our sponsors and supporters (partial list) de Toledo High School, Shalhevet High School, YULA Boys High School, YULA Girls High School, Valley Torah High School, Harkham GAON Academy, Touro College LA, Temple Aliyah, Beth Jacob Congregation, B’nai David-Judea Congregation, Beverly Hills Synagogue (YINBH), Young Israel Century City, Sinai Temple, JNF, Stand With Us, IAC, NCSY, WUPJ, WZO, The Korda Family, Barbara & Fred Kort Foundation, Rabbi Samuel & Irma Cohon Memorial Foundation, 019 Mobile Milken Community High School, Adat Shalom Synagogue, Temple Beth Am, USY


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TheNOVEMBER Jewish Home JANUARY 31, 2019Home 14,| 2019 | The Jewish


UNLOCKING GREATNESS THROUGHOUT THE YEAR Charlie Harary Talks with TJH about New Beginnings, the Keys to Success, and the Power of One Percent By Tammy Mark

Charlie Harary

is a businessman, lawyer, professor, radio show host, and acclaimed speaker. A graduate of Columbia University Law School, he lectures around the world to diverse audiences on topics ranging from behavioral finance to personal growth to Torah and spirituality. Most recently, he added author to his resume with his new book, Unlocking Greatness: The Unexpected Journey from the Life You Have to the Life You Want. In between his book tour and speaking engagements, Harary makes time to deliver timely words of inspiration to the community. Sought after for his unique style and energetic delivery, his videos have received worldwide attention and have reached hundreds of thousands of people. With his intimate understanding of human nature, Harary has the exceptional ability to reframe ancient rituals with a fresh eye, leading his listeners to a renewed and deeper understanding of G-d and of themselves. While he is sought by religious organizations the world over to share his uplifting messages in order to reenergize our faith and spiritual work, he also focuses on how to elevate our daily lives in more material matters. Like our spiritual capacity, Harary believes that our personal potential is tremendous – just waiting to be actualized – and that certain basic principles are eternal and are able to be applied to almost any facet of life at any time. In Unlocking Greatness, Harary connects to our basic commonalities and utilizes a combination of personal anecdotes, daily observations, and groundbreaking scientific research to delve into the human psyche. He hones in on how we can discover our potential and helps outline a pathway to achieve it, incorporating lessons from rabbis, neuroscientists and athletes. Recently, we asked Mr. Harary to share some of his insights on how we can find more meaning in our lives, how to achieve our personal and professional goals in the year ahead, and, most importantly, what the biggest obstacles to success actually are.

You’re regularly called upon throughout the year to impart words of inspiration and encouragement to people from all walks of life. What are some of the general ideas that you try to relay to those who are searching for direction on how to make the best of the upcoming year? I think most people know what they need to do in order to take the next steps forward in their lives. The wisdom that we have inside us is much greater than we even appreciate. Hashem gives us the direction. What advice really is supposed to do is help marry the truths that you know deep down, buried beneath the emotion, the stress, the worry, the anxiety. The goal when it comes to advice is to help somebody recognize who they are. At the end of the day, if we had a real good sense of who we are – a piece of Hashem – we would look at the world with a set of eyes that were filled with resilience, that were filled with courage, and we would keep on pushing forward in overcoming our challenges. For most of the cases – of course, sometimes there are specific cases that are different – but for most of the cases what people really need is

NOVEMBER 14, 2019 | The Jewish Home


The Week In News Feature

The Jewish Home | OCTOBER 29, 2015

JANUARY 31, 2019 | The Jewish Home

encouragement, and that encouragement is reminding them that they’re stronger than they think, that we are all basically the same, and that the best advice anyone can ever give is to put one foot in front of the next and keep on moving towards meaningful and purposeful goals. Many of us start off strong when embarking on a goal or setting a resolution but lose motivation after some time, especially if we don’t see measurable results. How can we stay on track and move forward without getting disheartened if we don’t seem to get where we want to be? The mistake that many people make is that they assume that results have to come quickly. If we have something pictured in our minds, we want it to happen immediately, so we create this unrealistic expectation for results, and if it doesn’t happen as quickly as we want then we get discouraged. The best way to maintain anything is progress; progress is the biggest motivator to the human. We love progress. When we get in a car we want to be on an open road; traffic kills us. We want to be in motion – being in motion feels good. Whenever you’re doing something you want to feel like you’re making progress, and you’re in motion. So what happens is, if you make huge strides too early and you can’t sustain it then you feel like you’re failing and then you give up. But if you structure your growth to be very, very small but consistent, you’ll always feel like you’re moving. I always tell people that every day should be “plus one.” For everything that you want to be accomplishing in your life, you want to have the discipline to accomplish one percent more every day. You shouldn’t do ten percent more, you shouldn’t do twenty percent more – don’t cram in life. Set a goal and if you’re one percent better at something every day, you’re making progress, and you’re going to want to continue that. It’s much better to be one percent every day than to be seven percent one day of the week because that motion will keep you going and it will give you that internal motivation. It will keep you going much longer than the emotions of motivation, which can seep away.

In your book you lay out a theory called “Be. Do. Have” and include exercises and action plans to find success in the areas of life that we may be lacking in. Would you be able to expand on the idea for readers and how we can begin to employ these strategies? A core reason why we’re not more successful is not because of lack of effort; it’s because of lack of clarity. When you’re not clear, you don’t really get the internal motivation to move forward and do things, and even when you’re doing things you don’t really feel like you’re accomplishing. A lot of it comes from this perception of “do, have, be,” which is, I’ve got to do a lot of things to have something so I can be something. That’s a common way that the world operates. When you’re young they tell you to do work, have good grades, be a good student. When you get to the job it’s do work, have money, be rich – the idea of being something seems like we’re waiting for the world to give to us. When we do enough actions, then we’ll have enough stuff, then we’ll show everybody, and then, if we have this stuff then I guess you’re the thing you want to be. Now this creates a huge ambiguity because we’re acting in a new way, but our minds are still the old self. So really, what it’s supposed to be is not “do, have, be” but “be, do, have” which is, we determine who we want to be and that’s who we are. “Who we are” comes from the place of our soul and that soul can change in a moment – that’s why we have Yom Kippur. We have the ability to literally change ourselves in a moment. Now, conditioning that change so it feels normal to us requires a lot of work, but we make the mistake in thinking it’s one and the same. Change happens in an instant; it’s one genuine, real, authentic decision to change, aka teshuva, and your neshama is not the same. So when somebody decides to change and now they’re changing their “be,” once you do that you have a perspective to look around and say, “If this is who I am, then how do these people [who are like the new me] act?” Then you have a new clarity of what those people do, which you start doing. It’s hard in the beginning, because you have a lot of neuroplasticity that

says otherwise, but if you hold on long enough what ends up happening is you will condition your mind to follow the core “be” of who you are. Then you’ll “have” the things you want to have, but it will be less relevant to you because in your core you’ll know who you are. When you follow the mechanism of “be, do, have” you can at any point change your life, and then gain a certain clarity as to how to make those changes. It’s still very hard work – but it’s just now much more purposeful and much more meaningful because it’s aligned with your inner “be” that you’re in control of, not the world. You speak a lot about the concept of neuroplasticity and the ability of the brain to adapt. Would you be able to tell us a little about that? In the book we go through it in depth, but neuroplasticity basically defines how our mind works, which is, when we have thoughts, these thoughts fire neurons in our brains and they create neuro-connections. So our knowledge and our memory are based on thoughts that we, so to speak, create and then it solidifies in our mind. When we want to make change, the more you do something, the more that change becomes solidified in your thinking, in your mind, and then it feels more like you. Therefore, your mind is much more in your control than you would think – and every second of every day we’re solidifying our brain into moving in a certain direction. Our real goal is to take control of that and solidify it in the right direction. You lecture to audiences around the world on the secrets of success and how to achieve goals and meet so many people in your travels. What seems to be the biggest obstacles in meeting their goals that people encounter? Do you find certain issues to be more common and pervasive? The biggest obstacle by far that I’ve ever seen is oneself. It’s really this internal struggle of comfort and our love of being comfortable. We love feeling comfortable; we yearn for it. What’s better than getting upgraded to first class? What’s better than having very little to do? We love staying in bed late,


we love having easy conversations, we love surrounding ourselves with people who agree with us, we love when life doesn’t throw us any challenges. We get so conditioned to that that we yearn for it. It’s the number one cause of mediocrity in the world, because at the end of the day, greatness is the product of deliberate discomfort. As we look around, we often discount that, but if you look at somebody who has true greatness, they worked for it, they sweated for it – and it’s in that sweat and that toil that they find who they are. There are a lot of people who have easier lives, and yet they have this fear in them that they’re not who they could be. It’s scary to do things that are hard – to stay up late, have tough conversations, try new ideas, and voice your opinion. They’re scary

“If we had a real good sense of who we are – a piece of Hashem – we would look at the world with a set of eyes that were filled with resilience, that were filled with courage…”

things so most people don’t do them, so around and around they go. As for common obstacles – time is a big one. We live in a world where everything happens a million miles a minute, and we all feel like we have to be catching up. We take our brains, and we put it almost on a slow jog on the treadmill of life and we never catch our


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NOVEMBER 14, 2019 | The Jewish Home

minds, we never catch our breath, so we can’t stop and we can’t slow down. Another one is chasing other people – that’s a big deal – trying to catch up always. When we’re running and chasing, we’re sort of conditioning ourselves to the need of always being stimulated, so it’s hard to dig deep, it’s really hard to dig in. It’s hard to do things that are very meaningful because that requires a lot of resilience, a lot of strength and a lot of thought, and in today’s day and age it’s hard to get that because we’re buzzing and beeping all day. You’ve been hosting a show on the radio for several years and have created numerous videos and podcasts dedicated to achieving success. What topic on the Unlocking Greatness podcast would you say has received the most feedback? I did a show on personality testing. I’m very into understanding oneself through data. I did a show on understanding who you are, and I got a lot of feedback from that. People know that they are unique, and today there are so many tools that can help you figure that out, both from an individual perspective and from a company perspective. The ability that we have, and the information out there that’s available

“There is no bigger inspiration than progress.”

to us that we’re not accessing, is exciting to people. Self-discovery is a major aspect of greatness. Knowing who you are, being very aware of your talents and of your weaknesses, not being scared by them, not being overwhelmed by them and just being aware of them is critical. The more you know your limitations, the more you know who to relate to, especially from a business perspective, so you can accomplish bigger things.

As a husband, father and active community member, you can relate to the multitude of obligations that require our attention and energy. Both men and women struggle to balance a career and a busy family life. Do you have any advice on how we can attempt to balance it all? The principle is to never multitask, always switch tasks instead. Some of the busiest people I know who have a thousand things on their plate, if they’re successful, usually they’re not multitasking. Our brain only gives us a certain amount of stimuli that we can take in per second; you don’t get more than that. It’s a small window, so if you divide that up you’re not achieving any level of quality in anything you’re doing. What you need to do is – as opposed to dividing everything in one shot – you need to switch your tasks. So when you’re engaged in something, you give everything to that thing for as ever long as you’re doing that thing. I have a chapter on this in the book called “Finding Flow in an Overstimulated World.” If what you’re doing is switch-tasking and every task you do, while you’re doing it, you’re giving it 1,000 percent, you’re able to achieve a higher level of quality while you’re doing what you’re doing. Everything you’re doing will be much deeper. When you’re in the office, you’re not online. When you’re in your house,

you’re not on your phone. When you’re playing with your kids, you’re on the floor. When you’re davening, you’re all in. Whatever you’re doing, if you can just take the thing you’re doing and put a little gate around it and say, “While I do this, I’m all in.” You may not do it for a very long time every day, but when you’re doing it, you’re going to do it with such intensity that you’ll get exponentially more out of the experience – and so will everybody around you. One five-minute conversation with your teenage kid at the end of the night, if you’re fully in that conversation, can have a greater impact than taking them to a game and spending the whole time on the phone because we crave quality. One half-hour session doing your emails a day can be much more effective than keeping it the entire day and always having those five emails that never really get done. When we never sacrifice quality do we make better decisions in our priority list and do we have more impact if we can’t give a lot of time to the thing that we are doing? What advice can you offer to people who find it difficult to carry all of the responsibilities of today’s modern world to help them be able to find meaning in life? How do you find meaning in life? You have to slow down. It’s not an easy thing but you cannot find meaning while speeding, it doesn’t work. Speed-

ing is to get through things; speeding is practical and pragmatic. Meaning is deep. If you want to have meaning in anything you have to do that thing in a slow and deliberate way. If you want to find meaning in davening, you have to take one tefillah – it could be every day or every week – and slow it down. If you want to find meaning in your job, you have to do it slow, just slow down. If there’s no time in your day where your brain is going at a pace in which you can think, you cannot process things in a deep way and you cannot draw meaning out of the thing. Remember, meaning is when you can draw something deeper out of what you’re engaged in. That’s where meaning comes from, and if you can’t slow down to think through what you’re doing, how in the world can you draw meaning doing it? That’s really one of our great challenges that we all have to fight against. If we operate too quickly, we can’t find meaning in things, so we stay on the surface. So since we stay at the surface we don’t have deep connections and then we’re quick to move on, because we’re not deeply connected and we don’t have the head space. There’s a tremendous opportunity that we have in the world today that people don’t realize, that if you become a person of quality, it’s going to look like you’re sacrificing quantity but you’re going to make it back tenfold because the world is clamoring for it – in business, in family, in careers, you name it. Right now, the markets are clamoring for quality and if we become people of quality, at first it’s going to be weird because we’ll have less quantity – we’ll have less things we see and less things we post and less conversations that we have – but at the end of the day we’re going to see the world in such a different perspective. And by the way, ideally that’s what Hashem is pushing us towards. Hashem is always slowing us down, always. In the middle of your busy day, Hashem is saying, “Slow down, come talk to Me.” In the morning, slow down, when you say brochos – don’t eat, slow down. Every week on Shabbos – slow down, very important – slow down. Hashem is always slowing us down because Hashem wants us to be deep people. Depth comes when we slow down and we savor things – physical-

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ly or spiritually – it happens in both worlds when we allow whatever we’re doing to be experienced properly. And when that happens the whole world is open to us. Can we also find more joy in our day-to-day lives? It’s hard to. Understand that it’s hard to. It’s really hard to find joy if you’re racing – it’s nearly impossible. When someone is in the rat race, what they’re doing is they’re competing and when you’re competing, the joy is in the competition, so there’s nothing that you’re getting that’s going to make you feel good. The joy is winning – which, it’s fun to compete – but if it becomes chronic then at some point you just can’t stop and you haven’t enjoyed along the way. Joy, I believe, comes from always checking that we’re not taking anything for granted. The most joyous people are the most grateful. When you see somebody that’s grateful, that person has the best life in regards to what’s going on around them because gratitude enables us to connect both to the thing and to the giver. So, when someone is grateful they’re connected to, for example, the ice cream and they’re enjoying it, and they’re connecting with mom and dad who bought it for them. They’re connected to the eyesight and they’re connected to Hashem. Grateful people never take their lives for granted, so as a result the gratitude, the expressed gratitude, not only gives them the ability to enjoy the thing, it gives them the relationship as well and it’s a double benefit. Joy comes honestly when you’re grateful and it comes when you’re disciplined enough to experience and savor the pleasure. You can’t just run through it. Throughout the year you talk a lot about having a relationship with Hashem. Creating a relationship with Hashem is the number one job of a Jew, in my opinion. It is the most challenging, rewarding and exhilarating thing that we do. Hashem is infinite, He’s unknowable, yet we know that we have some connection, there is a piece of Him inside us. Hashem has told us again and again how much He desires a relationship with us. The mere recognition of that fact – that the

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Creator of humanity for some reason desires us – is the most mind-blowing insight that one could ever process. Just thinking about that every day can give us more strength than we could ever imagine, and when a person contemplates the level of love and desire that Hashem has for us, it will open their eyes to wanting to connect to Him in all the myriad of ways that they can. It’s hard to grasp that, it’s hard to think about that and it’s hard to remember it, but it is a total game changer if we condition that into our daily thinking. How does self-growth and self-actualization connect to creating a relationship with Hashem? That’s what self-actualization is. Self-actualization is the actualizing of the divineness that’s inside us to the world around us. At the core of what it means to actualize self – it doesn’t mean to actualize ourselves in our pursuit of more stuff – nobody who has more stuff feels more self-actualized they just keep on looking for more stuff. The self that we want to actualize is our spiritual self, it’s the piece of us that’s connected to Hashem, it’s the piece of us that we know comes from Him, and when we dig into it and touch it and feel it and we live it, we know were being actualized. Our talents, our challenges, our ups and our downs, when you realize that they are all from Hashem, then you see your life as this great process of bringing out who you are, through the ups and the downs. That’s why people who are very connected to Hashem have an incredible amount of resilience and gratitude because it all flows from that one place of living in the deepest part of your soul and not from the surface of your body. Your book can be found under different genres in the bookstores – at Barnes & Noble in the business section and in the selfgrowth section, in the Judaica store in the spiritual section. Do the same principles really apply across the board? Of course. The most beautiful thing about the world is that it’s based on principles. Hashem created the world through principles – “histakel be’oray-

sa u’bara olma” – and the world is based on principles, so much of what makes sense in one area makes sense in another area. I believe it derives all from Torah, but you can apply it across the board. The underlying success of the family, if you really take out the principle and move out the facts, that same underlying principle will have an incredibly positive impact on a business. The same that gets some young kid to become a Pro-Bowl football player is the same thing that’s going to get somebody else to achieve more in their own studies. There are certain basic fundamental principles of how our mind works, how our body works, and how our soul works, that if you get to the principle you can apply it across the board. That’s one of the things that we all have to be searching for – we can’t get stuck at the surface – all of us search for depth and we say, “If I learned it in this area why didn’t I learn it in another area too?” You realize, “I got it, I learned it already, now let me just move it over.” That’s how we grow through everything in life. Although the beginning of the year is a great time to take on something new, it can also be difficult to maintain our energy through-out the darker and more mundane days of winter. What are some ways to f ind inspiration during the long stretch between the yomim tovim? The best way to do it is to create an ambitious but realistic goal for Pesach. That’s the best. Take something, think of who you want to be, think of an aspect of yourself that you’d be proud of if you sat at your seder table and you had it. Whatever it may be – whether it’s physical or it’s spiritual, whether it’s being more connected to Hashem or losing weight, whether it’s being a better mom or making more money – whatever it is. Picture yourself at the seder and ask yourself, “When I’m there what do I want to look like?” Pick one new “be” and see if you can create a daily habit today that will take you one percent or a quarter of a percent closer every day. If a person is able to see themselves at the seder and use that as a visual landmark – not a date two years from now – and say, “I know where I’m go-

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ing to be. I’m making my plans now. I can picture the chair I’m sitting in, I can picture what I’m wearing, and I see myself and here’s what I want when I get there. I want to have become this,” then all you have to do every day between now and then is get one percent closer, and no days off.

“For everything that you want to be accomplishing in your life, you want to have the discipline to accomplish one percent more every day.”

And if you do that, what will happen is you’ll start to inculcate this idea of one percent, this idea of habit forming, and it will become so internally inspiring that you’ll start to take on new things. Just being able to feel that one can grow in a direction that they set for themselves is such an empowering experience – to be able to say, “Here’s my goal. Every day I’m going to put one percent in.” The experience of just growing in a purposeful goal is empowering. Hopefully these goals are both meaningful and purposeful, but as long as they’re purposeful and intentional and you’re moving in that direction every day, you’re going to feel inspired – because there is no bigger inspiration than progress. For more lessons and videos on unlocking greatness from Charlie Harary, visit and

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