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Preview: | Articles by Chana Weisberg | Articles by Chana Weisberg

Newest articles written by Chana Weisberg

Published: Mon, 01 Jan 0001 12:00:00 EST

Last Build Date: Mon, 01 Jan, 0001 12:00:00 EST

Copyright: Copyright 2018, - Chabad-Lubavitch Media Center, all rights reserved.

The Highs and Lows of Life

Wed, 28 Mar 2018 12:00:00 EST

Dear Readers, Life is a never-ending cycle of low points that meld into high points, only to revert back again. Every day, we experience night, only to awake to the energy of day. We work during the mundane six days of the week and then bask in the holiness of Shabbat. The winter season ushers in lifelessness while the summer rejuvenates. In parshat Metzorah, we are introduced to the halachic terms of tumah and taharah. Some of these lows and highs of life can be defined by these terms. Loosely translated, tumah means “impurity,” and taharah means “purity.” These terms have nothing to do with physical cleanliness, but are wholly spiritual concepts. Tumah would more correctly be defined as an absence of holiness, while taharah would mean a state of readiness to receive or be imbued with holiness. Though sometimes tumah can be caused intentionally by sinning and pushing G‑d away from one’s life, many fo

Mothers Huddled (and Hopeful) in the Rain

Wed, 28 Mar 2018 12:00:00 EST

Dear Readers, We were four mothers huddled together that early Thursday morning. We all scheduled our children’s roadside driving tests for the first appointments of the day and had arrived in close proximity of one another. As the clouds gave way to a light drizzle, we shifted into a glass-covered outdoor shelter, but the winds still penetrated, blowing straight through our bulky coats. One mother was dressed in professional clothing and was undoubtedly rushing off to work as soon as her child’s 8 a.m. appointment concluded. Another could barely speak English; it was clear that this wasn’t her or her daughter’s first language. We made some small talk. First, about the changing weather—how just yesterday we experienced almost summer-like weather (“We had highs even higher than Florida,” one Mom commented). Today, it felt more like February, with winter’s grip still strong. Clustering in the cold, we each waited and wondered if our chil

Go Ahead: Take the Plunge!

Thu, 15 Mar 2018 12:00:00 EST

Dear Readers, What prevents us from taking the path of change to better our lives? Sometimes, it is a fear of the unknown. We’d rather embrace a familiar present, no matter how painful. We worry about where change will lead, even while acknowledging that it can bring a better future. Sometimes, it is the fear of others. What will others think? Will I be blamed, criticized or judged? So often, it is the fear of ourselves. We don’t feel ready; we’re not yet “good enough” to take on this venture. We see our flaws and imperfections, and define ourselves through this lens. Rather than embracing who we are and working to improve, we feel unworthy, stuck in the mode of wishing who we could be, instead of who we already are. Our unrealistic striving for perfection prevents us from achieving what we can. Some 3,000 years ago, as our ancestors became a nation, we were shown how to confront such insecurities. After their miraculou

How Children View Their Birthdays, and What That Teaches About Hands-On Experiences

Tue, 13 Mar 2018 12:00:00 EST

Dear Readers, We often tell children, “You’ll become 3 on Sunday at your birthday party.” So it is no wonder, a recent study reveals, that children as old as 4 or 5 believe that birthdays serve an integral purpose—of actually helping you get older! In other words, in their eyes, the birthday is not just a celebration, but an actual passage creating a change in our age. (Conversely, without the party, they believe that they don’t become older.) Only by about 7 or 8 do children generally recognize that we age continuously, and that time marches forward, irrespective of the merriment. This study provides insight into the mind of a child, and really, the mind of a human being. Children, like most adults, attribute far greater importance to hands-on experiences. Events that are fully lived through, physically and emotionally, become more real and can actually create change in us. By celebrating an event with activities of great joy or grievin

From Celebration to Illness: The Cycle of Life

Wed, 28 Feb 2018 12:00:00 EST

Dear Readers, I recently went to celebrate the engagement of a young woman in our community. Several months ago, on the holiday of Simchat Torah, she approached me to ask me for a blessing that she should meet her soulmate. A little high on the happiness of the holiday, I wholeheartedly blessed her that she should find her bashert (intended) before the end of the year. She told me that she felt the sincerity of my words, and that it infused her with belief and hope. My father taught me about the power of a sincere brocha, a blessing. As a wise and beloved rabbi, he is so often called upon to give blessings, along with his sage advice. Over the years, so many of his blessings—some truly miraculous—have come to fruition. He would humbly tell me that we are all shluchim, messengers of a Higher power. He taught me never to be stingy with wishing good upon others because as G‑d’s beloved children, we have unbounded powers. After

Here's How You Really Are a Miracle

Fri, 23 Feb 2018 12:00:00 EST

Dear Readers, This coming Shabbat, we welcome the new Jewish month of Nissan. The Torah calls it chodesh ha-aviv—the month of spring—since in the Land of Israel (and here, too) you can already feel the early signs of the season. It is also referred to as the first of all the months of the year. “This month shall be to you the head of the months; to you it shall be the first of the months of the year.” (Exodus 12:2) Two weeks before the Exodus, G‑d showed Moses the crescent new moon and instructed him to set the Jewish calendar through the mitzvah of sanctifying the new month. Up until this point, Tishrei, the month of creation, was considered the first month of the year. Although Tishrei still begins the New Year, celebrated by Rosh Hashanah and the High Holidays, when counting the months, Nissan is considered the first month and Tishrei the seventh. Why the change? When G‑d crea

If You Just Won the Lottery, How Would It Change Your Life?

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 12:00:00 EST

Dear Readers, If you just won $550 million, how would your life change? Would you continue living in the same home or community? Would you keep your current job or hobbies? Undoubtedly, there would be many changes to your lifestyle. You might choose to upgrade your home, your travels, your vacations. You may begin frequenting more upscale shops or restaurants. But how would such a win affect your relationships? Would your closest friends and confidants still remain that way? Would your friends view you as the same person? Would you become more generous and kind . . . or more wary and guarded? A New Hampshire woman holds the Powerball lottery ticket that recently won $559 million. She described herself as a longtime state resident and “engaged community member.” She is fighting in court to remain anonymous so that she can continue to “walk into a grocery store or attend public events without being known.” She wants to continue living in

This Is Your Moment to Shine!

Wed, 14 Feb 2018 12:00:00 EST

Dear Readers, For the Jews in ancient Persia, the situation looked terribly bleak. Haman, an avowed anti-Semite, had plotted to destroy every Jewish man, woman and child in the kingdom. He had the position, power and trust of King Achashverosh to achieve his monstrous goals. The stage was set for misery and annihilation. Yet just as the Jews are about to despair, the story takes an unexpected twist. A slight ray of hope exists on the horizon. The turning point comes in the words that I’ve always felt were the most poignant ones in the whole story. Mordechai sends a message to Esther, his relative and Achashverosh’s queen, to approach the king, reveal her identity as a Jewess and beg for the salvation for her people. The stakes are high. Mordechai is entreating Esther to risk her very life for the mere possibility that she can somehow change the king’s mindset and save her nation. She hesitates. She is scared and uncertain. She consid

Overcoming My Computer Problems

Wed, 14 Feb 2018 12:00:00 EST

Dear Readers, Due to security precautions, every once in a while, our IT management team decides on new protocol. Since so many of us are logging into our computer systems, often remotely from all over the world, I understand why these practices are necessary. But at the same time, as someone who isn’t adept to change, especially technological ones, I usually say a silent prayer before trying the new procedure, in the hopes that it will work for me. A couple of weeks ago, we were told by our IT team that we have a new remote desktop server. “The new server is faster, has updated software, is more secure, and has some new features that I know you are going to like.” Hmmm, I thought warily as I read the memo. We were given a new remote address and instructions for logging on and told that it should progress simply. Except “simple” is rarely a word that I use to describe anything remotely related to technology. Sure enough, m

What’s the Greatest Health Benefit for You?

Thu, 25 Jan 2018 12:00:00 EST

Dear Readers, If I asked what would be the one change in your life that could give you the greatest health benefit, how would you respond? Would you say more exercise? Eat healthier? Sleep more? Quit smoking? Lately, I’ve been reading more and more studies that discuss the health benefits of having interactions with friends, family, neighbors and community members as part of our daily schedules. Want to live a longer, healthier life? Want to be happier? Then put more effort into your social life! According to some studies, those with poor social connections had 50 percent higher odds of death than those with regular social integration. Some researchers suggest that communal connections can positively affect our longevity even more than factors like a healthy diet, a flu shot, exercise and not smoking anymore. Researchers aren’t exactly sure how friends, family or social connections can create greater health. But they have noti