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In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

Lessons from a Chilean Cave: Concealment and Discovery

By Rabbi Shlomo Einhorn


A rabbi opens scripture and finds powerful allusions




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Reality TV reached its apex this week. It wasn't with the Jersey Shmendricks, or in Trump's board room, but it was reality in its truest sense.

There was a cataclysm of emotion as we watched the first survivor emerge from the mine in Chile — Florencio Avalos — seeing his 7 year old burst into tears and entirely overwhelmed. While we are all suckers for rescue missions and tales of survival, there was something particularly stirring about this experience. Was it the unknown tension lingering in the question of whether it would work? Maybe. Was it the possibility that the transport cage might get stuck? Maybe. But still there was something calling out "mimakim", from the depths, of that mine. And there was something so triumphant in the emergence of the 33 survivors.

There were two phases here (or two miracles at work): the period of concealment (in the cave) and the period of discovery (coming out of the cave). I would like to explore both.

CONCEALMENT
Part of the mystery that had been building hovered around the concealment of it all; the unknown. 33 Miners. The number 33 relates to that which is hidden.

Job 27:11 — "I will teach you concerning the hand of G-d; that which is with the Almighty will I not conceal" (achached in gematria [ the system of assigning letters numeric values,] is 33)

Joshua 10:16 — "And these five kings fled and hid themselves in the cave at Makkeda" (hid in gematria is 33)

Magnificence and beauty in our religion is revealed in the concealed. Abraham is told by G-d to "go to the land which I will show you." Why didn't G-d identify the land that He was sending Abraham to? According to the foremost commentator, Rashi, G-d wanted to make the land more precious in Abraham's eyes. That which is hidden is more powerful.

This is why we wrap a gift before presenting it. The wonder and mystery of what may emerge generates an extra element of excitement.

The great Rabbinic leader of Israeli Jewry at the turn of the 20th Century, Rabbi Yaakov Moshe Charlop, interprets "the land that I will show you" as meaning: Even if it appears to the eye that it is like all other lands, it has rocks, it has trees, the truth is that such is not the case. It's a very different land. The treasures hidden within are amazing. So G-d is telling Abraham you have to look in the way that I show you. You have to look with the glasses that I give you. You must learn to reveal that which is concealed.

This also forms the basis for the notion of modesty in the way we dress. There is great power, tremendous mystery, in that which is hidden.

When one is dating, a good indication that you are with the right person is when you run out of things to say and you are comfortable in the silence. That beauty is in the hidden.

This is the element of concealment but then there is the discovery, recovery.

DISCOVERY
Rabbi Gedalia Schorr, in his magnum opus, Ohr Gedalyahu, explains that "Lech Lecha" literally means "go to you", for you are your own salvation. Abraham had begun to define himself by all those circumstances that made up his life, his surroundings, his parents, his relatives. These external systems may contribute to the forming of a personality but they also can interfere with the process of recognizing our own identity. Finding the hidden dimension within ourselves is the only way to fulfill our deepest desire."

The number 33, is not just a number of hiddeness and concealment but it is also a number of discovery and return. It correlates to the concept of repentance, as the Talmud (Sanhedrin 103a) states that the wicked King Menashe repented for 33 years and G-d received him. We also find that the 33rd day between Passover and the holy day in which Jewry reenacts the Revelation at Sinai, Shavuos, is a time that is associated with elevation and the opportunity for tremendous growth. The 33rd day of the Omer is the time when we memorialize the great Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai who spent 12 of his most formidable years isolated with his son in a cave.

It is often this isolation which yields our greatest victory. It can afford us the opportunity to find out who we really are. The number 33 in the Torah reading of Lech Lecha is in the gematria of the Hebrew word "yichyeh", which means to live. Lech Lecha is Abraham being asked to recover his true self, the secret that lies within.

The imagery of being isolated in a cave is a pattern we often find in Tanach: Joseph, King David, Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai and others. The Alter of Kelm comments on Psalm 142: "A thought of David when he was in the cave...", that each of the heroes mentioned in Tanach or in the Talmud, achieved their greatness in the midst of their isolation. It is precisely in the isolation where they realized that no matter how alone, no matter how cut off nobody could take away their essence, their ability to think. This is a powerful belief made famous by Viktor Frankl in "Man's Search for Meaning." While in Auschwitz he realized through the torture and isolation that nobody can take away our power to simply be.

[The allusions to the mine continue this week. See Genesis 14:10 where, according to a Midrashic interpretation advanced by Rashi, we find that the King of Sedom falls into a pit, only to be saved through a miracle.]

We all have our pit, that space where there is nothing else around us but ourselves. It is that space where we can pay attention and listen to the worlds greatest secret — ourselves.

Perhaps what has been powerful in the Chilean mine process is the fact that we can imagine ourselves deep inside that mine and wonder how we would have survived, how we would have sent love to our family, how we would have struggled, and how we would have found ourselves.

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JWR contributor Rabbi Shlomo Einhorn is spiritual leader of the West Side Institutional Synagogue in Manhattan.


© 2010, Rabbi Shlomo Einhorn