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Articles and insights by Rabbi Mendy Herson, director of the Chabad Jewish Center in Basking Ridge, New Jersey

By Mendy Herson

By Mendy Herson

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Think about it: our behavior is our feedback to G‑d, our response to His gift of life, as clouds are earth's feedback (in the form of vapor) to the warmth of the sun...
Sometimes you need to see things in your mind's eye; sometimes you need to close your eyes and see things with your soul...
Emotion is your psyche's fire. And, like fire, we need to treat it carefully. Like fire, emotions have great function; but, like fire, we can't let them get out of hand.
Can you imagine? Someone feels the impact of a weak economy and responds by giving away more money? Does that make any sense?
There's a war going on. No, I don't mean Georgia. Nor Iraq. Nor Afghanistan. I mean you. And me. But the war isn't between us. It's within us.
So often, we know that we shouldn't act a certain way; and then we go do it anyway. Maybe it's eating french fries after the doctor warned against it; maybe it's disrespecting a valued relationship.
When I reflect on myself and my role in the world, the word 'merchant' doesn't come to mind. But in a way, life itself is about 'Divine Commerce.'
For the record, I should state that I value moderation. I try to practice it and I teach it to my kids. So when the reporter blurted out, "You're pretty radical!" I took that as a pejorative comment...
Think about your deepest wish. I don't mean an ice cream sundae or new shoes; I mean something that strikes at your very core. How would you feel if someone made this wish a reality? Well, that's how G‑d feels when we live right...
What if I have stresses that I can't ignore? Should I stick my head in the sand and just smile? Happiness isn't that simple...
We instinctively associate the pursuit of beauty with the pursuit of movie star glamour. So we denigrate it as vanity. But is that what beauty is? Could there conceivably be a place for beauty in a refined, holy life?
Why the kiss? I had just expressed loving and encouraging words. What made me shift my mode of expression from the verbal to the physical?
The third Lubavitcher Rebbe was approached by a disciple who was bothered by agnostic thoughts. “Why does this trouble you?” the Rebbe asked him. “Because I’m a Jew!” the man exclaimed. “In that case, you’re doing fine,” the Rebbe replied.
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