Sunday, 15 May 2016

Book Release: Parshah in Just Two Minutes! Concise Summaries of the Weekly Parshah

It gives me great pleasure to share the good news regarding my recently published book, "Parshah in Just Two Minutes! Concise Summaries of the Weekly Parshah"

Throughout the years I had compiled various summaries of the Parshah, and seeing the reaction of others - and realising the importance of having some systematic book including all the Parshiyot, I decided to compile all the summaries, edit them and put them into one work. Here is the result:

The Torah is the blueprint of Creation. God looked into the Torah and created the world. The Zohar teaches that God looked into the Torah not just once, but twice, three times and four, before He created the world...

It is a mitzvah for a Jew to study the weekly parshah each week - together with the entire community. On Shabbat, the parshah is read in shul. Many understand the text in the original Hebrew. Many struggle and read a full English translation. Now, the parshiyot have been concisely summarised for those who would like to get a simple grasp of each parshah in two minutes - or even less! These simple summaries can be read at the Shabbat table so that the entire family can hear the most important parts of the parshah during the meal. This can be used for further discussion. They are also a great way to revise important points to remember the main themes of the parshah at any time! Use them to prepare for school tests - as you get the gist of the parshah in just a minute... or two!

Use these summaries as a springboard to further your learning, working through the entire parshah at a later stage - with the necessary and important Torah commentaries such as Rashi.

Each Book opens with some beautiful Torah quotations sharing hints about the parshiyot to come... or simply carry an important lesson to consider while reading, or discussing the weekly Torah portion.

Make sure to

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Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Helping Another Through Real Empathy - a Lesson From a Vet and a Pit Bull Terrier (Video Included)

It's something we should all be doing. It's something we all say we'd all like to do more of. Really - it's something we need to have! But at the same time, it's something we so often lack the ability to do. We see another hurting - or going through a hard time, and we want to know the best way of helping them. Very often we might even misunderstand what the other is feeling or why we can't seem to get things right in helping them. They seem sheltered and often can't seem to get out of the trouble they find themselves in. What can we do to help? How can we help?

This beautiful and meaningful clip shares a story that we can all internalise and use in practice. It's the story about a pit bull that found herself abandoned. Brought in to Granite Hills Animal Care (see full article here) Dr Andy Mathis did not know what to do with the sick looking animal. Would putting it to sleep be the solution (as so many of us think when we see another in distress too(!)) or could he do something to save the animal's life? After much consideration the doctor thought up a plan! As the animal was not eating, he entered the cage together with her, prepared for himself his own meal in similar looking crockery - and ate together with her. Once she saw him eating, she began to eat as well. It's really a simple story - with not much more needing to be added...

The sick animal is apparently doing much better already and it looks like she will recover from her ordeal.

That's really what empathy is all about. When the other is suffering, it is not enough to offer, to suggest ideas, to even present "practical" alternatives. What it takes - is getting into the cage with the other, truly experiencing what they are going through, and then showing them a way out. In this way, everyone stands to gain. The other will value the kindness, follow on - and succeed, getting out of the rut holding them back from getting on with whatever they should be getting on with. As for the helper - they gain in becoming just that more sensitive, that much more honoured and respected - and no doubt will feel a tremendous sense of joy at helping the other to get well again!


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