Sunday, March 10, 2013

Juggling the Extremes

Or am I?

Well, yes, I've moved to this new land.
It's sort of near Shamayim.
Have you heard of it?
I'll give you a hint: it starts with the word "Eretz" :)

Oh, and, I have a mini special somebody around whom I carried for 9 months (well, 39 weeks and a few days, actually, but who's counting?).

Baruch HaShem!
So, yes, I've been busy.
But why am I making excuses, anyway? I never committed to a blog.

But still. This blog holds a special place in my heart. It was an island for both my vents and my chizzuk.

To all the readers who have sent me emails: please don't think that I was ignoring you.
I seriously only checked the emails a few days ago. For the first time. I'm not joking.

Anywho, it was Purim a few weeks ago.
Purim has a lot of gadlut to's such a shame so many people miss out the spiritual opportunity and instead solely indulge in physical opportunities (ie: drunk men.)
Speaking of drunk men...
when I was 19, after witnessing one too many religious guys get drunk on Purim, I decided that if my husband would ever get drunk on Purim, I would change the locks to our front door and let him sleep outside.
It was only fair to warn my innocent husband-to-be while we were engaged that I can be cruel if my husband decides to join the drunk frummy bandwagen.
So Baruch HaShem my husband is not one of those idiotic drunk men on Purim (or ever) :)
May HaShem help those men, and may He help me not get so mad at them every year.

Oftentimes, spiritual opportunities can completely pass us by. Why's that? Because whenever there's potential for great purity and holiness, there's also potential for great tuma.

A perfect example of this is:

A perfect example of this is motzei Shabbat. Motzei Shabbat is the time when the holy Shabbat is over, but the queen is still in the vacinity. Our neshama yetera leaves us, and we're left with a feeling of loneliness. Suddenly, we feel the need to do something fulfilling.
Ever wonder why there's such a temptation to "go out" and "have fun" on motzei Shabbat? Yep, that's why. And sadly, many Jews in the world think that going to a movie, club, party, etc. motzei Shabbat will help them fill the lonely spot.
But no.
Since we lost something spiritual, we can only fix the feeling of emptiness with something spiritual. So we have a melaveh malka meal filled with divrei Torah, songs, music, and connection to HaShem.
But this takes a lot of effort! Especially because there's such a strong yetzer hara to ignore the spiritual void and to focus on the physiciality. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if Saturday night is the most avera-filled evening of the week.

Wherever there's potential for great kedusha, there's also potential for great tuma. Interestingly enough, it doesn't work the other way. If there's a place filled with tuma - you're most likely not going to find great kedusha there.

We also see this in our parashat hashavua (2 weeks ago) with the incident of chet haegel. How could Bnei Yisrael commit just a horrendous avera? They just witnessed Har Sinai and heard HaShem speak to them! I mean, what's more holy and life-changing than that?!
It's a question that all the mefarshim deal with, and many different answers are given. The main one being that it was mainly the erev rav - 1% of the nation who committed the sin.
But still. How could the 1% commit such a grave sin?
The answer is: where there's potential for great kedusha, there's also potential for great tuma.
They could've waited for Moshe while learning together, davening, staying on the high and embracing the holiness that just came upon them. But that's not what happened.

A wise person never thinks he's ONLY immersed in kedusha. Don't be fooled. Be wise and always look out and be aware of the tuma. Never think that you're untouchable, and that the yetzer hara can't fool you. (But also don't think that you're doomed! Afterall, chazal (kiddushin 30b) teach us that HaShem said "barati yetzer hara, barati lo Torah tavlin" (I created the yetzer hara, but I also created the Torah as the antidote for it.)

Once you know what you're competing against, you can use the tools and strength from the yetzer hatov to win the battle and live in the life of holiness.


Hatzlacha Rabba to all of my readers. I'll try to respond to all of the emails soon.

(Special shout out to one of my dear readers & former Garden of Emuna chavruta: your email was accidentally deleted, but I would really love to respond to it. Please e-mail me again soon!)

I hope to post soon. But I can't promise :)

Sefardi Gal


  1. Welcome back here! It's so good to read from you and get such happy updates on what is going on in your life!

    I just want to mention one thing about getting drunk on Purim. It is true that some people take it to the extreme and do not use this opportunity for spiritual elevation, but have you ever seen someone cry with real tears while singing a kumzitz song with love for their creator and gratitude in their hearts for all Hashem has done for them?

    Have you ever seen a group of yeshiva guys dancing til the wee hours of the night-with connection to Hashem through song

    I've seen it. I have seen what levels people can come to when they drink, when they get high and when they use it as a way of connecting to Hashem on an even deeper level. It is the most beautiful thing to see.

    They drink, they connect, they sing and dance-about ahavas Hashem, ahavas Hatorah, ahavas Habrios.

    There's a reason that there is a mitzvah to drink. And just like with many things-someone can abuse it. But when you see people who have done it right, it is inspiring and it gives you a deeper level of understanding of why chazal put this mitzvah into this special day in the first place. The depth that is hidden within each person comes out...and you can see real beauty and grow from it.

    May you be able to see the beauty of deveikus to Hashem through drinking on day, just like I have!

  2. I congratulate Sefardi Gal on making aliyah!
    I congratulate Sefardi Gal on becoming a mother!

    Many years ago I said:
    “A righteous Jewess makes three things:
    She makes chulent, she makes babies, and she makes aliyah.”

    Sefardi Gal has made all three of those things :-)

    My one complaint:
    There were 150 days between this message and her previous message.
    That is too long!

    I would like to hear Sefardi Gal talk about Garden of Emunah.

    May HASHEM grant all Jews a very happy and kosher Pesach.

  3. Mazel Tov to item one, Mazel Tov to item two!

  4. Devorah - hi! Thank you so much for the kind words :)
    I have seen those kind of drunk men on Purim, and I'm not denying that it's wonderful and emotional to see such dveykut to HaShem. However, we need to look at the whole picture - most men don't get that way when they're drunk. That's what I meant when I said Purim has great potential for kedusha, but also great potential for tuma.
    The misuse and irresponsible, chilul HaShem outcome of drunken men on Purim is why many Rabbanim, such as a HaRav HaGaon Rav Yitzchak Yosef (Rav Ovadia's son), strongly urge men not to get drunk on Purim. Being tipsy or drinking very little and then going to sleep also achieves the mitzvah of "ad shelo yada."

    Mr. Cohen - thank you. How do you so accurately keep track of the days in between my posts? lol :D

    Princess Lea - thanks!! Even though I was gone, I still lurked on your blog here and there :)