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Haftarah: Yehoshua 2:1-24

JUNE 15-16, 2012 26 SIVAN 5772

Rosh Hodesh Tamuz will be celebrated on Wednesday & Thursday, June 20 & 21.


"Do not stray after your heart and after your eyes." (Bemidbar 15:39)

It is interesting to note that although we see an object before desiring it in our heart, the Torah mentions desire first. This is because we usually see what we want to see. Our eyes are guided by what is already in our hearts. Rabbi Ephraim Nisenbaum explains with a parable. Three men quickly scanned the front page of a newspaper in passing. The news junkie is immediately drawn to the headlines, the sports fan sees the latest scores at the top of the page, and the investor's eyes move to the stock market rates.

Rav Moshe Feinstein walked to his Yeshivah each day from his apartment on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Someone asked him how he maintained his spiritual composure when he passed so many immodest billboards and storefronts on the way. Rav Moshe looked at the man innocently and responded, "Really? Are there immodest sights along the way? I never even noticed!" Shabbat Shalom. Rabbi Reuven Semah

When Moshe sent the twelve spies into the land, he changed his student's name from Hoshea to Yehoshua by adding a letter Yud to his name. The Rabbis tell us he took the letter Yud from the name of Sarah, our Matriarch, whose name was originally Sarai, and so the Yud from her name went to Yehoshua. What is the symbolism behind this message?

Sarah was the one who told Abraham to drive Yishmael out from the house because she saw him as a negative influence on her son, Yitzhak. Hashem agreed with Sarah and commanded Abraham to listen to Sarah. Here too, the lesson is that if Yehoshua wants to be the one to conquer and distribute the land to the Jewish people, he must remove all negative influences from their environment. To establish a proper community, we must be on guard that only positive and proper lessons be instilled within us and our children. That is the legacy of Sarah Imenu and that is what Yehoshua was to follow in setting up the land of Israel! Shabbat Shalom. Rabbi Shmuel Choueka


Sometimes you feel happy one moment and sad the next. Or calm now, and ready to explode a second later.

Everyone experiences mood swings. Some are mild and others are extreme, but all moods affect the way you assess and respond to situations.

Sometimes it is hard to overcome your mood in order to perform everyday tasks and meet your obligations. You may not be in the mood to deal with your children's early morning grumpiness, but you must get them off to school. You may not be prepared emotionally to face the commute, but you must get to your office. Or you may feel very lazy, but you must be on time for Shaharit.

It is hard enough to always be in the proper frame of mind to keep up with routine responsibilities. Yet there are also times when you must do something unusual, possibly even unappealing, for the sake of others. You may feel it is time to visit a sick relative, but not be in the mood to deal with his idiosyncrasies. You may be needed at a meeting for the benefit of a community organization, yet nor feel ready to deal with all the self-serving chatter that always precedes any decision.

Well, you can't always do what you like, and you can't always have things your way.

When you are just not in the mood, push yourself to overcome how you feel to do what you must. It takes a moment of effort to build your resolve in order to do what is right - even though you may not be in the mood. (One Moment With Yourself - Rabbi Raymond Beyda)

* * * * *

A quick tip to boost the power of your prayer. Hazal tell us (Masechet Baba Kama Daf 92A) that Hashem loves the tefilot of one Jew for another so much that anyone who prays on behalf of a fellow Jew with similar needs will have his prayer answered first. A special service has now begun to provide people with names of others who find themselves in a similar predicament. You can call with complete anonymity and get the name of someone to pray for and give the name of someone that needs our prayers. The name of the service is Kol Hamitpalel. Categories include: Marriage; Income; Health; To have children etc.

Call to 646-279-8712 or email (Privacy of email limited by the email address)

Please pass this message along. Tizku L'misvot.

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