Monday, June 24, 2013

Mad Men Mussar 2 Here is what I wrote just two years ago in Mad Men Mussar 1 -- "Don Draper, the central protagonist, has been struggling with his identity. Don, it is time for some, Truth, Emet, in your life." As all meaningful Mussar efforts --it takes a while to bear fruit - so, Don? Mazel Tov! We are seeing a glimmer of Emet - truth! Standing outside your childhood home was no easy deal and bringing along your kids is downright petrifying but powerful. Yes, for some of us, you can go home again - and in some cases - you must! Bring on the truth! We have waited long enough. This is the only way for you to get near Shleimut - wholeness and peace - Don - so bring it on! Back in 2010 Betty was not faring well in my estimation. My how things have change. Far from being a paragon of maternal magic - she at least has moved from this awful place - here's what I wrote in Mad Men Mussar 1 - at the end of Season 4 that shows Betty at the beginning of her downward parental spiral; "I confess, upon first coming across Betty, Don’s now ex-wife, I was impressed with her demure demeanor and was a fan. All of that has changed. I am decidedly disturbed by her parenting methods or perhaps the lack thereof. Her firing of her longtime housekeeper and nanny, Carla and her continuous lashing out and appalling lack of compassionate connection with daughter Sally is of great concern." Things are better now - though sharing a cigarette on the way home form Boarding School try out - was not a high point -- but folks -- remember things were different then! Betty overall - at least your showing some compassion, Chesed for those for those kids. Peggy, what can I say - I wish things were different. Last time up - the Mussar for you was to have some patience, Savlanut - now I feel you need some work on a bit of a different Mussar trait -- Peggy you need a little Bitachon - Trust. Please Peggy, trust yourself and your gut. Stop falling for those married men at work! You deserve better! Though you are a peek of the new woman, that does not mean that a fulfilling personal life is not within your means. Your bashert is out there somewhere! Finally, Joan and Roger - the turkey awaits carving - but this, a family does-not-make and Joan knows it. A nice season long display of Gevurah, strength, Joan! If only Roger could catch some. As for Peter and the creepy Bob Benson -- don't even get me started. Mussar traits for them? How about a fine dose of humility - Anavah? Reality check. Even Television can't make that kind of special effects happen! Thank you Matthew Weiner it's been a thoughtful season...get out those Hershey Bars we're going to need some chocolate comfort to get us through the Mad Men-less days ahead.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Torah Lishmah 1. Shelah: A means to proper practice of Torah laws. 2. Nefesh HaChayim :To know and to understand H’. 3. Ruach Chiam:…to comprehend the secrets and mysteries of H’s marvelous deeds and Hi Glory and to fulfill the will of H’. 4. Rabbi Hertz: The one true motive is the love of G’. 5. Rabbi Shalom of Baranovich: The meaning of this mitzvah (lishmah) is to cleave (devekut) to H’ who as if says “ I have written myself into it” learning Torah is knowing H’ 6. Rabbi S.R.Hirsch: To discern from it the will of H’ and to do G’s will by fulfilling it oneself and teaching it to others. 7. Rabbi Reuven Bulka: An individual who is occupied with Torah for its own sake who sees Torah as a vehicle towards actualization of human purpose justifies the act of creation. 8. Tanya: …to attach one’s soul to G’ through the understanding of Torah. 9. Rambam: Introduction to Chelek – The only purpose in studying this wisdom should be its knowledge in itself. In the same way the search or truth should be for the purpose of knowing the truth, and Torah is The Truth. The purpose of knowing the truth is to realize it in practice. 10. Sfas Emes: "Torah lishma"is exactly what its shem (name) indicates. The word "Torah" means instruction. Hence, "Torah lishma" means learning in order