Post 447: Trip to Shilo and several other soaring places tomorrow, Listening to Lisa Aiken, PHD, Dinner on the Hudson, Tuesday, August 15, 2017, Contra Dance in Ramot Bet, Vertigo Dance Performance

If you have never been to Shilo or its rich environs and a few years have  passed since your last trip nearby, you have an opportunity for a free trip tomorrow: I found out about this a few hours ago: All the details are provided on the link:

A simple thing like joining a Webinar is a challenge with it’s frustrations. In fact, Lisa Aiken’s talk could have been entitled, “How to meet the Challenge of Joining a Webinar”. Yes  to get it started is a challenge . For on old hand, it can be a trifle. I felt it  empowered by getting and staying connected. a seminar conducted over the Internet.

What is a webinar? A webinar is a seminar conducted over the Internet.

I’m sorry to say that my idea of a seminar is a class at a college or university in which a topic is discussed by a teacher and a small group of students, and the burden of the class falls increasingly on the students.

At the beginning of the webinar the manager announced that 40+ students enrolled. During the hour she listed some of the single word answers of listeners. No feedback.

Notwithstanding the fact that Dr. Aiken’s message was well developed, it wasn’t so  important what she said, because, there was a sense of familiarity to it.

But getting on to a webinar, that was new, for me anyhow.

Some may say the purpose of a webinar is for arousing interest, where little or none exists. That person would not join a webinar; he uses his time to follow his range of interests and none other. Touchy-feely talks are seen as a waste of time. Dr. Aiken wore her therapist’s cap throughout, and had you think for a brief moment that a therapy session was in progress.

When one joins a Webinar you have a general idea of the contents. After a single listening experience,  I know that a webinar is really another type of Info-mercial, a television program that promotes a product in an informative and supposedly objective way, in this case promoting a series of Lisa Aiken webinars.

Heaven is wonderful, but getting there is most of the fun. This statement has been attributed to the Chofetz Chiam. I imagine the “fun” that the great Chofetz Chiam is referring to is the trial of living a life  seeking a connection to his creator. On the outside he lived a life of great difficulty and what we would call poverty. It was “Life”. He saw life with a capital “L”. Nothing was trivial.

His spiritual life was rich beyond imagination.

The speaker is Dr. Lisa Aiken.  Her topic, Overcoming Challenges with Resilience, was about “Life”. She urged us to make our stresses into small trivialities.

Firstly, what is a challenge? As a typical therapist, she threw the question out to her listeners. You’ve undoubtedly been in a room where the psychologist asks the audience members to utter their personal challenges.

Then after hearing complaints of the mundane variety from a somewhat embarrassed audience of listeners, the speaker comes up with some heavy complaints and then some and guess what, Dr. Aiken continued, “those folks are sunny and bright and not down on the world.”

I suspected she would supply many stories and examples from her hospital patients. One  a woman, suffered a stroke in her ninth month of pregnancy

Dr. Aiken was summoned to tell the woman that after delivery, she would never be able to walk or hold her baby. The lady burst out, “I’ve always been told that I was a good for nothing. You’ll see, I’ll be back in three months walking and holding my baby”. Three months later she proved Dr. Aiken wrong. More to the point, the woman didn’t know how resilient she was. But she learned and taught Dr.Aiken a thing or two.

Other stories were told describing near fatal accidents, that in the end helped wake up folks to the dangers of living in the fast lane of drugs and alcohol.

Making the necessary changes in their lives didn’t happen UNTIL they felt isolated, with  their backs up against the wall, without family, friends, job etc.

I’ll sum up: She defined resilience as the ability to harness the spiritual.  A smokescreen will  be read as “bad”. What may seem bad can be really good. And what is “good”? We don’t grow from ease, and staying in the same place. Harnessing the Spiritual is the key. When life feels out of control, to foster more sense of control, spiritual tools help one cope and  decrease stress. Plan A to Plan B. Small stresses are part of every day. Try to make everything into a small stress. You may feel tired, not always happy to face the day.

Daily stresses impact on everyone. Larger stressors are related to expectations, such as  big loan obligations for college tuitions with deflated outcomes, unfulfilled expectations, loss of spouse, serious illness. When many are compounded, one might ask, “Why didn’t I get an easier life?”

Harold Kushner answered:

G-d is powerless to do anything. Things happen. That is not a traditional Jewish approach.

Rather, all the events  are part of G-d’s plan. Moses asked the same question: He did not know why G-d did what he did. He did not know the plan. He got the response: You cannot know. You may know in retrospect. There’s a gap.

Let’s talk about creation: Everyday that is created, we are told that it was good. However, on the 6th Day -when He created man it was very good. On that day G-d created the Yetzar Horah, the freedom to choose.

Dr. Aiken concluded the seminar with thoughts about relationships. She didn’t spell out the connection to challenges. Any parent can say, “Hashem gave me this great gift, and it boils down to it, things are just not what I expected”.

What can your gift be to your children? Not wealth but to share our wisdom and develop a relationship with them. When only G-d existed, He decided to create us as the pinnacle of His creation for us to share his goodness. The body is here for us to interact with our soul. He put his essence into  us, our nefesh, (soul) so we have value and worth. None of us are here randomly. We need to be here because without each of us the world is incomplete. We are here for our body to experience the world and to accomplish it’s purpose and in so doing the soul and the body will be closer.

A boy came to his father, a Rav, asking permission to tour Universal Studios. The father agreed and the boy returned a short while after. The youngster said, “It’s not real! All the buildings in the movies are just paper!”

The rav knew full well what the reaction of his son would be. This sight is like this world. This world is a facade. The real world is behind it. There is a plan for every soul. We are meant to grow by feeling and seeking closeness. This is achieved through prayer trying to get closer to your creator. It’s all about how much you invest. One earns closeness by valuing it. How much more ennobling and dignified is it to know that you worked for your reward.

The soul can see what it needs to go through. A voice inside us tells us that this life has a purpose. We are not meant to live in comfort and ease but to earn by our efforts. Our body dies and our soul leaves for the next world. All the goodness that we created in this world will be waiting for us in the next world. Why do we have the evil inclination? Humans are made to indulge in the physical world. As a consequence we are are faced with decisions regarding feelings and thoughts to do the best as G-d prescribes. Man may choose to be magnificent. The almighty wants us to use all and every opportunity.

How are good and bad events seen through Jewish eyes? What may feel good is tasty food, gossip, lots of money. To put G-d in the center of our life is what is truly good. An illness can be very good, depending how you use it. A lady was confined in a hospital. She was visited by ביקור חולים ladies, and over time, the lady was brought back to our true purpose.

According to Maimonides most suffering arises from our own poor choices-going after things that are not good for us. Will our bodies permit us to neglect them forever?

Dr. Aiken advises: Awareness, mind-fullness  of stress is the first consideration.When confronted with stress ask: How am I contributing to my problem and how can I take responsibility? Sometimes we get a harsh message- we suffer an illness. Had we not incurred that acute illness, it’s possible we would continue on our merry way and perhaps undergo potentially more damage. These “bad” events are a wake-up call to re-evaluate our lives and put our energies in a different place.

Some people describe the stress as a punishment. Poor self-esteem can express itself as thinking G-d doesn’t like them. In Judaism, anything that puts a barrier between G-d and ourselves can be taken down by teshuvah, resolving not to do again. A barrier is removed by sending small difficulties here in this world rather that later. We shouldn’t make judgements about punishment. Dr. Aiken described  a person abusing himself with drugs. Consequently he gets a stroke – the stroke is the best thing to stop his fatal drug abuse.

She described a case where a man fired a subordinate in a cruel fashion and then he was later fired in a similar manner. Midah Kineged Midah: Ones gives a person a miserable experience and then receives an similar experience.

Abraham had 10 challenges. Stressors make us the best that we can be. Having children are the best and the hardest. No-one can say what I can and cannot do. Those  difficult experiences made us great.

We read about the lives of great Tzadikim because they are our role-models.  Sanctifying G-d is something that most of us cannot do.  They endures a relationship with Him that most cannot reach.

A final moshul: A Man gets to heaven. He sees two sets of footprints.  One of the sets of footprints are his.

There is a second set of footprints – of about the time  when he is going through a difficulty. During that time only one set of footprints is visable. He asks G-d for an explanation. My dearest beloved child, the single set of footprints is where I picked you up and carried you.

Dinner for All Women Experiencing Primary Infertility. Primary infertility refers to couples who have not become pregnant after at least 1 year having sex without using birth control methods. Secondary infertility refers to couples who have been able to get pregnant at least once, but now are unable. link to ATIME mission statement:

Link to a Musical Contra Dancing Event In Ramot B:;_ylc=X3oDMTJuOTA3djA0BF9TAzk3MzU5NzE0BGdycElkAzIyNjY4OTk1BGdycHNwSWQDMTcwNTE4Mzk1OARzZWMDYXR0YWNobWVudARzbGsDcGhvdG8Ec3RpbWUDMTUwMjYxNzY1OA–?itemid=916441922&soc_src=mail&soc_trk=ma

I learned of  the Beit Natan Annual One-Day Conference for Women – Sunday, August 27th

A special program that will inspire, inform and entertain! Designed for women coping with cancer, women who are caregivers for individuals with cancer, and female volunteers working with cancer patients. Contact Beit Natan for additional information.
יום של כיף והעשרה יתקיים בע”ה בבית הארחה בבית וגן ב27/7/17
היום מיועד לנשים המתמודדות עם מחלת הסרטן וכן לנשים שבעליהן מתמודדים עם המחלה
מצטרפות אלינו בשמחה ובגאווה גם מתנדבות בית נתן המקסימות
למידע נוסף
בית נתן 6446052-02

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A free Dance performance: Dance Performance: Order in the site up to 3 tickets. Birth of the Pheonix Facing the Walls of the Old City.Details:  

Go to the Vertigo website to order-left side.  admission is based on space available.


Saturday, September 2nd at 22:00; Sunday, September 3rd at 19:00 and 22:00; Monday, September 4th at 19:00 and 22:00, Tuesday, September 5th at 19:00 and 22:00; Wednesday, September 6th at 22:00.



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