Increasing our Awareness

As we the Bucharians, are very unaware of what and who we represent as a group of Jews from Central Asia, id like to encourage awareness of Bucharian communities, Rabbis, organizations, and much more. Alot of the information i will expose on this site about our Bucharian global community at large, will come as a surprise to many of those who are intrigued about our unique culture, yet have no sense of identity. Hopefully, through many various articles, I will be able to reveal the preciousness and uniqueness of our rich and deep Bucharian culture and community around the world. If you are a Bucharian jew, and you would like to share your story, or your community/ organizations story, please write to May we connect one to another and become as single entity with a single heart.

Mullo Natan

Being that at least 15 of my friends are either engaged or already married. I will write a small thought I have about marriage.

We have to take notice that the basis of human interaction and human relationships is having appreciation. Why? By having appreciation we build a relationship and become connected to each other. For example: When you let me borrow your car and I say Thank you, by saying thank you we have just made a connection with each other. If I am unappreciative and I don't say thank you I am breaking down the relationship that we had or could have had. A relationship is something that needs to be built. How is a relationship built? By having appreciation. When one person gives and the other says thank you, thats building a relationship and thats what makes us connected to each other. 

We see this in the Torah when Hashem held back the vegetation of the earth from growing. Our sages tell us why did he hold it back from growing? Because there was no man in the world yet to say thank you. The question is very simple. G-d needs man to say thank you? Is that why he didn't let the vegetation sprout from the surface of the ground because theres no one to say thank you? The answer is G-d does not need our thank you but the reason why he wanted man to be on the earth before the vegetation came out was because Hashem wanted us to be connected to him. By us saying thank you to Him, thats our connection to him. Being appreciative connects being unappreciative disconnects and destroys relationships.

In the society we live in today appreciation is a difficult character trait to attain. Lets face it we are Americans and we are brought up thinking that everything is due to me. I dont owe anyone anything and everyone owes me. We tend to only focus on our rights and not our obligation. A successful marriage is for each spouse focusing ONLY on his/her obligation (this is a topic that needs explanation but not for now)
Once a week one of my Rabbis from Yeshiva brings in Emails that he gets from people on their Shalom Bayit problems. I could tell you from the hundreds of emails that I read one of the top 3 reasons of Shalom Bayit problems is that the husband and wife don't appreciate each other. (1. Text messaging/phone/facebook 2.Porn addiction 3.Lack of appreciation)

In the Torah when Adam sinned and ate from the tree, Hashem came to Adam and said Who gave you to eat from the tree? Adam answered "the women you gave to me, she gave me to eat from the tree" Our Sages say that Adam was neglecting the good that God did for him. He should have said my wife gave me the fruit. Instead he said its your fault G-d "the women you gave me gave it to me". Hashem told him you were made from dirt and your going back to dirt. Why??? Because if he didnt appreciate what Hashem gave him than thats death. Not being appreciative for what our spouse does for us is creating a disconnection. 

Ill end with a story I heard from Rabbi Lam last week. 
A man came to the Rabbi complaining about how his relationship with his wife is going down hill. The Rabbi asked him, when was the last time you showed your wife you appreciated her? He said "Rabbi I've been married for 10 years why do I need to show her I appreciate her of course I do". The Rabbi said "I know you appreciate her but she needs to know that by you telling her". The husband went to the store and bought beautiful flowers, he came home and told his wife "My Rabbi said I should give you flowers and tell you I love and appreciate you". 

You should all have Successful and Happy Marriages , Shabbat Shalom
Credit for this can be given to Rav Noach Weinberg z'l, Dr. Rabbi Akiva Tatz, and Rav Yaakov Hillel. The only thing here that is mine are the mistakes.

We spend out entire lives looking for happiness. Money, power, prestige, material possessions, Love, entertainment, knowledge. Drugs, relationships, Sushi. Cosmetics, respect, more money, Alcohol, fitness, the "perfect" job. climate. Therapy, smiling a lot. Exotic vacations, a spa, music, sports and even more money.

Doesn't work does it?

Generation after generation has followed the very same pattern and come up empty-handed. "We'll be different", you proclaim. But are we? Seek out those who claim to have "tried" any of the above and examine their results. Are they truly happy? Surely not.

Relax as always the Torah has the answer for us.

The Mishna tells us "Who is rich? One who is happy with what he has."

If you appreciate what you have, you'll feel rich. If you don't appreciate what you have, no matter how much you get you'll never be satisfied.

Judaism teaches that if you can master the art of noticing, appreciating, and consciously enjoying what you already have, then you'll always be happy.

How do we achieve the happiness that the entire world is going to Europe or South America to search for? APPRECIATE LIFE!

Remember when all you wanted was that car and then life would be great. But then we finally got that car and life still was not so great because we were still not happy. After all our friend had a much better car or we wanted to "hook up" our car more and more.

This teaches us that happiness is not a happening. Happiness is a state of mind. You can have everything in the world and you can still be miserable. Or you can have relatively little and feel very, very rich.

The Chazon Ish writes in one of his letters the following: "For someone who knows the lights of the lights of truth (you know what life's all about) there is no sadness in the world.

So why or what is it that gets us down, sad, and depressed?

Dr. Rabbi Tatz says real sadness is when you don't know which road you should be on (your life's purpose). You can be sitting in the lap of luxury of eating and drinking, but if you're on the wrong road you will be miserable, everyone around you can be giggling, but your soul will be depressed.

The reason why we believe that happiness is money and clubbing and getting drunk and so on is because the media created a stereotype of what happy is. So according to them it doesn't matter what you do, do what makes you happy. But that's not Judaism.

When your soul is doing what its supposed to be doing the response will be happiness. If the soul is not doing what it should be doing the response will be depression.

The Kabballist Rav Yaakov Hillel says
"They (sinners) can never be truly happy, because deep down, they know the truth. Like it or not they know that they are not fulfilling their life's real purpose.

The honor available in this world is meaningless nonsense, defined by bank accounts, pedigrees, social contacts, and party affiliations. It is false, yet we find it impossibly difficult to forgo. All the emotional anguish we have over honor and attention are not only worthless but also short-lived, lasting only as long as we do."

There is always a chance for change, the Gemara tells us
" One who comes to purify himself is assisted"

If we want what is right and make the initial move, Hashem will help us. But that initial move is entirely up to us.

I'll end with a famous quote from Rav Pam, "The world is traveling to find a city of happiness, while it can only be found in a state of mind"