שירת שלום

Song of Peace

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  • 21 Mar 2022 8:45 AM | Shirat Shalom (Administrator)

     “A New King Arose Who Knew Not of Joseph." 

    After officiating a Bar Mitzvah service last week, Cantor Lee and I were invited for the festive meal. The proud grandfather was seated next to me.

    With some hesitation he turned to me and said, “Rabbi, can I ask you a question that has been bothering me for weeks? You see,” he said,  “it's about Ukraine. My entire family is originally from the city of Odessa. Almost all perished  in the Holocaust by the Nazis with the enthusiastic help of the Ukrainians. 

    I am sure you  know how cruel the Ukrainians  were to us over many centuries and the atrocities they committed against us during many bloody pogroms, killing us, burning our synagogues, our villages. Now they want  Israel to help them  with weapons  and take in as many refugees  as possible.”

     “Rabbi”, he continued. “I understand that these are refugees and the importance of helping them but it is hard for me not to feel torn between the bitter memories and our Jewish obligation to help anyone who is in dire need”.

    It seems that the man’s question caught the attention of the other guests around the table. Suddenly the eager expectation for the wonderful food which was about to be served faded a little as many were listening intently to the conversation which was about to emerge. 

    I immediately realized how significant this issue is for so many of us. It feels like scratching an old Jewish scar to expose a deep and painful wound. 

    For a minute I was quiet. I myself have been trying to sort out my feelings about all this ever since the horrific pictures of brave Ukrainians being shelled indiscriminately by the Russians which, as we all know, caused a massive amount of refugees and so much destruction.  

    The painful memories of suffering at the hands of the Ukrainians will always be with us as they should. As I was trying to formulate the appropriate answer, the Biblical Exodus story came to mind.  

    For the Egyptians, it only took a few generations to turn from love and admiration for Joseph to an Egyptian generation with the exact opposite feelings about him and his people, the Hebrews.

    The Torah indicates this by simply saying: ”A new king arose who knew not of Joseph.” I am sure there were hieroglyphic  documents which spoke about the glorious days of Egypt during Joseph’s time. Egyptian kings were always good at documenting their achievements. 

    It was just that this new king, along with his subjects and the slave drivers had entirely different feelings about Joseph and his people.      

    With that in mind I turned to the grandfather and said, “It is our obligation to honor all these horrible Jewish memories at the hands of the Ukrainians, not only their enthusiastic  participation in the Holocaust.”

    I then reminded him about the pharaoh story. “This  story teaches us an important Biblical lesson,” I told him. “Each generation has its own feelings and its own attitude towards important issues and events. Despite bitter Jewish memories in Ukraine of many centuries we can look at the situation as opposite yet similar to the Egyptian story. 

    In the modern Ukraine case it is a turn from a generation who knew no limits to their cruelty to the Jews to a generation who is very much pro-Israel and who admires  and loves their Jewish leader, Mr. Zelenskyy, (the modern day Joseph?) and has no problem with its Jewish population.”

    The grandfather did not seem comforted by the answer. “Yes”, he  replied, “but shouldn’t we as Jews be very cautious when it comes to Gentiles with such a bloody history against us?” 

    I thought for a minute about it and said: “There’s a fine line between Jewish caution and paranoia. This generation of Ukrainians are good and brave people. They are certainly good to us, the Jews, and the State of Israel. They admire  their Jewish president. 

    It is true that the State of Israel is afraid to supply Ukraine with arms because they depend on Russia not interfering  with the Israeli Air Force activities in Syria. Yet its humanitarian help to Ukraine is extensive. Not only did Israel take in thousands of Ukrainians refugees, she also sent a modern, large, fully equipped field hospital manned by many doctors and nurses, along with large quantities of food and medicine supplies. And as you know” I continued,  “many Jewish organizations are helping with very large sums of relief money”.

    I was still not sure if this was a satisfactory answer. But then I realized that I should ask myself the same question. I guess if an Egyptian generation could ignore the wonderful deeds of Joseph the Hebrew who had lived only a few generations previously  and turn into a generation of hate  and bigotry, then we as modern Jews can do the opposite. Overcome the bitter memories of the past and welcome the  good relations we now have with the modern Ukrainians. 

    And in doing so may the pain from past horrific deeds perpetrated against us be healed as we altogether create a new world. One where war does not exist. One where “Shirat Shalom” a “Song of Peace”  is sung by all. 


    Rabbi David

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  • 15 Mar 2022 1:24 PM | Shirat Shalom (Administrator)

    The 18th Booster of Shushan

    Here is Rabbi David's own version of the megillah (a long story that tells the story of Queen Esther.) Of course as usual he makes fun of everything which is the whole idea of a Purim Shpiel! No political messages - just laugh and enjoy!

    From Rabbi David: An interesting archaeological find in the Judean desert  dating  to the fourth century BCE, sheds new light on the Purim Saga.

    Professor Knowit All from Shushan State University recently presented his findings in a conference, revealing an amazing archeological treasure. Professor All  introduced a surgical mask with the phrase:  “Esther the Queen” embroidered on it from that time period.  A scroll titled  “The True, Uncensored Story of Purim” was found near the mask, written and sealed by an anonymous writer believed to be Mr. Mordecai. D. Joo. 

    Since uncensored material is invaluable nowadays, it is considered to be the find of the century.

    Once opened, the story revealed the true sequence of events in Shushan, the flag city of  our beloved King Achashverosh, peace be with him, according to the gospel of Haman’s son, Vizata the First. 

    The story was corroborated by the world renowned historian Moyshe Goldberg who was also the deputy assistant to all wild party matters in the court of Achashverosh, King of Persia,  and who lived in Shushan at the time.

    So according to Vizata’s gospel, the story actually begins with the famous Shushan Pandemic of the fourth century BCE.  Dr. Anthony Zaratushtra,  the head of the Shushan’s CDC and ATV,  declared that anyone who walks in the street without wearing a surgical mask will be hung by his/her toenails. Since no one wanted to be hung  by their toenails,  everyone wore a blue velvet and a mask.

    In one of the king’s infamous parties on his yacht named,  “Where Is The Liquor?”  his queen, Zelda Vashti, was seen not wearing her government issued face mask. Oy.  

    What a chutzpah! The king, totally embarrassed in front of all the dignitaries from our beloved  China and Russia and in front of his majestic  wonderfulship, P. Andrew,  had to stop the nice respectable party on the yacht and declare Queen Zelda Vashti a socially canceled, racist, person. The poor thing was banned from Twitter, Facebook, Shushan Gazet and all other social platforms.

    She was forbidden from studying the Talmud and Jewish mysticism. She had to surrender her throne and all the money she made through inside trading and outside “favors” she granted to all the big boys of the technical giants.         

    The king in his (poor) State of the Union address declared that Queen Zelda Vashti is solely responsible for the running inflation in Shushan and therefore he is now on the hunt for a replacement.

    Many young ladies competed for the job which also included a multi million dollar package deal and a movie contract.  

    Esther,  a nice Jewish girl, while being very pretty, had no intention to compete. All she wanted is to become a respected reporter, see no evil,  say no wrong, on network TV,  but Mordechai, her cousin, explained to her that a Jewish queen during the pandemic of which, of course, the Jews are to blame,  will be a very good thing for the Jews. 

    Besides, he told her, the money is good. She can write books about cooking or about early childhood gender education in Shushan Kindergartens and sell millions of copies on Shushanzon and (Ugly) face-book. 

    So Esther decided it couldn’t hoit and threw her shoe to the ring (she did not like hats…)      

    Wouldn't you know, she won.  After much PR and with the help of a good Jewish attorney /manager to handle her campaign,  she became the now very famous Queen Esther. 

    It would’ve been nice if this was the end of the story wouldn’t it?

    No such luck. In the gospel according to Vizata,  Haman, the deputy king for foreign affairs and UFO’s,  was a racist, misogynist and a no-goodnik. 

    Now cousin Mordecai, a respected Jewish representative of the Jewish people in the Shushan senate diametrically opposed Haman’s social, economical, educational, bacteriological and ice cream agendas. 

    Naturally Haman did not like Mordechai and by extension, the rest of the tribe. One day he went to the press and declared  that the Jews refuse to wear their state issued face masks and do not keep their 535 feet social distance.  

    In fact, he claimed, many of them did not take the 18th booster vaccine. Unlike the rest of the minorities in the kingdom who believe in all those beautiful Idols, the Jews only worship their one and only G-D. 

    One G-D?! What a bizarre concept! That constitutes total insubordination!

    In a closed door, secret conference with King  Achashverosh, Haman proposed  getting rid of the Jews by activating the army reserve and the hooded Bolsheviks who would do the dirty work. 

    In a sealed contract with the king,  Haman made a grave tactical mistake. He added a clause which indicated the elimination of “all them Jews”. 

    Not letting a qualified Shushan attorney review the contract was a bad mistake. Since “all them Jews” means all of the Jewish people - no exception, Queen Esther was in danger as well. 

    Since Queen Esther was not fond of the idea that the Jewish people would be genocided, and since she herself did not like dying too much, she hosted a zoom meeting with the king in which she invited him and Haman to an intimate candlelit dinner with plenty of vodka and Bloody Mary on hand (do they even go together?)   

    She first thought that the Cheese Factory of Shushan would be a good place for this upcoming historical dinner but after much consideration she chose her palace. 

    You see, her kitchen was glatt kosher (double sinks, triple refrigerators  etc.) Besides, unlike the cheese factory, her kitchen was blessed by the chief rabbi of Shushan, Rabbi Shmuel Feldman, and that was a very important point. Most importantly,  in her kitchen she could make sure that all the food served would also be strictly organic.    

    And so it happened, according to Vizata’s Gospel, that the king, the queen and their guest, Haman the Amalekite, set for Shabbos dinner with wine, Challah and all the trimmings.  

    Needless to say, the 18th Booster Certificate and triple mask cover were an absolute requirement for all who wanted  the privilege to serve the royal family  and their guest. Of course, the king, queen and Haman along with all the who’s who of Shushan were exempt from all masks.    

    Poor Haman thought  that the final procedures for the elimination of the Jewish people  would be discussed. You can imagine his shock upon realizing that he himself was on the agenda for the night. 

    In a clear and concise powerpoint presentation, Queen Esther built an iron clad case against Haman and all the media outlets that were so eager to spread his social anti Jewish theory. Relentlessly and by the advice of her Jewish attorney, she zeroed in on the clause “all them Jews” which by definition included her as well. Esther was upset about some media claims that Haman had no problems with the Jews since both the Jews  and him had nice white teeth. However, when the king heard that his wife, a nice Jewish social activist queen, would also become a victim of the plot, he lost his cool. I mean totally.

    In a quick impeachment trial conducted by the king in front of the queen  Haman lost his job with all the goodies that came with it. His book tour  promoting his book “the Jews and I - the case for extermination” was canceled immediately, All his scheduled tv appearances and all the consulting contracts with the Persian white hooded clans were terminated as of that night.  

    Oh, yes, in addition to all his troubles he was also hanged along with his ten sons and the Jews all over the Persian empire were saved.  Halleluyah!

    In Esther’s diary which was found a few years ago hidden in one of Iran’s ballistic missiles the entry for that night reads: Mission accomplished! Hooray for me and for Hollywood.”

    It is interesting to note that Mordecai wrote a secret note to Esther congratulating her. It reads:  Good job, agent E.S. Ter, wait for additional instructions from your handlers.

    Go figure…

    Rabbi David aka Rabbi Spock...

    Happy Purim!

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  • 28 Jan 2022 8:33 PM | Shirat Shalom (Administrator)

    The biblical story of Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden does not really end too well. Both are prohibited  from entering the garden. 

    After eating  from the Tree of Knowledge a fundamental change occurs in both of them. From being highly spiritual beings in a physical form roaming in the utopian world of the Garden of Eden they become physical beings where spiritual matters are hidden from them. 

    They are now relegated to living in the harsh reality of the mundane. While the fruit from the Tree Knowledge gave them sophistication along with the  ability to analyze and create, it also initiated some undesirable human traits all too familiar to us. 

    As humans evolved they began to believe in supernatural powers controlling their lives. Man made objects such as idols as well as phenomena from nature, all fueled  primitive imaginations. 

    A lot of water has raged in the Mississippi since then. Judaism of course brought to the world monotheism, the understanding  that the universe  is overseen by a universal, invisible, moral based G-D who has no physical shape and who cares and has a direct relationship with us.  In order to draw closer to G-D and enjoy a state of inner peace and  joy we in our modern world practice various meditation techniques which also includes prayer.  

    While immersed in the world of science during college I tended to think that any phenomenon or human ability that is not science based or could not be logically explained may not be real.

    Although I grew up in a religious home where spiritual experiences were the norm, in those days of questioning, I was somewhat skeptical of the hidden gifts and abilities which can be activated through the meditative state prayer brings. Of course, some people have enhanced cognitive abilities. We call them geniuses but these have always been considered high positions within the human brain’s spectrum. 

    These days I consider myself privileged to have a glimpse of our human hidden abilities and even more privileged to help our students reach some of these capabilities.     

    When Cantor Lee and I first began working with our students to activate their ability to “see” blindfolded and thus improve in Hebrew, we were amazed to witness that yes, while in the right meditative state they could easily see without their physical eyes. This included recognizing colors as well as reading books effortlessly, even when placed behind them. Some children were able to recognize words shown to them in a different room. 

    Over the past five years we have learned even further what can be experienced when accessing the higher state. For example some  students can now multiply three digit numbers without going through the actual calculation process. 

    These experiences shed a different light on understanding the Bible’s stories. 

    Last week we read about one of the most profound events in human history. The entire nation of Israel hears the voice of G-D from Mt. Sinai as He recites the Ten Commandments. G-D then reminds them that they all heard his voice; from the old to the young.  

    Is it possible? And what about all the miracles performed  by Moses or Joshua? What about  the prophets  being able to foretell the future with accuracy?

    After the experiences with our students, I have no doubt of our human ability to do amazing things, many which we may not even be aware of yet, once in the higher meditative state. 

    And who knows, maybe one day science will be able to explain and describe all of these abilities. 

    But one thing I do know. It gives me hope that these gifts can be used to repair our world, Tikun Olam. And that is not a small thing. 

    Rabbi David 

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  • 16 Jan 2022 3:55 PM | Shirat Shalom (Administrator)

    The early morning cashiers in Publix know me very well. I am the one wearing a kippah who refuses to bag my groceries in plastic bags no matter how many items I buy. Of course, I usually have my own bag with me, the one that Publix sells very inexpensively. Sometimes I don’t and I find myself in a funny position  having to juggle numerous items in my hands, hoping that nothing will fall by the time I reach my car. I have to ignore the justifiably strange looks I get from others when that happens.    

    I don’t think Publix existed yet in biblical times. The blessing of plastic, Styrofoam and other man made inventions which can never be decomposed are all modern time conveniences. Therefore, after careful consideration I can safely say that the Torah said nothing about plastic or any other modern man made material and therefore was not aware of the enormous challenge of handling them.

    Nevertheless, the Torah’s awareness of Mother Earth’s vulnerability is certainly no less than ours. Enter the holiday of Tu B’Shvat. The celebration which occurs on the 15th day of the month of Shvat (the fifth month of the Jewish year) was not commanded in the Torah as such. It became a holiday centuries later in the spirit of the Torah’s explicit and uncompromised concern for Earth’s welfare. 

    Originally Tu B’Shvat was dedicated to planting trees. It denotes the beginning of a yearly cycle for determining the age of fruit trees. The age of trees is vital information needed to follow certain biblical agricultural laws. Today, however, the holiday has evolved into a celebration of Mother Earth.  In fact, there are many related biblical instructions concerning Mother Earth’s welfare which are significant for us in a modern-day context.

    The Torah no doubt should be credited with advocating respect and appreciation for nature at a time that other nations were too busy fighting and killing each other. While The Torah did not know about reducing carbon emissions or plastic or other modern time specific ecological challenges, it clearly laid out clear guidelines regarding man’s attitude towards the preservation of our Earth. 

    The Torah, especially the Book of Psalms or even the Book of Job often glorifies Earth and all its creatures  as  G-D unique creations. It contains many ecological laws concerning the land, trees and animals. The oceans, mountains, a variety of animals, and all of nature’s wonders are regarded as G-D’s special handiwork. 

    It is, therefore of utmost  importance for man to carefully preserve it. In fact, in the story of creation G-D explicitly instructed humans to be the loyal custodians of Earth, to watch over Earth and all of its inhabitants. The most famous law is “Bal Tashchit” which translates as do not destroy.  While it originally referred to  fruit bearing trees (in the Book of Deuteronomy), it has been understood throughout Jewish history as a directive for the careful preservation of Mother Nature. 

    The Bal Tashchit law takes on a highly significant meaning for us, living in modern times. Of course, the Torah did not know about our modern day need to find ways to properly dispose of or even safely eliminate so many complex manmade materials and  chemicals as well as dealing with many kinds of pollutants. 

    However The Torah makes it very clear that we are expected to do our utmost to find ways to eliminate mountains of garbage  which cannot be decomposed all over the world. I strongly believe that If we are sophisticated enough to produce complex materials to make our life easier and safer we can find ways to eliminate them safely beyond the temporary (though workable) solution of recycling. 

    Tu B'Shvat has experienced an amazing transformation from a holiday which celebrates the importance of replenishing our Earth with trees to a day to honor all aspects of nature. It is a time to think about the real challenges of preserving Earth in our modern times.   

    Happy Tu B’Shvat! 

    Rabbi David 

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  • 16 Jan 2022 3:45 PM | Shirat Shalom (Administrator)

    Saturday, Rabbi David and I had  another one of our “what are the chances” experiences! Others may call such experiences synchronicities but I am always in Awe of the Workings of the Universe! 

    This time it happened with a wedding venue that happens to be a farm. When we learned that access requires traveling on dirt roads we decided to check it out. Especially since we have another wedding the same day, we certainly don’t want any surprises of getting lost! 

    As we pulled up to the gate, a man came out. It turned out he was the father of the bride and was delighted to give us a tour! The man’s dream has always been to plant fruit trees so he gave himself this gift six years ago, a 2.5 acre plot in South Miami. 

    Since then he has planted hundreds of fruit trees, many of which we have never tasted or heard of such as jackfruit and mame. He is even growing coffee beans. This is all just as a hobby.

    If you have been in our backyard, you can understand how excited Rabbi David and I were! A fellow gardener! We loved learning about all the trees, how he uses special mulch and of course tasting everything which is out of this world! 

    As we left with a bag overflowing with starfruit and other delights,  it hit me that the next evening, Sunday at sundown, (Jan. 16th) begins Tu B’Shvat, Birthday of the Trees! And a holiday when we eat all sorts of fruit! I mean what are the chances we would find ourselves on a tree farm just before the holiday! 

    We promised that when we return next week for the wedding, we will bring a big bag to fill up again. What are the chances that the very next day we are having our Shirat Shalom Tu B’Shvat celebration! Everyone attending will get to eat the fruit too! 

    The man told us, “This is my way of praying: Every morning I eat fruit right off of the trees, sit on the ground and look at all the fruit growing everywhere!” What a beautiful prayer to offer G-d each day!

    Of course, the wheels in Rabbi David’s head are already spinning. We might just all be sitting under some new fruit trees for next year’s Tu B’Shvat celebration, praying away! 

    Happy Tu B'Shvat! And come join us next Sunday, Jan. 23rd,  when we celebrate together! I promise the fruit will be delicious! 


    Cantor Lee and Rabbi David

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  • 14 Jan 2022 7:34 AM | Shirat Shalom (Administrator)

    There is a beautiful story in the Torah that is usually referred to as Jacob’s ladder. Jacob who was struggling with his actions and emotions, dreams about a ladder reaching heaven that has angels going up and down it. He finds himself at the top. The dream is so vivid and real that he names the place he had the dream, Beth-El, "House of G-d.'  

    The story is actually for all of us and refers to our spiritual journeys, that we are all here on earth to climb that ladder. 

    At the end of January I am offering a workshop, “Above and Beyond into the 13th Octave” to assist you to not only climb but FLY up your own personal ladder! Rabbi David will be joining me.

    The workshop involves connecting to Divine energies to work with the Council of Love which you can think of as G-d’s special group of angels and Light Beings who have missions to help us here on earth. 

    Much has been put in place for us to do just that without fully understanding why. For example, we call on our patriarchs and matriarchs during our prayers,  Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Sara, Rebecca, Leah and  Rachel. We have Elijah come to our seders. We call on the archangels to surround us and protect us. We connect to Moses when we study the Torah.

    Throughout the ages the deeper spiritual reasons for our teachings and prayers were only reserved for a few who were Kabbalists, those initiated into the mystical traditions. But we are living in a time when we all have the opportunity to be Kabbalists and learn how to ascend to the throne of G-d and become One with the Greater Mind of G-d, Mochin de-Gadlut. 

    The Greater Mind is  what the 13th Octave refers to. Being in the Greater Mind  mind enabled Moses, the  prophets and the great rabbis (who were all Kabbalists) to directly communicate with G-d and become Master Healers and Creators.  

    It is a place of Oneness, (the inner reason for the Sh’ma) where we can be in a place of inner peace, balance, connection and wholeness. It is a place where we have the tools to easily navigate through life’s challenges and create our own realities. Throughout the Torah we are reminded again and again that we are holy and are co-creators with G-d. That we are here to create Heaven on earth. 

    Just for me personally, working with the energies of the 13th Octave over the past two months  in preparation for the class has been astounding! Layers that I was carrying that I didn’t even know existed have been released. As a teacher I get to experience the same energy downloads the students do. 

    I know this amazing gift for me is also to encourage you to answer that inner call to climb the next step of your own ladder.

    Will you?

    This has always been the mission of the Jewish people. For as each one of us shifts, we affect the whole. This is Tikun Olam, to repair the world. This is the meaning of the song we sing at Chanukah, “Not by might and not by power, but by Spirit alone, shall we all live in Peace."

    Peace first begins with each one of us. 

    Update: Class now an Evergreen Webinar

    The class will be meeting Saturday and Sunday, January 29th-30th. Don’t worry if you can’t attend all of the workshop. During our 13 hours together, just attend when you can. Everything will be recorded and the energy downloads will be the same.

    As soon as you sign up the Council of Love will begin working with you. So the class technically begins right away! 

    The workshop is also open to teens as well as people of any religion or culture. The Kabbalistic teachings of the 13th Octave are universal and meant for all. 

    This too has been the mission of the Jewish people. We end each service with Bayom Hahu, Yihiyeh Adonai Echad.  “On that day His Name will be One.” 

    I am so glad I listened to that inner call and said, yes, I will offer the workshop. Will you listen also and join me? 

    Rabbi David and I am truly blessed to be part of this sacred journey with you! Please email with any questions. 

    Love always,

    Cantor Lee

    Register Here:  Payment Link

    Read more about the class here:  Above and Beyond into the 13th Octave

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  • 30 Dec 2021 4:19 PM | Shirat Shalom (Administrator)

    Did you ever notice themes in your life where everything just seems so interconnected? I recently had one of those “theme experiences” during the week of Thanksgiving. 

    I suppose it began when I presented a workshop the weekend before the holiday that included using a laughter activity to ascend to the higher realms. Rabbi David was an integral part of it and definitely had us all laughing! 

    It was now Wednesday morning and I was still flying on Wings of Joy not only from the workshop and feedback I was still receiving but from the Joy of setting my Thanksgiving table. Yes, if you know me you are probably smiling and maybe even laughing! I just Love to set beautiful tables! 

    I am even sort of quasi famous on facebook for my tablescapes. Well at least with my fb friends! But even people whom I meet for the first time will often comment how much they enjoy seeing the settings. 

    So here I was that morning happily engaged in creating my tablescape. I was quite enamored with the new Pilgrim salt and pepper shakers I placed on the table. They were a gift from my 5 year old piano student, Cody, so they were even more special! I just loved how happy the Pilgrims looked. And they just fit so perfectly in the design of the table. 

    That afternoon I met with a new client for a healing session. I was technically already on vacation but even though I didn’t know what his issue was  I didn’t want him to wait until after the holiday weekend. 

    Normally I wouldn’t share what happens in a session but in this case it is needed to see the entire picture. As soon as we began I was shown a very stern woman with her hair pulled back in a tight bun. She was wearing an old fashioned kind of apron somewhat similar to the one on my Pilgrim  shaker! The man then told me that he grew up in a state where the Puritans settled and was surrounded by that culture.

    I easily found the energy blockage he was carrying from the time he was six years old and wasn’t allowed to laugh. As it was released the man began laughing. He laughed and laughed and laughed! I supposed he was making up for all the years he never laughed. He was certainly a changed man at the end of the session.

    Right afterwards I googled Puritans. Although I knew the Pilgrims were originally part of the Puritans before they separated from the Church of England to travel to America, I didn’t remember too much of their history. I discovered that yes, Puritans were extremely strict and frowned on laughter and frivolity.  Happiness was only derived from serving G-d in their way. 

    So what are the chances that the man’s session would revolve around laughter and the Puritan culture at the same time I was focused on laughter from the workshop and the Pilgrims with their Puritan connection? 

    As we all sat around my Thanksgiving table where there was definitely much laughter I wondered  what it would be like to grow up without laughter. It just brings so much Joy! And the more of that, the better! 

    I checked in with the man the next day and he told me he was still in a state of Elevated Joy! As I put the Pilgrim salt and pepper shakers I told them, “I love that description!”  Their eyes seemed to twinkle in agreement! 

    As we begin this new year of 2022 may we all Laugh, Love and be filled with Elevated Joy! 

    Happy New Year!

    Cantor Lee and Rabbi David

    Read about Laughter with Rabbi David!

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  • 24 Dec 2021 4:21 PM | Shirat Shalom (Administrator)

    Light Display Front Entrance Boca Winds

    It was in 2015 that my husband who is a rabbi decided he wanted to do a mitzvah (a good deed) and volunteered to put up the Christmas Lights at the entrance of our neighborhood. With being a novice at displaying lights he was quite proud of the result!! 

    And so began the yearly tradition of the rabbi of the neighborhood putting up the Christmas Lights for Heritage Square! By the third year he began getting helpers and each year the display improved. With even more volunteers coming forward this year the display is spectacular! But its true radiance is from everyone coming together, of the honoring of all ideas with kindness and consideration. 

    Heritage Square Lights

    There is something so magical in seeing the lights everywhere! Perhaps it is the reminder of who we really all are at the core, Infinite Beings of Light here to create a world where we all honor and care for each other. And just like the holiday lights, this radiance can manifest in so many beautiful ways. 

    Especially in these days it seems we all crave this reminder. When there was an issue this year with the company hired to put the lights up at the entrance of our development, Boca Winds, there was an outcry from all the neighborhoods. We had to have the lights! 

    There didn’t seem to be a solution until two volunteers from our neighborhood  with the resources as an electrician and landscape designer stepped forward. The Light Displays have never been so beautiful! For their radiance not only includes the absolute Love Daniel and Chris have put into their creations at our two entrances  but the outpouring of gratitude from everyone. 

    Daniel Caner & Christopher Gurr Back Entrance Boca Winds

    The very same day that Daniel and Chris volunteered, Dec. 7th, my neighbor, Gina, captured this  picture over our neighborhood. I knew it was a message that the angels were adding their radiance to the Lights as well! 

    Angel over Heritage Square and Boca Winds

    When Rabbi David as a member of the homeowners board  thanked Daniel and Chris they replied, “Thank you for letting us do this.” How blessed are we to live in our community with our very own angels!  

    However you celebrate, Happy Holidays to all! May we all manifest  the Light of who we truly are in the upcoming New Year! 

    Rabbi David’s grandson knows who we really are!

    Love Always,

    Cantor Lee

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  • 24 Nov 2021 10:07 AM | Shirat Shalom (Administrator)

    Rabbi Spock 

    Rabbi David has certainly been letting his humorous side come out to play lately! This time he was transformed into Rabbi Spock. Yes, Spock from Star Trek! Of course this doesn't come as a surprise to anyone remembers him as the Pink Panther during our annual Chanukah Latke Man plays and all the other roles throughout the years. He always had us laughing! 

    Well, that’s what I needed him to do this time as well! I was going to be presenting a workshop at a Council of Love gathering, an organization I have been connected to since 2013 when I attended an energy healing workshop. 

    With my goal to teach spiritual concepts and tools in an experiential and fun way, I came up with the idea to have us all go on a spaceship to travel beyond the horizon and receive spiritual gifts. We would need Joyfuel consisting of golden bubbles to have the spaceship lift off. (Joy brings us up into higher frequencies)

    The glitch was we would need to produce laughter from the raw bubbles to create the golden bubbles. Well as you can imagine this assignment was right up Rabbi David's alley! With his transformation into Rabbi Spock he certainly had everyone laughing! 

    There is a beautiful teaching from Rebbe Nachman of Breslov who lived in the 18th century: It is a great mitzvah to be happy always. Strengthen yourself to push aside all depression and sadness. Everyone has lots of problems and the nature of man is to be attracted to sadness. To escape these difficulties, constantly bring joy into your life—even if you have to resort to silliness (Likutey Moharan II, 24).

    As we get ready to celebrate Thanksgiving may we all we find much Joy in the many blessings for which we are grateful. And with Chanukah following three days later may this Joy increase the Light we the Jewish people along with ALL people have been asked to bring into our world. 

    Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Chanukah! 

    Love, Cantor Lee and Rabbi David

    Here Rabbi Spock drinks raw bubbles to produce laughter. He just loved showing off his Vulcan ears! 

    Yes, even a Vulcan can laugh!

    We did it! Enough Golden Bubbles to make Joyfuel! 

    Thank you Rabbi Spock aka Rabbi David!! 

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  • 23 Nov 2021 8:16 AM | Shirat Shalom (Administrator)

    For those of you who don't know yet, being a grandparent is a great joy and honor. But the responsibility, I will have you know is enormous and it's not suited for the faint of heart.

    It begins when you are officially notified that your daughter or daughter-in-law is pregnant - Mazel Tov! 

    After feeling the vibes of happiness/ecstasy for awhile (or a long while) it’s time to get to work- no time to waste. 

    First thing on the agenda is coming up with the exact title you are to be referred to by the little one who was just created. So you thought this is easy? Think again. Cantor Lee for example  was agonizing with the issue for many months. She went through any possible two syllable combinations in seventy two languages and then with some strange combinations of her own - no deal.

    So I came to her with help suggesting “Babushka” or even “Baba” That's when I learned  it's not such a good idea to give such suggestions to my wife when she is struggling  with such earth shattering matters. 

    While I didn't fare any better, my repertoire  of possible names was somewhat less inclusive.  “Grandpa”? Na, it's so Passe. "Zaide?" What? Now I really cross  the Israeli line of pride and decency. If I give myself a Yiddish title, my Dad, may he rest in peace, would roll over  in his grave. Only a Hebrew name would do. “Zaide” was not even in the running. 

    What finally got the nomination was the natural choice which would honor any Israeli grandfather. “Saba”- grandfather in Hebrew it would be. 

    Owen, my now three year old grandson, learned quite quickly  that “Saba David”, the final canonized version of my title - is a very worthwhile item to commit to memory and invoke as often as possible. His cousin Skyler, my 16 month old was not too far behind in this realization. 

    You see, human babies  are born with a specific DNA implant sequence which determines the golden grandparent rules. These include: Saba will never say no to you. Saba will get you any toy you want. He will do anything for you and will be ready to play on a second’s notice including roll on the carpet, become a cat, a dog, a lion, a car, a monkey (yes- a monkey) - whatever the play of the moment is. Oh, yes, arthritis or any old back, neck, shoulder injuries are absolutely no excuse to wiggle yourself out of your playing duty.   

    If the interaction is through facetime then be ready at 6 o'clock am or for that matter, at any time of night or day to answer the call, ready to go armed with books about dump trucks, garbage trucks, baby animals, Grover, Elmo, back/front hoe loaders, birds that talk to frogs, a bunny rabbit and his loyal friend the worm … and the bit goes on.

    Then of course your duties also include singing good old Sesame Street songs all adapted to more modern versions. This includes that lovely song about the big blue thing that no doubt has a severe case of diabetes after eating cookies for more than 60 years or the song about that nice fellow who lives in a garbage  can. 

    Next is showing what I eat and how I make my food,  naming all the different food parts. Repeat the same when the second baby calls. This, according to my daughter, is an important campaign to enrich the baby’s vocabulary. 

    Then there is a special grandfather duty assigned especially to me. That duty is classified under “Languages.” Namely Hebrew. You see, my daughter Rachel  will never ever forgive me for not speaking Hebrew to her as a child. She cast a blemish and a scar on my soul for eternity. 

    However when Skyler was born and in a moment of father/daughter love she agreed to offer me a chance for redemption if Skyler would be able to speak Hebrew to me. So who in the world would pass up such an opportunity for spiritual redemption?!

    So here I am, Saba David, engaging baby Skyler with Hebrew words. Redemption does not come easy.... Any suggestions? 

    This concludes my Saba 101 presentation. 


    Rabbi David aka Saba David

    Here is Saba David in the garden with his helpers!

    Bye All! Off to the park to play with my Saba David!!

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