You should never feel that Judaism is an all or nothing religion.  It simply isn’t. Even if and when you commit a sin, do teshuvah, put it behind you and realize that the sin did not cancel out the mitzvos you performed.  And the reward for each mitzvah is unfathomable, so just grab as many as you could!

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Making it Worse

When misfortune happens to you, do not worsen the situation by needlessly adding to your suffering by repeating to yourself how awful it is.  ~ Cheshbon Hanefesh

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Expressing Gratitude

The most elementary level of gratitude is for a person to realize that he should express gratitude – even if only with a few words – to a person who has done work for him or gone to trouble on his behalf. ~ R’ Eliyahu Dessler zt”l

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Before you Bentch

After finishing a meal, focus for a moment on how grateful you are for having the food that you have just eaten and then recite Birchas Hamazon (the blessing after a meal). ~ Chinuch V’edun Hahergeshim as quoted by R’ Zelig Pliskin

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A Reason to Celebrate

The Beis Yosef explains that the 24,000 students of Reb Akiva stopped dying on Lag B’Omer, hence Lag B’Omer is a day of Celebrating.  But the Pri Chadash points out that the reason the students stopped dying was mostly because there were almost none left!  Only five remained!

Reb Akiva, however, did not give up and immediately began teaching Torah to those five students.  And from those five students, Torah went forth to the world and continues until today.

That is certainly a reason to celebrate!

~ Adapted from R’ Elimelech Biderman Shlita

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One and the Same

When you do what you want – your will – you do it willingly and eagerly.  This is how you should do God’s will as well.  Do not differentiate between God’s will and your own; make them one and the same.  In other words, whatever you do, do in a manner that will be pleasing before God. ~ Rabbeinu Yonah of Gerrondi on Pirkei Avos 2:4

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The Most Divine Thing One Can Do

To forgive is divine.  We all know it because it’s true.  But not to give up is even more divine.  Not to give up on G-d is not so hard.  We all trust and believe in G-d.  But not to give up on people and the world, given the way life can sometimes treat us, and not to give up on ourselves; that is really hard.  But it’s the most dive thing a person can do. ~ R’ Shlomo Carlebach zt”l

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