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Vayigash 5773

Vayigash (Genesis 44:18-47:27 )

by Kalman Packouz

GOOD MORNING! What would you do if you knew you couldn't fail? What goal would you set for yourself? Why don't we set high goals? Why do we quit on our goals? We have "tapes" running in our head repeating messages like "You're not good enough. You can't do it! You've failed before, you'll fail again!" In short -- we lack self-confidence!

Rabbi Zelig Pliskin has recently published Self-Confidence -- Formulas, Stories and Insights to help us be the best we can be! For less than $10 you have access to incredibly effective tools to finding the confidence that lies within you -- to swap out the negative self-talk and swap in a positive self-confident message! Will it work for you? Possibly. However, as Wayne Gretzky once said, "I missed 100% of the shots I didn't take!" It will help a lot more than doing nothing!

You create self-confidence in your mind with the thoughts that you consciously think. Your self-confidence is an inside job. Realize that you already have memories of self-confidence stored in your brain. The goal of this book is to help you strengthen the conditioning of your mind's ability to access a self-confident state. Every time you review an idea, you strengthen your brain's neural pathways containing that idea. This is similar to strengthening a muscle by exercising it over and over again.

There are 73 short chapters that present enough perspectives and options that likely most people will find something of value -- which just may be a life-changing paradigm shift!

I share with you an excerpt from Chapter 4, "Setting Goals Depends on Your Level of Self-Confidence." "There are four factors that will transform a person's life:

"1. Self-talk -- Talk to yourself in ways that increase your positive feelings, develop positive character trains, and inspire and motivate you to accomplish worthwhile goals.

"2. Self-image -- is created by how you answer the question, "Who am I?". See yourself as someone created in the image of the Creator." In the 1960's there was a poster "God doesn't make junk" with the picture of a child. God doesn't make extra people. We are each unique and important. There is something special about each of us; we each have our own mission and our own contribution to this world.

"3. Goals -- be clear what you want to be, do and have. Then you need the willpower to take action to achieve your goals. What one considers 'possible' or 'impossible' to achieve depends on one's strength of will.

"4. Traits and States. Traits are your patterns of thoughts, feelings, word and actions. You can make any positive trait automatic habit by frequent repetition. Your states refer to your mental and emotional states. They are created by your mind and body. You access powerful states by remembering times you experienced them or by imagining one.

"Using your ability to remember your greatest moments of self-confidence, recall some moments when you've felt very self-confident. With your ability to use your imagination, imagine yourself acting extremely self-confident in the future. Now give yourself permission to imagine being given the gift of super great self-confidence. Realize that the only limits to your imagination are the limits you put on your self. This exercise will program and condition your mind to have greater self-confidence. Make it a daily habit to imagine yourself having high levels of self-confidence.

Self-Confidence is available at your local Jewish bookstore or at, 888-342-4537. You may also want to get Building Your Self-Image, Conversations with Yourself and Life is Now by Rabbi Pliskin!


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Torah Portion of the Week

We left off last week with Joseph's pronouncement that he was keeping Benjamin as a slave for stealing his wine cup. Judah steps forward to challenge the decision and offers himself as a slave instead of Benjamin. Joseph is overcome with emotion, clears the room of all Egyptians and then reveals his identity to his unsuspecting brothers.

The brothers are shocked! They suspect Joseph's intentions, but accept his offer to bring the extended family to Egypt. Jacob is initially numb and disbelieving of the news, but becomes very excited to see his son.

The Torah recounts the 70 members of Jacob's family which went down to Egypt. Jacob reunites with Joseph, meets Pharaoh and settles with the family in the Goshen district. During the famine, Joseph buys up all of the property and people in Egypt for Pharaoh with the grain stored during the seven good years.

* * *

Dvar Torah
based on Growth Through Torah by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin

The Torah states:

"And Pharaoh said to Jacob, 'How many are the years of your life?' and Jacob said to Pharaoh, 'I have lived one hundred and thirty years. The years of my life were few and bad and they have not reached the years of my fathers" (Genesis 47;8-9).

Ultimately, Jacob lived 33 years less than his father, Isaac. Why was he not granted the years of his father?

The commentary Daas Zkainim cites the Midrash that Jacob was punished for saying that the days of his life were few and bad. He lacked appreciation for life. The Midrash tells us that the 33 years he was denied correspond to the 33 words in verses 8-9.

There are 2 obvious questions: Verse 8 consists of Pharaoh asking Jacob his age. Why should Jacob be punished for the words in this verse? What connection is there between Pharaoh's question about Jacob's age with Jacob's response that his years were "few and bad"?

Rabbi Chaim Shmuelevitz answers that Jacob looked extremely old. Pharaoh thought that Jacob was older than he actually was and this was the reason he asked him his age. Because Jacob lacked joy in his life, his suffering caused the aging process to quicken. Therefore, Jacob was held accountable for allowing the difficulties in his life to cause him so much stress that he aged prematurely.

Rabbi Chaim Shmuelevitz often cited this Midrash and explained that we should gain such a great appreciation for life itself that even if we have many difficulties in life, we will still live a life of joy. Experiencing this daily joy of living, we would be unable to say that our life was bad. The ultimate level to strive for is feeling a tremendous joy in living; then trivial matters will not cause you to complain.


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Whether you think you can ...
or you think you can't --
you are right!


AISH FACT:  EYAHT, the Aish HaTorah College of Jewish Studies for Women, offers a comprehensive, multi-level study program for university and professional women from all backgrounds. EYAHT is headed by Rebbetzin Dena Weinberg, who has empowered a generation of Jewish women to inspire other women across the globe.


In Loving Memory of

Chaim ben Dov HaCohen

10th of Tevet
The Falic Family


In Loving Memory of

Laura Weinsoff



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