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Bo 5774

Bo (Exodus 10:1-13:16 )

by Kalman Packouz

GOOD MORNING!   We live in a time when stress and anxiety are the norm. Frustrations, worries, pressures, disappointments and regrets easily preoccupy our thoughts. What is the antidote? Serenity.

Imagine how wonderful it would be if you could learn to be consistently serene. Serenity is emotional freedom and a general sense of well-being. Your brain functions at its optimal level and you think at your best. Serenity is conducive for health and for recovery. With serenity, you will be able to elevate yourself spiritually.

Now we have the benefit of the wisdom and guidance of Rabbi Zelig Pliskin in his book entitled ... you guessed it ... Serenity! It is the fifth book in his successful Artscroll series following Happiness, Kindness, Courage, and Patience. It is an easy-to-read guide for living a better life (available at your local Jewish bookstore, at or by calling toll-free to 877-758-3242).

The formulas, insights, and stories in this book will help the reader become calmer and more serene. Let them help you. Why experience stress and anxiety when you can benefit greatly from serenity? Be kind to yourself, have the courage to acknowledge that you would gain from more serenity and the patience to read and reread this book. You will be happy you did! Here is an excerpt, entitled: THIS MOMENT

This moment is the only moment that exists for you right now. When you start reading this present sentence, the last sentence you read was in the past and now you are presently reading this sentence.

The next breath that you take, or that you are taking this second, is the only breath that exists for you in reality. Your last breath happened in the past, and your next breath didn't happen yet.

When you speak to someone, each sentence you say is the only sentence that exists in the present. Your last sentence happened in the past, and your next sentence will happen in the future.

The thought you are thinking in a given moment is the only thought that exists for you. Your last thought existed in the past and your next thought will be in the future. Since you are reading this, you can't read these words and think other thoughts in the exact same second. You can switch back and forth quickly, but you can only do one at a time, either you read or you think.

Since you exist in only one moment at a time, to be serene you only need to be serene during that moment. You create serenity when you think serene thoughts and mentally picture serene scenes. You create serenity when you breathe slowly and deeply and relax your muscles. You create serenity when you vividly remember scenes of being serene. If you can access a serene state right now, it means that you have the ability to do so this very moment. (If you can't yet do this, read the entire book and then reread this section.) And in any future moment that moment is the only moment that actually exists for you right then. So, regardless of how you have been at any and all moments before and how you will be at any given moment later on, you only need to be serene this moment. Repeat these last four words: be serene this moment.

Be serene this moment. Some moments will be more conducive for serenity and some moments will be more difficult. Whenever you repeat these words, your brain will be focused on serenity. The more frequently you repeat, "Be serene this moment," the more likely it is that this message will last for you even when you are not repeating these words.

The skill you need to master to be consistently serene is the ability to access serenity at will in present moments. The rest of the book is commentary...


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Torah Portion of the week

Torah Portion of the Week
Bo,Exodus 10:1 -13:16

This week we conclude the ten plagues with the plagues of locusts, darkness and the death of the first-born. The laws of Passover are presented, followed by the commandment to wear tefillin, consecrate the first-born animal and redeem one's first born son. The Torah tells us that at some time in the future your son will ask you about these commandments and you will answer: "With a show of power, God brought us out of Egypt, the place of slavery. When Pharaoh stubbornly refused to let us leave, God killed all the first-born in Egypt, man and beast alike. I, therefore, offer to God all male first-born (animals) and redeem all the first-born of sons. And it shall be a sign upon your arm, and an ornament between your eyes (Tefillin), for with a strong hand the Almighty removed us from Egypt" (Ex. 13:15).

* * *

Dvar Torah
based on Growth Through Torah by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin

The Torah states regarding the Pesach offering:

"Neither shall you break a bone of it" (Exodus 12:46).

What is the Torah coming to teach us about life from this commandment?

On Passover night as we sit at the Seder we are to envision ourselves as going out of Egypt and becoming free people. At the Seder, we are kings and queens; we dress royally, we act royally, we eat royally. Royal people do not break bones to suck out the marrow. Poor, downtrodden people must suck the bones to draw out all of the nourishment possible.

The outward action brings the inner appreciation. If you want to be free, act free. If you want to be royal, act royally. Likewise, if you want to be kind or to be charitable, then act that way. Eventually, your personality will be shaped by your actions. Life and growth are a process of deciding and then consistently acting in line with your decision. Decide and you can be!



Flatter me, and I may not believe you.
Criticize me, and I may not like you.
Ignore me, and I may not forgive you.
Encourage me, and I may not forget you.

-  William Arthur



Candle Lighting Times

(or go to

Jerusalem 4:13
Guatemala 5:27 - Hong Kong 5:34 - Honolulu 5:44
J'Burg 6:45 - London 3:46 - Los Angeles 4:39
Melbourne 8:27 - Mexico City 5:52 - Miami 5:25
New York 4:23- Singapore 6:53 - Toronto 4:35

Quote of the Week

Watch your thoughts, for they become words.
Choose your words, for they become actions.
Understand your actions, for they become habits.
Study your habits, for they will become your character.
Develop your character, for it becomes your destiny!


Happy Anniversary

Marc Singer &
Dr. Helena Igra


With Deep Appreciation to

The Honorable Bob
& Zivia Gill


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