> Weekly Torah Portion > Shabbat Shalom > Shabbat Shalom Weekly

Kedoshim 5776

Kedoshim (Leviticus 19-20 )

by Kalman Packouz

12 rules for raising delinquent children

GOOD MORNING!  Did you ever hear of the Mighty Atom? You may need to ask your parents or grandparents, but there was a time almost every Jew in the United States knew his name and his exploits. Joseph Greenstein, known as the Mighty Atom, was the quintessential strongman!

The Mighty Atom was a legend in his time. Though only 5'4" tall, he'd bite through nails, pull three fire trucks down the road, prevent an airplane from taking off with a rope tied to his hair. He was amazing! And for a generation of Jews -- and probably for a generation of anti-Semites, too -- he single-handedly changed the image of the nebichal (pitiful and powerless) Jew. He taught the power of the mind and the power of self-improvement.

When he was a child, Joseph overheard the doctor tell his mother that he was so sickly that she shouldn't expect him to live to be a teenager. So, he ran off and joined the circus. Saved by the circus strongman (who happened to be Jewish) from being beaten to death by a vicious anti-Semite, Joe was "adopted" by the strongman who taught him how to eat properly, exercise and most important, how to concentrate the powers of his mind. Not only did he live to his teenage years, not only did he live into his 80's, but Joseph Greenstein went on to become one of history's greatest strongmen -- The Mighty Atom!

It is difficult to find a copy of his biography, The Spiritual Journey of Joseph L. Greenstein -- The Mighty Atom, World's Strongest Man by Ed Spielman -- though it is well worth the effort. Try your library. You can read more about him on Wikipedia or see the Mighty Atom on !

The Mighty Atom was not just brawn; he was a powerful intellect and a wise man. He also had an excellent sense of humor. Many years ago when my friend Bob Grover went to meet the Mighty Atom, the grandfather of his bride to be, the Mighty Atom took a horseshoe, twisted it with his bare hands and gave it to Bob saying, "I know you'll be good to her." Below are his words of wisdom on the art of child-rearing.


How To Ruin Your Children --
Guaranteed 100% Infallible

  1. Begin in infancy to give the child everything he wants. In this way he will grow up to believe that the world owes him a living.
  2. When he picks up bad words, laugh at him. This will make him think he is cute. It will also encourage him to pick up cuter phrases.
  3. Never give him any spiritual training. Wait until he's 21 and then let him decide for himself.
  4. Avoid use of the word "wrong." It may develop into a guilt complex. Later, when he is arrested, he can conclude that society is against him and that he is being persecuted.
  5. Pick up everything he leaves lying around -- books, shoes, clothes. Do everything for him, so that he will be experienced in throwing all responsibility upon others.
  6. Let him read any printed matter that he can get his hands on. Be careful that the silverware and drinking glasses are sterilized, but let his mind feast on garbage.
  7. Quarrel frequently in the presence of your children. In this way they will not be too shocked when their home is broken up later.
  8. Give a child all the spending money he wants. Never let him earn his own. Why should he have things as tough as you had them?
  9. Satisfy his every craving for food, drink and comfort. See that every sensual desire is gratified. Denial may lead to harmful frustration.
  10. Take his part against neighbors, teachers, policemen. They are all prejudiced against your child.
  11. When he gets into real trouble, apologize to yourself by saying: "I never could do anything with him."
  12. Prepare for a life of grief. You will be likely to have it.


For an excellent book on nurturing children, read To Kindle A Soul by Lawrence Kelemen.


Hear classes on...
Download to Go
or Listen FREE On-Line


Torah Portion of the week

Kedoshim, Leviticus 19:1 - 20:27

This is the portion that invokes the Jewish people to be holy! It then proceeds with the spiritual directions on how to achieve holiness, closeness to the Almighty. Within it lie the secrets and the prescription for Jewish continuity. If any group of people is to survive as an entity, it must have common values and goals -- a direction and a meaning. By analyzing this portion we can learn much about our personal and national destiny. It is truly a "must read!"

Some of the mitzvot (commandments): Revere your parents, observe Shabbat, no idol worship, gifts to the poor, deal honestly, love your fellow Jew, refrain from immoral sexual relationships, honor old people, love the proselyte, don't engage in sorcery or superstition, do not pervert justice, observe kashruth and more. The portion ends, "You shall observe all My decrees and ordinances ... you shall be holy ... I have separated you from the peoples to be Mine."

* * *

Dvar Torah
from Twerski on Chumash by Rabbi Abraham J. Twerski, M.D.

The Torah states:

"You shall love your fellow as yourself, I am God" (Lev. 19:18).

What does this mean?

When the proselyte asked Hillel to condense the entire Torah and teach it to him in the brief time that he could stand on one foot, Hillel said, " 'You shall love your fellow as yourself,' that is the essence of Torah. All the rest is commentary." Given the centrality of this verse, it is not unusual that it has been given numerous interpretations. Let us look at some of them.

The Baal Shem Tov said that just as you love yourself in spite of your shortcomings, so you should love another person in spite of his shortcomings.

On the verse, "God is your shade at your right hand" (Psalms 121:5), the Baal Shem Tov commented that just as a person's shadow mimics his every move, so God acts toward a person the way that person acts toward others. Therefore, he said the verse can also be read as, "You shall love your fellow, because I, God, will be like you." If you will be forgiving to others, I will be forgiving to you. If you will insist on exacting unrelenting justice, I will do likewise to you.

Arvei Nachal writes if another person is in the same business as you, you may feel that he is a competitor, and that may cause you to dislike him. Therefore, the Torah emphasizes, "You shall love your fellow who is as yourself."



Ever have a question on an issue of life and wish you had a clear, compelling answer? Rabbi Asher Resnick is creating -- and needs your help to make it a reality! Please, make a large or small contribution for the future of the Jewish people -- you can't love what you don't know! Go to



Candle Lighting Times

May 13
(or go to

Jerusalem 6:52
Guatemala 6:04 - Hong Kong 6:37 - Honolulu 6:44
J'Burg 5:12 - London 8:25 - Los Angeles 7:29
Melbourne 5:03 - Mexico City 7:46 - Miami 7:41
New York 7:47 - Singapore 6:48 - Toronto 8:16

Quote of the Week

Children need more role models than critics



In loving memory of

Binyomin (Barry)
Ross, z"l

With Deep Appreciation to



Leave a Reply

1 2 3 2,899

🤯 ⇐ That's you after reading our weekly email.

Our weekly email is chock full of interesting and relevant insights into Jewish history, food, philosophy, current events, holidays and more.
Sign up now. Impress your friends with how much you know.
We will never share your email address and you can unsubscribe in a single click.
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram