1. “In Jewish history there are no coincidences.” – Elie Wiesel
If you had asked me what my favorite Yiddish word is, I would have told you Bashert It translates into the idea that Wiesel captured so beautifully as an aphorism in my favorite quote. The older I get, the more the truth of it strikes me, both in a national and a personal sense. The seemingly random, random, and arbitrary events that make up the story of our lives begin to form a coherent and purposeful narrative when viewed from a divine perspective. With the wisdom of hindsight, I have learned countless times to recognize that coincidence is nothing more than God’s way of choosing to remain anonymous. Rabbi Benjamin Blech
2. “The just man falls seven times and gets up.” – King Solomon, Proverbs, 24:16.
Life is all about the ability to rise up from the challenge. Greatness is defined as getting up once more than you have fallen down. The Torah defines someone who is righteous not as someone who has been successful, but as someone who has persevered. Create a paradigm of what righteousness is: trying to do the right thing, getting up from failure and moving forward. Charlie Harary
3. “If you don’t know what you’re living for, you haven’t lived yet.” – Rabbi Noah Weinberg, of blessed memory
Life is the most precious thing we have. Everyone wants to live a meaningful life. But we are so busy ‘living’ that we don’t have a moment to really think about living. One of my father’s priorities was to get people to ask the big questions of life, to get out of pettiness and focus on living a life of true purpose. Yehuda Weinberg
4. “I don’t want followers who are righteous, rather I want followers who are too busy doing good that they don’t have time to do evil.” – Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Kotzk
People who focus on being upright can become self-centered and self-righteous. While those who pursue good deeds and actions become righteous. Rabbi Ari Kahn
5. “Klieg, Klieg, Klieg, you are a nar. You are smart, smart. smart, but you’re not that smart! – a Yiddish saying
It’s one of my favorite quotes because it’s so true! And my mother used to say it under her breath about people and every time she did, she was right. Benjamin Brafman
6. “If I am me because you are you, and you are you because I am me, then I am not me and you are not you. But if I am me because I am me, and you are you because you are you, then I am me and you are you.” – Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Kotzk
A self-definition that is based on the perspective of others is false and misleading. Rabbi Zev Pomeranz
7. “Gam zu l’tova. This is also for the best.” – Nachum Ish Gamzu, Talmud, Taanit, 21a
When things get “difficult” it reminds me that this is also for the best and I need to refocus my thinking towards this realization. Rabbi Yitz Greenman
8. “I do not speak because I have the power to speak; I speak because I do not have the power to remain silent” – Rabbi AY Kook
This quote embodies the depth of love that every Jew needs to feel for another. The connection between Jews is instinctive, therefore one has no choice but to speak. Caring for other Jews affects the essence of who we are as a people and we need to reach a point where it is so deep that it is impossible not to say or do something. Yitzchak Tendler
9. “People often avoid making decisions for fear of making a mistake. Actually, not making decisions is one of life’s biggest mistakes.” – Rabbi Noah Weinberg.
I love this phrase because it inspires me to keep taking the risks I need to grow. I want to be able to keep climbing even after I fall, and Rav Noah’s words have always given me the courage to fail and keep trying anyway. Sara Debbie Gutfreund
10. “There are two things that are infinite, the universe and the stupidity of man… And I’m not sure about the universe.” – Albert Einstein
I think that’s a clever way of saying that people are crazy. Rabbi Stephen Baars
11. “If you want to meet a princess, become a prince.” – Rabbi Dov Heller, Aish LA
To me that summed up everything about finding a wife. Totally practical and also spiritual. Mike Cooper
12. “There are no problems, only growth opportunities.” – Rebbetzin Dena Weinberg:
It helps me get through almost everything. It means that God is sending me this so that I can grow. It keeps me from blaming others, including myself. Frame a situation not as something overwhelming that is impossible to solve, but as a puzzle that can be solved, and the process of solving it is where the real growth happens. Words are powerful; as soon as you switch from “problem” to “opportunity”, you throw off the covers, roll out of bed, pull up your boot straps and rise to the occasion. Nobody wants problems, but who doesn’t want opportunities? Lori Palatnik
13. “If I am not for myself, who is for me; and if I am (only) for myself, what am I? And if not now, when? – Hillel, Ethics of the Fathers, 1:14
I think this is the most inspiring and motivating message. I was created for a specific purpose: there is no other ‘me’. Consider that I am here for others, considering the ‘me’, how can I make a difference in the world? Finally, there is no time like the present. Rabbi Chaim Cohen
14. “Who is wise? One who learns from every man… Who is strong? He who overcomes his inclinations… Who is rich? The one who is satisfied with the fate of him… Who is honorable? One who honors his companions.” – Ben Zoma, Ethics of the Fathers, 4:1
This is my favorite quote because it changes our society’s definitions of these things. We tend to think that strength, happiness, wisdom and honor depend on external circumstances: how much wealth you have, how strong you are, how much you know… Jewish wisdom shows that all four are internal; it all depends on the person himself. Do you want to be rich? It’s about your attitude, not how much money you have. Do you want to be smart? You don’t need Einstein’s genes, just the ability to open your eyes and observe the people around you. Do you want to be strong like a hero? It’s in your heart, just be strong enough to do what’s right. Nir Greenberger
15. “Torah is not education, it is transformation.” – Rebbitzen Dena Weinberg
If you are only learning Torah for education and you are not growing and transforming yourself, you are not really learning Torah. bonnie cohen
sixteen. “Yeshuat Hashem k’heref ayin. God’s salvation is like the blink of an eye.” – Pesikta Zutreta, Esther 4:17.
No matter how bleak something may seem, salvation could be just around the corner. God can change everything in the blink of an eye. This quote teaches us to always have hope; redemption can come at any moment. Danielle Haas
17. “The sour tzara smoke, according to the effort is the reward.” – Ben Hei Hei, Ethics of Parents, 5:26.
This is the great equalizer. It doesn’t matter where you started on the ladder of life; It doesn’t matter how many rungs you’ve climbed. This is the true measure of man. As President Coolidge said: Nothing in this world can replace persistence. Talent won’t – nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. The genie won’t; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education won’t: the world is full of educated bums. Only persistence and determination are omnipotent.” Of course we cannot do anything without God’s help. The choice is in our hands, but the results are in His. Rabbi Nechemia Coopersmith
18. “If you’re not a better person tomorrow than you are today, what need do you have of a tomorrow?” – Rebbe Nachman of Breslov
The purpose of human life is to improve one’s character traits by working on oneself every day. That is why God gives us today and tomorrow. Sara Yoheved Rigler
19. “L’Chaim!” – a traditional Jewish toast.
Jews cherish every moment of life. It doesn’t matter if things are going your way, stop and pause, and raise your glass to the delicious opportunity life is giving you right now. You will never get that moment back. Rabbi Jack Kalla
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